Phil Heath Shoulders Workout (Step-By-Step Routine)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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As a seasoned personal fitness trainer and nutritionist, I like going through a bodybuilder's training routine and diet plans to encourage my clients and readers to exercise and gain the same benefits.

Phil Heath is among the greatest bodybuilders of all time and seven-time Mr. Olympia.

He shares his most valuable training advice obtained from numerous hours spent in the gym.

In this guide, I will show you how to employ the Phil Heath shoulder routine to take your workout to the next level.

Phil Heath’s Stats/Career Highlights

  • Age: 44 years
  • Height: 5ft 9in
  • Weight: 245 - 255 lbs
  • Waist: 29 inches
  • Chest: 54 inches

Phil Heath Workout Routine

Phil Heath Shoulder Workout Muscles

Phil has a fantastic physique: enormous 3-D arms and shredded six-pack abs. On the other hand, his shoulders are on an entirely different level.

Here's how Phil Heath trains this body part (shoulders):

Shoulder Workout Routine A:

  • Workout #1: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of hammer-strength overhead presses
  • Workout #2: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of dumbbell lateral raise.
  • Workout #3: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of bent over dumbbell reverse flys
  • Workout #4: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of 30° prone dumbbell front raises
  • Workout #5: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of dual handle face pulls

Also Read: Best At-Home Shoulder Workouts

Shoulder Workout Routine B:

  • Workout #1: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of hammer-strength overhead presses
  • Workout #2: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of hammer strength high incline push
  • Workout #3: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of standing dumbbell lateral raises
  • Workout #4: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of 45° prone dumbbell front raises
  • Workout #5: 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of seated dumbbell lateral raises

Phil Heath Workout Principles

Phil Heath flexing his muscles

I always emphasize that shoulder exercises are crucial for more than just aesthetics; they fortify the muscles around the shoulder joint, boosting both posture and overall body strength.

Take Phil, for instance. He targets his shoulders once a week with rigorous bodybuilding routines. His weekly schedule, covering 4 to 6 days, features solid overhead presses and high-rep isolation exercises for his delts.

However, Phil doesn't chase the heaviest weights. His philosophy centers on time under tension, prioritizing quality muscle contractions with each rep to effectively engage those shoulders.

Unlike many smith machines exercises or barbell routines, Phil likes using various hammer strength machines in his entire workout since they are less taxing on his joints.

Phil gradually increases the free weights and does roughly 10 repetitions with perfect form for an intense workout.

He performs various isolation workouts for his rear and side delts.

"We're performing lateral rises, which will aid in developing delt breadth. We're also doing laterals while seated and standing. So we're going a bit heavier, followed by some isolation work."

- Phil Heath, American IFBB Professional Bodybuilder

Phil Heath shakes things up in his second routine by doing two strong overhead pressing actions.

He begins with his preferred hammer strength overhead press and progresses to the high incline hammer power press.

This movement focuses more on the exercising the front delts while still engaging the side and back delts effectively.

Related: Phil Heath Arm Workouts: Blast Routine & Training Tips

Phil Heath’s Diet/Nutrition Principles

Close up shot of chicken breasts

Phil Heath's meal plan is heavy on protein and carbohydrates.

Phil consumes around 400 grams of protein and 600 grams of carbs.

The other thing is that he consumes a high-calorie diet.

This would equate to 5,000+ calories per day during the peak training session, more than double the regular intake.

During the pre-contest days, he reduces his calorie intake.

Phil keeps fat to a minimum level, even the healthy fats like those found in vegetables and seafood.

His Diet Plan

Here's a typical day in the Phil Heath diet:


  • 12 oz chicken breast
  • 8 egg omelet (more protein)
  • Cup of creamed rice (carb boost)
  • Bowl of fresh fruit salad


  • Large bowl of fresh salad
  • 8 oz white chicken breast


  • 8 oz ground beef
  • 3 medium-sized sweet potato

Related Post: Phil Heath's Full Workout, Supplements & Diet Plan

Phil Heath’s Supplements

Phil prioritized supplements on his daily agenda.

He utilizes the following supplements to fuel his achievements.

  • Whey protein for muscle recovery.
  • Pre-workout to avoid premature fatigue.
  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) for muscle recovery.
  • Mass gainers.


How Many Hours a Day Does Phil Heath Workout?

Phil Heath workouts for about two hours. Heath's routine consists of three to five workouts per muscle. He concentrates on the technical performance of the activities, akin to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman, who has won the Mr. Olympia contest several times.

How Do Strongmen Train Shoulders?

Strongmen train shoulders by performing workouts such as barbell push presses, dumbbell Z presses, dumbbell overhead carries, and close grip dumbbell bench presses.

What Is the #1 Shoulder Workout?

Overhead presses are among the best exercises for building shoulder strength and muscle. They strengthen the shoulder across a broad range of motion and improve performance inside and outside the gym by strengthening the deltoids and muscles that stabilize the scapula.

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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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