Grant Roberts knows a thing or two about whipping celebrities into phenomenal shape. The Canadian fitness guru helped make headlines when he transformed Kumail Nanjiani into a superhero for the role of Kingo, in Marvel’s upcoming movie, “The Eternals” and also boasts an impressive list of clients that includes Hillary Swank, Eva Longoria, Clint Eastwood, and Travis Van Winkle (who recently gained 10 pounds of lean muscle for Netflix’s “YOU,” Season 3.) Roberts, a former professional bodybuilder, tailors his specific plans to the individual, but expects hard work and commitment from all he coaches.
Roberts is often a proponent of the 5:2 diet plan, because it allows the client to be flexible in their eating, as long as they hit the correct number of macros, assigned based on their own goals and body composition, but he recommends structured, clean-eating and the eating of healthy fats, via plant-based omega-3, (because of its optimum DHA to EPA ratio) for best results. For two days, individuals will load-up with a higher share of carbs, allowing them to train with intensity and hit the parts of the body that need the most development. “Following the two-day load is when we would hit the lagging body parts on back-to-back days,” says Roberts. “To take advantage of the muscles being full of glycogen, and then slowly deplete the levels over the course of the week and repeat.”
One such area that Roberts focused on with Van Winkle was his posterior deltoid, a muscle positioned on the underside of the shoulder. What follows is a genuine workout that Van Winkle undertook where focus was given to his shoulders and traps to augment the size of his back.
Grant Roberts’ Shoulder, Back, and Trap Workout
Kneeling Static Elbow Drive on the Power Plate
- Kneel on a foam pad placed on the floor directly in front of Power Plate.
- Turn Power Plate on 30 seconds at 50hz.
- Sit on your heels. Place elbows in the center of the Power Plate, with hands pointing up and elbows bent 90 degrees.
- With a flat back and high chest, drive your elbows statically hard into the plate for the duration of 30 seconds, engaging your lats.
Exercise 1: Wide-Grip, Straight-Arm Pushdown (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Attach a wide straight bar to both sides of a functional trainer at forehead height.
- With an overhand grip just wide of shoulder width, and straight arms, push the weight down toward your thighs.
- Hold for a full second and repeat.
Exercise 2: Seated Sideways Single-Arm Pull (2 sets, 10 reps each arm)
- Using the same setup as above, with a straight bar attached to both sides of the functional trainer, place a flat bench in the center, approximately 3 feet from the front of machine.
- Seated sideways, use one arm and grab the center of the bar (lower the bar slightly, if needed) and anchor yourself to the bench with the other arm.
- Sit far enough away to grab the end of the bench, creating a 45-degree angle (using your anchor hold on the end of bench to maintain that position).
- Pull down the weight with elbow driving toward hip, slowly, with a full second hold at the bottom of the movement and repeat.
- Repeat with other arm.
Exercise 3. Seated High-Cable Row with Neutral Grip (4 sets, 10 reps)
- On the cable row, set the weight appropriately so that you can pull the weight toward you, and to chin height with a wide grip.
Exercise 4. Single-Arm Landmine Olympic Bar Row (2 sets, 10 reps each arm)
- Place the Olympic bar in a landmine and stand beside it, placing your toes inline (outside) the weight plate.
- Grip the Olympic bar with one hand, right at or close to the collar. Your free hand is braced on the knee below, to establish a flat back position in a squat.
- Row the weight, leading the working elbow towards the hip and repeat with control.
Exercise 5. Bentover Low-back Kickback (4 sets, 12 reps)
- With an Olympic bar or dumbbells, start with weight behind knees, the grip is just inside shoulder width.
- With a flat back, elevated chest and straight arm, raise the weight just past tailbone height, then repeat.
Exercise 6: Seated Side Lateral Dumbbell Raises (4 sets of 20/15/10/10)
- Extend your arms straight out to target the outside cap of the shoulder.
- Raising the arms parallel to the ground, extend the dumbbells as far away from torso as possible.
- Make a slight pause at the top of the movement and repeat
Exercise 7: Reverse Cable Delt Flye (4 sets, 10 reps)
- (Neutral grip with handles and over pronated grip with rope or cable)
- Grab the opposite cable with arms extended straight out in front of you.
- Hands are crossed over/under.
- Begin pull of wide rear-delt flye beginning at chin height and ending at temple height with hands as far away as possible.
Exercise 8: Seated or Standing Wide Dumbbell Press (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Begin with your arms in a W position at the bottom of the movement.
- Press outward forming the letter Y, with a wide finish maintaining a neutral grip.
Exercise 9: Lawnmower Cable Row (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Attach a handle on the lowest setting of a cable crossover or functional trainer.
- Stand sideways in a linebacker stance. The inside hand is braced, inside the knee. The outside hand is reaching across the body to handle. The motion is a dynamic high elbow row, mimicking the action used to start a lawnmower. Your elbow finishes high. Shoulders remain squared. The heavier, with control, the better.
Exercise 10: Zercher Farmer Walk with Shrug (3 sets)
- With a Zercher position, cradle an Olympic bar in your elbows.
- Walk with the weight.
- Tall position, shoulders back (if gym does not have the space, walk back and forth a few steps in a squat rack) if there’s space, walk 20 to 30 steps and finish with Zercher trap raise for 10 reps.
Exercise 11: Low to High Triceps Rope Trap Shrugs (3 sets, 20 reps)
- Attach a rope to the bottom of a cable of a crossover or functional trainer, using an overhand grip.
- Stand up with a heavy weight and lean back 10-15 degrees, allowing the weight to act as a counterbalance.
- Begin the motion with your elbows shrugging toward hips and finish with a high trap shrug and repeat.
Follow Grant Roberts on Instagram: @grantrobertsfit