For the most part, your strength program should follow a progression where you do basically the same exercises for 4-8 weeks. Over the course of the 4-8 weeks you adjust the reps and gradually add weight in order to get stronger and force new muscle growth. However, sometimes you gotta mix it up!
For general rule of thumb, I keep my main compound lifts the same for several weeks. Think, the first 1-3 lifts of your workouts: Bench press, squats, rows, deadlifts, etc. Follow your progression on those. For auxiliary or supplemental work, that's where I will mix it up a bit more. These are the exercises that will follow your main lifts.
1: The Arnold Z Press
For the record, the regular barbell shoulder press will always be king but I like this variation to mix it up and have some fun. The z press (sitting) position totally takes the legs out of the equation and places more demand on the shoulders. The Arnold motion (hands rotating) adds a different stimulus for the shoulders and can spark new growth (and just spice things up a bit)!
Try 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps (Arnold Z Press YouTube Clip)
2: Shoulder Plyos
This one you may have not seen before. Shoulder plyos are a great exercise for strengthening the core and building speed and endurance in the shoulders! These would be great as a warm-up or as a burn out at the end of an upper body workout. Don't knock them until you try them!
Try 3 sets of 40-60 seconds (Shoulder Plyos YouTube Clip)
3: Alt Arm Paused Biceps Curl
Probably the most common of these three exercises. A lot of the time we get in the habit of just repping out exercises with no intent. This variation slows things down, creates more time under tension, and will give you a sick pump!
Try 3 sets of 16-20 reps (Alt Arm Paused Biceps Curl YouTube Clip)
Give these a try and let me know what you think!
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