I have always approached Steinholding training in three basic stages.
The first stage was for the "off-season," five or more months away from a competition. This is basically a bulking phase where I focused on the main compound lifts with heavy weights and low reps to pack on as much muscle as I could. Heavy shoulder presses, upright rows, lateral raises, front raises, incline bench press and shrugs mostly. The goal during this stage is to build a foundation. A foundation made out of thick, delicious muscle.
Then about 4 months before competition season, gradually transition to lower weight and increased reps of these same exercises to start working on endurance. At this point, you should also be starting your practice stein holds. Ease into it with one or two holds per week at this stage. I would aim to do two shoulder workouts and one chest workout per week, splitting up the basic exercises I listed above and start peppering in some other exercises more specifically targeting the front and side delts. I liked to start at least one of these two weekly shoulder workouts with the practice hold, first in my dominant arm and then also for at least half as long with my weak arm to warm them up and also to try to keep them at an equal level of fatigue going into the rest of the workout.
For the last 2 months of training leading up to a competition, you should be doing practice/training holds 3-4 times per week (no more frequently than every other day, see example training schedule below). Focus on the holds and transition to even lighter weight with the compound lifts listed above from the first stage and bring in more isolation movements to really focus on the endurance of your deltoids.
As I discussed in Training Techniques for Steinholding, the most I would ever train is every other day and I would only do this in the last few months within "competition season" (typically mid-summer through the end of Oktoberfest). You don't want to over train either though, so if you're going into one of your workouts or training holds with a sore shoulder from the last workout, you need to dial it back a little bit and build in more recovery time between workouts. Here is an example of one training week for me:
Monday: Training Hold 1, Shoulder Workout 1
Tuesday: Cardio/Run Day and Back Workout
Wednesday: Practice Hold, Chest Workout
Thursday: Cardio/Run Day
Friday: Training Hold 2, Shoulder Workout 2
Saturday: Arms Workout
Sunday: Rest/Recovery Day
You might be asking yourself or your computer screen: "Bro, where are the deadlifts and squats? Do you even care about your legs or core?" The answer is watch your mouth, but yes, I do. In the summer I focus on running and endurance training though. Distance running and heavy weight leg training don't really complement each other well for me, but you can do whatever you want. I also pepper in core work throughout all of my workouts to get some lower back and abdominal training in in between sets. Now get to work and check out our Steinholding Weight Training Techniques!
Jim Banko is the founder of the U.S. Steinholding Association. He is the 2015 Hofbrau Masskrugstemmen National Champion and previous United States record holder for Steinholding with an official time of 17 minutes and 11 seconds.