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How much should i be able to overhead press? Why Are Overhead Shoulder Presses So Difficult?

The overhead press (also known as the military press) is the most effective lift for gaining shoulder mass. It’s also great for our upper traps, upper chest, triceps, posture, and even abs, making it one of the best exercises for expanding our shoulder girdle, growing general strength, and improving our looks.

How much should i be able to overhead press
How much should i be able to overhead press

Naturally, pressing is the polar opposite of depressing, as you may have figured. As a result, it’s one among the five most important muscle-building exercises.

We’ll go over how to incorporate the overhead press into your exercise, how to min-max your technique for even more muscle growth, and how to pick the finest assistance and accessory lifts in this post.


Can you explain what the overhead press is?

Can you explain what the overhead press is?

The overhead press (also known as the military press) is a compound exercise that focuses on the shoulders and is used to increase upper-body strength. Along with the squat, bench press, deadlift, chin-up, and barbell row, it’s a popular strength and bodybuilding lift.

The overhead press can be performed with dumbbells or kettlebells, but utilising a barbell makes the lift more durable, allowing you to lift more weight and engage more muscle mass overall. It can also be done while seated, however standing will use more muscle.

The overhead press works on what muscles?

The overhead press works on what muscles?

The overhead press is a large compound lift that works our shoulders well. It strengthens our front delts and side delts, broadening and enlarging our shoulders. Many muscles, like our traps, abs, and triceps, are exercised hard enough to induce muscle growth.

Starting with our shoulders, the overhead press is one of the few exercises that activates both our front delts and our side delts, giving us bigger shoulders and wider shoulders.

And these muscles are usually our limiting variables, which means they’re nearly never worked hard enough to generate maximum muscle growth. As a result, it’s one of the best lifts for improving our appearance and the most important exercise in any shoulder training.

How Much Shoulder Pressing Should I Be Able To Do?

How Much Shoulder Pressing Should I Be Able To Do?

If you’re new to lifting, you might be able to lift around 85 pounds for a single repetition if you’ve never done a barbell overhead press before. The average guy, according to CDC data, is 5’8″ tall and weighs 197 pounds, with a BMI of 30. You may find that you can’t lift as much if you’re taller or lighter than that.

The majority of people have enough muscle mass to perform an overhead press of more than 85 pounds. It’s only that they haven’t yet mastered the lift. Most novices lack the shoulder strength and mobility necessary to perform proper overhead presses, let alone with much weight on the bar. The average rookie lifter can overhead press around: with a few weeks of work.

  • Their 1-rep max is 115 pounds.
  • 5 repetitions at 100 pounds
  • For 8 reps, lift 90 pounds.
  • For 10 reps, use 85 pounds.

Your overhead press stats will continue to rise as you build muscle mass and strength. After a year of dedicated training, the average man can lift the following weights:

  • Their 1-rep max is 145 pounds.
  • 5 reps at 125 pounds
  • For 8 reps, use 116 pounds.
  • For 10 reps, lift 110 pounds.

And if you keep pushing yourself to reach your genetic potential, the average guy can anticipate to be able to overhead press in 5–10 years:

  • Their 1-rep max is 175 pounds.
  • For 5 reps, lift 150 pounds.
  • For 8 reps, lift 140 pounds.
  • For 10 reps, lift 130 pounds.

These figures are typical of advanced lifters who train hard and reach close to their genetic muscle potential. These strength requirements do not guarantee that you will be able to lift this much weight, but they are achievable goals, even if you started off very skinny.

What Are the Implications of These Strength Standards?

What Are the Implications of These Strength Standards?
  • Never Lifted – More powerful than 3% of lifters. It can take a novice lifter three to four months of experience to do this exercise effectively and with proper technique.
  • Beginner – You are stronger than 15% of all other lifters. A beginner is someone who has only been training for six months or fewer.
  • Intermediate – Lifters who are stronger than half of all lifters are classified as intermediate. Intermediate lifters have been practising the method for at least 1.5-2 years and are still working hard.
  • Advanced – Lifters who are more powerful than 80% of other lifters. An advanced lifter has worked for more than five years.
  • Pro – A lifter who is stronger than 95% of other lifters. An elite lifter must have spent more than five years training to be competitive in strength sports. They’re known as the 5%ers. When you arrive, you will be among the world’s elite.

How Can You Strengthen Your Overhead Press?

How Can You Strengthen Your Overhead Press?

Consistency and increasing loading are the two most significant factors in improving your strength in any action. Shoulder presses should be done on a regular basis if you want to improve your shoulder pressing strength. Not only that, but you should gradually increase the amount of weight you lift. This can be accomplished by increasing the number of repetitions or increasing the weight on the bar.

Eccentric training is another wonderful approach to overload the muscles and build strength. When you conduct eccentric training, you select a weight that you can lift for 12 reps and only do six reps. On the last rep, though, you progressively drop the weight over a four-second interval. The muscles will gain strength and growth as a result of this.

Why Are Overhead Shoulder Presses So Difficult?

Why Are Overhead Shoulder Presses So Difficult?

There are a variety of reasons why individuals have difficulties with this elevator, which you may troubleshoot by following the steps below:

  • Weak Grip – If you can’t acquire a good grip on the weights, even a small amount of movement will limit how much you can press over your head. A sturdy wrist is required for the dumbbell shoulder press.
  • Improper Form – If you don’t complete the lift correctly, you won’t be able to raise as much weight.
  • Weak Core – Because this is a compound movement, your core must be strong or you will not be able to press over your head.
  • Shoulders that aren’t stable – weak shoulders that aren’t steady will make pushing more difficult, therefore strengthening them will help.
  • Poor Movement – Lifting weights overhead will be tough if you don’t have enough mobility in your shoulder joint.
  • Lack of Strength – This workout will be difficult for you if you lack general strength. Increase your overhead press by increasing your strength with compound workouts like squats, deadlifts, and bench press.

How Can You Make Your Overhead Press Better?

How Can You Make Your Overhead Press Better?

You may increase your performance in this lift in a variety of ways. I’ve put together a list of some of the finest tips for improving your dumbbell shoulder press:

  • Work on Grip Strength — wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, pull-ups, and dumbbell rows are just a few of the grip strength exercises that can help you improve your grip strength.
  • Planks, side planks, and Russian twists are some core workouts that will help you build your torso.
  • Stretching the shoulder joint on a daily basis can help to enhance its range of motion, allowing you to carry greater weight overhead. The sleeper stretch, pec minor stretch, and doorway thoracic rotation are three of my favourite shoulder stretches.
  • Strengthening the muscles that stabilise the shoulder, such as rotator cuff exercises and lateral lifts, will help you perform better in the overhead press.
  • Increase your overall strength by doing big complex lifts like deadlifts, squats, and bench press. This will help you lift more weight in the overhead press.

How much should i be able to overhead press: Review

How much should i be able to overhead press: Review

The press used to be the ultimate strength training exercise, the ultimate arbiter. It isn’t anymore because it was removed from Olympic lifting. It’s utilised in strongman, although only with very loose form, and some powerlifters and bodybuilders employ it as a support exercise.

Lifters used to be much more powerful in the air than they are now. The bench press has mostly supplanted the press as the most frequently questioned exercise. This is a pity. The press is, without a doubt, better for you and for athletics.

A 75 percent bodyweight press is pretty good for a guy lifter nowadays. The bodyweight is ideal. 125 percent is excellent. You are in the elite group if you achieve a score of 150 percent. For heavyweights, lower the weight a little.

F.A.Q how much should i be able to overhead press:

What is the maximum amount of weight that an average person can lift overhead?

The average male can overhead press around 145 pounds as their 1-rep max overhead press after a year of regular weightlifting. 5 reps at 125 pounds

What is a good overhead press weight?

A male lifter’s average Shoulder Press weight is 139 pounds (1RM). This is a highly remarkable lift that puts you in the Intermediate Strength Level. How do you know whether you’re doing a decent shoulder press? Beginner male lifters should strive for a 1RM of 65 pounds, which is still remarkable when compared to the average population.

How much standing overhead pressing should I be able to do?

According to Kilgore, a 114-pound untrained guy should be able to press 55 pounds, a 90-pound intermediate-trained man should be able to press 90 pounds, and a 130-pound elite-trained man should be able to press 130 pounds.


There are a variety of workouts that can assist you in increasing the weight of your dumbbell shoulder presses. These routines will have you lifting higher weights in no time, from Arnold Presses and Push Presses to Dumbbell Seated Overhead Rows and Pull Ups!

Here are some more suggestions for increasing your strength in the overhead press: -Keep shoulders down during all movements—Keep core engaged throughout movement—Shrugs should be done following sets with smaller weights—Seated rows should also be done with light weights at first because they activate larger muscle groups in the back.

And this article will help you answer the following questions about how much should i be able to overhead press:

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Field John

If you are an avid believer in health and fitness and want to do something for your team, I can help. As the founder of Field Goals Fitness, I lead a collective of health and fitness professionals dedicated to helping Australians lead a more active and healthier lifestyle. With a warm, friendly, and supportive approach that gets results, I enjoy helping individuals & organisations achieve sustainable success with their health and fitness goals. Certifying as a Personal Trainer in 2009, was a turning point in my life. I had spent 14 years in the corporate world in Business Development roles and decided to take all that I had learnt in sales and marketing and start my own business.

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