To shoulder press more weight (via dumbbells), do it one handed:

How to do it

Our goal isn’t to increase muscle mass (body building) style. Instead with dumbbell shoulder press, the fun game:

What is the maximum weight you can successfully press over-your head?

This is the focus of our training.

Start off lighter, single reps, and keep going higher until you can press no more.

For example, let us say my maximum weight is an 85 pound dumbbell. I start off with 65 pounds, 75 pounds, then when I am climbing towards my maximum, I might try 80 pounds. Then 85 pounds. And if I can the next week, I try 90 pounds.

The joy of maximal effort

The mistake a lot of people make is this:

They make the purpose of weight lifting *ONLY* to maximize their muscle mass and gains.

But the downside to this ‘body building’ style of lifting is this:

Doing mindless repetitions until failure tends to be a bit boring.

Far more fun, thrilling to increase your ‘one rep max’ of any type of lift! This is our powerlifting approach and philosophy.

Using your bodily momentum, legs and body

If you try to shoulder press with two dumbbells at once, it is far more difficult. If your goal is to maximize your one rep max, it seems that going one armed is the best way. This way you can utilize momentum, the swing, the power in your legs for more muscular activation!

This is what works for me:

  1. Grab dumbbell off the rack with one hand
  2. Swing it into the ‘ready’ position
  3. Squat down with one arm
  4. Then when pushing upwards, use legs to get the dumbbell over head (kind of like olympic weight lifting)
  5. When you get it up, put it back into the rack, and switch your hand.

And if you’re not strong enough to get it up, no worries. Just put it back, try your maximum, and try the lift again next week!

Isn’t it ‘cheating’?

We are not competing here. So there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ form, or ‘proper’ or ‘improper’ form. Also no ‘cheating’. Just use the gymnasium as a way to test your courage, your personal maximum, and you do it for fun and the thrills!

Deadlifting 420 pounds (four 45-plates on each side, with a 2.5+5 pounder)