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Overhead Should Press Standards – How Much Should I Be Able To Lift?


When it comes to shoulder presses, there are many different opinions on how much weight is considered good. Some people believe that you should be able to lift as much weight as possible, while others think that a lighter weight is better in order to avoid injury. In this article, we will discuss the average amount of weight that males and females can lift for a shoulder press. We will also provide tips on how to improve your strength and increase your lifting ability.

The shoulder press is a great exercise for building strong, toned shoulders. It is a compound exercise that works several muscles in the shoulder and upper arm. The dumbbell shoulder press is a variation of this exercise that can be performed with either dumbbells or barbells.

girl doing overhead should press average weight

How Much Should I Be Able To Shoulder Press?

The average male can lift approximately 60-130 pounds for a shoulder press. The lower end is for someone that really hasn't lifted before and the higher end is for someone that is at an intermediate level. The average female can lift approximately 20-70 pounds for a shoulder press. The lower average being someone who has lifted while the higher average being someone who has lifted for around 3-5 years.

So if you can lift 95 pounds for an overhead press you are doing better than 50% of males out there. If you can lift 55 pounds as a female you are doing better than 50% out there.

There are many variables that go into calculating what you should be lifting over your head for a max on overhead press. The two we will focus on are experience and bodyweight.

Bodyweight – the heavier you are the more you should be able to lift over your head.

Experience – the more you lift and the more efficient you become at lifting will increase how much weight you can move.

What Do These Strength Standards Mean?

Never Lifted – Stronger than 3% of lifters. It even takes a novice lifter at times three to four months of practice before they can pull this exercise correctly and with good form.

Beginner – Stronger than 15% of other lifters out there. A beginner has been training for 6 months or less

Intermediate – Stronger than half of all lifters. An intermediate lifter has trained in the technique for a minimum of 1.5-2 years and is still training hard.

Advanced –More powerful than 80 percent of lifters. An advanced lifter has put in more than five years of effort.

Pro – A stronger than 95 percent of lifters. To be competitive in strength sports, an elite lifter must have spent more than five years training. We call them the 5 percenters. Get here and you are among the elite of the world.

Male Overhead Press Standards

Enter your bodyweight in the search bar for your exact overhead press goals based on your experience and weight.

Body WeightNever LiftedBeginnerIntermediateAdvanced Pro
100304973103137
101304974104138
102315074105140
103315075106141
104315176107142
105325177108144
106325277109145
107325278110147
108325379111148
109335380112149
110335480113151
111335481114152
112345582115153
113345582116155
114345683117156
115355684118158
116355785119159
117355785121160
118355886122162
119365887123163
120365988124164
121365988125166
122376089126167
123376090127169
124376191128170
125386191129171
126386292130173
127386293131174
128386393132175
129396394133177
130396495134178
131396496135179
132406596136181
133406597137182
134406698138184
135416699139185
136416799140186
1374167100141188
1384168101142189
1394268101143190
1404269102144192
1414269103145193
1424370104146195
1434370104147196
1444371105148197
1454471106149199
1464472107150200
1474472107151201
1484473108152203
1494573109153204
1504574110155206
1514574110156207
1524674111157208
1534675112158210
1544675112159211
1554776113160212
1564776114161214
1574777115162215
1584777115163216
1594878116164218
1604878117165219
1614879118166221
1624979118167222
1634980119168223
1644980120169225
1655081120170226
1665081121171227
1675082122172229
1685082123173230
1695183123174232
1705183124175233
1715184125176234
1725284126177236
1735285126178237
1745285127179238
1755386128180240
1765386128181241
1775387129182242
1785387130183244
1795488131184245
1805488131185247
1815489132186248
1825589133187249
1835590134188251
1845590134190252
1855691135191253
1865691136192255
1875692137193256
1885692137194258
1895793138195259
1905793139196260
1915794139197262
1925894140198263
1935895141199264
1945895142200266
1955996142201267
1965996143202269
1975997144203270
1985997145204271
1996098145205273
2006098146206274
2016098147207275
2026199147208277
2036199148209278
20461100149210279
20562100150211281
20662101150212282
20762101151213284
20862102152214285
20963102153215286
21063103153216288
21163103154217289
21264104155218290
21364104155219292
21464105156220293
21565105157221295
21665106158222296
21765106158224297
21865107159225299
21966107160226300
22066108161227301
22166108161228303
22267109162229304
22367109163230306
22467110164231307
22568110164232308
22668111165233310
22768111166234311
22868112166235312
22969112167236314
23069113168237315
23169113169238316
23270114169239318
23370114170240319
23470115171241321
23571115172242322
23671116172243323
23771116173244325
23871117174245326
23972117174246327
24072118175247329
24172118176248330
24273119177249332
24373119177250333
24473120178251334
24574120179252336
24674121180253337
24774121180254338
24874122181255340
24975122182256341
25075123183258343
25175123183259344
25276123184260345
25376124185261347
25476124185262348
25577125186263349
25677125187264351
25777126188265352
25877126188266353
25978127189267355
26078127190268356
26178128191269358
26279128191270359
26379129192271360
26479129193272362
26580130193273363
26680130194274364
26780131195275366
26880131196276367
26981132196277369
27081132197278370
27181133198279371
27282133199280373
27382134199281374
27482134200282375
27583135201283377
27683135201284378
27783136202285379
27883136203286381
27984137204287382
28084137204288384
28184138205289385
28285138206290386
28385139207291388
28485139207293389
28586140208294390
28686140209295392
28786141210296393
28886141210297395
28987142211298396
29087142212299397
29187143212300399
29288143213301400
29388144214302401
29488144215303403
29589145215304404
29689145216305406
29789146217306407
29889146218307408
29990147218308410
30090147219309411

Female Overhead Press Standards

Enter your bodyweight in the search bar for your exact overhead press goals based on your experience and weight.

Body WeightNever LiftedBeginnerIntermediateAdvanced Pro
9017325177104
9117325277106
9217325278107
9318335379108
9418335480109
9518335481110
9618345582111
9718345582113
9819345683114
9919355684115
10019355785116
10119355886117
10219365887118
10320365988119
10420365988121
10520376089122
10620376090123
10720376191124
10821386292125
10921386293126
11021396394128
11121396394129
11221396495130
11321406496131
11422406597132
11522406698133
11622416699135
11722416799136
118224167100137
119234268101138
120234268102139
121234269103140
122234370104142
123234370105143
124244371105144
125244471106145
126244472107146
127244472108147
128244573109148
129254574110150
130254674111151
131254675111152
132254675112153
133254776113154
134254776114155
135264777115157
136264878116158
137264878116159
138264879117160
139264979118161
140274980119162
141274980120164
142275081121165
143275082122166
144275082122167
145285183123168
146285183124169
147285184125171
148285284126172
149285285127173
150295386128174
151295386128175
152295387129176
153295487130177
154295488131179
155295488132180
156305589133181
157305589133182
158305590134183
159305691135184
160305691136186
161315692137187
162315792138188
163315793139189
164315793139190
165315894140191
166325895141193
167325895142194
168325996143195
169325996144196
170326097145197
171326097145198
172336098146200
173336199147201
174336199148202
1753361100149203
1763362100150204
1773462101150205
1783462101151206
1793463102152208
1803463103153209
1813463103154210
1823564104155211
1833564104156212
1843564105156213
1853565105157215
1863565106158216
1873665107159217
1883666107160218
1893666108161219
1903667108162220
1913667109162222
1923667109163223
1933768110164224
1943768111165225
1953768111166226
1963769112167227
1973769112167229
1983869113168230
1993870113169231
2003870114170232
2013870115171233
2023871115172234
2033971116173235
2043971116173237
2053972117174238
2063972117175239
2073972118176240
2084073119177241
2094073119178242
2104074120179244
2114074120179245
2124074121180246
2134075121181247
2144175122182248
2154175123183249
2164176123184251
2174176124184252
2184176124185253
2194277125186254
2204277125187255
2214277126188256
2224278127189258
2234278127190259
2244378128190260
2254379128191261
2264379129192262
2274379129193263
2284380130194264
2294480131195266
2304481131196267
2314481132196268
2324481132197269
2334482133198270
2344482133199271
2354582134200273
2364583135201274
2374583135201275
2384583136202276
2394584136203277
2404684137204278
2414684137205280
2424685138206281
2434685139207282
2444685139207283
2454786140208284
2464786140209285
2474786141210287
2484787141211288
2494787142212289
2504888143213290
2514888143213291
2524888144214292
2534889144215293
2544889145216295
2554889145217296
2564990146218297
2574990146218298
2584990147219299
2594991148220300
2604991148221302
2615091149222303
2625092149223304
2635092150224305
2645092150224306
2655093151225307
2665193152226309
2675193152227310
2685194153228311
2695194153229312
2705195154230313
2715195154230314
2725295155231316
2735296156232317
2745296156233318
2755296157234319
2765297157235320
2775397158235321
2785397158236322
2795398159237324
2805398160238325
2815398160239326
2825499161240327
2835499161241328
2845499162241329
28554100162242331
28654100163243332
28755100164244333
28855101164245334
28955101165246335
29055102165247336
29155102166247338
29255102166248339
29356103167249340
29456103168250341
29556103168251342
29656104169252343
29756104169252345
29857104170253346
29957105170254347
30057105171255348

How To Increase Your Overhead Press Strength?

The two most important things that are going to help improve your strength in any movement is consistency and progressive overload. If you want to get stronger at shoulder pressing you need to be doing shoulder presses on a regular basis. Not only that, but you also need to increase the weight that you are lifting over time. This can be done by adding more repetitions or by adding more weight to the bar.

Another great way to overload the muscles and improve strength is through eccentric training. Eccentric training is when you take a weight that you can lift for around 12 reps and do only six reps. But on the last rep, you lower the weight slowly over a period of four seconds. This will help increase strength and size in the muscles.

guy doing light overhead should press average weight

Why Do People Struggle With Overhead Shoulder Press?

There are numerous reasons why people struggle with this lift which you can troubleshoot below:

  • Weak Grip – if you can't get a grip on the weights that little bit of movement is going to hinder the amount you can press over your head. The dumbbell shoulder press requires a firm wrist.
  • Improper Form – if you are not doing the lift correctly it will hinder how much weight you can lift.
  • Weak Core – as this exercise is a compound movement your core needs to be strong otherwise it won't allow you to press over your head.
  • Unstable Shoulders – weak shoulders that have poor stability will also make pressing harder so strengthening them will help
  • Poor Mobility – lack of mobility in the shoulder joint will make it difficult to lift weights overhead
  • Lack of Strength – if you are lacking in overall strength this exercise will be hard for you. Building up your strength with compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and bench press will help increase your overhead press.

How To Improve Your Overhead Press?

There are many ways you can improve your performance in this lift. Below I have listed some of the best tips to help improve your dumbbell shoulder press:

Work on Grip Strength – there are a variety of grip strength exercises that will help increase grip strength such as wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, pull-ups and dumbbell rows.

Strengthen Core – some core exercises that will help strengthen the torso include planks, side planks and Russian twists.

Improve mobility – stretching the shoulder joint daily can help improve its range of motion which will in turn allow you to lift more weight overhead. Some of my favourite stretches for the shoulder joint are the sleeper stretch, pec minor stretch and doorway thoracic rotation.

Strengthen Shoulders – strengthening the muscles that stabilise the shoulder such as rotator cuff exercises and lateral raises will help improve performance in the overhead press.

Increase Strength – increasing your overall strength with heavy compound lifts such as deadlifts, squats and bench press will help increase how much you can lift in the overhead press.

Proper Diet – having a balanced diet that is rich in protein and calories will help provide the energy you need to lift heavy weights.

Proper Workout Routine – training the overhead press regularly and progressively overloading will help increase strength in the lift.

Get Plenty Of Sleep – getting plenty of sleep is very important for recovery as this is when your muscles grow. If you do not get enough sleep your muscles won't grow to their full potential.

Bottom Line:

If you want to get stronger at overhead pressing then make sure you have a strong grip, core and shoulder joint stability. As well as improving overall strength with compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts and bench press. By following these tips you will see an increase in your shoulder press strength.

guy doing overhead should press average weight

Different Exercises For Your Shoulders

The below exercises will help strengthen your shoulders and get you to reach your goals including lifting heavier weights.

Arnold Press

Named after you know who. Trains all three deltoid heads and will also increase the time under tension that leads to increased growth. Start light until you get the form down.

Raise the dumbbells to a normal starting position and rotate your hands until your palms are facing toward you, as if performing a biceps curl. In one motion, press the dumbbells and turn your palms forward. Continue lifting until your biceps are either in front of or behind your ears.

Push Press

The push press will help increase your strength levels which will allow you to lift more weight in the overhead press. Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent; hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulders, elbows below wrists and palms facing forward.

Push off ground using legs' momentum to drive weights up toward ceiling until arms are straight (but don't lock your elbows). Keep shoulders down and core engaged throughout lift.

Dumbbell Seated Overhead Press

The dumbbell seated overhead press is a great exercise to isolate the shoulder muscles. Sit on bench with back straight, holding dumbbells at shoulder height with palms facing forward.

Press weights directly over head until arms are fully extended, then slowly lower back to start position.

Dumbbell Front Raise

The dumbbell front raise is a great exercise for the anterior deltoid muscle. Start with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent; hold a weight in each hand with your arms at your sides and palms facing your thighs.

Raise weights to shoulder height, keeping arms straight and palms facing down.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

The dumbbell lateral raise is great for the posterior deltoid muscle located at the rear of your shoulders. Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent; hold a weight in each hand with arms by sides and palms facing your thighs.

Keeping arms straight, raise weights out to sides until they reach shoulder level, then lower back down and repeat.

Dumbbell Shrugs

The dumbbell shrug is great for training the trapezius muscle located at your upper back. Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent; hold a weight in each hand with arms by sides and palms facing your thighs.

Shrug shoulders straight up toward ears, hold for a second, then slowly lower back down. Keep your neck relaxed and avoid moving your head forward or backward.

Wide-Grip Seated Row

The wide-grip seated row is great for training the latissimus dorsi muscle, which is located at the back of your torso. Sit on bench with back straight, holding barbell with overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width.

Pull bar to chest by bending elbows, keeping them close to sides. Pause and squeeze shoulder blades together, then slowly lower bar to start position.

Pullups

The pullup is great for training the latissimus dorsi muscle as well as your biceps. Grab pull-up bar with overhand grip (palms facing out) slightly wider than shoulder width apart and hang at arm's length; engage core and pull up until chin clears bar.

Pause and squeeze shoulder blades together at top of motion, then slowly lower down to start position.

guy doing dumbbell overhead should press average weight

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to increase the weight of your dumbbell shoulder presses, there are a lot of different exercises that can help. From Arnold Presses and Push Presses to Dumbbell Seated Overhead Rows and Pull Ups, these workouts will get you lifting heavier weights in no time! Here are some other tips for improving your strength levels when it comes to overhead pressing: -Keep shoulders down during all movements-Engage core throughout movement-Shrugs should be done after sets using lighter weights-Seated rows should also be performed with light weights at first since they use larger muscle groups in the back. If any of this sounds intimidating or if you want help implementing these principles into an effective workout plan, let us know.

Tab Winner

We are fun loving family that lives on a small farm and tries to be healthy. We are not fitness fanatics we are just trying to keep things simple especially with how busy our lives are. We have a few horses, a few dogs, and a young daughter along with a big extended family. Follow us on our journey. I hope you enjoy the website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Please check back for updates!

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