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Thread: Dumbbell shoulder presses vs. Barbell military press

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  1. #1
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    Dumbbell shoulder presses vs. Barbell military press

    I have consistently been able to press more weight each week with dumbbell shoulder presses; however, I've been stagnating on barbell shoulder presses. (I was doing the WBB I workout, by the way).

    Every shoulder exercise, I'm getting stronger *except for* shoulder presses with a barbell.

    I'm told by people that my shoulders are visibly progressing, so should I just continue to do only dumbbell shoulder presses, or is there a reason why I should go back to shoulder presses with a barbell and try to get through the plateau (even though there is no similar plateau on dumbbell shoulder presses)?

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    MA's Bionic Creation syntekz's Avatar
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    Have you been doing both during the same workout (One before the other)?

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    Yes, I had been doing barbells before dumbbells for awhile. I was progressing on both but then, while still doing barbells before dumbbells, I found that the weight I was using actually started *decreasing* on barbells, but I was able to keep moving up with dumbbells, even though they were second in my workout.

    Then, when I thought I was overdoing it, I dropped the barbells altogether. I continued progressing on the dumbbells, and a few days ago I returned to the barbell, only to find I had made *no* progress whatsoever. I tried a set of heavy dumbbells, and I'm still doing fine.

    What's on your mind syntekz? Think I should just keep doing dumbbells? Or work on the barbell? Got another idea?
    Last edited by Laertes; 02-02-2002 at 01:01 PM.

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    Senior Member Accipiter's Avatar
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    why not switch the order you do them in? simple enough, worked for me.

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    Senior Member MonStar1023's Avatar
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    I would recommend dumbbell presses over military presses in a second. Stabilizing and balancing dumbbells to press them overhead I feel activates more muscle fibers than an already stabilized and balanced barbell... just my opinion.


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    MA's Bionic Creation syntekz's Avatar
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    Or you could try standing military press. That adds in a totally new meaning to 'stabilizers.'



  7. #7
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    Agreed!

    I've been doing them for a while now actually. Good exercise.
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    Bring it. DaCypher's Avatar
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    Anyone ever do standing DB shoulder presses? This seems like it would be a tough exercise...

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    Well... it is true that dumbbells will recruit more stablizer muscles than barbells, but you will also have to lower your weight when using dumbbells. I would simply vary which exercise you use on a weekly basis. I do the same for which order I do chest exercises.

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    Push powerlifting heathj's Avatar
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    and weight is everything isn't it?

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    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DaCypher
    Anyone ever do standing DB shoulder presses? This seems like it would be a tough exercise...

    Yes they are. I prefer them to any other shoulder press though.
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    Originally posted by heathj
    and weight is everything isn't it?
    No, it isn't. However, if you start recruiting all of your stabilizer muscles then your primary muscles are getting less direct emphasis. That is why it is better to cycle the exercise from week to week (which is something you should do often anyhow).

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    Senior Member MonStar1023's Avatar
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    I dont care too much for standing overhead presses because when my delts fail I start to use my legs and my hips in the movement. Also I cant use as much weight, and I feel it puts a lot of stress on my lower back.


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    verdict??

    so what's the verdict? I should still keep doing presses with the barbell?

    Any theories as to why I can lift more with dumbbells (and with stricter form) than I can with a barbell?

  15. #15
    Senior Member dissipate's Avatar
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    verdict anyone? :P i found this old thread while searching and am having the same problem - been stuck at the same weight for BB presses while DB presses go up. and why is this happening?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    Stop doing them in the same workout. Do DB till you stop gaining on them, then go back to BB till you stop gaining on it.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member wrestlemaniac's Avatar
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    Exactly. Just made the switch to DB the other day myself.

  18. #18
    Senior Member dissipate's Avatar
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    i don't do them in the same workout.. i've been handling about the same amount of weight for BB presses for a bit more than 6 months but everytime i take one or two weeks in between for a quick change, my DB presses go up. ??

  19. #19
    Senior Member RussianRocket's Avatar
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    i've always liked my push press over military. This monday i'll be doing push press and seated db press, we'll see how i progress.
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  20. #20
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    Standing barbell presses must have its advantages over the other when it comes to over all strength and muslce gain since you need to stabilaze with your whole body and your able to handle more weight, correct me if im wrong.....

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