When attempting to move up to the next sized bells in your double military press you are faced with pressing an extra 8kg! This a big jump and will not be easy unless you have built up a lot of volume with the bells you are currently pressing.

Unlike the barbell we don’t have the luxury of adding small weight increments so we have to go for volume.

The quickest and most efficient route for this is repetition ladders as laid out in Pavel’s right of passage program. The program has you build up to 75 reps before moving up to the next sized bells.

I would how ever like to offer an alternative that has worked well for me and my clients.

You start with 3 sets of 3 and each workout add a set, I like to use the Monday/Wednesday/Friday template for this one.

When you are at 5 sets of 3 you add reps, so 5 sets of 4, and then 5 sets of 5.

So over 5 sessions you have gone :-






And increased your volume by over 50%, going from 9 to 25 reps.

If at any point you do not make all the reps, stay there until you do.

This progression works great for beginners and intermediates but advanced trainees may find this isn’t enough volume. If that is the case they could try adding more sets before adding reps.

For example









In this example the trainee has increased his volume by more than 75% and gone from 9 reps to 35 reps, but it needn’t stop there, you may need to build up to 10 sets of 3 before adding those reps.


If you still do not get to where you want to be by increasing your volume get someone to look at your technique. There could be a number of things that you are not doing to utilise your pressing power.

The military press is a classic strength test which is not done nearly enough as most opt to work on the bench press. To aid in your quest for a big over head press, make sure you work the get up with a bell one or two sizes above your pressing bells, and on alternative days work the bottoms up press with low volume, no more than ten reps total.


Please feel free to share this article and if you do try out this program, drop me a line to let me know how you got on.

Train smart