These are the 5 Shoulder Ability Standards which put you in the upper 1% of Shoulder Bulletproofing:
External Rotation for 15 reps = 5kg/11lb for Females and 7.5kg/16.5lb for Males
Powell Raise for 6 reps with 6 seconds down on each rep = 5kg/11lb for Females and 7.5kg/16.5lb for Males
Cross-Bench Pullover for 10 reps = 12.5kg/27.5lb for Females and 20kg/44lb for Males
Trap-3 Raise for 5 reps with a 5 second hold at the top of each rep = 5kg/11lb for Females and 7.5kg/16.5lb for Males
ATG-style Shoulder Press for 10 reps = 12.5kg/27.5lb PER hand for Females and 20kg/44lb PER hand for Males
Below are two videos for each: first a tutorial, then a live demo of the Standard by my original Shoulder Ability trainee and longest-term ATG Staff Member: Marcel Betancourt (each is a link, just click!):
To be clear, you do not have to do the 8-week Shoulder Ability Remedy to
achieve these Standards and be in the upper 1% of shoulder
bulletproofing and anti-gravity, because these are 5 of the 8 Upper Body
Standards from the 20 full body Standards program. And if you're
seeking shoulders in the upper 1% OF THE 1%, be sure to read this full Numbers article, so you know what the World-Class marks are, too.
These 5 moves are broken into two different sessions:
The single-arm work (External and Powell) is one session, and the
double-arm work (Cross-Bench, Trap-3, and ATG Shoulder Press) is another
session. By alternating each session, every other day M-W-F, you will
achieve 12 sessions of each after 8 weeks, which is the estimated amount
of sessions needed to reach the Standards, and be in the upper 1% of
Each exercise is done for 5 sets, and it's very important to send me a
video of your 5th and final set each time - the program is on the app
for form-coaching convenience.
The theory behind the program is SIMPLE and based on two principles:
1. Pain is often a math equation of how hard you stress an accelerator vs. how strong the DEcelerator is for that area.
2. You're only strong in the range you train, and your
weakest link is the place where you may leak energy and be
vulnerable to injury.
What do you see? Right off the bat (the end of the pitch), you will see
the Powell Raise. The Powell Raise is biologically the best way to
target the scapular (shoulder blades) retractors:
According to my original mentor, Charles Poliquin, the scapular
retractors are the weakest muscles in the modern human, due to the
lifestyle of excess sitting, and overemphasis on half rep push-ups and
bench presses, which tighten up the pecs and thus shut off your ability
to use your scapular retractors.
And even bench presses can be done correctly. When I coached football players, they still benched, but with custom bars I created to allow full range of motion.
The one year I coached a high school football team, they went
undefeated and had the most D1 scholarships per player of any school in
America. But in the scheme of things no one cares, because I don't
bench. [I'm a basketball player, and it's simply not necessary for my
style of play in my sport. I use a minimalist training philosophy and
only use tools I believe are vital.]
And before the powerlifting coaches can even get to the argument of:
"But you're stronger at the top so you never get enough weight with that
bar" - just add chains! :)
[Editor's Note: if you want to get one of these bars, I suggest
getting in touch with @mr1nf1n1ty - who I believe will be the first to
market with a quality ATG bar. I get a lot of questions about
equipment ideas I have come up with over the years, and why I have never
sold equipment. If you ever ran your own business - I don't care if
it's selling toilet paper - it consumes your life. I choose not to sell
products so I can give all of myself to this membership, and no other
business. Others can and will produce the adequate equipment. It's a
funny story, but I was "this close" to having Cam Newton as the
spokesperson to popularize these ATG Bench Bars. It didn't work out, and
I took it as a sign then and there to never get into the equipment biz,
because I could already see that it would take away from giving all of
myself to my membership, which is my true passion.]
The reason I suggest starting with incline first is simply that
most athletes have already done proportionately too much flat benching
and flat push-ups, and the upper pecs are proportionately weak. Want to
know if you're strong enough? There is a simple formula based on
You should not lose more than 1% strength for every 3 degrees angle.
For example: your 45 degrees incline bench should be 85% of your flat
bench (45 divided by 3 = 15). Your 30 degrees incline should be 90% of
flat (30 divided by 3 = 10). And your straight up behind the neck press,
from dead pause on your traps, should be 67% of your flat bench (it's 67% rather than 70%, because you're actually leaned forward about an extra 3 degrees).
But don't worry if you don't have a custom bar. As stated above, I'm
expecting ATG bars to be mass-produced within a few years. In the
meantime you can and SHOULD master using dumbbells with parallel grip to
allow fullest range of motion (since the dumbbell isn't arbitrarily
stopped by your chest), which is actually senior in importance to the
ATG bar, because the dumbbell version ensures you have balanced strength
between sides, in addition to the benefits of full range. Most have
spent years neglecting the full range, so you'll benefit from some years
getting it up to par with your top range.
This video shows how to use dumbbells on an Incline.
The Standard for this bonus movement (it's not one of the 20 essential
human Standards) is 12.5kg/27.5lb for Females and 20kg/44lb for Males,
per hand, for 15 reps. I like higher reps here, to ensure you embrace
the stretched position, and don't risk going too heavy into an area you
should be strong in, but likely have never trained. After that's easy, I
think the ATG bar becomes more important, as it is more user-friendly
for lower reps with heavier weights. Not enough feedback exists yet to
know what the World-Class number would be with the ATG bar.
Trap-3 Raise is so named because you have three rows of trap muscles,
and this exercise targets that third row, which is very, VERY hard to
This is why you might think you feel your lower back muscles on this
exercise, but really that's just how deep those lower trap muscles go!
A lot of evidence stacks up indicating an epidemic of back/shoulder/neck
problems from your upper spine lacking mobility and strength due to the
modern lifestyle of sitting. For this reason, the Cross-Bench Pullover
itself precedes each set of Trap-3 Raise. Some will never be able to
achieve the Trap-3 Standard, without first possessing the Cross-Bench
Here's some of the evidence I'm referring to, regarding this major issue of modern lifestyle reducing thoracic mobility:
Then pressing FROM this position really locks things in for your
shoulder bulletproofing (the ATG-style Dumbbell Shoulder Press), and
it's easily measurable by doing it with one head of the dumbbell on
either side of the shoulder:
The final exercise we haven't mentioned yet is perhaps the most
important: the External Rotation. It hits a very different part of your
shoulder deceleration complex than any of the other tools:
I find that this tool alone is the most responsible for rapid shoulder
miracles, and I've had dozens of athletes told by their doctors and
athletic trainers that they would have to "live" with their shoulder
pain, or wait until after the season for surgery, only to find it go
away within a FEW sessions of Dumbbell External Rotation.
I believe the reason for this is that it's probably the most vulnerable
area when it comes to shoulder pain, much like having a weak VMO leaves
your knee so at-risk.
No studies have been done on the External Rotation, and it takes
exercise and rehab science about 20-30 years to fully verify and re-do
the textbooks, so don't expect any broad publicity of this magic
exercise any time soon.
In fact, not one of these 5 ingredients have ever had a study done upon
it, but each FOLLOWS the clues evidence says we should be tracking down.
Well, they're tracked down, they're precise, the data has been collected
with thousands of users, and they're ready for anyone to benefit.
Don't forget that exercise science spends almost 7 times more money
studying acceleration than deceleration, even though most injuries
happen in deceleration. So I'm not relying on exercise science to ever
be the source of solutions, and may just be a big waste, when common
sense and my real-world research over YEARS (rather than the mere weeks
which most studies are done with) can serve us so much better, more
logically, and without the bias of hundreds of billions of dollars in
profits from us BEING IN PAIN AND INJURED.
It's like politics: "fixing" politics is not the answer; taking responsibility OURSELVES is.
Not to mention it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to even go
through our education system and get an exercise science degree in the
first place, even though you can study all the same books in 1/10th of
the time, without memorizing for exams, and actually using the data 10
times more in the real world.
So here's an evidence-BASED routine whose only master is PHYSICS, which
I'm giving to you for free, without billions of dirty dollars clouding
[The following routine is on the app for ease of memory and for
form-coaching on your top set for every exercise, every session. Just
request Shoulder Ability through Messages in the app.]
A1) Dumbbell External Rotation: 5 sets of 10-15 reps, resting 30 seconds between arms, and another 30 seconds before...
A2) Dumbbell Powell Raise: 5 sets of 4-6 reps, being sure to control 6
seconds down on each rep, resting 30 seconds between arms, and another
30 seconds before beginning your next set of A1.
Don't forget to film and send your last set on each, and don't forget
the ATG style: start with a light weight you know you can do with ZERO
pain. If you reach the top of the bracket, you must add weight. If you
fail to exceed the bottom rep of the bracket, you must decrease weight,
thus ensuring you work in the correct zone on every set.
So for External Rotation: if you get 15, increase weight. If you get 10
or less, decrease weight. If you get 11-14, stay the same. Same applies
to Powell Raise at its own reps (get 6 = go up, get 4 or less = down,
and get 5 = stay the same).
A1) Cross-Bench Pullover: 5 sets of 8-10 reps, being sure to fully pause
at the bottom of each rep - no bounce! Then rest 60 seconds before...
A2) Trap-3 Raise: 5 sets of 3-5 reps, being sure to pause for 5 seconds
at the top of each rep, then resting 60 seconds before...
A3) ATG-style Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 5 sets of 8-10 reps, being sure
to pause at the bottom of every rep: zero momentum from "bounce" -
resting 60 seconds before your next set of A1.
Be sure to film and send your last set on each through the camera icon
for each exercise in the app, and follow the rep brackets as indicated!