T Nation

2-3 Days/Week, No Upper Body Pressing (Infraspinatus Tear)

Perhaps some other readers can relate to my situation. For the past two years, I have been unsuccessfully working around a diagnosed (MRI) high-grade atypical intrasubstance delamination partial thickness tear (50-60%) of my infraspinatus (2 x 0.8 cm) from a bout of DB incline pressing. I have left posterior shoulder blade pain/twitching with virtually all types of a upper body pressing lifts, especially push-ups, at all rep ranges.

I am working to rehabilitate the shoulder at home, but I have seemingly re-aggravated it several times both in rehab and in attempting to work back in pressing. The journey has been both humbling and frustrating, as I have lost a lot of weight and strength in the process.

However, I am not untrainable. I can deadlift, squat, clean, row, chin, run, pull a tire sled, etc with almost zero pain/aggravation. I can also do arm and shoulder isolation exercises. I am hoping to get a recommendation for a 2-3 day/week template that omits upper body pressing while I (hopefully) rehab my shoulder to a level capable of including some type of pressing. After reading the 5/3/1 2nd Ed. and the Beyond 5/3/1 books, as well as reading previous articles and forum posts, I have come up with a few ideas.

Option 1 - 2 Days, one main lift per day
Day 1:

  • Squat 5/3/1
  • Assistance: SLDL, Rows, Curls, Shoulders
    Day 2:
  • Deadlift 5/3/1
  • Assistance: Front Squat, Chins, Pushdowns, Abs

Option 2 - 2 Days, two main lifts per day
Day 1:

  • Clean 5/3/1
  • Squat 5/3/1
  • Assistance: Rows, Curls, Shoulders
    Day 2:
  • Front Squat 5/3/1
  • Deadlift 5/3/1
  • Assistance: Chins, Pushdowns, Abs

Option 3 - 3 Days: inspired by “A Letter to Young Jim Wendler”
Day 1:

  • Squat 5/3/1
  • Assistance: Chins, triceps, shoulders, abs
    Day 2:
  • (Clean 5/3/1)
  • Deadlift 5/3/1
  • Assistance: Face Pulls, curls, low back
    Day 3:
  • Front Squat 5/3/1
  • Assistance: Rows (5/3/1?), triceps, shoulders, abs

Because I have read conflicting advice, I included ideas for templates that do and don’t include 5/3/1 for cleans, rows, and the front squat. The frequency and movement choice are my main areas of concern. Obviously, the assistance work is just an example of an attempt to achieve balance. Additionally, because my weight and lifts are low, and I work a construction job, I omitted conditioning work in the template.

Thank you all in advance for your wisdom and guidance.

I think any of those would work fine. The only thing I can think of that you could run into issues is recovery squatting twice a week. Most people probably have no issues but you could just run a supplemental template for one of your squat variations instead of doing main work for both. (ie. on Day 3 just do Front squat for 5x5 @ FSL instead of the main work %;s)

You could also potentially clean twice a week. One day heavier where you work up to your TM for 3-5 reps and a volume day where you do a 5x5 @ FSL or SSL. I think there may be some Fully body Templates in Beyond on page 44 you could refer to. There are lots in Forever if you have access to it.