T Nation

2 Years of CT Programs and Then Tore my Rotator Cuff


It’s not CT or the programs fault.

It just happened, there’s a lot of reasons why. I could feel it coming in hindsight. Regardless I’ve been a depressed recluse watching my bench go from 315 to 185 with pain, being unable to hold a squat bar etc.

Anyways… I started three years ago at the very bottom and now I must rebuild again.

PT says surgery may not be necessary 185 bench still hurts. I haven’t been consistent with rehab. The loss of my gains has been a serious mind fuck. Anyways, I’m getting over that and now must lose 15-20 lbs of fat I’ve gained/let my body transform into since August.

Putting my ego and power lifting goals away and getting back to the basics. Anyways I’m kind of rambling here but any advice on programs would be great. I love all CT programs but don’t feel like a lot of the programs I was on are good for me considering I can’t heavily press or vertically pull.

Thanks all.


I honestly considered taking your post off. While you do mention it’s not my fault, the name of the thread make it sound like you are blaming me. I’m really sorry about what happened to you, but it does happen and can happen on any approach.


I would suggest you try BW programs to get your baseline strength back up if you can’t do heavy pushing or pulling. Don’t worry about weight on the bar if it means knocking yourself out of commission for long periods of time. Especially if you’ve gotten overweight, BW exercises are conducive to losing weight. As someone who has had shoulder problems over the years (from baseball) that were aggravated by heavy barbell pushing, take the time off required and ease into it with exercises that you can do pain-free.


I had to start over with an empty bar a few years back after a SLAP tear and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I developed better technique, improved my mobility and came back to set PRs on every upper body pressing exercise.

I’d suggest starting over from scratch after you finish PT. Knowing what I know now, I’d have taken my return to benching even more slowly, starting with push-up progressions (I think Joe DeFranco had a nice weekly progression model in his Strength Manual that went from push-ups to full range benching over a 12 weeks).

Everyone gets hurt sooner or later if you stay at it long enough, it’s part of the game.


I went to a respectable college as a pitcher and my loose shoulder caught up with me when I arrived. I’m on the mound at 6’5", 240lbs, muscular as shit, and throwing 81mph with everything I had.

Sat the bench for a year. Came back sophomore year and had surgery. I was shut down for 3 months. No lifting and in a sling. It sucked. I got depressed. The only thing I could do was physical therapy. I hated it but did it daily like I was supposed to do.

Once I was healed and released I headed back to the weight room and started over. The rest is history. I was healthy so I didn’t have to worry about modifications and working around the pain.

Heal first. Do PT. Have surgery and then do PT. Bottom line is you need to heal. In the meantime you have two healthy legs and one good arm. Use machines, DBs, and train the healthy limbs. You don’t have to be all or nothing.


Yeah just do your rehab religiously. Look up the ‘Mobility for old farts’ thread also

When you get back to Thib program/heavy lifting stretch your pecs hard right after every session involving upper body work