T Nation

5,3,1 with RC Injury

Hi all,

I’ve been running the Wendler 5,3,1 (triumvirate, 4 days per week) for about 5 months - absolutely love this method and find myself hugely motivated for my workouts.
Unfortunately I busted (seriousness TBA) my RC last night doing bench presses (my fault; weak spot, poor form) and now it looks like I won’t be horizontal or vertical pressing for a while.

I don’t want to stop training, and pulling movements don’t seem to be affected.

How would you approach this problem?

keep current format but do all pressing with absolute minimum weight to avoid further injury - not sure if this is possible yet, but I could try it.

stick with layout but only do deadlift and squat days until shoulder is healed.

3-day split, keeping deadlift and squat days but adding in a Barbell Row as a main upper body lift.

keep current format but do weighted chins instead of press and barbell row instead of bench.

…pretty much I just want to avoid drowning in the frustration of yet another RC f*ck up.

any comments or other suggestions?

Experiment with pressing exercises and forms. You may be able to use machines/cables/grips/est. to minimize the stress on the muscle.

But if you can’t do heavy pressing, you can’t do heavy pressing.

If you can’t do any pressing at all, Id keep squat and deadlift days and then have a 3rd session with all back.

If you can press, without pain, small weight then I would, provided it won’t cause further damage.

Find out what kind of rehabilitation you need to do and hit that hard. Good luck.

I had RC surgery a year ago. If your RC is messed up stay off it. If its not a bad tear maybe just rest & ice will heal it. Before you start messing with it get it checked out by a pro.
With that said I do 5/3/1 put on Chest & Shoulder days I just borring but big and make sure I do 2 pulling assistane excersises. Don’t overdue it you will be in for some shitty pain

One boards and two boards with light chains helps me keep going heavy when my supraspinitus starts acting up. I have no idea if your RC issue is worse.

I remember when it got real bad, I started doing floor presses not going anywhere close to failure. One arm db pressing with a reach at the top of the press. One arm barbell overhead press. I’d get one of the light 25 total pound bb and use a slow and controlled tempo. I also did wall scaps, the thing where you get in pushup position hands on a swiss ball and just shrug w/ no press, face pulls, band pull aparts, one arm standing rows, cable rows with a pause and hard squeeze, and lat pull downs done in a similar way.

I’ve learned to play a balancing game between lifting heavy and getting stronger and keeping my shoulder functional.