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Adapting 531 BP to Dumbbell Press?


#1

some background: I have Ehlers-Danlos and apparently bad shoulders. Started out in gym doing the typical stuff like bench press and dips, started to feel a pain in right shoulder, eventually couldn't sleep on my side. Went to Doc and he takes x-rays and I have a huge gap in AC joint and a buildup of tissue on joint. After a cortisone shot, and roughly 1 month taking it easy on shoulders, I cut out the dips and bench press and switch to db press. Go forward in time, I discover 5/3/1, figure I want to do the program as is so include bench press but keep my grip fairly close. Also, my gym only had 100 lbs dbs and I was already repping them for 12-13.. I go through 3 cycles and my shoulder pain returns. Cortisone shot. Final verdict.. no more bench press.

takes a breath So I understand it is not recommended at all to use DBs for this program.. but I don't see any way around it. I've been using DBs for my last couple cycles and it doesn't feel right. Anything less than 5 reps feels like too large an expenditure of energy in setup and setdown.

Basically, I've been making each week the same, all 5 reppers. Does anyone have a better solution to this?? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.


#2

I don’t want to state the obvious, so pardon me if you have looked into either of these options:

Football bar or floor press. I have heard of several people getting away with either of these when a regular bar was out of the question. Jim himself has used the football bar exclusively for years.

If there is absolutely no bar-based option, I would just turn bench day into a straight bodybuilding day and don’t stress over how to apply 5/3/1 to DBs.


#3

Thanks, Joey.

I don’t believe my gym has a football bar. If it did, I’d probably use that for overhead press as well.

I am intrigued by the idea of doing a floor press. I just watched a video showing how to get the bar into position by doing a glute bridge. I wonder if I can push progression doing floor press instead of bench press or dumbbells.


#4

I have done it with the floor press for multiple cycles. It was fine.


#5

[quote]DSD80 wrote:
Thanks, Joey.

I don’t believe my gym has a football bar. If it did, I’d probably use that for overhead press as well.

I am intrigued by the idea of doing a floor press. I just watched a video showing how to get the bar into position by doing a glute bridge. I wonder if I can push progression doing floor press instead of bench press or dumbbells.[/quote]

Don’t your gym have a power rack to do floor press in?

I personally love the floor press now after having to do them for some time due to shoulder issues. It really makes you focus and control the movement - if not your elbows will get some beating hitting the floor.

If you can do this exercise then go for it, you triceps will explode too.


#6

[quote]Roy M wrote:
Don’t your gym have a power rack to do floor press in?

I personally love the floor press now after having to do them for some time due to shoulder issues. It really makes you focus and control the movement - if not your elbows will get some beating hitting the floor.

If you can do this exercise then go for it, you triceps will explode too.
[/quote]

Not a power rack, just a squat rack. Since I was doing chest last night, the squat rack actually does have hooks in the front that are good height. Had to fold over a mat to be able to pack my shoulders underneath.


#7

I have hooks that fasten over the DB handles. They allow you to hang the DBs from a bar in a rack. this allows you to unrack and rack the DBs much like you would a bar. I used this to do heavy DBs when my shoulders were too shitty to do any bar work. Hoisting and handling the DBs in the traditional way is probably better for overall strength and manliness, but that kind of hoisting was doing my shoulders no favors.

In the end, I just went back to using DBs for what they best suited, higher rep work. Higher intensities didn’t do shit for keeping my bench strength up during the layoff, but DB work does work really well for putting on muscle for me. Just decided to work with weights my shoulder could handle tossing up and down and hit higher reps.


#8

The floor press is legit, I’ve used it for an accessory for the last few cycles and it lets me lift heavy but spare my shoulders and elbows. I just want to play Devils advocate but have you tried a closer grip bench press? I’ve had more than one training partner make the switch due to shoulder surgery (replacement).