T Nation

Adopt Powerlifting Avoid Injury?


I have yet to figure out how to implement powerlifting/maximal effort pressing training into my workouts without burning out my shoulders..

Last summer I did some westside style lifting and it was great, my strengt shot up in all lifts. But two things really got me:

1) Maxing out twice a week (lower/upper) eventually took its toll; I just couldn't handle it,

2) Heaving pressing seemed to effect my shoulders more than my triceps.

About two months ago I started moving back toward the powerlifts type of training, and just last night I decided to start maxing on heavy lifts. I did four board press and I swear, the only muscle involved it felt like was my front delts.

What do I need to do? What exercises will keep my shoulders strong and healthy? Any other tips much appreciated. Thanks.


First, when you say you are maxing out twice a week, you don't mean two chest workouts going heavy, do you?
Second, it sounds to me like it may be a form issue. If your front delts are getting most of the fatigue, maybe you need to modify your form.
Finally, you may have some muscular imbalances causing your shoulder problems/weakness. (tri/chest far exceed your shoulder capability)
I've had surgery on both shoulders, so I can speak from experience on the "keeping them healthy/strong" part...
~Incline presses, both DB & bar.
~Military DB presses (FRONT, never behind the neck)
~Front/Side delt raises
~Face Pulls
~Upright rows

These are the assistance exercises that I do religiously to keep my shoulders strong & feeling good. I compete in benching, so it is very important for me to keep my shoulders up to par with everything else.

Also, if the WSB method is taxing you too much, try doing it for three weeks and then taking a "de-load week". For this all you do drop your percentages to about 60% of your 1RM on the core lifts and hit 5 sets of 10. It allows you to flush your muscles with blood but not get taxed. It makes for a nice break for your CNS & body to heal.


Read the recent shoulder savers articles


Ditto this, and make sure you spread the bar when you bench. If your upper back isn't tired when your done benching you're doing it wrong.