T Nation

ART Treatments & Bench Press

About 3 months ago, I started getting pain in both of my shoulders and then shortly thereafter in both of my elbows. I was pressing 3 days a week and only pulling one day. I think the biggest culprit was Push Press(Mondays), which at the time I was doing 4-5 sets of 4-6 reps at 225-245lbs. I was benching on Wednesdays and doing close grips on Fridays for triceps.

I revamped my program to include 2 days of pressing and 2 days of pulling, eliminating the push presses altogether.

Just before X-Mas I hit a new PR on bench (355), but I literally couldn’t sleep at night because of the shoulder pain. The following week I only managed 300 for 2 reps, and the next week I barely got 300 for a single.

My warmup routine looked like this:

45lbs x 40
95lbs x 25
135lbs x 15
185lbs x 12
225lbs x 5
275lbs x 5

From there I would go into triples, doubles and singles. So I felt I was adequately warm, but the pain was always present.

At that point I sought out an ART specialist. He evaluated my injuries, and began ART treatments. Some parts of the treatment felt totally harmless, other parts were more painful, but nothing was excruciating. He also gave me exercises to do at home, which I followed fairly well. When I asked if I had to stop benching he told me to cut my volume down and just hit one or two heavy sets until everything calmed down. He said “it won’t take three treatments, but it also won’t take thirty”.

4 weeks later (2x/week) and I have almost no indication of pain in my shoulders, but my elbows are taking a little longer to heal.

Today my bench went like this:

Same warmup as before (I’m not as young as I used to be.)

275x5
315x4
335x3
350x1
365x1 (PR)
325x3

So I have to say I am a believer. I’m still waiting for the elbows to be 100%, but they are a lot better than before, and my shoulders feel great. I can’t guarantee that it will work for everyone, but it certainly helped me.

Ill second that, i had some art done on my shoulders and after the first session I could press again. Also a note to remember is that it is kind of expensive for students, but the key is see if your chiropractor does art or find a chiro that does, and if you have insurance, they can do a art session and bill it as a chiropractic appointment.

also ive found if you dont want to take the trip there, it’s effective using a supporting I-beam of the building and press your shoulder at various spots and move your shoulder through the ranges of motion, basically mimicing the art that the specialists do. I find it works as well