T Nation

BP: New Tool for Stability or Cheating Crutch?


#1

Hello Jim

Let me say thank you for all you've done and all the time you've taken to answer previous posts of mine. I always enjoy your concise, straightforward no BS responses. Be it as it may, I understand you have many people inquiring on techniques but if you find time to answer my post,I'd greatly appreciate it.

I am new to powerlifting, but experienced in the weight room. Last year,I tore my right pec and labrum in a heavy under prepared bench attempt. Needlessto say, the road back to big benching has been long and difficult. Though surgically repaired, pressing, almost exclusive to bench, has oftentimes been painful. Upper back work has been daily hammered, not exhaustively, but hopefully productively, with little prevail. I noticed my arm (right side),flares during heavier bench sets.

Thinking of a solution, I saw a hip abductor band and decided to wrap it around my arms to force them to tuck in a bench. As I did this, the pain immediately evaporated, my technique became solid, and heavy weights came down and went up easily! Eureka! However, my enthusiasm deflated as I thought this tool must be great for practice, but will it help me raw? What can I do to learn to bench pain free without it? hanks again Jim for all you do


#2

Just so we’re clear, you want to compete in a meeting where you have to bench?


#3

Yes. There are squat and dl only options for the meet but I want to bench, and bench without pain. I know JW has also suffered a labrum tear and recuperated well via rehabilitation. I’m wondering if this tool has any use in going back to bench pain free. I bench 3x a week currently and i’ve only used the sleeve once. The point of the post is to inquire if it will actually help one get better at benching, as it forces one to tuck the elbows. I do this in my raw benching, however, there is an underlying weakness somewhere in my shoulder that causes difficulty in pulling the scapula down and back, causing slight shoulder flare and pain,even with moderate weights.

As I work heavier though, the pain dissolves a bit more and more.I suppose technique is the issue, but if a rubber band helps improve this, will it transfer over to raw lifting for me? or just make me dependent on it?

I know everyone will say to improve raw…bench raw. But have you torn a pec or labrum and spent 2 months with your arm stapled to your chest until it came out feeling like a wet noodle? I’ve had to work for months and months to doinga single pushup again. and many more, just to be able to hold a barbell above my chest again. After 3 months back at the gym, I’ve managed to get my raw bench back to a measly 205 at 150 lbs. If this device will take me back to painlessly benching heavy raw again, then I will surely use it.


#4

This came to my mind.


#5

Wow! That article is perfect! Thanks a lot Rattus! There is a lot of great information on there for me.


#6

He states to use a barbell “sling” (slingshot?) to prepare for pressing at then end of weeks 5 -6. I’m wondering if this is the same implement that I used?


#7

Google “Slingshot - How much ya bench” and you should find a link to it, to see if it’s the same thing you’re using.


#8

@ Sean Butler, yes that is pretty much the same device, although at the gym I used an elastic band that is just one big loop as opposed to the two arm loops.My inquiries are to anyone who knows are:

Does it really help improve lifting form or does it just do the work for those muscles which need to be worked and strengthened? I know it promotes better lifting mechanics while allowing heavier load to be used, but does it transfer to raw benching at all if implemented in a routine, specifically for a lifter with previous shoulder ailments who wishes to bench raw heavily?


#9

[quote]flippyg wrote:
@ Sean Butler, yes that is pretty much the same device, although at the gym I used an elastic band that is just one big loop as opposed to the two arm loops.My inquiries are to anyone who knows are:

Does it really help improve lifting form or does it just do the work for those muscles which need to be worked and strengthened? I know it promotes better lifting mechanics while allowing heavier load to be used, but does it transfer to raw benching at all if implemented in a routine, specifically for a lifter with previous shoulder ailments who wishes to bench raw heavily?[/quote]
I use the Reactive Slingshot, and I’m a raw lifter. I find that it helps me to get used to heavier weight and overload my triceps. I normally use it for one joker set after my regular sets. It reinforces good form, which will help raw lifters. If you have shoulder or elbow problems, then it might be useful to use on the main sets as well. If you look up Mark Bell on Youtube, you can find many videos explaining how to use it.


#10

"however, there is an underlying weakness somewhere in my shoulder that causes difficulty in pulling the scapula down and back, causing slight shoulder flare and pain,even with moderate weights. "

This answers just about every question you have - you need to get this remedied. In the meantime, train what is trainable - if that involves using the slinghost, so be it. I don’t know if that it is a good thing for rehab as I’m not a doctor. But it seems to me to get the body stronger before you mess with anything too heavy.

“But have you torn a pec or labrum and spent 2 months with your arm stapled to your chest until it came out feeling like a wet noodle?”

Don’t be a victim.

My best advice to you is to make sure you are strong and healthy before you do anything - too many people rush their rehab with some kind of desire to be “the first!” when it doesn’t make any difference. It’s akin to being the Duke of Assistance Lifting and 170lb guy with abs - it impresses no one. At least no one that doesn’t use their fingers to count.

No matter what avenue you take in your training, what goals, etc. - nothing will mean anything if you can’t actually train. So do what is necessary and be patient; seems to be a theme amongst everything I write.


#11

Thank you for your responses.