When I lift - sometimes there is pain. I don’t mean discomfort, or feeling tired. But pain. And yet, I feel like some kinds of pain are an indicator of progress for me, as long as there is no sharp pains after the workout.
Me, I am working through some shoulder, back, and other issues (due to some chronic conditions). When I first started to bench press (w/ a machine), 6 years ago, I had shoulder pain doing even with no weight on the machine! Just the shoulder position (neutral) was painful. Yet, keeping at it, the pain eventually got better. I felt as if I was really tearing through some limiters, whether it be scar tissue, tough, inflexible tissue/nervous system, or just re-training some muscles. Kind of a therapeutic pain, I guess.
After a bit, I could press the bar with free weights, then adding weight. But then I got too aggressive, and started pulling muscles… I’ve laid off anything “heavy” (by heavy, I mean for ME), for a good while, but tonight I felt particularly good, so I decided to try the bench press again.
Even working with 115 lbs on the bench, there is pain. I worked up to it though, but doing lighter weights… When I got to the heavy weight, I would do a couple small movements (maybe 1/8 reps), then a quarter, then third… eventually doing one full rep. Somehow I felt like my muscles benefited from just HOLDING the weight, and I felt with each larger motion I was priming my muscles to handle a bit more stress. I guess is my own type of progression. I’ll note that there is no pain after the workout.
None of this is probably new. I have two basic questions.
When you are dealing with less than healthy joints and muscles, is pain sometimes ok when lifting? Could it be therapeutic or am I fooling myself?
Also, does anyone else use this short rep scheme for a weight you haven’t handled before? For instance, I did the same thing with dips tonight. I started with dips with BW. The next set, I added a weight (holding a 17lb dumbell) and started out with quarter reps, then which each rep going deeper. When, on the next set, I went to BW + 25 lbs I started with small movements, then eased into fuller reps. I really felt like it mitigated the risk of injury, but I can’t remember reading about this here or elsewhere.