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Can't Fix My Bench Press After Shoulder Surgery. Advice?


#1

Hi, everyone.
I’m here to ask for your opinions, people.
The story is that I am recently back to training after a long 2-years break.
I have had a shoulder injury with surgery. Hardly recovered not so long ago.
So after a month in the gym I noticed that my bench press is stuck almost at where I started.
To give you more details - I’m 190 lbs, my personal best in bench press was 320 lbs. 2 years ago.
Suprisingly I haven’t lost that much strength in other exercises like squats or curls, but my bench press is a huge problem now.
Or, forgot to give you numbers - 200 lbs sharp for a single-rep feels kinda…meh and it doesnt go up.
I can’t get what’s wrong? Could it be my elbows or my shoulder? My chest seems like growing fast but it doesn’t give power at all, not a single pound.
Thanks if anyone could tell me anything.


#2

Maybe some nerve damage?
You didn’t mention the cause of the surgery.
Is the surgery side a lot weaker than the other side?


#3

Hi. I should have been more specific.
Let me give you a picture.
Say, I am doing a regular bench press.
So I star with 50 lbs. for 15 reps, everything feels ok. Then I do 80 lbs. for 12, fine again. Then 120 lbs. for 8, more or less. But when it comes to 150 and higher it gets really really strange.
The difference between now and then is the feel. At some point the barbell gets stuck like it’s static and my shoulders and forearms seem to turn off instantly in one sec. So I literally drop the bar down an struggle not to finish the press but keep my chest from being smashed. It scares a lot when you can’t control the movement.
The mid-amplitude feels to me like the biggest problem. When I ask people in the gym to watch they all say I could do more.
The cause of the surgery was the rupture of the middle deltoid muscle. But my doctor says I’m fine, there is no disbalance, the shoulders feel the same to me.


#4

I’m not one of the brain guys, but if you are getting 8 reps with 120, 150lbs is about your 1 rep max and should be tough. Maybe try 15 lb increments.
Mr. khangles will chime in if he sees your post. He is a brain.


#5

That’s why I’m telling that guys who watch me doing bench press keep saying that I can do much more.
I can go much higher than 150-180 or even 200 lbs. I haven’t lost much of my physique, but at some point everything gets screwed…
Still, thanks for your concern, maybe someone else can give his opinion.


#6

Did you have your arm in a sling for awhile?

You might have a slightly slumped or rolled forward shoulder with a tight bicep. This, tight, “off” position could make it hard to get set up properly under the bench press.

It’s OK under light weights, but once you get to 150 your body feels the bad shoulder alignment and says “No Way!”


#7

No, never used slings. My doctor said that we better not use any “extras” while healing and suggested going “natural way”, so I never bothered myself about that. Maybe I should have.
Still, at the moment the shoulder looks ok (if you pretend you don’t see a huge scar), it feels fine, I can even do my regular shoulder routine without any problem, but when it comes to bech press…


#8

Or did you mean a sling that is to boost the impulse at the mid-amplitude…?


#9

Btw, guys, speaking about techniques.
I am thinking about trying bands or chains. I know that bands are used in fitness classes, I even once saw a girl squat with them. And guys from the gym suggested that I can try chains. I googled, that’s what I found so far - https://weightliftingchains.com/articles/increase-your-bench-press-by-20-pounds-in-3-months.html
I think that if I have a problem with the mid-amplitude, then maybe it makes sense to try them out? Because still I can’t give up bench press completely. What do you think?


#10

Another guy without the brain here, but a couple of ideas:

I would personally not do so many reps, or rather, increase so many times. Since you’re going for more strength, I’d stick to low (3-6) reps, and bang out 3-5 sets on your bench day. Warm up for sure, but think something along the lines of 45x3 105x3 145x3, then do 3 sets of 175x3. If I did the rep ranges you’re talking about I’d be gassed early too.

Also, I dont know enough to really explain it, but I’ve heard things along the line of: after an injury, your body wants to retain that fragile state if you let it. Seeing as how you took 2 years off after a shoulder injury, and your worst suffering exercise is extremely shoulder dominant, you might be in for some serious mind over matter work ahead of you


#11

This isn’t surprising. Surgery, 2 years away from the gym and the one exercise you’re stuck on uses the joint you had surgery on as it’s primary mover? Yeah. Take it easy and progress slowly or you’ll reinjure yourself.


#12

Ok, guys.
So… Small increase, no rush, hope for better, right?
No chains, bands, no weird techniques for now?


#13

Yes. No rush at all. It will all come back.
I think you should probably do your sets stopping a rep short of failure to be safe.


#14

Forgot to say Thanks to you, guy.
I appreciate your opinions and hope it will get back as soon as possible.