Change in Training Method

Hi. Long-term reader; 1st post.

I am 51 and have lifted weights since high school. I have developed lifter’s shoulder and I have an appointment with an orthopedist on Thursday. I’d like to ask some questions to be prepared for my appointment. I’d like to thank everyone in advance for the help.

If he suggests surgery, is the expectation a return to unlimited activity? Do people who have the surgery return to full heavy lifting?

I am studying Paul “Coach” Wade’s book on the use of body-weight exercises for high-level muscle development. He makes a good case that the old-time strongmen had techniques they used for extreme strength development before the Nautilus. He claims that it’s much easier on the joints. Is this a realistic approach, or is he just blowing smoke?

Right now, my max bench is 305 and my max deadlift 345. Can I maintain my level of muscle development with his methods?

Are there particular questions I need to present to my surgeon about switching to bodyweight-based training? He and I have known each other socially for several years, so I know he won’t mind spending some time talking with me about options.

If you think Wade’s option is realistic, what should I present to my doctor to see if switching to that is an option without surgery?

Is the expected outcome of the surgery so good that, if it’s suggested, I should just say “Screw it” and go for the surgery? I’ve had a hip replacement and was able to return to weight training, so if a full return to “normal” is realistic, I’m not adverse to it.

Are there other questions I need to ask?

Again, thank you in advance for the help. I’d like to go in as prepared for the assessment as possible.


if youve been lifting for around 35 years, and intend to lift for the rest of your life, I would suggest that any sort of muscle building training after an operation is worth doing. If that is getting back to full strength on bench/dead, then fine, if its body weight stuff only, then fine, if its a range of barbell exercises with light weights/high reps, then fine.

just keep doing something.

and are you a Scotsman or just wanna be a Scotsman?

Thank you. Scotsman was my nickname in college and no one has given me a better one yet.

I had a shoulder subluxation and fall that tire my labrum. I still have shoulder pain, but in both shoulders. I am not a poster child for taking care of yourself. If you do surgery make sure you rehab more than you think you need to. I can’t even overhead press without quitting in frustration. I’m 42 and have not taken care of myself.