T Nation

Injury or Normal Pain?



When attempting my bench last thursday (on the smith machine) I went straight in on my first set with an extra 5lbs. On the second rep of the first set, I knew I was in trouble within 1 minute as the wieght was almost too much to push up from my chest and though I managed it I got a sharp pain in my arm.I bought my wieght down and tried again after a little rest,same problem! So I wisely decided to leave bench alone for the day.Now after about 10-15 mins rest I started on my deadlifts but found even though I dropped my wieght down by 20lbs from my regular weight that my right hand(the one that my shoulder was hurting with) was having diffculty gripping the bar.

I managed to complete my sets by reverse gripping the bar with my right hand and lifting that way.However for the last few days I noticed that when making a fist it feels as though my arm is "tired" and "reluctant" to grip and the forearm muscle feels stiff.Iv'e rested it up for 72 hours and again attempted the bench today albiet at a much lower wieght and this time with a incline bench exercise.I noticed,though I finished all my sets.That Im still getting that sharp shooting pain in my upper right arm again.

Hammer curl lifts were fine today and assisted chin-ups had the same problem very slightly though and albiet nowhere near as painfull as when benching and trying to lift the wieght up from my chest.

Is this "normal" bear in mind im doing the WM and this is only 3 weeks into training from a 3 year gap? or have I sustained an injury and or got a problem.I used to get the "weak" grip problem when I trained before.I found I could keep going with my left hand but my right hand felt like it was going to drop the wieght and the grip was at times very very week.


P.S I'm left handed BTW.


Go see a Sports Doctor. You may have hurt your rotator cuff, did some nerve damage or some other item. They are the experts in the field.


Thanks TallTom.

I dont think it's rotator cuff as im not in pain now, Only when I clench my right fist do I feel a bit of small pain in the forearm.Going to see my Dr next week but in the mean time what do others think this sounds like???


First of all injury is far more likely to occur when you Bench Press with a Smith Machine. The Smith locks you into a groove which does not allow for natural arm movement.

I have no idea what is wrong with your shoulder as it needs to be examined. However, when you resume training avoid the Smith Machine and use free weights!

Better yet, Bench with Dumbbells. Over the years I have seen far less injuries when Benching with Dumbbells than a Barbell. Same logic applies. The Barbell locks your hands into one position and the bar also falls lower than Dumbbells do.

Unless you are going to pursue Powerlifting use Dumbbells to Bench with. You will get just as much developement over time and there will be a far less chance of injury.

Good Luck,



Thanks Zeb, I'll go ahead with the normal bench from now on then and also give the dumbells a blast.

Anyone heard of what the problem is with the gripping problem I have?