T Nation

Pec Pain


About 2 years ago, I felt something like a rip in my left pec. Nothing painful, just felt it.Iced it,took a deload week, hit the weights again no problem. About a month and a half ago, I had some shoulders issues, so I got my grip in my bench press thumb lenght from the inner smooth part of the bar. Now, my left pec hurts after bench pressing heavy. Nothing too painful, just feeling it.

When I am warmed up and ready to bench, I feel nothing.But any other time it is kind of stiff and somewhat hurts when apply pressure to it. The point it hurts is in the upper chest area above the center on nipple,going across until where the tendon meets the shoulder. Any ideas? Again, no pain when bench pressing, lifting stuff on the house etc, just general pain and pain when pressured.


Who knows. It could be a slight strain or tear, or it could just be general soreness. For the sake of long term health, you may want to take a couple of weeks off and then start benching again with a very light weight, boulding up over several workouts and monitoring pain. Having had a bad pec tear in the past, I can tell you its better to take a little time off than to get a surprise tear during a normal workout and need surgery.


It could be residual scar tissue from the injury 2 years ago. Since that time, your body most likely went through subtle (or not so subtle) compensatory patterns. It also won't surprise me if you neglected to go over your technique, work on strengthening the scapular retractors/depressors, phased in other exercises on a regular basis to replace the bench press.

What does your training consist of? That will shed some light.

Also, are you a power lifter or one of those people who absolutely has to bench. If so, it's in your best interest to learn proper technique and incorporate protocols such as SMR, deep tissue therapy, mobility work.

Do you bench primarily for hypertrophy? If so, unless you are another Serge Nubret, there are better movements. At the very least do the straight bar flat bench later in your chest session.


I am a soccer player, so I train like a powerlifter as pure strength is my goal. My technique is pretty solid. Havent thought of deep tissue therapy, although probably not a option. Anyhow, I will follow a 6-week doing twice a week, starting with 50kg on the bar finishing on 75kg, hopefully by then it will be gone. Typically, I train Westside. Mostly triples for 2 weeks, third week being an 1RM and depending how I feel, either a deload or a re-run of that 3 week cycle.


The final decision is yours, of course. After all, it's your body. Regardless, you may want to reconsider deep tissue work. At least incorporate some SMR on a regular basis.