The back story
I dieted down in the fall to try to get ready for a bodybuilding show. As most amateurs who diet down, I was disappointed at my size and definition. I wanted rebound out of my diet, eager to implement new diet and training strategies. From November 1, 2012 to March 1, 2012, I went from about 235 to 305. I felt really fucking strong, was setting PRs every day, and just believed my training was going in a great direction. Unfortunately, I let my diet and conditioning slip, and put on way more fat than was acceptable, so I decided to start dieting back down for summer. Dem summer abs
I transitioned from 5/3/1 into a 6-day/week Big Beyond Belief split, really trying to focus on getting some pump and solid contraction.
March 20, 2013 - the day of the tear
This was day 3 of my BBB training. My training partners were late, so I just kind of sat around waiting for them to show up. Today was supposed to be 3x10-12@120 second rests with bench, lat pull down, and hammer curls.
I did a couple set of 8 at 45, everything felt good. Went up to 95, set of 8, felt good. Was really feeling the stretch in my chest, great contraction. 135x8. Felt great. I was going to do my working sets at 185, did a set of 6, and it felt really good, so I decided I would go up to 225. 3x225x10-12 still felt pretty conservative. I can pretty comfortable put up 225 for at least 25 on a good day, so I felt really comfortable working with the weight.
Normally when I bench for reps, I’ll use a moderate arch, wide grip, and a massive tuck. But I thought, “Hey, I’m bodybuilding. I’m working my chest today, not bench.” I had my spotter give me a hand off so I could stay as tight as possible (I set up a little different so I could bring the bar higher on my chest than I normally would." (Gruesome details following.) Rep 1, felt great. Really got the squeeze. Rep 2, felt even better. Rep 3, I came down very controlled, paused for a split second on my chest, and before I could get any forward momentum on the bar, my right arm just gave out completely. It felt and sounded like ripping a rag. Pain isn’t the word I would use to describe the feeling. It was just fucking weird. Sure, it hurt, but maybe like a 2 out of 10.
I still don’t know how I got out from under the bar, even though my training partners have explained it to me a dozen times. I yelled “OH FUCK,” as loud as I possibly could, and you could hear a pin drop in the gym. Nobody moved.
I get up and start talking to everyone at a mile a minute. I have a feeling at this point I was already in shock. I was just walking around talking about how I was going to drive myself to the ER, and I kept telling my training partners to keep going. They insisted on driving me to the ER.
Once we were at the ER, all of the nurses were incredibly hot, but I was too distracted by the pain to try to milk my badass chest injury from bench pressing. I’ve got my phone facing up on my lap, and the nurse hooks me up to a blood pressure cuff. Both of my arms are totally immobilized. My friend start bombing me with texts like “Dude, you have to get her number,” “You better be working that, boy,” etc., etc. I casually flicked the phone upside down with my thumb, embarrassed as all hell.
I kind of joked with the nurse, trying to feel her out; “Yea… I sure hope it’s not a pec tear (awkward laugh).” She kind of just stared at her computer. Sure enough, the ER doc comes out and confirms the pec tear.