Perfect Rep and Shoulder Pain

I’ve just recently started having some minor shoulder pain and I don’t know the cause for sure. I do think that it has to have something to do with a particular exercise while using the perfect rep. The PecDeck hurt my shoulder when I would get a deep stretch in my pec.

I also had a slight numb/weak feeling in my hand for a couple of hours. I really don’t want this to escalate.
I believe my bench press form is being compromised by the perfect rep and might be a cause. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

Thibs doesn’t usually answer injury related questions.

I’ve had trouble with my right shoulder for over a year, but I’m finally 90% healed now. My advice to you is to get an assessment from a physiotherapist that knows shoulder injuries well. The first therapist I went to didn’t really help much at all. I finally decided to seek a second opinion and wow, has it helped!

Back to your question: I suspect your shoulder issue has nothing to do with the perfect rep and more to do with your form and shoulder stability. If your shoulder isn’t stabilized, pressing movements and things like the pec deck will contribute to shoulder impingement of the rotator cuff muscles. Then you’re in trouble. See a PT and get the joint stabilized via corrective exercises. Don’t wait nearly a year like I did before getting it figured out. I was off pressing for a year before getting my problem solved!

Also, check out this article by Cressey: Strength Training, Bodybuilding & Online Supplement Store - T NATION

Good luck!

Your symptoms sound exactly like what happened to me, with the pain and numbness. It turned out to be tendonitis of the rotator cuff…not to say that’s it for sure, but you should def get it checked out asap because if that is what it is, and you don’t do some shoulder therapy, it’ll just get worse and could put you out of the gym, like it did me…and that just sucks.

One of the many things I’ve picked up from Coach Thibaudeau’s writing that have helped is the advice, in choosing the turnaround point, to have the hands no lower than where they fall naturally from their own weight. (Not holding any barbell or DB or being pushed by any machine.)

If you are having shoulder problems this advice is I think especially important.

Also not every exercise is suited to explosive turnaround. I would not have applied this to the pec deck myself.

It also is quite likely that your turnaround point was at a much greater stretch than the above advice would have you use for an explosive turnaround.

Since you believe yourself injured from the pec deck, if continuing that exercise I would do it at lower weight and high reps for a while, avoid deep stretch in the exercise, and don’t explode at the turnaround but be smooth.

Despite my shoulder problems I’ve been able to employ the Perfect Rep method to good advantage, but only with exercises that I can do and by using this advice on the turnaround point. I expect that if I tried to turnaround at greater stretch than that, I’d be aggravating my problems.

The pain was probably not caused by the pecdeck, but that definitely aggravated it.

I have never experienced shoulder pain like this before. For example, it hurts racking my sponge around the shower head and it hurts to drive with my left arm only. I doubt I can do any pressing or direct shoulder work for a few weeks, so I might as well start my Rapid Fat Loss diet and train back, biceps and legs only.

I know that Agent9041 put a link in his post to an Eric Creesey article, but really anyone who is having shoulder problems should read all things Creesey here on T-Nation. More than likely you will be able to identify why your having shoulder problems from reading those articles, and also read ways to fix it.

Even more likely is that it wasn’t the perfect rep method that caused your shoulder problem but as others mentioned your shoulder stability and pressing form.

And it’s almost a sure thing that the problem isn’t going to go away on its own, or with a little bit of rest. It may feel better after some rest, but the pain is usually just symptom of a bigger problem.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
One of the many things I’ve picked up from Coach Thibaudeau’s writing that have helped is the advice, in choosing the turnaround point, to have the hands no lower than where they fall naturally from their own weight. (Not holding any barbell or DB or being pushed by any machine.)

If you are having shoulder problems this advice is I think especially important.[/quote]
Keep in mind the same holds true for:

  1. dips (which for me means elbows barely reach 90 degrees – if that.)
  2. Shoulder press or Push press (for me, the bar does not go past my jaw/mouth line)

[quote]Also not every exercise is suited to explosive turnaround. I would not have applied this to the pec deck myself.[/quote] I couldn’t agree more. Lifter disgression is advised.

[quote]It also is quite likely that your turnaround point was at a much greater stretch than the above advice would have you use for an explosive turnaround.

Since you believe yourself injured from the pec deck, if continuing that exercise I would do it at lower weight and high reps for a while, avoid deep stretch in the exercise, and don’t explode at the turnaround but be smooth.[/quote]Advice sounds sound.

[quote]Despite my shoulder problems I’ve been able to employ the Perfect Rep method to good advantage, but only with exercises that I can do and by using this advice on the turnaround point. I expect that if I tried to turnaround at greater stretch than that, I’d be aggravating my problems.[/quote]Likewise.

Good point on the dips.

For those, since “where the hands fall naturally” doesn’t apply, I’ve applied the advice to seeing how high my hands come when pulling them up only with slight effort.

In my case, that’s the bottom of the ribcage.

So I am doing machine dips with considerably less ROM than before, and this also has helped. (With weight, my hands can of course be forced higher, and previously I was doing that.)