T Nation

Preventing a Pec Tendon Re-Injury?

A little over two years ago, I completely ruptured my right pec tendon and had to have it surgically re-attached. I’m a lifetime drug-free lifter and the day that it happened, I wasn’t exactly “pushing it” - I was doing an upper-body workout and had, among other things, done some wide-grip incline benching. The pec tendon ruptured on the last set of incline flys.

Although I was approximately 170 pounds at the time and was doing the flys with 60 pound dumbbells, I had used that weight before and my form was perfect. Here’s my issue: I really have no idea why the tendon ruptured, and I’m concerned about it happening again. I still push myself very hard, but I’m always cautious given the gravity of the injury.

I’ve asked around and the only definitive answers I’ve been given are: (1) I simply have strong muscles and weak tendons; and (2) my diet could have had something to do with it (I was on less than 50 carbs a day for almost a year before the injury). If anyone has any thoughts on this issue, I’d appreciate the insight.

I tore my pec close to 2 weeks ago, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t tear it from the bone. I’m still a little purple below my elbow and on my lower pec, but I never had any pain after the injury, and some strength is returning. I have no medical, so I won’t know for sure for a while yet, but things are improving so I’m crossing my fingers…hoping I don’t have to purchase some medical insurance after the discoloration is gone.

I did it doing flat bench flys. I’ve been trying for tempo on isolation stuff, so I was about 45 seconds between sets…I think that played a role as it wasn’t a heavy weight that screwed me over. I had problems with the pec I tore this past December…I was trying for an extra rep on the Hammer incline, didn’t fully control the negative, and ended up missing a month more from lack of strength then physical discomfort…It felt fine when I started back in January…Things were going great…I had been doing 3-1 split and switched to 5 day split and it was the best I felt since I came back…Then boom, out of no where.

I’m really not sure what my approach will be when I start back. First impulse is to go really light with high reps on flys…I know exactly where you are coming from…Because it came from out of no where it’s hard to figure out how to prevent it from happening again…And it’s really not worth lifting if you are going to do it half assed…I’ve always read of this injury happening while benching…that would have been a nightmare…The DBs I dumped immediately…Couldn’t do that with a barbell and I’m pretty sure I would have been completely screwed if I had to try and work with that pec to re rack the weight…About the only thing I know for sure is I’m going to work 15-20 rep range when I start doing flys again.