T Nation

shoulder issues

I need a little help. I respond better to lifting heavy and stagnate big time on higher reps. Only for my chest and tri’s though. I need more concentration and sqeezing for pulling excercises like back and bi’s. Anyway I dislocated my left shoulder a couple years ago and now everytime i start lifting weights more than 250, shoulder pain becomes too bad and I have to go back to higher reps, I stagnate, my shoulders recouperate and I start lifting heavier again until I reach 250. Then the whole cycle starts again. I need some help in making gains when I can’t train for low reps. You would think after doing 9,6,3,1 for a while my body would have a favorable response to 4 sets of 8 but it doesn’t. I must be doing something wrong. Thanks in advance.

Sounds to me like you haven’t completely healed up. I know, it’s been a couple of years. But I can tell you that I had shoulder problems from the time I was about 20 till I was about 25. Could not do a flat bench press during that time without pain, and the reason was that all the other activity in my life (I was in the Marines at the time) was always slightly re-injuring it. Not enough to notice in normal life, but it showed up in the gym.

You didn’t mention how old you are, but if you’re getting older you’ll take longer than you expect to heal -so much longer you won’t believe it sometimes.

Anyway, if you want some advice, I would say to try a different exercise. I assume that you were talking about flat benches in your post; if so, try inclines or declines instead. Both were fine for me during my bad period. And make a promise to yourself that you won’t flat bench (or whatever) for an entire YEAR. (Don’t worry, you can work with other exercises instead that’ll maintain or improve on your development, and when you go back to benching you won’t have lost much -if any-strength.) Good luck…

Thank you for the advice. I am 25. I will try and cut out flat benching for an extended period. I have personally never had a great routine with out flat benching. Since You have had a similar experience would you mind helping me out with an new chest program? Thanks again for the input.