T Nation

Tight Bicep/Benching Issue

Hey everyone…

I have been lurking these boards and articles for a few months. I was hoping that someone would have some thoughts on the following issue…

That has happened twice in the last six or so weeks. Happens right on the offset of bench day. Has happened on both decline and incline.

I lose my ROM. I can’t get the bar down to my chest and the pain feels as though it’s in my anterior deltoid. There is no discernible loss of strength.

It happened yesterday. I warmed up and then went to 140 on incline. For the record, this is what I did on incline last week:

Incline Barbell Press
140: 8 reps
160: 6 reps
190: 1 rep (failure)
140: 10 reps

I weigh around 165pounds.

And for the record, I know that the split I posted is a little strange. Because I’ve focused on martial arts for the past few years I have not been sure where I’ve been at strength wise and so I was trying to get a handle on where my numbers are at for the incline bench.

Right now, a general plan of attack for me is to pyramid up to a few heavy sets on bench / deadlift / squat and then to switch over to a higher rep range for several other exercises with a push / pull / leg day. I do bodyweight stuff such as hindu squats and pushups for high reps every day.

I’m going to Thailand at the end of the summer to train Muay Thai. Iv’e tried to gear my training towards that as far as increasing my lactic acid threshold while still keeping my strength level up.

Anyway…that’s not what I wanted to discuss here. I just wanted to clarify.

When I go to lower the bar it just won’t go any lower and there’s a lot of pain. It feels like it’s in my shoulder.

Well, I got a massage yesterday and the masseuse said it felt like it was actually my bicep that was super tight. I’ve been paying attention to my arm all yesterday and this morning and I’m convinced that it’s a bicep issue and not a shoulder one.

If I let my arms hang straight down the bicep insertion at the top on my right side is noticeably much tighter than on the right side. There’s no bruising.

I’m left handed. Back in HS I injured a nerve on my left side and no one was able to diagnose the issue for years. As a result, my left scapula began to wing and I was ultimately diagnosed with a SICK scapula. While I went through rehab and I am very diligent in watching my posture and doing corrective exercises there is still a difference in the way my shoulder sits. I was told the nerve went for too long and can’t be repaired now. So…in short, I’m always going to have this issue.

I feel as though the different angles created have forced the different sides of my body to compensate in different ways. My military press one rep max is only ten pounds lower than my incline bench press ORM.

If I ever bench heavy I can feel that on my right side much of the weight is being handled by my pec whereas on my left it is being held by my deltoid. It also seems that because some of the muscles on the left side of my back have trouble firing my left bicep/forearm is much stronger than my right. Their is a BIG difference in the strength between my left bicep and my right bicep but when I do compound pull movements each side is equal in strength. I take this to mean that my left bicep has had to compensate for the musslces in my upper back on the left, althogh, there’s no difference in the size of my arms.

Hoping for any thoughts here…