T Nation

When is it Ok to Miss a Workout?

When I was benching on monday, all of a sudden I felt something like a “slipping” feeling in my deltoid resulting in missing the lift. It was pretty painful at the time, so I finished the workout with lighter weights. I’m supposed to have my back day today, but my shoulder is pretty painful (icing it twice a day) and I was wondering if I should put off lifting until it feels ok again, or go at it with much lighter weight?

I have a history of trouble with the same shoulder so I don’t want to injure myself, but at the same time I’m making good progress and would hate to watch that go out the window due to not being able to lift properly.

Get the injury sorted first, so that you avoid never being able to lift properly. If you must train, do exercises that don’t aggravate the injury.

If you hurt yourself youll miss alot more workouts than skipping a few days.

But you also have to draw the line between being a pansie, and having a legit injury.

This sounds bad. Personally, I would lay off any pressing movements for a week or so, if you can. Keep icing it. Also use an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen or naproxen (Motrin, Advil, Aleve… not acetaminophen [Tylenol, Excedrin]).

In the off time, do some research into proper form, especially regarding shoulder injuries. You may be doing something that’s aggravating the issue, and there may be some form cues that you can use.

If you’re genuinely still having issues after a week, I’d talk to a doctor.

A suggestion from Iron Dwarf (to me, in a thread regarding shoulder issues with overhead pressing) is to drop the weight and just do high reps working on a pump, in the meanwhile. I haven’t tried that yet.

Thanks for the advice guys. My shoulder is feeling better after having 2 days of rest, so hopefully its just my body’s way of telling me to pay more attention. But since this is the second time I’ve gotten issues with this shoulder on a flat bench, I’m thinking that I may switch flat bench pressing for a slight incline, and tuck my elbows when I bench as opposed to having them at a 90 degree angle.

I actually have had both shoulders surgically repaired due to continuous punishment from BJJ so I’ve always had to be extra careful lifting.

Things that help me: Switching to DB’s instead of Flat Bench (think you mentioned that above already), doing lots of rotator cuff work after lifting chest and/or shoulders, completely stopped doing decline bench (use crossover now for same movement), and lots of volume with good form and many different angles when doing shoulders.

Those 3 things helped me and while I had terrible shoulder pains all through high school and college, I haven’t felt much more than pain from a pump since implementing these.

[quote]lbraga wrote:
I actually have had both shoulders surgically repaired due to continuous punishment from BJJ so I’ve always had to be extra careful lifting.

Things that help me: Switching to DB’s instead of Flat Bench (think you mentioned that above already), doing lots of rotator cuff work after lifting chest and/or shoulders, completely stopped doing decline bench (use crossover now for same movement), and lots of volume with good form and many different angles when doing shoulders.

Those 3 things helped me and while I had terrible shoulder pains all through high school and college, I haven’t felt much more than pain from a pump since implementing these.[/quote]

What kind of rotator cuff work?

[quote]Scelerat wrote:
I have a history of trouble with the same shoulder so I don’t want to injure myself, but at the same time I’m making good progress and would hate to watch that go out the window due to not being able to lift properly.[/quote]
This is definitely something you should make a priority, since chronic issues, especially in a critical joint like the shoulder, can snowball into huge problems down the road.

Definitely tuck the elbows when you barbell bench. That alone is a big shoulder saver.

Some other training tweaks you might want to check out…

A great three-part Shoulder Savers series (links to the other two are already in there):

Hidden Shoulder Killers talks, among other things, about some alternatives to the bench:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Scelerat wrote:
I have a history of trouble with the same shoulder so I don’t want to injure myself, but at the same time I’m making good progress and would hate to watch that go out the window due to not being able to lift properly.[/quote]
This is definitely something you should make a priority, since chronic issues, especially in a critical joint like the shoulder, can snowball into huge problems down the road.
[/quote]

I’ve been trying to go easy on it, but my pride gets the best of me due to having an utterly shit bench compared to my dead and squat so I tend to push more when benching. It feels like its my anterior delt that got the worst of it, so at least its not a rotator cuff issue.

Thanks for the links Chris. I noticed that I’m guilty of having a very wide-low grip when squatting and bad lat raise form. So, I’ll have to work on that on (hopefully) friday.