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Old 03-05-2013, 11:02 AM   #7
Diomedes
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Saigon
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Default Re: Very slight pain and discomfort in shoulder while benching

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Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
I was in a car accident recently and went to a physical therapist. I complained that anytime I did pushups my left shoulder would feel numb, or irritate me for a day or two afterwards. He explained the same thing everyone else is mentioning. My back muscles are weaker than my chest and arm muscles, so I'm straining my neck/back by doing too much too soon. He gave me a simple routine to strengthen my back/neck first. It really helped a lot. He also mentioned that this imbalance was connected to the fact that I had bad posture while sitting (shoulders rolled forward.)
My sitting posture probably isn't great either.

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If you ask me, your mentality is all wrong. This whole idea of being embarrassed, or trying to put up as much weight as you can. Are you trying to compete for weight lifting, or body building? If not, I don't think you should be embarrassed, or worry. You're pushing yourself for all the wrong reasons. You should do what benefits you the most, not what impresses others.
I'm a very competitive person, but it's not about impressing others - it's about self respect. I want to be at the very least, better than average in every way that I consider important. It might sound egotistical as ****, but this is about my internal thought processes and I don't go around as some puffed up braggart, but in most ways, I am above average. The importance of that is not that other people think so of me - I'm not a ****y bastard going around boasting of this or that - the idea sickens me (even though it might seem like that's what I'm doing right now)- it's about having a quiet knowledge about myself. I compete against my own expectations of myself, derived from my perception or knowledge of others. I look out for studies and information about what the average guy can do, I look up information about say, entry requirements to different branches of militaries, I try and find metrics about others that set standards for me to beat.

It's not about looks either. My wife complains frequently that my shoulders are getting bigger, which she doesn't like. I want strength, and if I look better (in my eyes at least), that's cool too. And I'm aware I'm not doing everything possible to achieve that - limitations in my equipment mean there are some exercises I would like to do but don't. I am hoping over time to improve what I have available, but this isn't a big apartment we have and I think I've gotten away with things pretty well taking up living room space with my shitty little bench! Lucky to hang my heavy bag outside the apartment near the elevators.

Anyway, to bring things back on track from my rambling, I feel that I can respect myself if I can lift 1.5* my bodyweight at benchpress. I have different goals for other exercises, but that one feels right for me for benchpress. I've only been lifting since about november, after months of not being allowed to exercise at all following a very dangerous tropical virus that hit me a little over a year ago, that went to my heart (and lungs actually). Viral myocarditis, damaged heart tissue, big scary time and then forced slothfulness. But it's all been fine since I got into a good routine, and when I was doing less reps at 100 I didn't notice it either. Since pushing the 4th or 5th rep, that's when I've begun noticing this. If I rest for a few days, then just train with a lower weight, it doesn't seem to give me the slight pain and popping or crunching or whatever the hell it is.

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I suggest dropping the weight significantly for a while and focusing on building your back muscles with rows, shoulder blade squeezes, etc. Your shoulders can be built separately as well using things like military presses. If you really wanted to, you could do an experiment and do just pushups for a week. It takes 2 weeks to start losing muscle anyways, so you won't be in any danger of that. If your shoulder is still bothering you from pushups alone, your back muscles are WAY weaker than your chest muscles. You need to focus solely on back/shoulder/neck for a while and start small (maybe no weights at all).
Heh, actually I void both military presses and pushups because they seem to cause problems related to the costochondral separation I got a few years ago while doing weighted pushups. Ripped a rib off from the sternum, and so ****ing annoying, just takes forever to heal and pops off again if I start doing a lot of pushups. For some reason, benching doesn't aggravate that, so I've given up pushups entirely. Military press... I find it extremely difficult to keep form just right so that it doesn't also cause issues in my rib cage.

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I don't know what expectations exist that you're applying to yourself. Where is there a rule book that says every man should be able to lift X weight, or have X" muscles? Just be you, and lift the weights that accomplish what you need to accomplish. Muscles require a ton of food (costs money, takes time), they weigh more than fat (makes you heavy, bulky) and not everyone is attracted to them (I know more girls who don't like big muscles than girls who do). Honestly, muscles aren't by default the greatest thing in life. If you have a specific purpose for them (i.e. You're running, fighting, etc.) then build just what you need to be excellent at that activity. Otherwise you might be over-doing it. Just my two cents. It's your life.
The only real need I can define for myself physically, is a psychological need. I'm a teacher, so apart from having the ability to stand and speak at a decent volume for hours at a time, there are no physical needs there. I'm not training at boxing, muay thai, or BJJ - all of which I have in the past - partially because there aren't as many clubs here in Saigon, at least not ones that aren't designed for fancy rich expats with more money than me, willing to pay more than a Vietnamese person earns in a month to train, and located across the other side of the city where all the rest of the expats live...

Anyway, thanks for the advice. Pay day is soon, so I'm going to head back to the sports stores and see what else I can pick up, that doesn't take up too much space. I'll see if I can fit a longer bar without blocking the door, and go with a more conventional, wider grip.
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