The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    Benching really kills my right shoulder

    Short of it is I really messed it up last November doing wide-grip pull ups. It ached for weeks and I avoided directly working it until it felt better.

    Flat BB benching still causes that shoulder to tense up and burn fiercely. It fades pretty quickly afterwards but I don't like how badly it hurts until it does... fatigue is fine, sharp stabbing pain usually means something is wrong - don't do that.

    Dumbells are ok. It doesn't throb nearly as badly but I've lost 30 pounds off my barbell bench by neglecting it and don't like that.

    If I go to two inches above my chest, I'm fine. I suppose if I made my pecs two inches thicker things would work better.

    So, what's a good way to work my chest without frying my shoulder (probably the cuff?). I get a little twinge in it back squatting as well, actually, but nothing serious. I do cuban presses in an attempt to rehab/prehab but it hasn't helped much yet.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

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  3. #2
    lifting heavy
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    have you tried adjusting your grip?

  4. #3
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    Are you gripping wide? Pull your grip in and learn to bench narrower. It'll prevent further shoulder injury. Consider seeing a physiotherapist and get them to check out what may be wrong. There might be some damage that could be repaired.

  5. #4
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm gripping wide. Really wide. Ring fingers on the rings and I'm only 5'4 wide. I can close it up easily enough but I didn't think that hit the chest as hard?

    Physio is one of those things that's on the list if I ever have time for it. Whole lot of structural problems going on with me thanks to compensating for duanes so I've got a whole world of aches most other people don't get lifting.
    Last edited by ShockBoxer; 11-12-2006 at 12:14 PM.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

  6. #5
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    Wide bench can destroy the shoulders, especially if you bring it to the chest. Close your grip in and start learning to do them narrower. I usually have my pinkies 2 or 3 inches inside the rings.

    If you want to hit the chest better there are all sorts of exercises that can do that. If you want to permanently wreck your shoulder keep doing them wide.

    The big boys recommend benching closer in, to better use the triceps and lats. Perhaps wolfie will drop in and add some comments.

  7. #6
    rampage don't squat bloodninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShockBoxer
    Yes, I'm gripping wide. Really wide. Ring fingers on the rings and I'm only 5'4 wide.
    That's way too wide. I'm 5'6 with a 70" reach and the widest I can go comfortably is pinkies an inch in from the rings. With middle fingers on the rings, my max drops at least 50lbs.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Most of these have been mentioned but....

    1. Bring your grip in
    2. Learn to bring the bar much lower down (just below your chest)
    3. Make sure your shoulders are nailed to the bench throughout the entire movement.
    4. Warm up your cuffs and shoulders before doing any benching.
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
    Meet PRs: Bench Only 525

    Deadlifts bring people together. It's a fact. - Chris Rodgers

  9. #8
    Wannabebig New Member
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    sounds like you strained your lat or subscap. Both will refer pain to the back of the shoulder if that's where you are feeling it. The reason you don't feel it when you go 2" off the chest is the lats probably arnt firing unless you are on the chest. You should either see an ART specialist or learn how to fix yourself: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=475832

  10. #9
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    Hmm. Interesting article as usual.

    Interesting point as to 'nailed to the bench'. My shoulders are not in contact with the bench during the unrack and rerack... the middle j-hooks are a little high for that. However, narrowing my grip will change my arm length so they shouldn't be any longer.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

  11. #10
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    Tried it out.

    Took my grip in to pinkies about an inch inside the rings and benched to my upper abs. The weight stayed pitifully low but there wasn't even a twinge in my shoulder. A random guy decided to offer to spot me (on 135 ) and said I could get a lot more if I benched higher on my chest... I had the size and shoulders. I know I can but what's the good if I tear something up so bad I can never bench again?

    I'll get my ass back to 175 ASAP. 200 is farther away than it was this time last year.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

  12. #11
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    Upper Abs? That seems a bit low. I tend to press to my sternum, below my zyphoid. I am not at my abs at that area yet though.

  13. #12
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    That's about an inch higher than I was aiming. I'm sure I wasn't in a perfect machine-precise groove so I'm guessing I hit that upper sternum point at some point or another. An inch can make a huge difference so I'm sure I'll play with the target area a bit.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

  14. #13
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Rest, ice, and later mobility drills and strengthening exercises.

    Time is what you'll have to give it, but you can probably work around it w. close-grip work (as others have mentioned), and board presses.

    There are probably technical issues (like set-up) that you need to address. Make sure that your upper back is tight while benching. Imagine that you are trying to bend the bar in front of you and push your shoulders towards your feet - this should help you keep your upper back and lats tight.

    If Wolfy ever shows up, I'd really like to hear what kind of advice he might give... You might PM him w. a link to the thread and ask for help.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  15. #14
    Wannabebig Member
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    Stop bitching about the pain. Powerlifting is gonna hurt. Start hitting more front d-bell raises it will create a "pillow" in that area. Than again, I could be completely wrong. I tend to lift through the pain and deal with it later.

  16. #15
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    You are completely wrong, and if you lift through the wrong type of pain dealing with it later will take months or years where preventing it in the first place only takes minutes.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

  17. #16
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MolonLabe
    Stop bitching about the pain. Powerlifting is gonna hurt. Start hitting more front d-bell raises it will create a "pillow" in that area. Than again, I could be completely wrong. I tend to lift through the pain and deal with it later.
    You have no idea of the extent or nature of his injury. Pretty crappy advice.

  18. #17
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    What's the difference between your bb and db bench? Hand placement. While I don't think you should be using a super wide grip anyway, it wouldn't hurt to find out why the wide grip is causing problems. Sensei's advice is spot on.

    You could also consider dropping bench from your routine. I know that sounds like blasphemy, but it's certainly not required.
    Facebook - BW166 SQ585 BP405 DL660 CL310

  19. #18
    Senior Member FREAKZILLA's Avatar
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    I dropped bench for this same exact reason. I db Press instead and there is absolutly no pain! just good pump and stretch in the pecs.

    Like Anthony said, some will say dropping BB bench is blasphemy, but you have to do what works for you and you alone.
    Your run of the mill prototipical endomorph.
    Strong to the finish, cause I eats me spinach!

  20. #19
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    I practically had dropped barbell. DB was more comfortable and I figured that if I could work up to a 100 in each hand I'd be just as content as pressing 200 on the bar.

    Wide grip anything (besides rows) kills me on my right side. COuld be because there's a stuctural imbalance... at full extension my right arm is a half inch longer than my left because of the way my shoulders are attached to my twisted spine. That affects my squats as well and my deads a very slight amount (left arm lockout is higher so the bar tries to rotate)... but it's the pushes it really hits: overhead work of all kinds and benching.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

  21. #20
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MolonLabe
    Stop bitching about the pain. Powerlifting is gonna hurt. Start hitting more front d-bell raises it will create a "pillow" in that area. Than again, I could be completely wrong. I tend to lift through the pain and deal with it later.
    troll
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
    Meet PRs: Bench Only 525

    Deadlifts bring people together. It's a fact. - Chris Rodgers

  22. #21
    Banned
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    try a loose bench shirt.
    after a bunch of shoulder injuries, i bench with a inzer blast, big enough to put on and take off my self, but tight enough it offers my shoulders support, i havent had a bench shoulder injury since.

    but give your shoulders a few weeks rest then start working it slowly with moderate weight to help rehabilitate it, if you dont work it, it will never heal.

  23. #22
    Never strong enough!
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    I went thru the same thing recently. I just worked thru it and it did get better. I did not do any flat bench. I did only decline BP and some light dumb bell work for chest as well as machines. Core ball DB's are also great. The declines have really helped increase my bench. I'm on the verge of 300.

  24. #23
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    I talked to the physio guys next door to the gym. They asked why my body wasn't aligned with my head (Duanes syndrome), looked at my overall alignment when standing at rest, and said protracted shoulder girdle (big time). Showed me a stretch to do (upper and lower back against the wall and raise arms as high as possible without pain. I tried and could barely TOUCH the wall without pain).

    Guy was friendly and told me to do VERY light front lateral raises, the wall stretch, another stretch (straight arm at shoulder height, turn away), and incline shoulder raises. Also, due to my structural problems overall, I should limit my range of motion when benching so that my elbows do NOT go behind my shoulders. In the future I could work on increasing that range of motion but he doubted I'd ever be able to touch my chest without doing damage... unless I grew my chest out so that I didn't need to drop my elbows below shoulders to do it.

    Planning a routine and going in a few times a week to do these exercises under supervision would cost money (physio and all) but I think I can take it from here.
    Last edited by ShockBoxer; 12-02-2006 at 08:04 AM.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

  25. #24
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    Best of luck!

    You could try PM'ing Ruffian. She seems very knowledgeable about recovery and physio too. Maybe she could give you some pointers.

  26. #25
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    This is the wall stretch

    http://exrx.net/Stretches/PectoralisMinor/Wall.html

    ... can anyone here do it to the full range of motion? I tried today and, just like when I saw the physiotherapist for my free evaluation, I could BARELY touch my elbows to the wall. I could NOT move them even an inch upward.

    David: The number one rule about physio is don't be a dumbass. It's the hardest one for me to follow but once I have it down I should be ok.
    Last edited by ShockBoxer; 12-02-2006 at 09:35 AM.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

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