Help for shoulder injury

Just a little background - I injured my left anterior delt incline benching 95s db’s about 2 years ago. Since then, I lifted around it, doing shrugs, some light flyes, light presses but almost no chest work, just very light. Well, about about 2 months ago, my shoulder felt very good. So, I began benching hard (for me…a 53 yr old, 200 lbs) and worked up to a max of 285 and working sets of usually 225X 6-7 reps. Occasionally, I would use very fast concentrics at a light weight, usually 155. Anyway, now, my shoulder feels very sore, I cannot do 1 pushup. Of course, I’m extraordinarily frustrated but must both 1-see a doc (duh) and 2- rest. I think what it may be is going all the way down to my upper abs/lower chest with the bar; I always thought a guy was a pussy stopping the bar 2" above his chest (of course the typical glove-wearing, cell-phone toting guy with 135 on the bar) but now, if I’m not careful, I’m that sorry guy too! Please God, not me…any help would be appreciated; this forum, which I recently discovered, is extremely helpful.

A note on benching…depth, bar placement in relation to the horizontal plane, and elbow/arm location are major factors…see the the doc for a MRI and then we can help…or the support is nothing more than guess work.

I’ll let you know the diagnosis soon. Also, I take a vareity of supps and see that you’re working on some cutting-edge supps. I’d be interested in their rationale, availability and how to effectively use. Thanks, CASeal


I screwed up my left shoulder about 3 years back, couldn’t shake the pain. Went to see my sports doc and the first thing he did was shoot up my shoulder with steroids, because this treatment had been used successfully when i’d screwed up my elbow about 5 years back (back then he started out with anti-inflammatory meds that didn’t help, but the steroid shot was like a magic trick…2 days later no more pain!!). But with the shoulder the steroid shot did not work. X-rays showed my left AC-joint (part of the shoulder joint) had calicified over the years (i’m 45) from boxing. The right joint had a nice normal gap in the joint, but the left side had no space. So he went in and cut out a half inch of my joint to give it space. Believe it or not it was day surgery. He said give it 6 months to heal and i’d be back to normal and damned if he wasn’t spot on. It was hard leaving it alone for 6-months but i’m now back and I can hit the heavy bag and spar etc. with no pain at all. Make sure your doc checks your AC-joint.

Also, just my opinion, but bench pressing is a young (and stupid) man’s exercise, unless you make your living as an offensive lineman, it’s an ego thing, “how much can you bench?” Take a look a look at middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins, he’s 6 months from turning 40, has almost no chest at all and is kicking a whole lot of ass.


Need more info to make a lot of suggestions- BUT- it’s safe to suggest that you shouldn’t use fast reps. Everything must be controlled from here on.

Good point all…the supplentation should support the threapy and surgery…get the details of a MRI or similar method. Cutting edge? It may have to be the Doc that does the cutting!

OK, thanks. Well, that cuts out (no pun intended) any attempt at a ‘Seniors’ bench event. I may switch gears entirely and try some 200M and 400M events…I just really enjoy lifting but the bench isn’t all that critical in sports anyway. Thanks for the counsel.

Forgot to place in original reply - I use fast concentrics because I bought the Archuleta DVD for my kid; watched it and of course went from oh, 135 to 225 for reps in 5 or 6 weeks using explosive concentric benches with elbows in. Very enjoyable to do. And of course now, can’t bench at all. This joint fragility when over 50 is driving me nuts. Anyway, thanks Charlie…your forum is very insightful.

Explain what you mean about explosive concentrics. Also ever try prolo therapy?

Explosive concentrics would mean that I benched the 155 lbs at a few 1/10s of a sec. Actually, I got 225 (at least the first few reps of the set) in a sec. or so.
Prolo therapy - not exactly but I’ve heard of it. Injecting something (not a drug but some nutritional item that I can’t now recall) into the joint.

The injection is a fish oil mixed with zinc. I have had two surgeries on my shoulder than I got the prolo therapy and it helped.

Time is the most important thing. Stop irritating it. I still get twinges every now and then because the ligaments have never healed up in my AC joint. But it is never painful during any exercise. I’m thinking of eventually getting Prolo done on it, but the pain just isn’t there right now.

Where is your pain in relation to your shoulder anatomy? Give an example of typical upper body weight training prior to injury. How is your posture?

Pain is receding somewhat so it may be a muscle strain resulting from either real fast “westside-style” reps and/or taking the bar down to my lower chest.
Posture is pretty good; I make sure I do core exercise. Briefly, I try to equalize my back work with the chest/shoulder work so I do chin-ups, rows, some DLs (not heavy-225) and rear-delt flyes.

I have known many athletes who (due to shoulder pain) have given up straight bar benching, but find that db benching is fine. Of course, get your shoulder checked out and healed up first.

This seems to be related to hand position. Dumbbells held parallel to each other worked well when I was unable to bench. Same way with the overhead work…using dbs or a log enabled me to work around the sore shoulder.