As I’ve detailed plenty of times before I had shoulder surgery three years ago to repair a torn rotator cuff and labrum. I’ve also torn my trap on that same side in the past, so the shoulder is pretty jacked up.
Because of this I spent the majority of the last three years doing tons of pushup variations on the floor, the Jungle Gym XT, medicine balls, etc. Any time I tried to press dumbbells or a bar the pain was just too much to deal with and I had become very gun shy.
I’ve been able to press overhead since about six months after the operation but I haven’t been able to lay down and press a bar or dumbbells without pain since.
After blasting the hell out of every pushup variation known to man for the last 36 months I was able to finally lay down and press a bar pain free for the first time since 2006. The only press I could do was a Swiss bar incline press and I had to stop the bar about two inches off my chest… but boy did it feel good for a meathead like me to press some weight again.
I started with 135 the first day and worked my way up to 225 x 9 (I was hoping for 10 and thought I did it but the video shows otherwise) in eight weeks. This is not record breaking or even that impressive. But it was a big accomplishment for me since I haven’t touched that kinda weight in years and I was pretty psyched about it.
I alternated the Swiss Bar incline press with chest supported rows, as seen below. On most row exercises I like to hold the weight at the top with a good shoulder blade retraction for a second. This ensures that the weight isn’t too heavy and potentially injurious to my shoulder. If you have any type of shoulder issues heaving heavy rows probably isn’t the best idea in the world. Although, having said that, I will still rock a high rep cheat dumbbell row with anywhere between 130 and 170 pound dumbbells from time to time. I am a meathead at heart after all…
After Swiss bar inclines and rows I hit some Vince Gironda chest dips and chin ups.
Next up was a super set of dumbbell front raises into cheat lateral raises.
Yes, I did lateral raises. I hadn’t done them in probably five years and just felt like it.
I alternated this with band pull aparts.
Finally, as a little finisher challenge, I decided to see how many reps I could blast out with 135 on an overhead log press after doing all that other stuff and being pretty fatigued. Someone else in the gym was using it and it was sitting there set at 135 so I decided to grab it and give it whirl. In all honesty, if I had to load it myself I probably wouldn’t have it.
I managed 24 partial range cheat reps.
Bodyweight in the videos was 205, but that was after eight weeks of very little sleep and food with stress levels through the roof. Things are a bit more normal now and I’m currently sitting at about 212 and climbing back up.
So for those who’ve asked, my training is going pretty well. How about yours? Let me know what you’re up, how it’s going and if I can help.
PS. Today is the last day to pick up Vince Gironda: Legend and Myth at 50% the normal price. Definitely worth the read for some cool exercise variations and mindset stuff.