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Thread: pec tear question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    10

    Default pec tear question

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    I'm fairly certain that I experienced a pec tear yesterday (Friday, 3/20/20) while benching. I have reviewed the forums pretty thoroughly regarding pec tears and the Starr Protocol (and have at least skimmed the forums almost daily for around 4 or 5 years). However, I thought I would use this great resource and ask two questions.

    First, I'd like to ask you all if this does in fact sound like a pec tear: I was on my second set of three, first rep. At some point during the ascent, I heard and felt a tear in the upper right part of my right pec. I didn't experience a lot of pain in the moment (in fact the main thing I experienced was frustration because it sounded bad and I figured this would set me back). I was able to finish the rep, really without much additional difficulty. There was some pain for a few hours immediately after it happened. I iced it twice and had two doses of 800mg ibuprofen between the time it happened, around 3pm, and going to bed. It didn't interfere with sleep. Today, there is just a little bit of pain when I contract my pec. Generally, I can move my arm pretty well, thought pain starts when my arm enters a position that causes the pec to stretch. What is most interesting to me is that there is no discoloration in the area whatsoever. I have never experienced any sort of tear in the past, but have always been under the impression that they are associated with discoloration - and given how horrific it sounded when it happened, I assumed I would see bruising. The lack of bruising is probably the main factor that prompted me to come to the forums to get some assurance this is in fact a pec tear.

    Second, if this is a tear, when would it be good to start the Starr Protocol. I seem to recall that generally speaking its good to start the protocol as soon as possible. Three or four days after the injury stands out, too. Yesterday (Friday), I was thinking I would start this Monday or Tuesday. However, based on how it feels today, I was thinking of starting Sunday (tomorrow). I bought a 15 pound bar for my wife a few years ago and plan on starting with that.

    Here is some other info you may be interested in:
    47 years old
    SS since 2015, with a few setbacks prior to seeing a coach in 2016, and then because of some health issues after that.
    6'7", 275lbs.
    Bench has messed with me for decades, and until recently I was just thinking of it as an assistance exercise for the press. Recently, I started approaching it less conservatively, which apparently was a mistake. In the future I will impose even greater restrictions on it, and stick to them.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    Hey altercon,

    This sounds like a grade 1 pec tear. I would start with 15 reps on the protocol and bench every 48 hours. Go from 15s to 12s to 10s to 8s to 5s. Do 2-3 sessions at each rep range. Start tomorrow. I would also keep doing lighter squats, deadlifts, and presses during this time at 80-90% of what you were doing before the tweak. If one of the exercises seems to piss off your pec, alter it slightly while you are building your load tolerance in your pec back to what it was.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Nick, thanks so much. I really appreciate this. And, thanks for the extra tips about continuing with the other lifts. I was wondering about that, too. Before I saw your response yesterday, I started with 3 sets of 25 on the bench. This morning I started the progression you described above. I'll do exactly that from here on out. Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    You're welcome Randall! Think of what I wrote as a guideline not an exact prescription. "Listen" to your pec tear and don't push it on a day when as your warming up you are getting signals something's not right. Once you build your load tolerance back up there will be plenty of time to push it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks for the follow up. Yes, for sure - point taken. Also, I think I'll post my progress/experience in the future. I appreciate not only your feedback but everything I've learned from the forums and coaches over the years. Maybe somebody can learn from this. Thanks!

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