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Thread: Recurring pec strain…

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2023

    Default Recurring pec strain…

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    Hi !

    Currently facing a pec strain (very minor, grade 1) which reappears at the same place (next to the pec tendon, in the armit area). I am 29.

    First injury ten years ago. One month of total rest. At that time I did what my doctor told me.

    Then a period of no workout during 8 years. I started over 6 months ago and a pec strain appears after 3 months during bench press. A week of rest and two weeks of physiotherapist while continuing training other muscles and all was ok.

    But last week, a new pec strain, at the same place… i am starting to get a bit depressed.

    It’s still very minor. No pain when touched, just with contraction or extreme stretching.

    Is it because of and old scar from 10 years ago ?! Will I always get hurt ?

    I started the Starr rehab protocol today. But not sure it fixes an old scar… and I continue exercises that don’t require pecs.

    Any advices ? Many thanks !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    One month of total rest allowed a scar to form in the muscle belly, and 8 years of sitting on your ass allowed it to mature. It will always be a problem. Stretching it is further stupidity -- you cannot stretch a scar, but you can tear the tissue adjacent to it, and that makes the scar bigger. The Starr protocol is designed to prevent scarring, not treat it. If the pain bothers you, become a Press Specialist.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2023


    Many thanks for you response.

    I was an idiot, and I just want to continue training my pec without risks of injuries now.

    So is starting the Starr protocol now a bad idea for my new pec stain ? Or the fact there is probably a preexistant scar in this zone is a problem ?

    I don’t have pain when I do bench press or other exercises. No alert signs before my recent injury, i ve had very good sensations.

    Other precision : I made two ultrasounds yo monitor my injury last weeks and no sign of scar but no idea if it’s obvious on ultrasound.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2021


    The Starr protocol starts immediately for a fresh injury, to prevent scarring. Either you have an 8-yr old scar or you don't. (It's worth asking whether a scar would necessarily show up on the ultrasound...) Either way, it doesn't apply to your situation, so it isn't indicated. It is not a rehab protocol for an old injury.

    How do you know that what you experienced 8 years ago, and what you're experiencing now is a pec strain (i.e. a muscle belly injury) and not, say, a tendon problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkowens View Post
    I don’t have pain when I do bench press or other exercises.
    I'm confused here - did you mean you don't have pain when you do the press, not bench press? I thought you were specifically experiencing a recurrence of bench press-related pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkowens View Post
    I just want to continue training my pec without risks of injuries now.
    Being a press specialist will still get some stimulation to the pecs, especially with a good layback, just not at the same angles or to the same degree as the bench. And a press specialist generally has a small amount of benching - press specialist, not press exclusivist.

    What is the reason you want to train your pec(s) specifically?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    La Jolla California


    2.5 years ago I sustained a minor but legitimate left pec tear in the muscle belly. It took a few days but eventually my pec began to show the tell-tale bloody bruising.

    The Starr protocol WORKS. It may be too late for you, but as you at the relatively young age of 29 keep lifting, it will happen again. When it does, only wait one or two days for the pain to start "blurring" then start over again with the bar. Keep up with all your other lfist as best you can, but do the bench press protocol, as ordered

    Now this is not SS approved protocol, but now, every day before I bench, I do a lot (like 100 total reps) of dumbell benches and stretching with very light dumbells - 15 pounds. The day before. Its the last thing I do before I leave the gym and go home. My goal is to get a little pump and glycogen depletion so that when I go home and eat a (reasonably low) carbohydrate dinner about one hour later, the pecs are glycogen depleted and insulin sensitive and therefore able to taking up plenty of sodium, glycogen, proteins and other nutrients. That way, when I bench the next day, my pecs are "fully loaded" and hopefully less likely to tear again.

    No guarantees for you, but I just benched 325 for a clean triple. I'm age 53.

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