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Weight Lifting Injury Questions
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Lee Hayward In a bodybuilding world where intense marketing hype and exaggeration have become the norm, Lee Hayward has stuck to his guns and provides a truthful and honest approach to building muscle and gaining strength.

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On this digitally recorded 3 disc set you’ll learn the best methods for developing each bodypart. Including special strength building exercises that will make your workouts more productive and maximize muscle stimulation.

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I wanted to ask about the best way to recover from injuries. I have one in particular that has been a recurring problem for me. About 5 months ago, I was working out my biceps doing some inside grip preacher curls on the curl bar, and something pulled in my left forearm right next to my bone. I thought it was something minor, because it started out as a light pain. I stopped working out that day and tried again 3days later, but the pain never subsided. I went to the medical facility we have here(I'm serving in Iraq at the moment), and they informed me that I appeared to have pulled a tendon or a ligament or something to that effect, and it may take up to 2 months to heal. I took their advice but instead of waiting 2 months, I waited an extra month just to make sure. I have since started working out again 26 days ago, but have noticed I cannot workout with the same intensity as before. I still feel a tinge of pain on every arm day, which is causing me to have to do lighter workouts than I plan. Also, I do not do preacher curls anymore, because when I do, it feels as if the injury is going to get worse. I guess my question would be to ask if you have come across this injury yourself, and if so, what would be the best avenue of approach to get my left arm back to 100%? Its a blow to my will power to continue lifting to get the physique I have dreamed of having for years, when I cannot perform in the gym the way I need to on a consistent basis. So to recap, I have a recurring left forearm injury adjacent to the bone, along the outside portion on my forearm. I need some advice here Lee. Thanks for your time and attention.

Sam Scott


Hi Sam,

Injuries suck and they are just a part of the iron game. Back in January of this year I suffered a muscle tear under my arm pit in the teres major, it is still not 100% but I can train around the injury you can see some pics of the tear, etc. at: http://cybermessageboard.hypermart.net/totalfitness/viewtopic.php?t=5647

Bottom line, when you are injured you just have to train extra careful, warm up properly, and be more conservative with your training. You just can't push it 100% all the time.

Experiment with different arm exercises and find ones that you can perform without much pain or discomfort. Generally I find machines and cable exercises tend to be easier on the joints and tendons and are good alternatives when working around injuries.



I just purchased the Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle e-book and it's great information. I can't wait to get started on it. But, unofortunately, I fractured my radial bone in my forearm up near the elbow 3 weeks ago. I was wondering if you know of anyone else who has had to come back from this type of injury and how long I need to wait before getting back into lifting?

I need to know about how long before I can start lifting anything at all and also how long you would estimate before I can start training with the intensity needed to "Burn the Fat".

Right now it's real sore and the bone is definitely not healed yet. I am getting my range of motion back but I'm a little nervous to go back and hurt it more. By the way, the injury was the result of basketball and not weightlifting.

Thanks for any input you can provide me with.

Dan Whiteleather


Hi Dan,

Sorry to hear about your injury. I know how frustrating it can be. My girlfriend Patricia broke her wrist over a year ago while training in Brazilian ju-jitsu.

She was in a cast for about 2 months. During this time her workouts consisted of lots of cardio and leg exercises such as leg extensions, leg curls, inner / outer thigh, calf raises, weight stack leg press machine, ab work, etc. Then it was about a month after that before she could resume lifting free weights again.


Hi Lee,

I started weight training again the other day after falling out of the routine for about 6-8 months due to collage, I just did a small bit of training to get started into the routine, I just do my arms, chest and triceps mainly to keep some bit fit and strong. When I started again recently I seem to have hurt my arms. I have a soreness in both arms and it goes a little onto my chest. I have not being able to train since. I’m worried that I may have done some damage but this has happened to me once or twice before.

Any advice?



Hi Eugene,

When people start working out, either for the first time, or coming back after a long layoff, they always go through that initial beginners phase where the muscles get really sore after working out. There is nothing wrong, you just have to take it easy, lift light, and build up gradually. But most importantly you need to be consistent and keep working out on a regular basis.

I have a good beginners workout program and eating plan that you should check out. A basic program like this would be good to follow to help you get back into the swing of things with your workouts and proper eating.



I have been training over 10 years but never been more motivated except last year, I was 105 kg and because of the help of aerbics I lost 20 kg over 3 months. I have one concern and a question. I broke my leg last October playing football and took a break for 2 months, i gained about 10 kg, i was disapointed cuz my muscles started to define i'm really afraid that i will lose that :( yesterday i was back to training but all my muscles seemed streched... I really don't know what to do.



Hi Jamal,

You'll return to your previous best a lot faster now with regular training then it took you to get in shape to begin with. This has to do with muscle memory. It is a lot easier for the body to regain muscle then it is to gain it in the first place. Within a couple months of regular workouts you should be back to your previous level of conditioning or even be better then before.



I'm 42 years old... I just home from the gym in much pain, while bench pressing I felt as though three rubber bands popped in my right pec, one at a time quickly. It made me sick to my stomach. I can not without great pain lift my arm.

Can you give me your insight on this?



Hi James,

You may have torn your pec, this is a common injury with heavy bench pressing. I'd suggest that you get it checked out by your doctor. If it is not too serious it may heal on its own, but if it is a major tear then the muscle may need to be surgically re-attached to the tendons.

In the mean time the best thing you can do take a break from working out. Rest and ice your chest (I like to use a bag of frozen veggies for this) 10 minutes on and then 10 minutes off several times each day and also take some ibuprofen to numb the pain and reduce any swelling.


Hi Lee

I started weight training about three months ago. I have been making slow but steady progress and your site has been a great help. My problem is that I started feeling a grinding sensation in my left knee. The doc says that it is is cartelige damage & that I should 1) lose some Body Fat ( I am technicly Obese 35% body Fat) 2) Do some excercises to strengthen the muscles around the joint. I have been spending about 30 minutes a Day doing either the eliptical or stationary Bike as the doctor sugested. Now my question is what excercises can I do to strengthen the muscles without agravating the injury. I would prefer to sort this out without having to go for the Suggested operation.

Leon Stevens


Hi Leon,

I personally find high rep leg extensions very therapeutic on the knees. I have some knee problems myself and I always start my leg workouts with 100 total reps of leg extensions. For example, I'll set the weight on the machine at about 50 lbs. and do a set for as many reps as I can do, rest for 10-15 seconds and then do another set of as many reps as I can do, rest for 10-15 seconds, etc. and continue until I have completed 100 total reps. After this I'll go about my regular leg workout and do bigger exercises like squats, leg presses, etc.

I'd also suggest that you supplement your diet with Glucosamine. Numerous double blind studies have shown that Glucosamine produces better results in the treatment of joint pain than traditional drug therapy. The main function of glucosamine is to stimulate the manufacture of substances necessary for joint repair. Glucosamine is a well tolerated, natural treatment. For the past few years I have been supplementing with a Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM supplement and I find that it works great! I highly recommend it for anyone who suffers from joint pain.


Hi Lee,

I'm 54 years old and I've had 3 orthoscopic surgeries on my knees, and have been told that the next step is total knee replacement. I am currently checking to see if I am a candidate for a new procedure called an orthoglide. This would postpone knee replacement for awhile.

I have said all of that to ask this.... my knees are not good, and I am limited in what I can do for cardio. Do you have any suggestions on what I might do for some cardio. I can do some straight leg dead lifting from the rack, sumo style, but I can't use extreme weight.

I am interested in what you have to share.
Thank you !!!

Mark Seckel


Hi Mark,

For cardio you should choose activities that are low / zero impact. Some good choices are the elliptical machine, recumbent exercise bike, and the rower. These machines allow for a good cardiovascular workout and should not cause any knee problems. You should also switch up your cardio machines to prevent repetitive strain on the knees. For example, if you wanted to do a 30 minute cardio workout, instead of doing 30 minutes on a single machine, do 10 minutes on 3 different machines.

Another thing, you should wear a pair of track pants when doing your cardio to help keep your knees warm. You can also try wearing elastic knee sleeves. You should be able to get these at most drug stores or sporting goods stores. These will help provide some support and also keep the knee joints warm during your workouts.


My 17 year son was benching his max, and heard/felt a pop in the back of his neck. This happened approximately 4 weeks ago. Since then he says he still hears this "pop" every so often. He has not complained about blurred vision, nauseasness, or dizziness, so I'm not sure what this could be. Do you have any suggestions, or possibilities?



Hi Cindy,

Sometimes we can get a "pop" in the tendons and ligaments throughout the neck, etc. similar to how some people can "crack" the knuckles of their fingers. It is usually no big deal. But if this persists you should get your son checked by your doctor just to make sure everything is ok.

When your son is working out make sure that he warms up properly before attempting heavy weights. A good warm up will improve blood flow and cause the body to release a natural joint lubrication called "synovial fluid" this reduces friction between the cartilage and other tissues in joints to lubricate and cushion them during movement.

This is how personally warm up prior to lifting weight and how I'd recommend your son warm up as well.

5 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to get the body warmed up. This can include jogging, jumping jacks, jump rope, or using a cardio machines such as the exercise bike, treadmill, etc.

Do some easy bodyweight exercises such as arm circles forwards and backwards, push ups, and bodyweight squats.

Then before each exercise I'll do several warm up sets before each exercise. So for the bench press I'll do a set of 10-15 reps with the empty bar first and then go up by small increments until I get to my top working weight.

So for example, let's say your son will work up to bench pressing 150 lbs.

1st set - empty bar for 10-15 reps (this is approx. 45 lbs. for an Olympic Barbell)
2nd set - 75 lbs for 5-10 reps
3rd set - 105 lbs. for 5 reps
4th set - 135 lbs. for 5 reps
5th set - 150 lbs. for the desired number of sets and reps.

(Note: his workout weights may be more or less then these numbers, I'm just using this as an example of how to start off light and gradually work up to lifting heavier weights).


Hi Lee,

I was wondering if you could help me out. I did your bench program (which was excellent). This time, i am doing another bench program, and i developed deep soreness in the tendons, that run below the armpit, where the pecs attach. Am i doing something wrong? I have a fair amount of experience in the gym, and i am trying to get up to a 350 lb bench, but every time i push it, this pain occurs. It doesnt limit me day to day, just in the lifting. I stretch regularly, do everything i should, i kind of have this fear of a pec or tendon tear. Is it unfounded?

Thanks for your help and time,



Hi Chad,

One of the problems with the bench press is that it is the “ego” exercise and most guys train it too heavy and too often. “How much can you bench?” has been asked more times then anyone can count. And a lot of guys judge their entire training progress by their 1 rep max bench press.

You can go into the gym almost any day of the week and see guys attempting a new 1 rep max in the bench press, training to failure, etc. But I rarely ever see guys going for a 1 rep max in the squat, or repping out the squat to failure. (I know I’ve been guilty of doing this in the past.)

Because of this constant effort to train the bench press heavier and heavier, pain in the delt pec tie in area and rotator cuff is quite common. I have found the best way around it is to simply lay off flat benching for a while and focus on other exercises such as the incline bench, dumbbell bench, push ups, etc. This alone will give the tendons and ligaments a chance to recover from the repetitive strain of heavy flat bench pressing. While still improving the strength of your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

You’ll notice that in the Blast Your Bench program the flat barbell bench press is cycled.
In the 2 week prep phase you do different bench press variations, but no flat benching.
In the 3 week bench press specialization phase you focus on the flat barbell bench press.
In the 3 week squat specialization phase you again different bench variations, but no flat benching.
By cycling the exercises like this you prevent the repetitive strain on the joints and tendons, but still increase your overall strength and development.

Using a closer grip for all bench press exercise variations will also help to reduce the stress on the pec / delt tie in area and place more stress on the triceps.

Hard training for the rear delts and upper back will also help because it keeps your shoulder development in balance. Very often the front delts and chest get much more training volume then the rear delts and upper back.

I have a couple good articles that you should check out that show some good exercises for the rear delts, upper back, and rotator cuff.


Hi Lee,

I severly pulled my back muscle two and a half weeks ago while doing incline dumbell presses. The weight was actually less than what I have been doing for the past four years but the injury was the result - at least in my opinion - of a bad spotter. The doctor instructed me to obstain from working out for four weeks of which I a week and a half to go. Will I lose alot of muscle during this time? I have been keeping my protein intake up, but I'm worried that I'll lose weight. I have never used any steroids and have made significant gains during the past five years. Will this help me? Any feedback would be great.



Hi Rick,

A 4 week break from training may cause you to lose a little size and strength. However, this is not a bad thing because the time off will allow your muscles, tendons, joints, and central nervous system to fully rest and recover from the rigors of weight training. When you resume training again you will find that you'll regain your strength quickly and even surpass your current level within a couple months.

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