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  1. #1
    Registered User injurypr0ne's Avatar
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    Unhappy The Pec Tear that Won't Heal... HELP!!

    14 months ago I was decline bench pressing 285 pounds (a lot for me considering I weigh only 170), and on my third repetition I felt a sharp pain in my left armpit which prevented me from pushing the bar up anymore. It was pretty painful for a couple of days, but it eventually subsided. After three weeks I began to work out lightly on it, with very little pain. I continued to push myself since I was feeling fine and I'm an animal, until I felt the exact same sharp pain while bench pressing 200 pounds. I then went to a sports doctor who told me only by examining my chest that I probably had a partial pectoral tear. He told me to continue working out very lightly and it would eventually get better. After doing this for six months, I had no progress.

    I went back to the same doctor and again after only a visual examination he told me to visit a physical therapist. After seeing the therapist twice a week for a month, I felt that it was an unnecessary expense, and quit seeing him while continuing his recommended exercises on my own for about three months. With still no progress I completely quit working out for three months. I revisited the same doctor then, this time getting an MRI (over a year after the initial injury.) He found that nothing was wrong with the MRI, and simply recommended me to continue with physical therapy...

    So 14 months after the initial injury, here I am still without a single clue about what is wrong with my body.

    I usually have no pain while performing everyday activities, however certain days it will itch and feel almost like a tearing sensation in the tendon in my armpit between my pectoral muscle and bicep. While working out upper body, not including chest, it usually feels fine. Sometimes shoulder press, rows, and pull ups slightly irritate it. Usually most of the pain comes over the next couple of days after working out rather than during. While working out chest, I only do very light weight (50 pound dumbbells is the most I have attempted since my second sharp pain) and it feels weak and slightly irritated, but for the most part I feel no pain during workouts. Over the next week or so after doing exercises though my underarm will usually be irritated, and my left pec will be significantly more sore than my right. It is not extremely painful, mostly annoying because it is an ache that won't go away, and keeps me from doing what I love. I definitely do not want to cause further damage.

    There is a small bruise that has been on the tendon ever since the incident and has not gone away. Where the tendon connects to the pec there is a small indention. My left pec also seems to have less muscle mass around this area than my right pec does. I do not have any severe bruising or extreme deformations.

    Is it possible that my doctor could have missed a partial tear in the MRI? Is it possible that my injury is not a torn muscle or tendon but something that I have not yet considered?

    I am sick and tired of watching my body decay after all the sweat I've worked up in the gym and tuna, chicken breasts and oatmeal stuffed down my throat. After working out six days a week with a perfect diet for two years, this past 14 months has been a nightmare. I have lost everything that I have worked so hard for. This injury has depressed me, and I am willing to do anything to get back. I am only 21, and I do not want this injury to keep me down for years to come. Any feedback, advice, encouragement, anything would be extremely appreciated.

    Cody
    Last edited by injurypr0ne; 02-01-2009 at 07:15 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User metalfujimi's Avatar
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    i have the same injury. i was doin 320 on decline. i did the same series of steps for recovery that you did with no result. the MRI showed nothing but a little inflammation. its been almost 6 months for me and it is about the same as you say yours is. Im really pissed too since its ****ing up my bodybuilding and i dont know whats wrong with it
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  3. #3
    Registered User Simba Sr.'s Avatar
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    I have the same problem in my right pec its been about a year too. But now I think its showing up in my left pec. Someone told me it was because when you bench you elbows stick out when ur struggling and causes whatever tendon stress. So I tried keepin my elbows in but it has the same pain!! Im'pissed because everytime im about to break my plateau of 315 this pec problem pops up and im back to repping garbage.
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  4. #4
    Registered User metalfujimi's Avatar
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    yea i dont know whats up. im currently taking time off from all lifting to see if that will totally heal it. i hope so
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  5. #5
    Registered User strongman72's Avatar
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    i believe i have the same problem.i've had this since my sophmore year in highschool. it first happened during bench press. it then went away and i was fine during my junior year and i competed in power lifting and it never bothered me. but the summer before my senior season it happened again and has yet to go away.Its been about 2 years and its hasnt gone away.the school athletic trainer said it was just a bicep head that was strained. it has yet to go away.its right where my pec and armpit meet.like that tendon is constantly irritated.i dont know what the hell it is that is wrong.
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  6. #6
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    I had my pec pop when doing bench and it took me over 6+ months to fully heal, even now it still clicks sometimes. =/
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    Registered User metalfujimi's Avatar
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    yea Strongman, thats exactly where mine hurts. it is constantly irritated and it wont go away even when i take time off. i dont know whats goin on either
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    Registered User entropy1's Avatar
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    get ur MRI results and have a radiologist look at it
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    Registered User metalfujimi's Avatar
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    i did have an MRI. the doctor said it didnt show anything other than a little swelling.
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    Any updates?

    Any updates on this? I'm having the EXACT same symptoms on both sides. I do have a posterior labrum tear, but doubt that is the cause of this seeing how it is on both sides and in the actual pec muscle. Thanks!
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  11. #11
    Registered User bigballin6161's Avatar
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    Bumping this too. My pec has been sore it seems where the tendon attaches to the muscle. It doesnt seem to hurt when I train it and there isnt no weakness, but it seems to hurt after, like burning that it is irritated. It will also get irritated if I do rows, chinups or anything that seems to stretch the area. It wont hurt while I do it but moreso afterward. It doesnt seem to help if I take time off, it just seems to come back. Im starting to think that it is just scar tissue getting aggrivated and not necessarily tearing of the pec. I am worried that I am doing damage by not resting it but I have been doing this for about 6 months and getting stronger...dont know what to do. Dont want to push it and tear it but you would think if it was a tear it would hurt while your doing the exercise...not after.
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  12. #12
    Registered User JohnSmeton's Avatar
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    Basically dont aggravate it , if you do you could be back to square one again, untill it heals. I do keep doing pt exercises, and take a medicine ball, and fricton massage it with that

    trying testing it sometimes by being smart and going moderate weight and see how it feels? does it feel okay..then go up a little more in weight.

    whatever you do dont keep aggravating it
    Disclaimer: The above post is my personal opinion and does not represent the official position of any company or entity. It does not constitute medical advice.

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  13. #13
    Registered User bigballin6161's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JohnSmeton View Post
    Basically dont aggravate it , if you do you could be back to square one again, untill it heals. I do keep doing pt exercises, and take a medicine ball, and fricton massage it with that

    trying testing it sometimes by being smart and going moderate weight and see how it feels? does it feel okay..then go up a little more in weight.

    whatever you do dont keep aggravating it
    Thanks but it doesnt really hurt when I train. Just after. Also I have taken months at time off before and it always comes back anyways. When I message and stretch it seems to irritate the **** out of it. Im just worried that im slowly tearing it and one day its gonna snap right off. I believe its in the muscle belly but Im hoping its just scar tissue I keep irritating! I mean its stronger than ever....wouldnt a tear mean that there would be some weakness?
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  14. #14
    Registered User JohnSmeton's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bigballin6161 View Post
    Thanks but it doesnt really hurt when I train. Just after. Also I have taken months at time off before and it always comes back anyways. When I message and stretch it seems to irritate the **** out of it. Im just worried that im slowly tearing it and one day its gonna snap right off. I believe its in the muscle belly but Im hoping its just scar tissue I keep irritating! I mean its stronger than ever....wouldnt a tear mean that there would be some weakness?
    Thats why I recommended a medicine ball and tenis ball .to get in there and break up the scar tissue. Either that or pay a good chiropractor that does active release and graston
    Disclaimer: The above post is my personal opinion and does not represent the official position of any company or entity. It does not constitute medical advice.

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    Originally Posted by injurypr0ne View Post
    14 months ago I was decline bench pressing 285 pounds (a lot for me considering I weigh only 170), and on my third repetition I felt a sharp pain in my left armpit which prevented me from pushing the bar up anymore. It was pretty painful for a couple of days, but it eventually subsided. After three weeks I began to work out lightly on it, with very little pain. I continued to push myself since I was feeling fine and I'm an animal, until I felt the exact same sharp pain while bench pressing 200 pounds. I then went to a sports doctor who told me only by examining my chest that I probably had a partial pectoral tear. He told me to continue working out very lightly and it would eventually get better. After doing this for six months, I had no progress.

    I went back to the same doctor and again after only a visual examination he told me to visit a physical therapist. After seeing the therapist twice a week for a month, I felt that it was an unnecessary expense, and quit seeing him while continuing his recommended exercises on my own for about three months. With still no progress I completely quit working out for three months. I revisited the same doctor then, this time getting an MRI (over a year after the initial injury.) He found that nothing was wrong with the MRI, and simply recommended me to continue with physical therapy...

    So 14 months after the initial injury, here I am still without a single clue about what is wrong with my body.

    I usually have no pain while performing everyday activities, however certain days it will itch and feel almost like a tearing sensation in the tendon in my armpit between my pectoral muscle and bicep. While working out upper body, not including chest, it usually feels fine. Sometimes shoulder press, rows, and pull ups slightly irritate it. Usually most of the pain comes over the next couple of days after working out rather than during. While working out chest, I only do very light weight (50 pound dumbbells is the most I have attempted since my second sharp pain) and it feels weak and slightly irritated, but for the most part I feel no pain during workouts. Over the next week or so after doing exercises though my underarm will usually be irritated, and my left pec will be significantly more sore than my right. It is not extremely painful, mostly annoying because it is an ache that won't go away, and keeps me from doing what I love. I definitely do not want to cause further damage.

    There is a small bruise that has been on the tendon ever since the incident and has not gone away. Where the tendon connects to the pec there is a small indention. My left pec also seems to have less muscle mass around this area than my right pec does. I do not have any severe bruising or extreme deformations.

    Is it possible that my doctor could have missed a partial tear in the MRI? Is it possible that my injury is not a torn muscle or tendon but something that I have not yet considered?

    I am sick and tired of watching my body decay after all the sweat I've worked up in the gym and tuna, chicken breasts and oatmeal stuffed down my throat. After working out six days a week with a perfect diet for two years, this past 14 months has been a nightmare. I have lost everything that I have worked so hard for. This injury has depressed me, and I am willing to do anything to get back. I am only 21, and I do not want this injury to keep me down for years to come. Any feedback, advice, encouragement, anything would be extremely appreciated.

    Cody
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  16. #16
    Registered User bluelegsforever's Avatar
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    Anyone recovered from this or similar?

    I have very similar symptoms- no pain while working out but soreness in the following days.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Rich4922's Avatar
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    Did a search looking for people with a similar problem as I have.

    I keep getting what feels like a partial tear in my peck every 4-6 wks. I'll bench , fell a.sharp pain and rack it. I can continue on doing incline with little to no pain but flat feels like a knife about 2" from my arm pit. I'll go back the next week, go light and be fine. Few wks past and I'm increasing weight again or goingfor a personal best for reps at 240. I'll rack the weight feel good and the next set I have that pain again. Then I start the recovery all over. I been having this issue for 8-10 months now. I believe I've done a similar injury to my lat also. It's just no where near as frequent.
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    I have a similar problem that I've been dealing with for 8 months. MD told me that my pec tendons were tearing and it wasn't worth surgery and to "just go light". I would rather die. Have any of you improved?
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    Registered User Rich4922's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ryanhull78 View Post
    I have a similar problem that I've been dealing with for 8 months. MD told me that my pec tendons were tearing and it wasn't worth surgery and to "just go light". I would rather die. Have any of you improved?
    Knock on wood I have been healthy , I didn't go over 70% of my max for about 2 months and stuck to incline where I've never had trouble. Eventually worked up to 90%. I changed my bench rep speed on the lowering of the weight. I go very slow because I felt the transition from down to up was the point that put the most stress on my ligament / tendon / peck.
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    Originally Posted by Rich4922 View Post
    Knock on wood I have been healthy , I didn't go over 70% of my max for about 2 months and stuck to incline where I've never had trouble. Eventually worked up to 90%. I changed my bench rep speed on the lowering of the weight. I go very slow because I felt the transition from down to up was the point that put the most stress on my ligament / tendon / peck.

    I had my pec tear after I finally benched 405. Felt stronger than ever but then every workout my pec would tear a little more. Look up George Leeman on youtube, he put up a video on how to recover from a pec tear. I followed his way after doing my own thing for a month or so. Basically his is take few weeks off, then go into super light cable flies and stretching motions. No benching. Did a few weeks of this and now I'm back to where I was.
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    Hey guys!

    I am struggling with the same thing as many of the guys posting in this thread did. Not so much pain during my workouts, but crazy post-workout soreness in the days and even weeks after. I've been struggling with this since January. I've had MRI's taken and Ultrasound that don't show any signs of muscle tears. These were taken a few months after (long waiting line for the MRI), but the soreness and lack of ROM was still somewhat present. I've taken months off at a time, but it's not getting any better. I've been on NSDAIDS cures because my doctor thought it might be tendonitis or bursitis, but it doesn't really do much, so I think I can rule that out.

    So, did anyone who had this crazy post-workout soreness for ages figure out what it was in the end? At this point I would be happy to get a correct diagnosis so I can start treating this the way it should be treated. I've been to several Physiotherapists that wants me to stretch and stuff, but that just seems to aggrevate it. Please, anyone? Thoughts?
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    re

    I'm glad I found this. I have long-term soreness in both of my pecs. One doctor said it was the bicep tendons, and another one told me it was a pectoral strain, or a small tear. Both doctors said they didn't think I needed an MRI because the strain or tear wasn't severe.
    I'm with some of you on this. I don't think there's a cure. Some bodies will react well to stretching and light weights, while some will not. I have found that if I touch my pec, except for some light stretching, it goes downhill very quickly, so I've learned to just leave it alone. It took me six years to figure this out. Not all physical rehab specialists are right. Be loyal to your own body, not to your specialist.
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    In the same boat, partial tear 1 year ago, still not better

    I'm glad I finally found this thread. Makes me feel less crazy. Just to preface I am a natural lifter, age 25 when the injury occurred and have been lifting seriously for 7yrs. Coming up on 1yr ago on November 8th 2018 I partially tore my right pectoral along the axillary fold doing flat bench press with only 240lbs (kind of in the armpit area you are all mentioning and this weight I have done regularly so no big new PR attempt) and have been struggling ever since. For the first two months I couldn't pick up anything over 5-10lbs probably but never had any bruising, saw a physical therapist, did a lot of stretches and even though it was better for day to day activities (although putting on deodorant or putting on my seatbelt like the pulling it across my chest motion still has a funny feeling at times, not sure if anyone can relate but those are the ones that stick out in my head), it was still super tender when trying to exercise with it for any of my lifts (even squats) and I just felt like something wasn't connected properly. Found another physical therapist (I think this guy knew what he was talking about a lot more) and have been religiously doing my PT stretches since May 2019. I can bench and do shoulder exercises again but only with light weight. I'm talking 25lb dumbbells and 65lbs on flat barbell bench. I can't do pull ups or pushups anymore. There just feels like a weakness in there or a defect and it drives me crazy. I just want it to heal and wonder if it ever will heal or if I'm going to have to try and find the money to try platelet rich plasma injections or something (stem cells are ridiculously expensive so that'll never be an option). But the other part of me wonders if it's all in my head or if it's just the scar tissue that I'm feeling that feels stiff and "clicky". Like many of you have said, I don't want to do irreparable damage and set myself back more but I just feel stagnant and bummed that my bodybuilding is suffering clearly. If anyone has any updates on having success or healing or they figured something out that was a game changer please let me know. I've even thought about using PEDs temporarily if it would fix me and give me control over my body again. Not being in control even though you're trying to do everything right is what bothers me the most out of all of this. I want to build all the muscle I can while I'm young (I'm 26 now) instead of dealing with all of this long-term setback. Like I've even thought about fully tearing it just to have surgery (I've read lots of full recovery success post pec surgery stories) if it meant I could exercise how I want to exercise again. Thanks. Hope someone can give some advice and good luck everyone.
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    After every surgery, cutting and stitching pectoral muscles, I was advised to lift nothing for 12 weeks. Then to start with very low weights. 2.5 yrs since last surgery, I am still limited on things like pullups. Give it time to heal.
    I am one of the 3%.
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    Registered User Xgameslion's Avatar
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    Unhappy Did you ever heal? I’m experiencing the exact same thing.

    Originally Posted by injurypr0ne View Post
    14 months ago I was decline bench pressing 285 pounds (a lot for me considering I weigh only 170), and on my third repetition I felt a sharp pain in my left armpit which prevented me from pushing the bar up anymore. It was pretty painful for a couple of days, but it eventually subsided. After three weeks I began to work out lightly on it, with very little pain. I continued to push myself since I was feeling fine and I'm an animal, until I felt the exact same sharp pain while bench pressing 200 pounds. I then went to a sports doctor who told me only by examining my chest that I probably had a partial pectoral tear. He told me to continue working out very lightly and it would eventually get better. After doing this for six months, I had no progress.

    I went back to the same doctor and again after only a visual examination he told me to visit a physical therapist. After seeing the therapist twice a week for a month, I felt that it was an unnecessary expense, and quit seeing him while continuing his recommended exercises on my own for about three months. With still no progress I completely quit working out for three months. I revisited the same doctor then, this time getting an MRI (over a year after the initial injury.) He found that nothing was wrong with the MRI, and simply recommended me to continue with physical therapy...

    So 14 months after the initial injury, here I am still without a single clue about what is wrong with my body.

    I usually have no pain while performing everyday activities, however certain days it will itch and feel almost like a tearing sensation in the tendon in my armpit between my pectoral muscle and bicep. While working out upper body, not including chest, it usually feels fine. Sometimes shoulder press, rows, and pull ups slightly irritate it. Usually most of the pain comes over the next couple of days after working out rather than during. While working out chest, I only do very light weight (50 pound dumbbells is the most I have attempted since my second sharp pain) and it feels weak and slightly irritated, but for the most part I feel no pain during workouts. Over the next week or so after doing exercises though my underarm will usually be irritated, and my left pec will be significantly more sore than my right. It is not extremely painful, mostly annoying because it is an ache that won't go away, and keeps me from doing what I love. I definitely do not want to cause further damage.

    There is a small bruise that has been on the tendon ever since the incident and has not gone away. Where the tendon connects to the pec there is a small indention. My left pec also seems to have less muscle mass around this area than my right pec does. I do not have any severe bruising or extreme deformations.

    Is it possible that my doctor could have missed a partial tear in the MRI? Is it possible that my injury is not a torn muscle or tendon but something that I have not yet considered?

    I am sick and tired of watching my body decay after all the sweat I've worked up in the gym and tuna, chicken breasts and oatmeal stuffed down my throat. After working out six days a week with a perfect diet for two years, this past 14 months has been a nightmare. I have lost everything that I have worked so hard for. This injury has depressed me, and I am willing to do anything to get back. I am only 21, and I do not want this injury to keep me down for years to come. Any feedback, advice, encouragement, anything would be extremely appreciated.

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    Any Updates?

    Originally Posted by aprecht View Post
    I'm glad I finally found this thread. Makes me feel less crazy. Just to preface I am a natural lifter, age 25 when the injury occurred and have been lifting seriously for 7yrs. Coming up on 1yr ago on November 8th 2018 I partially tore my right pectoral along the axillary fold doing flat bench press with only 240lbs (kind of in the armpit area you are all mentioning and this weight I have done regularly so no big new PR attempt) and have been struggling ever since. For the first two months I couldn't pick up anything over 5-10lbs probably but never had any bruising, saw a physical therapist, did a lot of stretches and even though it was better for day to day activities (although putting on deodorant or putting on my seatbelt like the pulling it across my chest motion still has a funny feeling at times, not sure if anyone can relate but those are the ones that stick out in my head), it was still super tender when trying to exercise with it for any of my lifts (even squats) and I just felt like something wasn't connected properly. Found another physical therapist (I think this guy knew what he was talking about a lot more) and have been religiously doing my PT stretches since May 2019. I can bench and do shoulder exercises again but only with light weight. I'm talking 25lb dumbbells and 65lbs on flat barbell bench. I can't do pull ups or pushups anymore. There just feels like a weakness in there or a defect and it drives me crazy. I just want it to heal and wonder if it ever will heal or if I'm going to have to try and find the money to try platelet rich plasma injections or something (stem cells are ridiculously expensive so that'll never be an option). But the other part of me wonders if it's all in my head or if it's just the scar tissue that I'm feeling that feels stiff and "clicky". Like many of you have said, I don't want to do irreparable damage and set myself back more but I just feel stagnant and bummed that my bodybuilding is suffering clearly. If anyone has any updates on having success or healing or they figured something out that was a game changer please let me know. I've even thought about using PEDs temporarily if it would fix me and give me control over my body again. Not being in control even though you're trying to do everything right is what bothers me the most out of all of this. I want to build all the muscle I can while I'm young (I'm 26 now) instead of dealing with all of this long-term setback. Like I've even thought about fully tearing it just to have surgery (I've read lots of full recovery success post pec surgery stories) if it meant I could exercise how I want to exercise again. Thanks. Hope someone can give some advice and good luck everyone.
    ???
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by andrewjo5 View Post
    ???
    That guy only posted once and it was 8 months ago...
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