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Jblac15
LSU Fan
That LP
Member since Mar 2011
607 posts

Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Three weeks ago I noticed my strength on Bench Press was at least 15% less than the week before. I could feel a bit of sinus pressure, so I assumed my immune system was just fighting something off. Towards the end of the week I came down with a head cold, and took a few days off the gym to let it pass.

Fast forward to this morning, the cold is now gone, but my strength is still way off, and it seems to be primarily my left side upper body. My squats, deadlifts, etc. don't seem to be affected. My bench is at least 20% down and when doing dips I was going up way easier with right side than left.

I have no pain at all, and full movement of my neck, shoulders, etc. There is the slightest amount of tingling between my left trap and shoulder blade right now, but I did chin-ups and barbell rows just fine.

Any insight?



lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
56674 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Man that's tough to say
I'd say wait another week or two to recover and just do lighter workout
Maybe add some rotator cuff work for a warm up
Stretch your pecs out as well


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LSUAlum2001
LSU Fan
Tier BP
Member since Aug 2003
36917 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Could be a nerve/disc issue. It happened to an older gym member who eventually needed neck surgery


Shepherd88
Member since Dec 2013
1823 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
That's what I was thinking as well. Brooke Ence (crossfitter) recently talked about how she had a disc issue that she never felt but noticed her strength fall considerably.

Best of luck that's not the case for OP though.


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CamdenTiger
Member since Aug 2009
37273 posts
 Online 

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
C6-7 disc


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wfallstiger
LSU Fan
Wichita Falls, Texas
Member since Jun 2006
4034 posts
 Online 

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
No insight but would certainly consider at least a health and physical examination...people don't typically have 'sudden decrease in strength'


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CBLSU316
LSU Fan
Far Right of Left
Member since Jun 2008
9817 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
My brother had an issue where a nerve that runs down your arm was moving out of place when he lifted.

It basically told his brain that he couldn't lift the weight.......

He had to have surgery to repair it. I want to say the ulnar nerve.


lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
56674 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Ok after re-reading it's possible one of your cervical disc may be causing the nerve to compress.

If I had to guess somewhere by c5-c7


Jblac15
LSU Fan
That LP
Member since Mar 2011
607 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Man, I hope it's not serious enough to require surgery. There's a PT clinic in my gym, if it doesn't clear up in the next week or so I'm going to go get checked out.


lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
56674 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Did he have any sensory issues in his pinky or part of ring finger?


lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
56674 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Keep in mind nerve regeneration occurs at a rate bt 1-2's mm per day when for cutting injuries and such.

Have you had a previous spinal cord injury? How does your neck feel? Hopefully you don't need a laminectomy.

Btw compression bt c5-c7 spine can affect the movements you are describing. Elbow extension (triceps as in dips) is c7. So if you had a spinal cord injury (sci) at c7, you can expect to have an absence of or difficulty extending your elbow
This post was edited on 9/19 at 3:05 pm


Jblac15
LSU Fan
That LP
Member since Mar 2011
607 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
I've never had any spinal issues or injuries. No car accidents, or anything that could trigger anything like that. Fairly active 29 year old (gym 4 days/wk and beach volleyball weekly)

Neck feels great. I have full movement with no pain. 4 or 5 months ago I strained my Levator Scapulae in the gym pretty good, and could barely move my neck for a few days.

I do notice some tingling in my left pinky and ring fingers from time to time.


lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
56674 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Then it could be an ulnar nerve impingement


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MWP
Alabama Fan
Kingwood, TX via Monroe, LA
Member since Jul 2013
6536 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
quote:

Could be a nerve/disc issue.


I had a herniated disc at C1-2 from doing BJJ. Caught a guy in a triangle choke and he stacked me quick and really jacked up my neck. I went from benching well over 405 to barely being able to un-rack an empty bar. Lost all strength on my right side.

I ended up doing a lot of chiro work with even more decompression. It took about 7 months to get back to anywhere near my normal strength and my flat bench never got back to that level.


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CBLSU316
LSU Fan
Far Right of Left
Member since Jun 2008
9817 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Not that I recall


Jblac15
LSU Fan
That LP
Member since Mar 2011
607 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Made my first visit to the Chiro Friday afternoon. He did some deep tissue and stretching work on my shoulder. After that he adjusted C2 and C7. I can feel a significant difference in rotational ability of my neck. So far, the tingling/numbness in my fingers has gone away. I did some barbell shoulder presses this morning, and felt pretty normal. I have a follow-up with the Chiro tomorrow and will bench again on Wednesday, which is where I first noticed the issues.

Thanks for all the feedback.


lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
56674 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
Reduce load on bench

In fact do dumbells to get a better gage of weakness.



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lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
56674 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
If you are in Baton Rouge area I'd suggest Dave Corbin, his brother, or butch Sonnier for your chiro treatments


Jblac15
LSU Fan
That LP
Member since Mar 2011
607 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
So I think I have it narrowed down to my left Tricep. Military/shoulder press feel pretty normal, except my left arm tends to struggle with the final lock out. Bench was still super weak this week. I noticed today when doing one arm tricep extensions, my left arm struggled to keep up with the right arm. Everything else feels great, squats, deadlift, etc.

Going to deload for the next week or 2 on bench, and just work with dumbbells for the time being.

Thanks again for all the feedback.


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WhiskeyBusiness
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2011
582 posts

re: Sudden decrease in strength (left side)
quote:

(left side)


Ironically not your strong side?


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