I pray this don't happen to anyone here, but if it does, here's some things I am/been doing to heal...As well as some mistakes I made. I've been leap-frogging from forum to forum and haven't found a thing about this whole process so I'll post a quick something here for future reference...
- After it happened, I re-racked the weight.
- I applied an ice pack in 20 minute intervals while watching tv.
- I did a few heavy sets of JS Rows before I iced the site.
Bad idea. The reason being because when a muscle tears, it bleeds. Your goal is to try and minimize/stop the bleeding. If this happens to you, immediately go home and ice it ASAP. This mistep IMO attributed to my insane amount of swelling.
...And the Ugly:
- After a few hours of icing the area, I decided to use a heating pad thinking it would help. Unfortunately, according to my doc, the heating pad encourages the swelling/bleeding. So in essence, the icing prevented/minimized bleeding, then the heating pad encouraged bleeding.
In my defense, I didn't know at the time it was a tear, so I naturally figured it would help. The doc said that ice should be applied as much of the day as possible (in intervals) for at the very least 3-5 days. After about a week, the heating pad can come into the picture.
Recovery AWAY from the gym
The doc basically said that I had a minor pec tear and should stay out of the gym for a few weeks, and not do chest pressing for at least 1-2 months. So what I did was take 2 complete weeks away from the gym. In that time I kept protein high while trying to keep carbs low since I wasn't doing anything beyond eating Vicodin and playing some xbox.
After the two weeks off, I decided on doing HST training because of the higher reps and lower [initial] weight. This gives me a 2 week mesocycle of 15 reps, and another 2 week meso with 10 reps. In my opinion, three full body workouts with a very high rep range is ideal after a prolonged layoff nursing an injury however minor. Of course this excludes any chest pressing of any kind. The following is my selections for the 15 rep mesocycle. I put in some extra isolations even though it's in no way "optimal".. Reason being, I'm trying to increase my overall fitness level and conditioning, not focusing on gaining mass. If I was, it would be only compounds and 40 lbs heavier at the very least.
15 Rep Mesocycle: 1 set per exercise
Leg Press (Not the easy sled you could load a piano on! The one w/ ROM)
Shoulder Press (db, seated)
Cable Pressdowns (Picked these over skullcrushers because it minimized pecs)
Hack Press Machine (Very difficult. Allows A2G baby)
Leg Curls (seated)
Shoulder Press (same)
Rev. Grip Pressdowns (1 handed, again to minimize pec recruitment)
Hammer Pulldowns (Underhanded)
Cable Rows (Wider grip)
The actual weight selection was common sense. Legs can take a pounding, same with back. Shoulder db presses are lighter than I obviously could go. Full ROM. I turn my hands inboard almost resting the db's on my shoulders every rep. Deliberately slow, both up and down.