News

Sudden muscle failure, what are the possible causes

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Skidkid, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    6,655
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    John Zornes
    I lift weights 5 days per week. Today I was at the end of a chest workout and was doing dumbbell bench (flat bench) with 95lb dumbbells so heavy but not a PR. I was feeling good and it was moving smoothly. A few reps in, suddenly my right failed. By failed, I don't mean the regular stalls out and you can't make the rep. I mean was going smoothly up and dropped like the muscle just quit working. The failure happened in a split second. I exited safely and dumped the weights.

    There was no pain and no feeling of strain. Just a sudden complete failure. No pain or injury afterwards either. I have never experience anything like this before. And it is not a tear, I have done that before and tears hurt.

    The question: Have any of you experienced this or know what might have caused it?
     
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. Innovativethinker

    Innovativethinker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2009
    5,580
    Bear Creek, Ca.
    Full Name:
    Mark Jones
    I’m no doctor but nerves control the muscles so I would suspect something along those lines.

    could be something as simple as a pinched nerve but I would certainly have it checked out by a specialist.

    I’m sure the docs here will render a better opinion than mine.
     
    rampante550 likes this.
  4. topcarbon

    topcarbon Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2006
    2,067
    With something like this a visit to your doctor will be in order.
    Sounds like something is being pinched up around your neck
     
  5. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    6,655
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    John Zornes
    Thanks guys. My GP specializes in sports medicine so I will ping him; it is not why I picked him but that is where he settled.

    That shoulder has always been weaker than the other. Or at least since I tore it up about 25 years ago lifting. It hits a point and it feels like it looses power but usually it just hits a point where I just can't push harder/hard enough, then I stall and my spotter jumps in to help. Pretty typical. Last night was sudden failure so it really felt different.

    This morning chest and shoulders are soar, and that side somewhat more than the other, but nothing out of the ordinary for a heavy lift day. So from the good news side it clearly isn't injured.
     
  6. GTHill

    GTHill Moderator
    Moderator Rossa Subscribed Social Subscribed Owner

    Jul 1, 2006
    10,109
    Double Wide
    Full Name:
    GT Hill
    Sounds a bit like a stinger like happens in football.
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    6,655
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    John Zornes
    Thank you all for the feedback. We didn't find anything abnormal. Many years ago I tore up that shoulder lifting. Even today it is not as strong as the other one and it reaches failure first. Since the first post I have gone to failure a few times (drop sets etc.). I have noticed that when I am drop setting failure generally comes a little more gradually but at heavy weights it is a bit more sudden. So at this point I am going to chalk it up to fatigue/failure.
     
  9. willwork04

    willwork04 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 25, 2012
    2,599
    Houston
    Full Name:
    Will
    I only had it happen once. I had been lifting heavy. Very heavy. For weeks. My CNS just shut down. The 3rd rep on 225 on bench. I just couldn't move it. My lifting partner was like.... WTF is wrong with you? I was messed up for about 6 weeks. Funny thing is, exact same thing happened to him less than a week later. 5X5 advanced without doing the proper deloads is what did us in.
     
  10. MillJen91

    MillJen91 Rookie

    Jan 15, 2021
    7
    Full Name:
    Jennifer Miller
    I'm no expert, but my advice is definitely see a physiatrist. A close friend of mine has had an "insignificant" shoulder injury, which ended up hurting him for more than two years now, because he heeded bad advice from the wrong people.

    Definitely get it checked out, if you can. A physiatrist is the person to see.
     
  11. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    6,655
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    John Zornes
    Didn't find anything and all is going well since. Probably fatigue and at that weight it just failed. Getting stronger still and it is about time to add some volume to the mix again.
     
    MillJen91 likes this.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. MillJen91

    MillJen91 Rookie

    Jan 15, 2021
    7
    Full Name:
    Jennifer Miller
    That's great to hear. Swole is the goal! ;)
     
  14. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Sep 30, 2005
    2,607
    Behind a drum kit
    Full Name:
    Mr. Chupacabra
    Whew...I opened this thread expecting something far worse!!

    Glad you had it checked out. Definitely sounds like something was pinched to me. I'm assuming you have normal muscle tone if you were repping 95s. I had something similar (right leg) years ago.

    Keep an eye on it just in case something is getting pressed on - if something becomes consistently inflamed and messes with innervation, you may start to notice some weakness/atrophy.

    As WillWork above pointed out, a deload may be in order. All sorts of funky neuromuscular stuff can happen, even if not in PR range.
     
    Skidkid likes this.

Share This Page