T Nation

Abused Upper Body


Alright guys so heres my story. I'm 19 years old, 6"1 250 lbs. I've been playing football for 7 years and lifting for 5. I'm planning on playing college football but my body is pretty messed up so i figured you guys could help me out. Throughout my 5 years of training i've pressed 395, deadlifted 555, and squatted 525. Around Winter of last year i noticed alot of really bad burning in my elbows. So i went to the doc and they figured tendonitis. I backed off and it sorta went away but i had to keep training through it because of combines and competetions.

About 1 month after the elbows both of my shoulders started burning also. I took the entire football season off of lifting and just pretty much played football. Monday i went to hit the weights again and realized neither of the problems were gone away. I went to the doc and started PT last friday. I talked with the therapist and he said that its tendonitis where my biceps connect to my shoulders on both sides and tennis elbow in both my elbows. He told me that from the years of pounding on my pecs, triceps, and biceps that my other muscles were lagging such as upper back and lats and thats why this is happening.

It all makes sense too because at our high school we use the BFS program and most kids bench press 3 times a week ( something i also used to do when i didn't know any better). My external rotation of the elbow/shoulder is 120 degrees but my internal is only 27 on both sides. So i got this plan for all this stretching to do and im gettting PT for it. The PT told me to lay off of the bench press/dips and develop my shoulders upper back and lats more. Well i've got workouts with tons of d2 schools coming up in december.

I realize that i need time off and im taking it but what i dont understand is when im gonna be able to return to pressing and arm work. So when i get back to the gym i have to work on all those things but how long should i train those areas before i can safely go back to my Pec, Arm work? Any ideas? Also i take alot of protein, creatine, fish oils, glucosomine and msm.


Does even light weight hurt your pressing? Maybe keep a minimal amount in for CNS memory reasons, while really focusing on your rowing/pulling.

With PT/flexibility/ART/whatever you might recover quicker than you think.


do whatever your therapist tells you. dont slack off on it either. like gi2eg said, keep light. oh and on your days off of therapy, do some of the stuff your therapist tells you


Anything Above 225 seems to hurt, we talked a little bit about going about 3/4 of the way down on the press so i dont aggravate the biceps tendons. I'm doing the home program everyday also so.


The PT might be proceeding a little conservatively. Did you tell the PT about your needs? They should be able to work that into your therapy - they're there to help you.

How about dumbell presses? You might be OK with a 1:3 ratio of press:pull, but listen to the PT. Stick to cable rows too, to make sure you're working the right muscles.

Tons of great info by Cressey, Robertson, Hartman and others on here and EliteFTS. The InsideOut DVD would be a great purchase too.


Alright so im about 1 week into therapy. Its going good. I've been doing upper back work and core as far as lifting goes. However as soon as i picked up the bar to do shrugs my elbows felt like they were gonna rip right off. Theres pain in both of my Distal Bicep Tendons. I've been icing and taking NSAIDS. But i cant find shit on tendonitis in the distal biceps. None of my pain affects my grip or forearms which makes me think it might not be tennis elbow.

Anyone have distal bicep pain before? the pain starts right below the elbow and goes up to the bicep than stops. And than of course its in my bicep tendons in my shoulders. I wonder if there might be a relation here. Well scheduled to see the Specialist up here on friday for m knee so ill talk to him about the elbows too i guess.


Go over to the author's locker room and post in one of Mike Robertson's thread. He is very knowledgeable in the areas of injury prevention and rehab and is also very willing to help out.