T Nation

Connective Tissue

I always have seemed to have an issue when I start anew. This issue causes me to stop, loose confidence/will power and then stop.

I always feel like my muscles can lift more do more, but are being held back by ligaments, tendons, whathave you.

My weak links seem to be the wrists elbows and ankles.

I am doing CW’s TBT and i am taking it super slow. Only doing 2 workouts a week instead of 3, and working on form over how much weight i can do…Im a utter begginer.

Are there ways to help strengthen these weak links in addtion to the compound movements im doing, any bennificial suppliment that can help with me weak connective tissues?

My muscles will thank you for it

Are you saying that your elbows and wrists are sore or that the muscles around those joints are weak? Connective tissue can’t exert force on their own so I doubt they’re holding you back and you muscles most likely aren’t too strong for your connective tissue. Since they don’t recieve a lot of blood flow ultra high reps is the best way to work them. Certain exercises can be tough on your joints so you could try to avoid them or see an ART or a chiropractor and have them straighten you out.

There was a Cool Tip from a while back that said beginners should use high reps ( like in the 8-12 range) to develop connective tissue that they lack. So for a few weeks just lift in that range. You’ll also develop better motor coordination on how to better execute each move as you go through the motions.

Also, what kind of feeling do you get when you know that your muscles can go further but your ligaments/tendons/connective tissue can’t? How would you describe it?

I would say to continue working out with lighter weight and gradually increase the weight to get your wrists and ankles stronger. Strength will come with repeated use.

Check out Eric Cressey’s Cool Tip from a few weeks back:

That may be something worth considering. However, I’ve always wondered how you can determine weak tendons and ligaments versus simply weak muscles.

As far as the training goes, if your wrists, elbows, and ankles are problem areas, I wouldn’t mind you targeting them specifically, maybe on a “Small Joint Day” with specific exercises: Barefoot Farmer’s Walks if possible, 1-leg calf raises, wrist rotations/leveraging, an equal amount of curls and pressdowns, things like that, for slightly higher reps, as Cressey suggested.