T Nation

Genetic Muscle Tightness/Joint Pain?


I'm losing my will to train.

I've been at it for 10 years now, since high school, and I have managed to go from 140lbs to 200 lbs at 6'3", but I always end up back at 170-180 (and not lean). I bust my ass and train hard and the progress comes, but I can't keep it up because of joint pain.

I've dealt with knee tendinitis that was bad enough that I couldn't walk up stairs without the hand rail, and I have to stop lifting heavy a few times a year because my shoulders/elbows/wrists hurt when I push open a door.

Lyme's disease has been ruled out, and a few doctors have told me it's just how I'm built. My frame is small enough that even at 180, people notice I lift. I get comments that it looks like I was supposed to be shorter, like my body is stretched out. Maybe relevant: I've always excelled at sports despite being pretty weak (could barely bench 135 in high school) because I could, for instance, hit and throw a baseball harder than anyone on my team. I'm guessing it could be indicative of a tenon issue?

Could there be a systemic issue that I could fix? Some deficiency or something? I spend too much time to have no progress, and the injuries keep piling up.


What's your diet like? Do you take joint supplements?
A low-fat diet can begin to take a toll on joints, due to a lack of 'lubrication'- what is your dietary fat intake? It might be an idea to begin using some fish-oil supplements, if you're not already. I'd also suggest a joint-supplement like glucosamine/chondroitin, to see if that may help.
Have you had tests done for any sort of arthritis?


I've done glucosamine/chondroitin and fish oils before. Certainly don't have a low fat diet. It's not arthritis, my pain is in the tendons (but I have been tested). I'll get back on fish oils, though, because the pain hasn't been this bad in a while.


Give more information.

What's your routine like? What exercises are you doing? What specific movements hurt?


I don't follow any routine these days, too dependent on how my body is feeling. I'm usually doing 3x10 or 3x20 these days. Used to do a lot of 5x5 in college (~4 years ago), but much less since, and not for the last year.

Tricep extensions hurt on the triceps side of elbow. Haven't done any overhead pressing in a couple years, and no dips in a few years longer (sharp pain across my clavicle). Doing rows, my triceps start burning and my hand starts going numb. I don't know how normal it is, but all overhead presses involve hand numbness. Curls are usually hammer curls because palms-up usually causes pain on the pinky side of my wrist.

Knees aren't so bad these days because I've been very careful after knee surgery 14 months ago (and tore my hamstring 4 months before that).

Today (all 3x10):
weighted split squats
seated calf raises
leg raises
ab/aductor machine
reverse flies (if that's what they're called, on the pec deck)
dumbbell bench press
stretch and foam roller