T Nation

Muscle Pain vs Connective Tissue Pain

Ok so a little background first.

Right now the focus of my training is chinups/pull ups and I’m noticing that while the muscles in my back (lats, external rotators, and posterior delts) are sore, so are my arms (upper arms and forearm). But not the muscles that are sore, it’s the connective tissue. (tendons. ligaments, or whatever).

With muscles, the way I got mine to adjust to frequent training was (drumroll) forcing frequent training on them. In fact, it was the ONLY thing that worked. But from what I’ve read about tendons it’s a different story. They like volume but they despise frequency. They have a much longer recovery time than muscles because they don’t get as much oxygen and if they get injured they never quite get back to 100%.

Now I know this doesn’t mean they can’t adapt. Otherwise you wouldn’t have people like hershel walker and jack lalanne doing thousands of chins and pushups at a time. It’s just a matter of how to handle them.

So I’m wondering if anyone else has had what I’m talking about and what they did to deal with it.

Hmm… I actually think frequency is the most beneficial, providing you keep volume and intensity very low.

Volume works too, but it’s kind of hard to do with a lot of exercises - pullups are a great example. They’re hard to do with the right weight i.e. you either do one or you don’t. High reps with assisted pullups would be good.

At any rate, I’d give your tendons a break until they recover. Maybe use some straps/machines and concentrate on rows for a bit?

Ive had this problem, but without the arm soreness. Just the upper back.

A while ago in a program I did alot of chins and very few rows in comparison. So hows the volume of chins/pullups vs rows.

I thinks if you want to prioritize one plane of motion for your back it should outweigh the other plane by a little, not alot.

In my program I think I was doing like 10x3 chins and 4x6 pullups compared to 4x6 BB Bench Rows. I probably should’ve done 10-12 sets of chins/pullups 6-8 sets of rows when I look back on it.

When I do chins too frequently (or with too much added weight over time), my left forearm gets a little sore. Of course this is most likely an individual issue, but for the sake of anyone reading this thread, figured I’d put it out there. I’ve found that taking high doses of fish oils keeps the inflamation down, and managable, and if I do chins with a really wide grip (trying to minimize the arm involvement), or cables to simulate a portion of the chinning ROM, things work just fine.

S

[quote]HoratioSandoval wrote:
Hmm… I actually think frequency is the most beneficial, providing you keep volume and intensity very low.

Volume works too, but it’s kind of hard to do with a lot of exercises - pullups are a great example. They’re hard to do with the right weight i.e. you either do one or you don’t. High reps with assisted pullups would be good.

At any rate, I’d give your tendons a break until they recover. Maybe use some straps/machines and concentrate on rows for a bit?
[/quote]

I actually used to do nothing but rows for back work. I didn’t have a chinup bar until recently. When I did get the bar I couldn’t do a single chin up. I don’t know what muscles I was using doing the rows but it sure as hell wasn’t my lats. :frowning: