T Nation

Pull Only Workouts plus Squats Forever

Hi Guys,
I’m figuring out a long term way to train around an irreparable Elbow Injury by avoiding all classical pressing exercises.
I’ve been training consistently in a home gym for four years 3-5x week, last 6 months i’ve been doing 5/3/1.
I will really miss the Overhead Press but so be it…

Earlier thread with info about my injury for whoever is interested:
https://forums.t-nation.com/t/chronic-elbow-injury-alternative-exercises-to-press-and-bench-press

The goal is to avoid compression of the elbow joint. So everything that pushes a weight onto your wrist as opposed to grabbing something and pulling it with an increased lever arm.

So in my line of thinking a fly, raise or kickback may be considered a pulling movement utilizing pushing muscles.

  1. I’m thinking about trying the workout plan for natural lifters since the exercise selection is quite big and the intensity techniques are something i’d like at the moment. I think this program might be well suited for my adaptations. Please correct if i’m wrong.
  • I want to keep training the back Squat and Deadlift so i’m thinking about switching the leg press or leg extension and the leg curl or ham raise to accomodate them.
    Id have to change the order of leg exercises around to allow for enough rest between squat and deadlift.
    Does that make sense?

  • Id switch benchpress and incline benchpress to dumbell flyes.
    Overhead pressing to more db raises and cable/band raises.
    Dips to band kickbacks, i think it might be close motor pattern triceps wise.
    Anything to consider here? Different exercise suggestions definitely welcome.

  1. What do you think, can a complete physique (upper body wise) be achieved and maintained this way? I know switching multi joint exercises to isolation exercises is not considered a good idea, but still.

DB flies are a shitty exercise. I’ve stopped doing them like 12 years ago and rarely use it with clients. If your wrist allows it, you could do power flies, which are a bit better. And if you don’t have a choice but to do flies, do decline DB flies. The angle makes the exercise a bit more effective.

The only methods in the “Best Damn” program that can be used with the deadlift or squat are clusters and maybe rest/pause. But these are very stressful when done on those big lifts. The 3rd installement of the “Best Damn” series (the best damn strength plan) includes the deadlift and squat, and might be a better template to start from.

The best exercise would be decline triceps extensions. But it’s still not going to be as effective. When you replace a compound movement by an isolation exercise you will lose something.

Hard to say to be honest. You can get some muscular development for sure. And in your situation you have to make due with your limitations. But it will not be as effective as if you used compound pressing exercises.

Hi Christian!
Thanks a lot for your time and insight.
The strength plan is a great reccomendation since it also incorporates strength work for the pullup and row which i wanted to focus on before considering the best damn workout plan.
I got my first workout in this morning and it feels great. I always wanted to try a real HIT approach after reading the book but never really got to it.
Im planning to run the program as intended (all pushing exercises) for a couple of weeks to ingrain how it is supposed to feel, before changing any exercises to accomodate my injury.

I have to reevaluate the next statement after my initial being hyped up is over:
Since volume is lowish on the pushing exercises i shouldn’t be able to get more than 60 pushing reps in during a week after week 1. This is less than half the reps i got on my previous plan. So i might get away with a clean conscience for a while.

So thanks a lot for your help!