Ruptured Tricep Tendon

I just recieved about the worst news I can imagine concerning my training right now. On Saturday night, I slipped on some ice and slammed my elbow on the corner of a set of bleachers. The MRI shows a ruptured tricep tendon and surgery is scheduled for Thursday. I really have a bad habit of getting severely out of shape when adversity like this strikes. Do any of you have some suggestions as to what I can do to not lose my current shape (maybe improve it since it is not so great ~230 with 14-15% bodyfat.) Not good timing at all as I was just stocking up to start a cutting cycle after Christmas. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Brian, I’m so sorry to hear the bad news. That really sucks!

About all you’re going to be able to do is focus on your diet, do some cardio and maybe focus on your lower body at a certain point. Heck, you could use this time to build a killer set of baby cows. (grin) And how 'bout those hammies?

But seriously, best of luck to you, Brian.

I think that some of us can relate in that we seek some comfort in the form of food when injuries happen. If this is you you’ll have to realize this about yourself and take precautions to avoid this.


  1. Make sure that the foods you might be craving aren’t easily to access (i.e., put your cupboards on a diet).

  2. Spend some of the extra training time working your lower body and doing cardio. You could also work on some less familiar lower body movements and flexibility during this time.

  3. With the rest of your “would be training time” you can make sure your meals are prepared so that you’re not as tempted to cheat.

Take it easy.

Lots of glutamine. Helps prevent the “wasting” that occurs when you can’t work out for a while.

Tampa-Terry is right. A couple of years ago I ruptured my pec major tendon. I had surgery to repiar it but my trainig was totally derailed for months. I got a lot weaker but I didn’t get noticably smaller. I still looked pretty muscular. I was porkey before I had the injury so I used the time to get leaner. As I said, I didn’t notice nearly as much muscle loss as I expected even though I used the oportunity to drop a good deal of body fat. The arm you have repaired will look like a little girl’s arm when you get out of the sling. I had to keep my arm in a sling for 6 weeks after the surgery so I wouldn’t move the tendon. You will probably have to do the same thing. Mine gained most of the size back within 6-8 weeks. It took me about six months to get back to a good training routine where I could use wieghts close to what I was using before, but then again, I was a big sissy for a long time afterwards. Scared to death I would hurt myself again. However, I had the exact same injury as Dave Tate and he said he set a new PR in the bench 6 months after his injury.

Thanks for the replies. If I have the set to do so, I will post a picture Post-surgery showcasing my atrophied girly arm. Again thanks for the support and the ideas.


Last time I was injured (back), I cut out all simple carbs, and ate mostly protein and vegetables, and some fruit. I lost weight, cut down my bf by about 3-4%, and yeah lost some strength but it was easy to get it back once I was all healed up. Good luck with the surgery.

Make sure you get more then one opinion before your surgery. I personal would avoid surgery unless absolutely necessary. Your nutrition program should support your body?s ability to heal during and post surgery. 1 gram protein per pound of body weight, lots of fruit and veggies, fish oils/flax oils and/or Udos choice, malti vitamin, 2000mg vitamin C per day (1000mg morning, 1000mg evening), 1400iu vitamin E divided among 2 times per day. Take it easy when you start lifting again. Make sure your Triceps have a full range of motion before seriously training them. Use static stretching and PNF stretching to regain your full rang of motion, if needed. Hope that helps!