T Nation

Support Muscles....After Long Layoff


#1

I am a bit over 30. Throughout HS, College, and a few years afterwards, I lifted weight religiously....going so far as to compete in local (AAU, etc.) powerlifting events. Those days are long gone.

Once my career started up, I stopped lifting and training on a regular basis. My physique and health have suffered.

I started back lifting hard about three months ago and have really gotten back into the groove. Those stories I read about muscle memory seem to be true as I have been able to quickly get back to where I was, and in some cases, exceed plateaus that I have written down from yrs ago. I am a meso/endo morph and gain weight and fat very easily.

With this as a background I have noticed an issue over the last few months...something that I did not have happen before. I think I know the case, but I want to post it here for advice.

My support muscles, primarily in my upper arms, seem to be the limiting factor in compound movements. For example, after doing heavy seated shoulder presses, my triceps get more sore than my delts. When I do heavy seat/incline back rows, my biceps also get smoked. My natural thought is that they muscles are underdeveloped compared to the main focus muscle group. This could very well be so, but it has continued for several months....even after focusing on direct growth of these muscles.

What I find so bizarre is that this rarely if ever happened during my 8+yrs of training in the past. What I also find bizarre is that, other than my DLs, my compound pressing and pulling lifts are stronger now, after a 6+ yr layoff, than when I was in my early 20s. This is only after several hard weeks of training.

Could this soreness be an age thing or is it as simple as my supporting upper arm muscles are the weakest-link-in-the-chain? Also, is it normal to retain most, if not all of your muscle memory after a long layoff, and to come back stronger?


#2

Wow we have a lot in common. The way we gain weight, long lay off and so on. Im coming off a 7-8 year lay off. Started back last year right at this time(although Ive had to take the better part of the last three months off, do to a sickness in the family).

I didnt think I could even get back to the level I was at when I was younger - Boy was I wrong. I went from a 180 bench to 375, not able to squat BW, to 315 (I can put more than that on my back just cant get deep), 0 on the dead to 405.
And YES Ive had some trouble with support muscles. Ive found that my scapula were severely lacking. About three weeks ago I started to rehab them and what a difference. Its taking the stress off the wrong muscles and putting it on the right ones.

I think it has to do with age. At least its related.

Anyway great to hear from ya.