T Nation

Training Triceps Without Heavy Weight?

Okay so recently my tricep tendonitis has gotten so bad that everything hurts. even at high reps of 15-20

my question is although I can’t do real efficient workouts with maximal weight and reps (just doing extremely light light light weight for retarded high reps) should i worry about losing any mass. My triceps were always a lagging body part.

by the way yes I am dieting still (down to 228 from 255ish)

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:
…should i worry about losing any mass. My triceps were always a lagging body part.
[/quote]

You should worry about things you can do something about. Your first priority is dealing with the tendonitis. When do work tricep? Do you have an arm day or after chest, or shoulder??

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:
…should i worry about losing any mass. My triceps were always a lagging body part.
[/quote]

You should worry about things you can do something about. Your first priority is dealing with the tendonitis. When do work tricep? Do you have an arm day or after chest, or shoulder?? [/quote]

I do triceps after chest

chest/tri (2 pressing movements, 2 tri isolations)
back/bi
legs/shoulders
off
repeat

you’d think they would be warmed up after pressing which pressing feel pretty good (maybe the first set or two i might have very very very slight pain)

but nah after pressing the triceps are still not warmed up at all.

today i just started icing and heating 15 minutes of each.
I’m pretty busy so the goal is to try to do this 1-3 times a day.

surprisingly during/after the first session my triceps feel like 50% better. I know this is just temporary relief though I’m sure in a few days when i do my tricep stuff it’ll feel like crap again.

Im not sure if its a placebo or real but I found vitamin C helped with mine. Might help you.

when it comes to training around injuries i always learn alot from Dave Tate. have you tried JM presses?

Matt Kroc often has problems with his elbows and triceps.

go read his log at elite for some ideas.

Hi paulie sorry your elbow is messed up. I noticed you are using both ice and heat? IME ice is best for decreasing inflammation/straight after an injury occurs while heat promotes inflammation later on, as a necessary part of healing. Depending on how far along you are, may want to skip one or the other. Also, what’s your sodium intake like? When dieting, if i reduce salt . All the best
i get little niggly injuries

Just out of curiosity, have you looked into treatment for tendinosis?

If it’s truly tendonitis figure out how to fix it, and still work fairly heavy in a significantly reduced ROM. True tendonitis won’t last that long if you figure out the cause, but it also won’t go away if all you do is stop but repeat the same causes when you come back.

Really can’t diagnose what’s causing it. It can be anything from overworked, to one exercise you did one month ago where you laxed and let your elbow slip right or left. If I was you I would go through every tricep and press exercise see what causes pain what doesn’t. Put the ones that don’t cause pain in your routine. The ones that do cause pain figure out why. Are you going to heavy? are you cheating? It’s a hard pill to swallow that your technique can be wrong but if it’s causing pain that’s likely the problem. I’ve seen very few people accept that fact until more permanent and painfull damage is done. I would continue with the heat/ice and massage.

good luck

Some good advice in here. I’ve been dealing with this problem as well, and also posted about it in the Injuries and Rehab section. Thankfully, my triceps insertion tendonitis is much better, and this is what I think has helped:

  1. BACK OFF - you need to give your body time to heal - lower the weight, and increase the reps; 2. for triceps work, go with the JM press on the smith machine (it works, and doesn’t seem to aggravate the tendonitis); 3. ice - 3x a day if you can, ten minutes at a time; 4. Flameout - 8-12 caps a day if you can afford it - it isn’t cheap, but it really seems to help; and 5. like Swole said above, I have no idea why, but once I started upping the dosage of vitamin c (6000+ mgs), my condition really started to improve. I’m sill not 100 percent, but the above has helped tremendously.

Close Grip Pressing.
Extension-centric exercises kill my elbows, but CGBP wrecks my triceps and leaves my joints feelin’ good.
Plus it brings up your bench, which is always cool.

If you have to do extensions, I’d recommend using cables or bands.
I find them to be much easier on the joints than say, skullcrushers.

Are you using elbow sleeves and taking anti inflammatory supplements such as fish oil/curcumin and joint support supplements that promote bloodflow to connective tissue such as supercissus/gotu kola? Had a similar problem for a while though not quite as bad as what you’re describing and doing all that stuff helped a lot in addition to regularly doing the dc tricep stretch, avoiding harsh extension movements, rolling my arms on a lacross ball against the wall and I’m sure ditching gloves and working on my grip strength/forearms helped in some regard as well.

[quote]kingbeef323 wrote:
Are you using elbow sleeves and taking anti inflammatory supplements such as fish oil/curcumin and joint support supplements that promote bloodflow to connective tissue such as supercissus/gotu kola? Had a similar problem for a while though not quite as bad as what you’re describing and doing all that stuff helped a lot in addition to regularly doing the dc tricep stretch, avoiding harsh extension movements, rolling my arms on a lacross ball against the wall and I’m sure ditching gloves and working on my grip strength/forearms helped in some regard as well.[/quote]

I’m taking alaskan fish oil, 4-5 pills a day

does supercissus really work that well? I tried it for a couple weeks once with a shoulder injury it didn’t seem to do so much

ordered some sleeves but bbdotcom is on a ridiculous back order. it’s seriously been almost 3 weeks

surprisingly doing things such as plate pinches, holding 3 5 or 10lb plates together with fingers for time, actually really helped my elbows and still does. Its probably something to do with the increase in blood flow to the elbow after each set, but yeah plate pinches, and even behind the back wrist curls might actually help you.

Good suggestions already. I’ll just add that correct diagnosis and treatment is, as mentioned, always the first step. In the meantime, and perhaps thereafter, back off the direct work or at least the skullcrushers, which often tend to be tougher on the elbows.

Because triceps are indirectly worked during chest workouts (more directly depending on grip width) and shoulder presses, they’re still getting some stimulation even if you don’t work them directly until your elbow feels better.

i have (since 3 years) a similar problem with my right elbow, elbow bursitis , chronical byw,it become painful during the summer (110 F here now), I managed it with kalifornia press as eccentric (even heavy) loading didn’t cause me ANY pain,ice (a lot) and avoiding any overhead extension,after a while (1month of kalifornia press)I felt no pain in the elbow and started again heavy CGBP,btw still now I have to be carefull on overhead tris extensions…

PJR pullovers and reverse grip bench are usually pretty easy on the elbows and hit the tris hard.

[quote]vdizenzo wrote:
Do high rep extensor work for your elbows. Tate presses incline or flat, rolling dbl tri extenstions, barbell ext, and jm’s. Now keep in mind these must be low intensity work. Lighter weight, relatively of course, with high sets and reps. Watch your tempo because when you get to the bottom of the exercise there will be a great stretch on the tricep right by the elbow.

Some people call that pain when it’s really just a crazy stretch. Don’t bounce weight, heave, or jerk it. Take it slow and controlled. Build up over time and your elbows will feel much better. Lastly, if you do have real pain at a point in the movement try and manipulate body positions to find different angles that may not hurt.

IMHO, pushdowns blow and are almost a waste of time. You just don’t get that stretch. I only find them useful to do light with weight or bands for a ton of reps to force blood in the area for recovery. My elbows are in great shape so I never really need to do those for recovery anyway.[/quote]

This guy knows what he’s saying

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:

[quote]kingbeef323 wrote:
Are you using elbow sleeves and taking anti inflammatory supplements such as fish oil/curcumin and joint support supplements that promote bloodflow to connective tissue such as supercissus/gotu kola? Had a similar problem for a while though not quite as bad as what you’re describing and doing all that stuff helped a lot in addition to regularly doing the dc tricep stretch, avoiding harsh extension movements, rolling my arms on a lacross ball against the wall and I’m sure ditching gloves and working on my grip strength/forearms helped in some regard as well.[/quote]

I’m taking alaskan fish oil, 4-5 pills a day

does supercissus really work that well? I tried it for a couple weeks once with a shoulder injury it didn’t seem to do so much

ordered some sleeves but bbdotcom is on a ridiculous back order. it’s seriously been almost 3 weeks[/quote]

I feel like supercissus makes a noticeable difference to the point where I always order soon as I open the last bottle to make sure I never have to go a day without it.

Why not cancel the bb.com order and just go to a local sports store and pick up some neoprene sleeves?

Also make sure your exercise order for triceps is conducive to elbow health. I find starting with a heavy press then moving to a squeezing movement (pushdowns) and finishing with the bar/dumbbell extension works well for that purpose. Also helps to keep rest under a minute to limit the weight you need to use.

Use this:
http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?cid=114&m=PD&pid=492

Give the supplements KingBeef mentioned a try, they worked for me.

Training wise:
Use bands at a controlled 3sec up and 3sec down for 60 second sets.
Start with regular pushdowns (but with the bands), 3-4 sets
You can do overhead (put the band under the bench or attach to heavy ass dumbbell), 3-4 sets and finish with
Behind the back pushdowns, again with bands, mimicking the bench dip movement but standing (hope that makes sense). you can also push down on the pad of the assisted pull up machine for 5 sets of 10 (elbows in, or out)

Those made all the difference to me and for the 8 weeks I used them and kept my size but improved shape (18 1/2 inches)