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Thread: Recurring Upper Arm Pain/Weakness

  1. #1
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    Default Recurring Upper Arm Pain/Weakness

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    New lifter here. Eased into NLP around the beginning of December. 41 years old, no serious health issues or previous injuries.

    I have pain in the outside of my upper arms. It's worse in my right arm than my left, but it's in both (right hand dominant). Trying to figure out 1) What it is, 2) How/if I can train while it's there, and 3) How I can prevent it in the future.

    About 6 years ago I got into playing disc golf fairly obsessively. My throwing (right) arm began getting sore when I was throwing multiple days per week, and it just stayed sore for the entire 1.5 to 2 years that I was playing regularly. The only way to get it better was to rest for a week or two, and limit the amount of time I would play. I spent many hours during this time trying to increase the distance I could throw a disc, and no matter the amount of form help and videos I watched, I couldn't ever throw much past a spectacularly mediocre 250 feet, and was regularly topping out closer to 225 feet. My forehand/sidearm throw was significantly worse than my backhand (tennis backhand/forehand mechanics are similar fyi) and would hurt my arm more. I strongly suspected that some muscle/tendon/system didn't really develop right when I was a kid, and I was just stuck with it.

    When I started SS a few months ago, I hadn't been playing disc golf much and there wasn't any arm soreness. It's come back in a way that feels nearly identical, except it's also in my left arm. I've trained three days per week throughout (missing only one day while out of town), and haven't done anything extra in the gym to mess up my recovery. I'm getting probably 7 hours per night of sleep. Not tracking calories or macros, but I did dramatically increase both calories and protein a few weeks ago and have seen that scale weight start to move again. I've reset all of the lifts at least once, and am moving to a HLM "late novice" at least for squats. I'm about 75% of the way through the blue book and have spent a decent amount of time rewatching the form videos on SS's Youtube, but I imagine my form ain't great. Before I started SS, I was running a few days per week.

    Lifts:
    Squat (started Nov. 24): 125 to 215

    Deadlift (started Dec. 11): 95 to 215

    Bench (started Dec. 11): 110 to 135

    Press (started Dec. 13): 75 to 90

    Have done resets on all the lifts. Deadlift is particularly frustrating- I couldn't get 165 off the floor yesterday. Yes, these are frustratingly low for an otherwise able-bodied male who has been in the gym for more than two months.

    Weight/Body Fat Percentage (from bioelectrical thing at my globo gym, so take with a grain of salt):
    November 15: 155lbs, 22% body fat
    December 24: 161, 18% body fat
    January 15: 161, 17% body fat
    February 2: 166 lbs

    This week my arm definitely hurt while doing bench and overhead press, and I missed reps because of it.

    So my questions:
    1) Is this likely shoulder impingement, a tendon/muscle strain, something with my rotator cuff, or what?
    2) What kind of training can/should I do while I'm trying to make this go away?
    3) Is there anything I can do to prevent this in the future? I really hoped that getting stronger would help with this kind of weakness (and add some feet to my disc golf throws).

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default

    Do you have the blue book?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2023
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    Default

    11 pounds in 2.5 months is not very much. That precipitous drop in impedance measurement indicates a lot of that is probably water. 215 is VERY light to be moving to HLM. You're not eating enough to recover sufficiently.

    Gaining 30 pounds has a way of fixing injuries like this. You don't give your height. It may need to be 50.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2024
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    Default

    Hello! I do have the blue book.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    Have you read it? Because you are not doing the program.

    A Clarification | Mark Rippetoe

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2024
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    Thanks for the feedback so far! I understand I need to eat more, and have been doing so the past two weeks. I'm 5'6".

    Any other suggestions for rehabbing this particular issue? I think the play is to follow Jordan Burnett's Elbow Tendonitis article from March 2020, focusing on grip/form with the squat and doing 3-1-2 tempo bench press every workout.

    Would it be best to post a squat form video on this thread or in the form check channels?

  7. #7
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    I don't know what the particular issue is because you don't have a diagnosis. You're going to have to get somebody to tell you what structures are involved here before you can address rehab.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Wichita Falls, Texas
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by RobDyes View Post
    Thanks for the feedback so far! I understand I need to eat more, and have been doing so the past two weeks. I'm 5'6".

    Any other suggestions for rehabbing this particular issue? I think the play is to follow Jordan Burnett's Elbow Tendonitis article from March 2020, focusing on grip/form with the squat and doing 3-1-2 tempo bench press every workout.

    Would it be best to post a squat form video on this thread or in the form check channels?
    Iím not trying to be pedantic, but Jordanís article was written about a specific problem. His article, and rehab in general, is not effectively used as a one size fits all template for any and all issues. The Starr Method is almost universally misapplied, in much the same manner.

    If you are serious about rehab, you may not find the answer particularly appealing, but hire someone who does this professionally.

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