I've been doing this program for 27 months, and became extremely ripped and lean. I would like to increase my strength, particularly bench press, to do my full weight. However, I notice soreness in several UB joints at this point. I can do flys and chest presses with a 55 lb. dumbell in each hand, but my shoulders and elbows are sore a lot. Any advice on how to proceed? I still do my cardio 3-4X a week as well. Is there a site that would be better for me at this point? Fat is no longer an issue, as I'm under 11% BFP, and burned all the excess blubber off.
Any advice from experienced weight lifters appreciated,
Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.
I am in a similar position. Right now I am reading Arnold Schwarzenegger's encyclopedia of bodybuilding (the updated one not the one form the 80s). At 800 pages it contains a lot of information. It is not as organized as the bfl book by any stretch but I am finding it very helpful. I love BFL but I really think for those of us who get to a low BF% and are ready to build muscle we need to move on a bit. There are a lot of muscles we don't get the time to work out in the bfl style. The Arnold book is extremly similar to bfl (I am sure bill phillips read it before he started bfl) but reccomends doing more sets and exercises for each muscle group. Of course to do this you need to split your work outs. There are many variations on splitting workouts. I am looking at doing something like chest and back one day, shoulders and arms the next and legs the next or something like that. I am still doing some research and experimenting in the gym. Inciently Arnold reccomends cardio 3 - 5 times a week and does abs every day. Anyway I am loving this book as it is so similare to BFL but takes it up a notch. I purchesed my copy used from abebooks.com for about $20.00 with shipping. It was worth every cent.
I hope all is well with you.
On the topic of soreness, I had a similar situation till I used a table spoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of cayenne powder in my diet. I no longer have soreness or the painful buildup of lactic acid. After your workouts, before the stretches, do one to three reps of biceps curls with no weights at all using only your own tensed arms. when your hands come beside your shoulders squeeze really hard and bring your elbow to its full angle til you feel the pain in the elbow eases. You may also want to add a spoon of ginger powder to a mug of water (hot or cold) and drink it daily. I tackled the problem early so i saw improvement in about a week.
Are you able to isolate the reason behind too much soreness?
Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear
Happy to report all is well, and I'm doing fine. I hope things are also well with you. I knew it would be good to ask for advice at the BFL site, because of great people like you, who have terrific insights. If there's one thing we learned from BFL, it's to keep moving forward, never stand still. So, I found your approach absolutely brilliant. I'm going to the library in a few minutes to see if I can find the book. I'll take some time to work out a plan, and focus on cardio for a while.
The cause of my soreness is probably in the joints, tendons, ligaments, etc. from extended use and wear. However, I may also have a strain where the left shoulder meets the triceps and lat. Kind of like a set of tires, these things eventually wear out! (I'm not exactly young anymore). My weight lifting guide mentions this too, and the need to sometimes take time off. However, I'm going to try the apple cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper is a natural for someone like me who enjoys some heat on my food. I will try all of your suggestions, but must confess I'm a little wary about drinking the gingered water...Come to think of it, I'm probably much more consistent in stretching before my workouts, but rarely do so afterwards. Would that be significant?
hi again Jacium,
I meant whether you could pin it down to a particular thing that caused it. I know mine started from the lat pulldown machine, or rather positioning my elbows wrong using the machine. I couldn't help it so now I am doing a different exercise for the lats. If you could isolate the catalyst, it will be great. Just keep a close monitor on how your affected areas are responding to different situations.
You may consume fresh ginger in a larger amount with food. It's a very powerful anti-inflam with no side-effect. If you can't do the ginger, use a table spoon of turmeric (lucklily it's one of the ingredients of American mustard), or a substantial amount of fresh spinach every day will be alright although rather expensive.
The problem with stretches is that there are two types of stretches which is why there are so much argument about if it's good for you to stretch before or after a workout. Muscles don't take kindly to stretching before a workout when the muscle is cold. Which is why many people warm up before they stretch which is oxymoron. The right way to do it is to use the first type of a stretch, which is a "static"/"cold" stretch. This is using a foam roller or a medicine ball or a tennis ball to target the areas affected. You lie on the floor with the ball/roller beneath the area and use your body weight to "even out" any knots or trapped muscle tissue. You can pin the roller or ball between you and a wall if it will give you a better access to the point where it hurts. Usually, this is painful and the painful spot is where there are knots that need to be released. When you are done, please don't stretch. Stretching will elongate a muscle that will in a few minutes be subject to heavy lifting or laborious cardio, paving the way for more soreness and injury.
When you are done with your workout, stretch in the conventional way. After the stretches repeat the foam roller or ball routine. Always remember to completely relax the targeted area for this to be effective. You will need plenty of water with this (roughly a gallon per day or more depending on where you are at now with your water intake), and you will also benefit from a hot epsom/sea salt bath.
The affected area will be very painful to deal with but it should be dealt with by concentrating on it for 20-30 seconds.
I found a video on youtube that explains the technique but you may want to change body positions to target where it hurts on your body.The last half of the video may be of particular interest for you as it deal with the exact problem you described. If you have pain INSIDE your elbow, you will need to do manipulation with your fingers in the elbow area of a stretched arm. With some patience, you will be able to find a painful knot in there, it might feel like a chickpea size elusive knot. You will need to manipulate it several times a day until it disappears. All this will take time (few days to few weeks) however, the results are irreversible. Once it works, it works :o)
Persistent soreness may be indicative (among other factors) of insufficient consumption of water or high level of toxins in the body that are not being flushed out properly, or when you are not warming up using your level 5 start up levels properly (by increasing weight or speed beyond a 50% effort which is what level 5 is all about) consequently entering a hard workout without the warm up level.
The video was realy instructive, and I think I'm going to revamp my routine. I have no shortage of yellow (prepared) mustard in my curent diet, so the turmeric qty. must be pretty high already. Yellow mustard is the miracle condiment, in my opinion - no cals. but plenty of flavor. I drink lots of water. I suspect the problem started long ago with dumbbell lat raises, pushing up weight load too fast. Other shoulder excercises also now cause soreness on the left side. Thanks for all that detail on how to combat this, I really appreciate your efforts! Let me know if there is anything I can do in return. I see you're in the midst of a new challenge, and I have an arsenal of nutrition and eating tricks that will help burn fat, and get through the difficult situations.
jacium, if you are trying to add muscle mass to bench more, then you need to eat at a surplus. Seeing how you are 11% right now, i would start by eating 500 more cals a day coming from carbs. If you eat the bfl way, at a calorie deficit, you will not grow. Now a lot of bflers will say they gained muscle doin bfl, and of course they did. Most people have never lifted before so you will experience newbie gains. It happens ot us all, but once you hit that sticking point, you will have to change your diet.
Thanks, Jacium. I will definitely write you on this. All the best.
My experience with these kinds of injuries is that often it is a small muscle that has been overworked and is incapable of proper functioning throught the natural chemical process. If you find a muscle somewhere near or directly at the sour spot you may have found the culprit. The only therapy I know of that works is the put pressure on the muscle until the old toxins have been pushed out and the blood can revitalize the injury with new life throught new chemistry. Forcing the muscle to relax is very painful and the desire to stop is intense; plainly it hurts. At first the muscle is like a "rock" but as the pressure increases the muscle finally fatigues and begins to soften like it always should have been. The soreness will decrease by 80% initialy and over the next few days will disappear altogether. I have spent many years in the martial arts and this is the best therapy I know of for a sore muscle that won't relax.
If the shoulder is painful when you try to do a bench press and feels like it is the anterior deltoid, it is most likely the bicept where it attaches to the coracoid process of the scapula. The technique for realigning this ligament is only known by a few well trained chiropractors. I have helped many bodybuilders at the gym in just minutes; if you don't do the technique correctly then you will not see any viable results; you won't get hurt you just wont get over the problem
Good luck and let me know if I can be of any other help.
If your shoulder injury feels like its deep inside the front delt then I am almost certain that it is the bicept ligament that attaches to the coracoid process of the scapula. A painful problem that is easy to fix if you do the process correctly. I have helped many guys with this and the pain disappears immediately.
I am very interested in the technique you're describing but it was a bit vague, does it have a name I can google, or could it be found on youtube? or if you have any descriptive link, i will be really grateful. thanks.
How are you doing? It's been a while since I've been surfing the BFL site. I think you're right. My weight has been steady +/- 3 lbs for 2 years now, since I finished my 1st challenge in June, 2009. I saw it drop to the low point again about a week ago, but it's been about as close to an equilibrium state as one could reasonably expect to get. I will estimate how much more calories should be added to increase another 10 lbs muscle mass, and try to match that value. I think your estimate is probably pretty close, though. Thanks for pointing this out.
The soreness is located about where the small pad of a set of football shoulder pads would fall, more on the outside of the upper shoulder and along the upper triceps. I think it's mainly in the lat. Thanks, though, and I am very interested in this technique of massaging out the stiffness.
no prob jacium. Most people are on this board to get lean so adding lean weight doesnt get addressed too much in terms of nutrition. Most think they can eat small portions and lift heavy and get big.
I like how the reigning Mr olympia Jay Cutler addresses it. He says, "No such thing as overtraining, but there is under eating."
Obviously you can overtrain, but the point he is making is loud and clear to me. Unless you eat at a surplus and give your body the energy it needs to grow, then it is just not going to happen.
I don't know your lean weight, but as a general guideline I would aim for 200g protein and 300g of carbs split into 6 meals and see how your body responds to that.
Ironically, that would follow the book precisely too. A forgotten part of the BFL book is to double your carbs for the first 3 meals if you've reached your goal weight and are looking to continue to build. It's in the FAQ section. For a 200 man, that would be 200g of protein and 300g of carbs between the 6 meals.
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