Training to date this year has been very lower body focused since my bicep operation (Dec 23/24). The plaster cast was removed from my left arm January 8. Both the specialist and physio were very happy with the progress. In the meantime, I have been advised to not perform any heavy lifting which may stress the biceps, but encouraged to participate in light activity which will gently promote range of motion and contraction of the muscles. I can almost fully extend my arm now, but not able to lock out with force.
In the few times I have been injured in the past, I have always sought out what I can do, rather than being depressed or frustrated with what I can’t do. In 2009 I tore some of the ligaments off the bone in my left wrist in an attempt to power clean 160kg. I was very limited with my training for a while after the injury, but I made good use of pin-loaded machines, smith machines, and I was able to train both my lower and upper body while my wrist healed.
To keep me focussed, active and assist the recovery progress, I wrote up a program which I have been following 3 times per week, for the past 2 weeks. It doesn’t stress my bicep, but it promotes blood flow in the areas to assist healing and recovery and allows some gentle contraction. In addition to this program, I have also been lightly jogging for 20 mins, twice a week.
Elias Arcondoulis: 3x WEEK PROGRAM:
Warm up, 10 mins easy treadmill, some light static and dynamic stretching
1. 1 – Leg extension (single leg): 5 sets of 12, increasing weight from approx 60-80kg
2. 2 – Hamstring curl (prone leg curl): 5 sets of 10, increasing weight from approx 50-70kg
3. 3 – Glute machine: 3 sets of 15, light, aiming for speed
Short break, static stretching of the lower body
4. 4 – Machine pec fly (keeping arm at 90 degrees): 3 sets of 20 reps, low intensity
5. 5 – Machine lat pulldown (short range of motion, starting with arms at 90 degrees, and extending to only 30 degrees, not locking out). 3 sets of 50 reps, very low weight
6. 6 – Machine chest press (short range of motion, starting with arms at 90 degrees, and extending to only 30 degrees, not locking out). 3 sets of 50 reps, very low weight
7. 7 – 1-arm seated rows, full range of motion, but isometrically contracting the left lats while the right side actively contracts, 3 sets of 8, approx 50-70kg
8. 8 – Dumbbell lateral raisers, superset with rear delt raisers (keeping the arms strictly locked at 90 degrees), 3 sets of 10 reps, light dumbbells
9. 9 – Hyper extensions, superset with side bends, bodyweight: 3 sets of 15 reps for each
Easy treadmill 10 mins, and static stretching which doesn’t affect the left bicep.
I will visit an Osteopath next week, where I will obtain an assessment of my bicep as well as any other problematic body parts, such as the recovery of my right calf which I partially tore late last year.
In terms of supplementation, I have been taking the new Watermelon flavoured BCAA Recovery mixed with Waxy Maize Starch during training. The taste is great and keeps me going, especially during the longer, endurance style workouts. To ensure that I don’t lose too much size due to my injury, I have been taking the new Cookies and Cream flavoured Muscle Food 101. Again, the taste is great and keeps me fueled between meals. And if you’ve previously tried Test Max and dislike the taste – don’t despair! The new Watermelon flavoured Test Max has a much better taste and can be mixed with the same flavoured BCAA Recovery if you wish.
As always, train hard and smart!