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No Bicep, No Problem: Embracing Adaptability in the Face of Injury Training with a Bicep Injury

The Unexpected Role of the Bicep

It's only when we're down an arm that we fully appreciate the bicep's role in our daily lives, especially when it’s your dominant arm. For me, adapting to right-handed life has been a curious challenge – one I've accepted with a mix of amusement and determination.

The Injury: A Twist of Fate on the Rugby Field

During a typical rugby match, a not-so-typical moment led to my left distal bicep tendon fully rupturing. No pain, just a peculiar stiffness – and the most impressive bicep peak you've ever seen. Fancy challenging me to a front double bicep pose? Bring it on!

It felt like a cramp at first, prompting me to power through another play before realising that my muscle wasn't cramping; it was my bicep recoiling up my arm. An odd sensation indeed, but the adrenaline of the game masked the gravity of the injury.

Man laying on gym floor happy

Why Stop? Work and Training Must Go - On Training with a Bicep Injury

Some might see this injury as a signal to apply the brakes on training and work. Not I. Being largely pain-free and equipped with a fully functional right arm means that life can, and will, continue as usual. I coach, I help, I inspire, and I adapt – there's no logical reason to pause what gives life so much meaning.

My Adapted Training Regimen: Pre-Surgery

Curiosity may now be getting the best of you, wondering how I've continued Training with a Bicep Injury. I've been meticulously logging every stage of my pre-surgery workouts, which have looked like this:

Week 1 & 2 Training Snapshot


Hatfield Safety Bar Squats – 3x5,5,Max (with a 3-5s eccentric phase)

Glute Ham Raise – 3x10 (3-5s eccentric)

Banded Hip Extension – 3xMAX


Single Arm DB Bench – 3x10

Single Arm Cable Row – 3x10

Single Arm DB OHP – 3x10

Single Arm Lat Pull Down – 3x10

Single Arm DB Bicep Curl – 3 sets

Single Arm Cable Tricep Pushdown – 3x10

Bodyweight Rear Delt Flys – 3xMAX

... (continue with the rest of the week's routine)

This is just a glimpse, folks. While the routine is set to change post-op, it's crucial to keep moving and stay as active as the recovery process allows.

Daily walks keep the spirits high (the dog could not agree more), and cycling has become my go-to for maintaining cardiovascular health.

Dealing with Potential Imbalances

Concerns about becoming unbalanced are valid, but studies suggest that strength training on one limb can transfer over to the injured one. It's not only fascinating but also comforting to know that my uninjured arm is secretly helping its counterpart without lifting a weight.

The Takeaway: Injury Is Not the End

The most valuable lesson I've learnt and hope to impart is this: Injuries, no matter their severity, shouldn't write the narrative of your life. There are always alternatives, adaptations, and mental shifts that can be embraced.

As I jot down these experiences on the eve of surgery, with post-op adaptations on the horizon, I do so with unwavering resolve to continue my journey. Where there's a will, there's invariably a way.

Remember, I'm not your doctor or physiotherapist. Each injury and person is unique – always consult with a professional before embarking on your post-injury training journey. Keep an eye out for future posts where I'll dive deeper into my post-op recovery and the insights I gain from the entire process.

Keep moving, keep adapting, and until next time – remember, no bicep, no problem.

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