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Old 01-21-2013, 07:30 AM   #1
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Default Forearm pain/cramping/spasms after training

In my last training cycle, I had an accessory day on Saturday. This day consisted of lots of pull ups/chin ups, DB rows, DB chest supported rows, DB hammer curls, and DB curls. A couple hours after finishing these sessions, I would start to get terrible forearm spasms and pain. If I tried to bend my arms at all, my forearms would spasm and often pull my arms into a fully flexed (like you're doing a curl) position. The pain was pretty bad, and this happened every time.

Last Saturday (ie, two days ago), I did this same training day, but without any curls. My forearms started doing the same thing, and the pain is actually still here today (although they aren't cramping). Normally, this would have been gone on Sunday mornings.

Anyone have any ideas on what's weak in my body and causing this? My personal opinion is that my biceps are grossly weak and my forearms are taking over.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:41 AM   #2
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I don't know your training history so I'll just throw out some possible causes:

1) Unusual workload. So if this is a new thing that you're attempting, more volume than you'd normally do or more even just different exercises that can cause cramping particularly if done for a lot of volume. Or related to that, if you've had a particularly hard training session which has depleted you this can effect subsequent sessions also.

2) Unusual diet. If for whatever reason you're taking a lot of caffeine or possibly other compounds (viagra causes huge cramps for some people, I'm just saying!), this can effect mineral balance and can also cause you to cramp. Or you may just be prone to cramping, my brother gets a lot of cramps for no real reason.

3) Forearm weakness. Again related to number 1, if this is an unusual workload then the sheer endurance factor will cause cramping.

All of these will pass eventually, just stay consistent.

Last edited by Fazc; 01-21-2013 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fazc View Post
I don't know your training history so I'll just throw out some possible causes:

1) Unusual workload. So if this is a new thing that you're attempting, more volume than you'd normally do or more even just different exercises that can cause cramping particularly if done for a lot of volume. Or related to that, if you've had a particularly hard training session which has depleted you this can effect subsequent sessions also.
This session could be considered "unusual," I suppose. I dropped these Saturday Accessory days about 3-4 weeks out from my meet, and I'm just starting them up again. However, when they were part of a regular routine (ie, every Saturday for at least 8 weeks), I would still get the forearm cramping and pain.

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2) Unusual diet. If for whatever reason you're taking a lot of caffeine or possibly other compounds (viagra causes huge cramps for some people, I'm just saying!), this can effect mineral balance and can also cause you to cramp. Or you may just be prone to cramping, my brother gets a lot of cramps for no real reason.
The only thing I can think of is creatine. I've heard, but never read actual studies, about the possibility of creatine causing muscle cramps. That being said, I've also heard that's a load of shit AND I don't get cramping from any other session.

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3) Forearm weakness. Again related to number 1, if this is an unusual workload then the sheer endurance factor will cause cramping.
This is the one I feel is most likely, along with bicep weakness. In my whole career I never really trained arms directly, save for the first few months-year that I start training. Ever since then I thought it was useless. Having learned better, I'm paying for it now as I try to catch up.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:17 AM   #4
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I get this sometimes. Got it real bad after my last meet; was trying to take my suit off, pulled it halfway and was stuck with my left hand basically in the suit. Not cool. I have alleviated it by stretching my triceps and using a lacrosse ball on my forearms. Still suffer every now and then reaching for something though...
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:20 AM   #5
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Yep, I think what you have is a perfect storm of those three factors.

I wouldn't drop anything, just increase your water intake and consider some extra bananas or maybe some low-sodium salt in your diet. Should help a lot.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:20 AM   #6
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I get this sometimes. Got it real bad after my last meet; was trying to take my suit off, pulled it halfway and was stuck with my left hand basically in the suit. Not cool. I have alleviated it by stretching my triceps and using a lacrosse ball on my forearms. Still suffer every now and then reaching for something though...
Thank you for saying that! That reminds me that I used to roll out my forearms with a barbell after those training days. I'll start that up again, same with triceps.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:21 AM   #7
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I get that same thing, if I do a session with lots of pulling and direct biceps work. Just like you said, sometimes it gets so bad that I can't bend my arms at all without them cramping, except my cramps are in my biceps. It's just because I don't do a lot of direct biceps work. I don't worry about it, I just drink lots of water, get some bananas in me and drive on.

I think it's more of an indication of doing a different type of training, as opposed to exposing a weakness. My biceps are quite strong, I just don't hit them like that to often.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:22 AM   #8
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Yep, I think what you have is a perfect storm of those three factors.

I wouldn't drop anything, just increase your water intake and consider some extra bananas or maybe some low-sodium salt in your diet. Should help a lot.
Thanks, man. I'll try that out. I definitely won't be dropping that day, but I'll work extra hard to fix this stupid little "problem."
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:23 AM   #9
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I get that same thing, if I do a session with lots of pulling and direct biceps work. Just like you said, sometimes it gets so bad that I can't bend my arms at all without them cramping, except my cramps are in my biceps. It's just because I don't do a lot of direct biceps work. I don't worry about it, I just drink lots of water, get some bananas in me and drive on.

I think it's more of an indication of doing a different type of training, as opposed to exposing a weakness. My biceps are quite strong, I just don't hit them like that to often.
That's interesting that we have a very similar problem but in "different" areas. I wonder what it indicates. Actually, it probably indicates that your biceps are fine and doing the work they're supposed to be doing lol.

Thanks for the input, I'll really hammer in my potassium and sodium. I've been getting lots of water, sometimes I neglect the minerals.
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