One Year Bicep Tear Recovery by Zitronenquark

Stephan Krippl aka. “Zitronenquark” teard his biceps during deadlift one year ago. Stephan is a Power Lifter from Germany, Bavaria. He is able to benchpress 256kg/564lb to deadlift 360kg/793lb and to squat 310kg/683lb RAW.

Today he is fully recovered and is able to train like a mad man! But how exactly did he tear his bicep? As I said he deadlifted but not with the standard barbell. He used the hexbar with a neutral grip. If you type on youtube “bicep tear” then you will see many lifters got their injury due to the “mixed grip”. But Stephan used the neutral grip. He held the hex-bar at top position a few seconds to demonstrate his strength and at that moment his bicep was not able to stand these pressure and just teared.

hexbar-deadlift injury bicepHe thought that one day his chest or his triceps would tear first. He never expected that his biceps would tear. Thus he went to the doctor. He told him that his tendon was completely torn from the bone. At first sight it sounds bad, but in reality it is really good news. Worse is a bundle tear in which the muscle tissue ruptures. Stephan’s tendon was pulled down and fixed in place with an anchor and two cords and should grow tight. He had to wear a splint for 6 weeks.

Stephan’s Injury history
At the age of 6 he started playing soccer and that’s where he got many injuries: outside ligaments stretched several times and ankle broken several times. He played a few years soccer and stopped. He lost the passion. But his father did bodybuilding so Stephan wanted to be big and strong!

At the age of 11 Stephan started olympic weightlifting.
Mid 90s: miniskus tore left, cartilage damage right knee and elbow overstretched a few times.

At the age of 19 he started power lifting. Big chest, thorax and tricep. Thus stephan favorite exercise is the Bench Press. He was born and build for pressing. So he did a lot of “Only-Benchpress” competition. On the road to the top he almost died. In the competition he has broken 2 ribs. The barbell dropped on his chest. The spleen was also crushed.

Shoulder joint was partly removed. At that time in germany there were only competitions with EQ. No raw competitions. Thus he had pressed with a bench-press shirt. Due to the bench-shirt there was too much compression on the ac-joint and thus the joint became chronically ill and became inflamed. His ac-joint was carved out, but it’s not too bad.

Discus ripped; wrist right
This was the worst injury. No one knows but discus rupture is very bad. Discus is a triangular cartilage disc. Connects elle and spoke. If the disk is torn you can not turn the hand anymore, in most cases the wrist must be stiffened and he had super luck. Had found a good clinic. His hand was in a splint for 8 weeks. He trained with bands.

Hernia 6 weeks before the german championship in bench press.

Bicep tear during hex-bar deadlift. The bicep injury is the worst he’s ever had according to Stephan. He cites that the stability of the biceps tendon is only 30% after 6 weeks. After 12 weeks at 50%. After 400 days the tendon tissue is 100% stable.

Stephan Rehab Program
12.10.2016 Bicep Operation
Stephan recommends the surgeon Dr. Mathias Ritsch in Rosenheim.
The doctor is highly regarded in Germany and has a very good reputation among body builders and power lifters.

In the first 6 weeks (after operation)
For 6 weeks his arm was in the splint. If the arm is motionless in the splint for so long time then all muscles will be gone and the tendon is not used to anything anymore. The first 2 weeks he did 3x a week a lymph drainage. When there is no movement, the shoulder mobility quickly becomes stiff. Thus the shoulder was moved passively. His physiotherpauet moved his shoulders. The motion sequence resembles the exercise of “Lateral Raises” without weight. After 2 weeks he actively moved his shoulders himself.

shoulder movementAfter 2 weeks he started to massage the scar. He used to massage hard on the scar so that everything is supplied with blood. He recommends massaging once a day. According to Stephan the massage is very painful.

massage bicep tearStephan claims that vitamin C is very important for healing. It is his most important vitamin ever. During his injury he takes 2000mg to 3000mg a day.

After 6 weeks without biceps training  

Light Weight BABYYYHe does static exercises 4 weeks long. For example he holds his forearm and tries to control his biceps also he makes biceps curls without weight or with extremly light weight.

bicep without trainingThe above picture shows Stephan’s arm after 6 weeks without training. His left bicep is significantly smaller than his right. After 48 hours without movement the muscle will degenerate.

After 10 weeks 
He was allowed to train with the thera band. And the next problem. He got a chronic triceps inflammation. First it was a bursa inflammation and developed into triceps inflammation. Every day he did “cable pushdown” with theraband to train the triceps but the tendon was not so far. For this reason came a bursa inflammation. Buddy has injected him cortisone . It was a real egg after 1 1/1 weeks the swelling disappeared. But he’s had this problem for six months.

bursa inflammation He still couldn’t train. Had started a new video series by coaching someone. The training only went under pain. In the acute phase he recommends a break. March 2017 he paused for 9 weeks in the hope that the inflammation will finally disappear. His last attempt was shockwave therapy. Otherwise he only trains his legs. When squatting he is using wide-grip to relieve the pressure on the elbow.

His recommendation for chronic inflammation: never take a complete break! Take a break for the first 2 weeks (acute phase). During this time he took alternating baths. First week cold and then warm in the second week.

zitronenquark hot and coldStephan said if the muscle tears again then it will be over with his Powerlifting career.
His greatest motivation and what keeps him alive: his personal-trainer job. Preparing for competitions, writing training sysmtems/routines. And especially the work with athletes and the progress of his customers. One of his customers was able to lift 180kg 5x. And with the coaching of Stephan he was able to lift 220kg 5x.
And the positive messages from his fans and clients motivates him.

After 500 days

At the beginning of 2018, he was fully recovered and able to train like a mad man! Stephan started benchpressing 120kg for 10 reps. It is acutally nothing for Stephan. But you have to increase the weights step by step.

“I started Olympic Weightlifting 1993 at the age of 11. With 19 years I decided to start Powerlifting ….. after all this years I still love my sport” -Stephan Krippl


1 thought on “One Year Bicep Tear Recovery by Zitronenquark”

  1. Dear great sportsman
    I am a coach of power lifting and used to be the strongest man a few years ago in my country, but a few weeks ago ,in an accident i tore me distal biceps tendon partially. my Dr suggested me I treat it without surgery because I am 54 years old , but I still am very active and hate to be weak , in another aspect, It would be very impossible for me to have my biceps tendon operated because of its money and my job that make my ends meet. Please guide me whether I would be able to repair it without surgery , and can i return to my previous condition. I think that you are only one who realize what I am feeling (only one sportsman like you) so I would be grateful if you guide me soon.


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