Having dealt with elbow tendinitis successfully, there's a couple things to look out for:
- How tight are my hands when I'm squatting?
- Is my upper body work triceps dominant or biceps dominant?
- How often am I lifting at 90+% of my max?
Sometimes you can alleviate a lot of stress on your elbows just by bringing your hands out a little further on the bar. Some "how to" squat guides suggest that you generate upper back tightness by getting the hands as tight toward your body as possible while squatting. All this does is allow the weight of the bar to transfer to your elbows. You can (and should) keep a tight upper back when you squat, but that is separate from your hand position. First time I dealt with tendinitis this was all I had to do.
A common plight for power lifters is that they spend a lot time pressing in some fashion or another, but don't have nearly enough pulling or curling. If you are doing a lot of overhead work for your strongman event preparation, be sure to do some high rep curls once a week to help keep the joint healthy. Barbell, dumbbell, etc. it doesn't matter what type of curl, just do 5 sets of 20 (100 reps total). The goal is to get blood flowing through the joint to flush away inflammation. The compression treatment works on the same principle, but the curls actually correct the muscle imbalance. Same can be true if you have a lot of biceps work compared to triceps work, in that case do the 5x20 work with close grip bench press or some other triceps dominant movement. Second time I dealt with tendinitis this corrected the problem.
Lastly, if you spend a lot of time close to your max then you are putting your joints under a lot of strain. If you are doing supramaximal work (doing partials with greater than your max) such as bench lock outs or squat walk outs, that stresses your joints a lot. If the majority of your work is in the 70-80% range, that allows the joints to get stronger. Look at supramaximal work as an initial stressor that will take your body a couple weeks to fully recover from. It's better to get stronger with more volume overall than it is to constantly push maxes. This is true whether you do strongman or powerlifting. When you look at the way the most successful people in those sports train they average around 70-75% for the month--sometimes heavier and sometimes lighter. However, it helps their bodies stay strong and stay healthy. Constantly living in the 90+% range is just testing your strength--not building it. I went through a short phase where I played with supramaximal work. When the beginning signs of tendinitis started creeping in, I backed off and it went away.
Please do understand that there are times to go into the 90+% range. As I'm currently in a peaking cycle for competition I'll be hitting numbers in that range within a couple weeks. I just do the majority of my training sub-maximally and build strength on volume. This has really been key to keeping my training consistent and building a much better base of strength than I had last competition.