Well, only 10 more weeks to go for my Wichita Highland Games training. But, I’ve already broke one of my personal records, which means I already have achieved one of my goals, about 5 – 7 weeks earlier than planned. In a way, it’s a bit of a vanity thing – my previous record for arm size, I believe, 16″ (I think I had hit 16 1/4th” at one point.) Now? I’m at just slightly above 17″.
I hadn’t been watching my arm size – it’s fairy irrelevant in many ways. Most of the strength I’ll need for the Wichita Highland Games comes from the core, not big biceps, and most of my workout is geared that way. No matter what you do, though, you’ll end up working the arms at the same time, just to varying degrees – it’s just a thing. And, for what I’m going to do, tricep is probably more important than bicep.
I was chatting with The Plumber and decided to do a week centered around super-sets (in fact, I picked a ridiculously grueling variation. Lat pulldowns, for instance, is 50-40-30-20-10-20-30-40-50 reps. That means by the time I was done with the lat pulldowns, I had done 290 of ’em. Now, repeat that sort of uglyness across the rest of the workout. And that whole thing takes quite a while to get through.
About half-way through my workout on Friday, I looked in the mirror, and realized – my arms were bigger than I thought they were. I sort of had a wild whim moment, and grabbed a tape measure, and wrapped it around carefully (metal tape measures suck at this), and came up with around 17 inches. That can’t be right, if I had 17″ arms, I wouldn’t be able to do this (tries touching left fingertips to left shoulder.) Wait… I can’t do that.
Still not believing it, I went to Walmart and picked up a $1.40 fabric tape, and tonight I measured it up (and shot a picture.) During a workout, all hot flexed, yeah, I’m 17″. The day before I measured in, having not worked out (I took an extra day off for shoulder healing) I measured in at 16 1/2″. And then I took a picture of the 17″ biceps (you’ll notice mine aren’t “peaked”, nor do they look that great – I still have extra fat in the flexing areas, which actually makes them look a bit smaller than they are, since they don’t bulge out as much as someone who’s leaner than I am.)
I figured, given how hard I was going to be pushing, about the end of my 15 week workout run, I’d probably pull off something like 17″ arms – I succeeded much earlier than I planned 🙂
But, it still doesn’t matter – this is still all about raw, brute strength, mainly in the core. After the Wichita Highland Games are over, I’ll look at going a completely different route for a while, do a lot more cardio (too bad I no longer have DDR pads 🙂 ) and controlled diet, and see if I can’t rip off more of the fat so I can highlight the muscles better, just for the heck of it. Maybe train up and run a marathon next.
How goes it otherwise? Slowly, but surely, I’m gaining upper body mass, and I can see more and more muscle in my guts and chest. So, I’m still gonna continue to call it a win 😉 For only being 5 weeks worth of workouts, I’m more than happy with the results. I’m becoming excited to see what week 15 looks like!