My Left Arm

A while ago I took a picture of my left arm as a physical gauge of my strength and lard reduction progress.  I don’t weigh myself, principally on the basis that it’s a bad measure for the things I care about.

This is the original picture, taken in August 2010:

There’s a decent bit of definition there, because I’d spent quite a few weeks in the gym throwing heavy shit around.  I was also (possibly) pumped from an afternoon of wielding a weapon of mass destruction in the garden.

Since that day I have trained for and run a 10-mile race, with a finishing time of (minus the toilet stop) 1hr 40 mins.  There’s no doubt that I’m physically fit.

Yesterday I went to the gym and did some weight training for the first time in around 10 weeks.  You could have sub-titled my effort ‘feeble’, and I’m aching today.  This does not make me happy.  It does not fit with my goals.  I’ll tell you what else doesn’t fit with my goals:

Let's all say it together: Back. Slide.

My camera is awful in anything less than bright sunlight, tis true, but what you’re looking at is not a trick of the light: my arm is flabbier.  It’s not any bigger, in fact it might even be smaller judging by the fit of my clothes, but the muscles have disappeared and in their place is fat.  I’m not imagining that I’m a weed: the evidence is there for all to see.   I’m a fit weed: a weed that can run 10 miles is not to be sniffed at, and I’m very proud of it.  I’ve come to love running and I want to do more long-distance events in the future.

But I want my strength back.  I raked leaves in the garden for an hour last weekend and my lower back muscles ached for two days.  This is unacceptable.  The problem is how to achieve greater strength without losing my running stamina and fitness.

So, people: new plan!  Two full-body weights workouts each week, with 20 mins of interval-training torture-cardio, and then one long run each weekend.  No excuses, no drama.  Let’s experiment with my body, internet.

I’ll post another photo before Christmas.  Before Christmas, because of course after Christmas I will have consumed my own body-weight in lard and science says something important about isolating variables to allow valid comparisons.

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2 Responses to “My Left Arm”


  1. 1 Jonathan November 3, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Remind me never to arm wrestle you ;)

    Seriously though – YOU ROCK! I can’t remember the last time I went running, let alone walked into a gym…

  2. 2 Rima November 4, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Well, you still look pretty darn strong to me, but I’ll take your word for it. Good luck!


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