Muscle Milestones

Now that the Y has reopened I have been going faithfully four times a week. I cycle over immediately after work yet since I no longer work across the street, I don’t arrive till after 5:30 and once I lock up my bike, check in and get changed I am out on the gym floor by 5:40. I can no longer work out after 9 p.m. (I work evenings on Thursdays) since the Y closes at 10.

In February of last year I attained a peak weight of 187.6 yet have been hovering at 181 for the past couple of weeks now. I can tell that the loss of weight has not been a result of a loss in muscle mass. A couple years ago I had my body mass index calculated by a Y personal trainer and then again just a few weeks ago. My body fat percentage has dropped 2%. I have every reason to believe that my long bike rides to and from work are responsible for my fat loss. I look bigger and more “cut”, and if it wasn’t my own perception, the occasional remarks from fellow gym-goers (and I never talk to anybody) is all the proof that I need to hear.

I wondered sometimes if I’d rather be 187.6 pounds and have the physique that I had, or weigh less yet appear more muscular. I do notice guys who weigh considerably less than me yet who are shredded. Their leanness makes them look so much bigger. Thus, I wondered, if I got leaner I’d naturally weigh less than 187.6 but my muscularity would look all the more pronounced.

I admire the confidence in young guys who check themselves out in the gym mirrors after they do a set. They flex their thin arms and evaluate their progress. I could never do that as I don’t have that level of confidence. Yet my biceps have grown since I have returned to the Y since its reopening and I was curious to see how big they were. I would measure them at home, “cold”, to get a true reading unaffected by an exaggerated muscle pump. My last measurement, which was many months ago, was 15½”. I took my next measurement after I got home last week after I trained biceps. My arms still felt so pumped over half an hour later. My biceps measured 16½”. The realistic “cold” measurement was 16″. This was a moment of pride, since I used to have pencil-thin arms and now I’ve got a 16″ pair. In order to get an immediate measurement of my biceps in a flushed pumped state I brought my tape measure to the Y last Friday since that was my biceps training day. Since I shrink at the thought of measuring my arms where I risk being seen, I went to the family changing room where there are large cubicles each with a bench inside. I was able to sit down, flex and measure. An accurate measurement can only be made without any slack in the tape measure. Thus when pulled tight, my pumped biceps were between 17″ and 17⅛”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *