Thursday, 19 June 2008

Impending weights

I have somehow managed to get through the last few months doing remarkably little work with weights. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • I placed a higher priority of getting rid of the lard that had insulated me whilst living in the unheated glass box in Guildford than on building extra bonus thigh and bicep;
  • I didn't trust myself not to be over-ambitious with the weight and damage myself before I'd at least built up some rudimentary muscle between my joints;
  • My lack of cardiovascular (CV) fitness was a much bigger problem than my lack of strength;
  • I seem to recall from my college days that the approved way to build muscle was to row in the 1st VIII and be fed subsidised steak with a couple of pints of semi-skimmed, a small mountain of salad and a correspondingly-sized portion of chips. The Steak Table was pretty much compulsory for 1st VIII rowers. Weights weren't. It may not be as effective in building muscle, but being fed steak is far, far easier than lifting heavy weights and is a far more appealing thing to be doing at dinner time.

Unfortunately, having shed some of the spare lard I'd laid down to see me through winter, grown a bit of muscle, and made progress with my CV fitness, I'm running out of excuses not to do weights.

Ugh. I'd rather be eating steak.

And, anyway, I'm hardly a waif as it is. The last six months of training has already had sufficient effect to grow my neck to the point where it is possible for me to strangle myself by wearing my own clothes. I discovered this on Tuesday, when upon adding extra layers following my evening's workout before stepping out into the cool evening for the walk home, I was deeply disturbed to find that my neck has grown to a sufficient diameter for me to be strangled by my own Helly Hansen short-sleeved Lifa top. Could there be a more embarrassing way to die? I can see the headstone, now: Here lies But Why?. Born an Essex girl, tragically strangled at the age of 28 by her own tech top. The best that can be hoped for is that the tragedy of the dispatch would draw attention away from my unfortunate birth location...

Really. I think I might re-organise my wardrobe according to neck circumference so I can risk-assess my likelihood of death from asphyxiation from wearing each garment. And the danger doesn't stop only at asphyxiation - there's also the hazard of cutting off the blood supply to my limbs.

I dislike weights with a passion previously reserved only for brussel sprouts. Mind you, I grew to like those. Perhaps I could learn to love weights? I think it's unlikely. I have good reasons for hating weights:
  • They are heavy;
  • They hurt;
  • They are quite, quite boring;
  • Doing weights makes my normally gangly, simian frame becomes increasingly gorilla-like. This is A Look Which Is Not Good;
  • They are expensive. (On previous occasions when I have done regular weights sessions, I found I had to replace my wardrobe over a period of about four months as one by one all my clothes became too small to enable my thighs, shoulders, chest or arms to fit into them.)
Against that background, I suppose it's not surprizing that my heart sank a little to read the latest issue of the social life replacement scheme (aka the training plan for the week) and find it featured a new weights regime (aka Gorilla Plan).

My pre-gorilla plan measurements:
  • My (morning) height: 5' 11 1/2"
  • My (pre-erg) weight: 12 st 7 lb ish
  • My neck circumference: 15 1/2"
  • Upper arm (left) circumference: 11 3/4"
  • Upper arm (right) circumference: 12"
  • Thigh (left) circumference: 23 3/4"
  • Thigh (right) circumference: 24"
  • Chest circumference: (inhaled) 38 1/4"; exhaled 35 1/4"
  • Waist: 34"
  • Forearm (right) circumference: 10 3/8"
  • Forearm (left) circumference: 10 1/4"
Sum total of measurements = Not A Waif (though I am cheating in many of these measurements by including lard contribution in the measurement.)

My transformation into a relatively hair-free gorilla begins this evening. Heck. Not again. (I had enough of scraping my knuckles on the floor as teenager.) This time, though, I'm making plans in advance. I shall be ensuring that any clothes I buy in future contain sufficient lycra to stretch to fit. I wonder whether I could ditch the concept of wearing a suit to work and instead get a range of lycra unisuits made up with a variety of sombre-coloured pinstripe and check designs, and hope that no-one notices the difference.

Weights. Ugh.


Prisoner of Hope said...

Pity you have no room for the multigym currently languishing behind the furniture store!

Its yours:
a) if you want it &
b) after all!

Good luck with the lycra fashions. I can empathise - I too have a (temporary) need for expanding waistlines while remaining one hip short of a full house!

Random Reflections said...

You're 5'11 1/2" tall? I had no idea you were that tall. Although, how I would have any idea how tall you are I don't know...

Kahless said...


Why would being born in Essex be unfortunate?

But Why? said...

Yeah, it is a pity. Having said that, I'm pretty pleased to be property-less in the current circumstances. Also, I figured you might be needing the gym once you've got the full complement of hips again to reverse any muscle wastage which has taken place since you started losing your hips(!)

Lycra is fantastic. I have really no idea how I lived without it.

Yup, in the morning before gravity (and extra bonus weights) compresses my spine a half inch or so. I wonder how tall an average gorilla is...?

It was an accident. Poor timing. If only I'd been six months premature, I'd have been born in God's Own County...

DJ Kirkby said...

Erm...I would rather lift weight every day than use a rowing maching a few times a week...rowing *urk* far too mcuh like hard work! :) You are so tall! I bet you look spectacular in a suit. Do men pay attention when you speak or do they look at you with a slightly glazed look? tall, slim and intelligent...could be too much to process all at once!

But Why? said...

OK, How about this proposition: I'll do any ergs which you find on your schedule, and you can do any weights which appear on mine - do we have a deal?

Bollinger Byrd said...

The things you do for the sake of fitness.... just think in another 20 years you'll be as lardy as the rest of us whether you want to be or not!!! Middle age spread happens, end of!

But Why? said...

For the sake of fitness? No, it's all for the zen (and the chance to win things).

Middle aged spread is one thing, developing a thick coating of commuter's lard at the tender age of 28 is quite another.