Armwrestler Arpan Kar reveals how he overcame the biggest injury of his life to compete in Pro Panja League

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Armwrestler from West Bengal and Pro Panja League athlete Arpan Kar

Arpan Kar is one of the most prominent Armwrestlers from West Bengal. Arpan Kar is the best Armwrestlers to come out of the state. He is a multiple time West Bengal State Champion. He competed at the Pro Panja League ranking tournament which took place in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. Arpan Kar was placed 4th in the 90kg weight category.

The Sports India Show had the opportunity to chat with Arpan Kar to talk about Armwrestling, Pro Panja League and his expectations from the upcoming league.

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Interview with Arpan Kar

West Bengal Armwrestler and Pro Panja League athlete Arpan Kar

How long have you been Arm Wrestling?

I’ve been into the field of sports for as long as I can recollect. My knack of being an Arm wrestler occurred to me shortly after I was introduced to it, at an event, held by my favourite go to restaurant, in 2016, at Bohemian. Who can resist the love for food! And so I tried my best but I lost. Soon after that, I got to know all the charms that this particular sport behold. I came across ex players, trainers and other various personalities adjoined to this game. I had taken part in arm wrestling previously too, in school and colleges, more like a bet, but never with the glitters and sparkles that PPL provides ( and will provide) us. Previously I was and currently, am working as a fitness consultant at the most celebrated and leading gym chain of West Bengal, and helping people to live and let live in the holistic way of celebrating our only wealth i.e. our health, thus the thirst of proving what good dieting and proper exercising can bring forth to our table, made me eager to prove myself in the field of arm wrestling and I took my chance. After training for some time and coming across all the inspiring enthusiasts in this field, my interest never stopped growing. I have won multiple times at the state competitions in the 90 KG category. Before I had my biggest injury, my Pectoralis Major and origin of Bicep Tear, I was the 90 kg state champion of West Bengal. I’ve been to PPL’s inauguration ceremony and Last year, At Gwalior, I made my comeback after my injury took a toll on my physical and mental health as well as on my finances.

What are you improvements after Gwalior event?

After the championship took place in Gwalior, I realized that even though my muscle has recovered fully from the trauma of being torn upon, my endurance is still lower than the rest of the athletes, which led me to change my workout regimen. My new regimen concentrates more into how to overcome fatigue when I’m playing without any rest, I introduced more cardio and table practices than what I used to do before Gwalior. So my new routine kind of looks like 3:2:1:1 where compound training, arm wrestling training, light weight training and rest goes hand in hand respectively.

Why should the franchise chose you?

Now that I know, I’m not genetically blessed with natural endurance or a leaner physique, or that I do not come from a wealthy background, I’ve accepted the fact that I’ve to work extra hard for wherever I want to be, whatever I want to be. This is the motivation that keeps me going even at a dead end, like the injuries i had, I moved on from everything, every time, from scratch. I knew I had to make a come back at PPL ranking tournament and there were days, I worked out for 4 hours nonstop, 5 days a week. I just knew, i can’t give up. And i secured the 4th rank, coming out of the darkest of hours in my life after COVID, when my finances, my health, my peace, i had lost it all. But I did, what i could back then and now I’m focusing on what I can. No matter what my circumstances are, I’ll rise every time there’s a scope and i think, for this reason, I will be chosen by the franchise, because I’m a common man, I’m the part of ordinary, that dreams and dares to establish the dream.

What are your past achievements?

For my past achievements, if I start from the early days, I have been participating in most of the sports throughout my high school and senior years. I used to play shotput and discus in state level competitions. The degree that I hold to thrive in this fitness industry is from an institute in Bombay, known as BFY. I am a degree holder of field Progressive Fitness and Personal Training, both. Now I work as a fitness consultant and as floor manager at the gym chain, Fitnet. I would add to like a small detail about my Injury that took place in 2019, before which I was almost unbeatable in state level championship, while I was training for the Nationals, I had tear in my Pectoralis Major muscle which also affected my bicep muscles, chest muscles and of course, my inner strength. Doctors have repeatedly told me not to do any physical activity and take complete bed rest for atleast six months and they said, maybe, maybe sports isn’t my field anymore. Those words pained me more than my physical agony ever do. I promised myself, I would and I have to rise again. Here I’m, challenging myself for a better opportunity and a better future. May Lord Vasudeva bless me with the strength required.

Tell us about your training regimen?

My training regimen currently consists of exercises to build more muscle endurance and stamina for matches that frustrates the arm and causes fatigue. It includes more cardio and more repetitions. In a simple glance, my 7 day week programme now has 3 days of compound training 2 days of arm wrestling focused training 1 day dedicated to cardio And 1 day complete rest for healing the sore areas. This routine focuses on all the weak areas of mine as above mentioned and also, the frequency of table practice has been doubled here.

What are your expectations from the league?

From my view point, this league is everything I’ve ever dreamed of regarding arm wrestling. Previously whenever people would interrogate me about my apparently “weird” exercises ( as they don’t contribute to body/muscle building or bigger chest or bigger Lat), I would tell them it’s for Armwrestling. They would wonder what was the point of doing all those, as it had no future or league in India. There was no fame, money or endorsement or bigger career growth possible in this field unlike other popular sports like cricket, football, badminton, chess, swimming etc. But when I heard about the proclamation of a league only devoted to Arm Wrestling in India, at our 42nd National Arm Wrestling Championship, I thanked Krishna for finally listening to the prayers of mine. A platform that can give hustlers like us, a podium we will fight for, the fame and support we hope for, the money – collaborations – brand endorsements we long for, the branding we seek for. Thank you to all the officials who made our dream come true, who are working hard to bring this to the rostrum of the sky of Indian Sports.