"I'm going to get the Olympic rings right here," he says. He smiles, looking back down at his arm. "I can't wait. You've got to, haven't you?"
A fortnight ago Kirkbride was announced as part of the five-strong Team GB weightlifting squad for the London Games. It was a close run thing. It has emerged that the Kilmarnock-based athlete was not among the names initially put forward by a selection panel that included national coach Tamas Feher and Fiona Lothian, the squad's performance chief.
Kirkbride appealed the decision to an independent panel and after several sleepless nights was delighted and relieved to find out he had been successful.
As the dust settles, the 24-year-old is philosophical. He admits it was a humbling experience – and it shows. The first time I met Kirkbride he was cocky and gregarious, a self-confessed showman. Today, though, he is more reserved ("mellow" in his own words), but there is no doubting his ambition.
His achievements speak for themselves. Kirkbride has won every British weightlifting championship in his age category since he was 11, including a sixth consecutive under-94kg title at the British Championships last month. He lifted 144kg in the snatch and 189kg in the clean and jerk to take silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, just a single point behind winner Faavae Faauliuli of Samoa But the Olympics, he knows, is the biggest stage of all. He will be the first Scottish weightlifter to go to the Games since Tommy Yule in 2000.
For Kirkbride the road to London has been potted with copious frustrations. A lingering ankle injury saw him miss last year's World Championships and has hindered his progress since Delhi.
The politics which almost led to him being overlooked for selection have also played heavily on his mind. In 2009, when he became a full-time athlete, Kirkbride rejected an invitation to relocate to the World Class Lifting High Performance Centre in Leeds and work under national coach Feher.
Instead Kirkbride chose to remain under the tutelage of mentor Charlie Hamilton – aka Chick – who has coached him since he was 11. His omission from the initial Olympic selection list sparked suspicions that Kirkbride was overlooked, in part, for spurning the opportunity to move south, and also to ensure the Hungarian coach was heavily represented in the squad.
"It was torturous," said Kirkbride. "Waiting to find out was the most nerve-wracking experience of my life. It was heartbreaking to find out I might not be in the team. I was distraught and in tears. I took two days off the gym to pick myself back up. Thankfully Chick was able to successfully appeal it on my behalf. I'm so grateful to him for that."
As far as Kirkbride is concerned, it is all water under the bridge. "I have to move forward," he said. "At the end of the day I'm in the team and off to the biggest weightlifting competition in the world."
Kirkbride has spent the past week at the Team GB official preparation camp headquarters at Loughborough University with the rest of the weightlifting squad. Back in Kilmarnock he and Hamilton will tailor his training towards August 4 when he will compete in the men's 94kg event.
"Charlie and I will sit down and decide when to hit it and when not to hit it," he said. "If I feel a bit jaded, particularly if I've done a heavy gym session the day before, we'll ease off. If I'm looking fresh, we'll punch it. Charlie is good at knowing where I'm at and what I need to do."
His is a no-frills regime, which includes the use of a cold water-filled wheelie bin outside his back door in lieu of an ice bath to rid his muscles of lactic acid after tough sessions. Does he layer up or wear a specialised suit as favoured by many athletes? Kirkbride pulls a face. "That's cheating," he says, laughing. "I just jump in with my boxers on."
Kirkbride is among the most drug tested athletes in UK. "I've had 10 drugs tests already this year," he said. "You usually have an inkling during competition that you'll be tested, but the rest of the time it is done randomly. I'll get the knock on the door or they'll come into the gym.
"I'm half expecting one any day now I've been selected. This morning I was desperate for a pee, but in two minds because I was thinking as soon as I went there would be a knock at the door. Usually they have the worst possible timing. I've no complaints, though. At the end of the day they are just doing their job and I have nothing to hide."
Kirkbride is all too aware that his chosen sport doesn't get the same coverage as the likes of football or even athletics – bringing some hilarious misconceptions. "I get guys asking me: 'How much do you bench [press]?'" He shakes his head. "Um, I don't bench. I've had people ask: 'Do you tan up?' And I'm like: 'Err, no, that's body building ...' Or they look at my arms and say: 'Where's the muscles, then?' and I have to explain that all of the muscles are in my legs."
With only a thin covering of Lycra, it's impossible to ignore the thigh muscles bulging through the skimpy material – exactly how big they? "Not as big as Chris Hoy's," he quips. "It does make shopping for jeans tricky. I tried on a pair with a 38in waist the other week and couldn't get them up past my thighs."
When he's not in training Kirkbride can be found hanging out with his girlfriend Connie England, 19, a former weightlifter turned hairdresser, walking his dog – the aptly named Kilo – or brushing up on his bagpipe- playing skills. "I've been learning to play since the end of last year," he says. "I like to practise my chanter – it's a good distraction."
As for London, coach Hamilton believes his protege has the grit and talent to hold his own among weightlifting's biggest names. "I always knew in my heart that Peter had what it takes to make it to the Olympics," he said. "This is the end result of a long hard slog. As any athlete will tell you there are more lows than highs. I'm hopeful that in London Peter will break some Scottish records and set some personal bests.
"Our goal has always been a medal of any colour in Delhi, top 15 in the Olympics and gold in Glasgow in 2014. We are on track to achieve that."