Big Arms15-inch arms are considered big. Massive arms are 16 inches or more, but arm size is linked to body fat.
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Even with 15 inches, arms are worthy of admiration. At what size do arms seem big? It depends on your body shape. And bigger is not always better—fat mass can obscure muscles.
Height and weight.
For guys of average height, 15 inches is big. That is 38 cm. For guys with too much body fat your arms will need to be at least this size.
Tip In my experience, arm-focused training is very effective, while whole-body workouts are more a long-term strategy.
And In whole-body training, the arms do not grow as much right away. But after a few years, you can do arm workouts and gain size fast.
Thus A complex strategy starting with several years of squatting and deadlifts can yield the biggest arms, but this takes a lot of time.
In the gym we focus on results. For a beginner, arm mass can be built through exercising with a dumbbell. The beginning bodybuilder is full of potential.
Collars. The holders on Olympic barbells are called collars. You can use some of these collars as hand exercisers. This increases grip strength.
Reps. Do a specified number of reps. I usually just do 10. It is hard for me to count higher than that. For heavy things like squats or deadlifts or dips, 1 or 3 reps is sufficient.
Should you lift only heavy things, or do light weights too? Both are good. But for massive muscle gain, full-body things like deadlifts and squats are ideal.
For max arm muscle gain, Olympic barbells are good. You can put 200, 300 or more pounds on these bars. This leads to growth hormone and testosterone gains.
You know about bench presses. Guys brag about how much they bench. Dips are even harder as you must support your entire body weight.
Dumbbell raise. One more exercise to do. It works the triceps on the back of the arm. These are the largest arm muscles (not the biceps).
Some people will consider your arms to be big. But others may not. A child is more impressed with 15-inch arms than is a professional bodybuilder.
And 15-inch arms are more impressive on a woman. I would be intrigued, impressed.
Big I consider 15-inch arms pretty impressive on anyone who works out. Good job and continue with your workouts.
Also The arm photographs at the top show arms that measure around 15 inches. They are not huge but still big.
Body fat percentage. Consider this. If you have a high body fat percentage, big arms are less impressive. If fat covers your biceps and triceps, muscle definition is not seen.
Muscle insertion. If you have a muscle insertion near your elbow joint, you have a low insertion. This will make your arm seem bigger overall. But you will have less of a biceps peak.
It is important to keep your body's musculature in proportion. I too often see men who seem to work out only their biceps and pectoral muscles.
But From a functional, sports-oriented standpoint, this style of workout is worthless. Muscle imbalances are a negative.
Fake You cannot fake real strength. A strong dude has a thick neck, big traps and a big powerful chest. His thighs are massive too.
13 inches. Sadly these are not big arms. When I was just a boy, but after puberty hit, my arms were over 13 inches. I even measured correctly (for a 13-year-old boy).
Let's increase by an inch. The lower the body fat level and the shorter and smaller the overall frame of the person, the larger this arm will seem.
These are viewed as larger on shorter and more compact frames than on taller men. If you are under 6 feet tall, 15-inch arms will seem big. They are impressive.
Tip A 15-inch arm appears large on shorter men, around 5 foot 6 or lower. Many photographs of men with 15-inch arms are impressive.
If the arm is covered in a thick layer of fat, it will be less impressive. But 16-inch arms with a low level of body fat are considered big arms.
16-inch arms These are good football player arms. Universally big except when body fat is high.
But If your gut overhangs your belt on your pants by several inches, 16-inch arms are probably not impressive.
17 inches. At 17 inches and beyond, your arms are big. This should not be a concern. But with lots of body fat, 17-inch arms are better described as 15-inch arms with extra padding.
There is no doubt about it. 18-inch arms are really big arms. A man with chiseled 18-inch arms has certain arm-related privileges.
And He always has the biggest arms in a group. He does not need to read websites about getting bigger arms.
19 inches You are just trying to make me feel bad about my body measurements. Some guy always will have larger dimensions than I will.
20 inches At this point you can call your arms "pythons." Also you may need a really orange tan.
Research has sought the ideal biceps measurement. A study selected 14 bodybuilders with incredibly fit bodies. These men were measured.
Optimum Anthropometric Criteria
Tip The men were on average 26 years old. They had an average waist size of 31 inches, weighed 162 pounds and were 5 foot 9.
Note Because these men were 162 pounds and five foot nine, their 14-inch arms looked strong and muscular.
Ideal man minimum biceps size:
Ideal man maximum biceps size:
At first it seems that the biceps muscle is the largest one. We flex our biceps to show off. But another muscle group, the triceps brachii, is larger.
Shape After working out for months to years, your arms become larger and more muscular. And the triceps shape reveals itself.
Tip It is fun to flex this muscle. As the muscle contracts, the back of the arm changes shape. It becomes a ridge or horseshoe shape.
And You can feel this even with smaller muscles. For ways to develop your triceps, please see the section further down this page.
If you have big arms, one sign is that you have stretch marks on them. This is not generally thought of as a positive thing. People dislike stretch marks.
Note Stretch marks (striae) are complicated. Some bodybuilders develop them more easily than others.
Consider this. Doctors often take your blood pressure. The blood pressure cuff is adjusted to fit the arm. The standard-size cuff only fits arms up to 33 cm or 13 inches.
And You need the large cuff if your upper arm measures more than 13 inches. A doctor will consider your arms to be big.
Note This is an unflexed measurement of the upper arm. Remind your physician to use a larger cuff if you are a bodybuilder.
Quote Incorrect cuffing of a muscular arm leads to significant errors in the measurement of [systolic blood pressure] and [diastolic blood pressure], similar to that observed in miscuffing of nonmuscular arms.
Medium and large adult cuffs
Insertion. Men like to measure their body parts. You can see if you have near or far biceps insertions. Place two fingers between you biceps and your elbow.
With a near insertion,
you may have good muscle size potential. If only one or two fingers can fit between your muscle and the joint, then you have close insertion points.
1. Position arm at 90 degree angle. This is a right angle. You probably want to use your dominant arm for measuring.
2. Measure space. Use your fingers. Measure between the inner joint of your elbow and muscle.
How can you measure your biceps? Consider whether you want to measure muscle girth when flexing. If you are measuring for clothes, the flexing size is not important.
1. Flex. Choose the same arm each time. Usually right-handed guys have bigger right arms, so they choose to measure that side.
2. Wrap tape measure around flexed arm. With your other hand, attempt to wrap the tape measure around your flexed biceps.
3. Tighten tape measure. But don't make it too tight or stretch it. If you ruin the tape measure, your arms won't get any bigger.
4. Record your measurements. And possibly repeat these steps as many times as necessary until you get consistent measurements.
Big forearms are probably rarer to see than muscular biceps. Muscular forearms are a combination of genetics and certain exercises.
Note Instead of training your forearms specially, consider focusing on full-body workouts. These involve squats or deadlifts.
Note 2 Doing isolation exercises for the forearms could cause injuries. The movements are not natural.
Biceps versus bicep. Please remember the muscle is your biceps, even if you are talking about one muscle. There is no "bicep" muscle. You can be both smart and strong.
What should you do if you want bigger arms? The best strategy is to lift weights. If you are already lifting weights, lift heavier ones—do squats.
Info Muscle protein synthesis is complex. Lifting weights does not directly make your arms bigger. It changes your hormonal status.
At night Extra growth hormone is released. This will cause your entire body to become more muscular.
Arm exercises. There are many great arm-muscle building exercises. The bench press is useful. I like parallel bar dips. You can do these weighted. These fill out your chest.
Average size. What is the average biceps size, on men, on women, and by frame size? Researchers do not measure this. They instead measure the mid-upper arm circumference.
I took an informal survey of my friends and family members to determine their biceps size. I only asked males. My sample size was five people. Two were at my gym.
Side In the survey, the right or left biceps muscle was measured while flexing. The person's dominant side was measured.
Trained The first two results were taken from gym members. The final three were taken from untrained males.
Scientific This kind of survey does not even count as science. It is not peer reviewed or statistically significant.
14.00 inches (35.6 cm)
15.25 inches (38.7 cm)
13.25 inches (33.7 cm)
13.50 inches (34.3 cm)
13.00 inches (33.0 cm)
13.8 inches (35 cm)
13 inches (33 centimeters) is the most common figure I have seen reported for the average size when flexed on men. A larger arm may be due to fat, not muscle.
With MRI machines, researchers have measured biceps muscle size. An MRI machine is an expensive medical imaging machine—a tube you lie in and it makes loud noises.
Quote Magnetic resonance imaging measured the biceps muscle cross sectional area (CSA).
Muscle strength and size response
After a heavy workout, bodybuilders experience a "pump." The muscle becomes filled with blood. This alters the exact measurements of the biceps.
So When measuring your arms, make sure to measure them always before, or always after, a workout. Measure at similar levels of hydration.
If you see a guy who has unusually big biceps, he may be using Synthol. With a Synthol injection, many inches can be added to the biceps.
However This is dangerous and is not a form of bodybuilding. It changes the appearance but is not a form of athletics.
Quote Synthol is an injectable oil used by bodybuilders to make muscles appear bigger. It is reported to carry a wide range of health risks and side effects such as localised skin problems... muscle damage and the development of scar tissue.
Bodybuilders' accounts of synthol use
Body fat. Men who have a high level of body fat will have larger upper arms. But some big arms are fat arms. This does not look as impressive at the pool.
Exaggerate. Bodybuilders exaggerate their biceps measurements. This is true. Men often exaggerate anything related to money or their body parts.
A sleeveless shirt is one way to show off your physique. It will display your arm muscles. But these shirts are not always appropriate.
Locations At the beach, at the park, at a stadium: these are appropriate locations for a muscle shirt.
But In other locations, I have found that a shirt with an athletic-cut fit is a good way to show off my arms.
Shirt fits. Some clothing retailers call athletic cut shirts "muscle fit" or "muscle cut." The waist size of the shirt is smaller. The chest is larger and the sleeves are shorter.
Buying shirts. Some stores may not carry many shirts of this sizing. Retailers that emphasize style (such as those in malls) are also likely to carry athletic cut shirts.
Shirts, comfort. Sleeveless shirts are more comfortable to wear with big arm muscles. If you like attention in public, a sleeveless shirt is a good choice.
A pain. When I was younger, I had a pain on the inside of my left forearm. After a few months of dumbbell curls in my early teens, that nagging pain went away.
A long process. Gaining muscle mass happens over time. Our bodies adapt to the conditions we place them in. You can gain arm size over time with isometric, load-bearing, anaerobic exercise.
Summary. In my thinking, 15-inch arms are big, but not huge. Big arms are something to experience. Lift heavy stuff. Keep training and you will achieve your goal.
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