T Nation

Bodybuilding Measurements


oh god, i hate to even have to post this, but there seems to be some disagreement among certain T-Nationers, as to how bodybuilders take an arm measurement. if anyone cares to see what im talking about its "my goals, bullup" in physique and performance photos.

anyway, i thought we already put this thing to bed, but maybe if we got a lot of bodybuilders to chime in here and explain how to take an arm measurement, perhaps this could be done with. im not going to explain my method for measuring, because i dont want to "influence" anyone elses method, but in case anyones wondering, im not arguing for the relaxed measurement or take while your arm is down at your sides.... anyway, thanks all


Fat loss clinics measure body parts in relaxed state for a base when measuring fat loss. It's not as effective for measureing muscle growth. For measureing muscle mass flexed is the only way to go. But not all pumped up right after a workout of course.


As I was a contributor to Bullpups post I will give my 2 cents worth and then leave it at that. Also have been an amateur competitive bodybuilder in New Zealand for the last 4 years.

Everyone seems to have their panties in a twist about this one.
Measurements are used to gauge progress, correct? So what is the big deal with taking both relaxed and flexed arm measurements? A relaxed arm measurement may not be as cool as a flexed one but it can be an indicator of progress none the less.

Something else i've noticed is that a large number of people couldn't do a decent bicep flex to save themselves. Poor shoulder flexibility, tight pecs, hunched over posture...not the most accurate way to get a measurement if you're all twisted up.

Whichever way you want to take it is fine. As long as you're measuring improvement and it's helping you plan your training accordingly.

If you have a response to this could you PM me please. Thanks