T Nation

Bodyweight Gain For An Inch In Biceps


How much bodyweight do you need to gain in order to see an increase of about 1 inch in bicep measurement? (estimated)


Well over the past 5 weeks I've gained 15 pounds and 1 to 1 1/2 inches on my biceps.

I reckon if you just eat and eat some more, you wil be able to see noticable changes in about 2-3 weeks.

I did.


This is acutally a VERY good question, rage...and was addressed by one of the major Authors (CT?)

I'll see what I can come up with.



In general, it is believed to be around 10-20lbs of body weight.


I've always heard 10lbs as well. I will say that this probably depends on your current level of development. I gained about 20 lbs. and only gained about a 1/2 inch on my arms. My legs were lagging so bad before I started getting serious that I bet 60-70% of that weight went towards addressing that weakness.


Here's the question though: is it possible to gain significant arm size without gaining much weight? I'm not sure, and not in my experience, but some here have said that. Anyone want to argue against the Poliquin/CT 15 pounds formula?




I believe that's the general rule of thumb. 20 is on the high side though, I think, unless you're someone whose arms lag behind other body parts.


To a point. The body only tolerates so much disporportion before stopping growing, however. And how would you grow your arms without growing your upper body as opposed to generally working upper body and not legs?

Limit yourself to isolation exercises? Seems like a pretty poor method of growth. Of course there are specialization programs to bring up lagging arms, but you continue working the rest of your body.


Isn't it supposed to be percentages and not pounds? I mean for a 140lb person 15lb is alot of weight. I doubted that such a person wouldn't be able to build up their arms without adding so much bw. And what if someone puts their body on maintanance and just starts specializing on arms?

I just don't think it's such a rigid formula. Otherwise there would be no effect from doing bicep curls, and there definitely is. Hypertrophy research is just underfunded, period.


Good work! Could you share your nutrition plan you used to gain so quickly and any supplements or gear you are taking for interests sake? Did your bodyfat level go up much too?


I hear that, but as you said, there are specialization programs that some attribute impressive results to (although I found Poliquin's arms program did little for me).


I started lifting weighing about 150lbs. If the size on my arms was averaged against the overall weight gain, it would be about 15lbs for every inch.

No one is saying that it is impossible to gain some size without that much overall weight gain, however, if you plan on making much progress beyond the minimum, it will take overall body development.

There is a reason why there are no people with arms close to 20" who are under 190lbs of body weight. If extreme growth of individual body parts worked outside of overall body development, at least some individuals would experience that extreme.

I think calves are possibly the only muscle group that I have seen just look disproportionately huge on people who don't even seem to lift. That one muscle group seems to stand alone and be almost completely dependent on genetics aside from relatively less growth from strength training.


I've got to find some skinny guy and put him on an arm-only routine with only one set of compounds at the end of the workout. Then we'll know for sure. :slight_smile:


Gotta love the internet, people might actually believe your posts.


thats an excellent point. It amazing how many times you see ppl in the gym just curling, each time you see them, like 4 times in a week and they are curling...its also sad when ppl tell you that they only work their arms directly as that is the only way to make them grow...fkn air pollution!!!


It's funny that it was questioned if it's possible to gain arm size and not gain any weight... that's just what everyone wants, 20" arms and still weighing in at 135 ripped pounds!

But really, why would you just want to stimulate arm growth and not the rest of the upper body? Is your back and shoulders and pecs already too big, but those 13" arms just can't keep up with yourself? I highly doubt this.

Train the whole body, and eat, eat, eat.


My lifting partner has 17.5' arms and he only weighs 165. He rarely does any isolation work for his arms. Hes one of the lucky ones I geuss in that department. I wonder what they'll be when he puts on more bodyweight.....btw, hes all natural, and not fat at all, bf prob around 14% and bulking.


Because when your arms are developed you can look good even with a much less developed torso, but not the other way around. I'm not disagreeing with you but just answering the question of why people would want that.


That would actually look pretty retarded if some guy had huge arms but no shoulder, back, chest, or leg development. Even in clothes that would look really bad or as if they got implants. Women notice V-tapers, chest and shoulder development regardless of what you wear. I guess only a newbie would think otherwise.