T Nation

Girth Measurements

I was just curious if anyone knew of the exact locations where girth measurements should be taken. I’ve been using them to evaluate progress, but I’m not sure that I’ve been taking them at the right spot. Should the chest be taken at the armpits or nipple-line? For the quads, should it just be at the mid-line between the knee and hip. What about calves, arms, and forearms? Also, should I flex when I take the measurements. Any thoughts you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, and best of luck with your training.

Midway between the base and the frenulum. Aim for the thickest point. You’re welcome :).

I do measurements contracted and relaxed but both are done cold. Don’t lie to yourself and measure after you’ve lifted. There’s a huge difference between pumped and cold.

For your own purposes, what’s important
is reproducability, but for comparing with
others it’s important to use the standard
locations, as you’re wanting to do.

Upper arms and forearms are taken at
largest diameter, with tape straight of
course, and flexed, unlike all other
measurements.

Chest is at nipple height and is unexpanded,
lats not flexed, extra air not taken in.

However, that’s the standard measurement.
Personally I find the armpit measurement
more reproducible and more indicative of
progress.

Calves are at largest point, standing,
unflexed.

Quads are supposed to be midpoint between
the hip and knee, standing, unflexed.
This can be a difficult measurement to
make reproducibly, because circumference
is often rapidly changing at this point
of the leg, so having an exact reproducible
method of placing the tape is important.
E.g., so many inches above midpoint of
kneecap; or as another choice, exactly at the peak of the hamstrings.

I agree with your thoughts on the armpit measurement being a better indicator. Lots of guys have great mid-pecs, but it is a lot tougher (and impressive) to develop a great upper chest. Thanks for the info.

What! Arm size is supposed to be taken flexed? You mean I’ve been kicking myself for having “puny arms” when measured and it’s not being done the same way for everybody else?!
How much of a change is your guess that this would make (I know, it’s dependant on a lot of things, but give me a range here).

Is this supposed to be done with a bicep-type pose, or just flex the arm a bit while it’s down at your side?

It’s done with the upper arm parallel
to the ground, striving for maximum
measurement (but with tape straight of
course.)

I’m not sure of the size difference since
it’s been years since I’ve measured
unflexed, but I think the difference is
an inch or maybe more.