T Nation

Inches and Noticability



How significant/noticable is it adding an inch to your arms/legs etc? Given that before today I had never taken measurements, if I were to say, add an inch or two, generally:

a) how long does that take?
b) how noticeable is it?
c) how does this apply to bigger measurements (ie chest)

I did my first measurements and got a fright. I basically have a long, long way to go in those terms.


It depends on a lot of things, like how lean you are, fullness of muscle bellies, proportions with other muscles, etc. I'd say mostly leanness though. i.e. a LEAN 17inch arm to a LEAN 18inch arm might have a HUGE visual difference, but a semi-soft 48inch chest to a 50inch chest might not.


Too vague of a question. Are people going to notice that you went from 13" to 14" arms? Prolly not. But from 18" to 19" is definitely a big jump.

The time frame is also too varied to give a definite answer.

Just work hard. The results will come.


Yeah, I'm at the lower end of the spectrum you described. Fell for the old "do the big lifts and arms will come along." Well, turns out my arms don't respond that way and for some utterly stupid reason, I didn't notice this for a whole year or so.

And even though I'm only 168-170lb, the fact that I began at 128lbs a couple of years ago, it is worrying that my arms kind of stayed stuck whilst the rest of me got bigger.

Thanks to you both for responses.


Stupid question, but what does "muscle belly" refer to? Is it how "fat" it can look, or "pop" or am I talking crap here?


I did C_C's arm spec program a couple months ago, and put alomst an inch on my arms in 6 weeks. People that I hadn't seen since before that time commented on it without any prompting.


Have a link for that program?


x2 please!


I added in isolation exersises and put put 3/4 and inch on my arms in under 2 months and got the tons of responses from people telling me i look way bigger and my weight only went up 3 lbs.


Magicpunch, I feel you. Try being the guy who can deadlift in the mid 600's, and just barely has 17" arms haha. I really don't even enjoy most arm work though...it bores me. It's not like my arms are small....but definitely not as big as I'd like them to be.


Deadlifting has nothing to do with arm size. Lamar Gant deadlifted 300kg at 50kg bodyweight, yet his arms were tiny. Well, it's not good to bring as an example the probably most alien lifter on the planet, but to give you the idea. You can have huge arms while having good deadlift, but only deadlifting big won't give big arms per se.


I think you misunderstood his point about the deadlift. He wasn't questioning why his arms were small if his deadlift was high (as in deadlift should increase arm size). He was basically saying he is moving some serious weight (using DL as an example), and is therefore a big guy, yet has tiny arms.

I'm in the same boat H4M. I'm a very large dude yet my arms are around 17 I think, maybe only slightly bigger. Bicep work bores the hell out of me too...


No I got what he was meaning, I was just pointing about the deadlift. However if he was benching 405 and had 17 arms, that would be weird. I am on the same boat. Way bigger torso relative to the arms.

Having too small wrist so curling and extensions become painful, long arms and not full muscle bellies aren't helpful :stuck_out_tongue:


desolator, I benched 405 with 17.5 inch arms. Sup? :slight_smile:



Near the bottom of page 5. I followed the split exactly, just subbed out some exercises for others. After the 6-week mark, my progress started to stall, so I switched back to my original split. A deload might have served to keep progress going, however.


hahahahaha, ah that made me lol.


On your question on how it applies to larger bodyparts:

As a rough principle, first, I'd think it's a matter of proportion. Roughly speaking the chest may be nearly 3 times the circumference of the arms. So it makes sense that it would reasonably take 2 or more added inches on the chest to seem "as much" a change in a bodypart as is the case for 1 inch on the arms.

But ultimately it is more complex than any simple method can account for.

The eye is struck by both proportions that it rarely sees, and by absolute sizes that it rarely sees.

So if adding an inch to for example the arms doesn't accomplish, in the individual's case, EITHER of these things, the eye may not pick it up as that big a deal.

But then a transition point will be reached where the gain does make the difference between "pretty good but seen that lots of times" to "Whoah, that's striking." Or otherwise moves the person up to being in a different category, so to speak, than previously.

Then there's proportion. An extra inch on the chest -- regardless of the chest being proportionally much bigger than the arms, and so one might think that an inch here would be far less meaningful -- combined with an inch reduction in the waist could result in the drop and V-taper moving from ho-hum, see-that-every-day to something that grabs the attention.

Not as a night-and-day difference, of course, but significant.


I feelz your pain brahs (not being large/strong part, that's still coming, lol, just being bored by bicep work).

EDITE: We should have a support group! Like "Biceps are Boring" or something corny like that.


Hehehe, it must be that cheating powerlifting arch!!!


This thread has a really suggestive title.