T Nation

OT: Girth Measurements


It is simple.

I will use arm measurements as the example - simply as most trainees here know their arm circumference off the top of their head - rather than their chest or thigh, etc.

I am 5'8" ~210lbs and around 12%.. my arms are 17", calves 17" and neck is 18". My beef is this:

We often ask someone's stats and if their arms are say 17-18" then 'they are OK by us' - well this is clearly BS.

If someone is sedentary but 6' then it is not any stretch of the tape to own an 18" arm.. yet after many years of training someone of my height may just achieve the same size.

The point is, without height, weigh and bodyfat measurements - girth measurements mean shit.

Take the guy with a 34" waist.. at 5'5" this would make them fat. At 6'4" they would be very slim.

I was just thinking about this last night when i was asked about girth measurements - and compared to someone who had no development whatsoever but the same circumference, and this was compounded when reading a post this morning where a newbie claimed to have 18" arms.. but gave no other stats - likely deliberately.

I just wanted to 'out' those who hide behind the stats on screen - even real ones, as they can be very deceptive.





Not to mention the guys with 19" arms (which would actually tape at 18.5") who would measure out at 16.5" if not for the fat.


I'm 6'4" and if anything my arm measurements seem pretty weak compared to some of my shorter friends.

My arm measurement (at 235-245lbs) is usually around 16-17" depending on if I'm "on" and/or pumped up from lifting. If my arms were 18"+ they would look fucking massive.

I think if anything having shorter arms will give you a bigger measurement than if you are super tall.

2x on Bill Roberts comment...I think a lot of guys give false stats which is fuckin weak, if you wanna pretend to be bigger than you are over the internet you need to get a life. It's like cheating in golf...that low handicap looks great until you actually play in a tourney and end up 10 strokes over your "normal" game simply because someone counted all your strokes.


Oh for sure.

When I was in highschool and like 185 I had 16's, but at 6 foot and considering my insertions leave me with very little peak, they didnt look very impressive.

You could tell I worked out, and my arms looked big, but I didn't stand out as being "jacked", just athletic.

17's on someone shorter, or smaller joints, or with more peak LOOKs way more impressive.

You cant even estimate how someones arms, or other parts, look from stats anyways, I know a guy with large tris, but his bis are fairly normal looking.

His arms are 18's, by tape, and hes fairly lean, but he doesn't look that large from most angles because the bis are so much smaller proportionally.


Glad to see i am not alone here! lol!


I don't like inflated measurements, i think umpumped stats are more realistic. Most people lie about their true size, especially pros. Like Arnold claimed he had 22inch arms ,which is bullshit.


of course the hold the measuring tape at an extreme angle trick works wonders for arm growth as well



I am very curious as to why men find peaked short insertion biceps 'LOOK' so impressive.
This is of interest to me from an aesthetic point of view and since I am a visual artist I am always curious about shape and form and what we call beauty or impressive or not, what we like or dislike and why.
I know why I don't like this peaked, short insertion bicep, but why do you guys like it?


I personally have the shorter insertion higher peaked bicep. However, I find the longer, lower insertion point bicep to look better in most situations. For instance, in a side bicep pose the less peaked longer insertion bicep looks more full and better. I find they also look better in relaxed posisitons.

They also seem to just look better and more full even though the actual measurement may infact be lower. For instance, my biceps currently measure 17.25. However this is largely due to the higher peak. I believe someone with the longer less peaked bicep would have a more impressive looking arm at 17.25 inches.


Hmm.. mine are around that width and looks thick sure.. but i want peak AS WELL! lol!

As for the side bi shot, something i was told - which i don't need due to personal insertion points - is if you have a short bicep, you can pronate the front arm, this twists the bicep around the Ulna (as per its attachment and its action in supination) and makes it look longer and thicker.

Try it. You might like it :wink:

Alpha: As for the peak (i didnt make this thread with the view to it being about the Bi - again - it was just an example!) i dont like those with very short bi's who have peaks due to this - that DOES look incomplete. I like a nice length to the muscle, but that is high and defined too.

For examples - i am not overly keen on Darrem Charles bi's.. they are peaked but short too. I just want more height - maybe peak is the wrong word.



I like the points you raised, I hadn't thought of that myself..specially since Brook was originally talking about measurements and people inflating their numbers, the points you make show another reality.


That is considered a very masculine/power look! I struggle when I put on weight ( fat or water retention ) because I don't look cute and 'full' like most females, I look THICK and strong, lol.

You want it all, don't you? Are you training just out of passion and life long project or are you aiming to compete, Brook?

I know, My bad if I veered it out of topic, I am free thinker and that ends up in veering the threads into subtopics. But it is interesting.
Do you know what I see when I look at this biceps picture above?
A female breast. Silicone implants cup B to be precise. With the nipple covered by some bizarre surgery error.
Turn your head around to the right and you will see it.

The only other shape in the human form that resembles this shape is the silicone implanted breast of a female BB who lost her originals through steroid use and extreme dieting.

This is of course, a highly subjective and subconscious free association. But as I said from an aesthetic point of view I always ask myself why I embrace or reject certain shapes as beautiful/impressive. And since I am not into boobs I look at this bicep below and go: ew.
Not that there is anything wrong with that...


Hmm.. well while i haven't seen you in akll your glory, from the picture of your arm in your profile, it looks slender, feminine but nice and muscular too. So at this point i will hold reservation on that :wink:

Both really. I began training at around 14, and with FW at 18. I was on and off hard drugs for many years and trained well in between (I had the best body of all the junkies..) - then a few years back i got clean for good - stopped drinking, smoking and it took the biggest part of my life at that point. A real bodybuilding saved my life story :wink:

lmao! A conceptual artist? Really..? You'd never guess...! hehe!

Maybe that is the allure. I am more of an arse man myself - and legs, face, back.. you get the picture.
I can't honestly say that i have ever made that particular association before.. i personally think of breasts as soft with the texture of a peach - and that bicep is hard and defined.

In my mind (as you said, highly subjective) there is no association - although i can easily see why someone could associate those forms. they are both extreme, freaky and both attained by extra/supra-natural means (drugs or implant).

I think for me it is much more of an androgenic thing - muscularity, power, manliness - the normal things associated with muscle.

I know you appreciate these same things - i have heard you speak of such things (and enjoy your view very much actually) in previous posts - but maybe it is due to him being of the opposite sex. Or maybe that is too crude a realisation.



Brook, it's interesting that you would make the switch from one form of hard drug to another. You went from destroying your body to taking drug that would in a sense improve it.

Did you just jump into steroids or did you have the incentive to do some research before hand? In my mind BB is an addiction, you just satisfied your addictive personality with a far more beneficial hobby.


lol! At least you kept your self esteem..

I personally don't think of breasts but it was when I was exposed for the first time to this amateur BB who had lost her originals and had silicone implants and that weird hard androgenic 'boob' traumatized me, ; D

Yes, I do appreciate vitality ( If you want a more of a feminine word for power ).
I love muscle full stop. I think bodybuilding is the ultimate art form: You are both the medium and the artist. Bodybuilders being not athletes but POWER ARTISTS. Physical power.

I knew a BB who was introduced to drugs in Bodybuilding and developed a serious addiction. Kind of the other way around from you.

I think we are all addicted. To our jobs, to our partners, to our pints of view, to our religion, our politics, healthy supplements, etc..not all addictions kill immediately, but all diminish the quality of our lives. I also think we jump from addiction to another ( as Game Time alluded above ).
Including the size/measurement of our muscles..

It's never big enough, high enough, defined enough, lean enough, is it..

; )


You hit the nail on the head. I personally couldn't have 'replaced' that aspect of my life with anything less demanding... anyway, not wanting to dwell..

Just like the newbs i call out here (daily it seems at the moment) - i jumped in with no prior knowledge following the 'advice' of a friend. This is why it frustrates me so, as i didn't have access to the internet in 1998 - there simply was no-one else who used.

These kids come here with bad info - ask for help and then throw it in your face! They deserve the inevitable suppression and gyno that will ensue.. ;p

However what set me apart was i have been reading since that year about the drugs - with it coming to a head in the past 2 years after meeting a select few individuals here who really showed me what PED was really about (BBB, Saps, Bill, WHB - i cant name everyone, but they come to mind immediately).

WHB is a massively underrated poster here and i honestly could sit and pick his brain on the subject for hours.



Agree totally Alpha. Very true.

However BB is often 'accused' of being a negative past-time as it can affect your whole life - food, sleep, social time, training, work.. everything can revolve around the activity for some.
This is due to it being in nature a sport of vanity.

However anyone who is close to the sport, knows this is simply due to it being a show sport, and the thoughts inside a BB's head when posing (in private or otherwise) are far from one's of vanity (for myself at least).

However the way i look at it is this: If i wanted to compete as a sprinter (i once did) or as a Horse rider, or as a sex marathon competitor - i would need to put in dedicated and disciplined training time, everyday - where my life was focused on achieving that goal.

As someone who wants to compete at a reasonable level at least to represent my county (not country!), i am willing to do what i need to do in order to be as good as i can be. This however means if i need to step back in order to proceed farther - i will (and am). I feel this is the action that someone following some compulsive need, would not be able to do.

I am still practising for the sex marathon..


I tried it. Not sure if it looks better or not, yet, but I think with some added size it would achieve the look I am going for if posed in that manner.

I have seen the change from hard drugs to bodybuilding a couple times, once with my cousin who was addicted to meth. Now he is completely addicted to bodybuilding (along with AAS), and has much more potential than I ever will at BB. I hope he sticks with it and doesn't fall back into his old ways.

In my case it is much less, as I never would consider myself an addict, but I have tried all the hard drugs and psychedelics, and I used to like to get hammered on the weekends. Since getting thoroughly obsessed with lifting I drink only in extreme moderation (1 drink if at all only to not seem rude in social situations), and have no real desire to experiment with any drugs.

Sometimes I think we all need a vice, and AAS seems to be the lesser of the evils in many cases.


Well, you DO need to be thick to look good with a pronated forearm to show the bi - in any angle.

You need to have a fairly well developed forearm (flexors particularly), brachioradialis and brachialis.

Reverse curls and hammer curls will fix that!