T Nation

Question on Arm Measurements

When someone says “I have x inch arms,” what’s generally accepted as the procedure they used for measuring them? Biceps flexed and pumped, biceps flexed and cold, elbow bent and biceps cold/relaxed, elbow bent and biceps pumped/relaxed, arm straight and relaxed, or what? Mine are 19" flexed and pumped, but they certainly don’t look as big as a lot of people who quote theirs as smaller and I can’t imagine the excess fat on my arms adding THAT much to the measurement if I’m doing it right. I figure my frame might just be abnormally large, but I bet it’s more likely that I’m doing the measurement wrong.

Would really appreciate some guidance on this. I don’t want to quote mine as being 19" when they aren’t and end up looking like I was trying to bolster my size.

Usually measurements are supposed to be flexed (elbow bent obviously), and unpumped.

Most reported measurements are pumped though lol.

Post a picture of your arm. You’re very tall so that makes a big difference compared to someone who is 5’8 with 19 inch arms.

flexed and cold

[quote]Dr. FruitPie wrote:
I can’t imagine the excess fat on my arms adding THAT much to the measurement if I’m doing it right…[/quote]

Sadly, they can. I had 16.5 inch arms even before I started touching weights. Unless you’re quite lean, then the fats might add an extra inch or two to your arm measurement.

However, you’re quite tall so maybe that is another reason why your arms don’t look that big. Try posting a pic?

[quote]Taufiq wrote:
Dr. FruitPie wrote:
I can’t imagine the excess fat on my arms adding THAT much to the measurement if I’m doing it right…

Sadly, they can. I had 16.5 inch arms even before I started touching weights. Unless you’re quite lean, then the fats might add an extra inch or two to your arm measurement.

However, you’re quite tall so maybe that is another reason why your arms don’t look that big. Try posting a pic?[/quote]

Well, I do have a LOT of extra fat on me from 16 years of cookies, candy, and cola. I suppose it wouldn’t be so far fetched for the fat to really raise the circumference. I guess I just always thought of arm fat mostly sitting around the borders between the deltoids, biceps/triceps, and forearms. Can’t wait to shed the fat and see just how much it changes.

Will post a picture once I get access to one. Don’t currently have any at my finger tips.


Got access to my pictures. I took this a few weeks ago to track fat loss progress.

[quote]Taufiq wrote:
Dr. FruitPie wrote:
I can’t imagine the excess fat on my arms adding THAT much to the measurement if I’m doing it right…

Sadly, they can. I had 16.5 inch arms even before I started touching weights. Unless you’re quite lean, then the fats might add an extra inch or two to your arm measurement.

However, you’re quite tall so maybe that is another reason why your arms don’t look that big. Try posting a pic?[/quote]

I can attest to fat putting on the inches.

I was 16.5 cold at 212lbs

I’m 14.5 cold at 175

Kind of depressing, but now my arms still look bigger to the average person due to the veins and definition.

There’s a huge difference b/t 19" and fat vs. 19" and lean. You really needed to ask this question?

If you need a little more verification compare you numbers on your upper body lifts to those of someone who is lean with 19" arms.

Pesky ol’ reality always getting in the way.

However this confirms a suspicion that I’ve had for a number of years. I think there a millions of fat guys with big arms who think they are strong even though they haven’t touched a weight since high school.