T Nation

Size Based on Bodyweight


I was wondering how much size is possible given a certain bodyweight. For example, I am 5'9" with average genetics (at best), weigh 165 pounds and have a 32" waist, 15.5" neck and 15" arms cold measured. I've dropped about 20 lbs and lost 6" on my waist to get here and added .75" to my arms at the same time.

I'm really pretty happy with myself but would like to add another .5" to my arms without sacrificing my waist size. Is it possible at my weight to add the size to my arms or based on my weight have I pretty much maxed out on the size of my arms and therefore will need to add weight?


Uh, to gain muscle requires a gain of lean body mass...which weighs more unless you somehow lost the weight of some other tissue to compensate. Without insulting you, how do you think that's possible without gaining weight? Was this a trick question?

Just to add, 15" arms are SMALL. I started lifting seriously BECAUSE I had 15" arms. For some of you (on a bodybuilding web site) to now act like this is a great final goal to have is just plain feminine and ridiculous. No offense.


You don't say how old you are, but I can pretty much guarantee you that you can get bigger.


I can pretty much guarantee you can't without a complete overhaul between your ears. No offense here either.


I'm 51 btw.

My point was that I've encountered many people in my years who had large muscles on relatively low bodyweight bodies so I was just curious how much more muscle one could pack on a 165 pound body.

Also, this forum is building a better body which is what I have done and will continue to do. Well defined and muscular 15" arms are not SMALL. 13" and 14" arms are a better use of that word. Or I guess maybe in relation to the average high body fat lunkhead who wants size at all costs but I'd rather not go there. No offense.


Size at all costs. hahaha. If you consider gaining bodyweight as a cost of gaining muscle than so be it. I and many other lunkheads here are willing to bear that cost.


Did you happen to take HEIGHT into consideration? Someone 5'6" can look big at 180lbs ripped. Someone taller might not.

Size at all costs is how you refer to people who are NOT afraid to gain body weight to add muscle mass? I'm confused at how this equals "at all costs". Your logic seems a little fruity. No offense.


I'm so confused.

Height and weight matters-Someone 5'5", 195 lbs will look as muscular as someone that is 6'1", 235 lbs (i.e. Franco and Arnold). There's no such thing as large muscles on low bodyweight. Height is what does that.


It somewhat depends on your bodyfat % also. If you have 20% bf, you can probably gain that 1/2" and retain the same weight by lowering your bf while maintaining, ultimately, your 165 pounds. It may not be possible to do it simultaneously though. If you're 10%, probably not possible without gaining weight.

Assuming you have normal genetics, you should have no problem taking your weight up to about 190 pounds with 16.5"+ arms and still retain the 'lean' look. You won't look like a monster but you will be better than 99% of people on the earth.


Just eat at a moderate caloric surplus while training hard. The extra calories are going to be spent mostly gaining muscle with only a little bit of fat gain. And if you gain a little extra fat, then you can always just diet a little bit.

It's not like you are going to wake up one day and just be HYYOOOOOGE. It's very slow and gaining muscle is much more difficult than losing fat.


These are 15.5 inch arms with a 7 inch wrist. I don't think they look that small. The guy does not want to gain any weight, he does not want to gain fat. That is obvious form his question. Yes you can get bigger arms (or any part) without doing a traditional "bulk" and gaining fat.


Read this article and any of Thibs articles for arm size and give it a try. If you are relatively happy with your development, than fuck what this other guy thinks. You can actually use the advice listed above.


Did you post this just to show off? You are 5 foot 5. When people say things like, "I finally got to 200lbs", why do people 6'5" feel the need to tell us how that isn't big? When people discuss measurements and what is considered "developed", why do EXTREMELY short people log on to tell us that they don't look small with those measurements? Do you feel left out in most normal conversation? Does someone honestly have to write each every single freaking time that we are discussing people of AVERAGE HEIGHT for you to understand it?

If you didn't know, you are NOT of average height. This guy is 4 inches taller than you but thank you for your commentary and nice black and white photo of yourself. You are very "stocky".


Uh I'm so sick of people not knowing what the average height is!


(in North Korea)


I've used up all of my Smurf jokes on Nate so I've got nothin'.


Thanks Roids (and a couple others)for the thoughtful response. I never said I didn't want to gain weight and yeah (duh) I know that I can get bigger by weighing more. Of course if some would spend a minute reading what I wrote and reading the topic of the post it is very clear what I was asking. I was just trying to see what was possible size wise given a certain bodyweight based on MY situation.

Having said that, do you all really think I would need to gain 25 pounds to add 1.5" to my arms? I was looking to add about ten pounds to go to 175 and figured if that was largely muscle gain, (gained slowly as at my age I'm in no big rush to impress anyone I'd just like to be consistently getting better), I'd easily exceed the half inch and could possibly challenge the 16" mark.


You might want to slow down there. I hear women and children get pretty riled up when you hit extremes like that. Next thing you know, you walk out of the house and people are screaming and running in terror...all because of you. Hopefully you don't live in Boston.

Most people expect about 15-20lbs for every inch gained on their arms. This is a bodybuilding site yet you wonder why goals that minimal were mocked at all? You are stressing over gaining 10lbs to add half an inch on your arms, first as if it even comes easily, and second as if anyone who does put the time in is doing it "at all costs".

I am willing to bet you won't even reach that goal because you have some strange fear of gaining body weight that might push you over the incredible measurement of 16"...as if that just happens without you working very hard for it. Have fun on your very long, slow and possibly unreachable journey to avoid gaining even ten or fifteen pounds. Hey, maybe you can get there before you turn 60!


Your a moran.


How do you know his last name?


You're lucky you didn't crack any jokes.
We travel in packs, and the only thing that rivals the size of our large looking biceps is the huge chip on our shoulders from people looking down at us all the time.


That is probably the funniest thing I've seen in a week.

I really hope you're joking, ghutson, because if not, it's kind of sad.