T Nation

When Are Your Arms Considered Big?


I'm wondering when the general public see's someones arms and thinks they're big and then what do people on this site consider big?

i'll start I started getting comments when my arms were 16 inches, now they are 17.6 and i generally cant go out to a club with a t shirt on without getting a comment(not complaining when from a pretty lady)

funny that i do about 3 sets a week for biceps.....since i've been on a cut i havent lost any size on my arms, ok i'll stop feeling myself now...

so answers? i figure this is an easy free post thread, lets atleast try to answer the question within the first few posts


When, after you have trained arms, you cannot touch your shoulder with your fingers because your bizeps gets in the way.


What if you have really short fingers?


i have shitty arms (my triceps are poorly shaped.. they are wide but without thickness) however i start getting comments passed 16inches (now i'm around 16.5)




17 3/4 is the cutoff. Sorry jtg keep up with the curlz


lol, i believe my arms are too big for my body at the moment, so i wont be doing any direct arm work for awhile


Your arms will grow with the rest of your body. I don't think avoiding direct arm work will keep them from getting bigger if you are trying to add mass to the rest of your body.

I've read that a good proportion is for your neck, arms, and calves to be the same size


I started at 14.25" some years ago, now I'm at 17" and still want more.
I reckon 18" is a nice round number to aim for.


Shoot yourself.

Nah man, keep doing arm work and just man up with the rest of your body.
Couple of warmups and one set each of Kroc Curls and the one shown here for Tris: http://www.larryscott.com/bio/newsletter/97summer_2.cfm will leave you plenty of time to improve the rest of your physique..

But in all honesty, I've never seen a bodybuilder with arms that were really too big for his body (even though ppl have accused Oliva, Levrone and McGrath of being "all arms", seriously those are/were some of the best looking dudes onstage. And it's not like you have arms like them anyway, right?).


I typed up a lenghty response to this, but remembered that a certain big black man on this forum has already said everything that I could say to this in other threads.


18.3269814412322100004 ins


I think I gave my opinion on this a while ago on a different thread, but when I started training, my arms were 14" (and I thought I looked pretty 'athletic', from martial arts, boxing, and shotput). Once I reached 16", I felt that I looked like a 'bodybuilder', not just someone who played sports (I'm 5'9, with a pretty small boned frame, so of course this may be different for someone else). At 17", I thought I was hyooooge. At 18", I was honestly shocked, but couldn't really argue with any sincerity when someone would tell me that I had big arms (I always try to feign humility when complimented -lol).

I also do very little direct arm work. While I get a lot of questions about my tricep training, I figure it's just from years of heavy presses.



The general public seems to think anything much over 15" is big, especially if they are on a movie star. In bodybuilding, I think most would put that number over 17" with anything over 18" making you one of the few with the genetics to carry that much mass overall.

In general, if you can build lean arms over 18", it is a safe bet that you could possibly walk on stage and actually do well as a heavy weight or better instead of simply being looked over.




when evryone tells you theyre big and when you dont need to ask "when are arms considered big?".


Yes. Really. I often tell myself this while speaking to my muscles as if they were living entities.

"Biceps, you seem a little TOO big for my body. Cutting the sleeves off of all of my dress shirts does not go over well at board meetings and driving with one arm hanging out of the window causes enough property damage to the concrete that I'll be paying back the city through 2025. Damn you, biceps. Damn you to hell."


A true greek tragedy...


Big is relative to the height of the individual. 14" arms can look "Big" to any average joe when someone is 5'3", so I don't think you can put a number on it.

For me, over 20" is impressive.


i try to avoid curls,so as i said earlier i generally do 3 sets a week as I'd rather do big heavy compound movements...it seems like my arms grow too easily at times, i would like too eventually get 18+...