So, What’s the Average Biceps Size?

If somebody strolls as much as you in the midst of the health club and abruptly instructions you to flex, likelihood is that you simply’re going to ball up your fists, elevate your arms, and bang out the traditional entrance double biceps pose. It’s a posture so synonymous with bodybuilding that it has been the de facto technique of displaying muscularity because the heyday of Charles Atlas.

Together with figuring out how you can flex your biceps comes an understanding that you simply want one thing to flex within the first place. Whether or not you dangle plates out of your waist to carry out weighted pull-ups or do curl after curl (after curl), you most likely pursue greater arms in some trend.

However that does beg the query; what precisely counts as “huge arms”? Extra particularly, what’s the common biceps dimension? To search out out, you might want to know the place you fall on the size of bizarre and supernatural. 

What Is the Common Biceps Measurement?

For a whole technology of youngsters, skilled wrestler Hulk Hogan launched the idea of prodigious arms — “The 24-inch pythons, brother!” — and the giant-slaying power that accompanied them. If you happen to fell into that camp, whipping out the tape measure may’ve proved disappointing.

Little do you know, although, that the common bloke isn’t boasting 24-inch arms; removed from it. In actual fact, if you wish to examine your biceps to the final populace (reasonably than one of the iconic stars of professional wrestling), you’ll most likely come out fairly favorably. 

Biceps Peak Circumference Table

Credit score: Nationwide Heart for Well being Statistics, Very important Well being Stat 3

[Read More: The Best Biceps Stretches to Support Long-Term Arm Thickness]

For instance, by evaluating the examine outcomes offered by the Facilities for Illness Management, (1) you’ll be able to see the place the averages and extremes of the biceps dimension distribution scale reside for people of each sexes. 

  • Amongst females, these within the 50-to-59-year-old age group possess the most important imply arm circumference at 32.8 centimeters (12.91 inches), whereas females of the 40-to-49-year-old class have the widest arms on the fiftieth percentile at 32.0 centimeters (12.59 inches).
  • When measuring males, the 40-to-49-year-old age group possessed the meatiest common imply arm circumference at 35.3 centimeters (13.90 inches), and in addition the thickest arms on the fiftieth percentile vary at 35.1 centimeters (13.81 inches).
  • The biggest recorded averages for all males on the chart — these within the Ninety fifth percentile — belong to males in each the 20-to-29-year-old and 30-to-39-year-old age teams. Each cross sections have common midarm measurements of 42.4 centimeters (16.61 inches). 
  • The best Ninety fifth-percentile averages belong to females within the 30-to-39-year-old age division who collectively possess a Ninety fifth-percentile common midarm circumference of 43.4 centimeters (17.08 inches).


There are two necessary components to think about when taking a look at this information. The primary is physique composition; the CDC doesn’t comment on muscle-to-fat ratios, so there’s no means of figuring out if these arm measurements have been taken on people who frequently hit the weights or not

Secondly, measuring the circumference of the higher arm doesn’t isolate the dimensions of the biceps particularly, because you’re counting the floor space of the triceps as properly. In actual fact, the triceps are proportionally bigger than the biceps by default, with the quantity ratio touchdown at about 3:2 in favor of the tris. (2)

A bodybuilder doing dumbbell curls with one arm.
Credit score: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock

Measuring the circumference of the arm is essentially the most goal means of calibrating biceps dimension, certain. However that additionally means if you’d like “greater biceps” — on paper, a minimum of — you need to hammer your triceps as properly.

Defining “Huge Biceps”

The general public notion of what huge biceps are (and the way straightforward it’s to develop them) has been skewed by the huge appendages of these whose arms fall squarely outdoors the realm of “regular.” Relaxation assured that, regardless of how laborious you practice, you gained’t by accident placed on an excessive amount of muscle and get up with biceps that might win the gang at a bodybuilding present. 

Skilled Bodybuilder Biceps Sizes

On the earth {of professional} bodybuilding, dimension is all the pieces. Whilst you can’t disguise from the truth that many professional physique athletes flip to performance-enhancing medication to enhance their beneficial properties, 20-inch-plus arms aren’t the exception; they’re the rule. 

Think about the arm sizes of some iconic winners of the Worldwide Federation of Bodybuilding & Health (IFBB) Mr. Olympia competitors, the game’s most prestigious occasion:

Editor’s Be aware: These figures aren’t 100-percent substantiated. Studies on the arm dimension of particular rivals could fluctuate. 

And people are only a few of the Sandow trophy winners; non-winners with some significantly spectacular weapons embody the likes of Flex Wheeler and Roelly Winklaar, who each boasted 24-inch arms.

Exterior of Bodybuilding

20-inch (or bigger) biceps could also be unusual outdoors of the bodybuilding stage, however they’re not exceptional — particularly in power sports activities the place the mightiest mortals are likely to congregate. 

For instance, two of the girthiest arms ever publicly measured belonged to strongman Manfred Hoeberl, a six-foot, four-inch colossus whose barbell-based achievements embody a 628-pound bench press and 794-pound squat. After a curling competitors on the 1994 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio, Hoeberl’s biceps have been measured at an astounding 26 inches.

A coach doing chin-ups in the Barbend gym.

[Read More: 5 Unique Biceps Exercises to Use for Mass and Strength]

Professional wrestler turned Hollywood celebrity Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson additionally reportedly carries 21-inch arms round on the set of his motion blockbusters. Regardless of pursuing a profession in movie full-time, Johnson isn’t shy about exhibiting off his gut-busting exercises on social media, both. 

In comparison with the CDC’s information, these measurements definitely sound excessive — and that’s as a result of they’re. That stated, simply since you don’t measure as much as a five-time Olympia winner doesn’t imply your individual biceps are diminutive. If you happen to hit the health club for muscle hypertrophy frequently, you’ve most likely acquired biceps which can be safely above common. 

Tips on how to Develop Your Biceps

If you wish to construct your biceps, you might want to understand how they work within the first place. Your biceps brachii articulate (that’s, insert upon) your elbow joint. Your elbow joint basically features like a hinge that opens and closes.

For coaching functions, because of this any quantity of weight you apply to your arm as your biceps try and “shut” your elbow joint will stimulate them ultimately. This predictable and uncomplicated movement pattern makes your biceps straightforward to overload with resistance coaching and, within the course of, induce the large dimension beneficial properties you’re on the lookout for. 

[Related: Bodybuilding Lore Addressed: Can You Really Build a Biceps Peak?]

Most direct biceps coaching is so simple as performing your curl variations of alternative. Then again, many upper body pulling exercises similar to rows or chin-ups work your biceps as properly (albeit not as immediately). Usually talking, most good biceps-building exercise plans will embody each compound exercises and isolation lifts for the arms. 

The Three Greatest Biceps Workouts

In case your want is to induce explosive bicep development as rapidly as attainable, listed below are three workout routines that you simply’ll wish to add to your train routine instantly (in case you’re not doing them already.)


The chin-up is a compound train that additionally entails a considerable contribution from the muscle tissues in your again. With that being stated, the chin-up stays one of many most secure and most dependable methods to overload your biceps whereas coaching them in live performance along with your different muscle tissues which can be accountable for pulling. 

If you do chin-ups, you’re immediately recruiting your biceps to maneuver a portion of your individual physique weight, however in case you ever end up getting so sturdy that units of 12 chin-ups don’t even come near tiring you out, you’ll be able to all the time droop further weight from a belt, or maintain a weight between your legs, as a way to quickly escalate the problem.

Tips on how to Do the Chin-Up

  1. Cling from a pull-up bar along with your palms going through you, and your arms about shoulder-width aside or barely wider.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades collectively from a lifeless grasp and pull them down away out of your ears to provoke the motion.
  3. Pull your physique up till your chin is at or above the bar, ensuring to not let your physique fold inward.
  4. Maintain for a second on the prime, contracting your biceps and again as laborious as attainable, after which reverse the movement.

Coach’s Tip: Wrapping your thumbs across the bar you’re hanging from could enable you interact your biceps a bit extra.

Units and Reps: Carry out a number of units of chin-ups, leaving a number of repetitions within the tank, till you are able to do 20 to 30 in a single session. Then, drop the reps and add a small quantity of weight. 

Barbell Curl

The barbell curl sits comfortably on the prime of the record of traditional biceps-builders, and for good purpose. Standing upright means that you can brace your whole physique for stability. You’ll be able to even relaxation your again towards a wall to isolate your biceps and make gentle weights really feel heavy. Or, intentionally sway backwards and forwards and carry out a cheat curl for some insane stress. 

Whether or not you’re utilizing a straight bar, an EZ-curl bar, or any of the myriad different specialty bars in existence, standing barbell curls are one of many go-to workout routines for isolating your biceps. This lets you absolutely concentrate on the contribution of the biceps to the raise and guarantee their full engagement all through the motion.

Tips on how to Do the Barbell Curl

  1. Seize a barbell with an underhand grip, barely wider than the shoulders. 
  2. Pull your shoulders again. Your elbows must be underneath your shoulder joints, or barely in entrance. 
  3. Curl the barbell up utilizing your biceps.
  4. Maintain the barbell for a second on the peak of the motion earlier than returning it to its beginning place.

Dumbbell Curl

By swapping out the barbell for a pair of dumbbells, you’ll be able to retain practically all the advantages of the standing barbell curl whereas additionally including to the flexibility of the curling movement. Dumbbells allow you to work your biceps uniquely as you rotate your palms outward when you elevate the burden. Additionally they mean you can rapidly determine weaknesses particular to every arm.

As well as, the truth that you’ll be able to alternate your arms and raise the dumbbells individually could end in you having the ability to raise extra weight per arm than you may raise with a barbell. In different phrases, despite the fact that every of your particular person arms is holding a better quantity of weight, your core remains to be required to help much less weight total throughout every rep than it could while you execute a two-arm barbell curl.

Tips on how to Do the Dumbbell Curl

  1. Seize a dumbbell with every hand, stand upright, and maintain the dumbbells at your sides along with your palms going through your midline.
  2. Curl the burden up, rotating your hand in order that your thumb factors out and away out of your physique on the peak of the motion.
  3. Maintain on the prime of the motion for a couple of second, then slowly decrease the dumbbells again to your sides.

Measurement Issues, or Does It?

There’s no getting round it: Huge, bulging biceps are a standing image. Nevertheless, your biceps are however one cog in a a lot bigger muscular machine. Pursuing huge biceps is noble, however bear in mind that you’ve got many different muscle tissues in your physique. Skipping again or leg day for one more spherical of curls could do extra hurt than good, particularly from a efficiency standpoint.

If you need huge biceps, you want sturdy shoulders to stabilize your arm when you curl or row. Likewise, your shoulders have problem rising in the event that they aren’t working within the service of sturdy chest and again muscle tissues. So, as you fine-tune your biceps workouts, don’t neglect to coach all the adjoining muscle teams as properly. 

That means, while you proudly flex your biceps and show your freshly sprouted peaks, they’ll look proper at dwelling amongst the opposite scenic options of an already muscular panorama.


  1. Fryar, C.D., Gu, Q., Ogden, C.L., Flegal, Okay.M. (2016). Anthropometric reference information for kids and adults: United States, 2011–2014. Nationwide Heart for Well being Statistics, Very important Well being Stat 3(39). 
  2. Holzbaur, Okay. R., Murray, W. M., Gold, G. E., & Delp, S. L. (2007). Higher limb muscle volumes in grownup topics. Journal of biomechanics, 40(4), 742–749. 

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