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How big should a man's biceps be?

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  • How big should a man's biceps be?

    I just measured my biceps and they seem ridiculously small for a man my size. I'm 6' tall, 220lbs, 33%ish body fat, my biceps measure 13" cold/unflexed. Is that normal? My wife has 12" biceps (!) but she says she has 'large arms for a woman' and indeed has a body type that stores more fat on her upper body/arms than is normal for women.

    Is 13" on the small side for arms for a guy? If so do I bicep curl and skull crusher all day long to build my arms? New to bulking concepts. I don't want gargantuan arms but I do want to look symmetrical and balanced.

  • #2
    well you could check out the GRECIAN IDEAL calculator on this page Bodybuilding.com - Know Your Measurements For Bodybuilding Success.

    scroll about half way down. you enter your wrist circumference measurement and it spits out ideal measurements as thought of by the ancient greeks

    for instance i have 8" wrists and my biceps measure spot on at 19"
    Primal Chaos
    37yo 6'5"
    6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
    current 338lbs 49" waist
    goal 240lbs 35" waist

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    • #3
      Big enough to have the strength to lift his woman with ease...
      Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.

      - Robert Louis Stevenson

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      • #4
        Indeed GoJen! Also, directly from the department of contrived
        statistics, your biceps should be powerful enough to hoist your
        bodyweight plus a mildly heavy backpack (25 to 35 lb) up to
        and over a head height tree limb. (:

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mike Gager View Post
          well you could check out the GRECIAN IDEAL calculator on this page Bodybuilding.com - Know Your Measurements For Bodybuilding Success.

          scroll about half way down. you enter your wrist circumference measurement and it spits out ideal measurements as thought of by the ancient greeks

          for instance i have 8" wrists and my biceps measure spot on at 19"
          Cool. I've heard about the Grecian Ideal over the years but never actually looked it up. I seem to recall that it was what "The Governator" was said to have been aiming for....

          Going by that calculator, my chicken leg's are right on target
          If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

          Originally posted by tfarny
          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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          • #6
            If it makes you feel better I am Male and my biceps are 12" and a whopping 13" when flexed!

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            • #7
              I would guess it depends on the man mirror! I agree with GoJenGo.. the reason I married a small woman.. ;-) But still Muhammad Ali only had 15 inch biceps at his peak, he was 6.3 and didn't lift weights! The Grecian Ideal is fine if that is what you want to look like.... So again.. it depends on the man in the mirror.
              Living the dream, inside a myth

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              • #8
                I think that my biceps might be a bit small when I look at them but I am able to do a dozen pullups on a set and I can carry my 100lb sandbag 100yds for 5 sets. I guess as long as functional strength is there who cares about aesthetics. I don't even know if my biceps are 12" around and I am 6'1" and 180lbs. maybe I should measure.
                Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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                • #9
                  Chest 52 inches
                  Waist 36 inches
                  Hip 44 inches
                  Bicep 19 inches
                  Forearm 15 inches
                  Thigh 28 inches
                  Calve 18 inches
                  Neck 19 inches


                  WOW, This is way bigger than I expected for an 8 inch wrist. I will have to moderate my expectations.
                  Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                  Predator not Prey
                  Paleo Ketogenic Lifestyle

                  CW 315 | SW 506
                  Current Jeans 46 | Starting Jeans 66


                  Contact me: quelsen@gmail.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MightyAl View Post
                    I guess as long as functional strength is there who cares about aesthetics.
                    Do people actually believe this? 'Sure, I might look like a waster, but you should see me carry a backpack full o' cans'.

                    But in answer to the question your biceps must be larger than the heads of two Lithuanian peasant women strapped together otherwise you are not a man.
                    The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist
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                    • #11
                      I can tell a difference in mine based on carb refeeds as well.
                      http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Primal Fist View Post
                        Do people actually believe this? 'Sure, I might look like a waster, but you should see me carry a backpack full o' cans'.

                        But in answer to the question your biceps must be larger than the heads of two Lithuanian peasant women strapped together otherwise you are not a man.
                        I do. Form will follow function every time.
                        Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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                        • #13
                          Personally I would lose the gut before I started worrying about muscle symmetry. But 13 inches sounds small .

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                          • #14
                            Yikes, 9.25" wrist:

                            Chest 60 inches
                            Waist 42 inches
                            Hip 51 inches
                            Bicep 22 inches
                            Forearm 17 inches
                            Thigh 32 inches
                            Calve 20 inches
                            Neck 22 inches

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MightyAl View Post
                              I do. Form will follow function every time.
                              Yes, mostly that's true (although doing a shitload of concentration curls will net your bigger biceps than overhead presses will). But my bone of contention is with people who pretend they don't care about how they look. 'I only care about being stronger and faster, it doesn't matter at all how I look as a result'. Bollocks.
                              The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist
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