What’s the Average Bicep Size?

Are you working hard at the gym? You’ll be thrilled about the progress you’re making, and proud to continuously outdo yourself. Let’s face it, though, you don’t just want to know that your biceps are bigger than they used to be. You also want to compare them to the average bicep size. 

How Can You Correctly Measure Your Bicep Size?

You don’t. You get someone else to do that for you. 

Here’s how:

  • Simply stand in an upright but relaxed stance, with your arms by your sides, to measure the size of your biceps in their relaxed state. Ask a mate to measure your biceps with a soft measuring tape while remaining relaxed the entire time, and be sure to tell them that they are aiming for the spot right between the tip of your shoulder and elbow.
  • Want to know how big your biceps are while flexed? You’re gonna want to sit down for this one. Place your arm on a table, make a fist, and flex hard. Now, your friend can measure your flexed biceps. 
how to measure biceps

What Factors Influence the Size of Your Biceps?

Before you set out to bravely discover whether your biceps are bigger than the next guy or gal’s biceps, there are a few things you need to know about the things that impact this metric. Using the methods laid out above (which really measure arm size in the bicep area, rather than the biceps themselves), the results any given person will get depend on:

  • Their sex — female upper arms are statistically likely to be smaller. 
  • Their BMI or body fat. Not all big arms are muscly. 
  • Their age, because muscle mass decreases over time.
  • Their ethnicity, which has a significant impact on the average bicep size as well.

What’s the Average Bicep Size for Men? What About Women?

Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control keep meticulous track of this sort of stuff by gathering data from a statistically representative selection of participants. They don’t keep track of average bicep size as such, but the CDC does have info about the average midarm circumference. 

For men in the United States, that’s:

  • 33.9 cm (13.3″) for guys of all age groups and racial groups.
  • 33.2 cm (13.1″) for 20 to 29 year old men
  • 34.7 (13.7″) for men aged 30 to 39. 

For women, the figures are slightly different:

  • Women over 20 have an average midarm circumference of 31.4 cm (12.3″). 
  • For those in the 20-29 age group, the average is 30.4 cm (11.9″). 
  • Women aged 30 to 39 have an average bicep size of 31.6 cm (12.4″). 

Want to see more? Just head over to the CDC’s Anthropometric Reference Data!

Many bodybuilders have biceps that measure 20 inches or beyond, of course. While there’s no question that their arms really are bigger than most, and that those arms are all muscle and no fat, do keep in mind that the measurements you’ll see floating around are more likely to relate to flexed biceps than relaxed ones. You’d want to go with the bigger number, too, no?

average bodybuilder bicep size

How Can You Build Bigger Biceps?

A full-on arm routine is inevitable, and you’ve probably already got that part down pat by doing bicep curls, hammer curls, chin ups, close-grip bench presses, and various triceps extensions at the gym. To build bigger biceps, you want to make sure that you’re working all the surrounding muscles, and not just the biceps alone. 

To take it up a level, make sure you add a decent preworkout supplement into your daily routine, including creatine for that pump.

Nobody gets there overnight, but huge biceps can be yours if you’re willing to work hard enough and long enough.

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