Average Bicep Size By Age & Height – How Do You Measure Up?

Worried that you're not measuring up when it comes to bicep size?

You're not alone! This is a common concern for many gym goers and folks in general. That's why we've put together this handy guide on average bicep size by age and gender.

So you can see where you stand and how you compare to others.

So, here's the deal. You shouldn't worry. There's no need to feel self-conscious about your upper arm mass or flexed biceps size.

The upper arm is a small muscle group, so every little bit of growth helps.

And, with our help, you can work on building bigger muscles until they reach the volume you desire!

What you'd notice if you take a quick YouTube or Google search is that folks are outright obsessed with biceps and their growth.

There's an ocean of content on the topic, with many people sharing their so-called secrets to success and massive arms. So, it can be hard to make sense of it all.

The average-size bicep (flexed or relaxed) for a male is not set in stone.

Sure, the average relaxed biceps size for a man in his 30s is 13.8 inches, but that includes both the fat tissue surrounding it as well as lean muscle tissue and is influenced by a number of factors, including age, body mass index, lifestyle, and genetics.

So, we wouldn't stress too much about it.

Man Doing a Dumbbell Bicep Curl

What Is The Average Bicep Size For Females?

The same thing applies to ladies, although truth be told, they're not as nearly obsessed with biceps as men are.

Nevertheless, the average arm circumference for a female in her 30s is 12.9 inches.

So, a measly 7.75% percent less than men, even though ladies are on average slimmer, carry a lot less muscle mass overall, and have much less testosterone in their system.[1]

Once again, this number is misleading as it is an average of hundreds of millions of people and is influenced by an array of factors, but nonetheless, that's an average arm circumference of a 30-something-year-old female.

Also Check Out - Best Gym Machines For Arm Fat Loss

Woman in Orange Tank Top Flexing Bicep

Average Bicep Size Chart (By Gender And Age)

To make sure we deliver on our promise, here's a detailed breakdown of an age-average biceps size based on gender.

Age

Male Average Biceps Size (Inches)

Female Average Biceps Size (Inches)

20–29

13.3

12.4

30–39

13.8

12.9

40–49

13.9

12.9

50–59

13.5

12.9

60–69

13.4

12.7

70–79

12.9

12.6

80+

12.1

11.4

NOTE: These biceps size chart numbers represent relaxed measurement, not flexed bicep measurements.

Average Biceps Size By Height (Are They Related?)

Although it might seem logical that a taller person would also have larger biceps, this is not always the case.

Sure, it seems like common sense that a 6'5" stud would have bigger arms than a 5'5" fellow. Oftentimes, this is not the reality.

The thing is, biceps size is not just related to height. It's also influenced by factors like age, weight, body composition, and genetics.

So, although height can be a factor, there is little to no research and scientific evidence to support that claim.

In fact, it's the BMI, or body mass index that's a better predictor of bicep size. The BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

So, the higher your BMI, the more likely you are to have larger biceps.

However, here's the thing. We wouldn't recommend fixating too much on any one number or measurement.

The reality is that everyone is different, and you should only compare yourself to yourself.


Factors Affecting Average Arm Size

As we've said, there are more than a few factors that can affect the size of your biceps. Here are some of the most important ones:

Genetics

You could hop on gear and pack as much lean mass as humanly possible, and you could still end up with "inferior" biceps because of your genetics. Let us explain.

The biceps brachii is composed of two main components - a short head and a long head.

The long head originates at the lower outer part of the shoulder blade, and the short head originates at the coracoid process, which is a small bony protrusion on the front of the shoulder.[2]

Just like any other muscle, the bicep is composed of muscle bellies and tendons.

The muscle bellies are the actual "meat" of the muscles, and the tendons are tough, fibrous cords that attach muscles to the bone.

Now, the thing is, the muscle bellies and tendons attach to the bone at different points. This is called the point of insertion.

The point of insertion has a massive impact on the shape of the bicep, length, and peak, and there is literally nothing you can do about it, no matter how hard you train.

Essentially, if you have a lower point of insertion, or as some like to call it, long-tendon-short-bicep, you're likely to have a "peakier" bicep that looks bigger when flexed.

On the other hand, if you have a higher point of insertion or short-tendon-long-bicep, you will most likely be the proud owner of "smaller biceps."

Man Doing EZ Bar Curls

Training Status

Training is one of the most important factors in improving your arm size.

One thing to keep in mind is that the curve to increasing your biceps circumference will be quite flat. After you experience the first boom after a few months, the increase will be slow and steady.

Unless you manage to achieve optimal muscle hypertrophy through progressive overload, you won't experience any gains.

With that being said, it is more than likely that an experienced lifter or an avid gym-goer will have larger biceps and more muscular arms than a newbie or someone who rarely performs any physical activity.

Also Try These - 20 Effective Bodyweight Bicep Exercises 

Diet

A healthy diet is the essential building block for building muscle. It goes diet, training, and then genetics.

To gain muscle, you need to up your calorie consumption, increase your protein intake, space out your meals, and eat a balanced diet.

Sure, dirty bulk is a thing, but if you want to build your body the right way - don't fall for that BS. Fat doesn't turn into muscle, and you won't get stronger just because you've packed on some fat.

You also need to make sure you're getting enough micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.

All of these play an important role in optimizing your body's ability to recover, grow, perform and build muscle at its best.

Gender

Even though the averages we've pulled from the National Center for Health Statistics show a measly difference between the average arm circumference between men and women, the differences are actually quite significant when we move on from relaxed arms and global averages and start looking into professional athletes and bodybuilders.

For example, an average bodybuilding bicep size for males ranges between 20 to 24 inches, while ladies who lift weights for a living can boast an average bicep size of 14 to 18 inches.

As you can see, the difference becomes significantly greater with proper training and nutrition, which is why we always recommend people not to compare themselves to others but instead focus on their own progress and journey and building their own ideal biceps size.

Body Fat

Higher BMI equals big arms equals bigger biceps - it's as simple as that. However, does that make your biceps stronger?

No. To build stronger biceps, you need to focus on the quality of your training and nutrition, not just overall mass and large frame.

Remember, muscle is denser than fat, so even if your arm size is imposing, that doesn't mean that you're strong.

Also, even if your biceps were strong, it's highly unlikely you'll be able to showcase them if your BMI is off the charts.

Woman in Blue Sports Bra Doing Dumbbell Bicep Curls

How To Measure Your Biceps Correctly (Flexed Or Relaxed?)

There's a lot on how to perform a bicep measurement, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference as both of these show a different arm size.

If you want to show off your gains and how much they've progressed, then the flexed measurement is the way to go.

This is the number that people will see and be most impressed with.

On the other hand, the relaxed measurement is a better indicator of actual bicep size.

This is the number that you should focus on if you're trying to increase your biceps circumference and is the one we’ve mentioned when we discussed an average arm size by age and gender.

The reason for this is simple – when you're measuring your biceps flexed, you're shortening it and making it seem bigger than it actually is.

With all that out of the way, here's how to properly take bicep measurement.

Arms relaxed:

  • Grab a soft measuring tape
  • Wrap the tape measure around your arm
  • Measure arm circumference

Arms flexed:

  • Grab a soft measuring tape
  • Make a fist and flex your elbow, bringing it over to your shoulder
  • Wrap the tape measure around your arm
  • Measure biceps at their highest point/thickest part
Man in Camo Tank Top Doing Dumbbell Bicep Curls

How To Bulk Up Your Biceps (Try These Movements!)

Despite what many fitness influencers will tell you - YOU DON’T NEED TO DO A MILLION VARIATIONS OF THE SAME EXERCISE TO BUILD BIG BICEPS.

Your biceps get enough work from your back exercises (even some triceps exercises), so all you need to do is bog standard movements, and you'll be well on your way to a 15-inch plus arm.

The following three are all you need for a killer biceps routine - regardless of who you are.

1. Dumbbell/Barbell Bicep Curls

Best For: Any age - any gender

Inarguably one of the most effective exercises for building bigger arms and arguably the only exercise you'd ever need to achieve maximum gains.

Offering a very balanced resistance profile, regular curls work both the long and short heads of your biceps pretty much equally, promoting full muscular development.

Related Article - Dumbbell Curls Vs Barbell Curls

How to do it:

  1. 1
    Sit or stand
  2. 2
    Grab a dumbbell or barbell
  3. 3
    Curl it towards your shoulders, maintaining proper form
  4. 4
    Control the weight on your way down
  5. 5
    Repeat (3-5 sets, 8-10 reps)
Garage Gym Pro Tip: Don't let anyone know you've heard it here, but it's okay to cheat a little bit when performing barbell curls as long as you're working toward true muscle failure.
Man Doing Barbell Bicep Curls

2. Spider Curl

Best For: Any age - any gender

Due to your shoulder position while performing this exercise, you're going to feel a very strong contraction at the top of each rep, emphasizing the top half of the movement and, therefore, the short head of the biceps.

Whether you want to perform this exercise with an EZ curl bar, dumbbells, or a barbell - that's entirely up to you.

Just make sure to maintain proper form throughout the exercise and preferably use lighter weight compared to a regular bicep curl.

If you can't do this exercise due to its difficulty, try some of these spider curl alternative exercises from our complete list.

How to do it:

  1. 1
    Lay stomach-down with your chest pinned to the incline bench
  2. 2
    Perform bicep curls, keeping your elbows secure and squeezing the biceps at the top
  3. 3
    Control the weight on your way down
  4. 4
    Repeat (3-5 sets, 8-10 reps)
Man Doing Incline Barbell Spider Curls

3. Extended Cable Curl

Best For: Any age - any gender

This one will emphasize the stretched position and shift the focus toward the long head of the biceps.

Extended cable curls are a brilliant biceps exercise for hypertrophy (they're not just there for resistance training) and building 15-inch guns because, unlike with a regular curl, you don't have gravity working with you to alleviate the tension at a bottom position.

In other words, you're keeping your muscle fibers under full tension throughout the whole movement.

Also Check Out - Effective Cable Curl Substitutes

How to do it:

  1. 1
    Holding the handles, take a few steps and face away from the double cable machine
  2. 2
    With your arms fully extended and biceps stretched back, curl the handles up
  3. 3
    Control the weight on your way down
  4. 4
    Repeat (3-5 sets, 8-10 reps)
Garage Gym Pro Tip: Don't let your elbows drift forward too much. You don't have to lock them in place, but try to limit the momentum as much as possible.
Man Doing Extended Cable Curl

Frequently Asked Bicep Size Questions

What is the average biceps size for teenagers?

An average biceps size for teenagers would be anywhere from 11.5 to 12.5 inches.

Are 17-inch biceps considered big?

Yes. Anything above 15-inch biceps is considered big.

How often should you train your biceps?

Four to eight sets of bicep exercises a week are more than enough to build bigger biceps.

How much can your biceps grow in one month?

There is no precise answer to this question as there are numerous factors at play here, from supplementation, steroid use, the intensity of weight training, genetics, etc.

Who has the biggest biceps in the world?

Excluding Synthol lovers, there are a few who have measured their biceps at 24-inches, including legends like Ronnie Coleman and Eddie Hall.


Conclusion

Building massive biceps can be a challenge, but fortunately, you don't need to do a million different exercises to become above average (especially considering the averages we've outlined above).

So, if you're looking to add a few inches to your guns, try out the three exercises listed in this article - all of which are beginner-friendly and work the entire bicep muscle.

References: 

1. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/tests/testosterone
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30137823/

Miloš Lepotic

Last Updated on December 18, 2022