Sunday, August 30, 2015

How do your biceps stack up against the average guy?

Are your arms the average size for your age?
Are your arms the average size for your age? iStock

Biceps will forever be romanticized in the gym and in the egos of men around the world. They aren’t even the largest muscle group in your arms, but somehow still receive all the glory. Will your tickets to the gun show even qualify for general admission?

Stand with your arm relaxed by your side and have a friend record the circumference around your bicep with measuring tape. I know it might be hard for some of you to resist the opportunity to show off, but – just this once – don’t flex.

Here are the average man’s arm circumferences for age specific groups according to The Centers for Disease Control:


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  • Age       Inches

    20-29    13.1”

    30-39   13.7”

    40-49   13.7”

    50-59   13.6” 

    If you don’t match up with those numbers or want to add a few higher integers to your arms, give these sleeve busters a try the next time you’re in the gym.

    Barbell Curl:

    This is the staple for all arm workouts and a great exercise for adding mass to your biceps. Grasp the bar at a shoulder-width grip. While keeping your core tight and back straight, curl the bar up towards the chest. Pause at the top of the movement with the biceps contracted and slowly control the weight down. Use heavier weight without sacrificing form and try for the 6-8 rep range. 

    Negative Cable Hammer Curls:

    Using a lat bar attachment grip the bar on the outside handles and curl up towards your chest. On the downward (negative) movement, slowly lower the bar using a five second count. It should take you five seconds to go from the top of your movement to the bottom. Pick a lighter weight. Once you get around rep six or seven, you’ll be thankful you did. 

    Preacher Curl Drop Sets:

    Start with a weight you can get 12 solid reps, then drop some weight and continue to failure. Keep dropping weight and hitting failure on each set until your EZ curl bar is bare. Stick with 2.5 and 5-lb plates so you can easily strip them down. This is an intense exercise that you can finish your workout with and it only needs to be done once. It will give you a pump like you’ve never felt before.
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