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10 inch biceps: A normal, healthy size?

Should you be worried about your small, 10 inch arms?
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 1st January 2022
A man flexing his 10 inch biceps

Learning more about the biceps can help you to improve your arm girth because you’ll be able to pick the best exercises for the job, which is to say at least one exercise for each head.

Of course, when you only have 10 inch arms, then your best bet is to focus on building overall arm mass.

Overthinking your routine can often cause your progress to stagnate because you’ll be tempted to switch exercises all the time. Instead, you should stick with a core set of movements that you can progressively overload.

But we’ll talk more about training later. For now, let’s learn whether or not 10 biceps are good.

See How You Compare:

Are 10 inch biceps small?

A man measuring his small 10 inch arms

Are 10 inch biceps small or not?

Yes, in the vast majority of cases, having a 10 inch bicep circumference means that your arms are skinny.

The exception to this is if you or your child are young and still growing.

For example, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 10 in biceps are actually normal for boys and girls who are 11-13 years old. [1]

While it’s rare, some individuals retain their 10 in arms as they get older despite their skeleton getting taller and broader.

So if you’re a grown man or woman, having arms the size of a 12-year-old, which is to say having 10” biceps, definitely means that your arms are skinny and likely in need of some muscle mass and fat.

How to surpass 10 inch arms naturally

These practical tips will help you to surpass your 10” arms naturally as long as you’re willing to make a few small lifestyle changes.

Train your arms directly

A man training his arms with some weights

Some people wonder if they should gain weight before they start lifting weights.

If your goal is to achieve toned and muscular arms, then you’re best off increasing your calories and beginning your strength training journey at the same time. Why?

Because the calories that you consume are more likely to be partitioned toward muscle growth than fat storage if you’re actively performing resistance training. [2]

If you accumulate a load of fat without gaining any noticeable muscle mass, then you’ll likely regret it down the line (even if you can’t stand being skinny right now).

If you have 10 or 10.5 inch biceps, then you clearly have a lot of muscle mass left to gain. This means that you can actually see progress really quickly if you train and eat more consistently.

Increase your calorie and protein intake

Muscle building foods including meat, milk, and potatoes

Getting enough protein in your diet is essential for building muscle mass. Ideally, athletes need around 0.8 g to 1 g per lb of body weight. (By athlete, I mean anyone who exercises intensely on a regular basis—you don’t need to compete).

If you weigh 130 lbs, then you’ll need between 104 g and 130 g of protein per day in order to maximize hypertrophy. [3]

As for calories, experts recommend consuming between 44 and 50 calories per kilogram of body weight if you want to gain weight and muscle. Or, to say it another way, you want to eat around 2,500 excess calories per week. [4]

These numbers may go up and down depending on your activity level, body weight, and metabolism.

Exercise your patience

A female showing her 10 inch biceps

If you want to exceed 10 inch arms, then your biceps and triceps aren’t the only body parts that you need to exercise; you need to exercise your mental patience as well—use your brain.

Don’t get disheartened if you don’t see dramatic results in the first few weeks of your weight gain journey; that’s normal.

The only way that you can’t succeed is if you give up. So now that you know it’s possible to bulk up your arms, it’s just a matter of being consistent and waiting for the gains to arrive.

When you’re starting from such a skinny point, the gains can come in thick and fast if you’re doing everything right (training enough but not too much, consuming enough protein and calories, getting adequate rest/sleep).

The verdict: Should you be worried about having 10 inch biceps?

A man showing his 10 inch biceps

We often get asked if 10 inch biceps are good. But the truth is that “good” doesn’t have much meaning when it comes to the muscularity of your physique.

The only time that a given arm size is bad is if it causes you to have an unhealthily low body weight, something which you can easily calculate online.

All things considered, though, if you’ve got 10 inch arms as an adult, then you should probably seek to increase your circumference through a combination of resistance training and eating in a calorie surplus.

References

  1. National Center for Health Statistics. (2016, August). Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2011–2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_03/sr03_039.pdf
  2. Luoma, T. C. (2013, December). Eat Big and Gain Nothing But Muscle. T NATION. https://www.t-nation.com/supplements/eat-big-and-gain-nothing-but-muscle/
  3. Wannabebig.com. (2021, May 26). How Much Protein Do Strength Athletes Need? Bodybuilding.Com. https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/how-much-protein.html
  4. ISSA. (2021). Building Muscle Simplified: Not as Complicated as you Think | ISSA. Issaonline.Com. https://www.issaonline.com/blog/index.cfm/2018/building-muscle-simplified-not-as-complicated-as-you-think
James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
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