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Is a 38 inch chest big?

Learn how big (or small) your 38 inch chest really is.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 6th June 2022
A man measuring his 38 inch chest

A 38 inch chest is very much a medium chest size. But like any body part, a male 38” chest will look different depending on how much muscle mass and body fat it’s carrying.

So, in addition to asking some 38 in chest FAQs, this guide will also let you know whether a 38 inch chest is small or not. From there, I’ll give you proven tips to actually build your chest and increase its circumference.

How Does Your Chest Compare?

Is a 38 inch chest big?

A man checking if his 38 inch chest is big

Is a 38 inch chest big or not? A 38 inch chest definitely isn’t small, but it’s not big either. Instead, a 38” chest is a medium size, meaning that there are plenty of men out there who have a 38 in chest.

Of course, if you have a lean 38 inch chest, then that will obviously look far more aesthetic than a fat 38” in chest. Muscle definition plays a huge role in how developed a given body part looks.

Like the stomach, many men store a fair bit of fat on their chest, so if you genuinely have lean 38 inch pecs, then you’ll likely have an impressive-looking chest despite it not being that big in terms of circumference.

What shirt size is a 38 inch chest?

A man with a 38 inch chest size getting measured

It depends on the brand of clothing, but in the vast majority of cases, a 38 inch chest is a size medium in men’s clothing. If you’re on the cusp of a particular size, then you’ll want to size up unless you desire a really slim fit.

What size is a 38 in chest for women?

A female having her 38 inch chest measured by her friends

For a woman, a 38 inch chest or bust is generally considered large, but the exact clothing size differs per country. In many cases, having a 38” chest will mean that you’re somewhere between a size 12 and a size 14.

How to build your 38" chest

A man performing some compound movements

As mentioned, a 38 inch chest isn’t exactly massive. So if you want to develop a more imposing upper body, then building your chest is one of the best ways to sculpt a bigger physique. But you need to be smart about it.

How much chest mass do you want to gain?

If you just want to build some extra size, then working your chest once or twice per week is ideal. You’ll want to pick exercises (such as dumbbell presses) that really stretch your pecs so that they can respond to the fiber-tearing tension by getting bigger.

On the other hand, you could just do bodyweight push-ups, but on a more frequent basis. Many gym-goers dismiss push-ups as unworthy of their time, but if you do enough of them, push-ups can build you a very well-developed chest.

If you currently have a 38” chest, then you can see a circumference gain of a few inches in around 6 months. Just make sure to take any measurements in the same state (cold vs pumped etc.) so that you don’t confuse solid muscle gains with a temporary post-workout pump.

The verdict on having a 38 inch chest

A man with a 38 in chest

It’s completely normal to have a 38 inch chest, so don’t feel like you need to make your chest bigger or smaller just because it measures 38 inches.

I know that it seems like every guy is really muscular these days, but what you observe online is not always true in reality. The truth is that you can look pretty muscular while “only” having a 38 in chest. So, by all means, keep training your chest, but don’t feel too pressured to build your body a certain way just because you think that everyone looks really big, muscular, well built, etc.

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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