2 Reasons Why You Can’t Seem to Add Another Inch to Your Arms

Arms 2 min Read

Written by

Keith Hansen

You do curls.

You extend triceps.

Hell, you even turn your wrists out when performing dumbbell curls, but you just can’t seem to grow those guns.

This post is going to tell you what’s holding you back.

Reason 1: Geometry

Every inch added to the circumference (the distance around) requires more cross-sectional muscle than the previous inch.

Let’s revisit grade school geometry.

Imagine you have a circle with a 1-inch diameter. The circumference(πd) of this circle is 3.14 inches. The area(πr^2) of this circle is just under 0.8 square inches. Now imagine you have a circle with a 5-inch diameter. This circle’s circumference is 15.7 inches, and the area is 19.63 square inches. The distance around the circle has increased by 5 fold, but the area has increased by almost 25 times!

Reason 2: Diminishing Returns

As your hours and pounds of muscle accumulate your rate of gains slow. Check out the chart below to get an idea of how fast a guy can put on muscle.

The “not worth calculating” part stings.

Now you might be wondering where is this maximum? I’m glad you asked.

For a drug-free 5’9″ male with 7″ wrists and 9″ ankles the maximum lean (~10% body fat) body weight is 198lbs with 17″ biceps. You can check out your own maximum predicted measurements here.

The Fix

You probably thought this post was going to have training secrets and protein sorcery, but it is filled with the facts.

Building muscle is slow, hard work but now you have a better idea of the why’s. These two factors go for any muscles in the body(glutes included girls), albeit with a little tweaking to the math.

What you can do to increase the size of your arms is follow a good program(check out a free program below), and get your nutrition on point.

Download The Seriously Strong Beginner Program


Download The Seriously Strong Intermediate Program


Download The Seriously Strong Advanced Program

Keith Hansen

Keith was an All-State wrestler in high school and in 2007 hung up his singlet to attend Florida State University to pursue a B.S. in business management. He wasn't sure what industry he wanted to be involved in at the time, but soon realized after graduating in 2011 that fitness was the ever-constant activity in his life. Keith began studying to become a personal trainer and in 2013 earned the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Personal Trainer certification. After a short stint as a big box gym trainer he realized he wanted to bring something different to Tallahassee. Keith competes in Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and Crossfit.