The World Biggest Biceps: Top 5 Bodybuilders

Big, muscular arms have always been desirable in the world of bodybuilding. It’s great to have arms that are 22 inches long and make people look at you when you enter a room.

Going back to the golden era, old school bodybuilding heroes took arm development to the extreme. Their massive guns set a trend that lives on today – everybody wants bigger biceps.

Your local gym may have some big guys whose arms you want to be like. Have you ever wondered who had the biggest, most muscular bicep in the world?

The top old school and current bodybuilders pushed the boundaries of bicep growth far past normal limits. Through dedicated training routines, strategic nutrition, and often steroid use, they were able to build arms that measured over 24 inches around, larger than most people’s waists.

In this article, we will highlight the top contenders for the world’s most magnificent bicep throughout history.

The Biggest Biceps Or Arm In The World

Here is the list of the top 5 best biceps of all time.

1. Sergio Oliva

Sergio Oliva, nicknamed “The Myth,” was born on July 4, 1941, in Cuba. Oliva became a legendary figure in the world of bodybuilding, winning the Mr. Olympia title.

He was known for his incredible physique, balanced proportions, a bigger bicep and unmatched charisma. Oliva passed away on November 12, 2012, but his impact on bodybuilding endures.

It is widely agreed that Sergio Oliva had some of the most impressive biceps in bodybuilding history. His arms were measured at an incredible 24 inches around at the peak of his career.

Sergio Oliva Bicep Size

How Sergio Oliva Achieved Bigger Arm Size

Sergio Oliva was known for his strict and rigorous training regimen. He combined traditional weightlifting exercises with specialized bodybuilding techniques.

Oliva’s workouts often included heavy barbell curls, dumbbell curls, and preacher curls, among other bicep-focused exercises.

His approach was a mix of high-intensity training and a disciplined diet rich in protein. His commitment to training was unparalleled, regularly pushing his body to the limits to achieve hypertrophy and muscle density.

2. Ronnie Coleman

Ronnie Coleman is an American former professional bodybuilder who is considered one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He is known for his incredibly massive and symmetrical physique, and he won the Mr. Olympia title eight times, which is the most of any bodybuilder in history.

Coleman’s biceps were incredibly massive, measuring up to 24 inches in his off-season. He achieved his size through a combination of genetics, hard work, and dedication.

Ronnie Coleman Bicep

How Ronnie Coleman Grew His Biceps

Ronnie Coleman was known for his gruelling workouts and “no pain, no gain” mentality. He combined heavy weightlifting with high-volume training to achieve his massive size.

Coleman used a variety of exercises and techniques to strengthen his biceps, including barbell curls, hammer curls, and preacher curls. Coleman also used progressive overload, superset, which gradually increased the weight lifted over time to shock his muscles.

He was known to lift exceptionally heavy weights, even for basic exercises, often exceeding the norm for bodybuilding standards.

3. Phil Heath

Phil Heath, born on December 18, 1979, in Seattle, Washington, is an American IFBB professional bodybuilder. Nicknamed “The Gift,” Heath has won the prestigious Mr. Olympia title seven times consecutively, from 2011 to 2017.

Phil Heath’s arms have been reported to measure around 23 inches at their peak. At his largest, Heath’s biceps were measured at a truly massive 24 inches around.

What stands out about Heath’s biceps is not just their size, but also their incredible shape and definition. His arms are a standout feature of a physique with few, if any, weaknesses.

Phil Heath

How Phil Got Bigger and Defined Bicep

Phil Heath has been noted for his remarkable genetic potential. However, his incredible bicep size was not solely due to his natural talent, but also due to his hard work and smart training approach.

Heath’s training regimen includes a blend of traditional and modern bodybuilding techniques, focusing on both compound and isolation movements to build size and symmetry.

His bicep workouts typically incorporate exercises like standing barbell curls, preacher curl, and hammer curls, often in a high-rep range to induce hypertrophy.

His diet is meticulously planned, high in protein and carefully timed carbohydrates. He takes a range of supplements to help him recover and build muscle, just like all bodybuilders.

4. Markus Rühl

German professional bodybuilder Markus Rühl was another contender for the world’s biggest biceps. Rühl is considered one of the greatest bodybuilders of his generation.

He is known for his incredibly massive and symmetrical physique, and he won the Night of Champions title twice, in 2000 and 2002.

His upper arms measured a staggering 24 inches around at their peak. What made these numbers even more impressive was the sheer density and thickness of his biceps.

Markus Rühl Bicep Size

Markus Rühl Biggest Bicep Secret

Markus Rühl was renowned for his intense and high-volume training style. To build his massive biceps, Rühl employed a diverse range of exercises including barbell curls, dumbbell curls, and concentration curls, often going through rigorous drop sets and super sets.

He was known to lift heavy weights with lower rep ranges for mass, and lighter weights with higher rep ranges for definition.

His training method also included plenty of rest and recovery periods to allow for maximum muscle growth. He also ate a high-calorie, protein-rich diet.

5. Roelly Winklaar

Egberton Rulove “Roelly” Winklaar was born on June 22, 1977, in Curaçao, a small island in the Caribbean. Roelly is a professional bodybuilder who competes in the IFBB. He is widely considered one of the greatest bodybuilders of the modern era.

He has won numerous bodybuilding competitions and has been a strong contender in the Mr. Olympia line-ups because of his incredible muscle mass and impressive stage presence.

The arm measurements of Roelly Winklaar have been reported to be around 24 inches at their peak, placing him among the bodybuilders with the biggest bicep in the history of the sport. His biceps are not only notable for their size, but also for their peak and definition, which makes them one of his standout features on stage.

Roelly Winklaar Bicep

How Roelly Winklaar Achieved Bigger Bicep Size

Roelly Winklaar, who is called ‘The Dutch Beast,’ trains like a beast. His bicep workouts include a combination of traditional and innovative exercises, such as barbell curls, spider curls, and cable curls, among others.

He often starts with lighter weights and more reps, then progresses to heavier weights with fewer reps. This approach allows him to work on both the size and definition of his muscles.

Like other top bodybuilders, Roelly follows a strict, high-protein diet and uses supplements like whey protein and BCAAs to support muscle growth and recovery.

The Best Biceps Exercises To Build Bigger Bicep

Biceps training is more than just lifting a barbell or dumbbell. Different exercises target different parts of the bicep and its associated muscles, helping you achieve a balanced and well-proportioned look.

For a complete bicep workout, make sure to incorporate a variety of these exercises.

1. Standing Barbell Curl

Muscle Worked: Biceps brachii (both long and short head), brachialis, and brachioradialis.

How to Do: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a barbell with an underhand grip, hands also shoulder-width apart. Keeping your elbows close to your torso, curl the barbell upwards until it reaches shoulder level. Lower it back down slowly.

2. Hammer Curl

Muscle Worked: Brachialis and brachioradialis, along with the bicep.

How to Do: Hold a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length. Use a neutral grip (palms facing your torso). Curl the dumbbells while keeping your palms facing in. Lower the weights back down.

3. Preacher Curl

Muscle Worked: Focus more on the Short head of the bicep.

How to Do: Sit on a preacher bench and place your upper arms against the pad. Hold a barbell or dumbbells with an underhand grip. Curl the weight upward, isolating the bicep muscle. Lower the weight back down.

4. Concentration Curl

Muscle Worked: Bicep peak, primarily the biceps brachii.

How to Do: Sit on a bench and spread your legs. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and lean slightly forward. Rest your elbow against your inner thigh and curl the dumbbell towards your chest. Lower it back down.

5. Incline Dumbbell Curl

Muscle Worked: Focus more on the long head of the bicep.

How to Do: Sit on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand, arms fully extended. Curl the dumbbells while keeping your elbows stationary. Lower the weights back down.

6. EZ Bar Curl

Muscle Worked: Both long and short heads of the bicep.

How to Do: Hold the EZ bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Curl the bar towards your shoulders, then lower it back down.

7. Cable Curl

Muscle Worked: Biceps brachii with constant tension.

How to Do: Attach a straight bar to a low pulley on a cable machine. Hold the bar with an underhand grip and curl it towards your shoulders. Lower the bar back down.

8. Chin-Up

Muscle Worked: bicep and latissimus dorsi.

How to Do: Hang from a pull-up bar using an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Lower yourself back down.

9. 21s (Seven-Seven-Seven)

Muscle Worked: Entire bicep (both long and short heads).

How to Do: Perform 7 half curls from the bottom to the midpoint, then 7 half curls from the midpoint to the top, and finally, 7 full curls. Use a barbell or dumbbells.

10. Reverse Grip Barbell Curl

Muscle Worked: Brachioradialis and outer head of the bicep.

How to Do: Hold a barbell with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Curl the bar towards your shoulders, focusing on the brachioradialis and outer bicep. Lower it back down.

Workout Plans To Build Bigger Biceps

To build bigger biceps, it’s important to focus on progressive overload, high volume, and proper form.

ExerciseSetsRepsRest Period
Standing Barbell Curl48-1060 sec
Hammer Curl3-410-1260 sec
Preacher Curl3-48-1060 sec
Reverse Curl3-410-1260 sec

Bicep Workout Plan For Hypertrophy

ExerciseSetsRepsRest Period
Chin-Up3Max90 sec
Standing Barbell Curl 3860 sec
EZ Bar Curl4860 sec
Concentration Curl41060 sec
21s32190 sec

Notes: Max in the ‘Reps’ column for Chin-Ups indicates you should do as many reps as you can in one set.


How many cm is the world’s biggest biceps?

Moustafa Ismail once held the Guinness World Record for the biggest biceps in the world at a stunning 31 inches, but his biceps were filled with Synthol and lacked the shape and definition to be called muscular. 

But his title of the biggest bicep isn’t accurate, since his biceps entirely aren’t real.

Which actor has the biggest biceps?

Actors like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime have been renowned for their impressive arm size. However, there are several male celebrities who are known for their impressive biceps, including Hugh Jackman, Chris Evans, Jason Momoa, and Vin Diesel.


From legendary bodybuilders like Ronnie Coleman and Sergio Oliva to modern marvels like Phil Heath and Roelly Winklaar, the journey to having the world’s biggest biceps is never a straightforward one.

The size of a person’s biceps is not just a way to tell how strong they are physically. It also shows how hard they work and how much they want to do to be the best they can be.

While most people will not reach such staggering measurements, we can still learn from the training and nutrition habits of the bodybuilders with the biggest arms.

Learning their methods can help us improve our own biceps. Hard work and consistency, more impressive arm size is within reach.

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