What Is Considered Buff in Bodybuilding?

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Bodybuilder woman doing lat pulldown exercise.
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You may be considered buff if you have more than 2 lbs. of body weight per inch of your height, but champion bodybuilders tend to weigh more than 3 lbs. per inch, according to a February 2007 article by Ellington Darden, Ph.D. The circumference of your individual muscle groups helps determine how buff you are. Heavy weightlifting exercises that exhaust your muscles within four to six repetitions are the best way to get buff for bodybuilding, according to the National Federation of Personal Trainers.


Upper Arm

Your triceps and biceps are the muscles that form your upper arms. Arms that have a circumference greater than 14 inches may be considered buff in bodybuilding. However, the circumference of a champion bodybuilder's upper arm typically exceeds 17 inches. According to a March 2010 article by strength and conditioning specialist Bret Contreras, pullup exercises may be the best exercise for increasing the size of your biceps. Rope triceps extensions are a top exercise for increasing the size of your triceps.


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The back muscles and pectoral muscles of your chest form your torso. Ellington Darden, Ph.D. reports that you may be considered buff if the circumference of your torso at chest level is greater than 38 inches, while this measurement may exceed 50 inches for champion bodybuilders. Increase the size of your pectoral muscles to develop a buff torso. The best exercises for chest growth involve free-weight lifting exercises, which maximize growth by requiring more stabilization. The dumbbell incline press and guillotine bench press are top exercises for broadening your torso for bodybuilding.



The hamstring and quadriceps muscles form your thighs. Your thighs may be considered buff in bodybuilding if they each have a circumference greater than 20 inches. The circumference of a top bodybuilder's thigh may be greater than 25 inches. Building your quadriceps is the most effective method for developing buff thighs. Barbell variations of the squat, such as the half squat and full squat, are the best exercises for building big quads and buff thighs.


Lower legs

The circumference of your lower legs is formed by the gastrocnemius or calf, tibialis anterior and soleus muscles. According to Ellington Darden, Ph.D., your lower legs may be considered buff in bodybuilding if they are more than 14 inches around. However, you can expect the diameter of a champion bodybuilder's lower legs to exceed 25 inches. The gastrocnemius has the greatest potential for increasing the diameter of your lower legs. Target your gastrocnemius with heavy lever calf raise exercises. Sprinting, volleyball and soccer can make your calves buff. Hopping on one leg while holding a dumbbell in your arm on the same side also builds your calves.




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