Growing the muscles in your biceps to a specific size, such as 17 inches, involves progressively increasing weight training combined with the proper diet. This requires consuming more calories than are burned in a day, according to Body Building. In addition to working out the biceps, the triceps must also be worked out hard to promote overall arm growth, according to Muscle & Strength.
When the arms are measured for size, the tape goes around both the biceps and triceps, which is why the opposing sides of the arm must both be worked with equal intensity. Muscle & Strength offers a 2-day arm specialization workout to improve the size of both, the biceps and triceps.
Former Mr. Olympia, Frank Zane relates that bodybuilding contest judges look for balance and equal development of body parts. Working the arms hard, with heavy weights, spurs growth and gets them to the desired 17 inches; but, it requires eating enough food to attain proportionate body weight and symmetry to support arms of this size.
This balance is also important for the rest of the body, so that the arms are proportionate in size, but not oversized. The importance of symmetry is explained by Body Building, by using the physique of legendary bodybuilder Steve Reeves as an example: His arm measurement of 18.5 inches was in proportion with that of his calves and neck.