Written by Charlie Arms
04 December 2006

Hey Charlie:


You're an old timer and you've probably been in a lot of gyms...tell me, are almost all big muscle guys (you excluded) bullies?


pi5send1I ‘m an average built guy in my early 30's and I find that when I'm in the gym, I get intimidated off the exercise equipment by these "big guys".  They usually say things like "Hey, I'm on that machine" when I know I was on the machine, first.


These guys seem to think that have the "right of way" because they either train harder, handle heavier weight, or because they're bigger than me. When I protest, they give me a real intimidating look.


This has probably never happened to you since you're a big guy...or has it?




Va. Beach, VA



Well Eric,


It happens to all of us at one time or another. The next time it happens, ask the guy if you can work in with him, without having to take it to the "next level".

If he says "I'm gonna be handling a lot of weight" or says "I'm going to move very fast", just step off because he may be the one wanting to take it to the next level. In this case, you may be dealing with possible "ROID RAGE!"

Chances are this won't happen very often.


There is thing called "Gym Etiquette". For the longest time I've wanted to post a sign that states rules on how to conduct charlie_armoneself while in the gym.

            Here's my hypothetical list:


  1. When a gym member starts to work out on a piece of exercise equipment-- whether machine or free weights- this gives them "first dibbs" or first priority.
  2. If you're on a machine and a guy asks you how many sets you have left; if you have more than one, give him the option to work in with you.
  3. Never ask anyone a question when in the middle of a set. Wait until they've finished their set.
  4. If someone is approaching you and they're carrying heavy weights, they always have the right of way.
  5. When approaching a weight rack to grab your weights, if someone is doing an exercise in front of the mirror (eg. dumbbell curls), don't walk in front of them (walk behind) to retrieve your weights. If the weights you need are directly in front of them, wait until their set is finished; then pick up your weights.






Hello Charlie.


I just visited your web page and was so impressed I thought I'd drop you a line. I didn't think that any man of 63 years could have that much muscle mass and be that vascular-you look great!  You've obviously been at it for a while and it shows.   You're an inspiration to all of us!

       By the way, your arms are real freaky...  Do you train them every day?   What's your arm measure?  What about your weight?


Continued success,


Tony P

San Diego, CA





Hi Tony:


Funny you should ask, but, back when I first started, I worked my arms every single day.  That's because I didn't know any better. I thought the more you did, the bigger you got. I've found that f you're genetically programmed to have big arms, no matter what you do, they'll grow. This includes basic curls, chin-ups, and, even, rowing exercises.


I was just talking to a friend of mine while vacationing in Florida and we were talking about arm size. A lot of guys, when asked, will tell you how big their arms are, but if you ask them to measure them, most politely decline. People lie. They like to say their arms are bigger than what they actually are.


Years ago, in the muscle books, they actually measured arm size. You don't see that any more. You could have an 18" arm that is ripped with a split bicep and it looks like a 20" arm.  I don't measure my arms anymore, but, when I did, they fluctuated between 20" and 21".  It really depends upon how much I weigh at any given time.