T Nation

Being tall...


Do us tall guys, well over 6' say, get any advantage in strength over the shorter guys? Everything seems to benefit the guy with shorter legs or shorter arms who has better leverage and doesnt have to move the bar as far. Is there any comfort for us?


Yeah. Deadlifts.


Being tall is actually an advantage in the deadlift. I think some of the great deadlifters were 6'4"+.

Having long arms makes it tough for all pressing movements.


Also depends on your proportions. Most tall guys have long legs and arms. I just have long arms, long torso, and short legs. But deadlifting is coming a lot easier than squatting so far.

If you're using bands, tall people will have to respond to more tension than shorter people with the same setup.


I have yet to figure out just how being tall is an advantage for deadlifts.

Can anyone explain this to me? All I've ever read is the dismissal of "leverage".

Let me tell you, trying to get that *@^#$!% bar over my knees without losing all my skin leads me to believe otherwise.

Sorry Bud, but the only comfort you get is that you can find much better produce at the back of the bin. The short bastards have been pawing through the stuff at the front.


UPC - good point about the produce.


Tall guys have the advantage in every sport there is besides powerlifting. Quit whining. :slightly_smiling:


Leverage=torque=forcexradius of circle. If you're tall like me, the radius is larger so you can generate more torque with the same amount of force (the pivot point being your hips). I think this is right, from a mechanical point of view. I'm 6'4 and deadlift 100lbs more than my squat, but I have long monkey arms and torso so that might add to it. my 2 cents


Do us tall guys, well over 6' say, get any advantage in strength over the shorter guys?

I have heard that there is a big advantage to taller people in strongman events...

Everything seems to benefit the guy with shorter legs or shorter arms who has better leverage and doesnt have to move the bar as far. Is there any comfort for us?

As for the leverage thing... Im not at all convinced...

I have thought about this a little and as far as I can see, anatomically
speaking, if the relative attachments of the tendons are proportionally the
same length down the limbs, then the length of the arm will not cause a
mechanical disadvantage.

I am not a mathmagician -- in fact its been a while since I've done anything like this, so please tell me if I go wrong. This is my understanding...

Picture several seesaws of different lengths but the pivots of each seesaw are not placed in the middle, the pivots are all placed one fifth of the length down the board.

X----------W X-----W X---------------W
/\ /\ /\

In the above diagram the pivot is always 1/5 of the length down the seesaw regardless of the length of the seesaw. Now as far as I know if the pivot is proportionally the same length down the seesaw then the masses that balance one seesaw should balance them all.

Okay that may not have been the best example, But...if a muscle attaches
proportionally the same distance down a limb then the length of the limb is
irrelevant the same tension in the muscle is required to move the limb at a given speed with a given resistance .....

So the only real disadvantage that I can see is the distance that the bar is

As far as I can tell, the extra distance will mean that the lift will require more energy but their are no disadvantages that would make the lift
mechanically more difficult.

I also think that the extra distance that taller lifters have to push the bar is overrated.

Lets hypothesise for a second:

A 6 foot (182.9cm) lifter and a 7 (213.4cm) foot lifter both bench press.
Both lifters muscle attachments attach at the same proportional length down the arm. So there is no mechanical advantage or disadvantage for either lifter.
Lets say the length of both their arms is 45% of there height (Im not sure if
this is a standard figure or not, but i just measured my arm and it is roughly
that). The 7 foot lifters arms are only 5.4 inches (13.7 cm) longer than the
6 foot lifter's. Now, the bar is not gripped at the finger tips its is gripped by the whole hand. I measured the difference between the place where I hold the bar and the finger tips and it was about 8% of the length of the arm. So now factoring in bar placement the difference in length is now only 4.95 inches (12.62 cm).

If the lifters where using a shoulder width grip that would be the difference
in the length the bar is moved durring a bench press, but that is unusual from
what I have seen. Most lifters have their arms wider than shoulder width when they bench press. Now if their arms are at 30 degrees from vertical the difference in the length that the bar would need to be pressed is approximately 4.3 inches (10.9 cm).

Okay, so even though the 7 foot lifter was a full 12 inches taller than the 6
foot lifter the bar is only pressed four and a half inches further.

Okay....even if both lifters were as strong as Anthony Clarke or whoever the
best bencher in the world is and were benching 800 pounds (362.87 kgs/
approximately 3628.7 Newtons), the extra 11 cm that the bar is pressed is going to require about 400 joules (1 Joule is = moving 1 newton 1 metre). Since 1 Calorie is = 4186 joules the 7 foot lifter is expending about 0.1 extra Calories throughout the lift.

Also in Zatsiorsky's (please excuse my spelling) book, the science and practice of strength training he has an example of a lifters of different hights but proportionally the same dimensions... In his example he sees the advantage going with the taller lifter!

Okay enough of my hypothesizing and pseudoscience and into the real good stuff anecdotal evidence :slightly_smiling: ...

Bill Kazmeier as far as I know was 6 foot 3 the first person to bench 600
pounds (he did this raw I do believe) and one of the best pressers of all time.

Ryan kennelly is also 6 foot 2 and has benched over 800 lbs.

Basically I think the height thing is really overated!!! Fair enough to talk about people with advanatageous leverage... but that can definetly happen with taller or shorter lifters. And i do not believe being short predisposes someone to have more advantageous muscle attachment.

Okay like i said im by no means an expert so im really looking forward to other peoples responces... on to others for their rebuttal :slightly_smiling:


I"m tall and i can say its a pain in the ass, i'm young yet thought i figure that in the future when i broaden out i'll be a monster. Its just hard at first when you are 6'2 and you are only 220 lbs. I figure that if i keep eating big by the time i'm 30 i'll be around 300lbs and i will prob. never have much fat on me, so i think that in the long run taller guys will def. have the advantage!


I think being taller may provide an advantage in an event like the Atlas Stones or Keg Loading, getting it off the ground may be harder, but once it's up you not as hard pressed to clear the platform...


Tall guys get more tang. Sorry but it had to be said. BTW how old are you dirty?


I used to complain about being tall with long arms and legs and the disadvantage I felt I had with squatting and benching. Not anymore. I don't have time to complain, as I'm too busy trying to get better. Yeah, my bench is so pathetic I'd rather do it in my basement, but it's improving a pound here and there and my squat is getting better. Deadlifting has always seeemed more natural, so I pull twice as much as I can squat. You need to find little tricks that will help you and finding the right groove is much more critical, IMO.


Oh yeah, I have to get my dress shirts custom made since you can't buy a 38" sleeve off the rack around here. Can anyone beat a 38" sleeve?


CGB = knuckle dragger


I might be, Jared, but I never have to ask for help screwing in a lightbulb, which makes it really tough for anyone to come up with a joke about how many CGBs it takes to screw in a lightbulb.


i'm 21


i am 6'6 and have threw hammer, disc, and the weight ( 35 lbs ball indoors) and power lifted. Max clean was 275, snatch at 185, sqat 400 and bench 300. I had to bust my ass man hehe. I am still pretty small, but i am in now way goony like most guys my height. I make alot of talls guys look bad but it took 4 yrs of hard work hehe.


tall guys can get bigger.
its gonna be a lot easier for a 6'4 guys to hit 300lbs than someone 5'4.
not exactly rocket science but someone has to point out the obvious



F*#k yeah! thats what i like to hear!