T Nation

Long Limbed Lifter


Hi all, i'm new to this sport, which i really like so far. I'm 5'11 and weight about 87kg. I know i might be a bit tall for this sport but, i would like to know two things:

1-Which weightclass is best suited for my height?

2-Should my positioning/technique be somewhat different than shorter, shorter limbed guys?

Also, which body proportions are best suited for the sport? I remember thibs said that short legs/long arms or something like that (pyrros dimas came to mind) was the best.



Superheavy, unless you're the second coming of Vardanian.


at 5'11" usually 105 is perfect, if your a great athlete then you could probably get away with 94.

I would say super is reserved for athletes above 6'1 unless you are naturally very heavy/thick.


I wouldn't even worry about a weight class. Let that develop by itself in the long-term, just focus on getting your total up. Get to a manageable body fat percentage, get stronger, get better at the lifts. But 5'11" is not tall by any means for this sport. I'm 6'2" so I'll be a 105 for now, and eventually +105. But Kolecki for example, is 6'1" or so, and is a 94 lifter.


Also, nothing to worry about with your technique. The main concern (even though I don't consider 5'11" that tall) is to make sure your hips don't rise too much in the first pull. It's okay for them to rise a little bit so the knees can get out of the way, but just lift normally. 1) Get in a set position with low hips. 2) Extend the knees, chest up. 3) Continue on with lift.


start with the 94 category and there's not much reason to add bodyweight. Just lift for now and you'll slowly reach 94. I wouldn't think you need to go 105+ until you reach like 70% of the world records or something...

and yeah its better for shorter limbed guys. To be honest I don't completely understand this since I can see some advantages that someone with longer limbs(at least legs) would have but oh well.


Short lifters, short limb lengths

When you set the bar, it is already high off the floor in relation to your height.
When you stand with your hands by your side the bar is already higher up due to your t rex arms
Less distance for the bar to travel to lock out for the jerk and less distance for the bar to receive for the Snatch
Less distance for you to get under the bar as your a short ass
Much easier to be stronger if your 4'11-5'2 and built thick. You'll have a much easier time squating then a taller guy.



Most people though grip the bar in the snatch so that it explodes at the hip crease. So the distance that the barbell has to travel (in a sense) is from the hip crease to your shoulders x 2 (or the torso length x 2)

So wouldn't people with a shorter torso and longer limbs have an easier time snatching in that sense?


it has to travel from your hip crease to your outstretched arms with your butt underneath it. stubby arms and legs ftw.

it is also much easier to squat with stubby legs :frowning:

no fair.

i want to learn hammer throw. i hear people with longer limbs are better for throwing, and hammer throw looks kinda cool.


kinda bad ass, yeah??


Shorter torso and longer limbs would find it less mechanically advantagous than a short torso and short limb person imo. The Clean would be the biggest difference imo. Short people usually have not a hugely wide grip due to it probably being nearly too wide to lock out over head comfortably. I know I can't go collar to collar as my wrists would snap.

Further distance for the bar to go in the Jerk with longer arms.

But it's all pretty m00t as you can't change jack sh1t unless we were building a perfect lifter :stuck_out_tongue:



I don't suppose there are weight classes in shot put - are there???


that makes entirely sense from a physics point of view. Coach has told me I'd be better doing some kind of throw but why throw 5kgs when you can throw 150kgs over your head? it's just more badass :smiley:

that doesn't make sense to me. Short/long limbs are usually meant in comparison to torso length. so.. short torso short limb.. I guess that means Naim. I'm talking more about 2 people of the same height. One with longer limbs(at least legs... long arms are almost useless in weightlifting) and one with shorter legs and longer torso. Wouldn't the one with longer legs have a small advantage in the snatch(distance wise)?

Then again I assume the one with shorter limbs probably can get a more powerful explosion so maybe in the end it doesn't make much difference.

I think it's kind of worth noting that rybakou seems pretty long limbed yet has one of the best snatches ever. His clean and jerk, not as good.


well yes it is lighter. but you have to throw it a little bit further, eh.


The sport of weightlifting is definately a short mans game. Long limbs slow everything down unfortunately : ( Having said that, a tall weightlifter can somewhat make up for their leverage issues by going up to the super heavy class. Just look at koklyaev, very long arms and legs.

Also, long arms and legs are an adavantage if you want to become a mass monster (like Koklyaev). More area for all the muscle to grow on!
Tall long limbed people are probably more suited to powerlifting where they can be a deadlift machine or strongman, where it is a huge advantage to be tall.


I was meaning to say short torso and long arms. The longer arms dude will always have a slightly harder time Jerking then the dude with short arms but its a hugely m00t point as you can't pick and choose your arm lengths. You just roll with what you got.

Rybakou just can't Jerk. His pull is very strong and concise for the Sn, hence it's ridiculous hugeness! From what I recall he looks fairly normally built.



This. I can full clean 225 but I can't CNJ more than 155. Granted, some of that's technique and form, but it's just so difficult for me to get my entire body under the bar and my arms fully locked out in the short amount of time that's given during the jerk.


You just have to work on your jerk. Don't think about getting under the bar. Drive that f0cking bar up there mate! The Jerk is a very coordinated movement.



Thanks, man. It really is. Do you think there's any problem practicing form with 50-60% 7 days a week while I'm still learning or will I just beat my muscles down?


no you won't.

That's what I suggest to anyone who wants to train technique with ~50% of their max. Train as often as possible and as many sets as possible. You may get tired after a while but you'll recover really fast from it.