T Nation

more tall guy tips please!

I absolutely loved TC’s “Why Lurch Won’t Grow” article a couple of issues back. Since then I’ve applied a few of his tips to my workouts and have been making much more progress! I’m 6’3" and have always had problems with squats and bench presses. Does anyone else have any tips for us tall guys? How about some feedback from a few “Lurches”?

Over the past year, I have fallen in love with dynamic movements. Power cleans, power snatches, complexes (like in Coach Davies’s recent article, one arm snatches, push presses. I find that these movements are very fulfilling and have really helped to bring my overall strength up.

Rack pulls and jump shrugs have also become a favorite and the shorter range of motion is great for a tall guy.

Finally, odd and core lifts are great. Turkish get-ups and high pulley wood chops are an absolute staple of my training now and bent presses, saxon side bends, windmills and the full contact twist are usually in the mix somewhere.

I have found that exercises which involve the whole body are great for the tall guy. Sure, I still bench, squat, deadlift, chin, dip, row etc., but I do less of this now and more of what is listed above.

Finally, I have come to prefer the front squat over the back squat. It took practice, but I learned the front squat using the clean grip and have no problem going rock bottom at 6'3".

I myself am around 6-7, 6-8 so i tend to utizile most of my time with lifts such as the deadlift(albeit shrug bar deadlifts)

Can you describe in any detail how some of these exercise are done? Such as power snatches, one arm snatches, push presses,Turkish get-ups and high pulley wood chops, saxon side bends, windmills and the full contact twist, thanks for any help u can provide

I definitely agree with Jason. I do front squats now, and have really built up my quads. I’m 6’6", and back squats just gave me a big ass. Good luck…Matt

A quick scan of Coach Davies’s articles in the last year should easily bring up descriptions of every single one of those exercises. Just do a search under Coach Davies’s name in the main mag. His Real Abs, Top Nine Exercises for Functional Strength, Renegade Training, Complex Training and Grip and Rip articles should have them all. Make sure to read through all of these as you will find a host of other exercises beyond what I have mentioned to try out.

Front squats are definitely a new favorite of mine too! I myself can hit rock bottom in perfect form and my quads get an amazing pump every time. I prefer to use straps to hold the bar though, partially due to inflexibility in my wrists and forearms. I don’t bench much anymore, preferring dumbbells now instead. With rows I’ve employed the 1 1/2 rep style and my lats are thanking me up and down for it! I hope to see more articles geared towards us “Lurch” types!

high pulley chops and turkish getups might be icing on the cake, but close to useless when you have a pint cake. THOSE are fluffy and rather useless excercises IMO for packin on size. The “core” is nice but it is nothing magicall. stick with bench oh press, push press, snatch variations, chins, dl’s and front squats. Vary ROM’s and loading parameters not cookie cutter excercises. You might also try strong man excercises if you have the room. i myself am 6’4’’

I’d like to see more articles by TC or anyone else regarding the “tall guys”.

btw i am having one hell of a time gettin my biceps to grow. I have gone from extremes of no direct training (rows, chins pullups instead) to compound days then on another, arm days. ANY tips you guys got here woudl be appreciated

I’m only 6’1 1/2, but I’m built like someone taller e.g long legs, short torso. Definately front squats for quads, also try reverse grip bench press. Regular bench never did anything for me except hurt my shoulders but reverse grip is working very well. Don’t bother with BB curls, they suck-use DBs and/or the preacher bench. Also, try Arnold press instead of regular DB or any other OH press-easier on the joints. 10 years of trial and error…
dman-try training your bi’s twice a week. I’m assuming you train each BP 1x per week, with bi’s on the same day as back? If you are give them a second high rep WO later in the week. I used inc. hammer curls 2x15 @15lb, and then superset reverse/regular EZ bar curls 2x8/8 with just the bar (22lb). Obviously they were minute weights, but I only rested 30 sec between sets. I guess you could call it “capillary bed training”, but it worked well and noticed gains straight away.

First of all, I totally understand your points about the exercises like Turkish Get-ups and wood chops. I have found these incredibly important along with others pullovers and some of the others I mentioned in the development of my torso. It has given me a much fuller look than what I had previously acheived using just core exercises like benches, chins, rows and the such. The mix of all these exercises is the key for me.

As for your arms, I had a lot of success implenting a workout from the Poloquin Principles. He called it something like isometronic contractions. Basically, you take a regular curl, start curling and pause for 3 seconds at 90 degrees and then complete the concentric and then pause at 90 degrees on the eccentric. This really helped me to focus on my biceps during the sets and led to some significant growth. Also, I found that doing compound sets of incline dumbells curls, where I would adjust the angle of the bench after each set were very helpful, especially when using the pause technique as mentioned above.

sounds good… just outta curiosity what set rep and overall TUT schemes were you doin with these pause rep sets?

Having done front squat for almost forty years, I have found the best way to hold the bar is to raise your arms until the are parallel to the floor and extended out in front of you. Then move to the bar. Stand up into the bar with the resting in the delt groove. Now cross your arms, placing your hands on the opposite shoulders and securing the bar. Then stand up and front squat. (Editor can you post a picutre of this?) You may have to adjust a little so you don’t push the bar into the throat, but this is quite an effective way of holding the bar when you front squat.
From Older Lifter, Best of Luck.

After looking through my old training log, I saw that I was using a separate arm workout at the time and I was actually doing it twice a week in the evening after a morning upper body workout. Obviously not neccessary, but worth noting. I was doing 2 tri-sets for both bis and tris with about 15-30 sec rest between exercises. I was using a good controlled negative of 3-4 seconds, holding the pause for 2-3 seconds and the concentric was usually 1-2 seconds. I was doing 6 tri sets overall for both bis and tris at the time with a rep range of 7-9. For my biceps, I was using a mixed degree of angles including incline dumbells curls at 30,60,90(not really incline at 90) degrees for one tri set and reverse curls, spider curls and one arm hammer grip preacher curls.

Anyway, that is what I was doing and I had quite a bit of growth from these workouts.

it would be well worth your time to gain some flexibility in your wrists and perform the front squat with the olympic grip and not the bodybuilding grip. your shoulders will thank you for it. resting 200+ lbs across your shoulders and collar bone is not a desirable position to be in.

I’ve been training for 25yrs (just hit 40) and apart from genetics I don’t think our ability to gain muscle is effected by height. I still see the gifted athletes who are over 6’6’’ and even though they may have added 100lbs of meat to their frame that 100lbs will never look as freaky as if it was on a 5’9’’ frame. So its not the biomechanics limiting the growth its the genetic limitations of our species . If the longer limbed amongst us had correspondingly more muscle fibres, hormones, and other support systems you could almost say we would be diferent enough to be classed as another species, but because its purely bone length setting us apart that standard 100lbs is never gonna fill us out like the stumpy’s.

Gray - is the question about a tall person’s ability to gain muscle? It seems as if taller people could be at a genetic disadvantage for putting on muscle, but I am nowhere near knowledgeable enough to either accept or reject that hypothesis completely. I think the issue here is more of what can be done to provide stimulus to a taller person (or a differently proportioned person) who experiences loads in a different way. My girlfriend and I are a good example. I’m 6’2’’ with relatively short legs and a long torso, and she is 6’0’’ with a 5’’ longer inseam (37 to 32 inch advatange). I can’t see how she and I would ever experience the loads placed on us by a squat in the same way. The bar would be much higher (compared to my waist) when resting on my back than it would be on hers, thus possibly placing extra stress on my lower back. I would, however have an advantage in the leg press, where my stubby little legs would not have to move the weight nearly as far once our torso lengths were mostly taken out of the equation. But I would be interested in any information presented on genetic differences in potential muscle mass in relation to one’s height.

Just had another look at Chris’s post and he is interested, as I am in growth in taller athletes. The way I see it each individual with all their structural strengths and weaknesses has to transfer as much of of the load to the target muscle(or group). The more successful they are at this the more efficient the athlete. So although the levers are different the muscle etc are the same.

Thanks for all the responses! It’s interesting that so many “Lurches” sub front squats for back. For instance, during Meltdown training, I use the traditional “bodybuilding” style (arms crossed) and other times (like in a 5x5 format) I opt for the Olympic style… except I use straps because I lack the flexibility. The leg press has never done a whole lot for me, but after reading TC’s article I’m looking forward to giving it another try. Any suggestions for putting some extra size on my “baguette-length” triceps?