T Nation

Succeeding as a Tall Bodybuilder


My question is aimed at all of the tall guys on here who have been successful in building a lot of muscle.

What are some things that you have figured out that you need to do in order build a balanced physique and maxium muscle as a tall person? I'm talking about exercise selection and paying special attention to specific muscles that lag behind due to having a tall frame.

I am 6'5 and have long arms and legs. Through my own experience , I know that the leg press works my quads better than squats and that isolation exercises are absolutely vital in precenting imbalances, as I had to learn this the hard way.

I want to know what are some things that have worked for you. There may have been things that I have not thought of yet. What are your weaknesses as a tall bodybuilder?

What do some of the tall pros recommend?

What do you think tall guys need to pay attention to more than the "average" build/frame guy?

I already read "Why Lurch Won't Grow," so please don't post a link.


how much do you weigh and what are your lifts?


I don't squat, bench, or deadlift. Maybe I'm a pussy, or maybe I just have bad leverages and have found other ways to hit those muscle groups more efficiently.


I'll post my lifts if you want.

But what do the numbers of specific lifts have to do with my question?


Can you explain further?


At the end of the day, being a tall bodybuilder isn't much different than being a short one. You have to know your own body, lift heavy shit, pick the right exercises and eat a lot. The only real difference is how much longer it takes to look filled out because every pound of muscle gained is spread over a larger frame.


I'm 6'4" and readily admit that my bench and especially squat suffer from long limbs. But, with that being said, I just continue to try and lift more. I feel like it should inspire you to work harder more than anything else. With that being said, I'm curious to read some more input about this topic, myself.


the more information available, the more detailed the responses can be.


what do you use in their place tall man? mostly machines?


i can't help but i am very interested to see some responses.

Waylander better pop his huge self in here with some helpful advice


quoted for truth. How much do you weigh, OP? I weigh about 230, but when you're tall it's more spread out and people tend not to notice how big you really are.


Dumbell presses, leg press, good mornings, shrugs, and rack chins. So, still mostly free weights as I generally train in my apartment where my equipment is limited to say the least.


You have a leg press in your apartment?


ya just gotta get down real low on stage next to the shit brick houses.


Do yourself a HUGE favor and watch this recently posted 3-part series from MD. It's a leg workout with tall man Ed Nunn and he dives into this topic exactly if you listen closely:



Really the only difference I notice is with legs. Even if I go ATG with squats/front squats it just doesn't do shit for me. I've been using mostly leg press/hack squat to help bring up my leg size lately. It always seemed like no matter how religious I am with squats it just doesn't pay the dividends, so fuck em.

Other than that it really just comes down to eating and lifting consistently. Since it takes us much longer to accumulate sufficient mass to look huge, every day counts. As such, I make sure everyday I am eating and lifting with the big picture in mind. I can't afford to slack off.

I also know I have to pay special attention to my extremities, so upper/lower arm, upper legs ands calves. Those are usually the things all tall guys struggle with so I make sure I focus a lot of my attention there.

forgot to mention I'm 6'2 so I feel your pain brotha's lol


I'm 6'5 230lbs... body fat is not a factor. I'm not shredded, but no one has ever called me fat.


Deadlift was 340lbs for 5 reps
Squat was 315 for 8 reps
10+ chins
100lb flat dumbbell press for 5 reps

want any other numbers?


nice video. thanks.


I believe height is actually an advantage in some respects. I'm 6'5" about 295, however I did not look big until I was like 250 or so, now I show the muscle I gain finally. When it comes to strength I know tall people have a hard time with bench pressing, and even more so with squats. Gaining enough muscle will more than make up for poor levers.