T Nation

Tall Lifters

I searched but could not find a powerlifting thread for lifters over 6’4". I wanted to make this thread for us tall guys to discuss how we train, eat, condition, etc. I’m 6’6" and I think it would be cool to see how other tall guys train. So post away… I deadlifted today and I feel like I have a hard time getting my back flat. Also, I would like to see what other lifters benches look like at my height.

I think for the most part, we have alot farther to move the weight. It also takes more food and time to fill out a frame that is 6"4 vs 5"9. That said, we all have things that get in the way of progress and this is just one of those things.

Plenty of guys much taller than you or me have gotten big and strong.

KK is 6"3 or 6"4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyWf8EoeksA

Efferding is 6"1 I think http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuCcqi-krhk

Mike Jenkins is huge, 6"6 or so http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FGkUJbJF4k

Josh Thingpin is tall, another 6"5 guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlHcbO2HeX8

Tons of guys have done it. For me, the deadlift is my “best” lift and the bench is my worst. I do have very long arms so it helps in one lift and hurts the other.

I’m only 6’3" but I’m still tall, damn it.

Bench is something that to this day tends to elude me as to what the best set up is for it. I have a very long torso which makes my arch high, but hard to maintain. I can usually get a solid single, after that it falls apart.

I tend to use a narrow grip when I bench compared to most. Shoulder width grip or maybe a finger more at most. Keeping my arms tucked is difficult at times. Too much lever just flopping around in the breeze I guess.

There was an article here called “Lousy Levers” or something like that. It wasn’t specific to powerlifting but had some good ideas for taller lifters.

Well I’m not tall but my training partner is 6’7".

He uses a pretty narrow bench press grip. A thumb’s length away from the smooth.

My bench has not progressed in a while, I recently switched to narrow grip which feels more comfortable but mostly because I heard it reduces risk for injury. KK does it so it must be good. It also means my ROM is huge since I’m literally pressing it the maximum distance I can from my chest instead of trying to reduce ROM like most people do.

The strongest person I know personally is 6’5. The principles of gaining strength are no different for him than they are for me.

I realize you can get strong no matter how tall you are
I was curious to see people’s lifts that are the same height as I am. At 6’6" my bench is a shit 205, squat 280 and deadlift 380. Also, I wanted to see what programs taller lifters use and how they eat.

In no way am I complaining or anything just curious.

[quote]stefan128 wrote:
In no way am I complaining or anything just curious. [/quote]
I know. I’m just offering data. He’s working with a 700 squat, low 5s bench, and high 7s deadlift right now @ 21 and ~290.

I believe you already know the answer. Just like you know tall people can get strong and lift big numbers tall people should use the same programs as shorter lifters. Westside, Starting Strength, Ed Coan programs etc. are good for any height. Bill Kazmaier was one of the greatest powerlifters ever and he stands 6 feet 3 inches tall. He benched 662 without a bench shirt in 1981. Look up a Kazmaier lifting schedule if you want to train like a beast. If your tall and you squat 600 your the same strength as a short person that squats 600. Yeah, eat more and train hard and smart.

[quote]gorillavanilla wrote:
If your tall and you squat 600 your the same strength as a short person that squats 600. Yeah, eat more and train hard and smart.[/quote]

That is incredibly wrong. You might move the same weight as they do, but unless that short person is a stork and the tall person has stubs for legs they are moving the weight much farther and must be stronger do to do so.

A similar example would be say a 180lb man can jump 36" and a 270lb man can jump 30". The smaller guy may jump higher, but the larger guy exerts much more force to jump 6" less.

[quote]amayakyrol wrote:

[quote]gorillavanilla wrote:
If your tall and you squat 600 your the same strength as a short person that squats 600. Yeah, eat more and train hard and smart.[/quote]

That is incredibly wrong. You might move the same weight as they do, but unless that short person is a stork and the tall person has stubs for legs they are moving the weight much farther and must be stronger do to do so.

A similar example would be say a 180lb man can jump 36" and a 270lb man can jump 30". The smaller guy may jump higher, but the larger guy exerts much more force to jump 6" less.[/quote]
Strength (with respect to strength sports and recreational lifting) is not judged based on Joules or net work. It’s judged by simply moving the weight. It’s a simple concept. You either can or you can’t.

Powerlifting is not about judging strength. It is about whether or not the individual successfully completed the lift.

[quote]amayakyrol wrote:
Powerlifting is not about judging strength. It is about whether or not the individual successfully completed the lift.[/quote]
lol

VTBalla (T-Nation member) is uber tall, he can post for himself if he wishes but he has a lot of stuff on here and is quite strong

[quote]amayakyrol wrote:

[quote]gorillavanilla wrote:
If your tall and you squat 600 your the same strength as a short person that squats 600. Yeah, eat more and train hard and smart.[/quote]

That is incredibly wrong. You might move the same weight as they do, but unless that short person is a stork and the tall person has stubs for legs they are moving the weight much farther and must be stronger do to do so.

A similar example would be say a 180lb man can jump 36" and a 270lb man can jump 30". The smaller guy may jump higher, but the larger guy exerts much more force to jump 6" less.[/quote]

You still both lift 600lbs. You are both correct though, work is defined as force x distance, so the longer the rom the greater the work done at the same load. It’s just that no one cares about distance, just the force.

[quote]Tim Henriques wrote:
VTBalla (T-Nation member) is uber tall, he can post for himself if he wishes but he has a lot of stuff on here and is quite strong[/quote]

Thanks for the introduction!

I’m about 6’5 or so with really long arms. It makes it hard to really put size on those bad boys. Really hard to put size on all over with so much surface area to cover.

I like powerlifting, but I feel like I’m better suited for strong man with my levers and athleticism (or what is left of what used to be athleticism).

Anyways, my total right now is something like 565 squat, 405 bench, 605 deadlift. Somewhere in that neighborhood. I struggled with deadlift for a very long time but it has been improving rapidly recently, which I am happy about.

I am surprised at the number of tall guys here benching with a narrow grip. I too moved mine in about 9 months ago after seeing videos of KK benching with a narrowish grip. It has helped a ton and I feel way stronger under the bar. Looooong way to push that fucking thing though.

Do you guys hate it when people assume you are a good deadlifter cause you have “long arms”? Well yeah, that’s great and all, unless you have LONG LEGS to go along with it. Then its just more to pull overall!!!

Horse shit.

“I"m too tall” is just another whiney excuse to not put in the hard work. Like “he has good genetics”. Pig shit. In life, gifted people rarely work hard at their gift. So they end up ordinary. Do you know who the strongest person on the earth is? I don’t know either but my bet is that there is someone sitting on a couch drinking Diet Double Dew who has the potential to be stronger. They just haven’t got off their talented genetically gifted arse and put in the work.

I’m 189cm tall. I squat/bench/dead/strict press 215/160/300/100. For the mentally challenged, that’s in kg. I mean, who the ferk uses lbs in powerlifting? No one important, that’s for sure.

So stop whining about how tall you are and how hard it is. If you are not pregressing in bench or whatever, it’s not coz your arms are “too long”. It’s because your training, diet and recovery are shit. So go do something about it.

And don’t even start me on those laxy fuks who say, “but I’m too old, have a bad back, once thought I hurt something lifting so my doctor/mother/gf told me to stop”

1 Like

[quote]VTBalla34 wrote:

[quote]Tim Henriques wrote:
VTBalla (T-Nation member) is uber tall, he can post for himself if he wishes but he has a lot of stuff on here and is quite strong[/quote]

Anyways, my total right now is something like 565 squat, 405 bench, 605 deadlift. Somewhere in that neighborhood. I struggled with deadlift for a very long time but it has been improving rapidly recently, which I am happy about.

I am surprised at the number of tall guys here benching with a narrow grip. I too moved mine in about 9 months ago after seeing videos of KK benching with a narrowish grip. It has helped a ton and I feel way stronger under the bar. Looooong way to push that fucking thing though.
[/quote]

Do you think there is a certain height or arm length where close grip becomes superior to wide? I hate pushing wide, it feels really weird on my delts. My max BP is 315 (wide), but I’ve thrown up 265x5 while doing close grip to hit tricepts more. I think I might be overthinking it and should just go with the more comfortable press.

[quote]VTBalla34 wrote:
I am surprised at the number of tall guys here benching with a narrow grip. I too moved mine in about 9 months ago after seeing videos of KK benching with a narrowish grip. It has helped a ton and I feel way stronger under the bar. Looooong way to push that fucking thing though.

Do you guys hate it when people assume you are a good deadlifter cause you have “long arms”? Well yeah, that’s great and all, unless you have LONG LEGS to go along with it. Then its just more to pull overall!!![/quote]

Introduction: I’m somewhere around 6’4

I used a closer grip for a long time a-la Jim Wendler. I made a lot of progress on it, and I still use it for most of my sets under 80% or so. I was stronger there until I really trained the shit out of my lats and figured out how to use them when I benched. It also probably helped I pushed my bodyweight up to around 270 or so during this time. Basically I think I was stronger there because I was using my triceps to push the weight off my chest (if that makes any sense), and now I use my lats.

To answer the OP’s question, I eat healthy, train “normal” whatever that means and have to devote more work to my triceps than some of the shorter guys in my gym. My best raw touch-n-go is 375 and I’m super jelly of VTBalla’s 400+ bench.