Arnold Schwarzenegger — when we talk bodybuilding, he’s the man.
Where do we start when we look at what made him so dominant? I look at his height. He’s the only Mr. O standing at over six feet tall. That’s taller than Lee Haney who just scratched that mark at five feet, eleven inches tall. Bodybuilding is generally seen as a sport meant for short people. Muscle movements are easier and quicker on a smaller frame, generally this allows shorter individuals to lift heavier with a lower risk for injury. Success begets success — once shorter people fill out, they train harder — getting quicker and better results.
That leaves us tall guys pretty envious, we want to pack on that elusive muscle. But I’ll be straight up, there are some moves us tall guys do better. Here are some tips for how you can be more effective in the gym.
If you’re like me (shorter legs, longer arms) you’re a natural deadlifting powerhouse. Add high volume deads to your arsenal, it’s the way to put on mass. Easily complete them in 3 (3 x 5) cluster schemes or as rest-pause sets. In the rest-pause sets, you’ll want to increase your rest time after each set.
There’s nothing better than a full range of motion, but pressing can be tough when you’re tall because you’re starting in a mechanically disadvantaged position — your shoulders will be shot. The solution: adjust your power rack. Start a few inches above the bottom position and make sure to set the pins in a way so that your shoulder or incline press starts a bit higher. If you want more weight, you can add bands or chains during the stronger part of the motion.