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Leg Training for Taller Bodybuilders

By: Anabolic Insider

Q. I am 6’4” and weigh 190 pounds. I have a weight training question. Do I need to train my legs differently than other guys (under 6’) because of my height? Someone told me that I did have to, and another person told me that I should give up becoming a bodybuilder! What do you think?

A. This is a great question and it’s something I wanted to cover because it’s asked more than you think. First of all, don’t give up bodybuilding! The person who told you that is an idiot who’s probably under 5’7” and can’t even stay afloat in the middleweight class at his local NPC bodybuilding show! You, on the other hand, could have an amazing future if you set a good foundation for yourself now. There’s only one difference between you and a bodybuilder who stands, say, just 5’9”, and that’s the range of motion that each of you must travel through when doing leg exercises. His range is shorter because he is lower to the ground, and yours is much greater in distance because you tower over most people. What does all this mean? This means that in exercises such as squats, you must bear the weight (let’s say 225 pounds) during a repetition for a longer period of time because the distance between standing upright, squatting, and then coming back up, contains more inches. Reps will be infinitely easier for the short person, when lifting a relative weight. It will take you more time, per rep, than someone shorter because you have a much broader arc through which to move. (This will also be the case in chest, back and arm training. What should you avoid? Try not to cut corners to avoid that excruciatingly long range. It’s hard to hold 225 pounds on your shoulders for a lengthier descent and ascent, so the taller individual usually won’t do full range squats or a full range leg press repetition to avoid the added pain and discomfort. This corner-cutting leads to shallow glutes and hamstrings and exceedingly heavy upper and middle quads. It only accentuates modest or weak calves, too, so keep that in mind. The only thing I can tell you is to keep your weight manageable as you learn to execute a “full range” repetition in all of your leg exercises. Cutting corners will show, and show badly.

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