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Tall vs Short bodybuilders

fixxer

fixxer

MuscleHead
Dec 15, 2010
993
162
#1
What would you rather be a tall or a short bodybuilder and why? What are the Pros and cons of being a tall or short bodybuilder?

I'm going to set the tall as 6'2+ and short as anything under.
 
chicken_hawk

chicken_hawk

MuscleHead
Oct 28, 2010
718
146
#2
I think first that you need to consider anything 5'11" and over as tall. In the NPC 6'2"+ bbers are out there but rare. In two weeks I have been to two shows and there were none over that ht. JMO.

Anyway, short bodybuilders 5'5" or so has an advantage at the begining of his career. He fills out fast and it doesn't take as long as a taller dude to get a nice full set of arms and wheels. However, all things being equal except height of course, once the taller guy fills out (considerable time required) he will dwarf the shorter competitor. They may be both equal or possibly the short guy is built better, but when side by side, the natural spread of a taller guys lats can hide a shorter competitor. Think Flex Lewis vs. Ronnie Coleman. This is often why at your smaller local shows your middle wts and lt. heavies win the overalls, but as you move up the food chain closer and closer to the IFBB the bigger dudes start to hold their own. Then once in the pros, the short guys have a serious disadvantage.

Hawk
 
AllTheWay

AllTheWay

TID Lady Member
Mar 17, 2011
4,240
411
#3
i agree with hawk! physics are going to provide the shorter guy with the advantage because there is less distance between point A and point B and therefore he is going to look better or more aesthetically pleasing easier than the tall person who will need more bulk to look balanced.
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,188
#4
Dead on, Hawk. Early on, I'd rather be short bodybuilders. But in the long run, if one can stay injury free and healthy, the tall(er) guys will end up with the advantage. I think there is a cut-off though. A guy who is 7 feet tall doesn't have enough time in his adult life to put on enough mass to look as balanced and symmetrical as a shorter guy.
 
Demigod

Demigod

VIP Member
Sep 24, 2010
582
27
#5
Would you say having shorter limbs give an advantage in regards to strength than a taller person? Short bodybuilders have a shorter range of motion,better leverage and all that crap?
 
AllTheWay

AllTheWay

TID Lady Member
Mar 17, 2011
4,240
411
#6
im not so sure that it works the same in regards to strength. i think strength is much more genetic based. one can have fuller looking muscle bellies due to shorter limbs but not be as strong.
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Staff Member
Feb 27, 2011
17,066
4,627
#7
Would you say having shorter limbs give an advantage in regards to strength than a taller person? Shorter range of motion,better leverage and all that crap?
I think that would only hold true in powerlifting. I think that in bodybuilding, if you have longer limbs you may not bench as heavy, but you'll have greater time under tension given proper range of motion and therefore greater development of the pec. Just one example though. My .02
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Staff Member
Feb 27, 2011
17,066
4,627
#8
I think first that you need to consider anything 5'11" and over as tall. In the NPC 6'2"+ bbers are out there but rare. In two weeks I have been to two shows and there were none over that ht. JMO.

Anyway, a shorter guy 5'5" or so has an advantage at the begining of his career. He fills out fast and it doesn't take as long as a taller dude to get a nice full set of arms and wheels. However, all things being equal except height of course, once the taller guy fills out (considerable time required) he will dwarf the shorter competitor. They may be both equal or possibly the short guy is built better, but when side by side, the natural spread of a taller guys lats can hide a shorter competitor. Think Flex Lewis vs. Ronnie Coleman. This is often why at your smaller local shows your middle wts and lt. heavies win the overalls, but as you move up the food chain closer and closer to the IFBB the bigger dudes start to hold their own. Then once in the pros, the short guys have a serious disadvantage.

Hawk
Can't argue with that. I have a friend who competes in NPC at 6'2" and has a hell of a time against people in the 5' height... But look at Mr. Olympia. Branch will never be #1 cause he's too short.
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,188
#9
Would you say having shorter limbs give an advantage in regards to strength than a taller person? Shorter range of motion,better leverage and all that crap?
Such a hard question to answer. On one hand, you have the help of a shorter ROM, and for compound movements within the confines of powerlifting/oly lifting, I think that is a decisive advantage. However, as was briefly discussed on RR's thread about her most recent strong-woman competition, a lot of the elite level strongest man competitors of all time are over 6 feet tall. Kaz is 6'3", Mariusz Pudzianowski is 6'1", Phil Pfister is 6'6", Zydrunas Savickas is 6'3", etc. To me this means that a taller man will eventually have the more functional strength, whereas a shorter guy will still have the advantage in bench press, overhead press, and squat.
 
fixxer

fixxer

MuscleHead
Dec 15, 2010
993
162
#11
I think that would only hold true in powerlifting. I think that in bodybuilding, if you have longer limbs you may not bench as heavy, but you'll have greater time under tension given proper range of motion and therefore greater development of the pec. Just one example though. My .02
I wholeheartedly disagree with your post. 1.) As long as you are holding weight you are experiencing time under tension 2.) The "time under tension" you are referring to can be manipulated as long or as short as you want it to be regardless of arm length and 3.) Having longer arms doesn't afford you better development of the pec.
 
fixxer

fixxer

MuscleHead
Dec 15, 2010
993
162
#12
Would you say having shorter limbs give an advantage in regards to strength than a taller person? Shorter range of motion,better leverage and all that crap?
Relatively speaking I don't believe that there is any advantage to being short in the strength department. You take an average proportioned short guy and tall guy and it doesn't matter how tall/short they are if their bodies are proportioned the same. Muscle size, yes, muscle strength, no. BUT, if you take a short guy with a large torso, or something along those lines, he will be predisposed, if you will, to have a mechanical advantage on things like deadlifts. Same could be said for a taller guy. I posted this thread asking very generally and I think people are getting too specific highlighting certain qualities without realizing it.

Edt: Or maybe better yet, this isn't a type of question you can ask generally. There are a lot of factors at play, mostly how a person is proportioned.

Shorter guys appear "bigger" at lower weights because the way the muscle gets displaced across the frame. You stick 280lbs on me and it's no big deal, but on someone that's 5'-6' and you have a yolked up mothersucka. With that being said, us tall guys can comfortably hold a lot more muscle. Obviously, that gives us a strength advantage. Our muscles are bigger :p, that's just the way it is. Our disadvantage is how long it takes to achieve that kind of physique. I often get very discouraged.

Oh, I also HATE the people that bust out a calculator and take percentages of weight and try to say they're stronger than me. I had some homo one time who took out his calculator and was like I bench some low number and I only weigh peanuts. He continued to divide his bench (low number) by his weight (peanuts) and he came up with a decimal that happened to be higher than mine. Then he ran around saying he was stronger than me. I don't think strength is relative like that. How can you divide your bench by your body weight when you aren't using your entire weight to move the weight? When you lay down on the bench you take your body weight out of the equation. I think people sell themselves short when they do that calculation. That guy has the capacity to lift the same weight that I do. When I started lifting I was smaller than he was, now I'm big and move a lot of weight. I earned every pound I lift, it's not just some factor solely based off my weight.
 
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