So, you may be a taller person. How tall is tall? Do you envy the shorter person who seems to have the ability to lift twice their body weight when it comes to a squat or bench? If you do, chances are you are a taller person who likes to lift.
It just does not seem fair. Doing the same lift with the same weight and it takes a lot more effort! How is this possible.
Range of motion, or “ROM”.
The taller you are the longer distance the weight has to go throughout the rep. This puts more strain on the muscles and even joints because flexibility comes into play. A 6’6 person will have a much more difficult time hitting a high number of weight in a squat, deadlift, or bench press due to the distance of their ROM as opposed to someone who is 5’3. But no worries because the very thing you see as your foe is actually your greatest ally.
We go to the gym to get stronger, conditioned, more muscular, just all around better shape, right? Understanding and most importantly accepting how your body is will be the dynamic that allows you to make good gains in the gym.
Shorter people have the advantage to achieving bigger lifts quicker, it is just the way it is. But for a taller person, utilizing certain things such as partial reps are a great option for working the muscles with bigger weight.
A partial rep is when you only travel half the distance of the range of motion. This makes the reps faster and actually keeps constant tension on the muscle being worked. And as noted, you are able to work with bigger weights because the weight is not traveling as far during the reps.
This can be done with a bench press or even a squat. By bringing the weight down deep in the negative part of the rep, muscle fibers are being stretch and worked. Coming back up only half way and then instantly lowering the weight back down will give those muscles a workout they have not felt before.
With deadlifts, it is a little trickier. Partial reps in a deadlift would be horrible on the back and knees, so bringing the weight up higher to you is the best route. This is done by doing rack pulls. Rack pulls are simply an elevated deadlift where the weight does not have as far of a distance to travel throughout the lift. Heavier weight is usually used and safer as well since the hips are not dropped as far. Do not get it twisted though, a rack pull is a modified version of a deadlift, so it does not hold the same kind of effectiveness as a conventional deadlift, but it is a option and is much better than avoiding deadlifts all together.
So just because you are tall does not mean you cannot build good muscle and get stronger. Understanding and accepting your build and working with what you got is the key to bigger lifts and bigger muscles.