Arm Training For Tall Guys

Arm Training For Tall Guys

The struggle is real for us tall guys trying to get sleeve splitting arms! Its a lot harder for us to look like we have big arms compared to a smaller guy, as the origin and insertion of the bicep and triceps are further away. This means that the muscle has more surface area to cover, leaving our arms looking longer, not bigger.

I stand at 6’4”. In my journey to add some serious size to my arms  I have come across a few truths specific to the taller, more long-armed lifter.


When it comes to triceps the key is to target the long head

A problem I see a lot is that most guys like sticking with what feels comfortable and easy for them. A lot of the time these exercises are the ones that hit  the lateral head of the triceps through movements such as;  close grip bench, cable push downs and push ups

With a developed lateral head of the triceps, you may find your arms look big when tensing from the side, but the problem with just doing these exercises and only hitting the lateral head is that from the front they’re still skinny with no thickness or width.

There are 2 other sections of the triceps. One of them is the long head, personally I think targeting this head out of the three will benefit your arm size the most.  The origin (muscle attachment) of the long head of the triceps runs high on the humorous (upper arm) and connects to the scapula. Because the long head attaches to the scapula training it will not only improve your arm size and thickness, but also can help shoulder stability.

To really target the long head of the triceps you want to do triceps movement that involve the arm going over the head. Exercises such as skull crushers or the French press  will hit the long head and add true upper arm size and girth.

Here’s a helpful video, with some of my favourite exercises when it comes to targeting the long head of the tricep:


Compound movements + high volume = big biceps

When it comes to adding size to the biceps, us tall guys need to take advantage of our long arms, as they increase the range of motion, meaning we accumulate more time under tension. We may not be able to curl as much as a shorter guy but who cares how much you curl?

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Taking full advantage of your longer levers and utilize the increased range of motion you get from exercises like; chin ups and preacher curls. Be sure to use this extra range of motion when training back, doing exercises such as V bar pulldowns and pull ups, as the bicep assists the back in these movements, this will also contribute to bicep growth.

One surprising thing that helps the biceps grow is loaded carries, due to a combination of weighted stretch and increased time under tension, as it’s a isometric hold. Exercises like farmers walks, atlas carries, and rack pulls with an isometric hold, are all great exercises. I wouldn’t recommend them to be the bulk of your bicep work but they are excellent finishers on any given workout day for the kick in the pants you need for growth.


Military press great for tricep development

With military press, in the starting position the elbow is completely flexed (elbow and bicep touching),  there isn’t many exercises where this is the case, and I think we can all agree that the hardest part of the lift is the first part. To add, the first part of the military press in practically all triceps.

Doing military press  allows you to start the movement from zero momentum with the tightest elbow angle you can possibly create. This will work wonders for your triceps.

If you need anymore convincing that you should be doing them, they are also a compound movement, meaning normally you can lift heavier weights, which will overload the triceps. The exercise will also stimulate the central nervous system, enabling you to build muscle everywhere via hormonal release. maxresdefault

I 100% recommend that you do your military presses, as they are also great for building wide, big shoulders, and as tall guys we struggle to look wide, as our back can sometimes lag behind due to our long torso. So make sure your putting in the work with the military press.


With us tall guys we really have to put in the time and effort for are arms to blow up, follow these guidelines and I’m sure your have shirt splitting arms in no time!

 

 

My 3 Best Pieces Of Advice For Tall Lifters

My 3 Best Pieces Of Advice For Tall Lifters

Being 6 ft 4 I know all to well that taller lifters can find it hard going when it comes to training and certain exercises. Our bodies are built differently, with long levers, (eg. gangly legs). Certain exercises and activities that come easily for a shorter, stocky guy won’t be as straightforward  for us tall lifters.

As tall guys we must training smart. This will help you avoid any drawbacks in your training such as injuries, and will also make sure you’re getting the most effective workouts for you.


Here are my 3 best tips of advice for you tall lifters out there. Follow these tips to build strength, prevent injury and gain muscle regardless of how tall you are. 

 

Increase recovery time when training pulling movements (eg. Deadlift)

In compound exercises such as the deadlift, the bar will have to travel a lot further when being executed by a taller lifter. This increases the amount of time under tension, which is  great when it comes to muscle gain as more time under tension equals more hormonal release to help with muscular growth.

There is a down side though,  it also puts the body through more stress, which can make certain efforts less sustainable over time. Especially when is comes to pulling exercises, I recommend to rest for roughly 30 additional seconds on top of your normal rest time, between sets to restore grip strength and get the most out of a heavier set.

 

Stop comparing numbers!

Lets take myself as an example, I’m  6’4”, 220lb, compare me squatting the equivalent of my body weight on the bar, won’t have the same ease as a 5’8 170lb guy doing the same thing.

Tall guys have to travel much further in both directions, creating additional work (force x distance) performed per rep. Don’t get dishearten when it comes to your strength maxes.

Focus on your goals.

Don’t get confused when I say forget about the numbers, strength is still one of the most important parts of overloading and gaining muscle, you should always be striving to add weight to the bar and increase your strength, as a stronger muscle equals a bigger muscle.

 

Don’t forget to mobilize the ankles

If you want to hit good depth in your squats ankle mobility is key! Poor ankle mobility will hold you back when it comes to how deep you can squat. Most tall guys tend to have long legs, this means if they want to squat deep their knees need to track forward past the toes, (no this isn’t bad) in order to maintain proper balance and ensure that the barbel stays over the middle of the foot.

Poor ankle mobility will cause you to lean forward in the squat making it look more like a good morning and not a squat. This will result in the weight being taken off the quads and more stress on the hamstrings and lower back. This isn’t optimal when trying to squat heavy weight as we want to use as many lower body muscles in the squat as we can to increase strength.

Here’s the ankle mobilization routine that I recommend, and has helped me most;

 

 

Hope this article was helpful, if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

How To Gain Size As A Tall Lifter

How To Gain Size As A Tall Lifter

It can be hard on us tall guys when aiming to put on some serious muscle mass (believe me I know, I struggled for years trying to put size on my skinny 6ft 4 frame).  Most of us have been dealt long lanky limbs, making our muscles look smaller then they are. This is because the origin and insertion of the muscle (muscle attachment points) tend to be further away (making our muscles look longer, not bulker). So even a significant weight gain can translate to a sub-par size gain.

    Also there’s the fact that nearly every machine in the gym feels unnatural and awkward for us, as they were not designed with tall guys in mind. When height is a factor (6ft above) lifting the iron requires a lot more coordination and energy. This is because sets take us longer as we have more range of motion with our long limbs .

When it comes to tall powerlifters and strongmen, whose main goal is to build strength, they are constantly looking for ways to refine their technique and form so they have optimum leverage over the weights (less range of motion = heavier weight).

BUT if you’re your goal is to strictly build muscle and look as good as you possibly can, you should look at it the other way around, and use your long limbs to an advantage as they make the range of motion bigger.


Taking that into consideration, here are some exercises and tips to go along with them, that I found to help me build mass on my 6 ft 4 frame!

Pin Press = healthy shoulders

pin press

A pin press is a variation of the bench press. It’s when the bar is starting on pins set a few inches above chest level. The main benefit of the pin press is that you can lift heavy with less pain or even prevent any pain in the elbows and shoulders. This is because of the fact that the elbows don’t have to travel quite as far below the level of the chest, meaning less shoulder stress at the bottom of the lift.

Additionally the pin press is great for ‘concentric only training’. As you can drop the bar back down to the pins from the top position with minimal tension. This increases the amount of max efforts you can do since the eccentric phase is typically the most taxing on the CNS (central nervous system).

 

When you can’t leg press, lunges are the solution

As we have already gathered, most machines were not built with tall people in mind. This is the same when it comes to the leg press, as it tends to put our limbs and joint angles in an awkward position. BUT the leg press isn’t a complete loss cause, work on your ankle mobility (dorsiflexion). This helps by allowing your knee to travel further past your toe, so you can have greater range of motion while maintaining a neutral spine. Another tip would be, when using the machine assume a very high foot position on the platform, to prevent pressure being put on the lower back and knee joints.

Some tall guys regardless of how mobile they are will never feel comfortable using a leg press. So what I recommend for the majority of you tall guys is to really utilise lunges and split squats. They are also great exercises for the quads and glutes. What make them even better is that they are unilateral movements, meaning they use one leg at a time, which is great for preventing muscle imbalances and improving balance.

goblet-reverse-lunge

 

 

Make sure you include deadlifts (trap bar), pull/chin-Ups,  and snatch-grip pulls in your training-

The back is one of the areas of the body that normally gets rejected and under developed, resulting in bad posture. As tall guys we can not afford to reject our back. If anything we need to put more time and effort into making our lets wider and our upper- back thicker as it takes more muscle to fill out our longer torso. Hammering away at the upper and mid back is important if we want to look large and imposing and feel healthy.

In my opinion chin-ups are the most important exercise when it comes to bicep growth. Using a narrow supinated grip is the key to targeting the brachialis (bicep) muscle. This is a great way to overload the biceps as they are under a heavy load putting stress on the muscle, causing them to increase in size, which is what us tall guys want. We want to build as much muscle possible on our arms as we have a bigger surface area to fill out!

When I do pull ups I like to include isometric holds, as it’s a good way to hit the endurance-geared fibres (type 2a muscle fibres) of the back (which there are a lot of) through increased time under tension.trap-bar-deadlift-300x274

Some of you tall guys will have very short torso with long legs, making it difficult to use a conventional deadlift set-up since it’s hard to position the shoulder blades above the bar, which is the ideal position. If you have this problem I recommend you try out trap-bar deadlifts and snatch grip rack pulls instead. These both are great deadlift alternatives. The lowered pulling space in a snatch-grip rack pull, along with the ability to lower the hips in a trap-bar deadlift, are both money makers that can keep your pulling strength in check.

Learn to love the flys –

As tall lifters we need to think smart. Take advantage of your longer limbs. When doing any fly or raise variation, such as; reverse fly, chest fly, lateral raises and front raises, take advantage of additional time, space, and force that’s created by us having longer arms.

Flat-Bench-Flyes-With-Dumbbells

This leads to more time under tension, and also the further away the weight is from the torso the more pressure is put on the muscle (chest or shoulder, depending on exercise), and this can mean more potential muscle.

Play to your advantages

There are some real challenges when it comes to building muscle as a tall guy, so rather than get disheartened and frustrated when there’s an exercise you can’t perform, start using your long levers to your advantage.

What A Tall Guy Can Do To Bring Up His Legs!

What A Tall Guy Can Do To Bring Up His Legs!

For the purposes of this article, I think it’s important that we define what “tall” means.

The average height for a male is around 5’ft 9″.

So when I say tall I’m referring to everyone 6’ft and over.

The information in this article will be more helpful and applicable for every inch over 6’0″ you happen to be, but you’ll still get results following the guidelines.


Being 6 ft 4 I know exactly how hard it can be trying to gain mass on super long and lanky legs.

Tall guys generally have long femurs (leg bones), that tends to make every leg exercise feel uncomfortable and awkward, also having to pack on twice as much muscle as a shorter guy to make your legs look good!


So, what can a tall guy do to bring up his legs?

Image result for arnold schwarzenegger legs
Arnold was 6 ft 2

Mess around with your reps-

I know the typical gym ‘bro’ loves high rep squatting for leg growth, and I can see why. Unfortunately, our levers are not made for squatting, so a lot of us would struggle keeping good form when doing high reps.  There are a few techniques I use to up the  intensity that you can use, such as one and a half reps, as well as throwing rest-pause training into the mix.

 

Box squat-

Incorporating a box squat into your leg day routine can really help your leg growth, specially the posture chain. Have a slight wider stance then normal and place the bar in more of the low bar position on the rear delts. This decreases the range of motion and fatigue on the stabilizers, allowing you to overload the muscles instead.

Intra set rests-

Intra-set rests really forced my legs to grow. This is where you pause at the top of a squat for 10-15 seconds without racking the bar is a very potent weapon for us tall guys. Not only does it help to restore creative phosphate, but we’ll also increase our aerobic capacity for future squatting endeavours.

Keep the reps low-

Stop trying to squat for sets of 12 to 15 plus. Long femurs are not optimal when it comes to squatting. Our stabilizers will fatigue before our muscles, causing form to break down, putting you at risk of an injury.  Remember, we’re tall, so the rules change. Therefore, when you’re squatting, I recommend aiming for around 4 to 8 reps for maximum benefits.

Do what feels comfortable and what you’re good at-

Due to the lever length us tall guy’s femurs, we’ll be able to rock with the leg extensions and various leg curls. They may not be the most ideal functional movement, but they are a great exercise to pack on the mass the them legs, so get the most out of these machines and up the reps and sets.


In summary, work with the hand you have been dealt. If you train hard and smart, you’ll have big legs in no time!

BE Positive

BE Positive

Positivity Is Key!

I  always see on social media and in day-to-day life, how negative some people are. Being negative can affect your life, the same way having a positive outlook can, except one changes it for the better and the other for the worse. I always hear people saying ‘Why’ instead of  ‘How’ or ‘What’.

If you pay attention you’ll notice this happens all the time in the ‘fitness industry’, you’ll often see  comments on a popular fitness figures Instagram saying something along the lines of ‘Why can’t I be as skinny as her’ or, ‘Why can’t I be as shredded as them?’ and maybe even, ‘why can’t I have a lifestyle like them?’.

You hardly ever see someone comment asking how, ‘How can I achieve what you have?’ A lot of people are so quick to get down on themselves and  give up before they even think about trying to do something about it.

Ask yourself now, what is holding you back and stopping you from achieving what you want in life?

Is it a fear of being judged?

Afraid of looking stupid?

Not enough knowledge?

Are you secretly scared to really push yourself outside of your comfort zone?

Nothing worth having is in your comfort zone.

‘Get comfortable being uncomfortable’

 

 

Look at it this way, nothing is impossible (As cringe as it sounds its true). You know what, I’m going to be honest, no you might not ever have the same physique as the girl in the magazine, or you may never look like the person you envy in the gym, but seriously who cares? As long as you are the best you! If you’re putting your energy into becoming a better you than you were yesterday, whether that’s going to the gym to look better, or reading a book to educate yourself. You can get lean and drop body fat, you can put on muscle, you can start your own business, you can learn a new language, but it will take hard work. If it were an easy process, everyone would look great and have an IQ of 140, but that’s not the case.  It is those who invest the time and effort that see the results.

Now ask yourself ‘How’ can you achieve your goal/goals? The answer is quite simple.  Patience, time, hard work and discipline. We are so much more capable than we ever give ourselves credit for, and our greatest growth will come from the times we try but fail, but never give up.

It really is easy than ever now as there is an abundance of resources out there from articles, to YouTube videos, and even online mentors, coaches and trainers to help you reach your goals.

I hope this article motivates and inspires you so the next time you see something you want, you don’t doubt yourself and ask yourself ‘Why,’ instead you ask yourself “What can I do to achieve this?” Be better than you were yesterday, set a goal, and smash it!

Thank you for reading

Avoid These Foods When Dieting

Avoid These Foods When Dieting

4 Types of foods to avoid when dieting

I know how challenging losing weight is and it’s a giant task for most people. However, if your smart about  which foods to consume and which ones to avoid, you’ll find it a lot easier to lose them pounds. Always remember that you will gain weight if your caloric intake is higher than your energy output.


To make your task of losing weight just a little easier, I decided to put together a list of some food groups you must avoid when you can or have in moderation.

Fats

Let me get something out the way first, I’m not saying avoid fats, as they are an important macronutrient, I’m just saying try to limit your fats, and consume in moderation.

Fats are important in your diet, as they are a good source of energy, and are needed for brain function. However, the volume of calories you take in is doubled compared to proteins or carbohydrates of the same size.

If you want your diet to go successfully, consume fats in moderation. So when eating foods like meat, pick the lean cuts, and personally I would stay away from anything fried.

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Sweets/Candy

Personally, when I’m loosing weight, I allow myself one ‘sweet treat’ a week, whether that’s a bag of sweets, or a chocolate bar. However I always make sure I can fit it into my diet without going over my calories for the day. For more on how to do this Flexible Dieting

If you indulge in ice cream, cheesecake and chocolate, to often, you will end up with more pounds than before.

Sweets are sources of carbohydrates. But the carbohydrate is in its simplest form, making it very high in calories for the amount of volume you get. Remember when dieting you always want include more foods that are low in calories and that are filling. I have another article dedicated to this, so if your interested in finding out some foods that are perfect for dieting, check it out.

In the modern-day we all eat way too much sugar. The problem is that sugar is in just about everything we eat. Therefore, it can be tough to realize just how much of it we are eating. The problem with sugar is that it contains empty calories. Basically it has absolutely no nutritional value. Sugar can also cause your immune system to become depressed, put you at risk for heart disease and osteoporosis among other things.

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Processed Foods

Processed foods normally have a high caloric and sodium content.

I know when your losing weight and your always hungry, and there can be temptation to just go to the nearest KFC because it’s so quick and easy, but I personally never eat fast food, when I’m trying to lose weight, as it is just so high in calories and will put you off track.

Also avoid eating processed foods too much.

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Calorie Filled Drinks

This is really a no brainer, when you’re restricting your calories, why would you waste them on a drink, as they normally have no nutritional value, and also don’t satisfy your appetite

Whether it’s soft drinks, milk, juice or beer, drinks containing calories can be a big stumbling block. It’s very easy to forget how much you’re taking in when the calories are in liquid form which is what posses the danger.

soda


 

If you go about your diet, in a smart way, and consume the right foods, you’re going to be much more successful.

Thank you for reading

Low Carb Protein Cookies

Low Carb Protein Cookies

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

It’s that time again! Craving something sweet? I know I am.

Here for you I have these delicious chocolate and peanut butter cookies, packed full of protein of course! I love these as they are full of flavour, but have unique macros, with the carbs being low and the fay slightly high. Personally this is perfect for me, as I struggle some days to hit my fat intake, so these cookies are perfect as they are full of healthy fats.

Perfect macro cookies to curb your cravings!

Low carb, low sugar.


Ingredients:

For 4 cookies-

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 Tbs. Stevia
  • Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs. Peanut Butter

Method

What makes these cookies even better, is how easy they are to make.

All you have to do, it add every ingredient into a mixing bowl, and mix well.

After, place cookie mix on a lightly oiled baking try.

Then put in the oven for 190 Celsius/375 Fahrenheit, for only 5 minutes!

As easy as that.


Nutritional information (per cookie)-

  • Calories- 162
  • Protein- 13g
  • Fat- 8g
  • Carbs- 9g

Happy eating!

Enjoy!