Muscle Building Workout Program for Tall Guys

Muscle Building Workout Program for Tall Guys
Finding an appropriate workout program can be hard for taller lifters. So, we created a 5 day muscle building split that's designed for the tall crowd.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
10 weeks
5
45-60 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Other
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

The vast majority of sample workout programs out there aren’t designed with tall people in mind.

Which can be unfortunate, because certain machines, equipment, and specific ranges of motion just aren’t tall person friendly.

As a fellow member of the tall person’s society, I wanted to change that.

There’s no need for you to struggle through painful movement patterns just to add lean muscle mass.

Instead, we need to find what feels comfortable and utilize our length to gain a muscle building advantage.

Check out the sample workout for tall guys below, as well as the program description to gain some insight behind the exercise selection.

If you have any further questions, feel free to leave us a comment!

The Workout Program for Tall Guys

Below is a 5 day sample muscle building workout for tall guys and girls. If you’re a guy and are 6’3-6’4 or taller, this workout is designed with you in mind. If you’re a girl and are 5’10-5’11 or taller, this workout is designed with you in mind as well.

You’ll preform the following workouts on the days listed. You can start on whatever day of the week you prefer, but the 3 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 1 day off schedule is going to be ideal for the muscle groups targeted.

Each workout is fairly short and you should be in and out of the gym within an hour (including a warm up and cool down).

Monday – Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Bodyweight Walking Lunge 3 15 each leg
2. Trap Bar Deadlift 4 8
3. Front Squat 3 8
4. Dumbbell Split Squat 3 10
5. Standing Calf Raise 3 15
Tuesday – Chest, Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Push Up 3 12
2. Neutral Grip Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8
3. Incline Chest Fly 3 10
4. Standing Military Press 4 8
5. Seated Lateral Raise 3 10
6. Seated Neutral Grip Dumbbell Press 3 10
Wednesday – Back, Rear Delts, Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Neutral Grip Pull Up 3 12
2. Wide Grip Cable Row 4 8
3. Dumbbell Pullover 3 10
4. Cable Face Pulls 3 10
5. Farmer's Walk 3 20 yards
Friday – Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Bodyweight Squat (or light Goblet Squat) 3 12
2. Landmine Squat 4 8
3. Landmine RDL 4 8
4. Nordic Hamstring Curls* 3 10
5. Glute Bridges 3 12

*Perform these on the floor by either hooking your ankles into something steady or having a partner hold your ankles down.

Saturday – Back, Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Wide Grip Inverted Row 3 12
2. Wide Grip Bent Over Row 4 8
3. Parallel Dips 3 10
4. Overhead Tricep Extensions 3 10
5. Dumbbell Bicep Curl 3 10
6. Hammer Curl 3 10

Workout Program Tips for Tall Lifters

Being tall has its advantages. Strength training isn’t one of them, unfortunately. That’s not to say a tall person can’t get strong, it’s just going to be more challenging than it would be for some one of average height.

For example, someone who is 6’8 and 215-245lbs is going to have a much more difficult time performing a full range of motion bodyweight equivalent (or greater) back squat than someone who is 5’10 and 185-200lbs.

Not only that, but since they have longer extremities, it may be difficult to execute a perfect back squat going through a full range of motion. If you’re a tall person, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Setting up in a normal squat position and going through the movement, you’re much more likely to lean forward into an exercise that looks like a good morning/squat hybrid.

That’s why in the program listed above, the exercises performed take full advantage of equipment that helps you better keep an upright posture. Exercises such as the front squat, goblet squat, and landmine squat bring the weight in front of the body.

This minor switch of taking the load off your back and placing it in front of your body will do wonders for helping the tall person squat upright.

Other exercises such as the trap bar deadlift and dumbbell split squat, bring the weight to the side of your body, also helping tall lifters to better control their upper torso during their respected movement patterns.

You might’ve noticed there’s not a lot of machine based exercises within the program. That is due to the fact that machines are generally designed for those of average height in mind. The majority of machines are going to put the load of the weight in peculiar positions for the tall lifter and could result in faulty movement patterns and an increased risk of injury.

Lastly, this sample program for tall lifters utilizes a lot of neutral grips. Using a neutral grip will help keep some of the tension off your joints during the extended range of motion normally seen in taller lifters.

Workout Program for Tall Lifters

Specific Workout Program Recommendations

Now that you know what you’re up against as a tall guy in an average-height gym world, let’s get into some of the details of this program.

This program can be used for both adding lean muscle mass and fat loss. Body composition boils down to so much more than the time spent in the gym. So make sure you’re sleeping 7-9 hours each night and getting enough calories each day to accomplish your individual goal.

Find out your daily calorie needs with our bmr calculator. Once you have that number calculated, add/subtract 250-500 calories from that number depending on your goal.

Each exercise is meant to be performed with a 2/0/2 tempo. As a tall trainee, this might be your natural tempo. You could also slow it down further and really play off the fact you have longer limbs if you’d like. After each set, rest for 60-90 seconds.

Lastly, this program is intended to be performed for 10 weeks. After you’ve finished 10 weeks, take a week to deload. After you’ve deloaded, you can begin another round of this program.

If you have any other specific questions not answered within this article, please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below!

42 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 07/19/2018 - 11:33
RA Seven

I’m 6’7” and weigh 268.... ultimately there’s so much room for improvement. Being this height and weight, is this workout for me?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:18
JoshEngland

Hi RA,

Yes, this program was written exactly for people like you in mind.

Hope you enjoy it!

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Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 05:27
Charles

Me again sorry. Is there an alternative for trap bar deadlifts? Unfortunately my gym doesnt have one.

Thank you

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi Charles,

I'd recommend dumbbell deadlifts holding the weight to the side of the body. This will best mimic the trap bar positioning.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 05:16
Charles

Hi Josh, thank you very much for this.

I'm 191cm tall and weight close to 78kg with a pretty high metabolism. I also workout regularly - nothing hectic, just to make sure I don't lose shape. But If I'm careful/conscious about getting enough calories and or protein, will this workout help me put on much needed muscle? I'm quite happy with my body fat levels and don't want to increase that, perhaps even decrease it slightly as I gain more muscle.

Thanks again

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:38
JoshEngland

Hi Charles,

Of course! Happy to help!

Yes, if you eat an appropriate amount of calories you will put on lean mass with this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 08:29
Henry

Do you recommend any specific supplements or protein powders? I just started your program and love it so far. Just want to know what the best strategy to maximize my results. Thanks!!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 08:36
JoshEngland

Hi Henry,

It depends on your goals. This is a good place to start tho:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/natty-lifters-guide-to-supple...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 05/13/2018 - 16:22
Jeff Ross

Thanks Josh for the tall guy workout!! I am about to start lifting after a LONG break and glad I stumbled upon this workout for tall guys! Definitely going to take a bit to learn the routine and the exercises but am looking forward to building some muscle and losing some weight!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 08:53
JoshEngland

Hi Jeff,

Awesome man! Hope you enjoy it! Keep me posted on your results!

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Posted Wed, 04/25/2018 - 10:26
Derrius Stewart

I want to know how much weight I should use with this workout? Like do I use lightweights or do i go heavy. Which do you prefer?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/25/2018 - 11:36
JoshEngland

Hi Derrius,

Weight selection will differ person to person due to individual capabilities. I'd recommend using 75-85% of your working max on each set. When you finish a set, you should feel as though you have 1-2 reps still left in the tank.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 02/16/2018 - 08:54
HALİL

hi, josh, my height 187 cm..I am currently doing a 5x5 icf workout, Do I have to apply this program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 02/16/2018 - 09:41
JoshEngland

Hi HALİL,

No, not necessarily. This program is a bit more advanced than a 5x5 in terms of volume. That being said, you can certainly apply some of the tactics mentioned in the workout and article if you experience excessive forward leaning during your squats and deadlifts.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/19/2018 - 06:13
HALİL

ok thanks josh. ı am 48 y.o. naturel bodybuilder. which workout routine advice to me for volume... Is there a full body workout routine that is right for me?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:15
JoshEngland

Hi HALİL,

Give one of these a shot: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/full-body

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 01/19/2018 - 08:56
Ryan Wynn

When and how much cardio do you suggest? I am on a limited time frame and some days it is hard fitting cardio in. I typically do 20-30 minutes on the bike or go for 2-3 mile run. Any suggestions?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:28
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

Cardio is going to look different for everyone given preferences and time available to commit to cardio. So long as you're getting it in, you're doing better than most folks.

What you have laid out here looks solid given your mentioned time restrains.

Personally, I walk my dog every morning for a couple of miles and then do 10-15 mins post workout.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 01/18/2018 - 07:44
Dimitrios V

Dear Mr. England,

I've been following your workout plan for the past two weeks and so far I love it, as it incorporates a lot of exercises I hadn't tried previously.

I would like to ask you a few questions concerning some of the exercises :

1. Pull ups : I am not yet at a stage that I can perform a 12 reps set with full range of motion, more like 7-8. Should I just go for my max reps while maintaining 60-90 secs rest time between sets or increase my rest time? The same applies to the inverted cable row (which I perform with a bar due to lack of equipment).

2. I've watched several videos and illustrations of the front squat but I cannot seem to get it right and I have trouble balancing. Please advise,

Thank you in advance for your time,

Best regards,

Dimitrios V.

P.S.: I'm standing well over 6'3'' and around 200 pounds.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/18/2018 - 09:04
JoshEngland

Hi Dimitrios,

That's what I love to hear! Glad you're enjoying the program!

1. Performing your max reps per sets is certainly one way to go about it. You could also perform the max reps, and then upon failure, finish the set by performing only the eccentric portion of the pull up. To do this, simply jump into place or step up using a bench, and slowly lower yourself through the body portion of the lift. You'll be surprised how quickly these will help you in being able to perform a full set of 12.

2. This one is a little more difficult to answer not seeing you perform it in person. The balance issue could be a number of things. Not knowing what it is, I'd suggest simply performing goblet squats instead. After performing the goblet squat for awhile, you'll notice you're much better able to keep an upright torso during other squat variations.

Hope this helps and keep crushing it bro!

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Posted Wed, 01/03/2018 - 13:27
Daniel Granger

Finally something for tall guys. Thank you for taking the time!!!

But as you know tall guys have a hard time with pull ups(at least me) any suggestions until I can get to 12 to sub for these? also what weight range should I be using vs 1RM? 60%/70%/80%

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/04/2018 - 12:16
JoshEngland

Hi Daniel,

Absolutely man! Hope you get a lot of good use out of it!

For pull ups, I'd actually recommend eccentric only pull ups for the time being. Performing the negative only can really help you build the strength to perform the full range of motion.

I'd recommend utilizing 70-85% of your working max depending on the rep range of the exercise.

Hope this helps and best of luck!

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Posted Thu, 01/18/2018 - 09:13
Ryan

Daniel, the 2nd leg day has a goblet squat option and the day in general is really a good technique day that gets a good workout, but helps you be better on the heavy 1st leg day in my opinion. Goblet squats are a great facilitator.

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Posted Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:32
Daniel Granger

the 2nd leg day(tomorrow) is tough, the landmine squats are a beast for me

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:40
JoshEngland

Love the landmine squat! It's a challenge for sure! How's the progress coming? Seeing some solid results so far?

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Posted Thu, 01/18/2018 - 16:36
Daniel Granger

Things are going good, on my 2nd or 3rd week. I can tell you this the landmines had my legs hurting(in a good way) like never before. I've added extra abs to the routine to try and help my core to support my back. I also rearranged some stuff so I could super set Like my lunges I do with calfs and some of the cable work I do supersets. Also I do my lateral raises with cable and include internal and external rotation in there to kinda support my shoulders a little more( very light weight) so basically 10 Lateral raises, 10 internal rotation and 10 external rotation for each arm then rest with my 20lbs max, if it becomes too easy I go up in reps

I love this routine so far and seeing some strength gains, but for me if I can make it a year without hurting something that will make this routine worth its weight in gold(LOL)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:38
JoshEngland

That's awesome to hear! Glad you were able to alter it in a way to better fit your needs!

Avoiding injury so you can stay consistent is the name of the game. I plan to publish some more workouts for tall guys in the very near future to give you guys some more options to work with.

I'll probably add in some 3-4 day splits so you don't have to consistently be at the gym 5 times a week. Especially with Summer right around the corner, y'all should be out in the sun showing off everything you've been working for. It's also a good way to maintain what you put on while giving your body a break from the higher frequency.

Cheers!

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Posted Sun, 12/24/2017 - 12:21
chaina jalal

Hello sir. 1. I am 5.9 in height can i follow this program 2. Any workout for remove love handles

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 12/27/2017 - 09:07
JoshEngland

Hi Chaina,

This program is aimed at those who are tall, but anyone can try it out if they like to.

It is difficult to target any one area for fat loss, it's just not how fat loss works. I would recommend eating at a calorie deficit consistently for a period of time. A calorie deficit is what is needed to promote fat loss.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 10/27/2017 - 03:19
Eric

Hi,

Thanks for this program. A couple of questions:
1. Is it a must to do legs twice a week?
2. Are 3 sholder exercises enough to gain mass?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/30/2017 - 09:42
JoshEngland

Hi Eric,

You're welcome my friend!

1. No, it's not a must... but extremely beneficial.
2. Yes, you'll experience plenty of shoulder muscle growth using this program as is.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 10/09/2017 - 17:24
Jonathan

Need more tall guy workouts please!!!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/09/2017 - 18:08
JoshEngland

Hi Jonathan,

Glad you enjoyed this one! More will follow!

Thank you!

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 10:55
Ryan Wynn

Josh, I noticed you posted another tall guys workout, but it's only 3 days...is that an easier version? Looking for a change. Maybe another workout series you posted that you'd recommend? Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 11:00
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

It's not necessarily easier. It is less days per week, but they're full body workouts focused more on compound movements each training day. It could be used as a nice change-of-pace workout to compliment this program. I'd recommend giving it a shot for a cycle (it's a good time of the year to lower your training days so you can get out and enjoy the spring/summer weather). Then, after you finish, you can return to this program - or test out another program to see if it's better suited for your goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 11:06
Ryan Wynn

Cool Josh. We are starting summer strength and training next week for our athletes and they are going 3 days a week too. Might be perfect for a change!

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 11:20
Ryan Wynn

Awesome Josh. We are starting a 3 day workout program for our athletes next week so it sounds like this would be a great matchup! Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 11:49
JoshEngland

That's awesome! Let me know what you think about the program! Hope you enjoy!

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Posted Fri, 01/12/2018 - 13:08
Ryan

Please make more workouts for tall guys Josh. This workout rocks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/12/2018 - 16:07
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan!

Thanks for the kind words! More tall guy workouts to come! :)

Any particular kind of split (3-4 days per week, upper/lower, full body, bro split) for a tall guy you'd like to see next?

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Posted Fri, 09/15/2017 - 20:17
Kevin

When do you recommend working in abs and cardio?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 09/18/2017 - 08:35
JoshEngland

Hi Kevin,

Your abs will be hit indirectly through this program, but you're more than welcome to add in additional ab work if you feel it will help you accomplish your goals.

You can perform both on your rest days and/or after your workouts depending on your goals. Personally, I never hit abs directly and perform LISS for about 30 mins every morning, adding in 10 mins of HIIT post workout if I feel I need to.

Hope this helps!