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!

Editor's Note: Make sure you’re doing all the right things you need to be doing to build lean muscle mass. For those looking for a more in-depth resource to teach them how to build muscle, we’ve created a FREE 5 day Muscle Building Email Course.

The course will teach you how your body builds muscle, how to utilize workout plans on our website to maximize muscle growth, how to eat to build muscle, how to supplement to build muscle and how to track your progress.

Sign up below today to learn and ensure you get the most out of this workout program.


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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!

73 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 01/11/2021 - 22:52
Bryan W Hurtgen

Hi Josh,
I am 6'6" tall and 230lbs. I would like to build muscle mass. I see where you've recommended 3800 calories to consume for this workout regimen. Could you suggest how much protein you think I would need as well?
Thanks for the workout plan!

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Posted Tue, 01/12/2021 - 11:03
Abigail_M&S

Hey Bryan - for a more accurate caloric intake, use our BMR calculator: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator. Then check out our guide on determining your macros here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/determine-daily-calorie-macro...

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Posted Thu, 10/29/2020 - 14:42
Jr

Can guys like 6’2 like myself do this workout plan

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Posted Fri, 10/30/2020 - 09:03
Abigail_M&S

Hey Jr - yes you can

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Posted Tue, 08/18/2020 - 16:59
CJ

Hi Josh

I'm currently doing your 3 day split workout for tall guys, which is helping me a lot (having less joint pains compared to other schedules I followed). Thanks a lot for this.

I want to switch soon to the 5x a week split.

Another hobby of mine is cycling (with friends) which I only do once a week but long distance (+- 120 km.)
Can you suggest when I should do it? (before or after one of the leg days)
Or should I skip one of the leg days in order to avoid fatigue / risks of injuries?

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Posted Wed, 08/19/2020 - 09:08
Yoshi

Hey CJ

I recommend cycling either Wednesday (between your 2 leg days) or Saturday (after your second leg day). Cycling is a great way to work on your muscular endurance in your legs, and as long as there's not too much uphill pedaling you won't be taxing your legs too much.

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Posted Thu, 08/20/2020 - 04:23
CJ

Thanks a lot!

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Posted Mon, 05/11/2020 - 19:58
James Pate

Hello, I’m 6’10” and 357. I’ve lost down from 416. I was an athlete through college. However, even at my strongest and leanest I was never able to complete a pull-up of any kind. Is there an alternative to the pull-up that can be done with body weight?

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Posted Wed, 08/19/2020 - 09:13
Yoshi

Hey James

If you have access to resistance bands, you can perform band-assisted pull-ups to build your strength. Another training tip would be to jump up and hold yourself up at the top of a pull-up for as long as possible, and then performing a few negative reps as slow as you can. Work a couple of sets of each of these in for several weeks and you'll be knocking out sets of weighted pull-ups before you know it.

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Posted Thu, 10/10/2019 - 04:56
Jason Guthrie

I love some of these exercises listed but unfortunately due to knee issues a lot of these exercises will be a problem to do. How can I substitute some of these exercises? My name is Jason I'm 6'6 375 lbs I want lose this weight

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Posted Thu, 10/10/2019 - 09:53
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

If you are experiencing pain, I'd recommend working with a personal trainer/strength coach in person. I know it's probably not the answer you are hoping for, but it wouldn't be responsible for anyone to provide feedback over the internet without being able to properly assess movement patterns and prescribe exercises that would be more adventagous for you.

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Posted Sat, 06/01/2019 - 23:39
Jacob Gerhard

Hello, I'm 6'11 and right around 396 but on the chubbier side, is there anything you can suggest to add or alter for someone of my stature, who is looking to lose some fat but gain a good amount of muscle?

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 16:30
Alexander Boroff

Josh,

Can you supplement this workout with additional cardio or crossfit style workouts? Or will that work against what it is trying to do?

Alex

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Posted Wed, 05/29/2019 - 10:54
JoshEngland

Hi Alexander,

You can add in light cardio if you'd like, but I wouldn't recommend pairing it with Crossfit.

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Posted Sun, 05/26/2019 - 21:34
jacob olive

Hi Josh i am 6ft 10
Will i build enough chest and arm mass with this workout as their does not seem to be enough, i was thinking of doing six days or would that be a detriment

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 14:40
JoshEngland

Hi Jacob,

Yes, there is enough volume within this program to build both of those muscle groups. If you'd like to train 6 times per week, I'd recommend this program: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/push-pull-legs-ppl-workout-fo...

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Posted Wed, 02/27/2019 - 11:34
Pitipat

Hello Josh!
Looks like a great program!
I got some question though:
Will it be counterproductive to use this program if I am only a 5’11 male?
I am 156lbs bodyfat 18-19%. Ectomorph/skinny fat
Will it be a safer choice for everyone in general?
I’m finding a program that is easier on the joints than conventional workout programs. Is this it?
I do feel that I have cranky shoulders after I bench press. Back squat also gives me snappy hips. But it might just be my bad form or mobility.....

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Posted Thu, 02/28/2019 - 09:07
JoshEngland

Hi Pitpat,

Yes, this program is suitable for people of all heights. It should aid in relieving some of those joint pains you get from other exercise variations.

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Posted Fri, 01/25/2019 - 22:14
Matt

Thanks. another question what’s 2/0/2 tempo mean?

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Posted Mon, 01/28/2019 - 09:57
JoshEngland

Hi Matt,

2 second raising the weight, 0 second holds, 2 seconds lowering the weight.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 01/23/2019 - 16:47
Matt

Hey josh, what should be the rest times in between sets? Also, are these workouts available In a app?

Thanks

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Posted Fri, 01/25/2019 - 09:42
JoshEngland

Hi Matt,

No app, but each workout has a downloadable PDF.

Rest for 60-90 secs between each set.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 12/01/2018 - 17:21
Andrew

Hi Josh, I’m looking to start this programme tomorrow. I’m 6ft 6 around 225lbs, I’m wanting to build muscle but from that bmr calculator it says I need to intake 3827 calories, you say add between 250-500 calories depending on your goal, as I’m wanting to put muscle mass on I hire that would be 500 calories? I work offshore and the gym is not very long so was worried about the body weight lunges and farmer walk, is there an alternative or could I just do as many as I can in area turn round and do again until required reps complete. Also I’m confused can you please explain what you mean by 75-85% of your working max, do you mean that for each set so would you drop down a weight on each set to maintain that 1-2 reps left in the tank? I thought you pushed and lifted a weight heavy enough until you maxed out on the last rep of last set? Thanks

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Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:36
JoshEngland

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for giving my program a shot!

Yes, I'd go with 500 extra calories for an aggressive bulk. 250-300 calories for a slow and steady bulk.

You can do the bodyweight lunges in place, the farmers walks can be done in the small area until the reps are complete (the turns will actually make it a tad bit more challenging).

Yes, I'm of the school of thought that you never want to go to complete muscle failure bc it encourages a break down in form. Finish each set feeling as though you have 1-2 more solid reps left in the tank.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 08/22/2018 - 11:48
Trent Kay

What do you recommend for a cool down?

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Posted Wed, 08/22/2018 - 15:32
JoshEngland

Hi Trent,

A 5-15 min walk and some foam rolling.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 08/02/2018 - 06:24
Julien G.

Thanks for the workout plan ! I would like to ask some questions about leg workouts.

I'm 191cm 86kg, kinda hardgainer on upper body(everything goes to my legs it seems so). I would say I have some kind of disproportion when it comes to progress/power(my lower body being strong while the whole upper body don't do noticeable progress). So I was told several times that I could train 'less intensively' or just maintain lower body and concentrate more on my weak point.
So I was wondering, if I could substitute one of 2 leg day to reinforce shoulders or chest(2 parts i can't increase weight or very little over 1+year). Or course in this case I guess i'll have to rearrange other days in order to have enough recovery time.

Other thing is, for leg exercises, I stopped doing squats since a while because it spikes my HR so fast even before I feel my muscles working, as I'm recommended to supervise my hr(nothing serious but unconvenient) and having a bradycardia gives me a higher risk to vagal discomfort(already happened twice). So i do legpress instead which I feel like having more security&control of my hr while feeling my muscles work.
So here's my question: am I missing other benefits of front squat if I substitue it by leg raise ?

Thanks in advance !

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Posted Thu, 08/02/2018 - 10:06
JoshEngland

Hi Julien,

For questions like these, I'd recommend seeking out the help of a professional personal trainer in person. One who can look at your medical records and track your workouts while you perform them. I know these probably arent the answers you were hoping for, but when medical concerns are involved, it's always best to seek out in-person help than consult the internet.

Hope this helps!

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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?

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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

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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

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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!!

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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!

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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%

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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!