Workouts

How To Train For Your Body Type

You need to find which exercises are the most effective and safest for how you’re built.

Tall Vs. Short
James Michelfelder
James Michelfelder
Duration 30 min
Exercises 3 to 4
Equipment Yes

You've heard it from your mom your entire life: You’re special. And you are, as far as weight training is concerned, anyway. Every body is different—some respond well to one kind of exercise, while another exercise can be downright dangerous. For the best long-term gains, you need to find which exercises are the most effective and safest for how you’re built. The following two routines will help you on this journey, offering examples of how a taller, long-limbed guy can train for the best results, and how a shorter, stockier man should go about it.

How it works

If you’re 6' or taller, with long arms or legs, you’re going to have trouble with classic barbell exercises like the bench press and back squat. You’re simply not built to perform those lifts efficiently. You’ll likely do better with the dumbbell bench press, which allows your hands to move freely, making for a safer and more comfortable movement pattern for the shoulders and elbows. At the same time, front squatting will be easier on your lower back and will allow you to squat deeper.

Stockier guys, around 5'10" and shorter, who have naturally broader shoulders and shorter limbs, may need to extend their range of motion on certain exercises to activate the most muscle. Bulgarian split squats will stretch out their hips while working more leg muscle. They can also take advantage of abs rollouts. Because short arms don’t have to reach far, rollouts won’t overextend the lower back as they can on a tall guy.

Directions

Choose the workout that’s appropriate for your height and limb lengths—for example, if you’re 6’ or more, go with the taller-man workout; if you’re built like a D battery, use the other routine. Exercises marked “A” and “B” are alternated, so you’ll do one set of A, rest as needed, then one set of B, rest, and repeat until all sets for the pair are completed.

Train For Your Body Type The Tall-Man Workout

Exercise 1A.

Front Squat
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
6-8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 1B.

Dumbbell Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
6-8 reps
-- rest
Low incline dumbbell press

Exercise 2A.

Close-Grip Chinup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Close-Grip Chinup thumbnail
4 sets
8-10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2B.

Reverse Lunge
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
10 (each leg) reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Dumbbell Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest
Angled dumbbell press

Train For Your Body Type The Short Man Workout

Exercise 1A.

Deficit Deadlift
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 1B.

Weighted Dip You'll need: Ankle Weights, Dip Station How to
Weighted Dip thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2A.

Bulgarian Split Squat
Bulgarian Split Squat thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2B.

Suspended Pushup You'll need: TRX, Pullup Bar How to
Suspended Pushup thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3A.

Straight-Leg Calf Stretch You'll need: No Equipment How to
Straight-Leg Calf Stretch thumbnail
4 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3B.

Ab Wheel Rollout
ab-wheel-rollout-bsn-mass-gainsj thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Turkish Getup You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Turkish Getup thumbnail
1 sets
5 minutes reps
-- rest
Comments