Is It Easier For Short Guys To Build Muscle?

October 17, 2022 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “is it easier for short guys to build muscle?”. This is a question that many fitness enthusiasts ponder from time to time.

This article will unpack this topic and provide a detailed examination for you. 

Is It Easier For Short Guys To Build Muscle?

Overall, it is easier for the muscle that short guys gain to appear visible over a short time span. This is because short people have “less space” for the muscles to occupy.

This means that it is easier for short guys to fill out their frame with muscle than it is for tall guys. It will take taller guys a longer amount of time respectively to fill out their frame and appear as muscular.

It has to be said that genetics play a big role when it comes to building muscle. A taller person with better genetics for muscle building will certainly outperform a shorter person with worse genetics. Everything else also has to be on point, in relation to nutrition, recovery and training. 

Short people also have good leverages for compound lifts such as the squat and bench press. They can progress faster on these exercises by and large. Short guys have an advantage over a short time frame, but taller guys can achieve more ultimate strength potential.

Taller people have a lot more space for their muscles to fill out. Therefore, a taller guy that has maximised his bodybuilding and fully filled out his frame, will appear more impressive than a shorter guy that has done the same.

Case Study Of A Shorter Guy – Kris

I am now going to go over a case study of a friend of mine. His name is Kris and he is a shorter guy around 5’7. 

He only started training a few years ago and has made incredible progress. It has to be said that he did do a couple of tren cycles and so his progress isn’t entirely natural.

However, he does have good genetics for building muscle and made very big strength and size gains. His forearms are very impressive and he also has very muscular legs. 

He only started deadlifting for the first time a few months ago and is already very strong on the deadlift. He is a good example of the fact that it is easier for shorter guys to fill out their frame over a short time horizon.

Below is a picture of my friend Kris, we both train at the same gym.

Lee Priest

Lee Priest is a well known bodybuilder and famous for his monstrous forearms. He stands at 5’4.5″ and his forearms when in the goosenecked position measure around 17 inches!

This is insane, Lee often jokes that taller bodybuilders with the same measurements as him are pathetic. He says that you should call them “tall” and not big.

It must be noted that Lee Priest competed in the era of Ronnie Coleman. Whilst Lee had an incredible physique, Ronnie was a taller guy and a mass monster. Ronnie won Mr Olympia many times, while Lee’s highest official placing was 6th.

This doesn’t detract from Lee’s achievements and success in bodybuilding. The simple fact is that a taller guy that has maximised his potential in bodybuilding will outperform a short guy that has done the same.

Short People Have Good Leverages

Short people also have good leverages for certain big compound movements like the bench press and squat. There is another guy at my gym that is a drawf and he can bench press more than me and many others!

Obviously, being a dwarf is not exactly the most favourable thing in the world. However, people respect him as he does the best he can in his situation. All you can do is play the card that you are dealt to the best of your ability.

Many olympic lifters are quite short as well and are well suited to lifts like the squat – they have short femurs which is a big advantage. A good example of this is Lu Xiaojun who squatted around 600lbs in the past.


Elite Strongmen And Bodybuilders

For examples of taller men that are successful in the field of strength sports and muscle building, elite strongmen and bodybuilders come to mind.

Taller men do have a greater overall strength potential once they have maximised their muscle development. They have bigger frames and therefore they can fit more overall muscle onto their frames.

The best bodybuilders of all time in terms of Mr Olympia wins are Ronnie Coleman, Lee Haney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold is 6’2″ and both Ronnie and Lee are very close to 6ft.

When it comes to strongman, some of the strongest people in the world are all at least 6ft tall. Strongmen are giants amongst men and the strongest people on the planet.

Some of the best strongmen include people like Hafthor Bjornsson, Eddie Hall, Brian Shaw, Zydrunas Savickas, Bill Kazmaier, Mariusz Pudzianowski, etc. All of these guys are monstrous in terms of their sheer size and strength. 

It is clear that taller men do indeed have more strength and size potential. It just takes longer for them to fill out their frames compared to shorter men. Shorter men also have an advantage in terms of leverages which means they can do great strength feats pound for pound.

Final Thoughts

Is it easier for short guys to build muscle? To summarise I will go over the salient points of my article. 

Firstly, shorter men can fill out their frames with muscles in a shorter time horizon. They will also appear visibly bigger in terms of muscularity within a shorter time horizon.

However, taller men do have a higher strength and size potential. This is due to the fact that they have a bigger frame and so can hold on to more overall muscle. 

The best strongman competitors of all time are all generally taller than 6ft. They are huge mass monsters and literally giants among men. If you get the chance to meet one of these strongmen you will be astounded as to how big they are.

If you have any comments on this article please leave them below. As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

>> Can you build a good physique with only dumbbells?

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