Why Tall Lifters Should Worship The Deadlift

So let’s discuss anthropometric measurements! It was 2010 when I read an Iron Man Magazine article written (I think) by Ron Harris, in which he breaks down which compound movements were ideal for long limbed lifters in terms of specialization. He’d said that the Deadlift was ideal for that group, and, as someone with long arms and femurs, I understand why. I’ve spoken in the past about range of motion in regards to these lifts. Work=force X distance.

The longer your arms, the bigger a pain in the ass it is to Bench Press. The longer the legs, the bigger a pain in the ass it is to Squat. It’s not impossible, just harder. But with the deadlift, those long arms are actually your savior! Watch any short armed lifter pull in the conventional Deadlift style and the distance between the floor and the point where the bar stops traveling is longer, hence why guys like Dan Green have relied on the Sumo Deadlift to break several records including a few of his own. As a long armed lifter, that distance the bar travels will be significantly shorter. Look at Powerlifting legends like Lamar Gant, whose arms were longer than his 5’2″ frame yet he still pulled five times his own bodyweight. Or even a strongman competitor like Thor Bjornsson, who’s pulled 1,104lbs with long limbs and being 6″9′.

In fact, I imagine that the reason a lot of strongman competitors are so tall or lanky is because a lot of what they do requires them to pull or at least lift of the ground. Think the farmer’s carry or even lifting atlas stones. So if you’re a lanky lifter and you feel like there’s no hope for you, think again. I’d know, as I’m lanky and my best numbers come not from benching or squatting, but from pulling. It’s also those primitive lift anyone can do in the gym! And if you’re looking to learn this amazing feat of pure, raw strength, DM now or come see me at Strong And Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, NJ on Saturday, November 21st, where we can meet in person and discuss your strength and nutrition goals!


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