Friday, October 5, 2012

The Tall Bodybuilder - Lou Ferrigno

No one over seven feet has ever been a successful bodybuilder because, to my knowledge, no one at that height has ever tried to be a successful bodybuilder. Other than that, there's nothing that should prevent developing a bodybuilder's physique at a taller than average height. Our bodies grow proportionately according to our height. You see so many 5'9" men onstage because that's the mode for males: there are simply more of them than there are in other height groups. However, if you analyze the statistical distribution of bodybuilders you will find that all height groups are proportionately represented.

I am 6'5" tall, which puts me a lot further up the height scale than the average bodybuilder, and that didn't stop me from building a powerful looking body. Based on my experience, there are four fundamental keys to gaining mass when you're tall and thin:

1.) Train as hard and intensely as you can when you're in the gym, then get adequate recovery before doing it again.

2.) Emphasize compound movements over isolation movements; the latter are virtually useless until you put on some muscle.

3.) Eat like a horse. Don't even think about fat/carb/protein percentages at this point.

4.) Don't skip workouts. Create momentum and stay focused in the gym.

Here is a sample workout program for the tall, thin man.

Day One
Dumbbell Press (standing, clean the first rep) -
12 (warmup), 10, 8, 6, 4 (work sets).

Standing Barbell Press -
8, 6, 4.

Upright Row (barbell or dumbbells) -
12(warmup), 10, 8, 6, 4.

Barbell Shrug -
10, 8, 6.

Decline Triceps Extension -
12 (warmup), 8, 6, 4.

Standing Overhead Extension -
10, 8, 6.

Close Grip Bench Press -
10, 8, 6.

Day Two

Seated Alternate DB Curl - 
15, 15 (warmups), 10, 8, 6.

Standing Barbell Curl - 
10, 8, 6.

Hammer Curl - 
10, 8, 6.

Seated Cable Row - 
15 (warmup), 10, 8, 6.

Bentover BB Row - 
10, 8, 6, 4.

Deadlift (conventional) - 
10, 8 (warmup), 8, 6, 4.

Chins or Pullups - 
3 x failure.

 - At the start of each set have your objective for that set clear in your mind. Whenever you do a lat exercise arch your spine so that your lats can achieve a full muscular contraction. Make a mental effort to pull with the power of your back, not your arms. Squeeze and stretch. Squeeze your lats at the midpoint (contraction) of every rep and then let them stretch fully at the conclusion of every rep. If you can't pause with a weight in the fully contracted position you're using too much weight. Explode on the positive phase of each rep, control on the negative. Don't let momentum be the force that moves the weight. Use wrist straps for all your heavy back sets. Your back muscles are stronger - or should be - than your grip. Don't compartmentalize your back. Most back movements hit all areas of the back to some degree. Concentrate on mastering technique as well as adding weight. Don't toss around ego-massaging poundages in half and quarter reps. -

Day Three


Day Four

Bench Press - 
10, 10 (warmups), 8, 6, 4.

Incline Bench Press - 
8, 6, 4.

Decline Bench Press - 
8, 6, 4.

Day Five

Power Squat - 
10, 10 (warmups), 8, 6, 4.

Front Squat - 
8, 6, 4.

Glute Ham Raise - 
10, 10, 8, 6.

Calf Raise - 
15, 12, 8, 6.

Day Six and Seven


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