Best Height For Bodybuilding

Getting into bodybuilding genetics can have a lot to do with if you are going to have success both in the short term and long term. There are many factors that can get you in the win column much quicker with your height being one.

What Is The Best Height Of Bodybuilders?

According to our analytics based on last 10 years of Mr. Olympia and other main Bodybuilding events the top 10 have all average between 5’8″ to 5’10”. This data suggests that is the best would be under 6′ tall which makes sense because you can much more easily pack on pure muscle. Unless you look like “The Mountain” of course. Right away if your height falls here you have a very good chance of succeeding in bodybuilding if you aren’t in this range don’t loose hope as there are taller successful bodybuilders you will see below.

Who do you think of being the most successful bodybuilder in history? Arnold Schwarzenegger of course. Guess how tall he was? Over 6 foots at just about 6’2″. Of course that was a different era as he only weighed 246 lbs. More recently Ronnie Coleman an amazing accomplished bodybuilder was 5’11”.

Some other Successful taller Bodybuilders:

  • Jay Cutler 5’10”
  • Dennis Wolfe 5′ 11″
  • Jean-Pierre Fux 5’11”
  • Nasser El Sonbaty 5’11”
  • Zack Kahn 6’0″
  • Paul Dillet 6’1″
  • Lou Ferrigno 6’4″
  • Gunter Schilerkamp 6′ 1″
  • Ronnie Coleman 5′ 11″

Tall bodybuilder

What Is The Average Height Of Bodybuilders?

The average height of bodybuilders is relatively short at 5′ 8″ this is due to the fact that you have less area to pack on more muscle. If you are taller you will definitely have to work hard to pack the muscle on. The trend now has absolutely gone to pure bulk so taller leaner bodybuilders like Arnold are a thing of the past for good.

Best Height According To Bodybuilders

So we didn’t want you to take our word for it on this matter we went and got responses from actual bodybuilders who have been in the trenches to talk about height and what they recommend. They also dive into why most bodybuilders are short. This information was curated from different forums, websites and sub reddits. So nothing has been changed except any spelling or grammar where needed.

Real Bodybuilders

1. Diamhea (5’10”-6’4) – I would say it depends on the build, but 5’10”-6’4” would be nothing to complain about, really.

2. Hermit07 (under 6’2″) – After 6’2 I don’t see how its worth it. More health problems and awkwardness compared to things in the world like clothes and cars.

3. HonestGeoff (5’11-6’3″) – anywhere between 5’11-6’3 is perfect

4. JDaddy1729 (6’0″-6’4″) – There was some study I read where the most desirable heights we’re 6’0″, 6’1″, and 6’2″ and I think 6’1″ was the most popular. Once you hit 6’4″ there was a huge drop in preference.

5. HypnotoadIRL (5’8″-5’10”) – The taller you are the heavier you must be to look as big as someone shorter than you if that makes sense. Bodybuilding is all about size and proportion. At the top level competitors are nearly maxed out at their weight so for someone 5’8”-5’10” at 260-270 someone 6+ feet would have to weigh 300+lbs to look similar in size which right now isnt too possible on stage.

6. Alexanros87 (One good way to visualize) – A handy way to visualize this:

Imagine you have two balls of grey clay. One is the size of a ping pong ball, another is the size of a baseball. Now imagine you take some red clay and roll it into two smaller balls, both equal in size (maybe the size of the last digit on your pinky). Now take those two red balls and sort of smoosh them into the grey clay. Both balls of red clay are the same size, but the red clay that you put onto the ping pong sized ball of grey clay looks MUCH larger than the one you put onto the baseball sized one.

7. Potato1 (The Shorter the better) – IIRC, Arnold was the only Mr. Olympia to be over 6′ tall. And he did it in an era when size wasn’t as important as it is in competitions now, and aesthetics were weighted more heavily (he was competing at the same time as Frank Zane, who is very small by modern pro standards). The reality of top level pro bodybuilding now is you have to be “huge” to have a chance of winning, and a really tall guy just won’t be able to look as “huge” as a short guy. It all comes down to the square cube law. Basically, as someone’s height increases linearly, for them to have a proportional physique, their weight would have to increase as the cube of their height. So, a guy at 5’6″ and weighing 270 would be proportionally as huge-looking as a 6′ guy weighing 350 pounds (source: 270 / 5.53 * 63), which is way over what most people can handle at a stage-worthy level of leanness.

8. SquarBuilder17 (Taller more expensive too) – This is purely speculation. But from an economic perspective, wouldn’t it be more expensive for taller body builders to build a proportional amount of muscle mass as a shorter person? In that sense, taller people might be financially disincentivized from bodybuilding relative to shorter people.

9. SpikeyFreak (Easier when smaller) – “it’s easier to put on muscle if you’re smaller.” Height is a linear measurement. Muscle mass is volumetric, so it’s a cubed measure. What that means is that as you get taller, muscle mass has to grow faster to be the same proportions. So someone who is 5’0″ might be huge at 140lbs, someone 5’6″ would need 200lbs to look proportionally the same, and someone 6’0″ would need 300lbs to look the same. The amount of muscle needed just goes up disproportionately faster. It’s why elephants, hippos, and rhinos have giant thick legs compared to smaller animals. As the linear size increases, the volume (and mass) increases at a much faster rate.

10. RictorScale34 (Smaller stands out) – The Tall people don’t stand out because it’s difficult to look bulky/have muscle mass at that height.
Short people look big because it’s easier for them to gain muscle mass and look bulky. Take me at 6’1 and compare me to a bodybuilder at 5’1. If you stretched them out to my height they would look like a tall skinny tree like Kevin Garnett. When I see someone taller than me who has just as much mass as me, I applaud them because they would be jacked if they shrunk to 6’1. When I see someone shorter who has just as much mass, you needa wreck the gym HARDER B!


Related Questions

Is 5’7 A Good Height For Bodybuilding?

5’7″ is a great height to be for bodybuilding and gives you a smaller area to pack on the muscle. This means you do have a better chance to succeed then someone who is over 6 foot tall because these days it is all about mass. With somebody at 5’7″ jacked and weighting 275lbs with somebody being 6 foot it would take them getting up to around 325+ to be the equivalent. Shorter is better most of the time in bodybuilding.

Is 5’10 A Good Height For Bodybuilding?

5’10 is a very good height for bodybuilding the average top 10 winners from major bodybuilding competitions the last 10 years including Mr. Olympia have averaged 5’8″ to 5’10”. So if you are this height the odds are already more in your favor to succeed. Someone that is taller than this has to work that much harder to pack pounds and mass on their taller fram.e

Does Height Affect Muscle Gain?

The taller you are the harder it is to gain mass as you have to put on quite a bit more for every inch. Take a 5’6″ person all jacked at 250lbs for someone to have that same physique at 6’0″ they would have to weigh around 100 pounds more. So yes height affects muscle gain not in a good way the shorter you are the better normally. Other genetics and a lot of hard work go into it as well of course.


Tab Winner

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