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Tall Guy Workout: Best Tips Based on 7 Years of Fitness

I’m super tall.

I am actually 6’8″ – taller than all my friends and family.

I am pretty much the tallest guy I know, and I have always been super skinny too.

Until I cracked the code and figured out how to gain weight.

In this post, I’ll share with you what worked for me.

tall workout 1

I weighed about 85 kg / 187 lbs when I started out. Now, my weight is just around 105 kg / 231 lbs. So that is quite an increase in body weight, and it all comes from muscle since I haven’t gotten any fatter.

How does a tall guy work out?

I have been asked by a couple of people reading the Tallsome blog and talking to me on social media such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, if I could cover the basics of what worked for me.

Some of you guys have seen pictures of me, and since you are asking about my regimen and my nutrition, I am guessing that you are looking to gain some weight in terms of added muscle mass – just as I have done.


So I have decided that I want to write this blog post about training for tall guys – my “tall guy workout” guide. I’ve already written one blog post about the subject called “5 tips to going from scrawny to athletic” which you can read also.

Also read: The Complete ‘Skinny to Muscle’ guide.

This time around however, I am going to cover some of the best practices and fundamental principles that I have found works for me, and that I think will work for you too if you are skinny and have a scrawny frame as a point of departure.

  • I am going to tell you about my experiences with mindset.
  • I am going to tell you about the nutrition and diet that I have been utilizing in gaining weight.
  • And I am going to talk about my tall guy workout and how I am structuring that part of gaining size.

Because the thing is.. you can’t really gain muscle just by working out. You have to set your mind up to it. And you have to get your diet in order. Training really hard and killing it in the gym simply isn’t enough.

No pop-ups?

No, it’s 2020 – we’ve had it with pop-ups, right? This is a box. It’s letting you join the Tallsome list. You’ll get tips on training, clothes and more. See you inside.

How to build the right mindset

tall workout 2

Let’s start with the mindset. It can be really frustrating to be super skinny to start off with. But almost everyone no matter how their frame (meaning there body composition) is to start off with can gain muscle.

I think I read somewhere that it’s only about 1% of the total population who has some kind of genetic disorder that makes it impossible for them to gain muscle.

So unless you have some kind of genetic disorder that limits your ability to grow muscle tissue, then I am pretty sure that you can get as good or better results than I have gotten.
When you have decided to commit yourself to a workout routine, you really have to stick with it. Because it is not going to be a short project where you work out for some time and then you’re done.

No, it’s going to be a part of your lifestyle and you have to keep at it for years and years. So you might as well get to like it – the sooner the better.

The importance of continuity

Continuity is really, really important when committing yourself to this fitness life. Continuity means that you keep at it also when you don’t see much gains.

The thing is that everything works pretty well to start off with – without you having to do very much for it. If you are completely unexperienced within fitness and weight training, then you will see fast and quite clear muscle growth within the first couple of weeks.

This growth is however limited to the very early beginning of your fitness journey. In order to keep growing, you have to keep going and this means that you work out day in day out, and that you have the mindset to stay on top of your training –  even though it seems like your growth is slowing down and maybe stagnating.

So before you even start considering this fitness life or wish to grow in size then you have to make up your mind and tell yourself that you really want to do this and that you want to stay on top of it and keep at it.

Because if you don’t, you might as well satisfy with the body you have and learn to love it. However, if you are ready to make fitness a part of your life, which I can really recommend because it brings about so many other great effects, then you can move onto the next part – which is the diet.

The importance of a good diet

tall workout 4

Diet and nutrition is the second most important aspect of growing and building muscle. If you have made up your mind and told yourself that you really want to do this and that you’re going to give it 100% for a long period of time, then I will take you through what the basic principles behind my diet is.

Depending on your metabolism, you either burn calories very fast or you save them and store them as body fat. As for me and my body, I have experienced that I have a very high metabolism, and that I therefore have a hard time gaining weight.

Some call my body type ectomorph or hardgainer which refers to the fact that I have a hard time gaining weight. If you have a hard time gaining weight too because of your high metabolism, then you have to eat a lot and you have to eat often.

The periods in my fitness life where I’ve grown the most is the periods of time where I have taken in very many calories each and every day. In order to know how many calories you need, you have to calculate your daily caloric need.

This basic daily need of calories will cover your basic functions and all the different things that your organs do and that your respiratory system is doing.

All these functions are something that you cannot control yourself. It is just something that happens every day and that needs energy and calories in order to work.

The thing is that you need excess calories – meaning more calories than the amount that covers the basics in order to have enough for your muscles to grow.

The body is constructed in such a smart way that if you don’t have the basic needs covered, then the body won’t allocate energy to building muscle. So if your daily calorie need is 3500 cal, which it is in my case, then you have to add an extra say 500 cal to that number in order to have enough calories for muscle growth.

When you know how much you need every day, you have to get an idea of what your daily meals and consumption of food consists of. For this I recommend using an app that tracks your food, and I can recommend My Fitness Pal or Lifesum.

Do I have to weigh everything I eat?!

To some people, it might seem crazy to track everything you eat, but you don’t really have to weigh everything. As soon as you get a basic idea of how much 100 g or whatever measurement you use is, you can cut back on the actual weighing and just guesstimate.

Try to track your food and diet for a couple of days to get an idea of how much 3500 or 4000 cal is. When you wrap your mind around that and you get an idea of how much of the diet has to be carbohydrates, how much is fat and how much is protein, then you can cut back a little bit on the tracking and make it something that you don’t really think about anymore.

An easy way to know that you are “in the green” regarding enough protein in your diet, is by supplementing with protein shakes. It’s a simple, healthy and relatively cheap way to get the nutrients you need to build your body. This one’s my favorite:

Other basic supplements are fish oil, which are taken as soft-gel pills with a bit of oil inside that you just swallow a few of each morning. BulkPowders also have these ones to buy online, and I’ve been a fan for years.

Last but not least, a good overall vitamin pill makes sure that you get all the vitamins you need. It can be difficult to know just based on your day-to-day diet, so I supplement with these ones just to be absolutely sure that I have the best conditions for putting on muscle.

Now that you have your diet and supplements in check and know how many calories you need, and you know how to track what you eat, you can move on to the real deal. When you have your mindset in order and you know how much to eat and how your macros are distributed within that diet – then you can move on to the training.

The importance of training right

Training as a tall guy is a little bit different than training as a normal sized guy. In order to grow,

  • Tall guys have to focus really hard on full range of motion.
  • Tall guys have to focus very much on heavy weights.
  • And tall guys have to focus on the right exercises to stimulate the muscles in our long limbs.

I am structuring my training around a split that consists of 3 parts:

  1. First part or first day of my training regimen is focusing on the legs and the ab muscles.
  2. Next training day is focusing on push exercises where I target triceps, chest muscles and the shoulders.
  3. The third and last day of my training regiment is focusing on pull exercises where I train muscles around the back and biceps.
tall workout 3

One month, I only did legs in order to add a few inches to my skinny drum sticks.

By completing all 3 days within one week, I make sure to target almost every muscle in my entire body, and by splitting up the body in 3 different days, I have the opportunity to focus really hard on only some of the muscle groups instead of all of them at once.

This makes it possible to apply much more focused stress and pressure on each of the muscles. To get more detailed into my favorite exercises, I can recommend visiting my Skinny to Muscle workout guide and scroll down to the Exercises section. There, I cover how to perform each one, what to keep in mind and why I like these particular exercises.

Go heavy or go home

This is the exhausted look, you are going for after a workout.

I cannot stress enough the importance of heavy weights. I see a lot of skinny guys working out like the professional bodybuilders with many repetitions in the range of 15 or 20 repetitions per set.

This is not something that you want to be doing – unless you are doing drugs like the pros. You have to work with a load that accounts for as much as 80% of your maximum strength.

Let’s take the benchpress as an example. If you can benchpress 100 kg once, then you should be working out with loads around 80 kg. This would be 80% of your one repetition maximum. Go for 6 to 8 reps per set.

I am not going to lay out a complete and detailed program or plan for you right here and now. You should choose the exercises that you like, that fit your body and are available in your gym.

However, what I want to make sure that you are doing is that you focusing on compound exercises that involve more muscle group at the time – instead of small and silly isolation movements.

In my other article here on Tallsome, I really tried to stress the importance of stretch and squeeze principles. All this talk about stretching and squeezing comes down to the one point of full range of motion.

It has been proven many times within the science of bodybuilding and strength training that range of motion is of utmost importance when aiming at building muscle. So go heavy and full range, when you are dealing with the weights.

Conclusion and sum-up

If you only were to read this part of the this blog post, I would tell you these things.

  • Make up your mind and find out if you really want to make fitness part of your lifestyle. This is the most important thing because no diet or training regimen will take you to the gym if your mind doesn’t tell you to.
  • Number two thing is that you eat enough, that you eat often and that you eat healthy. You really have to get an idea of how much you need to eat. How much you need to take in every day to cover your basic needs and still have excess energy to provide your muscles with the nutrients they need in order to grow. The diet is much more important than the training itself because the training is stimulating the muscles to grow, but they can only do so if they have the building blocks to do it. When your mindset and your diet is in control, and you are on top of these two very important things, you have to build a good weekly training program.
  • When structuring your training, I recommend that you split up the program in three different days that target the legs and abs on the first day, push exercises on the second day and pull exercises on the third day.

If you don’t want to spend too much time in the gym, you can do these 3 workouts over the course of 1 week. If you are a little more serious about your training you can do these 3 workouts 2 times a week – meaning that you work out 6 times a week.

Keep your workouts real short – get in, do the work and leave after 45-60 minutes. Drink a shake immediatley after working out.

When choosing exercises you have to go for the bigger compound movements and make sure that you load up the weights real good. Go for full range of motion with heavy weights that only allow you to do 6 to 8 repetitions per set.

One thing that you have to realize is that only heavy weights will stimulate your muscles to growth. This is my experience and this is what has worked for me.

When I have had periods where I tried different principles and other approaches to building muscle, I have slowed down or failed to grow. Heavy weights being moved in compound exercises is the way forward.

Last remarks

These are the principles upon which I have built my training, my diet and my overall mindset around working out. If you want me to go more in detail with each of the aspects, throw on some good music and read my full Skinny to Muscle guide. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions – or contact me on social media.

I will be more than happy to help you with whatever you are struggling with. Just be aware of the fact that I can only talk from my own standpoint, and I can only recommend what I have experienced work for me.

That being said I don’t really recommend you get yourself lost in the jungle of articles and forums talking about bodybuilding, strength training and all kinds of other training.

Stick to 1 principle and dedicate yourself to utilizing the basics of what has worked for decades and decades within fitness and bodybuilding.

I have built my training upon science and knowledge obtained through books, magazines and the Internet. And I have altered the principles and tweaked my training along the way, as I have found out what works specifically for me being a tall guy.

I hope that I have inspired you alter your regimen or to start your fitness journey and adventure towards your own goals for your mind and body.

What are you struggling with? Leave a comment below!

19 Responses
  • Phil Williamson
    August 5, 2015

    Thanks for the excellent post Rued. I passed it on to my 6’8″, 190 lb son. I had the same issues (although quite as tall). I wish I had the benefit of a more informed approach. Trying to gain weight on a vegetarian diet was counter-productive. Also, getting enough sleep is really important. But the flip side is I am now well into middle age and slim. Not too many of us in America ;-). Keep up the good work!

    • Rued
      September 11, 2015

      Thank you for your nice words. It always makes me really happy when people can use Tallsome. I’ve been working out for years now and I’ve had really good results and I hope that I can share some of my insights with you and your son son:)

  • Niko
    November 27, 2015

    Hey dude can i just say this is actually the best thing on the internet. im 6’4 which i suppose is “normal” height in the tall men community haha but i have struggled my whole life with gaining weight or muscle, so its wicked to see and read advice from someone who knows the struggle!! thanks man!

    -Tall guy from New Zealand

    • Rued
      November 27, 2015

      Thanks man – I really appreciate it 🙂 I hope you can use the advice and that everything is going well with your training and life as a tall man.

  • Kieffer
    December 4, 2015

    This has been one of the most informational articles for tall guys I have ever read! I have looked through most of your blog and it is awesome to read about the same struggles all tall guys have. I am 6’10” and am starting to look into getting some meat on my bones and this article has really helped out with getting a start to my goal. Also, I like how you post all the clothing stores that fit tall guys. It is nice to have all those stores in one place. Keep up the great work with this site and keep being tallsome!

    • Rued
      January 18, 2019

      Thank you so much for you appraisal and appreciation of Tallsome – really makes all the time put into this worth it. I hope these tips help – now it’s all about putting them into practice. You won’t get stronger just by reading about it 🙂 So up you calories, intensify your training and keep at it for years. Easy 🙂

  • Dominik
    April 14, 2016

    Thanks Rued for that great content! Hello from Czech Republic.

    • Rued
      January 18, 2019

      Hey there Dominik – and thanks for the compliment.

  • Kyle Decker
    November 2, 2018

    thank you for sharing this I am 6’10” and having always wanted to look like a basketball player or someone fit but never felt like I could gain the appropriate muscle deffinition I know I am supposed to consume 4000 calories a day but I dont know what to eat or do to consume that many but I am going to continue to read your blog thank you

    • Rued
      January 18, 2019

      Hello Kyle,
      Yes, 4000 calories sounds about right. Lay a solid foundation of eggs, chicken, broccoli, apples, bananas, tuna, oat meal, milk and other healthy things.
      Supplement with a protein shake a day. Then you’re on your way 🙂
      Check out my video on training and diet for tall:

  • Mario Burrell
    January 18, 2019

    This was very helpful. Cardio is so important with respect to heart health, but cardio burns much needed calories. Did you incorporate cardio into your workout or just weight training? Is it possible to gain muscle and burn fat at the same time or do tall guys need to just focus on gaining muscle and then burn fat at a later point?

    • Rued
      January 18, 2019

      Thanks. I don’t do much cardio, but to stay generally healthy, I do take a run once in a while, row a bit, cycle etc.
      It is not possible to gain and lose weight at the same time, no. You do both with just a small surplus/deficit of calories to not gain fat and lose muscle respectively in each phase.
      My approach is not a heavy bulk anymore – I’ve done that and gained a lot. Now it’s all about maintaining a strong body and a low fat percentage to always feel and look good – all year round 🙂

  • Anonymous
    April 10, 2019

    I’m a tall guy and my arms are too skinny. I can only do exercises with dumbbells 10 kg.

    • Rued
      November 25, 2019

      All arms are skinny to begin with 😀 It’s all about continuity and choosing a weight that relatively pushes your skinny arms to the max. They will hurt the next day, then grow stronger and bigger – little by little. Trust me, I used to have crazy skinny arms to start off with, but today, they are probably my strongest body part.
      Hang in there!

  • Muzlim
    April 10, 2019

    I’m a tall guy (6″3) and i have too skinny arms. for now i’m only able to do exercises with dumbbells 10 kg.

    • Rued
      November 25, 2019

      Are you the one commenting above also? If yes, then read what I have to say about skinny arms; I used to have them too but kept pushing them to the max – fast forward to today, where they are one of my strongest body parts.
      Give it all you got, and you’re gonna get a lot back.

  • Cameron
    December 22, 2019

    Hey Rued,

    Thanks for the awesome guide. I’m 199 cm and also lift weights.

    Do you know your before and after chest and waist measurements? I’m currently about a 45″ chest and a 37″ waist. I want to get my waist down to about a 34″ or 35″.

    Thanks man.

    • Rued
      December 23, 2019

      Hey there,
      Yes, well I know what I am know – 47″ around the chest, and 34″ around the waist. Great to hear that you’ve got ambitious goals for your training – keep up the work. Consistency is everything.

  • Cameron
    December 23, 2019

    Awesome, thanks Rued!

    My goal for 2020 is to get a 10″ drop in my chest/waist. Hoping for 45″/35″. You’re a beast at 47″/34″. Great job!

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