Height vs Strength ?

My question is simple… Do 6’3"+ sprinters NEED the same strength to weight ratio in the gym of 5’8" guys ?

I mean, do the basic rules of x2.5BW hold here ? The shorter guys have the advantage when it comes to squatting,deadlifting and benching, so can the taller guys get away with less than triple bodyweight and other crazy numbers like that ?

My impression is that those of us well over 6’ need the weight/strength emphasis MORE than the short guys, because it’s our natural weakness. See Obikwelu, who could maybe run like Bolt in the high end, but he just doesn’t get out of the blocks well enough. See Bolt after he emphasized weights in the offseason last year (to avoid the 400 as I understand it). Dallas Robinson (after he lost the weight) and I are about the same size, with similar weight training (hypertrophy) and similar weight numbers (both a bit over 400 in the bench)…and see what Dallas did before he got messed up by the wrong crowd.

If you’re taller, you have a natural advantage in top end from the longer levers. But it takes MORE power to get those levers going to begin with. So in my mind, you need to emphasize strength and accel power more than the small guys, and MaxV less.

That makes sense, the problem is in the exercises we use to judge strength… it’s much easier for a 5’8" guy to get out of the deep squat position than a 6’3" guy.

If I recall correctly Drob went from 225 to 210 ?
What were his gym numbers like ?

Drob got down to at least 208 from his thread; I’m still 10 pounds or so lighter, as I made a concerted effort to get my weight into the Powell/Bolt range. But Drob clearly got faster as he got lighter. You can find a link to the page that has his weights here:


My numbers are a bit higher now–2X15@245 on the bench and 2X15@315 on squat (1X5X500 for testing only) at 6’4"/195-198–but his weight lifts were so much like mine, it was very eerie the first time I read it: It was almost like reading my own post.

lkh, those are some amazing numbers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone 6’3"+ and under 200 lbs bench press 400 lbs before. I do have a couple questions though.

  1. How deep are your squats?

  2. How fast are you running? I remember you saying something about low 10s a while back.


Do you think that losing that weight has been to your advantage? It seems that at a legit 6’4, 195 lbs. seems almost a little light. 210 or 215 would seem to be a more proportionate weight. I think Linford was in that range at 6’2. Obviously you have found that it works for you but Drob didn’t run any faster in the 100m at 205 than he did at 225 (although I concede that the Inno experiment may have largely skewed this).

My squats are to parallel, and the times are still in the low 10s.

I’ve seen photos of Linford doing box squats (off a bench I think) with 700 pounds, which I most definitely could not do. And I’m sure that Bolt, with those .82s, could post numbers that are way up there, just like Mo could go well beyond the official 435 (there’s an old post about that and also theads about Ben capable of going well beyond what he did). Also look at Shawn Crawford, not 6’ but the numbers (and at a bodyweight of 165) are way up there.

If you don’t have Mo’s explosive power…

Are you sure about those bodyweights? I have a friend that stood next to and talked to Crawford and Gatlin at the track and they were not small by any means. Crawford at 165? I think he even said a couple years ago at some Australian seminar that he usually started the season around 190-195 and would get down to 180-185 for the season.

What are your thoughts on Powell’s strength? I’ve been told by people that have seen him lift that he is not very strong, significantly weaker than other people in his group that weigh less. Whether or not he is trying is another thing.

Powell’s numbers would be interesting, as well as J-Wariner’s, Oliver, and Dwight Phillips.
Anyone ?

crawford was listed at 165 as junior…when he had no chest…now he is a turtle…

“turtle” LMAO. But LKH, what is the purpose of doing 2x15 on bench and squat? I mean that in the most respectful way possible. I am just curious.

I heard Powell was benching around 150kgs with Frater when he tore his pec. Im pretty sure ive seen a video of him and D.Brown repping 6s on bench at around 120kgs. All from memory tho Im afraid!

In terms of cleans, there was a presentation given in the UK quoting various sprinters PBs. Linford 152kg clean / 270kgs squat(maybe)
C. Jackson was around 145kg clean
J.Gardner 142kg clean.

Ive also heard on the grapevine that Devonish half squats 270ish kgs.

If thats any use to you?

Gardner???I heard 118-124…DavidW could come in hand for sure…

I have seen Gardner do 135kgs x 6 with my own eyes, so I dont find 142.5kgs hard to believe.

ok…then…sorry:)could well be much higher…so you are from UK…any idea of John Regis lifts?I wonder this from 1986…:slight_smile:

Ive got no idea about Regis, sorry!

Maris would know all this, if he ever came back on here.

To answer your question from a lifting point of view, there is no question that a tall athlete has a disadvantage when it comes to relative strength comparisons. Shorter athletes, all other things considered equal, will have an advantage on most lifts. There is also a penalty for heavier athletes. Shorter, lighter athletes will tend to have better ratios than taller and heavier athletes.

The lifts you mention are powerlifting, and even in competitive powerlifting this is factored in. For example, in one Federation to qualify for elite at 114, you need to total 1085, a ratio of 9.52 (1085/114). To total elite in the 308class, you need 2040, a ratio of 6.62. When determining the overall best lifter in meets, heavier lifters are given a handicap (total/bodyweight x coeffecient) based on their weight. While no handicap exists for height, there is no question a shorter 198 has the advantage over a tall 198, all other things being equal.

There are actually “relative strength” calculators which will make adjustments based not only on weight, but age, gender etc. Relative strength is not linear with bodyweight, and peaks at around 132 lbs for men and 110 lbs for women. Additional bodyweight will make it progressively harder and harder to reach your relative strength maximum. This in not to say that 132lbs is the best weight for sprinting, but for powerlifting, it seems to be the ideal weight for maximizing relative strength.

The link below leads to some info on the coeffecients used to handicap lifters of various sizes, ages and genders.