Average Bodybuilders Height: See How Tall Most Are In cm?

January 10, 2024 |

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Are you curious about why most bodybuilders are not towering over everyone else? Have you ever wondered if their height has anything to do with their success?

In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of bodybuilding to uncover the truth behind the heights of these muscle-bound behemoths. As we explore the link between height and muscular development, you’ll discover why shorter individuals have an advantage in this sport.

So, buckle up and get ready to learn more about the average height for a bodybuilder and meet those who defy the norm.

Key Highlights:
  • The average height for most male bodybuilders is 5 foot 8 inches, which is remarkably shorter than the average male height in America.
  • The best height for bodybuilding seems to be between 5’7 and 5’10.
  • Taller individuals have an advantage in looking leaner with better flow compared to their shorter rivals.
  • Shorter individuals will always have an easier time looking thicker and fuller compared to their taller counterparts.
  • The shortest Mr. Olympia winners were Chris Dickerson and Dexter Jackson at 5’6″ (167 cm)
  • The tallest Mr. Olympia winner was Arnold Schwarzenegger at 6’2″ (188 cm)

What is the Average Height for Bodybuilders?

The average height for Open male bodybuilders is 5 foot 8 inches, which is remarkably shorter than the average male height in America. There have been taller Mr. Olympia in history, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman. However, the average height for Mr. Olympia seems to be quite a bit shorter.

As open bodybuilders go, the height differences can vary greatly. Some walk around 300 shredded, while some barely touch that in the off-season.

The taller bodybuilders will always be heavier and have a more challenging time gaining muscle because their frames are so much larger, requiring more muscle to look full.

What Height is Best for Bodybuilding?

2022 Mr Olympia

Well, when it comes to the “best” height for bodybuilding, it’s not about being scientifically precise – it’s more about what works best for you and your goals.

Here’s the deal: your height can influence the way you perform in the gym and how your physique looks. So, while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are certain height ranges that are commonly seen as advantageous in the world of bodybuilding.

If you’re on the shorter side, you’ve got some mechanical advantages on your side. Shorter limbs mean you don’t have to move weights as far, making lifting heavy loads a bit easier. This can be a game-changer, especially in exercises like squats and deadlifts where leverage plays a significant role in your performance.

But it’s not just about leverage; it’s also about proportions.

The goal of bodybuilding is to have a balanced and aesthetically pleasing physique. So, the sweet spot seems to be in the range of 5’7″ to 5’10”. This range gives you the height to look lean and well-proportioned while still being short enough to pack on muscle and achieve that classic bodybuilder’s physique.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer in this game.

Your individual factors like genetics, muscle insertions, bone structure, and metabolism all play a significant role in how your body responds to your bodybuilding efforts. So, even if you don’t fall within that suggested height range, don’t let it discourage you.

With dedication, hard work, and a smart training and nutrition plan, you can absolutely achieve fantastic results that are uniquely your own. Remember, it’s not just about the height; it’s about how you rock it.

Can Bodybuilders Be Tall?

By reading the former sections, your natural reaction would be that anyone over 6 feet would have no future in the sport. Of course, we get far taller individuals than this and are still phenomenal bodybuilders.

Bodybuilders can be tall; it depends on how big and symmetric they can become.

Height isn’t always a disadvantage as taller individuals have an advantage in looking leaner with better flow compared to their shorter rivals. Shorter bodybuilders are more likely to look stocky.

The only thing stopping a taller individual from getting on stage is their muscularity level. Being exceptionally muscular is going to allow them to fill their frame. If this is the case, taller bodybuilders have a remarkable ability to dwarf their opponents completely.

Does Height Play a Role in Judging?

Bodybuilding judges have an arduous task, judging someone to the finest detail to see who is worthy of winning or who is possibly even worthy of winning a pro card.

While height isn’t judged, it can play a role in judgment.

Taller individuals will have more flow in posing and possibly more presence on stage. Shorter individuals will have an easier time looking full and being sharper.

While it is impossible to change your height, you can use it to your advantage.

Taller guys are exceptionally good at having better flow in their routine but lack the fullness a shorter physique would bring. If you are taller, don’t try and hide it. Instead, use it to your advantage. Make your double biceps and lat spread as massive as possible, then make sure you have the mass from the sides to win the side shots.

What about 212 Height?

The 212 category is a category that has a specific weight limit – 212 lbs. This limit means you will not have a lot of height to play around with if you want to come in remotely complete.

The current 212 Mr. Olympia is Derek Lundsford, who has a height of 5’ 6’’.

The average height for the 212 categories is 5’5’’ – 5’7’’. The 212 category competitors are typically shorter than the Open category but remain just as muscular and dense. 212 competitors are also known for having some of the best conditioning on stage.

Bodybuilding Height Weight Chart

There are no weight and height restrictions for the Open Class bodybuilding. We see a tremendous difference in sizes, from Arnold (6’ 2’’, 235lbs) to Big Ramy (5’9’’, 300lbs). As you can see, the sizes can differ significantly, especially when comparing different eras.

The Classic Division of the IFBB does have a height and weight chart, and looks as follows:

Height (cm)

Max Weight
Up to & incl. 168 cmMax Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 4 [kg]
Up to & incl. 171 cmMax Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 6 [kg]
Up to & incl. 175 cmMax Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] -100) + 8 [kg]
Up to & incl. 180 cmMax Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] -100) + 11 [kg]
Over 180 cm:

a) over 180 cm up to & incl. 188 cm: b) over 188 cm up to & incl. 196 cm:


Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] -100) + 13 [kg] Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 15 [kg]

over 196 cm:Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 17 [kg]

Depending on where you weigh in on the weigh-in date, you will be placed in the respective category. Other categories, such as Men’s Physique and Sports Model, follow a similar system.

How Tall and Big are the Pro Bodybuilders?

As someone who has followed professional bodybuilding for many years, I can assure you that the heights and weights of these athletes often come as a surprise.

Too often, people assume social media gives an accurate representation of their size. But in reality, seeing these pros in person is a whole other experience that really drives home the work they put in.

From my research and observations at many bodybuilding expos and competitions, the average pro on stage stands at around 5’7″. But don’t let the height fool you – these men have packed on serious muscle.

Contest weights usually fall in the 230-pound range, yet many add even more off-season when they’re not in peak condition, pushing 300 pounds or more.

Dorian Yates in the late 80s took mass to another level and set the standard for sheer size. To this day, the reigning Mr. Olympia still influences the direction of the sport. The current champion Hadi Choopan lives up to his name, demonstrating the pursuit of outrageous muscularity.

That said, in recent years I believe the tide has started to shift back towards a more aesthetic ideal exemplified by multiple Classic Olympia wins from Chris Bumstead. His perfectly symmetrical physique shows there is still an appreciation for beauty among the beastly.

A Height Breakdown of All Mr. Olympia Champions In cm and ft

Here’s a table of the height breakdown of previous Mr. Olympia contestants:

YearNameHeight (cm)Height (ft)
2022Hadi Choopan1695’7″
2020-21Mamdouh Elssbiay175.35’9″
2019Brandon Curry172.75’8″
2018Shawn Rhoden177.85’10”
2011-17Phil Heath175.35’9″
2006-07 & 2009-2010Jay Cutler177.85’10”
2008Dexter Jackson167.65’6″
1998-2005Ronnie Coleman180.35’11”
1992-97Dorian Yates177.85’10”
1984-91Lee Haney180.35’11”
1983Samir Bannout170.05’7″
1982Chris Dickerson167.65’6″
1976 & 1981Franco Columbu165.15’5″
1977-79Frank Zane175.35’9″
1970-75 & 1980Arnold Schwarzenegger188.06’2″
1967-69Sergio Oliva177.85’10”
1965-66Larry Scott170.05’7″
Average Height:174.65’8″

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Bodybuilding Height

Few names carry as much weight as Arnold does in bodybuilding. Arnold has seven Olympia titles and is praised by many as one of the best, if not the best bodybuilders, to have ever graced the stage.

With a more Classic physique by today’s standards, Arnold stands at 6’ 2’’ tall, making him one of the tallest Mr. Olympia competitors ever. Of course, there have been shorter ones like Ronnie Coleman (5’ 11’’) and Lee Haney (5’10’’).

Chris Bumstead Bodybuilding Height

The Classic division was introduced to hark back to Classic Golden era bodybuilding. There are smaller waists and general proportions, greater V taper, and massive quad sweeps. Mustaches are optional.

Chris Bumstead stands at 6’1’’, which is still tall compared to the Open competitors. Chris is the three-time Classic Mr. Olympia and is working on getting his fourth as I type this. His taller physique gives him an edge over opponents, making his flow and size more prominent.

Is There a Minimum Height for Bodybuilding?

In recent years, the bodybuilding community has grown to exceptional new heights. Being more accepted in mainstream media (partly thanks to social media), it would be no surprise that people of all heights and weights would be interested.

Bodybuilding has no minimum height. If you can throw on a pair of posing trunks and get on stage to do your routine, you can bodybuild.

Best David Goliath Bodybuilders

Despite what you may think, we have seen some fantastic David & Goliath moments on the bodybuilding stage. Lou Ferrigno, standing at 6’4’’, definitely provided such events in the golden age of bodybuilding; however, the greatest only recently showed its face.

Jamie Christian (AKA The Giant) is a UK-based IFBB Pro standing at 6’5’’, who recently met Shaun Clarida (AKA The Giant Killer), a 212 and open competitor, who stands at 5’1’’.

The picture of these two together is somewhat hilarious but reflects that they can still share the bodybuilding stage even with a significant difference between them.

We would see that shorter competitors win such battles more often than not. The reality is that taller competitors have a tough time filling their frames and then carrying up before the show.

When you weigh 300 lbs lean, it takes a lot of carbs to fill you out.

How Tall is Too Tall for Bodybuilding?

The term “too this” or “too that” is seldom found in bodybuilding, as the sport is a quest for being the most of everything physical (being the most muscular, being the leanest, and being the greatest).

There are currently many IFBB Pro bodybuilders who have great success in their careers.

There is technically no “too tall” for bodybuilding. Anyone can become a bodybuilder if they’re willing to work.

If you are on the taller side, your training should reflect that. Using movements that won’t overly tax the back will stimulate the muscles enough to elicit muscle growth. That means you may not squat but prefer leg press due to torque on the lower back.

You will also need to work on your weak areas. Typically, taller competitors have a more challenging time developing great legs and arms, so giving those some extra love in the weight room will go a long way.


How tall is the average bodybuilder?

The average height for open male bodybuilders is 5’7″, which is shorter than the average male height in America. This may be because shorter individuals have an easier time looking thicker and fuller compared to their taller counterparts due to the direct link between muscular development and height.

What is a good height for bodybuilding?

The best height for bodybuilding seems to be between 5’8″ and 5’10”. This height allows you to look nice and lean thanks to your tallness while short enough to fill the frame and look complete.

Why are most bodybuilders short?

Shorter individuals have an easier time looking thicker and fuller compared to their taller counterparts due to the direct link between muscular development and height. This may be why many successful bodybuilders are shorter than average.

How tall is Ronnie Coleman?

Ronnie Coleman is 5’10” tall.

How tall is Chris Bumstead?

Chris Bumstead is 6’1″ tall.

How tall is Derek Lunsford?

Derek Lunsford is a professional bodybuilder who won the 2021 Mr. Olympia 212 division and is 5’6″ tall.

How tall is Hadi Choopan?

Hadi Choopan is 5’7″ or 169cm in height.

How tall is Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is 6’2″ or 188cm in height.

Final Thoughts on Average Bodybuilder Height

In conclusion, when pondering the average height of a bodybuilder, you might be pleased to find out that there is a ballpark figure to consider. For male bodybuilders, the average height hovers at approximately 5’8″, while their female counterparts tend to stand around 5’4″. Of course, the world of bodybuilding is rich with diversity, so you’ll come across both taller and shorter athletes who break the mold.

These average heights, though, serve as a reliable reference point, offering valuable insight into the typical stature within the sport.

Whether you’re considering a journey into bodybuilding or simply harboring curiosity about the heights of those who pursue this path, these averages provide a handy benchmark.

So, with this knowledge in hand, you’re well-equipped to understand where most bodybuilders stand on the height spectrum.

And if you’re eyeing the world of bodybuilding for yourself, rest assured that your height is just one piece of the intricate puzzle that is your physique, and it’s your dedication, passion, and effort that truly define your path in this incredible sport.

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