Why Are Most Bodybuilders Shorter Than Average Height?

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 15, 2023
Why Are Most Bodybuilders Shorter Than Average Height?

A lot of people have noticed that bodybuilders seem to be shorter than most people, and are curious about why this might be.

Knowing why this is can help us learn more about bodybuilding and what kinds of physical traits can help someone do well in the sport.

In this blog post, we’re going to look at different reasons that might explain why a lot of bodybuilders seem to be shorter than most people.

Iconic Past Bodybuilders and There Height

In the history of bodybuilding, successful competitors have been all different heights.

Some famous bodybuilders, like Arnold Schwarzenegger (6’2″ / 188 cm) and Ronnie Coleman (5’11” / 180 cm), were taller than most men in their countries.

But there have also been many great bodybuilders who were under six feet tall, like Franco Columbu (5’5″ / 165 cm) and Lee Priest (5’4″ / 163 cm).

This shows us that being good at bodybuilding doesn’t just depend on how tall you are. It also depends on things like how much muscle you have, how balanced your body is, and how well-conditioned you are.

Sometimes, bodybuilders who are shorter or taller than most people end up with unique bodies that help them stand out in competitions.

For example, shorter bodybuilders often look more packed with muscle. Taller ones might have longer, more flowing muscles.

These differences in how their bodies look can affect how judges score them and how successful they are in the sport.

bodybuilder height comparision

Factors That Can Contribute to Bodybuilders Height


Genes have a big part in deciding how tall a person will be. Some people are naturally shorter than others because of traits they get from their parents.

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These same genes can also affect how muscles grow. They can influence what a person’s body looks like, making it easier for some shorter people to build muscle and look more muscular.

Shorter people might be more likely to get into bodybuilding as a sport or hobby. This helps create the idea that bodybuilders are usually shorter than most people.


Hormones like testosterone, human growth hormone (HGH), and cortisol are crucial for growth and development during puberty and as we age.

Testosterone helps muscles grow, while HGH helps cells reproduce and regenerate, which makes us grow overall. But too much cortisol can actually stop us from growing.

Some bodybuilders might use substances like anabolic steroids or other hormone supplements to help their muscles grow. They also use them to perform better.

But these substances can mess up the natural balance of hormones in the body. They might affect how much a person grows, especially if they’re used when someone is still young.

Weightlifting and Growth

Weightlifting is a big part of bodybuilding. Lifting too much weight can interfere with natural growth, especially for teens whose bodies are still growing.

Lifting heavy weights puts a lot of stress on the bones, joints, and muscles. This could cause the growth plates, which are the parts of the bone that help us grow, to close up too early and stop growth.

This is more likely to happen if someone is doing really hard weightlifting workouts without proper supervision or guidance.

Diet and Nutrition

What you eat is really important for your growth and development. If you don’t get enough of the right nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals from your food, it can stop you from growing and make you shorter.

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Bodybuilders usually follow strict diets. They eat a lot of protein and follow specific rules about what kinds of food to eat to help their muscles grow.

But if these diets don’t have all the nutrients your body needs or aren’t balanced well, they could affect how much you grow and how tall you become.

Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of steroidsourcetalk.com and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.