Don't let your height stop you from maximizing your gains—stocky guys have some major advantages in the shred department.
Lee Boyce, C.P.T. 1 / 8
Size matters, especially when it comes to lifting weights. But while your tall, lanky buddies might have an advantage on the basketball court, shorter guys can definitely even the odds in the weight room.
If you’re looking to pack some muscle onto your stocky, compact frame, look no further. Here’s an exercise plan that suits your needs. (Exercises marked "A" and "B" are alternated—so you'll do one set of A, rest as needed, then one set of B, rest, and repeat as necessary until all sets for the pair are completed.)
Place a weight plate or step on the floor and stand on it with feet hip width so you’re raised two to three inches. Roll a barbell up to your shins and bend down to grasp it outside your knees. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, extend your hips to stand up with the bar in front of you.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest the top of one foot on a bench that’s lunge length behind you. Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your rear knee nearly touches the floor.
Attach a suspension trainer to a sturdy overhead object and lower the handles to about hip level. Grasp the handles and get into a pushup position. Brace your abs and perform pushups. You’ll have to work to stabilize the handles.
Lie on your back on the floor holding a dumbbell in your left hand over your chest. Bend your left knee so your heel is close to your butt. Brace your abs and raise your torso off the floor—use your right hand for support. Now use your left foot to raise your hips off the floor, and sweep your right leg back behind you. Rest on your right knee.
Come up to a standing position and then reverse the motion to return to the floor. Switch hands and feet on the next rep. Continue alternating sides for five minutes straight.