This article is for all the tall and skinny guys looking for motivation and inspiration when it comes to building a strong and impressive physique.
Being tall and skinny usually means you have an ectomorph body type.
This is characterised by long limbs, thin and slender frame, and a general difficulty to put on any significantly noticeable muscle mass.
I know all too well what that is like.
For the past year I’ve been on a mission to get stronger and put on some muscle mass to fill out my frame.
Along the way I’ve had moments of frustration and self-doubt, questioning if it’s even possible to achieve such a task.
A few months into my training I came across a page on Instagram that absolutely blew me away about what is possible for a tall guy like myself.
This page ignited a fire within me and gave me a renewed sense of motivation and inspiration.
That page was @LargerThanLifeUK.
Here was this 6’8″ (2 meters) guy that started off tall and skinny (like myself) and has transformed himself into an absolute beast.
I quickly learnt that Larger Thank Life UK also has a YouTube Channel that is a gold mine of practical, no-nonsense, information for the aspiring tall body builder.
Having watched all his videos and read all his posts I decided I absolutely had to contact Larger Than Life UK to see if I can interview him.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but as soon as I reached out to him I wasn’t disappointed.
Larger Than Life UK, aka, Craig is one of the most humble and down to earth people I’ve ever spoken with.
Craig is a gold mine of information about building an amazing physique and I’m extremely thankful for the time and effort the put in to answering my questions.
What You’ll Learn From This Interview
- The importance of eating to build mass, especially if you are tall and skinny.
- What exercises are harder to do if you are tall and how to overcome them.
- The most important thing to do for your body when training hard.
- Why building a strong body is important and how it will change your outlook on life.
- How to embrace your height, stand tall and feel confident.
Craig, congratulations on achieving such an amazing and inspiring physique. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Firstly, many thanks for your kind words in relation to my physique, its very much appreciated.
My name is Craig and I’m 38 years old. I live in a small sea side surfing town situated in the south west of England. Growing up my passions were swimming, martial arts and basketball (all of which I clearly had a height advantage in).
I work in the police force and have been in the job now for over 17 years. I love it as everyday I’m dealing with new and exciting things. My passions are cooking, poetry, being healthy (mind, body and soul), traveling and the ocean. In the last 10 years, fitness and bodybuilding have absolutely consumed me. I’m a big kid really, just enjoying life and all it has to offer.
What’s the most common question you get asked because of your height?
The most common question would be: “I bet you struggle buying clothes right?” and my answer is always simple: “nope, I just get my shit tailored”.
What was the turning point in your life that made you decide to hit the gym hard and work towards the physique that you currently have?
That’s an easy question. When I was 28 years old I became friends with a guy who had the most outstanding physique I’ve ever seen. I wanted it – the girls loved him, he was 6’4 and stacked, shredded and super tanned. It was then and there that I knew I had to train my ass off in order to obtain the same development as him. My Goal was set and I began the journey I’m still on today.
What is your current weight and body fat % and do you remember your starting weight?
My current weight is 235 lbs (17 stone / 106.6 kg).
I would normally be heavier at this time of year but recently I’ve been a little sick so my diet, food intake and training hasn’t been up to my normal standards. My current body fat % is around 12 to 15% (bulking season has started haha).
When I first began my training I weighed a crazy 203 lbs (14.5 stone / 92.1 kg). I was skinny as hell!
How long did it take for you to get to where you are now?
Its taken me 10 years to get the physique I have today BUT I’d say I only began seriously training (and by serious I mean with the knowledge of proper nutrition and how to lift correctly) within the last 5 years.
Can you briefly describe your workout routine.
There isn’t really an easy way that I can describe my workout routine as I change it all the time but, with that said, the way in which I really seem to gain good muscle growth is to constantly change my routine which shocks the body.
Was there anything you had to do differently because of your height?
For starters I never used to do squats. I honestly thought that with my extra long legs and back, that I simply couldn’t do them (how wrong I was). I really wished I started training squats many years ago. The same goes for deadlifts. I was advised to stay away because apparently “my body wasn’t made for this type of exercise” but they were fundamental for me gaining my size.
Were there any exercises you found harder to perform because of your height? If so, how did you get around it?
As mentioned above, squats and deadlifts were the two exercises that I really struggled with for a long time. The technique mainly, it just felt wrong and awkward. Over the years of being very persistent I learned that this was not due to my height but from something that we all need to be more aware of….our flexibility.
Can you briefly describe your typical diet (including number of meals per day, frequency of eating etc).
Now that’s an easy one. My typical diet is simple: I eat a WHOLE LOT OF FOOD!!!!
Being specific, I’m normally pretty healthy. Good clean meals with 2-3 big time cheat meals or cheat days thrown in (it’s important to eat some junk food – being 6’8 I need to consume ALOT of calories and eating clean and lean all the time isn’t the answer).
On a typical day I pretty much always eat 5-6 scrambled eggs on 2 whole wheat toast (or oatmeal).
My mid morning snack is normally my home made mass gainer shake which consists of 6 egg whites, half a pint of full fat milk, cup of oatmeal, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, tablespoon of pure cacao, tablespoon of pure coconut oil and ice. This shake is a great way to take on calories.
For lunch its chicken breast or chicken off the bone with rice or pasta and a vegetable of choice.
Late afternoon i’ll eat a small meal, pasta with meatballs or chicken, then evening meal will be some fish or steak with sweet potato and vegetables.
Before bed i’ll sink a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I normally eat every 2.5 hours. If I leave it much longer, I tend to get grumpy and short tempered.
Most of the time and depending on the time of year I.e. am I going on holiday or will I be wearing little (or no clothes, lol) then I’ll consume between 5-8 meals in a day.
What were your biggest challenges throughout this journey?
My biggest challenge was putting on size.
It really seemed to take forever!
The thing is, when you’re tall and naturally lean it does take time to not only develop muscle but to put on size too.
Patience was and is the key.
I’ve had to remain focused and extremely determined in order to progress and build the physique I have today. It’s definitely been worth the wait, although I still strive “as we all do” for a better physique.
What impacts has this transformation had on both you and your life?
The impact on me has been incredible.
I really feel that I needed this, not only the training and enjoyment I’ve had from it but also the results too.
I can’t describe how much my confidence has grown and this has clearly had a positive impact on my life too. For example: I used to always wear super baggy tops and jeans to hide my skinny frame, but as my build has grown, so too has my collection of fitted clothing. Shirts have become tighter and jeans (which I NEVER thought would see the day) are actually fitted and, well quite tight.
Training as a whole has created a better and more positive man out of me because I’ve not only felt more confident but to actually see myself develop from the hard work I’ve put in, is a big reward too.
Do you have any advice for tall people that want to build a physique like yours but aren’t sure where to start and for tall people that don’t feel confident about their height?
Building a physique like mine takes time, so don’t think it will come over night.
You have to set a goal and stick with it. Ask questions and learn how to do it. Don’t do what I did and think that the way to get huge is to eat chicken and rice 4 times a day and lift crazy heavy weights with a rep range of 3-4. That just isn’t going to work. Be patient and listen to your body. If you need rest, then rest. Continue to change your routine but be consistent. Your body will adapt to whatever you throw at it so change is very important.
I always find that building a better body builds a stronger mind and with a stronger mind comes confidence. Hold your head up high and be proud of your height. One thing I always do if I find myself getting starred at (which happens alot) is I pretend that I’m a famous actor or basketball player and that the person who is starring has recognized who I am and is probably about to come ask for my autograph, I know this is silly but it works for me.
What’s the best part about being tall?
Hmmmmmm… there are so many answers that I feel would be appropriate and I think I would be here for hours but, to keep it simple and honest, the best part about being tall is when my Dad is trying to tell me off he has to look up to do it.
1. Your height is not a limiting factor for your success – dedication, consistency, putting in the work and patience is key to reaching your goals.
2. Developing an impressive physique (especially putting on size if you are skinny) takes time – there are no shortcuts.
3. It is extremely important to work on your mobility and flexibility, no matter how big you are.
4. If you want to put on size and are skinny you need to eat much more than what you are eating now.
5. Change your workout routine often to shock your body and force it to adapt to new stresses.
6. Always listen to your body and do what feels right.
If you enjoyed this interview, want more information or want to get in touch with Craig, go and follow Larger Than Life UK on:
Craig is also launching his line of gym wear called Larger Than Life – stay tuned to his Instagram for updates and details.
Leave any questions or comments for Craig below and i’ll be sure to pass them on to him.
Stand tall, be proud of your height and strive for greatness. larger than life uk larger than life uk
Other Posts In: Amazing Tall People Series
01. From Tall and Skinny to Jacked: Larger Than Life UK Interview
02. Tall, Strong and Flexible: My Interview With A 6 Foot 8 Yogi
03. My Interview With A 6 Foot 10 Body Builder
Great transformation! Did you (and do you still) use any supplements (eg protein, creatine etc)?
Hey there Jackson and thankyou for your enquiry.. yes i do still use sups but not all the time. My biggest use at the moment is pre work out.. i currently like Rich Pianas ” love it kill it” it tastes great and def feel the difference. But like any pre work outs, i dint use all the time as your body will adapt and they wont work. I very rarely use whey protein as its just filled with lots of rubbish. And creatine i have used and yes it does work with great results as it def improves strength and musle mass and recover. Supps can and do work if taken correctly.