Average Bodybuilder Height and Sizes: Statistics, and Facts  

Bodybuilders are not the tallest humans on the planet, but you may be surprised to learn that the tallest and shortest differ by more than a foot.

Key Statistics about Bodybuilder’s Height  

  1. Typically, bodybuilders are on the shorter side due to it being easier to build muscle when you are only a few feet tall
  2. The shortest Mr. Olympia winners were Chris Dickerson and Dexter Jackson at 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
  3. The tallest Mr. Olympia winner was Arnold Schwarzenegger at 6 ft 1 in (185cm)
  4. The shortest modern bodybuilder is Shaun Clarida, nicknamed the Giant Killer, standing 5 ft 2 in (157.5cm)
  5. The tallest modern bodybuilder is Jamia Johal, nicknamed AKATheGiant, standing 6 ft 5 in (195cm)
  6. The average height for Mr. Olympia contest winners was 5 ft 7 in (170cm)
  7. While the average height of Mr. Olympia winners was 5 ft 7 in, the average height of Mr. Olympia competitors was 5 ft 10 in
  8. While “golden age” bodybuilders were taller (Franco Columbu, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, etc) with the introduction of mass monsters this all changed
  9. The ‘largest’ Mr. Olympia of all time was Ronnie Coleman, 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 287-300 lb (130-136 kg)

Chapter 1: What is the Average Height of Bodybuilders

As mentioned, bodybuilders are not incredibly tall people. Shorter bodybuilders have it a lot easier to build more muscle than their taller competitors, however, this advantage comes with a drawback. It’s far easier to look stocky and square when you’re short.

  1. The average height for Mr. Olympia contest winners was 5 ft 7 in (170cm)

Mr. Olympia is the ultimate bodybuilding competition, usually held in Vegas once a year. In 2022, the winner walked away with $400 000, so, safe to say every bodybuilder would want to win that.

Since the first Olympia was held in 1965, the average height of the winners was 5 ft 7 in (170cm).

Average Bodybuilder Height
  1. Most bodybuilders are 5 ft 10 in

While it would be impossible to record the height of all the bodybuilders on the planet, the bodybuilding world has looked at the competitive bodybuilding stage (Mr. Olympia and other IFBB Pro League competitions) and found most bodybuilders are 5 ft 9 – 10 in.

  1. Taller bodybuilders are becoming rarer

We all know that being tall is a major drawback on the bodybuilding stage. Taller guys have it a lot harder, so they simply choose not to compete. Many will say that still stand a chance, but when the argument becomes moot when they get beaten by guys with less conditioning but who look thicker.

  1. There is no Ideal Height for Bodybuilding

Many will think based on the statistics that there is a perfect height for bodybuilding, but there isn’t. It’s about finding the correct balance of muscle mass and conditioning. While taller individuals look more aesthetic, they struggle to look big and fill their muscles with glycogen.

Chapter 2: Tallest and Shortest Bodybuilders

Whenever you talk about height, people will always want to look for the extremes. The fact is that there are some pretty severe extremes either way of the height spectrum.

  1. The tallest modern bodybuilder is Jamia Johal, nicknamed AKATheGiant, standing 6 ft 5 in (195cm)

Jamie comes from the UK and was a giant on the bodybuilding stage as his nickname suggests. Jamie stands 6 ft 5 in (195cm) tall and weighs a whopping 300 – 315 lbs (136 – 143 kg). Unfortunately, he felt his efforts were not met with enough wins so, he quit bodybuilding recently.

  1. The shortest modern bodybuilder is Shaun Clarida standing 5 ft 2 in (157.5cm)

Shaun is definitely not a small man and is often described as being incredibly thick. Most pro bodybuilders are thick and short, but Shaun is especially so. He competes in the 212 class but is thinking about shifting to the open class.

  1. The biggest successful Pro Bodybuilder was Ronnie Coleman

Ronnie is often called ‘the King’ by bodybuilders because he is the most decorated of all the Olympia winners. Ronnie won the Mr. Olympia 8 times – consecutively! Ronnie stood as a true giant, 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 287-300 lbs (130-136 kg).

  1. Lifting does not make you Shorter

Many (parents especially) will want to believe that lifting makes the person shorter, especially younger kids. No study has found that there is a link between lifting and a reduction in height. Your height range will depend on biological factors, like genetics. Lifting is very good for people, seeing as it can increase bone density.

FAQs

Minimum Height for Bodybuilding?

There is actually no ‘Minimum Height for Bodybuilding’. You might be capped on height and weight in certain categories like Classic Bodybuilding, however, even the shortest of the shorter people can do bodybuilding.

Classic Bodybuilding Height

The Classic Bodybuilding title can be won by any of the men at any height. That said, there are weight caps depending on how tall you are. This is the one place where your height matter.

Arnold Bodybuilding Height?

Arnold Schwarzenegger was the tallest Mr. Olympia winner of all time standing at 6 ft 1 in (185cm).

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Contributors

Daniel Louwrens BSc PT

Daniel Louwrens BSc PT | Writer

Daniel Louwrens is a well-rounded fitness professional with over 10 years of experience in bodybuilding and fitness. He holds a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Western Cape and is a certified International Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. He is also a skilled bodybuilder and head coach for Muscle and Brawn. With his knowledge and expertise, he provides personalized training, nutrition, and recovery guidance to help clients reach their fitness goals.

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