Does Bodybuilding Make You Shorter?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding bodybuilding, especially involving your height.

Some might say that weight lifting makes you grow taller due to hormonal changes. And yet, some might say that it makes you shorter due to bone structure problems caused by lifting heavy weights, especially when involving younger athletes that are still developing their body

So, does bodybuilding make you shorter? No, thankfully, bodybuilder does not make you shorter. In fact, on the opposite side of the spectrum, there’s no evidence that bodybuilding makes you taller either. Your height is mainly determined by your genetics.

But, there are a few other factors, so without further ado, let’s cover it all.

“Bodybuilding Makes You Taller” Theory

Some studies point out that our body gets an increase of HGH hormones after about 10 minutes of intense physical activity, which leads some people to the conclusion that strength training and weight lifting might have an impact on your height.

HGH is human growth hormone, and as the name suggests- it’s a hormone that makes you grow. So this theory isn’t really that dumb when you think about it.

While weightlifting increases growth hormones that are naturally produced by our bodies, there is really no concrete evidence it makes you taller, as the hormone levels quickly come back to normal after the exercise, so your height is not really affected in this case.

“Bodybuilding Makes You Shorter” Theory

A lot of people would argue that weightlifting makes you shorter due to the amount of stress it generates on your body, muscles, and joints. While this can be true, this usually has no effect on your height.

The problem here is that this information could sound true enough for people who don’t understand much how weightlifting and growth works, so the rumor quickly spreads! And chances are, if you have ever been to a gym, you’ve heard it before. 

What’s True and What’s Not

Well, after discussing both theories on how bodybuilding would affect your height, what effects bodybuilding does have on your height?

Well, weight lifting doesn’t really affect your height in any way, so no, bodybuilding does not make you shorter or taller.

If done right, bodybuilding will only bring you benefits like better health, self-esteem, strength, and resistance. In fact, some doctors and scientists actually argue that bodybuilding may increase your height (the opposite of making you shorter!) – but that’s still debated.

What Really Affects Your Height

So, bodybuilding doesn’t directly affect your height, but there are some things that are related to bodybuilding that could have an effect on how tall you are.

These things are important to point out, especially today, when bodybuilding and weightlifting are so popular among teens and young adults.

Our body doesn’t develop completely until we are about 25 years old, so if you are younger than that, you are considered to still be developing your body and should pay attention to the following points:


If you are into bodybuilding you’ve probably looked into some diets and meal planning to maximize your results right?

So, there are basically three types of diets I see, caloric deficit diets, weight maintenance diets, and bulking diets.

If your body is still developing, you should at least be eating your maintenance calories as extreme calorie deficits for prolonged periods of time DO affect how tall you grow and how your brain develops.

Studies show that kids and teens who don’t get proper calories and nutrients can have their growth reduced by UP TO 38%! So if you want to keep growing taller and developing your body, eat your proper calories!

(This is a big reason I think many ‘ripped’ guys actually are shorter. Perhaps they stunted their growth too much if they began starving themselves after one of those nasty Instagram influencers convinced them to do so!)


Today, most people are sleep-deprived and don’t even notice it. Every day, you should be getting AT THE VERY LEAST, 8 hours of quality SLEEP! Remember, your sleep time is not the same as the time you spend in bed every night.

Not having enough sleep in your developing years will suppress your HGH production, including other growth hormones, and even more! Sleep deprivation is correlated to obesity and diabetes, so make sure you are getting enough sleep every day, your body needs to rest and recover.

That’s something a lot of bodybuilding athletes lack, especially those who consume high doses of caffeine and stimulants to get a better workout.

Those pre-workouts and other stimulants can take up to 6 hours to leave your body and even if you can’t feel it, it affects the quality of your sleep and will make you feel tired and lethargic after. So make sure to give your body plenty of time (up to 8-12 hours) to get completely rid of these substances after going to sleep.


Out of every point that affects height, this one is the most important. Height is and will always be genetic.

If you come from a family that has shorter genes, don’t expect to be tall, that’s not how it works.

There are some other factors that can change how tall you’ll be, but scientists believe that up to 80% of your height will be decided by genetics, and there is nothing you can do about it.

If someone is really tall, chances are their family is probably really tall too, the same thing applies to someone who’s short, that’s how human genes work.


  • Bodybuilding does not make you taller. HGH production increases during exercise, but comes back to normal levels after some time and has no effect on how tall you can grow.
  • Bodybuilding does not make you shorter. The stress bodybuilding puts on your muscles and articulations is not harmful in any way if you practice proper form, and will not affect your height in any way.
  • A lot of other factors come into play when we talk about your height
  • Our body only stops developing when we are about 25 years old, so if you are still developing you should pay attention to your diet and sleep routine.
  • Extreme caloric deficit and dieting can stunt your growth up to 38%, so make sure you are getting enough calories and nutrients so you develop to your full potential.
  • You should be sleeping more than you think, and be in bed up to 10 hours a day to get your body proper sleep and rest.
  • Your height is about 80% defined by your genetics and your height will most probably be a lot like your family’s height.

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