The World’s Tallest Bodybuilder Shared His Workout for Building Monster Muscle

Olivier Richters may be the most important factor in Hollywood.

Not by title recognition—although he’s engaged on that—however by sheer dimension alone: Richters is 7-foot-2 and weighs 330 kilos. To put that into perspective, he’s 5 inches taller than Thor Bjornsson—a person so massive he was thought-about good for a personality referred to as “The Mountain.”

Known because the “Dutch Giant,” Richters is so massive that the Guinness Book of World Records has named him the world’s tallest bodybuilder. And whereas he’s nonetheless rising his physique—and his performing profession—his dimension has made beforehand impossible-to-film characters a actuality for Hollywood administrators. In Black Widow, he appeared as Ursa, a Marvel mutant recognized for having the ability to flip right into a brown bear. And for the upcoming Borderlands movie starring Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, and Jamie Lee Curtis, Richters performs Krom, one of many recreation’s larger-than-life bosses.

“They originally were going to make the character CGI. But then the director found me on Instagram and said, ‘we need to make him in real life,’” he says.

Before you ask—sure, he can dunk, and has been in a position to since he was 14. While rehabbing from a latest harm, Richters sat down to speak about what he does on leg day, give recommendation for tall lifters, and the way he has to eat 5,000 energy per day—when he’s chopping weight.

This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.

In 2018, you probably did a video interview with MensHealth.com within the Netherlands, and also you talked about your every day consuming schedule. Is it nonetheless the identical? Or have you ever adjusted it since then?

I’ve really simplified it. So what you see within the Men’s Health video is that I actually eat full meals—you may have the carbs, the rice and the meat and greens. And I ate that 6 to 7 instances a day. And what I seen, when I’m in a foreign country on a movie set—as an example—I made a weight loss program that is a lot simpler to comply with. All the macros are nonetheless the identical. But first I eat my meat, for instance, 200 grams of salmon. So then I’ve the proteins and the fat. That’s actually fast. I can try this in 2 minutes. And then no one has to attend [for me] on set.

And after that I drink my oat shake. So that is ultrafine oats, blended with a whey scoop, and also you drink it. So the shake is round 700 energy. Drink it in a single minute, the salmon you eat in 2 minutes. So I’ve 1000 energy and round 70 grams of protein actually in 3 minutes. And that is simplified my weight loss program a lot and I’ve saved progressing with that weight loss program—earlier than my break, no less than. I simply prep the meat the night earlier than after which I make all these little baggage of oats that I simply drink on set.

What’s in that 700-calorie oat shake?

It’s 150 grams of oats, 50 grams of whey protein with vanilla taste, and sufficient water so it is not cement. You simply drink it. It’s not such as you’re eating or something. It’s simply drink it—if you need to eat 6 to 7 instances a day, It would not actually matter anymore. It’s all about effectivity in the meanwhile.

How many complete energy are you consuming on a standard, every day foundation? And what number of grams of protein?

It is dependent upon what stage. For instance, I used to be solid for [The Electrical Life of] Louis Wain, the place they needed me to be a boxer. I used to be approach too cumbersome. So then I went to 5000 energy—and 5000 energy really will get me shredded. Normally I’m between round 6,500 and seven,000, if I actually have so much to do on set. Because some extra films, you are actually working and strolling and speaking all day. So then I actually must pump it as much as 7000 simply to maintain the load of 155 kilos.

Minimum is 300 grams of protein. And I’m going to 400 if I practice together with it. It sounds ridiculous, however folks typically neglect how massive my body is and the way a lot muscle harm that offers. The scale and the mirror simply show that I would like it. So there are those that say, “that’s way too much, it’s 2.6 times your body weight of protein.” If I’m going beneath, I drop a kilo of weight per day. That’s how ridiculous this physique is.

Courtesy of Olivier Richters

For different tall guys on the market, do you may have any lifting recommendation primarily based by yourself expertise?

I focus on this so much with my bodybuilding coach. He really did not need me to coach in another way than some other individual, however I simply want to ensure I attain the vary of movement. And that is the issue for tall guys—I do not slot in machines. So if I’ve a chest press machine, I can solely go for 75% [of the range of motion before the machine locks out]. So you’ll by no means see me in a chest press machine.

But I by no means switched workouts or did not do them as a result of I’m tall. And that may not be the reply that individuals wish to hear, as a result of they wish to know a secret about tall bodybuilders. But for me, it was only a approach longer street to see the beneficial properties. Because I used to be gaining 10 kilos yearly, from 80 kilos to solely 155 kilos. But the issue with tall guys is the muscular tissues are so lengthy that it takes so lengthy to see the distinction. My arms, earlier than my break and within the films, are just one centimeter completely different than Arnold Schwarzenegger. But in the event you see me in a photograph, you will not see Schwarzenegger except you set my arm subsequent to a standard individual. It’s all about perspective.

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So typically that is why tall individuals are like, “Oh, I can never look like him.” It simply takes a lot longer as a result of you need to develop a lot extra to look the identical in perspective in comparison with a smaller individual.

What I believe is essential for tall folks—why they practice. I’ve one of many tallest backs on the earth, and I by no means have again points. I can solely clarify that with individuals who do have again issues, they’re solely sitting in an workplace and so they do not go to the health club. I’m at all times in actions and I at all times maintain the again sturdy. I believe each individual above two meters ought to be obligated to himself to go to the health club a number of instances per week to maintain these muscular tissues and tendons and every little thing sturdy as a result of they’re so tall and never at all times within the biggest postures in chairs, and you need to duck at all times. It’s so necessary that your physique is stronger than the common individual to deal with this.

What about recommendation you’ve gotten? In your Instagram movies, you’re lifting with a lot of different massive and big-name bodybuilders. What’s one of the best factor you’ve picked up from them?

The finest tip I acquired was possibly from Jay Cutler. Because I did know that I used to be going to journey so much. And I requested him, how do you retain this form whilst you’re touring for all of your followers? And he defined to me the idea that you do not have to try this a lot to keep up. You must do so much to offer that incentive for the muscle to develop. But simply to remain the identical, simply get a pump and go away. And later, my coach instructed me you solely must do 30 or 40 % of what you need to do to develop muscle in an effort to preserve it.

So these had been nice tips on being on a movie set, as a result of typically I’ve to get up at 5 a.m., I’m again at 8 p.m., after which I nonetheless must go to the health club. I get up at 5 a.m. Again. I am unable to do regular bodybuilding coaching. So I’m going again to the tip from my coach and Jay Cutler. Just get the pump in and get out of there. My physique stayed precisely the identical dimension.

olivier richters

Courtesy of Olivier Richters

Is there a physique half that’s particularly powerful to develop or have dimension present due to your peak?

It will at all times be the legs. My higher physique grew quicker than my legs, and my legs, for the final two years, are lastly catching up as a result of my higher physique is beginning to decelerate. Because there’s at all times a restrict to what you possibly can attain as a human being from your personal genetics. With the longer muscular tissues, I at all times say to folks, examine it to chewing gum. If you may have this little bubble and also you stretch it out, it turns into thinner and thinner.

So think about what occurs together with your muscular tissues in your legs. They get stretched out whereas rising. They’re so skinny and so they must refill a lot. So you at all times see with tall guys, they’re insecure that they’ve very skinny legs, and it is the toughest factor to get huge. In the start years once I posted to Instagram, they at all times stated, “chicken legs” and stuff. And after all, I used to be coaching them, nevertheless it simply takes so many extra years to develop. And now once I submit images, no one says something anymore.

And what do you to do on leg day … when your leg isn’t damaged?

With my coaching, I at all times change between three issues—stamina coaching, with drop units and supersets, hypertrophic coaching, and energy coaching. I swap each six weeks. Here’s what I do once I’m making an attempt to placed on dimension.

I at all times heat up. If I do not try this, then I’ll discover the day after that my knees usually are not OK anymore. So warming up I normally cycle 5 or 6 minutes, after which I additionally heat up within the first train. For a standard day that might be squatting. I do two units of 15 reps simply with the bar, no weights on.

For all these workouts, every train is three units—however every set is thrice going to failure. Pick a weight that you just suppose you possibly can do plus-or-minus 8 reps. Then don’t cease, however wait 1-2 seconds. Then do one other three reps. Do not cease. Wait 1-2 seconds, and carry out another rep. Thus, every set may have 12 reps, however you go to failure thrice with 8, 3, and 1 rep, every with 1-2 seconds in between.

So squatting is at all times first with me. I do the three units. Then I do leg extension and leg press, three units. And for me, that is actually sufficient for the quads. Only 8 to 10 units are sufficient for my quads to kill them. If I do greater than that and it takes six days to restore them, that is ridiculous. That’s not how far it ought to go.

If you do not recuperate inside three or 4 days, then you realize you may have damaged down the wall an excessive amount of. If you recuperate from that too shortly—or not—then you possibly can modify it your self till you are able to do extra.

The hamstring may be very basic. Maybe it’s as a result of I’m a tall individual, however I actually hate stiff-legged deadlifts, and that is as a result of my hamstrings are nonetheless brief. I’m making an attempt to stretch them out. So: Lying leg curl, sitting leg curl. Those are two basic ones. Three units.

And then the calf coaching—seated calf raises and standing calf raises. So I’ve round 7 workouts for leg coaching.

Speaking of being on set, are you able to inform us something about Indiana Jones 5?

Even on IMDB, it would not say which character I’m. That’s how secret it nonetheless is. We simply completed filming and going into modifying now. If I’m say one thing now, they will be actually, actually mad, so I am unable to.

What I can let you know is it is my greatest half that I’ve ever finished from all the films. I used to be eight months there. We went to Morocco, Italy, London, Scotland.

Playing with Harrison Ford and Mads Mikkelsen and Boyd Holbrook—I imply, these individuals are a lot extra additional of their performing careers than me and nice academics. I had Boyd and Mads, we had been doing scenes in the identical room. And they weren’t shy about giving me tips once I requested them.

Harrison Ford is 79 now. He had extra stamina than me. I did not see him sitting on a chair any day for eight months. In the breaks, he is on his bicycle. Always power, at all times flirting with the extras on set. I do not understand how he does it.

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