Bodybuilders and many gym goers alike have pumped rep after rep for years, and many still do today, to try to attain what many see as the sexiest and best-looking physique one can get.
The V-Taper is a physique that is shaped as it sounds.
A “V” Shape.
Suits try to emulate this style because it’s so damn good looking.
BUT, with suits, it is a fake V Taper. They fill the shoulders with padding and other materials to get the look.
In this post, I’ll be teaching you how to get the real V-Taper that fills shirts and suits with rock solid muscle and doesn’t need any padding.
As I’m sure you already know, the V-Taper entails a slim yet shredded waist and midsection topped with some boulder shoulders, a big chest, and most importantly a wide back.
What you may not know is that the human body has a natural V-taper.
What this means is that anyone can attain the coveted V-Taper with a lot of time in the gym, dieting, and an ultimate guide to follow (cough cough….you’re reading it).
Some have been blessed with genetics that builds muscle at the whim of resistance which makes it easier for them to attain the V shape.
Then there are others who aren’t as blessed and seem to lose muscle the more they workout.
This group is sometimes referred to as “hard gainers”.
No matter what group you’re in this guide is for you and will help you along your path to reach the coveted V-Taper, V-Shape, God Body, Ooga-Booga, or whatever you call it.
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How to Get a V-Taper?
Balance is key to getting a V-Taper or V-shaped body. Balance is important because without it
you’ll be out of proportion.
You can use the image of the gentleman above as a reference.
Print it out and put it on your fridge or something too.
As I mentioned before a big upper body, mainly the lats and shoulders, and a slim waist are
key to getting a V-Taper.
For getting a big upper body it is important that you focus on the lats and shoulders A LOT as well as the chest.
Working these 3 muscle groups will widen your back/upper half of your body and help get a more aggressive cut down to the midline.
By getting a bigger and wider upper body it will give the illusion of having a slimmer waist even if you don’t reduce your waist size.
In some cases, you may even gain an inch or two around the waist (from muscle) and it will still look smaller than it did!
The second part of the V-Cut is the waist.
As I mentioned before it is important that you slim down your waist as much as possible and develop a rock solid set of abs and obliques.
If you don’t focus on slimming down and working on your abs, then you’ll end up with a box shape or an upside-down trapezoid body shape.
The way you slim down your waist is through diet and cardio.
There’s no other way around it.
It will suck.
Now it’s time for a little motivational speech.
Stay disciplined and keep the end goal in mind. You will break and fail. You’re more likely than not going to have a cheat meal, or day….or week….but you can always come back and keep pushing for the body you want. Don’t forget that.
Motivation speech over (drop the mic).
When trying to get a V-Taper it is important to put extra focus on these muscle groups and the diet, but it is also important to not forget about the other muscles.
And yes this includes the legs.
Working other muscle groups is important when trying to get a V-Taper, but don’t get distracted and let them take away from your main focus and goal.
If you overwork the other muscle groups it will take you further away from attaining the V-
Shape and you’ll end up being a hunk of muscle without shape or form.
Some people like the idea of being a shapeless mass of muscle but since you’re here I imagine that doesn’t fit your taste.
Big muscles like the arms are pretty sweet, don’t get me wrong, but when paired with underdeveloped lats and shoulders they can make the body shape look…well it makes you look like a marshmallowy meathead that only cares about benching and arms.
Don’t be a marshmallowy meathead who only cares about benching and arms.
Make sure you laser in on the lats and shoulders and hit them at the minimum once a week but ideally twice a week!
Now it’s time to wrap it up in a nice balance burrito.
Here are the takeaways from “balance”.
Balance is vital to getting a V-Cut
Aim for big lats and shoulders
Get a slim waist
Don’t forget the other muscle groups but don’t only focus on the other groups
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Importance of a game plan to achieve the V-Taper
In order to get the sexy V-taper look, it is vital that you are following a plan.
Whether you make your own plan, borrow one from a friend, or find one off of here or another
website it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you are following a plan because if you’re not following a plan you will not reach your goal or it will take a lot longer to reach your goal.
Along with having a game plan to reach your goal the most important part of the plan is executing it and sticking with it.
Executing your plan and sticking with it may seem like a stupid and obvious thing to say but that truly is the most important part!
Going to the gym and following your gym plan, dieting correctly, and sticking with it are what will have you reach the result you want.
Finally the Good stuff; The working out part
Now that we know how important balance and a plan will be in trying to attain the V-Taper, we can focus on the working out part.
As I said before the main muscles that are important will be the Lats, Shoulders, abs, and obliques.
Other muscles are important as well, but I’ll solely focusing on these because these muscles are the actual ones that make up the V shape.
If you don’t know where the lats are or happened to get hit on the head with a hhhuuuuugggggeeee rock recently then I’ll tell you.
They’re on the upper left and right sides of your back underneath your arms.
(They’re the ones highlighted in red)
The most effective way to work the lats is through a pulling down motion or a rowing motion.
Other lifts will use the lats, but the lifts that emphasize the lats the most are the ones that will build muscle the fastest and help you reach your goal faster.
Wider Grip? Wider Lats?
There’s a broscience saying, “wider grip, wider lats!” that you may have heard.
What this refers to is gripping the bar wider when doing pull-ups or lat pull downs.
The logic behind the broscience is as the grip gets wider the shoulder joint has a greater range of motion rather than a closer grip where the elbow’s range of motion is increased.
This article, backed by a scientific journal, explains that using a wider grip does not use the biceps as much as a narrow or medium grip!!
(surprisingly the medium grip involved the biceps the most)
BUT a wider grip doesn’t engage the lats necessarily more!
It was found that the lats (and infraspinatus) were activated more in the wide grip than the narrow, but otherwise were more or less similar.
The researchers concluded that the medium grip was the best grip for overall muscle activation because it engaged the lats and biceps the most.
Sooooo a wider grip will not necessarily lead to wider lats anymore than the medium grip.
But using a wider grip will not engage the biceps as much.
Each grip will engage the lat muscles a little differently and will use other smaller muscles as well.
I recommend using all 3 variations regularly.
Pull-ups and chin-ups are not the same thing if you are wondering. pull-ups use an overhand grip and chin-ups use an underhand grip.
Pull-ups are usually the harder of the two because your biceps are not as engaged.
Chin-ups are usually easier because the biceps and the lats are working to get you up.
One is not superior to the other, but if you want to engage the lats more, pull-ups are the way to go especially when done correctly.
Note: DONE CORRECTLY
Keeping good form while doing pull-ups/chin-ups is essential to get the most bang for your buck and as a bonus using good form makes you not look like a bafoon who can’t do pullups.
To do pull-ups correctly, grab the bar, engage the core and glutes, arch your back a bit, and try to squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up using your lats.
It is important to squeeze your core and shoulders blades together to promote shoulder stability.
How far should you grip? Your choice. Wider, medium, narrow, do whatever you want but remember what I told you above.
Go down all the way or 99% of the way down.
Notice how there was no squirming or kicking involved.
If you can’t properly do a pull up, then tie an elastic band on the bar you’re going to do pullups on and put your foot in it.
This will lower the resistance and make it easier to do with good form.
Use the same form for chin-ups except use an underhand grip.
Lat Pull Downs
For lat pull downs use the same form as pull-ups/chin-ups except sit down. They’re great to do as a finisher movement!
Bonus: Do a set of narrow grip, a set of medium grip, and 2 sets with a wider grip.
You’ll feel the burn!
Seated Cable Rows
Row, row, row your boat…or cables…till your lats get big!!
That was a little cringy. My bad.
Seated cable rows are a great exercise to sculpt a thicker and wider back.
Make sure when doing them that you don’t use your momentum to move the weight.
Stay still, and pull only using your lats and a little bit of your arms.
Touch your chest, and repeat!
One Arm Dumbbell Rows
Similar to the seated cable rows are one arm dumbbell rows.
Grab yourself a bench or something sturdy and grab yourself some iron (dumbbell).
Grab the bench with one of your arms, and put one of your legs on it too to gain some stability.
Pull the weight up using your lats, then lower it in a controlled manner.
Boom. Big lats are on there way.
Straight bar pull Downs
The straight arm pull-down mainly targets the lats.
When doing this exercise you can use a rope, bar, just the cable itself, or any other attachment you desire.
When doing this exercise make sure you keep your elbows in a locked position. They don’t necessarily have to be locked out, they can be bent a little, but make sure they stay in that position for the entirety of the rep!
After you’re all set, keep your arms straight, and bring them down towards your waist.
Go back up in a controlled matter and rinse and repeat till you’re done with the set.
Hit the lats once or twice a week and do 3-4 back lifts per session doing these exercises, or any other ones you like. So around 6-8 lifts per week for the lats.
Make sure you’re doing row and pulldown movements in each session.
If you can do more lifts in one session then do that. But make sure you’re using enough weight to really challenge yourself.
You know yourself best so experiment a little bit and find out what works best for you.
If you want more lats lifts, then check out my article: 10 Cable exercises to get a bigger back
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If you want to read more about the shoulders, read my post, 5 lifts to get cannonball shoulders
If you want to read more about the shoulders, read my post, 5 lifts to get cannonball shoulders
Getting a set of well-balanced cannonball-shaped shoulders is a must in order to get a killer V-Taper.
Anatomically the shoulders are divided into three heads.
The 3 heads of the deltoid are the…
The anterior head of the shoulder is the front of the shoulder. It sits on the part of your shoulder next to your chest.
The lateral head is the side of the shoulder.
The posterior head is on the back of your shoulder.
In order to get the aforementioned cannonball shoulder look, all 3 sides of the shoulders must be worked out.
By hitting all 3, it will create a well-balanced set of shoulders that will help create a wider upper body and create a more dramatic and cut V-Taper.
Many gym goers focus mostly on the anterior and the lateral sections but omit the posterior head in their workouts.
This leads to unbalanced shoulders that could possibly lead to injuries in the future.
When working out the shoulders make sure you are emphasizing all three.
You don’t have to workout each head each gym session. Just make sure you’re cycling lifts so all 3 heads get the love they deserve.
Note: For shoulder lifts, every part of the shoulder is used during the lift. For each lift though, more often than not, a certain head is emphasized and does most or a greater part of the lifting.
These lifts I mention for each head emphasize the certain head but in reality, they will work all 3, even if it is just a little.
-DB shoulder press
There are a thousand other variations of these lifts but these are the “simple” and “pure” forms of these movements
If you want to spice things up, you can do these seated, with a different weight like a kettlebell or plate, or do them on a cable or smith machine.
Again, there are tons of variations in these lifts and thousands of ways to do them. You can do them with cables, kettlebells, smith machines, and plates.
There are not a lot of lifts that emphasize the lateral head. But do remember that the lateral head is used in other shoulder lifts.
The posterior head gets used a lot in back movements as well. Bent over rows, pull downs, and all the other back lifts utilize the posterior head.
Read this guide from bodybuilding.com to learn more about the posterior head.
Slimming down the midsection as much as you can will make your V-Taper shine and really stick out.
To do this you’ve got to cut body fat, and have a shredded and mighty midsection that rivals the best looking in the fitness industry.
Well…I don’t think you have to go that far but the closer you can get to that benchmark the better you’ll look. 100% guarantee.
Slimming Down the Midsection
The best way and only way of slimming down the midsection is through dieting and or cardio.
If you can find another way please tell me. Because I would love to use it instead of the two spawns of satan: dieting and cardio.
The way you slim down the midsection through dieting is by ingesting less calories than you intake and be at a deficit.
While bringing in less calories you have to make sure you’re getting enough macronutrients like protein so your gainz don’t burn away with the fat.
Cardio is the other way to lose weight along with dieting.
Cardio puts you at a deficit because of simple math.
If you eat the same amount of calories/food each day and add cardio, you’ll simply burn more calories that day than if you didn’t do cardio.
If you add this with actively watching your diet and counting your calories and macros it will make it easier to be at a deficit.
Pro Tip: This means that you can’t reward yourself with a big mac, a large fry, and a shake after you’re done with cardio. You’ll be worse off than you started if you reward yourself heavily after cardio.
I could go into this topic deeper but this post is already quite long.
Just google how to lose weight and you’ll be set.
Making sure you actually have abs and obliques is a must for a killer V-Taper.
If you put in all that work to get a nice big back and broad shoulders along with a low body fat percentage and don’t have abs then what’s it all for?
The abs are the icing on the cake…you technically don’t need them to complete the V-Cut but you don’t see anyone with a V-Taper without them.
And the V-Taper doesn’t look complete without them.
The abs and core are worked or engaged in some way in the majority of gym lifts.
This doesn’t mean that you should not target the abs.
There are thousands of abs workouts that you can do to get a set of rock hard abs.
Russian twists, crunches, hanging leg raises, t-twists…you name it.
Be careful doing heavy weighted movements otherwise, you could risk getting a wider waist.
But that shouldn’t be a big worry unless you know you thicken up there easily when doing those movements.
Doing abs exercises regularly will help to create a solid 4,6,8,12, or 32 pack!
(jk about the 12 and 32 pack, I don’t think those exist)
I wrote a post a while ago that has a great workout for the abs, check it out!!
The key is to do abs exercises regularly and consistently along with your regular workout routine.
Some bodybuilders and people who have attained the V-Taper are against working the obliques.
The logic behind it is that the obliques will thicken up the waist or midline hence creating a V-Taper that is not shaped as much like a “V” as it could be.
But there are also others who think obliques are sexy as hell.
It is up to you whether you want to work the obliques or not.
Training them may or may not thicken you up a lot around the midsection, it really depends on your genetics and your body shape.
Some people would prefer having shredded obliques and being a little thicker around the midsection while others would want the opposite.
My advice is to work them unless you know you’ll gain a lot of girth around the midsection.
If you’re looking for obliques exercises read my article 15 Killer exercises to torch fat and Build rock solid obliques
Before you begin your journey to attain the V-Taper, I recommend taking pre-measurements of your waist, chest, bust, weight, body fat percentage and anything else you want to track.
Here’s a page that tells you how to measure each aspect you may want to keep track of.
If you need a tape measure I’ve got you covered with a cheap one.
If you need a tape measure I’ve got you covered with a cheap one.
Taking measurements will help you see how much progress you’ve made after a week, month, year, or any set amount of time.
Having a starting measurement will also help you to set goals for how much body fat you want to lose, how much thicker you want your upper body to be, and how thin you want your waist to be.
How long will it take to get a V-Taper?
I know this isn’t the answer you’re looking for but it depends.
It could take a couple weeks, a month, 6 months, a year, or even 3 years.
It depends where you’re starting out and how dedicated you are to getting a V-Taper.
It also depends if you’re a complete beginner to the gym or a veteran. Obviously, it will take longer if you’re a complete newbie to the gym, but you can still get the V-Taper with hard work.
The key for beginners and gym veterans is staying consistent and keeping the goal in sight.
How will you know when you’ve achieved the V-Taper?
When you look in the mirror and say, “dammnn!”
There’s no official benchmark or set of measurements that will tell you if you’ve made it or not.
It’s kind of corny but when you decide you’re happy with how you look then you’ve made it.
By no means are you done improving, you can still always improve your body and muscles but there is a point when you can be at peace.
This doesn’t mean stopping though.
If you stop working out or start to not lift as much you will lose what you’ve worked so hard to gain.
So don’t stop.
You now have the resources and knowledge to get a V-Taper, so now go get it!!