How to get a V Taper
The “V” taper refers to the shape the torso takes when someone is in great physical shape. The torso forms the shape of the letter “V” with broad shoulders and lats down to a narrow waist.
One of the first goals of new bodybuilders is often to get that V taper of the torso.
The thing that people don’t realize about the V taper is that is all about proportions. If you make your waist smaller, your shoulders will look much more broad and muscular and your lats will appear much wider. If you have narrow hips, its a lot easier to get a V taper than if you have really wide hips like I do.
There are two ways to get a V-taper, the easy and fast way and the slow and hard way. Lets start with the fast and easy way.
The human body has a natural V taper … IF your bodyfat is low. If you are overweight, you have a A taper, better known as a pear-physique. If this is you, all you have to do to get a V taper is to reduce your bodyfat down to 8%! Losing fat is very rapid when compared to gaining muscle, about 10x as fast, so this is by far the quickest way for most people to get a V taper. Most people who are overweight can get a V taper in 3-6 months by losing weight. Here are some examples of people from my success stories page who went from pear shape to V taper quite rapidly just thru weight loss:
Getting V Taper the “fast and easy” way by losing bodyfat
OK, lets say though that you are skinny with narrow shoulders, what then? Then you gotta get a V-taper the long hard way, by adding muscle. It can take several years to add enough muscle to get the V taper this way. There are two separate muscle groups you need to work on to get the V taper – the lats and the shoulders. If you want a V taper with your shirt on, the shoulders are much more important than lats. A complete, well rounded shoulder workout is required for making the shoulders broad, there is no single exercise you can do. The shoulder muscles grow very slowly and are easily injured with bad form so take you time and be careful.
Now for that shirt off V taper, lats and shoulders are equally important. For lat width, there is ONE exercise that is king – the pullup! In most people the lats respond a bit quicker to training than the shoulders but still expect a few years for them to start visibly widening. To get started with pullups, please see my back workouts page.
Here are some examples of people from my muscle gain success stories pages who got their V taper by adding muscle. Note that most of these people took 2-3 years to get their V tapers by adding muscle whereas the weight loss people got theirs much faster.
Getting V Taper the slow and hard way by gaining muscle
So there you have it. To get a V taper you have to do three things:
- Drop your bodyfat down to about 8%
- Workout your shoulders
- Workout your lats
Remember its all about the proportions. Make you waist small and it makes your shoulders look broad.