It's what separates the ones who pretend to train and the ones who actually put the work in to achieve such aesthetics.
It's the V-taper.
Historically, the V-taper was the gold standard in the bodybuilding world. Possessing broad shoulders, a tiny waist and having lats that can fly are the building blocks of a show-stopping physique.
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Building your body doesn't mean you should let your health fall off the wheels. And, think about your every day life. You surely don't want to have to buy a new wardrobe because your waistline is busting through your pants, right? You don't want to have to look in the mirror with a puffy face because you're eating 7,000 calories a day do you? You don't want to exist to train, do you?
Instead, build your V-taper in a way that fits into your life. Craft a physique that you're proud of that lets you look sharp in a suit and feel confident in your board shorts at the pool. And most importantly, posses an impressive physique that is also healthy.
When you walk away from this article, you'll have a pragmatic approach to doing just that: Building V-shaped physique with broad shoulders, a tiny waist and a wide back.
V-Taper Workout Program NotesBuilding the V-taper requires a targeted approach. It begins with building the lats. If you're waist is wider than your upper back you end up looking like a peach or traffic cone. Not the best look.
In pursuing your V-taper, neglecting to build your back is physique suicide. You simply can't overlook this aspect of your body. Physique athletes have known this for decades and is the hallmark of many of the classic physiques that serve as models for us today.
Through the decades from the 1930's up until today, there have been a few distinct ways to go about developing your lats and an impressive back. Pull-downs, deadlifts and rowing movements are the golden tickets to back development. In your plan below, you'll get your dose of each to ensure you give you back the attention it needs.
Having a set of well-built shoulders is a key element in improving your physique. Although the shoulders aren't the largest muscle group of the upper body, it's what people notice first.
Having a set of boulder shoulders is a sign of strength and is critical to the upper chest-shoulder tie in which makes a physique look great. Moreover a set of well defined, strong shoulders creates an illusion of a smaller waist.
In order to make those delts pop, you'll have to work all three heads of the muscle (front, medial and rear). Your program below will hit all of these to make sure your shoulders development is balanced.
You can't fake a chiseled midsection. It's proof that you've put the work in and your diet is on point. Training your abs shouldn't be complex however. Instead, a few movements executed properly will do the job. In your program, we'll break these movements down so you can develop that ripped midsection.
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V-Taper Workout DirectionsYou'll perform each workout (Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3) once per week. Take a rest day between each session. On your off days, conditioning work is permitted.
Movements that are marked with "A" and "B" are supersets. Meaning there is no rest in the transition. In other movements, you'll rest as prescribed between each set.
For each workout, complete the number of sets per movement(s) before moving to the next movement(s).
Day 1 Movements
- 1A - Low Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (3 second descent): 4 sets of 10-12. Rest 0 seconds.
- 1B - One Arm Dumbbell Row: 4 sets of 10-12. Rest 90 seconds.
Take one dumbbell with your right hand and assume the starting position. The dumbbell will be hanging - your right arm acting as a cable. To initiate, you'll pull the dumbbell up and back towards your right hip. Be sure to keep a flat back throughout the pull and squeeze the back muscles at the top of the movement. Return to starting position and repeat.
- 2A - Inverted Row: 4 sets of 10-12. Rest 0 seconds.
- 2B - Dumbbell Push Ups: 4 sets of 10-12. Rest 90 seconds.
- 3 - Pull Ups: 3 sets of 10-12
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Day 2 Movements
- 1 - Muscle Snatch: 3 sets of 6-8. Rest 90 seconds.
In simple terms, you take the bar from the floor to overhead with a snatch grip.
In execution, you'll start with a snatch grip with the bar on the floor. You'll pull the bar off the floor in snatch fashion. However, when the bar gets to your hips that's when things change a bit.
Rather than extending (the hips and knees) to punch under the bar and catch in the bottom position, you'll follow the extension with an aggressive high pull with the elbows high and outside.
Once the bar reaches your neck, you'll whip the bar overhead locking out for a press. Return the bar to starting position and repeat.
- 2A - Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 4 sets of 12. Rest 0 seconds.
- 2B - Bent over lateral raise: 4 sets of 12. Rest 60 seconds.
- 3A - Dip: 4 sets of 10-12. Rest 0 seconds.
- 3B - Leg raises + hip raise: 4 sets of 15-20. Rest 90 seconds.
From here, you'll take your hips and lift them off the ground as high as you can. A simple cue to think about is to imagine your toes touching the ceiling. You'll lower your hips back to the floor and then return your legs to parallel position to assume the next rep.
Day 3 Movements
- 1 - Front Squat: 3 sets of 6-8. Rest 90 seconds.
Assume a squat stance with feet shoulder width apart. Before you squat, create some intra-abdominal pressure by breathing into your stomach and not your chest. Start by taking the hips back and down while keeping your upper torso upright as possible. A simple que is to drive your elbows up and out as you descend and ascend out of the hole.
- 2A - Power Curl: 4 sets of 10. Rest 0 seconds.
With a parallel grip, you'll power clean the dumbbells into a hammer curl to finish off the movement. On the proceeding rep, you'll take the front head of each dumbbell and tap the floor at the bottom position to initiate the next rep.
- 2B - Romanian Deadlift: 4 sets of 8. Rest 90 seconds.
To initiate, you'll send your hips back while keeping a flat back and creating a slight bend in the knees. Also, be sure to keep a fixed bend in the knees - meaning, throughout the movement the flexion of your knees shouldn't change. This will help keep the tension on the hamstrings.
Continue to bend at the hips until the bar is at about mid-shin. You should get an incredible stretch in the hamstrings at this point. From here, you'll reverse the movement by driving the hips back up to extension returning to starting position.
- 3 - Incline sit up: 4 sets of 25
Off DaysWhen you're not lifting, choose two days to perform some conditioning work. Either do 15 minutes of HIIT or 30 minutes of steady state twice a week.
Wrapping UpWhether you want to fill out that suit with having to get it tailored (i.e put shoulder pads in), or feel confident walking into a lounge for a night out on the town or simply feeling awesome without a shirt on at the pool, the V-taper accentuates a your well built physique.
You've got the tools to do it. Now, you just gotta do the work.