While physical performance and general health are two very important reasons many of us go to the gym regularly, there’s no denying that the vast majority of us are equally as driven by the idea of building our version of the ideal physique. There’s no shame in admitting that; it’s an age old pursuit exemplified by renowned Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci’s L’Uomo Vitruviano (The Vitruvian Man). The image showcases the ideal proportions of a man. These days an important feature of what we regard as the ideal physique is the V-taper. However, many of us are unsure of what the necessary steps to achieve it may be. Read on to discover the road to developing your V-taper.
Step One: Understanding what a V-taper is
The V-taper refers to the outline a well developed torso creates. The outline of such a torso resembles the letter V’. Frank Zane was an excellent example of how formidable the V-taper can be in aesthetics. It features broad shoulders, built lats that lead down to a narrow waist, ultimately creating an aesthetically impressive physique. While some individuals may be more genetically gifted where the V-taper is concerned, targeting these muscles and developing them more can create the illusion of a more defined V-taper.
Two principles are important for making sure you maximise the effectiveness of your workouts:
Targeting the lats is particularly difficult for some people, which is why learning to maximise your TUT (time under tension) is important to ensure you really feel all the contractions and develop a stronger mind-muscle connection. This will ensure that supporting muscles like the biceps (in the case of back workouts) and the triceps (in the case of shoulder exercises) are not recruited excessively when performing exercises, unnecessarily sharing the bulk of the load when you train.
Frequency & volume
This is simply a case of volume; the more you train a muscle the more it will adapt to satisfy the demands you are putting it under. This is supported by Layne Norton PhD, and holder of 7 bodybuilding titles and 6 powerlifting titles, who attributes volume to the impressive v-taper he built. Therefore it is important to target these muscles twice a week to encourage growth.
Thickness vs Width
The general rule for back workout is that horizontal movements like the different variations of rows will add thickness to your back whereas lat pull downs and pull ups that operate in the vertical plane will add width.
There are numerous exercises, which will add specifically to your back and these include:
- Pull-ups (wide-grip, close grip)
- Lat pulldowns
- Cable Crossover pulldown as recommended by Jim Stoppani
Developing the three heads of your shoulders (anterior, posterior and medial deltoids) is also important for adding width to your torso. The following are three exercises that will help improve the width of your shoulders and contribute to your v-taper:
- Side lateral raise: Targets the medial deltoids
- Military press: Targets all three heads
- Reverse pec deck: Targets the posterior deltoids
If you’re wondering why it might be worth your while to target the posterior deltoids despite them being out of sight, allow us to explain. By targeting the posterior deltoids, your posture will improve which in turn will also help the appearance of your v-taper.
Nutrition & rest
Now that you know what muscles you need to target and how you should be targeting them to achieve the coveted V-taper, it is important to remember that your training regime should be accompanied by a healthy diet and adequate rest.
This means ensuring you have enough protein, carbs and fats to not only fuel your workouts but ensure speedy recovery and growth. Furthermore, a series of important bodily functions and processes take place while you’re asleep so both the quality and duration of your sleep should be top-of-mind.
Powerhouse supplies an extensive range of the world’s leading supplements to assist you with the energy you need to perform in the gym, recover afterwards and repair during sleep.
Ready to sculpt your v-taper? Powerhouse is your dedicated partner in reaching your fitness goals. We have taken the time and care to hire only the most passionate fitness staff with extensive knowledge of our quality product range as well as stock the world’s leading brands for supplementation. For professional advice, quality equipment and first rate supplements, get in touch today and reach your goals.