Building the V Taper


  • The V-Taper is the ultimate aesthetic physique
  • Calculate your 'aesthetics ratio' and train to get an optimal score
  • Focus on V-Frame muscle development to create a body that gets respect and looks awesome

If you're involved in weight training or bodybuilding, it’s likely you’re working towards the goal of a 'perfect physique'. While - yes - this could mean different things to different people, we all subconsciously value certain characteristics. Think of classic superheroes. What do they all look like? They have broad shoulders, a strong back, and a small, tight waistline. When you combine all of these characteristics, they create a V-Taper, the visual shape created by comparatively narrow hips and wide shoulders.

So how can you become your own superhero?

The Golden Ratio

The V-taper has long since been one of the most accepted markers of a good physique. Why? Because it’s based on the ‘Golden Ratio’, a sequence that occurs in nature that has attracted artists, designers (and now fitness fanatics!) since the beginning of time. We won’t bore you with a history or maths lesson... we’re here to explain how it applies to your journey towards a powerful, attention-grabbing and attractive figure.

In order to achieve a V-Taper, you’ll need to get as close to the perfect waist:shoulder ratio as possible while still developing muscles in other areas to compliment it. By using this ratio as a rule, you’ll force yourself away from the common ideology that ‘bigger is better’ and instead focus on symmetry and proportion.

According to this principle, the perfect male torso will consist of shoulders that are 1.618 times larger than his waist. Because the formula is based on a ratio as opposed to concrete, unalterable numbers, the Golden Ratio enables you to achieve an aesthetically pleasing physique that's in-line with your natural frame size.

Let’s crunch some numbers and compare two very different body types.

A man with a small bone structure has 28 inch waist. Another, larger man has a 32 inch waist. They can both achieve a V-Taper by ensuring that their shoulders are 1.618 times bigger than their waists.

28” waist x 1.618 = 43” shoulder width

32” waist x 1.618 = 51” shoulder width

Building Your Upper Body

As we’ve said, proportion and balance are key when trying to achieve this V-Shape and according to SCI-MX ambassador Jacob Abbott, the ultimate V-Taper look isn't just about a tight waist and wide shoulders. “If you have a small waist and broad shoulders, you can actually end-up with a 'T-shaped' physique which tends to look unbalanced and not as powerful and visually appealing as a hardcore V-Taper.”

Abbott recommends developing the obliques, lats and deltoids to improve your ratio. Below are three exercises that you should include in your workout:


Well developed oblique muscles create their own natural V-Taper. Performing heavy deadlifts (either with a conventional barbell or trap bar) will hit the obliques hard for abdominal stability while oblique crunches specifically target their growth. One word of warning: Obliques look awesome when you’re ripped, but if you're carrying excess body fat, they're likely to detract from your V-Taper. Jake recommends that you keep your body fat below 15% even when bulking-up. (More on this later…)


Flaring 'lats' (Latissimus dorsi) can be the deciding factor in whether or not you’ve achieved the aesthetically pleasing V-Taper and - what’s more - they contribute to the look from both the front and the back. While regular bench presses, rows and press-ups will target the muscle, developing strength and increasing reps on wide-grip chin-ups and lat pull downs is essential in creating a smooth V-Shape that runs from your waist, through your obliques and ultimately to your shoulders.


The width and structure of your clavicles play a role in creating a V-Taper but you can also add width to your shoulders by building the delts with a particular focus on the external deltoid (lateral delt). Variations of shoulder presses (barbell and dumbbells) are essential for all-round mass, while using perfect form with lateral raises will isolate the lateral deltoid fibres and add width to your physique. Many trainers get fed-up with shoulder isolation exercises because it's only possible to use small loads. Jake advises that you leave your ego at the door and remember that small increments in resistance over several months will get you closer to the 'Golden Ratio' and ultimately help you achieve the V-Taper

Nutrition and Supplements to Develop a V-Taper

In achieving the perfect V-Shape, you must train hard, burn fat, maintain lean body mass and sustain progress.


As we’ve said, you’ll need to keep your body fat below 15 percent. Even if you have a good level of muscle development in the obliques, lats and deltoids, you could be carrying too much abdominal fat to achieve a quality V-Taper. If that’s the case, focus on fat loss through your diet.

You should ideally be creating a calorie deficit of 250-500 calories BELOW maintenance per day while also ingesting at least 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To achieve this deficit while also bumping up your protein intake, include a lot of seafood, lean meat, nuts, and grains in your diet. Our line of PRO 2GO high protein bars can also help curb hunger while also giving you the nutrients you need.


If, on the other hand, you're under 10 percent body fat, but are still having trouble achieving your goals of an awesome V-Taper, you’ll need to bulk while still building ultra-lean oblique, lat and shoulder muscle.

In this case, you’ll need to eat 600-1000 calories ABOVE maintenance level while still ingesting at least 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Again, you should look to high protein foods like seafood, lean meat, nuts, and grains but also consider upping your intake of foods that are high in monounsaturated fat like avocado and eggs. You can also replace your normal shake or powder formula with SUPER MASS XL to increase your daily intake of calories and protein.


In addition to training and maintaining a healthy diet (whether you’re cutting or bulking) we recommend using our scientifically engineered line of products. To fuel serious upper body workouts, sustain intensity and help your muscles recover quickly, use X-PLODE HARDCORE as a pre-workout drink, OMNI-MX HARDCORE as an all-in-one supplement that will help you build size and strength, and CLA 1000 LEANCORE to support lean muscle gains.


As you develop your obliques, lats and deltoids, consume high-protein foods and incorporate supplements that help increase energy levels and muscle size, don’t forget the Golden Ratio. Take frequent measurements of your shoulders and waist and remember that proportion and balance are key. No matter your body type, bone structure, or starting body mass, you can achieve what’s widely regarded as the most aesthetically pleasing and attractive figure.

Building the V Taper

Related Articles