Training for a V-Taper

Nick Topel


Aesthetics! A huge part of bodybuilding is the development of the V-Tapered look. Broad, square shoulders. Huge lats. Pencil thin waist. Obtaining the first two parts of that equation are rather straight forward – train hard, pack on muscle and develop those areas. But how do you tighten your waist? Aside from the obvious method of losing weight, here’s a few of my specialized tips. 

First of all, creating the illusion of a tight waist has a lot to do with creating the right angle. Remember that the competition part of bodybuilding has all to do with posing on stage in a way that highlights your strengths and hides your weaknesses. Learn to twist your hips while squaring up the shoulders to give the perception of tightness, even if you don’t have it!. This also accentuates fullness of the lats, and if done properly, puts you in physiologically superior position to really flex the abs hard.

The second piece involves highly specialized training. During competition preparation I wear a fabric belt very tightly around my midsection for all workouts. Specifically, I choose fabric over leather because you can get the Velcro to grip the torso much tighter than a conventional leather belt and you don’t necessarily need the extreme support of leather for super heavy lifts when you’re in show prep mode. The idea here is to wear the belt like a corset to slim down the waist by atrophying the obliques.

I then pair this approach with extremely minimal oblique training up until about 4 weeks out from a show. At which point I do recommend beginning to train the obliques pretty hard, but with light weights to tighten, tone and bring mind muscle connection back to the area. This isn’t necessarily the most functional wait to train the abdominals, but this is where it becomes important to train for your sport specific goals in mind! A powerlifter or performance athlete needs a strong thick core – whereas a bodybuilder needs a slim and aesthetic one.

Want to look like a bodybuilder? Then you have to train like one!

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