Workout Plans
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James Michelfelder
James Michelfelder

Widen your lats and add size to your shoulders.

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When it comes to your physique, a V-taper—which is the result of having a tight waist with washboard abs and wide lats and shoulders—will never go out of style. The same muscles that make you stand out in a fitted suit will also make you look like a bona fide Adonis when you tear off your T-shirt at the beach. (Who doesn’t want that?) If you lack in any of these areas, use this three-day-per-week program to polish off the muscles that matter in time for summer.

How it works

The V-taper is mainly achieved by widening the lats and adding density to the shoulders, which you can do with chinup variations and lateral raises. But to maximize width, you have to be aware of not only which muscles to build but also which to ease up on. Thick arms can create the illusion of narrower shoulders, and big quads are going to be hidden underneath swimming trunks (unless you go European and opt for a Speedo, of course). The answer isn’t to neglect these muscles but just not to isolate them. The key is to train them with lifts, like presses, chinups, and squats, which work them in conjunction with other muscles to lead to more balanced size gains.


Perform each workout once per week, resting a day between each session. Exercises that are marked “A” and “B” are supersets: Complete one set for each in turn without rest in between. Afterward, rest as prescribed. Repeat until all the assigned sets are completed.

V-Taper Workout