How to Build A Stage-Worthy V Taper

An athlete attempting to gain muscle understands the value of nutrition. 

Building a Stage Worthy V TaperThis is why ALLMAX Nutrition has engineered Isoflex to include muscle building as well as muscle repair ingredients, making sure you gain the size you need in about the same time it would take you to finish the shake. And as I learned firsthand, time and nutrition don’t always agree with one another.

After a disappointing third place finish at my last figure show, I immediately did what any hardworking carb-depleted physique competitor would do. I blamed the judges.  I scorned the judging criteria. I screamed “Politics!” at the top of my lungs. A couple of days passed and my temper and rationalism returned to normal, and I managed to pump some carbohydrates into myself. In my state of better judgment, I decided to talk to the people that would know best. The ones who watched me on stage and could give me an honest opinion – the judges.

One comment which popped up more than once was the topic of my V-Taper. In my case, the lack thereof. Being built thick in the middle, I was told that in order to do well in figure, I needed to create the illusion of a smaller waist line. “Oh, is that all?” I thought to myself. Well, this proved easier said than done. Although the tips I received motivated me more than ever, I knew that I had a lot of work to do if I was to remould my physique in time for my next fitness show. I had 10 weeks to work a miracle.

To get started, I took my current build and training split into consideration. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that in order to create a proper figure V-Taper, I needed to first bring out my shoulders. Second, building a fuller lat spread probably wouldn’t hurt. Lastly, I needed to widdle my middle.

So what did this mean to my training? I knew I needed to switch up my split. I began training back at the beginning of the week when I was strongest, rather than at the end.  I placed greater emphasis on my lats and added better isolation exercises.

Next, I brought the GH factor into my training and began training my shoulders with my legs. A solid leg workout has been shown to naturally increase levels of the growth hormone (testosterone) in the body. I knew this would give my body the fuel it needed to add size to my upper body.

Finally, when it came time to attack my middle, I focused on twisting with high reps and little weight and began working my core during endurance circuits. In doing so, I was crunching when my metabolism was at its highest.

My new split looks something like this:

DAY Body Part Why It Was Here
Monday Back and Biceps Strongest on Mondays – needed to work harder on back and biceps for size.
Tuesday Legs, Shoulders, Core Working my shoulders when my GH was highest – attempting to put on size without the fat. I was able to superset legs and shoulders to keep my heart rate elevated.
Wednesday Cardio My body needed a break from weight training.
Thursday Fullbody Plyometrics, Core Allowed me to target fast and slow twitch muscle fibers and place an emphasis on explosive power needed for my routine.
Friday Chest and Arms I have a well-developed chest from heavy benching in the off-season. I didn’t need to change anything, just maintain.

So where am I now? Well I am four weeks out from my next fitness show. My shoulders have budded, my waist has widdled and I am confident that I have done exactly what I was told to do.

With Isoflex, building lean mass is easy. With 27 grams of high quality protein and a full spectrum of anabolic nutrients, Isoflex makes it physically impossible for you to fail.  However, ALLMAX Nutrition did not stop there. The inclusion of an NOS complex, IS Complex and a Glutamine Complex, Isoflex will turn your body into an anabolic fat-burning machine that helps increase lean muscle and energy expenditure while regulating your appetite.

Time may not have been on my side, but with a proper split and a bit of help with nutrition, I was able to prepare a stage worth V-Taper in time for the show.


  • St-Onge MP, Jones PJ. Physiological Effects of Medium Chain Triglycerides, The Journal of Nutrition. 2002 Mar;132(3):329-32.
Valeria Fazio

Valeria Fazio holds a B.A. Honors degree in history from Carleton University and a diploma in professional writing from Algonquin College. She has been competing in amateur fitness and figure competitions for three years, and has recently qualified for the 2011 Ontario Provincial Figure Championships. As a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach, Valeria helps others in her free time to achieve their fitness goals.

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