In building one of the top physiques in IFBB Pro Men’s Physique, Brandon Hendrickson has created an awesome V-Taper. Combining a wide upper back and broad shoulders with a small waist presents an impressive look for Brandon. It’s a contest-ready appearance that helped lead him to a 2016 Arnold Classic victory, as well as a third-place finish at the 2017 Mr. Olympia.
With the 2018 Arnold Classic right around the corner, Brandon shared with us his top three exercise choices for building that V-Taper.
To start, Brandon’s go-to on back day are lat pulldowns. This staple is a key component of that V-Taper, but Brandon focuses on one key factor to really bring out the lats.
“The main focus on the lat pulldown is to bring your elbows forward,” Brandon said. “This is going to bring more attention to your lats. I like doing the lat pulldown, especially at the beginning of my back day, because I can feel the whole motion of the stretch and the squeeze. I can feel it most out of, pretty much, all my back movements.”
Brandon recommends doing five sets of lat pulldowns, doing reps of 15, 15, 12, 12 and 8 over the five sets. Applying his technique tip is a must for getting the most of the movement.
The second exercise is another classic, the lateral raise. This helps bring out that width in the shoulders, an obvious key when it comes to the V-Taper. Again, Brandon uses a little twist when it comes to performing his lateral raises. Those are the fine details that must be adhered to when it comes to creating a V-Taper that will turn heads.
“The side lateral raise, I love to do with my pinkies out. It brings more attention to my side delts and even the rear debts,” Brandon said.
It’s a minor adjustment, but it can definitely make a big difference. He often uses five sets with these as well, using the same rep scheme (15, 15, 12, 12 and 8 over the five sets) as he did for lat pulldowns.
The last exercise is a single-arm cable row. Again, Brandon uses a few unique twists to really make it count. He often uses this towards the end or as a finisher in his back workout, really developing that award-winning width. Brandon will do a warm-up, and then jump into a killer drop set to finish things off. With that, he is doing a number of reps at different weights. He keeps the range of motion shorter as well, creating an awesome pump.
“It allows me to stretch and squeeze at the maximum point of my lats,” Brandon said. “I keep that range of really short as well, which allows me to go higher in weight. It’s definitely one of my favorite movements to build a wide back. I usually do a drop set on these. But before that I’ll start with a really light weight and do that for 20 reps. Then I’ll start my drop set on the next set.
“Those are my top 3 moves to build an awesome V-Taper, so I hope that helps with helping you apply these movements
to your routine as well.”
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