Ladies, you do NOT have to be thin or lean to proudly show a V-taper body! Even with excess fat, you can still sport a V-taper build.

As a former personal trainer, I was inspired to write this article after observing a heavy-set woman at the gym who outright had a V-taper.

I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t sure if she were a man or woman (androgynous face, hairdo and clothes), in combination with an overweight, but muscular V-taper physique.

Her well-endowed breasts, however, gave her away.

It just so happened that after I noticed her at the cable row equipment, I walked past her to set up at some equipment that put me in a direct line of view of her back.

Throughout my entire workout, I was facing her head-on, and noted that she definitely had excess fat all over; but the muscular development was quite noticeable underneath.

When an overweight woman has enough muscle development and a mesomorphic build, her body may pass for a man’s.

This woman had the type of body that a snarky man, who doesn’t work out (and thus doesn’t appreciate a trained body), might ridicule: “She looks like a linebacker.”

However, earlier that day I was in an elevator with my mother at a medical clinic. After her appointment we had gotten in and descended to the first floor.

The doors opened, and facing us, waiting to step in, was a young woman or older teenaged girl—about the same height as the V-taper woman at the gym—and only a little bit bigger as far as clothing size—but as far as body composition, MUCH MORE fat and zero muscle tone.

This young woman was all mush, all flab, looked like she spent all day every day on a couch.

Her breasts were very saggy, while the V-taper woman’s were perky. The former looked like she was made of dough, while the gym woman, though full figured, had a hard body.

So which physique is more attractive? If I were a man, I’d take the “linebacker” any day over the saggy-breast Pillsbury Dough Girl.

I could see the Pillsbury girl, 20 years from now, suffering from an assortment of health ailments, while the gym woman with the masculine build will be strong and energetic.

The gym woman was not all muscle, in case you’re thinking that. Her tight short-sleeve top was form fitting, showing a stomach roll. Her legs were chunky but tight.

She was strong, very easily performing 10 rowing reps at 85 pounds with the V-handle. And her form was absolutely perfect: upright back, no leaning back as she pulled the handle towards her, no jerking it towards her body.

If a full-figured woman trains hard, diligently, with her eye always on progressive resistance, she can actually achieve a V-taper.

It’s fair to point out, though, that genetics play into this for the overweight woman, in that if she’s an endomorph, vs. a mesomorph, the V-taper will be more difficult to acquire.

Nevertheless, don’t give up hope. Do not wait till you slim down to a size 8 to start seriously working on getting the much coveted V-taper physique.

And don’t worry about looking masculine if you combine an overweight frame with a V-taper.

The Pillsbury Dough Girl will look scary awful when she’s 40 (assuming she doesn’t change her lifestyle habits), while the gym gal will look sensational.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.