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Big_J

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Drop the shrugs & opt for face pulls.

http://www.midwestbarbell.com/videos/facepulls.wmv

T-Nation: 10 strength Training Tips

by Jack Reape

#4: Don't waste your time on barbell shrugs.

Powerlifters sport traps that would make a Silverback gorilla envious, yet the barbell shrug is not part of most powerlifting training programs. The reason is that the shrug doesn't duplicate the skill or build the strength for pulling a heavy deadlift to lockout.

Shrugs done standing with an Olympic bar are also limited in the range of motion and leverage due to the bar being on the thighs. Besides, traps don't lock out deadlifts, hips and grip do. If you can’t get your spine and hips extended with a weight, you can't possibly do a shrug with it. Trying to shrug a weight to lockout will generally make you try to pull it with your biceps. Hello, biceps tear!

You don't want to shrug the weight upwards and extend the distance the weight is moved; you want to retract your shoulders as you extend your back and push your hips forward. This is called a lockout. Practicing lockouts with a large weight in the power rack, with the spine fully extended from the start, can help you practice the skill of lockout and overload your grip, but it won’t build your traps very well.

So if most powerlifters don’t do shrugs, and if the lockouts they practice aren’t big trap builders, what's the secret to their trap strength and size? The secret is training the upper back from all angles with high frequency!

Upper back is one of the hardest body parts to overtrain. It can be trained up to four or five times a week. Splitting exercises by plane of motion into rows, pulldowns, and pulls gives us a basis on how to do this. Rows include bent rows, supported rows, T-bar rows, pulls to the face, and cable rows. Pulldowns include pulldowns with various handles to the front and back, pullovers, chins, and pull-ups. Pulls include barbell cleans, kettlebell cleans, high pulls, upright rows, dumbbell power cleans, and even the Kelso shrug (shrugs done with the upper torso at a 30-45 degree angle and the back arched, allowing the rhomboids to enter the movement).

image007.png

Pulls to the face

You can hit upper back two to three days consecutively by doing a row, a pull, or pulldown one day, then hit your back the next day with a different motion. For example, if you bench Monday and Thursday, and squat/deadlift Tuesday and Thursday, you can work rows after your upper body and pulldowns or pulls after lower body. Then you can hit an extra workout for upper back Saturday in the plane of motion you didn’t hit Thursday or Friday. You can customize this to your preference as the permutations and combinations are endless.

Bill Starr recommends about 50 total reps for upper back in a workout, and Bill is hard to disagree with on any subject. Reps and sets of 10 x 5, 7 x 7, and 5 x 10 work well here. You can even do two exercises with 5 x 5 if you're feeling froggy.

Start hammering your back like this and not only will your traps and entire upper back blossom, your biceps will follow suit, even though you might be dropping some arm work after 50 heavy reps of upper back!

shrugs are an ineffective trap exercise compared to heavy pressing and deadlifting.

A 3-5" movement 'shrugged up' to work a muscle that spans the width of your shoulders and runs down your back? :? - might be alright now and then for shock factor but shouldn't be a staple exercise.

Not too good for the rotator cuffs either.

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Yeah it kinda goes totally against a forum chit-chat room ohjoshua?

im sure you freely take everyone elses hints and tips?

Lets share and all be massive!! :nod:

Ok, get ready for massive traps.

Exercise: TRAPING DEADLIFTS.

Set the bar to a weight which can Dead Lift.

Preform the dead lift and at the finishing portion of the deadlift preform a shurg.

this is done like so.

exhale as you power up from the floor untill you reach an upright position.

pause a second as you inhale.

exhale as you power a shrug.

as you return to the ground inhale.

-repeat process

This exercise is one of the most effienct time to muslce stimulation ratio.

I will possibly even just do a whole day of them, like today. (check out my work out journal.)

get ready for some seriously sore traps :) and lots of growth.

why are traps so bloody strong?

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Ok, get ready for massive traps.

Exercise: TRAPING DEADLIFTS.

Set the bar to a weight which can Dead Lift.

Preform the dead lift and at the finishing portion of the deadlift preform a shurg.

this is done like so.

exhale as you power up from the floor untill you reach an upright position.

pause a second as you inhale.

exhale as you power a shrug.

as you return to the ground inhale.

-repeat process

This exercise is one of the most effienct time to muslce stimulation ratio.

I will possibly even just do a whole day of them, like today. (check out my work out journal.)

get ready for some seriously sore traps :) and lots of growth.

why are traps so bloody strong?

I Deadlifted 140kg today - I'm sure as hell not going to try and shrug that sh!t :lol:

Post up some pics of these massive traps you have obtained from doing this exercise! :P

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I use the bar or dumbell shrugs.

but only one on any give workout day.

Using maximum weight,I go up to 160kg for thirty reps,Bar.and 50kg x 30 reps dumbell.

30 seems to be the magic # for traps for me.

I never do high reps for any other exercise but traps.

It's a killer and they work well.

With traps you must use max weight to stimulate new strength and muscle growth.{as if you did'nt know}

I dont roll my shoulders,I just use a straight up/down motion,making sure to drop shoulders low before moving upward again.

The pulls to face look interesting,I'll give them a try.

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  • 5 months later...

I Deadlifted 140kg today - I'm sure as hell not going to try and shrug that sh!t :lol:

Post up some pics of these massive traps you have obtained from doing this exercise! :P

oh ive have been waiting a long time to reply to this.... :lol:

I can now shrug my 140kg DL and my 150kg one too :P

he he

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I Deadlifted 140kg today - I'm sure as hell not going to try and shrug that sh!t :lol:

Post up some pics of these massive traps you have obtained from doing this exercise! :P

oh ive have been waiting a long time to reply to this.... :lol:

I can now shrug my 140kg DL and my 150kg one too :P

he he

do you have pics of your now massive traps ? !

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I Deadlifted 140kg today - I'm sure as hell not going to try and shrug that sh!t :lol:

Post up some pics of these massive traps you have obtained from doing this exercise! :P

oh ive have been waiting a long time to reply to this.... :lol:

I can now shrug my 140kg DL and my 150kg one too :P

he he

do you have pics of your now massive traps ? !

you will have to wait for the nzbb.com final set like every one else sorry deegee... :pfft:

but, seriously i didnt mean to copy that bit about massive traps...was just making a point that you can shrug a 140kg DL... when cammo laughed at me for sugesting it.

I havent rattled cammo's chain in ages so I thought it was more then over due!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Abit late sorry.

I use drop sets for shrugs. I also mostly use DB's so the weight is even at the side, if I use a BB (Which I can normally lift more) it puts more stress on my lower back.

40kgs - 35kgs - 30kgs (Just as many as you can rep)

Sometimes I'll do 21's for shrugs (DB) placed behind the back, at the side, then 3/4's to the front.

My traps aren't massive like you guy's, but they are better since I started doing these.

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Abit late sorry.

I use drop sets for shrugs. I also mostly use DB's so the weight is even at the side, if I use a BB (Which I can normally lift more) it puts more stress on my lower back.

40kgs - 35kgs - 30kgs (Just as many as you can rep)

Sometimes I'll do 21's for shrugs (DB) placed behind the back, at the side, then 3/4's to the front.

My traps aren't massive like you guy's, but they are better since I started doing these.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I dont know if anyone else has noticed this but when i do reverse grip (close grip) chin ups for bi's it also uses heaps of trap. I've had really remarkable trap growth (after doing shrugs for ages) since starting to do these, if its too easy just throw a weight belt on and sling a 20kg plate below it will soon get harder.

Try going for 4 sets of 6 with a quite challenging weight....

Worked for me anyway

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Kia ora,

This may sound crack up, but I have naturally big traps and i think i got them from bringing the shopping in from the car growing up, I hate going back and forth to the car so i would grap every bag i could and as i walked to the house i would shrug lol don't really know if that played a factor but now i don't really have to train them but hey the next time you do the shopping here's a quick blast for the traps!!!!

or it could just be genetics but i wish that worked for my biceps !!!!!

Cheers

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