T Nation

An Idea to Improve Traps

Okay, so since I have weak traps, I am thinking that in order to improve them, this summer, between every set, I do 10 reps of dumbbell shrugs.

Is this a bad idea? Would massive growth be expected? Or is this overtraining, and leading to no gains?

Thanks for the replies.

So this will be for around 2-3 months

Every set of what? Every exercise on every day?

That sounds like a bad idea. Why not do what many people do, and hit them 1-3x a week with a normal exercise set up (I.e. One or two exercises for 3-4 sets of 8-15). Doing more work more often does not mean your body is suddenly going to make massive gains. There’s a point of diminishing returns, otherwise everyone would be doing everything everyday and would be massive all over. There’s a reason people usually hit body parts 1-3 times a week.

Also, it might be helpful if you could give these details:
Age, years training, general level of strength (like how much do you currently squat/bench/deadlift?), what is your current routine, how much weight/size OVERALL have you gained in, say, the past 3-4 months?

Additionally, there’s a beginners forum on this site you might find useful. I can’t link it cause I’m on my phone and I have no idea how to do that with this.

And lastly, in response to the post you had in Stu’s thread, responses can take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days. It depends on what day you post, what time of day, what peoples lives are like, and who sees your thread when. Just letting you know so you don’t expect a 5 minute response or something.

And if you really don’t want to lay out your whole routine, at least specify what you do for shoulders. How often you hit them, how many exercises, and how many sets. So that people have an idea of what you’re currently doing and can help see if there’s some ways to improve it

I’ve seem huge gains in my traps by doing Snatch Grip High Pulls recently. Not the just the traps but the whole “yoke” area. And because it’s a bastardised olympic lift it hits the calves and improves power. Been a big help for me anyway.

I find that my traps respond to both Snatch Grip High Pulls and farmer carries. I personally prefer those two exercises to shrugs. My guess though is that at the earlier stages of training (which I still am after only two years) just about any stimulation to the traps will work.

I say go for it. You won’t overtrain traps.

Alternatively you could just take steroids. The highest concentration of receptors is around your traps and neck. Biggest traps you’ll ever get :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

[quote]csulli wrote:
I say go for it. You won’t overtrain traps.

Alternatively you could just take steroids. The highest concentration of receptors is around your traps and neck. Biggest traps you’ll ever get ;P[/quote]

Funny cuz its true!

I have scrapped all shrugs for the past 6 months and incorporated SG High Pulls, Hang Cleans and Trap Bar walks, it has made a noticable difference in my upper back and Traps…The explosive nature of the pulls and cleans dwarf the results I got from shrugs (in my experience) I also for high reps and moderate weight like to use Seated DB Cleans…

get yoked yo

My traps have grown pretty good using just these four exercises:

  1. Deadlift
  2. Power Cleans
  3. Power Snatch
  4. SGHP

I think it’s a bad idea, if you do a set of 10 between everything you would just be doing them to do them.

@ your age it is really important to really focus on shoulders it seems that guys that start working out at an older age
have a hard time getting wide shoulders i think it may have something to do with your clavicle growth plates.

My advice: devote an entire day to shoulder training
(depending on how many days a week you work out if can’t devote an entire day at least do two main shoulder movements first when ur fresh than add in bi’s or tri’s or whatever else u want to do that day)

schedule it so it is at least a session away from back.

Always start with seated dumbbell shoulder presses, No need to switch out with barbell or anything else make it a staple
and just keep increasing weight, there just simply is no better substitute.
Work your way up to a working set (or at your age a working set or two) of 6-9 [u don’t want to go too low in reps because you want to use a weight you are comfortable with kicking back and getting the first rep on your own without using a spotter(although you can and should ask a spotter to hand the db’s to you on your knees as to conserve your energy) if you use more weight than u can handle to get the first rep with a rocking kickback you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position as for someone who hasn’t been training for too long there is too much margin for error with this movement]

These are hard to make progress on weight wise, I remember when I was 16 I was doing them with 35’s in each hand and it took me about four years to work up to doing them with over 100 lbs in each hand; just stick with it no need to do anything fancy just be patient.

Get some wrist wraps and do dumbbell shrugs, moderate to heavy weight, work your way up to 2-3 working sets of 15-20.

I noticed that when I stopped doing the low rep super heavy barbell shrugs and just did the dumbbells and really focused on entire ROM
and the mm connection I started to make real progress.
After your last working set go to the smith machine put a a plate on each side (in ur case maybe 25’s) and do 100 shrug reps taking a minimal break whenever you need to.

You can do whatever else you want for shoulders afterwards(it’s the only 3-dimensional muscle in that you can see it from the front back and side) but db presses and shrugs are most important for traps. Good luck.

here’s a traps pic from a couple years back

and this

"And if you really don’t want to lay out your whole routine, at least specify what you do for shoulders. How often you hit them, how many exercises, and how many sets. So that people have an idea of what you’re currently doing and can help see if there’s some ways to improve it "

would be helpful as well

[quote]MattyXL wrote:
I have scrapped all shrugs for the past 6 months and incorporated SG High Pulls, Hang Cleans and Trap Bar walks, it has made a noticable difference in my upper back and Traps…The explosive nature of the pulls and cleans dwarf the results I got from shrugs (in my experience)[/quote]
In all seriousness I’ve heard this from a bunch of dudes. Snatch grip high pulls and farmer’s walks >>>>>> shrugs for trap growth. Although if you want something even more extreme… Not even the snatch grip high pulls can explode your traps like training the atlas stones.

Good luck on your quest to get yiggidy yiggidy yoked.

Personally,
Snatch-Grip Deadlifts
Snatch-Grip High Pulls

And I haven’t tried them, but probably also the “Olympic Deadlift” mentioned a few weeks ago, since it’s the same principle: a heavy explosive trap-based lift. http://www.T-Nation.com/training/olympic-deadlift

[quote]Captain Wheels wrote:
Okay, so since I have weak traps[/quote]
Let me cut you off right here. You have weak everything. That’s not a knock, that’s fact. And we’ve all been there, so don’t sweat it.

For being 16 years old and, what, like 170, your squat and deadlift are pretty good (even though the form in your DL video was pretty terrible. Stop testing your 1RM. There’s no point for now, and the negatives outweigh the positives.), but everything else needs work.

Focus on smart, consistent training with a good program, building total body strength while gaining muscular bodyweight, and your traps will take care of themselves.

Your time and energy will be much better spent sticking to a well-designed routine for 4-6 uninterrupted months.

Right now, you’re doing some random kitchen sink-little bit of everything training with no apparent rhyme or reason. In your training log, three times in the last couple weeks, you even said yourself “I know how I’m training is dumb, but I’m doing it anyway.”

You’re at an age where, if you eat plenty and train hard, you can make some of the best gains you’ll ever make in your life. But you’re kinda putzing around, seeing some progress simply because any lifting is better than no lifting. Forget having goals to hit by June or July. Set strength and bodyweight goals to hit by the end of the year, at the earliest.

Ahh Colucci,… TN’s beloved voice of reason :slight_smile:

S

[quote]csulli wrote:
I say go for it. You won’t overtrain traps.

Alternatively you could just take steroids. The highest concentration of receptors is around your traps and neck. Biggest traps you’ll ever get ;P[/quote]

Don’t be telling tales.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Ahh Colucci,… TN’s beloved voice of reason :slight_smile:

S[/quote]
Ha, that’s me. Always coming through with the boring, wordy, detail-riddled replies.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Captain Wheels wrote:
Okay, so since I have weak traps[/quote]
Let me cut you off right here. You have weak everything. That’s not a knock, that’s fact. And we’ve all been there, so don’t sweat it.

For being 16 years old and, what, like 170, your squat and deadlift are pretty good (even though the form in your DL video was pretty terrible. Stop testing your 1RM. There’s no point for now, and the negatives outweigh the positives.), but everything else needs work.

Focus on smart, consistent training with a good program, building total body strength while gaining muscular bodyweight, and your traps will take care of themselves.

Your time and energy will be much better spent sticking to a well-designed routine for 4-6 uninterrupted months.

Right now, you’re doing some random kitchen sink-little bit of everything training with no apparent rhyme or reason. In your training log, three times in the last couple weeks, you even said yourself “I know how I’m training is dumb, but I’m doing it anyway.”

You’re at an age where, if you eat plenty and train hard, you can make some of the best gains you’ll ever make in your life. But you’re kinda putzing around, seeing some progress simply because any lifting is better than no lifting. Forget having goals to hit by June or July. Set strength and bodyweight goals to hit by the end of the year, at the earliest.


[/quote]

I am going to quote this reply because I feel it embodies what everyone else is pretty much saying.

Yeah my routine is shit, and I am going to fix it, and, as far as the goals, I would not define myself as sane or reasonable, and my goals are going to reflect that.

I have fixed my deadlift form. The crazy back rounding was from primarily poor set up and hamstring inflexibility (sp.)

The reason I am doing what I am currently doing is because when I did things like ICF 5x5, I always felt as if I could be doing more, progressing faster, working harder. So the kitchen sink routine I am on is pretty much just me working as hard as possible on everything in order to progress.

So I guess the basis of my question was, "Is this a terrible idea, and would something similar to this be intelligent to incorporate?"
Which, as it seems the general consensus is, "Yes, this is a terrible idea."
So I plan to fix my routine starting June, keep eating a shitton, and film myself more often to correct form. (and not go for any more 1RM)

I would like to thank everyone for the responses and apologize for advertising my post in another thread. I have posted on bb.com before (didn’t like the general attitude) and it seems as if you aren’t consistently bumping your thread, no one is going to reply.

Thanks again

Tyler

And for the people that posted pics of their traps, very impressive