T Nation

antagonist protagonist muscle groups

I’m beggining to get a new lifting phase all together based off of Coach Staley’s EDT method. So far I have 2 options for chest day that I need some advice on which would be better. Doing a split with chest and bicep, or chest and back. Besides that split the arms were going ot be dependent on the chest split. My main area of concern is when I work my traps what is the other muscle group I work in the phase? I thought of shoulders but Staley commented on in the book that not that much shoulder work is needed due to the bench press. Any advice would help.

By “traps,” I assume that you mean upper traps. The secret to determining what to do opposite a certain muscle group is to analyze its actions. In this case, the upper fibers of the trapezius serve to elevate the scapula and extend the head. In other words, you can either work the lower trapezius (scapular depressor- yes, the trapezius as a whole is an antagonist to itself!) or the neck flexors. Training the neck flexors is tough to do, so I’d recommend you do prone lower trap raises.

Personally, I don’t see any need for direct upper trap work unless a weakness is present. Most people are tight in this area, and do fine with deadlifts alone.

Also, FYI, you mean “agonist,” not “protagonist.”