T Nation

Big Traps


I have good trap genes. They dominate my upper body, which I embrace...in a limited sense. They explode despite getting work only from 10x3 deadlifts (most recently 375), EDT rear delt raises (most recently 45's for 41 reps supersetted with laterals), and a third exercise which I leave to the Nation.

Would I be better off with 10x3 hang cleans, or EDT one arm snatches (supersetting the hands with one another)? I am leaning towards the EDT, but I could be wrong.

And don't say "both". No joke, this is all the volume I need. I shudder to think what manner of mutant "The Power Look" might turn me into.


Is there a reason you feel you need to do hang cleans or snatches? I am actually backing off from training mine. I only do shrugs for them and they grow pretty damn fast. Doing the exercises you mentioned would make them even that much more dominant.


To echo PX, I personally find that the more a trainee works on his traps, the harder it is to properly stimulate the lats and make them grow. Traps will grow easily, but if you work them too much, too often they can limit your overall gains.


I also wanted the posterior chain benefit, I suppose.

Any ideas what I would do for lats in that slot?


Have t-bar rows, high and low rows on an HS machine (or rows with a bar if you don't have access), and lat pull downs/pull ups been dismissed? I see people using "poster chain" on this board to the point of overuse. Train your back and your hamstrings. It isn't that complicated.


Yeah, my bad. You're completely right. It really makes sense what CT said about traps taking over movements. Those HS machines in the gym did look appealing. Should I do them uni- or bilaterally? 10x3, 4x6, EDT? Right now I am kind of hung up on wanting to try the 'EDT unilateral superset between hands' if that's OK with those who are more knowledgeable. And I'll shut up about the posterior chain.


I don't really agree with this concept CT-but the way I have built my traps best is heavy bent over cheating rows-tossed up to my belly while wearing straps and a belt-get up to 0ver 405 and watch your lats and traps grwo from one exercise.


I always did those machines bi-laterally. It is really down to a matter of preference. I think they are truly great machines.


I'd second to CT's post...
Having done OL for more than 4 years...traps are no problem. The problem arises when traps are so strong they start to activate in every pulling movement, with the traps getting even more stimulated and the rest of the back lagging way back. Sorta like a positive feedback...

I can power snatch 210lbs...but I can barely bent row 135lbs. This imbalance is seriously holding back my poundage on the Olympic press.


Where do you guys stand on using the monkey grip in lat exercises for better activation? (Compared to, say, a supinated grip which can't be done without the thumb, at least safely by me.)


Describe "monkey grip". Is it anything like a "donkey punch"?


are you serious? i believe you but i find it astonishing, 135lbs in the row is really low for someone who can power snatch 210. you must have some serious hip extension power to achieve that. Don't your lats get hit when you are doing your overhead pressing. do you think just adding more heavy rows and pullups will solve your problem? laters pk


Ignorant, man, ignorant. :stuck_out_tongue:

Pronated without thumb wrapped.


To make it clear, I do them with the backs of my hands facing behind me...and I use as many fingers as possible.



Judging by what you've posted, you would do just fine to limiting any trap-work down to one exercise.

I use the Olympic bar stacked with loads of weight. Shrug that SOB for 4 sets of 8 reps. You'll be good to go.

My trap routine:

1st Set 8 reps (Warm-up) - 245 lbs
2nd Set 8 reps - 275 lbs
3rd Set 8 reps - 315 lbs
4th Set 8 reps - 335 lbs

If you don't like wraps you could invest in hooks. I use RD Millennium hooks. They work a hell of a lot better than wraps, in my opinion, and allow you to concentrate on the weight more without worrying about holding on to the load.