I admit I didn’t know quite how to title this, but I thought it might make for a good topic of positive discussion - this is not a PL >> BB discussion. I’ve been reading up on DC training and found this very interesting coming from Dante himself, although more than likely some time ago…
RH: One odd thing is that you donâ??t believe in doing any direct work for the traps. Whatâ??s your reasoning for that?
D:Name the 2 bodybuilders out of the 400 pros that have the most gigantic traps. Ronnie Coleman and Johnnie Jackson. Everyone and their brother is doing shrugs but why did those two former powerlifters join the bodybuilding ranks and have traps that stand up to their ears? Deadlifts. In my opinion there isn’t a 225-275lb shrug on this planet that could ever equal the trap size you can accomplish by doing 300-650lb floor deadlifts and rack deadlifts.
Coleman and JOJ deadlift heavy AND shrug.
so, do both.
Figured it was worth a shot since the past couple of days most posts have gone down in flames. Thought I’d try to get back to the whole “discuss BB” thing.
I think Dante has a point that deadlifts are great trap builders, but he also sets up a false dichotomy - who deadlifts more than 300 but only shrugs 225? Most people can shrug more than they dead. By his logic, if it’s the weight that builds the traps then it would be a no brainer for shrugs… (unless I am misinterpreting what he wrote).
This is so complicated. Deadlifts are a larger compound exercise, they will work your traps. If you like your traps then continue deadlifting. If you don’t deadlift, or you find your traps lacking, include shrugs which is more of an isolation exercises(specially if done with straps). Just like you can do barbell rows and have very nice arms, and if proportionately you want them bigger you would add curls or some form of isolation exercise.
I think Dante has a point that deadlifts are great trap builders, but he also sets up a false dichotomy - who deadlifts more than 300 but only shrugs 225? Most people can shrug more than they dead. By his logic, if it’s the weight that builds the traps then it would be a no brainer for shrugs… (unless I am misinterpreting what he wrote). [/quote]
I can pull 245kg but can’t shrug anywhere near that. Not hating on your post as I’ve seen people shrug a lot more than they can deadlift, just I’d like to know why I can’t lol
I think he was referring to the weight of dumbells, so that would be a pair at those weights… although I may be wrong.
There are also many variations in Shrugs, such as Dumbell Shrugs, Power Shrugs, etc. I would agree that you can defintely do more with Power Shrugs than Deadlifts (shorter range of motion, and a “partial” of the DL) but probably not when doing DB Shrugs (more isolation).
I may get flamed for this, but I think I had some pretty awesome Trap development while doing heavy Overhead Press and Deadlifts during the year or so I spent focused on strength and attempting to develop a strong base to work from.
I believe both have their place, similar to Bench Press and Cable Cross-Overs. Both work the chest, but serve a different purpose (mass vs sculpting?).
To encourage it further, assume you could only do 5 exercises for the rest of your lifting career. You can have variations in how you perform that exercise ie rest-pause, super-set, pyramid’ing, high intensity low volume, etc. but you couldn’t swap from those exercises. What would they be (and why - best for your personal development, experience, you just plain like them, etc.)?
as much as i respect dante, i find the weight reference “225-275 shrug” and “300-650lb deadlift” hilarious.
and lol @ 275lb dumbbells. where is Matt Kroc when you need him, now it all makes sense
I’m pretty sure trap_builder has already covered this.
Just a few thoughts.
The trapezius muscle originates from the skull & cervical vertebra (sup. nuchal line, c1-7) and thoracic vertebra (t1-12).
Contraction of all fibers of the muscle will retract the scapula (its insertion).
In the deadlift, the traps are not the primary movers in the lift, rather the traps help to stabilize the scapula, and the shrug is a very short movement.
Traps are also worked when full ROM rows are done (chest supported/t-bar/bent over). (This is the lift that I would say would be the best builder for a contractile movement. Also, I think that DC principles would align with this notion from what I’ve read.)
With this information in mind, you can make your own opinions.
Personally I have never understood why people use the shrug as their primary trap builder. The main focus of shrugs is on the superior muscle fibers and I don’t really see how it would be the best movement to contribute to overall development of the muscle (not saying to disregard the lift, or that it contributes nothing to thickness). I also never got why when authors on this site make a comment like, “people who deadlift well also happen to have a great back,” people on here automatically assume that the people being talked about are never doing other lifts for their back.
The solution? Do them all (pulling, rowing with scapular retraction, scapular elevation), and if there is one that you could reason to neglect, it should be the shrug. I personally think the shrug is surrounded by more broscience than the bench press.
What’s wrong with doing both?
To me this is like saying curls are irrelevant for bicep growth in a program utilizing rows and chin ups. Yeah you hit them without but a little direct work goes a long way.
Friend of mine…this guy mainly just does seriously heavy and high rep shrugs for his traps. I’m talking stuff like 800 lbs for 60+ reps, etc. I’ve personally discussed this with him, and he said that’s what he got virtually all of his trap growth from. But go ahead, just relying on “sub-scapular retraction with isometric contraction with 3 second negatives” or what-have-you, and justify your small traps.
When you deadlift, you also shrug, and pull your scapulae together ( at least that’s what you’re supposed to do, opposed to just letting your arms hang down just to get the weight up ).
This is self-explanatory guys, why make it complicated…
Deadlift to build the strength, so when you add volume to your trap training via shrugs, you can do that with heavy weight. They complement each other for trap size.
Also, can’t see how you can hold 300 for shrugs if you’re weak in the top ROM of DL.
Friend of mine…this guy mainly just does seriously heavy and high rep shrugs for his traps. I’m talking stuff like 800 lbs for 60+ reps, etc. I’ve personally discussed this with him, and he said that’s what he got virtually all of his trap growth from. But go ahead, just relying on “sub-scapular retraction with isometric contraction with 3 second negatives” or what-have-you, and justify your small traps. [/quote]
I need to find bigger friends. One of the fallacies of working out in a home gym, although most gyms don’t have big dudes in them anyways.
I wasn’t really saying that you HAD to pick one or the other, just figured I’d throw out something for a point of discussion. I honestly far enjoy Deadlifting more than Dumbell Shrugs, but can see the worth of both.
Is the guy in the pic one of your lifting partners, or just someone at the gym you know? Both of you guys are doing an awesome job!
if you want big traps, why avoid shrugs? relying on deadlifts to build big traps is like relying on underhand barbell rows to build 18" biceps.
so this must be the ultimate trap builder
if you want big traps, why avoid shrugs? relying on deadlifts to build big traps is like relying on underhand barbell rows to build 18" biceps.[/quote]
I have to agree. It’s like the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line.
I was doing a little reading and stumbled upon this. Thought it was pertinent.