T Nation

Opinions: Trap Bar Squat/ Deadlift

This piece of kit is making a bit of a comeback and I have access to it at home.

So, is it as good as conventional deadlifting?

Is it a good replacement for squatting if no rack for bar is available??

Could Trap Bar DL and Another variety of deadlift be used in same routine?

I’ve heard a Trap Bar Deadlift equates to slightly more than a conentional deadlift??

Westside says its good at training technique and the initial pull in the conventional lift. Agree?

Theres a few of questions to get the debate going

What ya think???

I’ve never used one, but if you have access to it give it a whirl.

Conventional deads work just fine for me.

When I’ve used one (I wish my current gym had one) it felt a lot more powerful. Putting your arms to the side changes your posture enough so you can really feel the leg drive over the posterior chain in my experience.

[quote]machiajelly wrote:
When I’ve used one (I wish my current gym had one) it felt a lot more powerful. Putting your arms to the side changes your posture enough so you can really feel the leg drive over the posterior chain in my experience.[/quote]

Yeah i agree with this. Thats why I ask if it is a good alternative to the barbell squat? What sort of weight you lifting?

Think about this.

(1) The Trap Bad Deadlift is still a Deadlift.
Look at this guys body position throughout the lift notice the angle of his back, how his hips move, and how much bend is in his knees.


The Jersey Jackal doing it.

Zach Even-Esh doing it at 3:00

(2) Is it a good replacement for squatting when there is no squat rack available? Well, would you consider a Deadlift a good replacement for squatting when there is no squat rack available?

I find that many times people think Platform Deadlifts, Trap Bar Deadlifts, and Snatch Grip Deadlifts are good replacements for squats since the hips go through a longer range of motion. These all may very well be good exercises, but they’re not squats.

Sure, the hips are forced to go through a longer range of motion, but you still end up doing a Deadlift. Videotape yourself or watch the body position of anyone else doing these exercises. They don’t exactly squat the weight up with these pulls. The body position for these exercises resembles a very low good-morning in which the back is near parallel, but there is still VERY LITTLE KNEE BEND.

So if you don’t have a Squat Rack at the moment, but you need a Squat Substitute for “Leg Day” then you might want to look into Sumo Deadlifts, Front Squats superseded by a Clean off the floor, and various Unilateral Leg Exercises.

A Trap Bar Deadlift and any other Deadlift could certainly be used in the same program, even on the same day.

You could use it in your Max Effort Exercise rotation for Westside.

Week 1: Trap Bar Deadlift
Week 2: Low Front Box Squat
Week 3: Conventional Deadlift
Week 4: Anderson Squat

You could use it as a Bodybuilder in any number of splits.

Mon - Back (Trap Bar Deads)
Thurs- Legs (Sumo Deads)

Is the Trap Bar as good as a Conventional Deadlift? Why Choose? They’re both good. Is a Squat as Good as a Deadlift? Is a Row as good as a Chin? What are your goals?

If you want to be a competitive powerlifter, then you can use Trap Bar Deads as a Supplementary Exercise but all that really matters is that you make your Conventional Deadlift or Sumo Deadlift rise…and you need to figure out what makes that happen. Maybe you’re one of those people who gets a huge carry-over from Trap-bar deads. Maybe you’re not.

If you’re a football player, maybe the Trap Bar Deadlift is easier on your back, while other styles of Deadlifting beat you up and inhibit your performance in practice and in games.

The Trap Bar Deadlift is a tool. Figure out how it fits into your toolbox, or if there’s room for it. Power Snatches and Barbell Rows are both great exercises but I haven’t done either in a while for a lot of reasons.

Still, I’d say that Quads are not that important in a Trap Bar Deadlift, and that (as with the conventional Deadlift) the lift is more demanding on Back Strength than Hip Strength even though both areas need to be strong.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
Think about this.

(1) The Trap Bad Deadlift is still a Deadlift.
Look at this guys body position throughout the lift notice the angle of his back, how his hips move, and how much bend is in his knees.


The Jersey Jackal doing it.


Zach Even-Esh doing it at 3:00

(2) Is it a good replacement for squatting when there is no squat rack available? Well, would you consider a Deadlift a good replacement for squatting when there is no squat rack available?

I find that many times people think Platform Deadlifts, Trap Bar Deadlifts, and Snatch Grip Deadlifts are good replacements for squats since the hips go through a longer range of motion. These all may very well be good exercises, but they’re not squats.

Sure, the hips are forced to go through a longer range of motion, but you still end up doing a Deadlift. Videotape yourself or watch the body position of anyone else doing these exercises. They don’t exactly squat the weight up with these pulls. The body position for these exercises resembles a very low good-morning in which the back is near parallel, but there is still VERY LITTLE KNEE BEND.

So if you don’t have a Squat Rack at the moment, but you need a Squat Substitute for “Leg Day” then you might want to look into Sumo Deadlifts, Front Squats superseded by a Clean off the floor, and various Unilateral Leg Exercises.

A Trap Bar Deadlift and any other Deadlift could certainly be used in the same program, even on the same day.

You could use it in your Max Effort Exercise rotation for Westside.

Week 1: Trap Bar Deadlift
Week 2: Low Front Box Squat
Week 3: Conventional Deadlift
Week 4: Anderson Squat

You could use it as a Bodybuilder in any number of splits.

Mon - Back (Trap Bar Deads)
Thurs- Legs (Sumo Deads)

Is the Trap Bar as good as a Conventional Deadlift? Why Choose? They’re both good. Is a Squat as Good as a Deadlift? Is a Row as good as a Chin? What are your goals?

If you want to be a competitive powerlifter, then you can use Trap Bar Deads as a Supplementary Exercise but all that really matters is that you make your Conventional Deadlift or Sumo Deadlift rise…and you need to figure out what makes that happen. Maybe you’re one of those people who gets a huge carry-over from Trap-bar deads. Maybe you’re not.

If you’re a football player, maybe the Trap Bar Deadlift is easier on your back, while other styles of Deadlifting beat you up and inhibit your performance in practice and in games.

The Trap Bar Deadlift is a tool. Figure out how it fits into your toolbox, or if there’s room for it. Power Snatches and Barbell Rows are both great exercises but I haven’t done either in a while for a lot of reasons.

Still, I’d say that Quads are not that important in a Trap Bar Deadlift, and that (as with the conventional Deadlift) the lift is more demanding on Back Strength than Hip Strength even though both areas need to be strong. [/quote]

Great post geezer.

I’ll take it on board. At the moment on Sunday home workout I TBD 5x5

On Thursday I sometimes get to a gym and do a squat, or a proper canadian log squat outside.

the trap bar is used in high schools because its supposed to be less risk of back injury its more leg drive driven im told, i like it, u can use more weight and also good for static holds, heavy shurgs froma dumbell position since dumbells can only go so far. dont replace squats with anything!!!

Trap bar DLs are a bit more like a squat. You will definately get a bit more quad work and a bit less posterior chain work. I do them on occassion and really like them. I think they would make a fine replacement for traditional squating. You could also do behind the back DLs if you have the mobility. Brad Gillingham swears by them if I remember correctly.

I have a trap bar with the handle, and use it several ways:

1)handle hanging down - uses more quad as I squat down further
2)grabbing bar on same level as where a straight bar would be and doing pretty much SLDL - emphasis is on rear chain
3)using handles and doing farmer walk - used to ensure hard sleeping & loud snoring