T Nation

Shoulder and Traps Focus


#1

Coach,
I'm looking to make the biggest visual change I can make in the next 4 weeks. I'm following advice you gave to someone else and focusing on the shoulders and traps. Would you advise that I focus majority of my time and energy on the push-press and high-pull, while maybe adding a few other exercises to maintain the rest of my body?

For example:
Day 1: Layers with Push press + 50 total Pull-ups
Day 2: Layers with High-Pull + 50 Dips
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Layers with Push press + 50 total Pull-ups
Day 5: Layers with High-Pull + 50 Dips
Day 6: Off
Day 7: ??? Not sure. Maybe some sled work for legs?

Of course that is just a very rough template I threw together just then, but would something similar to that work? Any help is appreciated. Thanks for all your work Coach Thibs!


#2

I’m using a traps specialization with one of my clients at the moment.

While we are focusing on the yoke area we still want to build everything or at least avoid losing muscle anywhere.

So we still train the whole body but I selected exercises that naturally involve the traps/delts as much as possible.

For example: snatch-grip high pulls, trap-bar deadlift for legs, incline bench press for chest, push press, chest-supported row (chinese row).

I do not use the layer approach. I go heavy with the big basic lifts and superset every big basic movement with a shrug variation done for slightly higher reps (8-10) with a hold on each rep (2-3 sec).

We also do farmer’s walk fairly often both to lose fat and further stimulate the traps.


#3

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I’m using a traps specialization with one of my clients at the moment.

While we are focusing on the yoke area we still want to build everything or at least avoid losing muscle anywhere.

So we still train the whole body but I selected exercises that naturally involve the traps/delts as much as possible.

For example: snatch-grip high pulls, trap-bar deadlift for legs, incline bench press for chest, push press, chest-supported row (chinese row).

I do not use the layer approach. I go heavy with the big basic lifts and superset every big basic movement with a shrug variation done for slightly higher reps (8-10) with a hold on each rep (2-3 sec).

We also do farmer’s walk fairly often both to lose fat and further stimulate the traps.[/quote]

Do you use a lift-based split with this approach, or if not how do you plan the week?


#4

[quote]D.E.N.N.I.S wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I’m using a traps specialization with one of my clients at the moment.

While we are focusing on the yoke area we still want to build everything or at least avoid losing muscle anywhere.

So we still train the whole body but I selected exercises that naturally involve the traps/delts as much as possible.

For example: snatch-grip high pulls, trap-bar deadlift for legs, incline bench press for chest, push press, chest-supported row (chinese row).

I do not use the layer approach. I go heavy with the big basic lifts and superset every big basic movement with a shrug variation done for slightly higher reps (8-10) with a hold on each rep (2-3 sec).

We also do farmer’s walk fairly often both to lose fat and further stimulate the traps.[/quote]

Do you use a lift-based split with this approach, or if not how do you plan the week?
[/quote]

Well, with him I use a “regional” approach… but that doesn’t really matter since it’s all based on big lifts anyway. It’s not like “legs” means doing leg extensions and legs curls. We have a primary strength lift which is trained heavier and two auxiliary lifts which are trained with slightly higher reps (for example 6-8 instead of 3-5). And all three lifts are supersetted with a traps movement.

Something like:

DAY 1 - Pulling (back)
DAY 2 - Legs & Farmer’s walk
DAY 3 - Pressing (chest & shoulders)
DAY 4 - Arms & Farmer’s walk

(he only trains 4 days a week)


#5

Thank you. When using farmer’s walk to hit the traps mostly, do you like straps and what duration is best?


#6

[quote]D.E.N.N.I.S wrote:
Thank you. When using farmer’s walk to hit the traps mostly, do you like straps and what duration is best? [/quote]

I never “like straps” but when training mostly for size they can be useful sometimes. So I will not say “I recommend wearing straps”. But I will say that if your grip is limiting your capacity to do the exercise and you don’t have a plan to complete in strongman, by all means use straps.

For size I like 30-45 second trips


#7

Gotcha. Thanks a heap CT!


#8

Do you think it’d work to split it this way in order to add some delt work on a second day in place of arms day?

Day 1 - pulling and biceps
Day 2 - legs and farmers walk
Day 3 - chest, shoulders and triceps
Day 4 - delts pump work and farmers walk


#9

What are the auxiliary exercises in Christian’s clients program?


#10

[quote]zail wrote:
What are the auxiliary exercises in Christian’s clients program? [/quote]

  1. It’s not the same exercises for everybody. Not everybody has the same needs or respond to the same movements

  2. My clients pay me to design programs for them, I can’t give everything away, wouldn’t be fair for them!