T Nation

Thoughts on These Shrugs

I have been doing the following for awhile after Deadlifts:

Powershrugs: (All weights in Lbs with BB)
10@335
10@355
6@375 (Hope to get at least 8 next time around)

“Normal Shrugs”
12@315
15@225
20@135

Now, this has been working for me, as my traps have been growing, so I’m inclined not to switch what I’m doing, but there is a catch:

Because I’m still a pussy, I can’t grip the bar past 315lbs. So on the power shrugs I have been staggering my grip. One set Left over Right under, and switch for the next set.

(I’m trying to avoid straps as my forearms are responding pretty well, but not as fast as the rest of me. But if I need to get them, it is what it is.)

So am I setting myself up to injure myself by staggering my grip on the heavy shrugs?

straps CAN be used i feel during that last set on both the movements. that is where your grip will be betraying you the most.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
So am I setting myself up to injure myself by staggering my grip on the heavy shrugs?[/quote]

Yes. Don’t think that just because you’re using straps that you’re not going to work out your forearms - especially if you’re deadlifting prior.

They will get plenty of work without a doubt. Also, can’t say I’ve really heard anyone use a staggered grip on shrugs. I can’t imagine it’s too physiologically beneficial.

I use to stagger my grip on BB shrugs. It just felt wrong in my shoulders to hold on normally. I tried straps and the like but I still didn’t like it. Staggering never made one trap bigger than the other or anything just make sure you keep the work spread even between grips.
I switched to DB shrugs and power high pulls.

[quote]ballsout wrote:
I use to stagger my grip on BB shrugs. It just felt wrong in my shoulders to hold on normally. I tried straps and the like but I still didn’t like it. Staggering never made one trap bigger than the other or anything just make sure you keep the work spread even between grips.
I switched to DB shrugs and power high pulls.[/quote]

how big are you? I’m only dling in the 400s and I had noticable (to me…) difference in the size of my traps from using the same mixed grip on my last heavy set of deads. I had to start doing strapped dbl overhand shrugs to make it go away.

Since this is in the bodybuilding forum I guess it’s safe to assume that you are not going to need superior grip strength for a raw competition or anything. Get some good straps, use them when you need to.

If you use straps and still squeeze the bar hard you will work your forearms. Just do a little forearm isolation work on the side and you should be good.

As far as injuring yourself with a mixed grip, I’d say it’s probably not that big of a deal. I prefer double overhand grip just because it feels more natural to shrug that way.

What about your lats?

Reason i’m saying is a staggered grip (wiuthout switching) will likely cause a signifiant imbalance in your lats, and at your age it may even cause a difference in attachment. And that doesn’t even out as easily in my experience.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
ballsout wrote:
I use to stagger my grip on BB shrugs. It just felt wrong in my shoulders to hold on normally. I tried straps and the like but I still didn’t like it. Staggering never made one trap bigger than the other or anything just make sure you keep the work spread even between grips.
I switched to DB shrugs and power high pulls.

how big are you? I’m only dling in the 400s and I had noticable (to me…) difference in the size of my traps from using the same mixed grip on my last heavy set of deads. I had to start doing strapped dbl overhand shrugs to make it go away.[/quote]

If your goal is big traps use the straps and then add some direct forearm work into your program on cardio or ab days or whatever works for you.

Shrugs with mixed grip sound really awkward anyway, have you tried a hook grip with your thumbs sort of tucked in ‘under’ the bar; that grip makes a significant increase in the weight I can use unstrapped but it was awkward to learn.

What kind of grip/weights do you use for your standard DL’s?

[quote]Psicks wrote:

What kind of grip/weights do you use for your standard DL’s?

[/quote]

as of today, still 3x3@335. Mix my grip after 1x5@315.

Like I said, still weak, but that is up from 135 on 09/01/08.

Bought straps today.

The above comment about one side being noticeably larger than the other kinda freaked me out a bit.

Thanks for the replies…

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote:
Since this is in the bodybuilding forum I guess it’s safe to assume that you are not going to need superior grip strength for a raw competition or anything. [/quote]

Good point… Very good point.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
What about your lats?

Reason i’m saying is a staggered grip (wiuthout switching) will likely cause a signifiant imbalance in your lats, and at your age it may even cause a difference in attachment. And that doesn’t even out as easily in my experience.

zephead4747 wrote:
ballsout wrote:
I use to stagger my grip on BB shrugs. It just felt wrong in my shoulders to hold on normally. I tried straps and the like but I still didn’t like it. Staggering never made one trap bigger than the other or anything just make sure you keep the work spread even between grips.
I switched to DB shrugs and power high pulls.

how big are you? I’m only dling in the 400s and I had noticable (to me…) difference in the size of my traps from using the same mixed grip on my last heavy set of deads. I had to start doing strapped dbl overhand shrugs to make it go away.

[/quote]

not really. I was doing a lot of chinning and DB rowing. I also use a really close stance/really close grip so my lats might not have been as activated as if I had a wider grip.]

But I never did any trap specific work, just heavy pulls.

My shrug training is very similar to yours, OP. And I use a staggered grip for the heaviest sets. I have never felt as if it is a bad thing, my traps get fried and stay fried for a few days.

I’d be curious to see what a qualified trainer/kinesiologist has to say about it though. I can’t see or feel how an over/under grip would be a bad thing with shrugs, since the traps are the primary movers, but I don’t know much about the finer points of exercise physiology.

‘IMO’ Use straps for shrugs & always use an over-grip w/both hands.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
‘IMO’ Use straps for shrugs & always use an over-grip w/both hands.[/quote]

Agreed. I always use straps for shrugs with any kind of decent weight. IMO I don’t have to think about my grip and can really focus on getting the shoulders high.