T Nation

Trap Bar Carryover


#1

I was thinking about adding trap bar deads to my ME rotation. I don’t compete in PL right now. I was wondering how much carryover you guys get from trap bars to straight bar deads. Also fatbars for bench and OHP carryover. Im sure it will work for some and not for others. Just curious. Thanks.

I guess this could also be considered more of a strongman question.


#2

Some people get a lot out of trap bar deadlifts, Steve Johnson does a lot of those and Konstantin Konstantinov used them as well. Fat bars are mostly a waste of time for benching, there have been several EMG experiments that found no additional tricep activation, which was their supposed benefit. If you are going to be doing axle bar presses in a strongman comp then it might have some benefit, but I don’t see a good reason to use a fat bar to build the bench.


#3

Fat bars build bigger benches.

Grip, forearms, chest hairs, it’s a donnie thompson proven fact.

As for trap bar deadlifts… great for building lower body muscle and giving you a break from regular pulling.


#4

Josh Bryant says the opposite, he refers to studies that show no additional benefit and he coaches enough guys with 600+ benches for his opinion to hold more weight than just about anyone.


#5

Does he coach 600+ benchers or do 600+ benchers go to him for coaching?

Either way fat bar benching isn’t going to hurt your bench press so you might as well rotate it in. Obviously for strongmen you have to train it for OHP.


#6

I like benching with an axle because it means my wrists and elbows hurt a lot less. Which means I can spend more time pressing.


#7

Both from what I have seen.


#8

I see lots of guys in my area doing bench and floor presses with an axle for the pain relief.

I personally OHP with it because it’s lighter and easier to carry from one end of my gym to the other.

I don’t think there’s much carryover from trapbar to straight bar. But I’d only be doing trap bar if I wasn’t competing in PL


#9

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Are guys who bench 600+ typically so dumb that they would hire anyone as a coach?

That is true.


#10

If you are doing conjugate or something with lots of variations, one approach to work this out is to create a spreadsheet with three tabs. One for bench, squat, deadlift.

Then for each row in each sheet you put in:
Cycle Number, Start Max, Variation 1, Variation2, Variation 3, etc, End Max, Change in Max

So, if for your 3rd cycle you did 1" Deficit Deadlift, 2" Block Deadlift, Trap Bar Deadlift and you began with a 240kg deadlift and ended with 245, you’d have:

3, 240, 1" Deficit Deadlift, 2" Block Deadlift, Trapbar Deadlift, 245, 5

You can then sort by the last column and it will show you the variations you did that worked the best. If you see trapbar in a bunch of your cycles at the top then you respond well to trapbar. If it’s sitting towards the bottom then not so great.

Now this isn’t perfect because there are lots of factors - eg. trapbar might work well for you if you for triples but not for singles - so you still need to use common sense.


#11

Well it’s causation versus correlation.

I’m undecided on Josh Bryant. Not that I think he does anything wrong. Obviously it works. I just constantly hear about his benchers. That’s like talking about West Sides squatters, yeah they better be big.

But again is it talented lifters seeking out a talented coach or is it just “oh Josh has a few big benchers and I’m a big bencher so let me go with him”. They could be the same thing lol.

I feel like sometimes we get too caught up in the studies. If your bench goes down after some fat bar pressing then okay don’t do it, but to simply dismiss it because a study said it doesn’t address some specific thing might be silly.

Not I only use fat bar for accessories occasionally and then even rarely for speed work. So it’s not even that I’m super attached to it. Personally I hate it.

I think we can all agree though that fat bar squatting is silly. ( I can’t wait for someone to lash out over this lol )


#12

But what is the whole point of benching with a fat bar for powerlifting? The old story was that it recruits more muscle fibres in the triceps, but it has been proven that this is not the case. So what is the point of using this bar that will most likely require using less weight on the bar? If you have joint problems and such and the fat bar makes your joints feel better then that’s a good reason, but outside of that I don’t see one.


#13

And here’s the other thing, he has guys like James Strickland and Julius Maddox who were already strong when they started working with him, he has taken the to the point that they are going after all time world records. Not just anyone or anything can keep an advanced lifter progressing. Strickland said he attempted 600 numerous times and failed over and over before he started working with Josh, now 700 is the goal. Hoornstra was already benching world record level weights but he’s still getting better. I don’t think it’s a coincidence, how many people do you see that get kind of strong and never really get anywhere beyond that?


#14

I’ve always heard forearm muscle recruitment and stress off the elbows.

More forearm recruitment would lead to a tighter grip and transfer of power. In theory.


#15

I don’t follow his lifters too closely. You’re definitely right. If he’s pushing people that way the for sure he’s onto something.


#16

I wasn’t too impressed with him when I first heard of him, a lot of the things he was saying were contrary to what other coaches were preaching and I didn’t pay much attention beyond that. But after realizing that some of those same coaches started using his methods and seeing the progress his lifters were making I started reading his articles and books and making some decent progress. Ironically, it’s my bench that has made the least gains since I started using his methods, but it was plateaued for a while and at least it’s moving.


#17

Interesting. I’ll have to read more into him. How’s his shirt programming? Haha :slight_smile:


#18

There was one guy he posted training videos of who was training for equipped, I think it was multi-ply too if I’m not mistaken. He’s not the first person I would go to for equipped advice since that isn’t what he’s into, but he was coaching Blaine Sumner during his last offseason.


#19

Bryant reversed his stance on thick bar training, now it’s good, and he said Brooks Kubik was right about thick bar benching all along.

In the Dumbbell Training book he wrote with Fred Hatfield he mentions another study, which he thought was more relevant than the one in the bench press book. Something about thick handles getting more activation.


#20

Where do you get this from?