T Nation

Trap Bar Questions

CT, I notice you have been using and/or recommending the Trap Bar (specifically the Dead/Squat Bar, but the Trap Bar has been your recommendation before that came out) So I had a few questions for you:

1 - Any idea why its called a “trap bar?” Is it because you are “trapped” in it, or is it a better bar to use for Trap exercises like Shrugs and the dead lift? I know you are somewhat of an Iron History buff, so maybe there is some weird explanation from the past you know.

2 - Would you say its mainly a Leg/Quads exercise? Or does it hit the lower/upper back better? Or is it really, truly a great combo of the Dead lift and Squat, hence the name for the premier Dead-Squat bar?

3 - If one were to use this as their primary leg exercise, as in your Layer System, are they any potential weaknesses that could arise that would need to be addressed with a secondary exercise?

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
CT, I notice you have been using and/or recommending the Trap Bar (specifically the Dead/Squat Bar, but the Trap Bar has been your recommendation before that came out) So I had a few questions for you: [/quote]

I don’t really like the question since it makes it seems like a trap bar is just as good as the Dead-Squat bar, which it isn’t… far from it. The Dead-Squat is a lot more than an upscale trap bar.

Anyway…

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
1 - Any idea why its called a “trap bar?” Is it because you are “trapped” in it, or is it a better bar to use for Trap exercises like Shrugs and the dead lift? I know you are somewhat of an Iron History buff, so maybe there is some weird explanation from the past you know. [/quote]

It’s much simpler than that. The original trap bar was… trapezoid in shape (I attached a picture). Eventually they also make an ‘hex bar’ which was in the shape of an hexagon and they even had one where the bar was a cicle (it was called the Peary Rader Magic circle).

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
2 - Would you say its mainly a Leg/Quads exercise? Or does it hit the lower/upper back better? Or is it really, truly a great combo of the Dead lift and Squat, hence the name for the premier Dead-Squat bar?[/quote]

It is truly a combo of the squat for the leg involvement and deadlift for back development. I’d say that it is about 90% the effect of squats on the legs and 90% of the deadlift on the back, to me that makes it more than worth it as a main lower body exercise. For people with long legs, the Dead-Squat bar is actually more effective than squats to build the legs.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
3 - If one were to use this as their primary leg exercise, as in your Layer System, are they any potential weaknesses that could arise that would need to be addressed with a secondary exercise?
[/quote]

I do some posterior chain work (reverse hyper, sometimes RDL and some leg curls). Most people will get the hamstring stimulation they need from high pulls and the Dead-Squat, but hamstrings have always been way overpowered by my quads and I feel the need for some direct work to reach maximum performance and development.

Thanks for the reply, CT. I should have known it was going to be a simple answer for the name. Just looked up the Magic Circle as well, looks like an old school torture instrument of sorts.

Its kinda funny to see pics of “other trap bars” now that the Dead-Squat bar is in seared into my brain. They all look so puny and tiny.

I did the first Layer session with my gyms trap bar today and I definitely noticed it in my legs, but was surprised at how much of a whole body stimulator it was. Really enjoying the layers so far, cant wait to cycle back around to see how the numbers change and improve as the weeks go on.

Lonnie:

See pg. 3 of this older T-Nation article - it has a picture of the Magic Circle…Looks daunting! :o

Cheers,
M