T Nation

Trap Specialisation


First off I would like to say welcome and thank you, I’ve been a big fan for a long time and it’s great to now have you here! I often recommend your guaranteed muscle routine and the 500 reps shoulder specialisation, they have work very well for me.

So when I decided I wanted to bring my traps up I knew straight away to look for an article from you.

This is the one I found and I plan on implementing the 2 trap sessions, I’m not too sure how to structure the rest of my week though.

I train day on day off when life allows, my plan was

Trap day
Chest and back
Trap day
Legs and arms
Off and repeat.

As you see above I’ve not included a direct shoulder day? Is this a wise move? I figured they are getting a fair bit of indirect work with the 2 trap days.

Do you have any better recommendations for how you would structured the rest of the week? And would you treat all other body parts as maintenance whilst running a specialisation routine?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thank you.


This looks fine. Another way to do this would be to train traps every single workout by picking a movement from the list I gave. This would also work really well and something I did for a long time to bring mine up.


Thanks very much, will try it as written first to see if I can make it work with my schedule. Would like to try it this way as my delts responded so well to the high volume per session in the 500 rep sessions. If I find I’m missing too many sessions then the new way you mentioned will definitely fit better.

Done the first session last night and my side delts are extremely sore today, think it was the lawn mowers!


Here are a couple ideas in addition to what Paul said. My current split is upper/ lower so I do trap and rear delt specialization work after my main lifts on upper body days:

Traps Superset: Snatch grip high pulls supersetted with paused DB shrugs. 5x5 on high-pulls and 5x8-10 on shrugs with a 5 second pause at the top.

Rear Delt Superset: Face-pulls supersetted with Band Pull-Aparts. I Will set a Tabata timer and do 5 “rounds” or 20 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

Trap/ Rear Delt Superset: On an adjustable cable & rope attachment I will superset cable upright rows with face pulls.

Trap/ Rear Delt Superset #2: Smith machine paused shrugs with band pull aparts.

Obviously don’t do all of these on the same day. I normally do rear delts when I bench and traps when I overhead press.


Thanks for the insight


Hey Paul, just wanted to drop you a thanks for the traps article and advice.

For the first 3 weeks I ran it as is, after that I switch to picking one exercise each session like you advised.

I’m extremely happy with the results, not only have a gained noticeable size on my traps, I’ve gained some rear and medial delt too. The lawn mowers are my new favourite and I think they are responsible for the shoulder growth.

Here is a before and after. Top before, below after.


Wow! That’s some awesome progress! Esp in the mid-lower traps there! Thanks for letting me know! Keep at it until hearing becomes a problem.


Yeah I’m very happy with the results, I’ve never really done much for traps directly so I’m not surprised that this type of approach shocked them into some growth.

When I dieted down last year traps and upper chest were a clear weakness. Training from home with limited equipment I’m struggling to get the upper chest going.


Hi Paul, I am following the same article but I don’t feel much of the exercises in my Mid & lower traps. Any pointers to focus on for Mid/lower traps. I do the YWTL’s also to activate them before trap work.


Honestly man until you’ve really build a strong foundation I wouldn’t sweat that stuff. Do rows and your traps work and if you REALLY need lower trap work because of a lack of shoulder stabilization then do the trap raise on an incline bench.


Thanks Paul. Let me invest more on the basics. Anyway I don’t think this YWTL stuff is working :slight_smile: