T Nation

trap training tip

For a while my traps were lagging behind what I would have
liked. People suggested I do deadlifts, so I did deadlifts.
That helped, but I still didn’t have the development that
I wanted. So people suggested power cleans. So I (tried)
to do power cleans (with pathetic form), and again that
helped, but still didn’t provide me with the results I
wanted.

But I discovered by accident what will make your traps grow like mad: farmer walks with heavy dumbells. The management retards designed the floorplan of the gym I train at in such a way that you have to carry the DBs a distance in order to use them in conjuntion with certain other pieces of equipment. After doing this a couple times, I noticed that my traps (and my forearms) really grew doing this. So I started intentionally incorporating farmer walks with heavy dumbells into my trap workouts. Sometimes I use them as a "finisher" exercise (see Chris Shugart's article on "Finishers.")

Now my goal is to do 100 - 2 - 100 - 2. What I mean by that is, walk 100 yards (about the length of the gym I train at) two times, carrying 2 100 lb dumbells (one in each hand). In other words, I walk from one end of the gym to the other, and back again. I haven't made it yet, as my forearms/grip usually give out. This is a great forearm/ grip exercise too!

The best part of this excersise are all the strange looks I get as I deadlift 2 100lb dumbells, walk through the free weight section, past the weight machines, past all the cardio equipment, and drop the dumbells down in front of the aerobics room. The looks on the faces of the employees who would otherwise have to put them back on the rack (if I didn't turn around and take them back) is priceless. Enjoy!

I’ve actually started doing something similar. I use the 110 DB and do 3 sets of 125 feet. Its agony but I enjoy it. My goal is to be able to use the 150’s for 5. After that I’m going to have to find a new way to do it with heavier weights. The farmers walk is a great excercise. If you push out as you are doing it you should get a really good side delt pump too.

This training technique made me think of an article written
by Jose Antonio a while ago in which birds had weights
attached to their wings for long intervals which caused a
significant amount of muscle hyperplasia (not just
hypertrophy). I wonder what applicability that study has
to humans (if any) - specifically this type of long
duration exposure to extra weight.

Good tip man!!
I’ve noticed the traps are highly adaptable and they seem to thrive on the unconventional. Lately i’ve been doing a lot of one-legged squats (split-squats) with dumbells. Invariably my traps are sore the next day after hauling the dumbells around and trying to jack my back leg up on the bench to do my squats. As soon as I am through with this phase I will incorporate some farmers walks to see what it’s like.

I just HAVE to brag about my training partner here… He’s competed in powerlifting for close to 15 years now, but got interested in strongman about a year ago.
For his last contest, he practiced farmer’s walk in the gym with 320 lbs dumbells in each hand, running(!) 30 metres with them!!!
(We’ve made these special type of dumbells that we can load with Olympic plates)
I might add that his best deadlift in training was close to 900 lbs…