T Nation

Traps/Upper Back/Neck Program


Anybody got a good trap/neck program? Thanks


Lots and lots of deadlifting.


I used the "search" function and found this from Christian Thibaudeau in about 2 minutes...

When specializing I prefer to use more frequent, but lower volume sessions.

Something like:

Day 1 (strength day)

A. Power clean 5/4/3/5/4/3
B. Clean grip high pull 5/4/3
C. Power shrugs 3 x 5

Day 2 (functional hypertrophy zone)

A. Barbell shrugs 8/7/6/7/8
B. Shrugs lying chest first on an incline bench 4 x 6-8

Day 3 (exhaustion training/triple set)
A1. Standing calf machine shrugs 4 x 6 + 2 sec. iso hold on each rep
A2. Isometric barbell shrug hold - shoot for a 30-45 sec. hold
A3. Loaded dumbbell shrugs stretch (basically hold on to two big dumbbells and let them stretch your traps) - shoot for stretches of 45-60 seconds

Repeat the triple set 3-4 times



the Yoke


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I thought of that as soon as I read his post and was gonna put it.


Hey thanks everybody, "the yoke" is what's up. Can't wait to start shruggin.


gotta love it!!!!!!


what a dumb post.


You just topped it. The post was on target.


same here
That article is on my favorites


yeah. what's dumb about dealifting ?

explain youself or quit littering.


Thanks for pointing out the error of my ways, I bow to your superior intellect. I'll get smarter...all deadlifting shall cease and decist immediately!! I'll let all trap and neck gains atrophy from said deadlifting, then I'll come back and get enlightened.

I agree with the top as well, The Yoke looks pretty effective. However, I personally have taken on a mission to pull a double bodyweight deadlift, which would be about 530 lbs. Of course, one I do that, I won't be happy until 600 goes up. So I spend my time deadlifting, and I have seen some terrific gains in my traps, whole back, forearms, and neck.

--Love peace and chicken grease.


I do shrugs. That's it. They work.


CT has an old article that I did way back when called "The Power Look" (i think). It really added beef to my traps. I have kept that mass ever since with deads, cleans, snatchs and various other things. I highly recommend that program!


Rack pulls always work my traps pretty well.

Yates row supersetted with behind the back shrugs works pretty well too.


I saw that. It really did work nice for you?


i was wondering why that had not come up yet. shrugs for traps. like peanut butter and jelly, you cant have one without the other.


to tell someone to just dealift a lot to get big traps is not productive. it depends on the rest of his routine and his current level of development. and just telling anyone to do a fundamental movement like deadlifts 'a lot' is far too ambiguous to be helpful. what does 'a lot' mean? how much weight? how often per week? how much weight? your post was dumb.

and of all exercises, the vast majority or trainees cannot deadlift all the time for months and years on end. it's one of those movements that is easily done too often and overtrained. i always see young ids deadlifting 2-3 times a week for months on end with only a year or two of training under their belt... then they wonder why their performance quickly diminishes. maybe they got advice from someone like you about 'deadlifting a lot'.

that being said, deadlifts alone will not build great traps on most people. yes i know a small handful of people with amazing traps who only deadlift , but this group of people is few and far between. most people need direct work through shrugs or explosive cleans, etc...

a much better post was made above regarding one of CT's programs which emphasized the upper back and traps. there is actually some context given. and not some generic bullshit like 'deadlift a lot' from a guy who can't even deadlift double bodyweight.

and if your goal is to deadlift double body weight , it suggests quite a bit about your current level of development, experience, and training knowledge. it suggests that you are in a position to receive advice, not give it out.

when you say shit like 'deadlift a lot', you just sound like all these inexperienced chumps who run around in these forums thinking that deadlifting, benching, and squatting alone will make a physique big and impressive.

sorry to break it to you, but it gets a lot more complicated than that after you make some serious progress. you'll find out eventually .



what a crazy idea!