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67% Faster Trap Growth!


Posted by Scott_Herman - September 27th, 2019

We are back with the 67% FASTER GROWTH series and today we’re going to focus on TRAPS! If you’re new to the series, YES, the title is clickbait. Just a bit of fun to get your attention. But the tips are LEGIT and I suggest you check out the entire playlist for this series, ESPECIALLY the CHEST TIPS.

So, with that in mind, let’s talk about how you can finally get your traps to start growing because the tips I’m about to share with you have actually helped ME tremendously as well!

The Basics

To get your traps to grow, you need to train your traps. So, what I want you to do, regardless of whether or not you decide to adopt the advice I’m going to share with you here, is simply double or triple the frequency of your trap training. More specifically, I want you to train your traps at least twice a week, especially if your traps are a weak or lagging body part.  This means that if you think you have a solid routine already for traps, just do it two to three times a week and you will see more growth.

Now let’s flip the equation. Maybe you’re already training your traps multiple times a week, but you’re not seeing growth.  Well, that means that your exercise selection is bad or you’re not overloading enough, or both.

No matter what exercise you decide to perform, unless it’s Rack Pulls, there is going to be some kind of scapular elevation because… that’s what your traps do; they shrug your shoulders. However, the position of your scapulae, your shoulders and your arms can make a world of a difference when trying to stimulate the traps in different ways.  

A lot of people I see will do various exercises for the traps, but the movement patterns are the same. For example, if you’re ALWAYS performing standard Dumbbell Shrugs or Barbell Shrugs for your traps, it’s no wonder why your traps have stopped growing and why you’re not getting stronger with this movement. Thinking of my own growth, that’s exactly how I was able to surpass MY plateaus! I used to perform ONLY rack pulls or ONLY shrugs. So, I decided to add some spice to my trap training and introduce a KILLER SUPERSET that’s going to fry your traps by combining mechanical tension and volume in order to force your traps to grow.

The Superset

So, for this superset, you’re going to combine the Barbell Shrug with a Reverse Shrug.

But you’re not just going to walk in and move your shoulders up and down. We’re going to focus on POWER SHRUGS. This means we’re going to overload as heavy as we can and use a bit of momentum during the concentric phase of the movement.

So load up the barbell with as much weight as you can handle for 8 – 10 reps of a barbell shrug, grab your wrist straps and hold the barbell with your hands just outside of shoulder width apart.  

Once in place, begin to power shrug trying your best to hit that 8 – 10 rep range. Do your best to keep your shoulders neutral, but it’s OK if some slight protraction of the shoulders occur. Just make sure you’re not fully protracted, that will cause some serious shoulder impingement and could lead to a serious injury over time.

As soon as you complete your reps you’re going to turn around and grab the barbell with your hands facing your body. Now this is VERY important. Like I mentioned in the beginning, it’s the slight variations that are going to help you activate your traps in different ways. If your palms are facing away from your body, it’s basically the same movement pattern as the shrugs you just performed as your shoulders will be neutral or slightly pronated.

But with your palms facing your body this is going to force you to have to retract your shoulder blades more and as the weight is moving up and down you’re going to feel the stress of the weight more throughout your DORSAL PLANE VS your VENTRAL PLANE like you did with front shrugs.

Now as an added tip, to help keep your shoulders retracted and in the right position for both variations of the power shrugs, do your best to keep your chest up, your core tight and flex your GLUTES. Most people avoid behind the back shrugs because the barbell bounces off their butt. However, if you flex your glutes this will move your hips forward just enough so the barbell clears your glutes on the way up.

Sets & Reps

Here’s what I recommend for your next traps workout. Start with a heavy trap exercise that enables you to OVERLOAD with a lot of weight. This can be a Rack Pull, a Trap-Bar Deadlift or even Farmers Walks. But personally, I would go with the Rack Pull.


Then as soon as you complete 4 sets of 5 – 6 REPS of the Rack Pull, go ahead and perform 5 rounds of the Power Shrug Superset completing 8 - 10 reps for each exercise and resting 60 – 90 seconds between sets.

As for which workout you incorporate this routine into, it makes the most sense to have it on an upper body day and lower body day if training multiple times a week. If you want, you guys can post your current training split in the Forums and the community and I can help you map out your training schedule to maximize your training schedule.

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