is it genetics or what?
I do infront barbell behind barbell.....dumb bells.....and use the hooks so i can hold up the big weights.
but i want big monster traps...and i dont see them
so how do I get them?.....huh huh!!!!
Pretty sure a lot of it is genetics(I think it depends a lot on where they attach at), but you should still get traps to a decent extent by working them out regularly.
Deads and rack pulls with peak contractions
Don't cheat when going heavy either, I see a lot of guys put their whole posterior chain into their shrugs.
-Saving random peoples' nuts, one pair at at time... PCT info:
-Are you really ready for a cycle? Read this link and be honest:
*I am not a medical expert, my opinions are not professional, and I strongly suggest doing research of your own.*
Yeah, if you do do shrugs, keep your feet planted with a slight knee bend. Don't turn your shrugs into clean pulls
It's probably mostly genetics. Shrugs always make mine sore, and they continue to grow. Try these shrugs out next time. First rep hold for one second. Second rep hold for two seconds. Third rep hold for three seconds. So on and so forth....keep going until you can't hold anything anymore. And do these with a weight thats as heavy as you can stand. A few sets of those once or twice a week, and you will start building them up.
Not that my traps are huge, but ive gota few comments on mine lately. I prefer db shrugs. I keep mine light (24kg-30kg each arm) and make sure i use a slow full range of motion and squeeze at the top.
I've also found upright rows and bent over laterals seem to help a little as well.
I agree with heavy weights make traps grow. My basic trap moves are BB Shrugs for heavy 1's and 3's, 5 sets, followed by Hammer Strength shrugs hitting max reps from 2 to 4 plates and back down, and using a low row machine with a rope keeping arms up high, elbows pointed out and stay bent throughout moving back and forth short ROM, 5x10 medium weight or drop sets. Less rest is best.
Edit: Deads and rack pulls as mentioned above are also great trap developers.
I recently tried a new exercise.... I dont know the name of the exercise as a buddy showed me how to do it but ill try to explain it....standing barbell fully extended above the head with arms slightly wider then shoulder width apart, then you push with your shoulders straight up into the air without bending your elbows. So the only muscles that should be used are your traps. I tried this exercise and i feel as if i get a pretty good pump from it but dont think itll be giving you as much muscle as your average dumbell shrugs, but its definitely worth a try. If anyone knows the name of this exercise please throw it out there..
by Jim Wendler
The importance of the yoke was brought to my attention when I was a junior at Wheeling High School in Wheeling, Illinois. I was sitting in English class when Alison Kopec, who was sitting directly behind me, grabbed my traps, gave them a thorough rubbing and complimented me on their size. She did so with a certain amount of sexiness and purpose that whispered, “Let’s get it on.” This is when I realized that having a big yoke could potentially lead to some dirty carnality. It never did, but I haven’t won the lottery either, and I’m still playing. From then on, I’ve been a proponent of building a massive yoke. But it wasn’t until later that the term, “yoke” would become part of the EFS vernacular.
Fast forward 14 years. Dave and I are getting measured for dress shirts. I’m about to get married and neither of us have a shirt to wear. Nothing fits off of the shelf so we bring someone to the EFS Compound to measure us. As the guy is measuring us, we notice that one measurement involves going from shoulder to shoulder, with the tape measure being brought over the traps. He mentions that this measurement is the “yoke”. Dave and I compare measurements and I’m happy to say that I came out WAY on top. It was such a crushing defeat that we had to console Dave for a week. It was not an enjoyable week at the Compound, but I was secretly smiling. I was King Yoke @ EFS.
What is the yoke?
The yoke is comprised of several different muscles, none of which I know the technical names of. So to save face and to speak the language of most of my constituents, the yoke is the traps, rear delts and the neck. Of course the traps are the most popular faction of the yoke, but it cannot survive without the neck and the rear delts. They must co-exist.
So why would you want to big a yoke?
Besides the possibility of a large yoke getting you some nighttime nummsies (which should be enough to convince any man), the yoke is the basis on which you will be judged. This may seem like a harsh statement, but let’s face the facts. We live in a society that judges on physical appearance. Having big legs is ok, but no one notices. Big arms make you seem too narcissistic. A big chest makes you look like Captain UpperBody; a superhero no one wants to dress up like during Halloween. So that leaves the yoke as the essential body part to develop.
I have said this a million times before; a big yoke = instant respect. No one wants to screw with a guy that has a big neck and a thick yoke. A massive yoke smells of hard work, strength, fighting and toughness. Every other muscle can be small if a big yoke is present.
So here are my rules to a big yoke. And to the doubters here is a picture of me and my yoke. This was taken right after prom. Aren’t we cute?
Yoke Rule #1 – Train Heavy
The history behind the development of the yoke started in the 8th grade. This is when I started to train. I didn’t know how to train but I did train heavy. This is the key component of being beefy. You cannot big a thick, impressive yoke handling weights that would be called “pink” if they were a color. Your training has to revolve around heavy squats, benches, and deadlifts. This is nothing that hasn’t been said before, but should always be reiterated. This is the most important rule if you want to go to Yoke State University.
Yoke Rule #2 – Deadlift
If you were to put me on a deserted island and allowed me to do one exercise, I would pick the deadlift. Also, since I suck at the deadlift no one would see how bad I was at it. No other lift works more muscles than the deadlift. The irony is that few people do this lift and when they do, it’s “for reps” or for “form work” so they don‘t hurt their back. These terms are code for “*****”. Yes, I did just say that, but let’s be honest and call a spade a spade. So you must pull and you must pull heavy.
Yoke Rule #3 – Hang Cleans/Snatches
I know some people aren’t keen on the Olympic lifts, but they are gold when developing the yoke. While the Power Clean/Power Snatch are OK, the “hang” versions are much better. This is because most people will use more upper body when doing hang cleans or hang snatches. I recommend doing them one time a week, for 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps. Don’t be afraid to use straps. The Olympic lifts were a big part of my program for a number of years and I credit them for building the foundation of a proper Yoke. Don’t be afraid to try clean grip snatches.
Yoke Rule #4 – Neck work
I’m a card carrying member of the Neckwork Network. I think every man should be doing neck work, regardless of sport. No one wants to have a stack of dimes holding their head in place. It’s embarrassing. As for exercises, I’m not a big fan of neck bridges as they seem unsafe and every time I see someone doing them I have this intense urge to kick their heads out from underneath them. Since I know I’m not the only that thinks like that, I’ll play it safe and stick to the neck harness and the 4 way neck machine. Now let me bestow some wisdom on you; don’t try to max out on these exercises. I tried putting a 100lb dumbbell on the neck harness and after a couple of reps, felt an intense pain in my neck. Not a good thing. When training the neck, either with the neck harness or the 4 way neck machine, stick to higher reps – 10-30 reps. I like to do neck work after each workout. When I was lugging the pigskin for University of Arizona, I would 2 sets of neck work every morning and 2 sets before I went to bed. I put my neck harness beside my bed as a constant reminder. I did sets of 30 reps. Bottom line; do some neck work or be doomed to a life of buying off the shelf.
Yoke Rule #5 – Shrugs
Shrugs are the most common and popular yoke exercise and for good reason. They are easy to do and they work. I have done my fair share of shrug variations and found that each one of them is unique and special. Here are some of my favorites –
The key to doing the shrugs (as with all exercises) is to maintain good form. Reps should fall between 6-20. Don’t be afraid to do some high reps with them.
- Barbell Shrugs
- DB Shrugs
- Trap Bar Shrugs
- Fat Bar Shrugs
- Power Squat Shrugs
- Safety Squat Bar Shrugs
- Chest Supported Row Shrugs
- Power Shrugs
Yoke Rule #6 – Upright Rows
Now I know some people laugh at this one, but they are weak and pathetic, so pay no mind to their chuckles. Up rows were a staple of my training for many years and I recently brought them back. After a recent up row session, my wife commented on the new growth of my traps so I know these work. I don’t like doing these too heavy as they hurt my shoulder sometimes and my form goes in the dumper. These are done for higher reps; 10-15.
Yoke Rule #7 – The Others
There are several other exercises other than the ones listed above that can contribute to a massive yoke. These include; face pulls, rear delt raises, seated dumbbell power cleans, chest supported rows, pull-ups/chin-ups and barbell/db rows. All have a contributing factor to the growth of the yoke, but you can survive without them. Now there are no more excuses for having a small yoke. This is not something that can be developed overnight. The maturation of the yoke takes time. Be patient and the rewards will be great.
DAMN!!!!!!.......that was a good write-up and funny too.
how bout age? does age have anything to do with it? im pushin 47 next month.
Great read about the yoke
i do mine by setting up like I am doing BO Rows at a 45 degree angle, and performing shrugs. It will really hit the diamond-shaped area between your neck and shoulder blades, and give the traps some thickness.
There was an article on here several months ago about a routine where you pick an exercise for a body part and choose a weight with which you can get no more than six reps. You do has many sets as it takes you to get too thirty reps. Resting only about 45 sec to a minute between each set. And you do this for that muscle two too three times a week. Each week increase the weight.
I by no means have monster traps,but I've been doing this now for a few weeks and have seen nice growth in my traps.
I wish I could find the article but I can't remember the title. Just that their was another article that same day titled "3D muscle".
Hang cleans. They dont have to be very heavy at all because the downward motion of the weight will do a lot on its own. These and deadlifts should get you what you want. Also, on back day, do heavy one arm db rows.
I found it!
"30 Reps to Bigger Muscles
First, consider the training parameters you've been using. Three sets of 10 reps isn't an ideal way to build muscle, even for muscle groups that welcome growth. Therefore, the best initial approach is to train a stubborn muscle group with a less traditional method that works awesome to build muscle.
30 Rep Method – this is a more effective twist on the 10 sets of 3 reps method that I've been advocating for a decade. Instead of doing 10 sets of 3 reps, you'll start with a load you can lift no more than six times for the first set.
Next you'll perform a second set of as many reps as possible (usually it'll be less than six reps). Then you'll perform a third set of as many reps as possible.
You'll continue performing as many sets as it takes until you reach 30 total reps.
You'll use the same load for all sets and the reps will decrease with the sets. This is an ideal way to train since you'll never miss a rep, and it's the way I approach muscle building in my book, Huge in a Hurry.
Here's a sample exercise pairing for the upper arms:
Exercise Weight Sets Reps Rest
1A Hammer curl * ** *** 30 sec.
1B Lying dumbbell triceps extension * ** *** 30 sec.
* a weight you can lift no more than 6 times for the first set
** until you reach 30 total reps
*** as many reps as possible
This is an example for one workout. You'll use only one exercise per muscle group and you'll put all your energy into that lift until you reach 30 total reps. Perform the 30-Rep Method three times per week with a different exercise in each workout throughout the week. You can use those same three exercise pairings for all four weeks.
Of course, the 30-Rep Method can be used for any muscle group that needs more mass without sacrificing maximal strength. You can perform straight sets with 60 seconds of rest between each set, but I've found that it's more effective and more efficient to alternate between exercises for different muscle groups.
You don't have to use an antagonist pairing. For example, if your calves and triceps need help, you could alternate a calf raise with a triceps exercise. The options are endless.
Here's an overview of the parameters for the 30 Rep Method.
Duration: 4 weeks
Frequency: 3 times per week
Number of exercises per muscle group for each workout: 1
Total reps per muscle group: 30 reps each workout
Exercise selection: use a different exercise for each workout throughout the week
The 30-Rep Method is my first line of attack to build a lagging muscle group. Try it for four weeks and I bet you'll like what you see. Importantly, you don't need to perform an entire workout with this method, even though it's an excellent way to train.
For example, you might be content with your current program, but you feel it's neglecting a muscle group that you want to make freaky enough to scare the neighbors. Use the 30-Rep Method three times per week for four weeks to fire things up. "
Heavy deads have helped me. However, what has helped me recently are behind the back barbell shrugs followed by front barbell shrugs. Go heavy, but enough to get 6-10 reps and hold at the top for 2-3 seconds and squeeze. Not only should you feel it in your upper traps, but also all the way down your back. If you cannot hold the weight, go lighter. Also, do not rest long between sets. I usually do 6 in about 8 minutes. Finally, stay on your heels. If you have to rock your body to get the weight up it's too heavy. Just focus on your arms hanging.
Good call on the Wendler article. Heavy deadlifts make for great traps, without having to do specific work. Plus you get the other benefits of heavy deads. And about age (Wishmaster mentioned he's going to be 47) I'm 43 and have reasonably noticeable traps, and people seem to respect that. It's all well and good to have fancy abs and/or bugling biceps, but if you develop your traps... *bang* instant respect.
i cant stand deads.....I have a bad lower back....so i cant go heavy. how in the hell do deads help with traps?