The Fastest Way to Change Your Physique – T Nation Content – COMMUNITY

Trap Training Builds the Look of Power… Fast!

Build the muscles with the greatest visual impact to create a look of dominance. This method of trap training will get you there fast.

Training your big muscles is effective, but it takes a lot of time to create a significant visual difference. Luckily, trap training can change your physique fast. And you can hit your traps frequently. Train them three times a week and you’ll see improvements almost immediately.

The best part? Developed traps create a look of power. When you build them, people will think you look jacked, even if they can’t really pinpoint why! Bigger traps are even subconsciously associated with being a better protector.

The traps work alongside the neck to create the primary sign of strength and dominance. Humans have evolved to quickly recognize the physical potential of an opponent by looking at the traps/neck/head area. That’s the first-pass evaluation of how dangerous someone might be.

The Program

1. Wendler Row

  • Functions Trained: Scapular elevation and retraction
  • Recommendations: Do 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps. Hold the peak contraction for a second on each rep.

2. Trap Bar Shrug (Slight Forward Lean)

  • Functions Trained: Scapular elevation (some retraction)
  • Recommendations: Do 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps. Hold the peak contraction for a second on each rep.

3. Cable Upright Row with Forward Lean

  • Functions Trained: Scapular elevation and retraction
  • Recommendations: Do 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps, holding the peak contraction for a second on each rep.

4. High Pull From The Hang (Snatch or Clean Grip)

  • Functions Trained: This is not a pure trap exercise; it’s more of an overall power movement. But it’s very effective to stimulate the traps mostly because of the forceful stretch when you lower the bar down.
  • Recommendations: Do 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps.

Supplement Recommendation

To get the most of out this plan, use Surge Workout Fuel (Buy at Amazon). Surge pumps critical nutrients into muscle that stimulate protein synthesis, reduce catabolism, buffer lactate, delay fatigue, and provide sustained energy for any intense or high-volume workout.


The Details

The more you train a muscle while it still recovers, the faster you progress. This is the basis of high-frequency training. However, you still need to impose a sufficient stimulus at each workout. You might be able to train a muscle every day if you do one set, but that one set might not be sufficient to stimulate growth. So, if all your workouts are insufficient, there will be no growth.

Plus, not all muscles can be trained at the same frequency. The larger a muscle, and the more the exercises stretch it under load, the less frequently you can train it. That’s something that Dr. Fred Hatfield figured out. He found that muscles like abs, calves, forearms, and traps could be trained more often than pecs, quads, hamstrings, and upper-back muscles.

While exceptions exist, the smaller the muscle, the more often it can be trained. That’s because you’ll create less overall damage and central fatigue. Your traps can be trained three times a week. You can still progress with a lower frequency, but three times a week allows for faster progress.

The upper traps are pretty simple to train. The main function of the upper fibers is to elevate the shoulder blades. So basic shrugging motions are essentially all you need to hit the upper fibers of the traps. Shrugs and high pulls are the fastest ways to build the traps, but you’ll see more exercises in the video above to cover all the bases.

You’ll notice shrugs with a slight forward torso lean, which includes both the scapular elevation and retraction functions to some extent. Whether it’s the Wendler row or simply leaning forward 15-20 degrees on shrug variations, this small modification makes the exercises a lot more effective.


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