This 2 day per week specialization workout is designed to target lagging traps using unique and demanding exercise variations. A sample 4 day muscle building split is provided.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

Very few things are more impressive than a powerful and thick set of trapezius muscles. They have always been one of my favorite muscle groups to work.

Because I have developed a decent amount of traps size over the years, I am often asked what a trainee can do to improve this muscle group.

The following 2 day per week traps building program can be inserted into nearly any existing split or upper/lower routine. The first traps workout should be placed on your deadlift day. The second workout should be performed exactly 3 days later, preferably after your shoulder training.

  • Traps Workout #1 - Perform after deadlifts, on your deadlift training day.
  • Traps Workout #2 - Perform exactly 3 days after your deadlift training day.

Here is a sample 4 day bodybuilding-type training schedule you could use:

  • Day 1 - Chest and Triceps Workout
  • Day 2 - Deadlift/Back, and Traps Workout #1
  • Day 3 - Off
  • Day 4 - Off
  • Day 5 - Shoulders, Biceps and Traps Workout #2
  • Day 6 - Leg Workout
  • Day 7 - Off

2 Day Trapezius Building Workout

This is a specialization-style approach. It has a large number of weekly sets for traps because of this. You may have to reduce your back and shoulder volume just slightly while running this program.

I recommend running it for about an 8-12 week period of time. After completing the program, transition back into a more conventional trap building style of program for 12-16 weeks. Make sure to focus on improving your trap strength during this time.

High rack pull and power shrug combo - Set rack height to just above knee level. Deadlift the weight up and immediately power shrug the barbell as you approach lockout.

Peak contraction dumbbell shrugs - As you shrug the weight up, hold each rep in the contracted position for a 3 to 5 second count.

Overhead barbell shoulder shrug - This can be a tricky, but effective traps building exercise. Hold a weighted barbell overhead and "shrug" it in the same manner you would during a barbell or dumbbell shrug. It may be beneficial to place one foot forward to help with balance.

Static barbell shrugs - Using straps, hold a heavily loaded barbell (near maximum weight you can possibly high rack pull) in front of you like you were about to perform power shrugs. Now's the easy part (just kidding, it's the hard part): hold the barbell for as long as possible, up to 60 seconds per set if you can. Don't forsake straps on this movement. The point is to overload your traps, not your grip.

Workout #1
Traps - Deadlift Day
Exercise Sets Reps
High Rack Pull & Power Shrug Combo 3 6-10
Power Cleans 5 3
Peak Contraction Dumbbell Shrugs 3 15
Overhead Barbell Shoulder Shrug 1 30-50
Workout #2
Traps - Shoulder Day
Exercise Sets Reps
Upright Rows 3 10-12
Dumbbell Shrugs 4 AMAP 60 secs
Static Barbell Hold 3 60 secs
Overhead Barbell Shoulder Shrug 1 30-50
Posted on: Tue, 10/14/2014 - 16:17

Gonna add this to my routine thanks I will let u know how I get on :)

Posted on: Fri, 03/07/2014 - 09:48

Hi Steve, I'm excited to try this workout, but I'm not exactly clear on what the static barbell hold is for this workout. Can you walk me through it?

Posted on: Sun, 02/16/2014 - 13:43

Hello .... My weight is aroung 65 to 68 kg ... I want to increase muscle size and power .. But i have some small problem with my body then when ever i tried to put some heavy weight then my stomach nervous getting streach.... I want to a traning workout program so that it will be helpful for me to sucess ...

Posted on: Wed, 02/12/2014 - 11:25

Nice work Steve. Former member of the USMC powerlifting team(1976-1981) have been reading your posts and workouts for a while and appreciate all the good advice you give out. Age and injuries have put the competitions on the shelf but I have been able to maintain good size and shape through bodybuilding routines found on this website. Thanks again.

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Posted on: Thu, 02/13/2014 - 00:23

Thanks, and thanks for your service.