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Abs are cool.

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Bis are impressive. But traps are a true strength status symbol. My Texas Trap-Saw Massacre program includes three workouts you'll do once a week for three weeks each. Each workout is dedicated to traps and nothing but traps, and assumes you're already squatting and doing deadlifts or training Olympic lifts that work your traps.

Intermediate Powerlifting Program (Texas Method)

Let's get started. From big leagues to bush leagues, the farmer's walk is a regular feature in strongman contests, which explains why professional strongmen have the most-developed traps in the world. The farmer's walk builds muscle quickly, decreases body fat, increases strength in core lifts, and improves conditioning—all in one simple but brutal exercise. This exercise hammers all the muscles in the upper back, but the traps take the brunt. To carry this big of a load, your traps must work together to keep your shoulder blades together and down, and stabilize your shoulder girdle.

Traps really thrive under heavy isometric tension, and the farmer's walk is the king of isometrics! Training Tips: Use straps with this exercise. You never want to let grip strength limit your trap development. Perform your farmer's walks for 30 seconds, carrying as much weight as you can and covering as much distance as possible at a brisk pace.

Total carrying time is more important than distance traveled. Bonus Tip: If you don't have access to farmer's walk implements, use a trap bar, dumbbells, frame carry, or short barbell. Strap up whatever you have and carry that load! Hise is considered by many physical culturists to be the father of U.

Hise, the cruel genius who spawned the rep squat program, also fathered one of the most effective trap-building exercises of all time, the "Hise shrug.

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The Hise shrug is performed by putting a barbell across your shoulders like you're going to squat. But instead of squatting, you shrug the barbell up and down. Training Tips: Immediately after finishing your farmer's walk, complete the superset by doing your Hise shrug on a standing calf raise machine. This approach offers a huge advantage over doing your Hise shrugs with a barbell because it allows you to rest your grip.

You also don't have to engage stability muscles like you do during the farmer's walk, so you're able to focus on blasting your traps. Position yourself in the standing calf-raise machine. Shrug your traps up by trying to touch your shoulders to your ears. Hold this top position for a count of three to increase time under tension. Let the weight come all the way down and hold the bottom position briefly.

Repeat this sequence for 8 reps. Go as heavy as possible, reducing the weight as needed in the two subsequent sets.

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Bonus Tip: If you don't have a standing calf raise machine, a hack squat machine or any other padded squat machine with neutral shoulder pads will do the trick. In the last decade, face pulls have become one of the go-to "prehab" exercises elite strength athletes perform to keep their shoulders healthy. Properly performed, this exercise can do wonders for your posture. It also can keep the shoulders healthy and help build neglected mid-traps. Training Tips: This isn't a power movement, so don't bother doing cheated face pulls with a shortened range of motion.

That might build your ego, but it ain't gonna do diddly for your mid-traps. Perform the face pulls on a pulley station with the rope at approximately neck level. Grab both ends of the rope with your palms facing each other. Step back so you're supporting the weight completely with your arms, which should be stretched out before you. From this position, pull your shoulder blades together, then pull the center of the rope toward your face as you pull the ends of the rope apart. You should finish with your arms in what looks like a double biceps pose.

Hold this position for one second. Repeat for 12 reps. This will negate your mid-trap and postural development. Most gym goers have tried dumbbell shrugs, but very few have done them on an incline.

The incline dumbbell shrug is one of the simplest yet most effective mid-trap builders. At most gyms, incline benches are set at approximately 45 degrees. But if you do this exercise at that steep of an angle, you'll mostly work your upper traps. To target your neglected mid-traps, perform the shrugs on a degree incline.

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If you can't get an exact measurement of the incline, err on the lower side. Lay your chest down on the degree incline bench and, using a neutral grip, shrug up and hold the movement at the top for a count of three. Bonus Tip: If dumbbells are not available, perform the shrugs with a barbell or cables. I've seen some of the biggest, strongest men in the world scream like babies when they performed it. The combination of people's typically disproportionate lower traps and the variable resistance caused by the band is enough to make a big man weep! Training Tips: Wrap a resistance band around a stable structure so both ends of the band are right below your shoulder.

Without flexing your arms, extend them straight up as high as possible so that at the end point they form a degree angle with your head. Hold this position for a count of 2 and repeat for 12 repetitions. Bonus Tip: Don't use your shoulder to shrug the weight up. This is not a power movement, it's a feel movement. Pay attention to what you're doing.

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You're going to be doing some of the same movements you did in Phase 1, we just brought it up a notch so you can keep building those traps. You're going to increase your time under load by 15 seconds, and start with the weight you finished with at the end of the third week of Phase 1. Keep your shoulder blades together and down and to stabilize your shoulder girdle.

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And don't be shy on the weights. Load up! Take small steps to stop the implements from swinging excessively. Strap up and go! Your goal is to start with what you finished Phase 1 with, the kicker is you are performing four more reps this session. Reduce weight as needed in the second set. Make it your goal to add weight weekly. If you train in a bare-bones facility, you can always do these with a barbell!

Do this exercise just like you did it in Phase 1, except this time you will superset it with straight arm dip shrugs. Wrap a resistance band around a stable structure so both ends of the band are right below your shoulder.

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Hold this position for a count of two and repeat for 12 repetitions. Never sacrifice technique, but as your strength improves you can move up to a stronger resistance band or tie a knot in the one you have been using for increased resistance. This new exercise is another Jim Stoppani, Ph. Tyler Harwood. What do you guys think the best books are on powerlifting? Tags: None. Todd Lewis. Tyler, I am not entirely sure what you're looking for how to, history, workouts, etc.

It's available at Amazon. McCallum's book is written with a lot of tongue in cheek, and it has exercise programs that cover about everything. Finally, Stuart McRoberts's Hardgainer is a book for bodybuilders with powerlifting at the core of its program. Again, see Amazon. These are the ones I know about.

Powerlifting Basics, Texas-Style: The Adventures of Lope Delk () -

There may be others that are helpful. Comment Post Cancel. Steve Friedrich. Didn't Paul Kelso have one out? Craig T. Yeah, Paul Kelso wrote a book. I think the title is something like "Powerlifting Basics:Texas Style. It's about some guy named Lope Delk.