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Ask the Guru

Lyle McDonald BSc.
Lyle is a researcher and coach who has worked with bodybuilders, powerlifters and other athletes on all aspects of their training, diet, and supplementation.
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Markus Ruhl size traps!

QUESTION: I’m fairly satisfied with my build with the exception of my traps. What can I do to build them up to Markus Ruhl’s size?

ANSWER: I recommend a combination of heavy shrugs with lighter work done twice/week (either after deadlifts or with back). Power shrugs are a great trap exercise you should do. The movement involves using a bit of leg drive to handle heavier weights during the actual shrug portion of the movement. You should start with your upper body inclined slightly forwards and then explode up into the shrug. Do this for 5 sets of 5 repetitions and go heavy, taking 2-3 minutes between sets. When you get all 5 sets of 5, throw more weight onto the bar. One important note: If you want to build the traps, it’s important that your shoulders actually move. Some guys put so much weight on the bar that they look more like they’re humping it than actually moving their shoulders. You should try to get your shoulders up to your ears on every rep. If you can’t, drop the weight. After the power shrugs (and you can do normal barbell shrugs if you prefer), do 3x10-12 reps of dumbbell shrugs (or do shrugs in the standing calf raise machine) with a nice slow tempo. One-two seconds up, squeeze like mad; 2 seconds down. Make it burn and take 60-90 seconds between sets. Here’s a 6-week trap routine: Power or barbell shrug: 5x5 with a 3-minute rest and GO HEAVY dumbbell or machine shrug: 3x10-12 with a 60-90 second rest with a pace.

To ask Lyle McDonald a question, email us at questions@muscle-insider.com or visit his website at http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/