I have to say something. First of all, if your traps are overdeveloped, like a lot a people, then I guess you don’t need my help. If you are a hard gainer, like me in that area, then read on. For decades I have watched almost everyone do shrugs wrong. Most people put on so much weight, to satisfy their egos, that they perform something resembling a partial upright row (pulling with their arms) or jerking the weight up and down! If you want your traps to grow, stop bouncing the weight up and down to the boogy-woogy cadence of whatever music is pumping into your head. I never needed music to get BRUTALLY HUGE. We don’t want any kind of rhythm, we don’t want any timing in the reps. I want you to suffer through your reps! I want you to think about the pain! I want you to dread even having to do these sets in the fashion I will outline shortly. That is how you get BRUTALLY HUGE. If you don’t feel the pain, your traps aren’t doing the work, something else is. In addition, all that jerking and bouncing will hurt your joints someday! Has anyone ever done a set of standing calves to failure, and noticed that when the set is over, your traps feel pumped, and your shoulders rise up a little? Just goes to prove that “sustained tension” with no movement can pump and work a muscle too. So here is what I want you to do. Limit you trap work to 2-3 sets total. On the last set, pick a weight that you can shrug for 1 rep, but squeeze and hold your shoulders up as high as possible for 45 seconds! As a reference point, I can only use 250lbs for a rep like this. Yes, quit the fast and furious up and down bouncing that everyone does, and do some real intense training that’ll reap dividends! Hold that weight up as high as you can for 45 seconds. At that point you’ll feel the weight starting to slip downwards against your will. Fight it for all you’re worth! Oh, and through out all your shrug reps, strive to keep your arms as straight as possible. Resist the urge to bend them just to get the weight higher. Use only traps.  My traps have been getting much thicker, focusing on holding at the top for 45 seconds. This is the best way I know to blast those stubborn muscles and force them to grow. I fear though, a lot of people wont like this because it’s too hard or it hurts too much! It’s easier, with sloppy form, to bounce 300 or 400 lbs up and down. On any set done properly, if you aren’t heaving, and can talk to someone afterwards, you didn’t train hard enough. You know what they say in life? Nothing good comes easy. The choice is yours. Suffer with me and GET BRUTALLY HUGE, or make it easy on yourself and stay mediocre! PS- as a side benefit, don’t be surprised to see your forearms get thicker and your handshake developing crushing power! To sum it up, here is my shrug/trap workout:  135 x 8 to warm up (holding each rep at the top x 5 seconds), then 250 x 1 rep and hold at the top for 45 seconds! Best wishes, stay healthy, and GET BRUTALLY HUGE!

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