Killer Trap Workout – Barbell Shrugs Pyramid Sets

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If you are looking to add some meat to your traps and upper back, give this unique pyramid set shrug workout a try. It will hit your traps from a full spectrum of light weight and high reps, to heavy weights and low reps.

Barbell Shrugs are one of my all time favorite mass building moves for the trapezius muscles, but they also work the arms, grip, etc. They are one of those "must do" exercises for overall muscular development.

One of the best ways to maximize the effectiveness of shrugs is to do use pyramid sets, start off light for high reps, then work your way up in weight while reducing the number of reps. Then do the opposite and work your way back down again.

For example:
Set 1: 135 pounds for 25 reps
Set 2: 185 pounds for 15 reps
Set 3: 225 pounds for 10 reps
Set 4: 185 pounds for 15 reps
Set 5 135 pounds for 25 reps

After you perform a full pyramid set workout like this your traps will be on fire and you'll stimulate some new muscle growth in your shoulders and upper back.

Give it a try and then leave me a comment below letting me know how it works for you.

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21 comments
  1. spydah55 / May 18, 2013

    yes thats true all of the those muscles are working to some degree but what
    im saying is that the muscle that is under the most emphasis or stress is
    the levator scapula..the traps are used to elevate AND retract the
    scapula..so pulling upward and back, not shrugging, hits them most
    effectively. for example, the power clean and slightly bent over rows will
    hit them most effectively

  2. spydah55 / May 18, 2013

    not arguing with you by any means Lee, I have great respect for you. you
    have a great channel and give out great information, not to mention have
    pretty much perfect form on all your exercises. but the shrug is one of my
    biggest pet peeves and i see so many people doing them thinking its a
    killer trap workout because of that burning feeling you get in that
    area..but its really that effective for the traps

  3. spydah55 / May 18, 2013

    not that effective*

  4. Rudolphe Odon / May 21, 2013

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  5. bryan carrillos / June 5, 2013

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  6. Jaume Haddad Sanz / June 7, 2013

    You explain everything very well. Love your vids.

  7. Федор Левченко / July 4, 2013

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  8. Henrry Kebin / July 8, 2013

    I really do agree to this video footage. It is possible to make the workout
    sessions considerably more rewarding if you are going with the best foods
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  9. akhanvic / July 10, 2013

    This guy is doing the shrung/traps too fast

  10. Luis Ramirez / August 3, 2013

    nice vid brother keep it coming..

  11. Hariharan k / August 13, 2013

    Yep. we must kill the bad fat and belly first to get the 6 pack. btw!but ye
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  12. Nitin K / August 15, 2013

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  13. Damian Kuhn / August 23, 2013

    I already told you. You are smart if you understand you need to eat right
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  14. Esteban Bueno / August 31, 2013

    For lifting all tht weight u have sum small traps..I’m jus saying, try
    better form nd I can guarantee ull see a huge difference

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  16. kjrody21 / October 8, 2013

    haha you from Chicago? I can here it in your voice

  17. Bo Baythavong / November 24, 2013

    u lift alot of weight but ur traps are not very big or set high on ur neck.

    • TheBartExperience / December 13, 2013

      That comment was completely necessary thank you. Also, that isn’t a lot of
      weight, my top set is with 250kg (551lbs) and my traps don’t look as
      defined as his.

  18. RAY///M316 / March 13, 2014

    Awesome

  19. exiwan / December 29, 2014

    arch your back slightly

  20. Codithejedi / November 8, 2015

    man your form is perfect. How long have you been lifting lee?

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