training

Taking the Trap Bar to the Next Level!

February 02, 2016 David McAuliff

The human body is an extremely adaptable organism, always growing and changing to meet new and evolving stimulus from our environment. Training on the same equipment, day in and day out, will give you a consistent workout with solid results – to a point. 

Once you surpass the beginners’ gains and enter the intermediate to advanced status, you won’t see steady gains anymore, if you’re using the same old training systems. You’ll need to mix things up in order to keep your muscle groups guessing. Let’s look at once piece of equipment which can help you to train your body: the Trap Bar.

Trap bars… are you familiar with them?  You may have seen them at your gym and had no idea what they were called. They are a standard Olympic bar which splits in the middle, forming a center section between two bars where the athlete can stand and extend knees forward and backwards, while at the same time holding the bar with an angle which is parallel to the body.

This is a full 90 degree difference from the standard perpendicular way we hold barbells. It’s a clever piece of equipment and useful in many ways.

Trap bars are usually considered useful for hitting, well, the traps! Of course, they’re ideal for shrugs, and that’s what most people use them for. Others will see them in the power cage area and use them for the next obvious purpose: Back Day! The Trap bar is an excellent choice for deadlifts (standard and rack-based) as well as barbell rowing (since it places the back at a lower risk of injury.

Going beyond the standard uses, the trap bar can be ideal for some other exercises as well, which you may not have thought about. Use the trap bar for safe and balanced overhead barbell press for shoulder. Knock out single leg squats using the trap bar!  Floor pin press in the rack cage is a fun way to challenge your chest and triceps. Get creative on each training day, and see how a parallel-grip barbell could be just the thing your training has been missing on muscle groups whose days have become just a bit stale!

Like most tools in the gym, trap bars have a place. It’s not always the choice to make – but some of the time, it is! Remember that while variety is the spice of life, there is a time to stick with the tried-and-true basics when it comes to lifting, as well as a time to mix things up. Don’t use the trap bar exclusively with your training, just as you don’t use the standard bar ‘every’ single time.

Mix things up. Eat right, train consistently, take your Mesobolin, drink a gallon of water a day, and sleep 8 hours a night… over time, your use of the trap bar will keep your body guessing, and thus lead to muscle size and strength gains in the back/trap areas, as well as other muscle groups of your body.



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