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Many of us are never quite sure when to train traps. They could be considered part of either the shoulder or the back, so it’s hard to tell when to schedule them. We could take our lead from Toney “X-Man” Freeman, winner of five pro shows, including the IRON MAN Pro, and a top-five finalist at the recent Mr. Olympia. Toney hits his trapezius muscle at what may seem an odd time, but he has an explanation. 

“The traps are involved in a lot of shoulder exercises, and sometimes it’s easy to let them take over when you get tired,” he says. “It makes sense to me to work them before shoulders so they get prefatigued. That way your delts are forced to work harder with less assistance from the traps.” 

His favorite training method for traps is to superset barbell shrugs to the front and back, five times. The reps are in the eight-to-15 range, and he uses no more weight than what permits a full range of motion. 

“If the bar is hardly moving and your traps are almost immobile,” he explains, “you need to lighten up and do it right.” Since Toney has some of the most impressive shoulders and traps in pro bodybuilding today, it wouldn’t hurt to give his method a try. IM

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