Redefining Bodybuilding | Back and Traps

August 24, 2015


I can’t do this…


I’m sure we’ve all had this feeling in the gym. It’s deadlift day – but the weight can’t be grasped. It’s not your strength, so it must the grip, maybe a bad bar… However, the fact is your hands probably aren’t that sweaty, at least not more than normal. You have what I call “Lifter’s Block”. It’s early in the session, and this appears be a less than epic workout.


Note– this isn’t an article on why you can’t get it up. We all have bad days, and over analyzing it won’t fix your current situation.


  • Did you get 8 hours of sleep?
  • Did you drink 8 glasses of water?
  • Did you eat your weight in protein?



While the above is satirical, the fact is once you’re at the gym it doesn’t matter what you did before. Are you perfectly hydrated and stress-free? Probably not. Should you simply go through your workout and not worry about it? No. You may have heard a bad workout is better than no workout, while it is important to remain consistent in your routine you can still have a great workout. For one, you can work on your mechanics. Drop the weight and perfect your form. Get in a few extra sets of a lower weight movement and focus on the muscles at work. Or you can focus specifically on a muscle(s) involved that you’d like to further develop. This is how you take a “bad” back day and turn it into the Ultimate Back and Traps day.


Getting Yoked | Back and Traps Day


    • 30 minutes prior to training: 1-2 scoop(s) of Jack3d



Face Pull – Position cable slightly higher than eye level, pull towards your head and hold peak contraction for 5 seconds. Starting with these early can help initiate the traps – 2×8


Meadow Rows– Perform your heavy rows before your spinal erector exercises. You’ll want to push your hips back with these and if the spinal erectors are tired you may lose valuable strength or injure yourself. Hold contraction for count of 1 at the top – 4×10


V-Bar Cable Row– Focus on controlled reps, and squeeze yours lats for about a second midpoint in the movement. Stretch for 2-3 seconds at full extension.


1×6 at 60% of max
1×8 at 80% of max
1xfailure (rest pause set) at 80% of max

Perform lat stretch between set


Snatch Grip Deadlift – from John Davies, founder of Renegade Training, to measure your grip, raise arms parallel to the ground, lifting hands such that they form a 90° angle at the elbows. The distance from elbow to elbow is your Snatch grip. With bar over the middle section of the foot and bar near shins push the hips back and down. Squeeze the shoulder blades tight and drive up upwards through the heels and hammering the hips forward – 4×12 @ 60% of max.


Chin Ups – Stretch at the bottom of movement for 3-5 seconds. If you cannot perform 10 reps, use negatives – 3 x failure.

Perform lat stretch between set


Finish your workout with 1-2 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream ModernPROTEIN™ with your beverage of choice.





  • Pre-workout: 1-2 scoop(s) of Jack3d
  • Intra-workout: 2 scoops of Fruit Punch ModernBCAA+ mixed with 20oz of water.
  • Post-workout: 1-2 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream ModernPROTEIN



  • Face Pull // 2×8
  • Meadow Rows // 4×10
  • V-Bar Cable Row // 1×6, 1×8, 1xfailure (rest pause set)
  • Snatch Grip Deadlift // 4×12
  • Chin Ups // 3xfailure


Train smarter with our Redefining Bodybuilding Series. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask on any of our social channels.


TEAM USPlabs Anthony Thomas


Prepared by Nik Ohanian


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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

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