Trap Bar - Yea or Nay?

I've lucked into an extra $200 (kind of a delayed Christmas bonus) and I'm kicking around the idea of adding a trap bar to my arsenal. What's the consensus of using a trap bar for deads (and shrugs I suppose) verses just performing deads with an olympic bar? I know it's supposed to lessen the strain on the low back, but what's the trade-off / what do you lose by using the trap bar instead of an O-bar?




You won't lose anything if you keep the O-bar in the rotation, as well. As you said, the trap bar is another tool in your arsenal.. don't use it exclusively.

I don't have one, but I have heard that alot of guys who said they'd never DL again.. once they found the trap bar, they changed their mind. It's supposed to be pretty comfortable.

Try standing on a 4" or 5" box and doing some trap-bar deads. The increased ROM will further activate your hamstrings.. And we can all use more hamstring strength.

Thanks Ryno. Anyone else use a trap bar? What's the rep rhythm like when using one of these? Do you stop & re-set at the bottom after each rep or kind of "bounce" off the platform & back into your next rep without pausing (for too long) at the bottom?

I know you want someone elses answer, but since I'm still here -- You should never bounce. Not with a trap bar, not with an O-bar.

I'd do them the same way you perform deads now.. except now you'll be holding the bar at your sides.

What I would do, now that I'm thinking about it... is rig that badboy up to a jumpstretch platform, double a couple of minibands, and raise it up 4 inches. That would be awesome.

Hey Ryno, I wasn't suggesting that I didn't want your input - you've ALWAYS got good ideas. The minibands is another one; I hadn't thought of that - that would be KILLER. Thanks for the input!

What does your strength-training look like, if you don't mind my asking?

What is it you're looking to gain from a trap-bar? Do you have low-back problems?

I had a back injury; still have some chronic pain, but my strength has fully returned. I'm 33 & am trying to potentially reduce the chance of injury while still being able to hit one of my favorite exercises. I thought working trap bar deads perhaps once a week in lieu of traditional deads might be a good way to head in that direction, but I don't want to lose any of the benefits of traditional DL's.

I lift 3x a week; deads, box squats, SLDL's, bench, incline, standing military press, shrugs, etc. (not all on the same day) and do muay thai T&H (also some Scrapper stuff).

Good call then. Probably a good choice.

Just a note-- I might suggest you drop the SLDLs in favor of high-bar backsquats, or front squats. The first 3 exercises you listed are pretty similar as far as target muscles. Thats if you're doing your box squats like westside, anyways..

i bought a trapbar 'cause i found one cheap at a discount warehouse... and i love it. i do, however, do lower hinge to make sure i keep the low back strong. i have always been a strong (well, not really, but i like to think so) advocate of deadlifts, i've done triples, nickels (5reps), shit all the way up to 20 reps... what i like about the trap bar is that there is a little more leeway in the lift (don't feel like i'm a few degrees of error from blowing out the lowback), so i can concentrate more on pulling... also don't have to worry about switching grips.. and finally the deadlift grip always felt nasty on my elbows. As for bouncing, no uh uh, ungood, with regular deads, trapbar, or sldl. JHMO shoe

Thanks Ryno & Shoe - good advice.

Ryno, when you say "high-bar back squats", you're talking about just placing the bar higher up on my back / traps when squatting? How will this effect the target muscles? I do box squats using a wide stance, feet pointed well-out (past 45) & sit-back deep on to the box and pause for a second before driving up.

Shoe, I'm with you man. I love DL but I hate the thought that if I f#ck up some morning when I'm not quite awake that I'll fry my back. Sounds like your experience with the bar has been very positive. I think I'm leaning towards picking one up.

FYI, sells an O-trap bar for $109 and a behemoth one for $199. I've bought stuff from them before. No frills, but seemed like decent quality.

Now you got me thinking about gettin one of them trap bars! I wish I could find one to try first before plunking down $$

I've only used one once. I seem to recall being able to handle a mystical amount of weight and i felt pretty darn good about myself, so be careful. That's an injury waiting to happen ;)

I think they are probably a pretty damn good addition. If i had the cash and the space, i'd DEF get one.


ttt for deadlifting mystical amounts of weight!!!!

I found a place here in the 'nati that sells trap bars for $180. NYBB looks like the better option even after paying $25 shipping. Thanks, Frog.

I cannot squat or do regular DL's because of an old back injury. But TBDL's are no problem. They are a leg excercise. They take the pressure off the lower back. But my knees are starting to bother me a bit.

My gym just bought a hex bar so I am selling my trap bar. No need to carry it to the gym any longer.

I broke down and bought one today from the local place. Dude was cool - cut me a price break when I showed him the price from NYBB.

My first workout - AWESOME. It felt so clean; so pure. Probably psychological on my part, but I kept my weight the same as I'd been DL and got a HUGE pump in my legs and low back - not a pain as if I'd pulled something, just a massive pump that I've not felt in sometime. No back pain at all. I freakin' can't wait to go again. I'm like a kid at Christmas with a new toy now.

*strokes trap bar and covers with a blanket for the night to keep it warm and snuggy*

Gawd damn my legs and #ss hurt like hell today...I love it...

Excellent, sounds like a great purchase.


What type of set/reps are you using?

The best deadlift workout I ever had was with a trap cage. You can deadlift unreal amounts of weight and keeping form is extremely easy. I am gonna get one.


Did two warm-up sets (5 reps, 3 reps) & three work sets of 5 reps each. Warm-up sets up to 365, work sets at 405. I had been DL 385 for two sets of 5 using a regular olympic bar, but I swear I get a better pump (quads in particular) from the trap bar. Three sets at 405 felt good. Draining (last set was SERIOUS work), but in a good way.

Keoni - you nailed it brah. No more fear about doing your back if you go one or two degrees out past your knees on the way up or down. I seriously can't wait to hit it again.