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how to get huge traps like brock lesnarHe’s Baaacck! In case you aren’t a fan of pro wrestling or haven’t been keeping up with the latest developments in the MMA, the man with the towering traps called it quits from his stint in mixed martial arts and is back in the WWE and yes…the traps are as big as ever! But if you’re reading this you probably care less about how he uses them (in the ring or in the octagon) and more about what he does to have managed to develop those muscles to the freakish degree they are. So without any delay let’s see what we can learn from Lesnar and then at the end, wrap it all up with your “Take Home Trap Training Tips”!


First and foremost, it pays to know a bit of history about Lesnar to better understand what may have contributed to the way he looks today. Brock grew up on a farm in South Dakota and admits to graduating last in his class of 54. The stereotypical “farm boy” spent day after day lifting bales of hay, wielding tools and living the normal “life on a farm” lifestyle that certainly contributed to his bulk from a young age.

Look, we all know that muscles respond to progressive overload…period. Repetitive stresses that demand adaptation for survival. Farm work is manual labor to the utmost degree…right up there with construction workers and steel workers.

There are no breaks on the job.
You either keep up or get out of the way!

With that kind of built in pressure to keep up and unrelenting “workout” schedule, it’s hard NOT to adapt in the form of added mass somewhere! Heck, I will tell you that my daily swim practice growing up laid the foundation for the arms I have today. Or at least something had to, since it certainly wasn’t genetics with my parents weighing a combined 270 lbs!


So fast forward to 2012. What contributes to the size of those tremendous traps now? His training of course. Now, before you tell me…wait a second…Lesnar is juicing, he even got caught with growth hormone back in his earlier WWE days…I’d have to argue that regardless of whether he has or still actively uses (something that I never condone simply because of the havoc this kind of drug use wreaks on these guys bodies) it’s not THE answer to his development.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this high school pic of Lesnar and though much smaller in size, those famous traps are still present.

I mean seriously, do you remember anyone in your high school that had that type of traps growth?!?

The only thing even close were those ferrets we had to dissect in biology! Those things had traps that ran from the top of their head to their lats for crying out loud! So anyway, knowing that we can’t attribute everything Lesnar has to “extracurricular” activities, lets’ take a closer look at his training.


As you’d expect, Lesnar hits the gym hard and heavy…but just as we do here at ATHLEAN-X, he makes sure to trade in workout length for intensity. Lesnar doesn’t believe in marathon sessions in the gym. “If I have to stay in the gym longer than an hour, then I wasted an hour!” is how he puts it.

So that said, most of his work is centered around total body crushers like deadlifts (which require a HUGE reliance on trap strength), cleans, high pulls, and inverted rows(ALL exercises pulled straight from the ATHLEAN-X program by the way). In fact, Brock has more than just a few exercises and training philosophy in common with the A-X System, he even structures his training around a similar schedule with ample rest and recovery built in.

Here’s what one of his typical workouts looks like: Following a brief grapple and striking warmup, Lesnar gets into his circuit style training (to keep the action moving and nail his cardio and strength training at once…keeping his workout short and making sure not to miss any aspect of his training, which again is a KEY component of ATHLEAN-X).

Round One (Pushing) – Spiderman Pushups, plyo pushups, clean and press, punches and crunches, tire pushing and hand switching. Round Two (Pulling) – Inverted rows, wide grip pullups, tire pulling, high pulls, deadlifts and heavy bar twirling over shoulders. Round Three (Cardio Endurance) – H.I.I.T style conditioning with Airdyne biking at 70 RPM mixed with standing sprint pedaling at the high points and upper body UBE work. Round Four (Strength Training and Power Endurance) – Explosive Hammer Strength Jammer machine training, single arm sledge hammer work, medicine ball sprawls, and bear crawling. Round Five (Final Conditioning Killer) – Back for one more round of High Intensity Interval Training on the bike mixed with some steep incline treadmill sprinting!

Now if you’re a member of “TEAM ATHLEAN” already and have been using the ATHLEAN-X workouts you have to be saying at this point, man…I train just like Brock, and you’d be right. Push and pull sequencing, functional ground based exercises, H.I.I.T training, fast workouts, circuits mixed in with straight strength training…it’s all there. And it’s there for a reason, because it works.

Look I always say if you want to look like an athlete you’ve got to train like an athlete. There’s only one way to train if you want to look like an athlete…with pounds of lean athletic muscle, and that’s by taking advantage of what muscle science has to offer and putting the principles that work for others who have the development that you aspire to have to work for you. What are you waiting for? Start your ATHLEAN-X Training right here

4 Athlean-X Tips for Big Traps

  1. So back to the “how frequently” question. While the traditional
  2. Five -days-per-week split routine (chest day, leg day,optimal, you can get enough work done in three or four days
  3. optimal, you can get enough work done in three or four days
  4. So back to the “how frequently” question. While the traditional days-per-week split routine (chest day, leg day,optimal, you ca
Jeff Cavaliere Headshot

Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS

Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.

Read more about Jeff Cavaliere by clicking here

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