Peaks, Boulders and Horseshoes


One of the muscles that’s always stood out to me is traps. I remember when I first started training wondering how people built that muscle. Another muscle I had a tough time with in my early years was building triceps. So I want to share this morning’s traps, delts, and triceps workout.

I’m calling this Peaks, Boulders, and Horseshoes because I like to associate a visual analogy with the muscle. Traps are like to mountain peaks sitting on top of those huge boulders we call shoulders. And the ‘horseshoe’ shape if often associated with a well set of triceps. Forgive the cheesy names.

Traps, Boulders, and Triceps Workout

♦ Seated Barbell Press: 5 x 12
♦ Lateral Raises: 5 x 8
♦ Barbell Shrugs: 4 x 12
♦ Machine Shoulder Press: 4 x 12 (rest-pause on final)
♦ Reverse Overhead Rope Extensions: 4 x 12
   superset with
♦ Rope Extensions: 4 x 8
♦ Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions: 4 x 12

I want to harp on the first exercise, seated barbell press. I start out from the bottom of the movement. This means I do not have the bar on the top rack. I keep it on the bottom. There are two benefits from this:

  1. Less risk of shoulder injury from starting behind your head at the top
  2. Starting from the bottom encourages full range of motion on the following reps

Training Shoulders & Traps

I didn’t go super heavy on these and didn’t quite burn out. Instead, I increased the volume to 5 sets of 12 reps. The rest of my shoulders and traps workout followed this concept. Intensity is great but I believe volume is really what helps you build mega muscle (alternating these concepts will work wonders).

I normally spend more time on traps. But I made the one exercise I did count. I didn’t fly through the reps like you often see. I used very controlled reps and made sure I contracted my traps at the top of each rep.

Superset Triceps

I burned out my triceps in the beginning by using supersets. This method is common for me when I use the ropes. You can easily perform a set of reverse overhead extensions followed by a set of regular rope extensions (or pressdowns).

I hit a couple exercises for abs. I used a lying crunch machine and supersetted that with leg raises off of the bench. I ended with my usual cardio; walking on the treadmill while studying Thai language.

Train with Passion,


About the Author Jason Stallworth