💪 13 Killer Trap Exercises for Beefy Shoulders

As Halloween approaches, let us remind you that there are five grams of protein in every Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. (Just don’t look at the other macros, OK?)

Here’s what’s on the list today:

  • Our preview of the 2023 Mr. Olympia.

  • Learn the best trap exercises to look bigger and lift heavier.

  • The three most effective workout splits for maximizing muscle growth.


BarBend’s 2023 Mr. Olympia Preview

Credit: @hadi_choopan / Instagram

The Mr. Olympia contest is scheduled for Nov. 3-4, and 21 of the top bodybuilders in the world are expected to battle for the iconic Sandow trophy in Orlando, Florida. These competitors hail from diverse backgrounds, representing countries from all over the world.

Several familiar faces from last year's competition will return to showcase their incredible physiques, including the 2022 winner, Hadi Choopan, along with Derek Lunsford and Nick Walker, who took home second and third place, respectively. They’ll square off against industry veterans, like past winner Brandon Curry, and relative newcomers for a chance at bodybuilding immortality.

From the full competitor list to the biggest storylines heading into the show, get the lay of the land in our complete breakdown of the 2023 Mr. Olympia below.


Bigger Traps, Bigger Body

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Strong traps stabilize your torso during fundamental movements such as squats and deadlifts and help add a “wow” factor to your upper body. However, getting this finicky muscle group to grow is more challenging than targeting broader areas like the chest or back.

To effectively train your traps, it's recommended to incorporate various exercises beyond just barbell shrugs. In the article below, we curated a list of the top 13 exercises to get you over the hump. Not only will these moves supercharge your traps, but they’ll also work your delts, grip strength, and more. All you have to do is figure out a way to integrate them into your routine.


Split ‘em Up

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Following a split training regimen for every workout is crucial to maximizing results in the gym. This could mean separating chest from back exercises or dedicating specific days to arm workouts. Whether your goal is building muscle or burning fat, it heavily relies on the effectiveness of your split protocol.

Deciding which muscle groups to pair together can vary depending on your goals and time constraints. Strength athletes and bodybuilders, for instance, have different objectives requiring different approaches.

To help you make an informed choice, we have gathered research-backed data on the top three training splits. Select the one that aligns best with your goals, experience level, and lifestyle, and get in the right groove for real gains.


Unilateral Power

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  • The single-arm lat pulldown is a unilateral exercise that gives you wings. See what benefits it offers compared to its bilateral counterpart.

  • Fitness influencer Will Tennyson dives into the impact body dysmorphia can have on bodybuilders and everyday gym-goers. Listen to the advice he offers for anyone struggling with their body image.

  • Are you or a family member a military service member? Explore the top fitness discounts available for active military personnel, veterans, or their family members as Veteran's Day approaches.


Big Ramy’s Future

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Big Ramy recently withdrew from the 2023 Mr. Olympia. Do you think he will ever compete at the Olympia again? Pick one below to vote:

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Cutler Over Heath

Credit: @Philheath / Instagram

In the October 3, 2023, edition of The Ripped Report, we asked you to pick your favorite bodybuilder of the two: Jay Cutler or Phil Heath. Here’s how you voted:

  1. Jay Cutler (77%)

  2. Phil Heath (23%)