Let’s not discuss Jay Cutler’s career—the four Mr. Olympia titles (2006-07, 2009-10), the 15 pro wins, the unparalleled run of 25 shows spanning 12 years, during which he was always rst or second and was defeated only by fellow Mr. O’s. Yeah, there’s all that and much more. But let’s talk training. Iron Jay was both improvisational and methodical. A high-volume adherent, he never counted reps, and he rarely knew in advance exactly which exercises he’d perform. Mid-workout, he’d contemplate what was still needed to hit every area of a body part before driving home. Even his trapezius was attacked with maximum intensity, focus, and variety via three markedly di erent exercises. This is in sharp contrast to most body- builders, who just throw in a few rote sets of shrugs at the end of their shoulder routines. It’s that attention to detail that helped make Jay Cutler legendary.


  • “Work traps from as many angles as possible.”
  • “With shrugs, I don’t hold contractions. I just get full reps, up and down.”
  • “I’ve done traps with shoulders and back. There’s no right way. But, for me, it just makes more sense to work them at the end of my back routine.”

Jay cutler behind the back shrugs
Chris Lund


  • Dumbbell Shrug | SETS: 3 | REPS: 8-10
  • Behind-the-Back Barbell Shrug | SETS: 3 | REPS: 8-10
  • Upright Row | SETS: 3 | REPS: 8-10


With four wins and six seconds, Cutler holds the record for the most top-two Mr. Olympia finishes.