Baggy shirts can cover up spaghetti arms and sweat pants can serve as a smokescreen for a long string of forgotten leg days.
But, a neck like a stack of dimes? Forget about it.
Unless you’re living in the polar vortex with a wardrobe of thick turtlenecks, there is no running, no hiding–your neck is exposed.
A well-developed neck is synonymous with power and it commands immediate respect.
Yet, far too many neglect neck-specific training. This is unfortunate because working your neck can help you reach a wide range of training goals.
Specifically, if you make it a point to include neck flexion, lateral flexion, extension, and rotation in your weekly training routine, you will be on your way to building a powerful neck which will serve as the functional foundation of a physique that screams unapologetic virility.
A thick and muscular neck is not just about aesthetics or keeping potential predators at bay (although these are some of the benefits).
A developed and muscular neck and traps protects your back, brain, and entire body from trauma, damage and injury. They are your shield.
For the combat-sport athlete, this means safety and success in the competitive arena. For the tactical athlete, this can mean the difference between making it home for dinner at 6:00 or being six feet deep.
BIG LIFTS, BIG MUSCLE
You likely already know that compound movements–exercises requiring movement at more than one joint–provide the most bang for your buck and stimulate all-over muscle growth, fat loss, secretion of anabolic hormones, and functional performance benefits. Performing just a few big lifts per workout will equate to gains all over, to an extent.
However, the neck is an exception.
Of course, the average-but-serious strength trainer has a more developed neck than the run-of-the-mill pencil neck. But, to truly maximize neck strength and size, you have to directly train the neck.
The European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology confirmed this in a flagship study published in 19987 entitled “Specificity of Resistance Training Responses in Neck Muscle Size and Strength .”
The study consisted of three groups. The first group was a resistance-training group that trained performing squats, deadlifts, push presses, high pulls, and barbell rows. A second resistance-training group performed the same strength training movements in addition to neck extensions with a harness three times a week. A third group did not workout at all.
On one hand, the resistance trained group that did not train neck extensions did not increase neck strength . On the other hand, the subjects that performed neck extension work increased neck extension strength by a whopping 34 percent over the 12-week study. Moreover, the group that performed neck work increased the cross sectional area of neck musculature by 13 percent, compared to no increase for subjects that did not directly work the neck.
Bottom line, if you want a big, strong neck – surprise! – you have to train your neck!
With this in mind, we now have the completed program for you to build a reliably strong and muscular neck alongwith diamond-shaped traps that are like cobras, coiled and ready to strike.
Our tested and verified methods for neck and trap development are explained clearly and thoroughly in our new book, Jailhouse Strong:Tactical Shield Training.
With this book, we provide you with the exact prescription to build your shield. Every exercise, every set, and every rep is spelled out.
If you have the work ethic, we offer you a proven way.
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