Mittwoch, 12. Januar 2011

The way to a neck - Nackentraining

Bevor ich mich über den großen Teich haue, lasse ich was FEINES da für euch. Hier ein neuer Gast-Artikel von Mike "The Machine" Bruce, seines Zeichens ein wahrlich starker Zeitgenosse auf dieser Erde und wohl DER stärkste, was den Nacken betrifft. Eine sensible Region, die jeder trainieren sollte. Nicht nur des Trainings oder der Optik wegen (ein dünner Hals schaut nichts gleich, auch wenn man noch so dicke Arme hat ;-)). Wer mal einen Autounfall hatte oder ähnliches weiß, wie schwach ausgebildet diese Region ist. Kampfsportler brauchen sowieso einen starken Nacken, da führt kein Weg dran vorbei. Also nehmt diesen Gastartikel ruhig als Anreiz zum künftigen Nackentraining her. Punkt. Ich bin dann mal weg, nicht erreichbar und werde es in vollen Zügen genießen die Auszeit...Vorhang auf für Mike:

The Neck is one of the most important yet neglected muscles worked. The muscles of the neck are responsible for 2 primary movements the Neck Flexion and the Neck Extension. It is often said in the Grappling world that where the head goes the body follows.

This is so true.

If you are a grappler a strong neck gives you the ability to defend against chokes, if you are a fighter a strong neck helps you absorb a punch or kick from your opponent, a strong neck also is your best insurance policy against head trauma after being thrown during a match. And if you are a bodybuilder an impressive neck and traps can make the difference between a win or a loss in competition.

My name is Mike "The Machine" Bruce, I'm going to teach you how I built up my neck to 20" at a bodyweight of 203lbs while maintaining a life-time drug-free status. Some of my feats of strength I' am known for are performing 300 pound seated neck raise with a head harness, swinging around a 200lbs man with my head (neck strength) and having 5/8 steel bars and large horseshoes bent across my throat.

I started working my neck 23 years ago at the age of 13. I started taking wrestling lessons at the High School and one of my first coaches was an old-time Pro Wrestler who just happened to be my grandfather "Roughhouse" Reg Stimpson. He told me that for wrestling there are 2 important things you need to focus on: Conditioning and the Neck.

While there are many ways to work the neck I was taught 3 main exercises. Roughhouse Reg told me these are the 3 exercises needed to build my foundation.
They are:
*Neck Curl
*Seated Neck harness extension
*Side Neck raise.

Since the neck is pulled and pushed on so much during a wrestling match it is very important to build up the necessary muscular endurance. The muscle needs to be able to withstand the constant pressure that will be applied to it during a contest.

It has been my experience that the best way to build the muscular endurance needed is by doing each of the exercises mentioned for 3 sets of 20 repetitions. This equals 60 total repetitions. The main focus is to be able to perform 100 repetitions non-stop without putting the weight down.
The video below shows all 3 of the exercises in full motion with explanation.

You want to work up to 3 total sets of 100 repetitions per set. Then you will add more weight and start over again, working up to 100 repetitions again for 3 sets.

For beginners (someone who have never worked their neck) I suggest you start out with 1 set of 20 repetitions per exercise 3xper week for 2 months, gradually working up to 5 days per week (within 3 months time is average).
The reason being is that your neck will get very stiff and sore rather quickly. You will feel discomfort in the front of your neck, mainly around your windpipe. Some people also experience a lightheaded feel along with tightening of the jaw muscles.

This is completely normal and usually subsides after 2 weeks of steady training. The next couple of days expect to be very stiff in your neck to the point that you may have some trouble turning your head to look side to side. The great thing about the neck is that it develops quickly and can withstand a high workload, meaning high volume.

High volume work is a must in order to build your foundation. Remember I come from a wrestling background so high volume training (high repetitions 50-100 in multiple sets) is the closest representation to what you will face on the mat. During your matches your neck will be pulled and pushed on in every direction. The high volume training helps us establish a good, solid base to be able to withstand the trauma will face on the mat and in the ring or cage.

The next step is the intermediate routine (someone who has worked the neck 6 months-1 year) I suggest you perform 3 sets of 50 repetitions on all exercises 5 days per week.

Last for the advanced trainee, someone who is a wrestler or has over 1 year of neck training under his belt 3 sets of 100 repetitions on all 3 exercises, 5 days per week.

Once you have attained this level of neck strength then you can also try other set and repetition programs such as sets of 5 sets of 10 with a much heavier weight or one of my favorites on all 3 exercises do the following rep scheme:
1x6, 1x6, 1x10, 1x10, 1x12, 1x30. This provides some heavy work earlier, pre-fatiguing the neck then pumping even more blood into the muscle with the higher repetition work. I like this because I'm getting the best of both training methodologies.

These 3 exercises have been the basis of my neck program for 23 years now and have enabled me to build my neck up to it's thickest measurement of 20" at a bodyweight of 203lbs. The 3 exercises will hit your neck from all angles and will build the proper endurance and muscle you will need for your sport. Whether you are a wrestler, combat athlete or a bodybuilder the importance of neck training should not be overlooked.

I often get asked:
Machine, why do you work your neck so much? My answer is a simple one: Because where the head goes the body follows, and if my neck is not strong enough to keep my head looking up then how am I supposed to move forward with my goals and my life?

Keep the Faith and have a blessed day,
Mike "The Machine" Bruce

To learn more about The Machines neck training you can order his DVD TNT Total Neck Training here:
scroll down page. Here is a short video of the DVD:

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