20 Inches at 198 pound bodyweight.

I built my 20″ Neck with 2 easy steps.

  1. I did the neck curl for 3 sets of 100 REPS!
  2. I did the seated neck extension/raise for 3 sets of 100 REPS!
That is all.
Nothing fancy and nothing else to report.
But Mike!
100 reps is pointless, all you are going to do is build muscular endurance in the neck.
Doing that high of reps is overkill, you don’t need to train that way.
Training with that many reps is a surefire way to injure yourself.
You would be better off scaling the reps back and going heavier.
You are going to destroy the discs in your neck and vertebrate.
Blah, Blah, Blah………,
The negative belly aching would continue for many years to come.
I just never gave in to it, when you ignore something you take away it’s power.
Words are just that, words.   They can only hurt you if you let them.
I was on a mission and I was determined to accomplish it.
My mission was simple:

 Build a neck so thick and strong that I  would not get manhandled, rag-dolled and folded up like dirty laundry on the wrestling mat anymore.

I ignored the opinions, constant negative comments and kept my mind on my goal.

Around this time (year 1987) Mike Tyson was a force in the Heavyweight division of Boxing.

He was destroying all of his opponents in quick fashion.

I remember seeing a picture of Mike Tyson on a boxing magazine and became obsessed with his neck development.

I thought to myself if I had a neck that looked like that I’d stand a better chance on the wrestling mat.

This particular boxing magazine had a section about Tyson’s training.

It said he did neck bridges, ran 8 miles, did 8 rounds on the heavy bag and plenty of push-ups and sit-ups on the slant board.

I was already doing Neck Bridges in the practice room along with most of the other exercises listed in the article.

Here is a pic-

Holding a 100 pound plate

My other favorite fighter during this time was Marvelous Marvin Hagler, the Middleweight Champion of the World.
In one of my boxing magazines it listed how he trained using rounds.  He worked out for 3 minutes straight with a 30 second break.  This training could be for 12 or 15 rounds depending on what his upcoming fight would be.
This is where I came up with my idea of the 3 sets of 100 reps.
What made me pick 100 reps?

No reason other than the number stood out to me and 3 sets of 100 equals 300.

300 is similar to 3:00, well to me it was lol.

My morning would start off at 4:30am with roadwork.  I would run for 30 minutes mixing in sprints from one telephone pole to the next. I would then do various push-ups and abdominal exercises back and forth in sets of 20 repetitions.  I would then finish up in the ouse by doing my neck workout.

The whole key to this training is to be consistent and disciplined. I cannot say this enough. You must keep your mind on the task at hand and not let anything get in the way of your goal.

When I started, I simply used a 5 pound plate for both the neck curl and the seated neck raise for 1 sets of 100 reps.  

I could not do 100 reps on my first few tries so I broke the set up in twenties.  I kept this rep schemes until I could do 100 straight reps without taking the plate off my head.  

Once this was achieved I then stayed with the 5 pound plate and bumped my reps up two sets of 100.

Again same procedure, back and forth until I could do 2 straight sets of 100. 

Granted, this way of training isn’t for everyone but it worked for me.

I never raised my weight until I was able to get all 3 sets of 100 repetitions.

After my morning workout was over (usually between 6-6:30) I was in the shower and off to school.

Wrestling practice was between 3pm and 6pm where we would do calisthenics, wrestling drills and live wrestling.

You’re probably still thinking but why such high reps? The science books and internet fitness guru’s say this type of training is all wrong.

You need to take a look at the person that is saying it’s wrong. 

  1. Have they tried it?
  2. Are they sporting a YOKED neck?
  3. Do they even train their neck?
Listen there is all types of supposed experts pushing information about stuff they have absolutely no idea about.
You do what you want but for me I only listen to the person that has actually been there and done that. 
Everyone else is just playing a guessing game.
What the 300 did for me:
Training 3 sets of 100 reps gave me insane endurance to the point that back in 1997 Manny Neves of Elite Martial Arts, Pawtucket RI called me the Man with gills in his neck. 
It was after this specific grappling match that he was refereeing. I was in a terrible choke but refused to tap out. My neck and a little gusto won the fight for me that day.
This type of training also helped me to become very, very strong in feats of strength with my neck.  
For many years I claimed to have the worlds strongest neck in the seated neck raise.  
I picked up 300 pounds for 2 reps in Lakeland Florida 2008. I weighed 202 pounds.
This was done at Strongman Bud Jeffries home and published in MUSLEMAG International. 
 Another feat of strength my high volume neck training gave me the ability to do was have steel bars bent across the front of my throat like this:
I set a World record in Somerset Ky 2012 by having 7 5/8 pieces of steel bent across the front of my throat under 58 seconds.
WARNING, this video is not for the squeamish and should never be tried. 

I ask you, if such high reps are supposedly useless what is the reason for my neck training success?

I was not special or blessed with great genetics.  No one was around to help me, there was no neck champion to give me inside tips on building a tree trunk of a neck.

The answer is I USED MY BRAIN

I had a goal in mind and put a plan of action in place to get to said goal.

I worked my tail off each workout trying to be better than I was the previous training session.

I blocked out all the negativity and stood strong on my plan.

Nothing got in my way and though not for everyone that’s how I built my 20 inch neck.

Own your Day!
Mike The Machine