Kong

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 by John Wood
The man known only as Kong, who claimed to have the world’s strongest neck, lifts 502 pounds. Another unusual feat of strength which he performed was having a partner smash bricks laying on his neck with a sledge hammer. Interestingly, “Kong” was also a vegetarian.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Tyson’s Neck

Posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 by John Wood
Tyson’s Neck

Above you’ll see an iconic photo for several reasons:

1.) There is no question who is is, even when seen from the back, which I find pretty awesome.

2.) Mr. Tyson made many bad decisions in his life, but one of the good ones was to make a point to build a big, strong neck. Genetics undoubtedly DID have a had in it, but he also did specific training, as you’ll see in the rare video clip below. Obviously this is pretty important if your occupation is boxing (or any other full-contact sport.)

3. This photograph was pinned to the bulletin board of my home weightroom as I was growing up. Aside from the many benefits that neck training brings to any high school football player (especially one with a long neck, like I have) an aspect that should not be overlooked is that “image” is pretty important to young folks, and this photo “got over” the idea that a bigger neck was a relatively easy way to “look strong,” ideally for the purpose of picking up girls –Inspiration (and motivation) often comes from unusual sources. Whether or not this was the intended result is unclear, but I certainly benefited greatly onfield and off in either case.

Interestingly, I recently came across this footage of the great modern boxer Anthony Joshua doing some excellent bridging — this is impressive, someone clearly showed him how to do it right.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Farmer Burns on the Wrestler’s Bridge

Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by John Wood
“I wish to impress upon all my students the great value of physical training connected with the bridge exercise. I want you to practice bridging every day, for you can find nothing that will develop the neck and back muscles to such an extent as bridging will do.

You already realize the importance of a very strong neck and it is entirely up to you to have a wonderful neck or not, depending entirely on the amount of study, and time of practice that you give the subject. A strong, well-developed neck is not only valuable to health and your personal athletic appearance, but important in wrestling as well.”

~ Farmer Burns, 1912

Sargent’s Head Lifting Machine

Posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by John Wood
The Head Lifting Machine
When Dudley Allen Sargent became the physical director of Harvard University’s famed Hemenway Gymnasium, he wanted to make sure the student body was as well-rounded as possible in their development.

Henceforth, Sargent devised several unique “machines” which could be used to fill in the gaps in areas that the conventional equipment of the day could not address (equally true today and the very same rational justification for any device which solves a problem or provides an advantage.)

One of the more interesting examples can be seen at the right, this “head lifting” machine offered a method for strengthening the neck and upper-back in a progressive and systematic manner. This was the first dedicated machine to building neck strength ever created, clearly it was under stood that this was an important area.

Neck training is, of course, down-played or ignored in many modern programs which is a real shame since it is certainly no less important today than it was back then.

Extreme Neck Strength II

Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by John Wood
Don’t try this one at home: Rudolpho Gulliano, the Italian Strongman, showcased his neck strength development by allowing a heavy produce cart to run back and forth across his Adams’s apple… and doesn’t look like it phased him a bit.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Dio Lewis’ Iron Crown

Posted on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 by John Wood

You’ll find some pretty interesting ideas when you venture into the “forgotten lore” of physical training. Here’s a good example from the great physical culture pioneer Dio Lewis, introduced way back in 1864:

THE IRON CROWN

“Bearing burdens on the head, results in an erect spine and an elastic gait. Observing persons, who have visited Switzerland, Italy, or the Gulf States, have observed a thousand verifications of this physiological law.

Cognizant of the value of this feature of gymnastic training, I have employed, for this purpose, within the last twelve years, various sorts of weights, but have recently invented an iron crown, which I think completely satisfactory. The accompanying cut gives a good idea of its general form. I have crowns made to weigh from three to one hundred pounds.

The crown is so padded within, it rests pleasantly on the entire top of the head, and yet so arranged that it requires skill to balance it. It is beautifully painted, and otherwise ornamented.

The Following Suggestions are deemed important in wearing the crown: Wear it five to fifteen minutes morning and evening. Hold the body erect, hips and shoulders thrown far back, and the crown rather on the front of the head, as shown in the cut.

Walking up and down stairs while wearing the crown, is good, if the lower extremities are not too much fatigued by it. When walking through the hall or parlors, turn the toes, first, inward as far as possible; second, outward; third, walk on the tips of the toes; fourth, on the heels; fifth, on the right heel and left toe; sixth, on the left heel and right toe; seventh, walk without bending the knees; eighth, bend the knees, so that you are nearly sitting on the heels while walking, ninth, walk with the right leg bent at the knee, rising at each step on the straight left leg; tenth, walk with the left leg bent, rising at each step on the straight right leg.

With these ten different modes of walking, the various muscles of the back will receive the most invigorating exercise.

All persons of both sexes, and of every age, who have round shoulders or weak backs, are rapidly improved by the regular use of the Iron Crown.”

Ellington Darden’s Neck

Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014 by John Wood

Like many young trainees, Ellington Darden wanted to build size and strength, but unlike many of his peers, he wanted a bigger neck to go with a bigger pair of arms. Throughout junior high and high school, he focused specifically on his neck work, primarily using the wrestler’s bridge and a Neck Helmet.

He continued this neck program in college, which was especially important while playing football. It paid off… When he graduated from Baylor University in 1966, at a body weight of 215 pounds, Ell sported a genuine 18-inch neck.

Unsurprisingly, neck training was always a part of Darden’s training books and courses. You’ll find many good neck training training ideas in this book, which was especially written with football preparation in mind.

Chiezel: The Man Who Walks On His Head

Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2012 by John Wood

Chiezel - The Man Who Walks On His Head

Adrian Chiezel, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin developed the unusual talent of being able to “hop” long distances on his head. He then did what anyone with such an unusual talent would do; he ran off and joined the circus.
In his act, “Chiezel: The Man Who Walks On His Head” hopped up and down this platform as shown, which seems like a pretty amazing show of neck strength (and balance) if you ask me.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

The Neck Helmet

Posted on Monday, March 19th, 2012 by John Wood

The Neck Helmet

If you want to look strong (not to mention also be strong) then you had better train your neck. This fellow, a football player at the University of Tennessee-Martin, named Hunter Carter had some help from Mother Nature in that department but he also did quite a bit of work with a Neck Helmet shown here. You’ll find him featured in the July, 1976 issue of Muscular Development Magazine in an article on neck training by Carl H. Giles.

Speaking from experience, a neck helmet trains the head and neck muscles in a unique manner and is an excellent choice though it is not without its disadvantages. To build the strongest possible neck a variety of equipment and techniques can and should be used, including plate-loaded neck machines, manual resistance, neck straps, jaw and teeth lifting, isometrics, and head stands (this list is by no means exhaustive). Keep in mind that building the strength and size of the neck is like developing any other muscle group, incorporate the overload principle, train progressively and recover properly and your collar size will inevitably increase.

Signor Lawanda, The Iron Jawed Man

Posted on Saturday, December 24th, 2011 by John Wood

Signor Lawanda - The Iron Jawed Man

Signor Lawanda, born Hugh David Evans in Bethlehem, PA, was the possessor of one of the strongest jaws of all time.  Rightfully billed as “The Iron Jawed Man” Lawanda famously lifted a barrel filled with water then allowed as many as four men to sit astride it.  Lawanda could also bite silver dollars in half, and caught P.T. Barnum’s eye when he lifted a 1400 pound horse via a harness clenched in his teeth.  Needless to say, training for these unusual types of feats also led to unusual development in the musculature of Lawanda’s neck and jaws.