Every Gym Needs One!

I have written several articles about the importance of training the neck. After attending the Legends of Strength clinic last month in Ohio, I feel even more strongly that everyone should be training the neck. It is clear that it is equally beneficial for athletes and regular folks.

Rather than re-write a bunch of stuff, I am only going to compile some links to other great neck training info, as well as links to some neck training machines. If you are lucky enough to have access to one, USE IT! If not, then I suggest you read the articles here, and then bug your gym until they get one. Click on the link below, and then click on the article of the same name.

Article: Neck Priority

Neck Machines: My top 4 favorite Picks

1. Pendulum 5-Way Neck

2. Med-X 4-way Neck

3. Nautilus 2ST 4-Way Neck

4. Nautilus X-Pload 4-Way Neck

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TAKU

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Training the Neck (with video)

The question of training the neck came up on one of the forums recently so I decided to put up a little something here to address it. First let me say that I am a fan of neck training. I recommend it to all of my athletes. As a matter of fact I encourage all of my clients to do some form of neck training, unless of course they have some sort of pre-existing condition that would preclude them from doing so.

I highly recommend neck training to all combat athletes. Along with the obvious combat sports such as Boxing, Wrestling, and MMA, I also include other high contact sports such as Rugby, American or Australian rules football, Lacrosse, and Ice Hockey on my combat sports list.

If you are already doing some form of neck training and are happy with the results, keep up the good work. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to strengthen your neck, give the following routine a try.

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TAKU

Neck Routine: Begin with one set of Shrugs with enough weight to fatigue within 60 seconds. Do one set of 60 seconds pushing head into a small stability ball in all four directions. Finish with a final 60 second set of shrugs. Alternate methods not shown include but are not limited to, using a neck harness attached to cables or resistance bands, as well as manual resistance either solo or using a partner.

(An alternate method for neck extension is also shown in the video below). Using this method you would bridge, forcing the neck back into the stability ball with muscular force aided by gravity.

1. Shrugs: Barbell / Dumbbell / Cable

2. Neck Flexion

3. Neck Extension

4. Lateral Neck Flexion (right and left)

5. Shrugs: Barbell / Dumbbell / Cable

Time Progression Interval Training

I am adding this plan as a continuation of my GPP series for soccer players. (See the Blog post immediately following this one) Ultimately this workout could be used by any open field sport player such as Lacrosse, Rugby, Field Hockey, etc. who wishes to improve his/her GPP for their sport. (GPP: General Physical Preparedness) Finally this plan may also be used by anyone interested in getting in great running shape using a short sprint format.

This program lasts one month and is broken in to four, week-long phases. During each week you will sprint on three, non-consecutive days such as Monday-Wednesday-Friday. The only equipment required is a 100 yard athletic field, a stop watch and some good shoes to run in. I usually use an all weather artificial turf field to assure a smooth, even running surface. If you do not have access to such a field, make sure the field you choose is free of gopher holes, rocks and ruts as well as any other garbage or debris. We do not want any twisted or broken ankles or worse.

Begin with a pre-test to ascertain your current best time on a 100-yard sprint with a running start. From this number we will then create our time progression interval goal times. We will do this by adding 4-6 seconds to the best 100-yard time. As an example, if the best 100-yard time is 12 seconds, the time for repetitions of the 100-yard sprint during week one of the time progression interval sessions would be 12 + 4-6 = 16-18 seconds.

Below you will find an example of this training plan based on the pre-test running times listed above. The idea is to start each phase by running sub-maximal efforts and build over the four weeks to doing repeats of your best time. Take 7-10 days off after each four week block before starting a new cycle.

During the first week and there after, It will be easiest to complete this plan if you have a friend or training partner help keep you on pace by shouting out times as you run. Another way to do this is by having the partner blow a whistle at ¼ intervals of the goal time as you run.

EXAMPLE:

PHASE 1: For the first week strive to run 5-15 sprints at the 18 second pace, deciding when you can handle more. Athletes should rest 60-90 seconds between sprints (more if you have to). Be sure to warm-up and cool-down for 3-5 minutes before and after each session. Repeat this workout two more times that week.

5X 100 in 18 seconds with 60-90 seconds rest. Walk 2-4 minutes.
5X 100 in 18 seconds with 60-90 seconds rest. Walk 2-4 minutes.
5X 100 in 18 seconds with 60-90 seconds recovery.

PHASE 2:During week two strive for more consistency in your application of both work and rest. Repeat the workout below on three non-consecutive days such as Monday – Wednesday – Friday. Be sure to warm-up and cool-down for 3-5 minutes before and after each session.

5X 100 in 17 seconds with 60 seconds rest. Walk 2-4 minutes.
5X 100 in 16 seconds with 60 seconds rest. Walk 2-4 minutes.
5X 100 in 15 seconds with 60 seconds recovery.

PHASE 3: During week three repeat the workout below on three non-consecutive days such as Monday – Wednesday – Friday. Be sure to warm-up and cool-down for 3-5 minutes before and after each session.

5X 100 in 15 seconds with 55 seconds rest. Walk 2-4 minutes.
5X 100 in 14 seconds with 55 seconds rest. Walk 2-4 minutes.
5X 100 in 13 seconds with 50 seconds recovery

PHASE 4: During week four repeat the workout below on three non-consecutive days such as Monday – Wednesday – Friday. Be sure to warm-up and cool-down for 3-5 minutes before and after each session.

5X 100 in 13 seconds with 50 seconds rest. Walk 2-4 minutes.
5X 100 in 12 seconds with 45 seconds rest. Walk 2-4 minutes.
5X 100 in 12 seconds with 40 seconds recovery

Well there you have it a simple yet challenging way of gaining fitness using nothing but a 100-yard sports field. Keep in mind that similar programs could be easily developed for longer distances such as 200 – 400 – 800 meter sprints. For the longer distance programs a running track would be more suitable.

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TAKU
www.hybridfitness.tv