How Often Should You Train Your Neck For The Best Results?

big neck
June 5, 2023 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “how often should you train your neck for the best results?”. Neck training is becoming increasingly popular in recent years.

The image of the jacked bodybuilder with a small neck is more common than you would think. Instead of exuding power, this image exudes weakness. Having a strong and thick neck makes you look more powerful.

How frequently you should train your neck is what many people ponder. The neck responds very favourably to frequency. At the same time it is also important to give it time to recover between workouts.

How Often Should You Train Your Neck For The Best Results?

For the best results you should train your neck as frequently as you can. The caveat being that you also pay attention to recovery. If your neck is still sore after a heavy workout, you should give it more time to recover.

A good ballpark to aim for is to train your neck at least twice a week. This would allow you plenty of time to recover between workouts, with progressive overload you should see great gains in neck strength and size relatively quickly.

If you alternate between heavier and lighter neck workouts, you could bump up the frequency of neck training to four times a week. This is all contingent on your individual goals. 

When it comes to neck training, consistency is king. The key is also to focus on good quality repetitions. Cheat reps on the neck curl is a bad idea, the risk of injury is very high.
big neck

Consistency Is Important

As with all exercises, consistency is very important. In the case of neck training, it is no good training your neck three times in a week and then taking a two week break.

This is counterproductive and will hinder your long term progress. It is important that what you commit to long term is sustainable. If you are only able to train your neck every day for three weeks then the results are only temporary.

It would be far better to just train your neck twice a week but do so every week. This would give you better results in the long run than an inconsistent approach. The same rule regarding consistency can be applied to anything.

Goal Dependent

How often you train your neck is also largely dependent on your individual goals. If you have a 14 inch pencil neck then you would want to train your neck with far higher frequency.

Gains in neck size and strength come relatively fast, providing you are consistent. If on the other hand you already have an 18 inch neck, you may just want to maintain your existing neck size and add more strength.

In this case, training your neck once or twice a week would be sufficient. This is a very important factor to consider. It is always crucial to take your goals into account.

The protocol that one person will follow will look very different to another person. Once you are happy with your neck gains you can reduce the frequency of neck training, but still ensure consistency.

Progressive Overload

As with all exercises, progressive overload is the key that will allow you to make real progress. If you are using resistance bands to train your neck and always use the same band tension, you will not make optimal progress.

You should alter the training variables to increase difficulty over time. The first thing you can manipulate is reps. Aim to get more reps with a given band tension on the neck curl and neck extension over time.

Then you can start using heavier band tensions and repeating the process. Once you have arrived at a heavy band tension that is sufficient for a great neck workout, you can make the exercise harder by pausing in the peak contraction phase.

This is what I have got up to in my own neck training, currently I have a flexed neck ranging from 18-19 inches. I like to do five second pauses on my neck curls in the peak contraction phase of the movement.

I also ensure that I am doing strict reps and that my neck is doing all of the work. I don’t want to bring other body parts into play, this will increase the injury risk and reduce the tension on the neck muscles.

neck curl machine

Athletes Need Higher Frequency

Athletes that participate in contact sports should train their necks more often. If you are a boxer, martial artist, rugby player or American football player, having a strong neck is critical.

It will help to protect you from collisions and impact. You will be able to perform at a higher level in your sport. Wrestlers and boxers do a lot of neck bridges typically to increase the strength of their necks.

Previously I have discussed on this site whether neck bridges are dangerous.

Neck bridges are an advanced exercise and I wouldn’t advise them for most people. You can build a strong and thick neck with just regular neck curls and extensions.

Neck Training Laziness

Because the results that you get from training your neck come fast, people often get lazy after they have reached their goals in relation to neck size.

If you get lazy with your neck training and don’t make it a consistent part of your training routine, you will find that you neck size and strength will go backwards.

This is especially more pronounced for natural lifters. You have to continuously put the work in to keep your neck size and strength up. It doesn’t matter if you only continue to train your neck once a week, consistency is what matters most.

To be successful you have to exercise discipline and not just do things when you feel good. Motivation is fleeting, you must show up and execute on a consistent basis to reap the rewards.

I have discussed how you can keep yourself motivated to work out.

Final Thoughts

How often should you train your neck for the best results? The answer is that it ultimately depends. First of all you have to factor in your goals. If you are happy with your neck size and want to maintain, you need less frequency.

If you have a small neck you need to train your neck with more intensity and frequency. Athletes should also be diligent with their neck training and train it frequently.

The most important thing for long term success is to perform quality repetitions, apply progressive overload and stay consistent. Even one neck workout a week will see you make more gains than someone with a more sporadic and less consistent approach.

If you have any comments about neck training please leave them below. As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

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