Q&A with Mike “The Machine” Bruce: Man with the Worlds Strongest Neck & “Neck Flex” Representative (2016)

Q&A with Mike “The Machine” Bruce: Man with the Worlds Strongest Neck & “Neck Flex” Representative (2016)

Q&A with Mike “The Machine” Bruce: Man with the Worlds Strongest Neck & “Neck Flex” Representative

Ever since I have started this website I have constantly been preaching about neck training. I was talking about how it will make you look more yoked, protect you from certain injuries, improve some of your lifts and the list goes on. In other words, I’ve been on it since day 1 with no exceptions.

I am sure that you guys were probably wondering: “where did he get all of this knowledge from?” and it was at first a bit from Jason ferruggia, but most of the knowledge that I have on neck training comes from our special guest today: Mike “the machine” Bruce.

For all of you guys who don’t already know, Mike is the God of neck training. He arguably has the strongest neck on the planet. He does neck curls with 90lb for 200 reps, he did a 300lb neck extension with a harness and he has other out of this world feats of strength that are just jaw dropping.

Not to mention that he is also one of the main representers of the Neck Flex fitness product which he will discuss to us later on in this Q&A. I will also be asking him about several different neck training questions that are frequently asked by most lifters, enjoy!


First off, how old were you when you started weight training and how many years ago did you start training your neck?

I started training my neck when I was 13 years old.

The reason I worked my neck was for Wrestling. When I started Wrestling I would get dominated with ease due to being so thin and having a pencil neck.

I was pulled aside after practice one day and told that in wrestling the neck should be build like  “tree trunk”. The reason for this is that where the head goes the body follows.

That day I began my journey with neck training.

Are you still training for maximum neck performance while trying to break world records?

The last record I set was in 8/27/2011 where 7 5/8 bars of steel were bent across the front of my throat in :57 seconds.

I have had to stop performing this feat due to the scarring I have caused on the sides of my throat. MY cardiologist and primary care doctor advised me to stop due to the possible life threatening injury I could cause.

With that being said I suffered a life changing back injury in may 2015. This injury was so severe that I was bedridden for 2 weeks and then had to use a walker to get around.

I am now about 90% fully recovered and can walk without dragging my left leg and train as hard as I can but with limitations.

I am grateful for each day to be able to stand straight, walk by myself and not be in pain.

That was a very dark time but “Strongmen” become stronger through crisis and learn how to adapt and push forward.

I feel I am a better man now after going through that ordeal.


I know that the neck flex is a powerful tool, but please explain to the audience why it is the best piece of equipment for neck training, why it is different and why it can’t be duplicated with other apparatuses?


I believe the neck flex is the #1 neck harness on the market.

The harness is composed of the highest quality materials. The heavy-duty poly pro webbing is double stitched, and features comfortable neoprene padding on the underside and chinstrap. The simplistic nature of the design is its strength, and the implementation of resistance bands revolutionizes the effectiveness of this innovative product. Unlike regular neck harness’s that come with a chain and require the use of a dead weight The Neck Flex can be used anywhere, anytime and anyplace. It can even come with you when traveling since you do not need a gym to use it. It is small enough to fit in a hand bag and is a great tool to be used for Wrestling and Football teams when on the road to warm up the neck. It also differs in the range of motion giving the user the ability to train their neck rotationally by turning the head side to side. The motion when exercise is the most fluid and smooth action I have ever experienced. Normal head harness that require a chain and weight can give a jerking motion when increased speed of reps is performed. This jerking motion has been known to cause what is known as a “Zinger” in the neck and trap area. You don’t experience any of this risk when using the Neck flex.

I highly recommend that you take a look for yourself. For ordering information, photos and additional specs please visit www.theneckflexmachine.com

    The Pinnacle of Neck Strength and Condititioning Serious About Training Learn More

How many band tensions does the neck flex come with and how could this piece of equipment be used from the biggest beginners all the way to the most advanced guys (Ex: what are the band tensions)?
The Neck Flex comes with one band. It’s a patented snap proof resistance band form Bodylastics with built in steel carabiners. It is a 19 pounds of resistance which is doubled when you attach it to two points on the neck flex. It is great for the beginner to the advanced trainee because of it’s simplicity to use. To increase the resistance for an advanced or stronger athlete all one has to do is step further away or widen the legs to increase even more resistance thus leading to a much harder workout.


Who created the neck flex in the first place?

It was developed by Zachary Elam, a disabled combat veteran with a background in engineering and design. In 2011 Mr. Elam teamed up with Thomas Hunt, a high school coach and businessman, and before long The Neck Flex was born.

The pair’s intention was to develop a quality head harness that could be used to adequately strengthen the neck to prevent injury and concussions. However, the chiropractic community immediately picked it up, finding it extremely effective for rehab situations as well. That’s because of the Patent Pending design, which allows for greater range of movement over the traditional head harness.

Where do you see the success of the neck flex product in the next few years?
It is tough to say where I see The Neck Flex going in the future, I hope that it will continue to grow and that more people will realize the importance of Neck training. The owners of the neck flex Tom and Zach have a good plan in place to keep the brand building but it still comes down to the athletes and sports teams to want to work their necks. The neck is still one of the most neglected body parts trained, unless one is a wrestler, combat athlete or football player. One community that I think could benefit immensely from The Neck Flex is NASCAR. They risk of whiplash those drivers face is huge and in my opinion a strong & conditioned neck is a no brainer to further help protect those drivers.

Besides the neck curl with plates, Ext and lateral neck work on bench along with wrestler work, what else is there?

On my youtube channel I show various other exercises that you can do with the Neck Flex. The possibilities are really endless, it just comes down to ones imagination and determination to succeed and build a tree trunk for a neck.


Can the neck flex be used with a cable stack or does it really mostly only work well with bands?

The neck flex can be used with a cable stack, all you have to do is detach the band and than place a chain to the neck flex harness and than attach it to the cable stack. I did try this but don’t see the point or the need. The Neck flex gives me all I can handle in my neck workouts. Though I am no longer trying to set records and am limited due to my prior back injury……I am still very capable at working my neck and believe that most would have a hard time keeping up with me during one of my neck workouts. I don’t mean that statement arrogantly at all  but I have an image to uphold and even though I am older and coming off a terrible injury I am not done, I have more yet to still accomplish.

I know that you could do neck flexion, extension and lateral work with the neck flex, but what are some other unique exercises that you have thought of throughout time?

One of the most intense, or some call insane things I did was hang myself with a noose, unassisted, with no hands holding the rope behind my back. I hung by neck. Youtube made me take the video down. This was filmed in 2007 in Science Hill KY. I did manage to still add the clip to my promo of my top selling TNT Neck training DVD. It plays at the beginning of the video. Can be seen at my youtube if anyone is interested. I also have bent a 4’ ft long round 3/4 “ thick steel bar over the top of my head, I have supported 405 pounds on a barbell on the front of my throat, I have also supported 2 grown men on a barbell on my throat and even achieved the dreaded STRANGLE feat made popular by Stanless Steel. This is where a rope is placed around my throat and then 2 men are on each end and being to pull the rope in opposite directions choking me. All of these are very dangerous and not something I would advise anyone to have a go at. I’m glad I don’t have to do them anymore LOL.

 Those are some of the unique neck feats I have done over the years.


Does neck training really help you prevent concussions, to what extent?

I am not a Doctor but there are a few studies that prove neck training prevents concussion. The most notable source is the Don Comstock study. It proved that for every single pound of improved neck strength an individual reduces his or her concussion risk by 5%. The Neck Flex company is selling multiple units to division 1 football teams on a regular basis for this very reason.

At my gym there is a 4 way neck machine that goes up to 6 plates plus I add bands. Although I might change gyms soon and there won’t be a neck machine there so I’ll have to start doing my neck work with plates on my forehead, but I noticed that when I do it this way (even with a winter hat) I still end up with the circular shaped plate imprint on my forehead, how could this be prevented?
The circular shaped imprint of a plate on the forehead is a tell tale sign the gent sporing that mark just finished training his neck LOL. This imprint is very common when using a plate for the neck curl. What I used to do was wear a winter thermal hat and I would also fold up a wash cloth and place that on my forehead as well. This extra padding helped considerably and on some occasions made it to where there was no imprint on my head. Give that a shot and see if it helps you.

Is there anybody who is even close to your level of strength when it comes to the neck or are you just light years ahead of everyone?
That’s a tough question because I never looked at myself as the best. I wasn’t the first to do some of the feats I am known for. I do believe that at one time I had the strongest neck in the world for the certain feats that I did. But there are many ways of measuring strength. For example I never did any type of balancing weight on my head and there has been quite the impressive numbers in that certain feat. I will say that at my bodyweight of 202 lbs and sporting a 20” neck with a 32” waist pound for pound I wasn’t to shabby and could more than hold my own when it comes to Neck strength. I have tried to bring the importance of training the neck to the mainstream.  I’am always grateful if anything I did regarding neck training has inspired another to push through their personal limitations and crush their goals.

Thank you for your time Mike, we will hear from you soon!

If you want to see more of Mike then you could check him out at:


Professional Performing Strongman/Motivational speaker. Trained by Bud Jeffries and Dennis Rogers. Former USMC Honor Graduate. Former 5x Submission Wrestling…



The Neck Flex is a revolutionary patent pending head harness and training system that is changing the face of neck training as we know it. The Neck Flex utilizes a …
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