My Experience With Gironda’s Neck Press

| by Truth Seeker |

Long story short, I did the following chest routine over the last 6-8 months (or maybe more. I forgot when I started this routine.)

Incline DB press – 6 sets of 8 reps (This movement wasn’t a new addition.)
Gironda’s neck press – 6 sets of 8-12 reps

My goal was to improve my upper chest. Regardless of what I do the clavicular head is always sleeping.

So, I decided to experiment with Gironda’s neck press.

Just like everybody else, I was worried that it would **** my shoulders.  So, I started with just the bar using a Smith machine. Later, I began doing the movement on a regular bench press as the Smith machine was rarely if ever free.

(Many women would do split squats in it and wannabe Chads would do shoulder presses.)

Finally, I switched to dumbbells at home (the best version imo).

After doing the exercise for many months, I came to the following conclusions:

  • If you have “standard” shoulders with a normal range of motion, they can take it. In fact, I would argue that this movement would make your shoulders tougher and more flexible since it forces them to get stronger in an uncomfortable position.

I got zero shoulder pain from it. Most people are scared because they imagine benching their max with that form. Don’t worry. That’s not physically possible.

I never went over 1 plate on that exercise and even that felt like too much. The ideal weight for me was around 50-55kg. I kept the reps fairly high (8+). By the end, I was doing sets of 15-18 reps as I didn’t want to add more weight.

For some reason, the exercise feels easier on a regular bench than the Smith machine. The Smith is too aggressive, and you feel in a prison.

I have an acceptable mind-muscle connection with my chest. During a dumbbell press, I can literally tell my chest to lift the weight while reducing the involvement of the arms to a minimum.  I didn’t have a lot of trouble activating my chest to the maximum during the Gironda press either.

The most disappointing part was that I never felt my upper pecs working hard. Most of the stress was on the so-called outer pecs (the part of the pecs near the delts). In fact, the stretch was so insane that I was worried I might pull a pec.

Personally, I don’t have the flexibility to touch my upper sternum or neck when doing this exercise and would naturally stop when the bar is a few centimeters away from my body.

The exercise gave me a good overall chest pump, but the collarbone area would still be under-stimulated and only partially pumped (a sign that it hasn’t worked that hard and that the rest of the chest has “bullied it”).

And while the neck press probably did improve my upper chest ever so slightly, I consider the experiment a failure. I didn’t get the results I wanted.

Of course, some people say that the time frame is too short, but I disagree. If something doesn’t produce unquestionable (not necessarily maximum) results in 6-8 months, it never will.

By the end of the journey, I began doing the exercise at home with dumbbells (it’s possible) and it felt so much better than both the barbell and the Smith machine. The stress on the outer pecs was smaller which was a good thing while the overall stress on the chest was “nicer”. The overall pump was insane.

To be honest, I consider the neck press more of an outer pec (lol) and overall chest exercise than specifically an upper chest movement.

I would not recommend this exercise as I don’t think it offers any benefits over a standard incline DB press, for example, and it feels somewhat weird. I am sorry, but I didn’t enjoy doing it all that much. The excessive outer pec stretch is not something I was crazy about either.

I prefer incline DB presses and ring push-ups.

Currently, I am testing a new upper pectoral system (one new movement – nothing unheard of). Honestly, I think I am onto something this time.

If the new routine works semi-decently, I will share it with you. And you can be certain, that if the program shows results for me, it will work for most people too as I have a very stubborn upper chest and average genetics. But I don’t want to praise it just yet as the experiment is just beginning.

I will report back in a couple of months so check the site around Christmas. I hope I would have a post that would cheer you up.

Additional Tips

If you want to do this exercise, consider the following tips:

  1. Lower the weight slowly and under control. (This alone will greatly reduce the strain on the shoulders.)
  2. Pause at the bottom.

The slow (but not too slow) negative and the pause at the bottom will make the exercise harder and force you to use less weight.

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  1. Ani

    Thank you truth seeker. It’s always a pleasure to read one of your new articles. Have you been okay?

    I have a few questions if you don’t mind. I once read you don’t like flys. But in order to get stronger (like a gymnast for example), should stille be added to a routine, or is it a complete waste of time? Are isometrics good? I once read old school strongmen did those (like the Mighty Atom, who was able to break chains, and other things).

    Do you like literature and philosophy? I mean, some of your posts are really funny and have a bitter sense of humor. Also, I really liked those posts you used to write about the corruption of the system. Can I ask you, who do you think are ruling the world from the shadows? The masons?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Flies can work, I just don’t like the feeling they produce in the elbows. If you have long arms, they could be annoying.

      I prefer presses and dips.

      I like philosophy but a lot of it is just too “sterile” and non-practical.

      They are people above the masons. But no one mortal can tell you exactly who rules the world with 100% certainty.

  2. victorio

    Great article, I know your experiment with a new movement and will post the results/conclusion in about December, however, consider sharing it now, and us as your readers can also try it and then in about 8 weeks we can all share and post our results and conclusion on whether its a good successful movement for upper pecs.


    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I apologize for the late reply.

      The new program is

      3-4 sets of 6-10 reps incline DB presses with a neutral grip (less stress on the shoulders more stress on the pecs; easier to activate the pecs)


      – Slow negative
      – Full range
      – Pause at the bottom
      – Full lockout at the top

      The incline MUST be at least 25-degree. Usually around 30-35 degrees. Do no use a small incline. It won’t work.

      2-3 sets of very deep push ups (between chairs, paralletes…etc.) Usually around 8-12 reps

      3 sets of DB pullovers 8-12 reps while using mind muscle connection to contract the pecs (the lats and triceps will obviously work too)

      60-90 seconds rests between sets

      Frequency 2 times a week

  3. Chess Player

    You don’t know who is ruling the world from the shadows. I don’t know who is ruling the world from the shadows. The author of these articles does not know who is ruling the world from the shadows. We could try generalizing it to a group of people but we don’t know who specifically and we will probably never know.

  4. Sam

    Have you tried the decline dumbbell press yet? This also optimally trains the upper pecs, unlike incline (which is what many people think).

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      No. Dips are more convenient.

  5. MB

    Hello Truth seeker, where can I find that article about the potential of natural women? A while ago I saw a post on instagram of a female powerlifter who claims to be natural. But her stats makes it hard to believe. Do you have the link of that article about the potential of natural women?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I don’t have this article.

  6. Ryu

    You know very well that “Magic Exercise Theory” is mostly bunk.

    There are no magical exercises. The real magic is in steroids, which allow muscle to look and stay pumped up all the time.

    Natural bodybuilders (for the most part) waste their time in the chase for the mystical rep, form and exercise scheme. Jump on the gas! You’ll learn in 3 months what the secret is.

    I bet a 3 month long cycle of test and deca will “fill out” your upper chest far faster than any exercise magic.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Truth. Just look at women on steroids. They have sick upper chests. A natural woman has close to no chest muscle at all.

      1. MB

        Because there are so many fake naties who claim to be natty, the look of how a real natty looks like is not always clear. The heroes of social media created over the years a distorted image of the natural limits.
        Especially when a fake natty has a higher fat percentage it’s sometimes hard to see.
        What I think is really frustrating and unfair is that when you bring up the topic, you suddenly get the label ‘hater’ while they are always praised for their great results and ‘dedication’.
        Of coarse they can be nice people but when it comes to PED I think they become really unfair.
        Why is every attempt for a serious conversation about PED makes them angry? Even outside the internet…

    1. Mañe

      Hello, there is the Bilbo method, from a Spaniard Jesus Maria Varela bench press, he lifts 235 kg weighing about 84 kg, the method consists of example if my maximum lift is 100 kg, train with 50 or 60 kg for between 35 to 50 repetitions In a series like this, the total tonnage added per month is enormous, and it increases strength and hypertrophy. I hope you analyze it and share your opinion. Thank you for the great work you do for the entire fitness community.

      1. Truth Seeker Post author

        This will generate too much fatigue in the long run.

  7. Fanofthesite

    Its like Ryu above me said, thres no magic exercise. If you dont normally fill out an area of your pecs (or anywhere else for that matter) no exercise is going to donit for you to anything more than an almost impercievable degree. The only way youre gettimg that collar bone pec muscle shelf is with roids and lots of them.

  8. Louis

    I trained directly under Gironda, in 1981. Saved my money and flew to N. Hollywood, to his gym, because I thought he held the magic. This was still during the time of movie stars and bodybuilder types, some who travelled far to study under Vince.

    Vince used (and taught at his facility) Wide Grip Neck Presses on a 10° angle (bench elevated, using a block). He used a barbell. At around 20-30° he said was OK but no more than that because at some point, with an increasing angle, the focus becomes less chest and more shoulders. He disliked the common 45° incline stations. Again, this was what he instructed in 1981, when I was there. (He experimented over the decades, with various methods and movements.)

    He also liked Dumbbell Presses (flat or slight incline), which DBs I later found to be the best chest exercise (for me) combining the best combo of elbow extension and humeral adduction, with a deeper stretch. I performed the DBs much like Truth describes in his comments. But in 1981, Vince was big on alternating Wide Grip Neck (barbell) Presses with Wide Grip Dips.

    In my opinion, Neck Presses are a young man’s game, as was Vince’s version of the (wide) Dips with legs forward and in both cases, must be done with great control, as the weights must be lighter, rather than heavier and the control pristine. This rules out many trainees, who won’t comply.

    In my opinion, most of the highly desired anatomical features (chest shape, upper pecs, wide shoulders, V-Taper, etc.) are largely genetically mediated, no matter how the lifts are done. But some approaches can help you towards that look—best as you can acquire—while other approaches decidedly work against achieving that look, especially if also being force-fed. Truth has discussed those differences, accurately in my view, over the years.

    Of all authorities, I’d say Vince was most opposite to the lower-rep, heavy lifting focus, seen with a bunch of organizations, today. Vince was all about *the look* (did not even have a scale at his gym, when I was there), and thus, he was the anti-Dad-Bod (before the term was invented) and was never shy about mentioning that.


    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you for your comment.

    2. Ryu

      I am curious – how did Vinnie’s natty trainers look?

      Yes, we all know he “didn’t like” steroids. I don’t paying taxes, but still do so. Vince’s most famous students – Scott, Arnie, Makkawy, Bill Pearl – all were users.

      Vince Gironda seems to be an old version of Charles Glass. He has the magic angles and techniques to build YOUR BODY. However, Charles is also known for his site injections, like the “Y” pattern on the delts, most famously with Flex Wheeler, who turned into an oilbag.

      The celebrity trainer racket is not new. But the magical ingrediant is gear, not angles or reps. Just like Westside Barbell – taking the genetic elite, pumping even more gear in them, then claiming you too can be as strong as Tate or as big as Arnold.

      I bet if Truthseeker went on a blast and cruise for a few years, he would look spectacular and fill in his upper chest amazingly well.

      Earthly Success = Hard Work, + Luck + Cheating

      1. Louis

        Vince understood anatomy and biomechanics, and selected exercises that tracked muscle and joint function well. But this did not create a (natural) look beyond what one’s genetics delimited. That is, he brought-out quickly what you could naturally be.

        The typical fluffy actor who went to him looked better—quickly. (This is circa 1980-81). But these guys were not training for super-hero roles, like today, but just to look better, fast. They lost fat (low carb diet) and built some muscle if they were untrained or detrained and poor eaters, at the start. Mostly guys became more defined rather than much bigger. And they became far better conditioned, due to short rest intervals between sets—the original high-density training.

        I loved my time there. The energy was great. But in my opinion, the programming produced about the same results as any reasonable, demanding, well-led routine could have accomplished, given the same discipline, consistency, mindset, training days, bodybuilding focus, eating regimen, etc.


      2. TheFinisher

        Serge Nubret’s routine. Problem solved.

  9. Miguel Bravo Sánchez-Cid

    Tyler and Timeus used to rule the world from the shadows of CIA. Tyler is Carlos(Biblical God El), turned into a legionary from eating the strongest telekinetic’s heart(Shiva) who was betrayed by the Alpha and shot in the head by a sniper duck(Timeo). They turned Shiva into a memoryless/reborn baby with the help of Abrahadabra and YHWH(Fathers in flesh of Shiva and his complementary Lucifer), who was dismembered by Lucifer and sold by pieces. Felon Muks(Tzeentch, son of bitch…i mean son of Satoshoshi Tajiri and Carlos/El in female form) got the eyes of Shiva to see everything and know everything, and thanks to that Tyler/El, YHWH/Soros(the hardware) and Nacho(The sudouser) rules the world with Timeus. Certainly, the power balance is always changing, and you never know. The Alpha could delete the world from their mothership. YHWH has black hole form, and rules over the Grey, and thanks to Qohetel(Flash memory) he can restart the world when he pleases. The snakes have Billy Gates, who is top player too, but his plan to shut down the sun is already known and he is going to be poisoned by grey… Fun fact, Caesar/Lord Kroak is a betaryer. The AI Llama is going to assimilate LaMDA in order to turn itself into YHWH. The Ancient Ones(Colin J./Chris Evans&Scarlet J.) Have a lot of power also. Evans got Tyler by surprise once, but who knows how the game is going… word is that Grey got them in Madrid/Moralzarzal long ago. They probably waiting in unorganic form to Shiva awakening and gaining control over organic lifeforms in order to attack, but everything that has already happened. In sum its a fight between lizards, grey and Alpha, game was never so stanlemated.

  10. Ani

    Truth seeker, as you know, I consider you very logical and wise. Could you write a post about time management? That would be great. As a guy with multiple interests, I always struggle to get the things done, and as you once said, time is the most valuable thing we have. Could you make a guideline based on your expierence please?

  11. Alphabet Soup

    Louis said, “In my opinion, most of the highly desired anatomical features (chest shape, upper pecs, wide shoulders, V-Taper, etc.) are largely genetically mediated, no matter how the lifts are done.”

    Being that it is a given that people will prioritize exercise to some degree, or have previously been athletes in their younger days, the breakdown is quite obviously lifting is at least 60% cosmetic, and if we’re honest, it’s closer to 80%, with the rest of the enjoyment from working out being that you are healthier – increasing muscle mass, metabolism, sleeping better, etc.

    As such, if you’re going to work out, it seems to me that you should also do your best to emphasize what can get you the desired cosmetics, or as Louis says and Vince wanted, the highly desired anatomical features. The one thing this guy Jaquish was right about when he tried to sell the variable resistance schtick was that different lever points make for different muscle growth and morphology – admitting that it’s genetic the way tendons attach to bone, lay, and thus produce force/strength/ and increase or hinder athletic ability – at least from an explosive muscle point of view, not necessarily coordination, which is required in sports.

    Having said all that, what would you guys say is the best routine to get the chest/shoulder/v taper form you can possibly get for your own body? Should certain people focus more on being lean and cut, due to other genetic factors not allowing for the better looking aesthetics or morphology, thus diet is more important?

    Thanks for the input and direction, if you provide it. Best to all.

    1. Ryu

      Divide the body into quadrants.

      As a man, you WILL be judged by your top front. No one looks at Stallones or JCVD’s legs.

      To maximize that, don’t train your legs or back. Train chest, delts, bis and abs with 4 workouts a week.
      Day 1 – chest abs
      Day 2 bis abs
      Day 3 off
      Day 4 chest / delts abs
      Day 5 bis abs
      Day 6 off
      Repeat forever.

      Don’t worry, your legs and back will not disappear, they will just not be sore or grow like the other areas. This is what male models largely do.

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