Man with The Strong Neck
I remember doing neck exercises for the first time in a boxing class. We put a towel on our heads and placed a disc weight on top and did neck curls. It was then I realized just how overlooked the neck muscles are. We have leg day, back/bis, chest/tris, but there’s never any mention of the neck. Our necks are completely unworked and soft compared to the rest of our body. The cool thing about the neck is it doesn’t take long for it to catch up. Noticeable gains in strength and size come quickly and you can work it multiple times each week.
I began doing neck exercises in the garage, I would place a small pillow on my head and do neck curls and side neck raises. I grew tired of having to use the pillow and weight combination, it would always slip out of position and from this frustration grew the thought that there should be something for this.
Having a strong neck and muscular jawline is where it’s at. The boost I got from seeing my healthy reflection after building up my neck was enough to think I was on to something here. Protection from injury and liking your reflection in the mirror is what The Strong Neck is all about. I also often wonder the % likelier you are to survive a car or plane crash due to increased neck strength. You never know, working your neck muscles could save your life! That's why you should never skip neck day.
Initial Concept Sketch - Late 2018
The sketch that started it all. The idea was a kettlebell with a concave bottom and pad. I made this drawing and forgot about the idea for 6 months or so.
Prototypes 1 & 2 - Late 2019/Early2020
I continued to play with the idea and discovered 3D printing at a makerspace in a Portland area library. I 3D printed a kettlebell type thing and had a pad made for the bottom. I found a seamstress and had a bean bag type thing made and filled with glass beads. Both designs were functional but I did not feel good about them.
Prototype 3 - Late 2020
I began thinking of utilizing 2" disc-weights. I cut apart a fitness device that turned 2" disc-weights into a kettlebell, made a pad and had another functional prototype. The design I felt was too busy and therefore more difficult in terms of manufacturing than I liked.
Prototype 4 - Early 2021
As I was showing some friends prototype 3 the idea for a "slip-through" design popped into my head. I liked the simplicity and fact that there would only be two elements: the plastic slip through piece and a pad. I thought the ball grip would be beneficial, but it made everyone blush, looking a bit phallus. I had to change designs again, but I was getting close.
Prototype 5 - Late 2021
After eliminating the ball-grip, I was left with basically a sawed-off barbell with a pad on the bottom. Simple and elegant. I had to make a few small changes for manufacturing purposes, but finally had a design I could stand behind.
I started this journey with basically no "know-how", just an idea and a sketch. I read, listened to podcasts, and talked to anyone I could get any information from. I ended up meeting some cool CAD designers and very helpful people that gave me tips and feedback along the way. Persistence, Patience and Grit were key to the process.
It’s been an awesome journey learning how to invent/develop a product and then bring it to market. I’ve met so many great and helpful people along the way and learned so much about myself, business and life. As well as bringing The Strong Neck to market, I’m publishing a self-help book geared towards overcoming addiction and finding the courage to chase your dreams. I’m also prototyping a couple spinal decompression machines to help alleviate lower back pain. Stay tuned for the non-stop entrepreneurial adventures that are still to come! Sending love and positive energy your way!