Trying to put some size on my neck, both because I like having a big neck and it helps in rugby. Been using a neck harness for several years, mostly doing 3-4 sets of 10-25 reps once or twice a week, but have felt that in the last year or so my neck has stalled at 17" (above average, but nothing special).
Don’t have access to a four-way neck machine, and never gotten much from wrestler’s bridges, but have all the other standard gym machines and free weights. Any recommendations on exercises, sets, and reps (bear in mind I can’t afford to just specialize on my neck, most concerned with getting the big compound lifts up)?[/quote]
My neck is just under 20". All I do is shrugs. When I had access to that seated HS shrug machine, I made the most progress and my traps actually got a little too big. I think my neck was 15" in high school so it has come a long way.
The only thing I could see that could make any more of a difference at this point is a neck machine just for the sake of building up up my sternocleidomastoid muscles (the ones on either side of the neck when seen from the front). Then again, that might scare some people.
I think some people make this way too complicated. You don’t have that many muscles in your neck to think you need 10 different exercises for it. It is simply your traps (shrugs) and the sternocleidomastoids contributing to neck thickness and muscularity. Considering the size of your traps, spending more time in a neck harness for the smaller muscle group than on shrugs for the larger makes little sense.
Focus on the big muscles in priority.
The rest is a matter of overall body size because how many people under 200lbs have necks over 19"?
Youir stats list you at just over 200lbs. Get bigger all over.