Bill St. John was a famous old-time bodybuilder and strongman who took part in a number of contests and placed second in the Mr. USA contest in 1971.
Among things which make Bill interesting is his focus on neck training. One of the exercises he liked to do quite frequently is the dead hang snatch. While most people perform this lift for totally different reasons, Bill actually used to do it for the neck work. He was a beast capable of snatching 315 lb with this move for sets of ten. As you can see in the Strength & Health cover from 1969, Bill had quite a neck.
As you probably know by now, I am a big fan of neck strengthening exercises. I was happy to find out that Bill worked on his neck A LOT through various bodyweight training, weightlifting and even harness lifting.
Bill St. John often trained with Val Vasilef, as we can see in two amazing pictures below.
In the first one, Bill’s neck come into play when his training partner Val Vasilef performs a perfect handstand atop him. Notice how Bill is supported only by his neck and heels while lying between two chairs.
The second picture is quite extraordinary as well. Here we can see Bill holding a pole using only his hands while Val performs the human flag.
Most people miss out on neck training and if you’re one of them, make sure to check out my Advanced Bridging Course to improve your neck strength, spine and flexibility.