Rachel has fantastic neck development. When I comment about it she just laughs and tells me to go pick some apples.
Her grandparents used to own an apple orchard in Brockville and Rachel spend a fair bit of time with them growing up. As a young person, she learned to make fun out of everything and in the fall, she would help pick apples for them to sell. It was play time for her and probably fun time for them because they got to spend it with their grand daughter. They taught her that the best apples are the ones that are about to fall off the tree due to their ripeness, but not the ones that have fallen because they are bruised. The best apples are picked by hand and you need to reach for them.
There’s a skill to knowing which apples are about to fall. They feel a particular way when you touch them and you need to give them a gentle pull – it’s a finesse thing because too much effort will free any apple and too little will leave a ripe apple allowing it to fall when the next wind blows in. At the beginning of the harvest, you’ll be trying 10’s of apples to get one good one. As the season grows on, you need to attempt fewer apples to get the good ones.
Rachel spend a huge portion of each September and October doing single arm over head shrugs, single arm shoulder raises and single arm shoulder press movements. Early on in the season, she would be doing 100’s or 1000’s of reps per day to fill the bushels. They paid her a little for the help, but to her is was mostly play and in hind site, it create a solid foundation of body and neural firing awareness. As a consequence, her upper body, and particularly the muscle for raising the arms above the shoulder line, are extremely well developed.
Many years later, she doesn’t need to do the volume of exercise to fatigue these muscles as I do because she has more complete control over the firing patterns – 10000’s of reps is the only thing that will deliver you this level of awareness.