A recent TikTok viral seems to indicate that the secret to headbutting is headbutting a goat. Is the guy behind the video a fitness goat, or is he sticking his neck somewhere it doesn’t belong?

A new video went viral in which a heavily muscled man challenges a goat to a literal one-on-one showdown, with him and the goat bravely forcing their eyebrows at each other to see who gives in first. After about 20 seconds of stalemate fighting, the goat directs a powerful, but seemingly effortless thrust into the man’s noggin, and the man relents, ceasing to engage further with the goat.

Some people – including the poster for the video – hailed this as the ultimate form of neck training. Others (read: me) see it as the height of madness. Is the truth somewhere in the middle? Absolutely not. But let’s have some fun anyway.

Why do you need to have a strong neck?

Other than for postural reasons – which generally don’t require direct neck exercises – the majority of those looking to train their necks are athletes involved in sports that are characterized by frequent hits to the head (i.e., football players, wrestlers, boxers and hockey players).

There are many ways to add size and strength to their neck muscles. Wrestlers often play a battery of ground neck bridges to prepare for the rigors of what they will face when they struggle on the mat. Mike Tyson trained the same way in order to develop a massive neck over 20 inches in circumference and able to cushion the impact of his opponents’ punches.

If you don’t feel like resting your head directly on the ground, there’s a long way safer ways to train your neck which involve both weights or isometric training exercises. Generally speaking, all of these methods are effective in achieving the goal of getting a stronger neck.

How reasonable, reliable and predictable is the training method?

Suppose you can regularly access the goat at any time for spontaneous neck training. What you’re really doing in this case is initiating an isometric hold against a barely moving object. Your neck holds out for life in the interest of stability, but the majority of the force generated to maintain tense contact with the Goat’s head comes primarily from your legs and works its way up through your core muscles.

Obviously, the neck muscles are used to hold the head in a stable position. But even under perfect conditions – i.e. the goat thinks you’re trying to play with it on its own terms – there are far more effective ways to train your neck than dueling with livestock.

Not to mention the worst-case scenario, in which the goat may feel that you are trying to establish dominance over her, and she certainly has more to do with the outcome of such a battle than just developing a sexy neck.

So there is nothing effective about the neck training method with goats?

Let me put it another way: the head and neck of sheep and goats are specially designed with bones, sinuses and other cranial structures designed to absorb the precise type of shock that allows them to casually pull away from head-to-head collisions while traveling at speeds of 10 miles per hour or more. Humans experiencing head-to-head impacts at similar speeds would be instant candidates for waking up inside an MRI machine.

The fact is that goats are anatomically suited for these kinds of skirmishes while humans are not.

And so, while obviously much less likely to go viral, I’d stick with the aforementioned wrestling neck bridges — the petting zoo of neck workouts — if I were you.