About Me & Article Links

BCAbout Bret Contreras

Welcome to my website! My name is Bret Contreras, and many people consider me to be the world’s foremost expert on glute training. If you work your way through this website, you’ll undoubtedly learn a tremendous amount of information pertaining to the glutes. However, I’m actually well-versed in most things Sports-Science related. Please sift through the site and find the articles that are most relevant to your wants and needs.

Here are some of my credentials:

Below are links to 325 articles and blogposts I’ve written on various topics.

Hypertrophy (Muscle Growth)

  1. Training for Maximum Muscle Growth Explained
  2. 7 Reasons to Squat Like a Man
  3. Inside the Muscles – Best Shoulder and Traps Exercises
  4. Inside the Muscles – Best Chest and Triceps Exercises
  5. Inside the Muscles – Best Back and Biceps Exercises
  6. Inside the Muscles – Best Leg, Glute, and Calf Exercises
  7. Inside the Muscles – Best Ab Exercises
  8. Leg Press vs. Squat: The Final Chapter
  9. Cure for Cowardly Calves
  10. The Hypertrophy Specialist (Interview with Brad Schoenfeld)
  11. 3 Total Body Programs for Big Arms
  12. Why Bodybuilders are More Jacked than Powerlifters
  13. The Truth About Bodybuilding Genetics
  14. How do Pro Bodybuilders Train?
  15. 5 Things We Can Learn from Arnold About Building Muscle
  16. 6 Lessons Learned from the Master Blaster
  17. ABC – Can a testosterone-challenged man still be muscular?
  18. Best Reps for Hypertrophy and Sport-Specific Purposes
  19. What Women Want
  20. Machines vs. Free Weights: More Research is Needed
  21. Oh What a Difference One Year Can Make
  22. How to Attain a Slender Look (like Jessica Alba & Zoe Saldana)
  23. Defending Hugh Jackman: Don’t Be a Fitness Snob!
  24. 2 Mechanisms for Rapid Muscle Growth
  25. For the Millionth Time, Spot Reduction is a Myth!!!
  26. The B & B Connection: Episode 1 – Hypertrophy Science
  27. The B & B Connection: Episode 4 – Variety in Training
  28. The B & B Connection: Episode 6 – Tempo Training
  29. Strength Trumps Conditioning for Body Improvements
  30. Is the Mind-Muscle Connection Valuable in Strength Training?
  31. Transform Your Physique: Mariah’s Story
  32. An Interview With Dr. Stu Phillips on Muscle Hypertrophy and Sports Nutrition
  33. A Simple System for Progression: 3 Set Total Reps

Strength

  1. 10 Best Unilateral Exercises
  2. The B & B Connection: Episode 2 – HIT Training vs. Higher Volume Training
  3. Average Female Strength Gains Over a Six Month Period
  4. Expose Your Weaknesses to Get Strong!
  5. Operation Barbell: 10 Money Exercises
  6. Ten Manliest Exercises
  7. Rule Number One: Do What Works
  8. The Best Damn Pushups Article Period
  9. Pushup Research
  10. Max Out on Squats Every Day
  11. Daily Training
  12. The New Rules of Strength Training
  13. 21 Exercises for Injury-Free Mass
  14. 20 Almost Laws of Strength Training
  15. 8 Laws of Strength Training
  16. Contreras Files IV: 15 Practical Tips
  17. Contreras Files V: 15 More Practical Tips
  18. The Five Keys to Getting and Staying Big and Strong
  19. ABC – Are Training Logs Necessary?
  20. ABC “Ask Bret Contreras” – Rep Calculators
  21. Topic of the Week #4 – Pushing and Pulling Ratios
  22. How I Finally Deadlifted 12 Plates
  23. The Pitfalls of Progressive Overload
  24. Ten Minutes a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: A 5-Set Full Body Program
  25. Neck Training 101
  26. Strength Goals: Don’t Be Afraid to Abandon Them
  27. Home Workout With No Equipment
  28. Female Strength Levels
  29. Training Women
  30. Basic Workout Template
  31. How Low Can You Go?
  32. Special Workouts
  33. Interview With Matt Perryman
  34. Ten Keys to Optimal Strength Training
  35. The Ten Rules of Progressive Overload
  36. How to Increase Your Chin-Ups
  37. How to Military Press
  38. How to Bent Over Row
  39. How to Front Squat
  40. What’s the Difference Between a Romanian Deadlift, American Deadlift, Stiff Legged Deadlift, and Straight Leg Deadlift?
  41. The Bulgarian Split Squat Solution

Power

  1. Maximizing Power Production
  2. The Importance of Load Vector in Physique Enhancement and Sport Training
  3. Load Vector Training (LVT)
  4. Should We Train at 30% of 1RM to Maximize Power Production?
  5. Stiffness: What is it?
  6. Post-Activation Potentiation: Theory and Application
  7. Olympic Weightlifting vs. Kettlebells on Lower Body Strength and Power
  8. Dynamic Effort Box Squats and Acceleration Improvements: Interview with Scott Taylor
  9. An Interview With Sports Scientist Natalia Verkhoshansky
  10. Insight for Strength Coaches: Power, Full Squats, Correlations, and Training Studies

Speed

  1. How Does Usain Bolt Train?
  2. 21 Questions for JB Morin on the Topic of Speed
  3. Why is Christophe LeMaitre so Damn Fast?
  4. Sprinting Performance is Not Solely About Force Put Into the Ground
  5. Sprint Research, Biomechanics, and Practical Implications – An Interview With Matt Brughelli
  6. An Interview with Carlo Buzzichelli
  7. Simultaneous Hip Extension and Hip Flexion
  8. Get More from Your Sprint Workouts
  9. Reverse Hyper Sprints: The Best Speed Exercise You’re Not Doing
  10. Heavy Sled Towing Trumps Light Sled Towing for Acceleration
  11. Glute Training and Speed Development: A Case Study
  12. Are Usain Bolt’s Sprinting Mechanics in Need of an Overhaul?
  13. Sprinting & Glutes

Sports Science Topics & Research

  1. Basic Biomechanics: Terms and Definitions
  2. Should Force, Power, and RFD Outputs be Primary Considerations for Exercise Selection?
  3. Mel Siff on Directional Specificity
  4. The Contreras Files Volume I
  5. The Contreras Files Volume II
  6. The Contreras Files: Volume III
  7. How to Conduct EMG Experiments
  8. Titin and Myotilin Comin’ Through in the Stretch
  9. What You Need to Know About Rhabdomyolysis: Insights from the University of Iowa Incident
  10. September Research Roundup: Bench Press Edition
  11. What Does Sports Science Research Have to Say About Warming Up?
  12. Pain Science: An Interview With Pain Expert Jason Silvernail
  13. Insight for Strength Coaches: Power, Full Squats, Correlations, and Training Studies
  14. October Research Roundup: The Recovery Edition
  15. November Research Round-Up: Sleep-Edition
  16. December Research Round-Up: the HRV Edition
  17. February Research Round-Up: Supplement Edition
  18. March Research Round-Up: Muscle Fiber-Types Edition
  19. April Research Round-Up: the Rugby Edition
  20. Unilateral Leg Training For Greater Gains
  21. Considerations in Athletic Performance Enhancement Training: Overhead Weight Room Exercises
  22. How Does Foam Rolling Work? And Why “SMR” Should be Called “SMT”
  23. The Illustrated Guide to a PhD
  24. What Can a Wrench Teach You About Strength Training?
  25. 5 Things I Learned About Training Through Reading Research
  26. May Research Round-Up: Bloodflow Restriction and Hypoxia Training Edition
  27. Are Cheat Reps Beneficial? A Discussion of the Evidence and Implementation
  28. June Research Round-Up: Stretching Edition
  29. July Research Round-Up: Soccer Edition

Glutes

  1. What Builds the Glutes Best?
  2. Bigger, Better Glutes
  3. Do More than “Just Squat”
  4. How to Train for a Bikini Competition: It’s All About Glutes!
  5. Hip Thrust & Glute Science
  6. Glute Science
  7. Practical Glute Training Tips
  8. January Research Round-Up: The Glute Edition!
  9. How to Get a Better Butt: Step Up Your Knowledge
  10. Dispelling the Glute Myth
  11. Advanced Glute Training
  12. I Am the Glute Guy and Here Are My Secrets
  13. How Bodybuilders Train the Glutes
  14. 30-Day Glute Challenge
  15. The 30-Day Ultimate Better Butt Challenge
  16. The 30 Days of Thrusting Challenge
  17. 100-Rep Back Extension Challenge
  18. Growing Glutes Without Growing the Legs
  19. Knee Valgus (Valgus Collapse), Glute Medius Strengthening, Band Hip Abduction Exercises, and Ankle Dorsiflexion Drills
  20. How do I Keep my Glutes While on Vacation? A Simple Bodyweight Glute Workout
  21. Which Type of Squat Maximizes Glute Activation?
  22. Show Me the Booty!
  23. Progress in Glute Training: It’s Not Always What You’d Expect (But It’s Still Progress)
  24. Kettlebell Swings: Go Heavier for Greater Glute and Hamstring Activation
  25. A Better Way to Teach Barbell Glute Bridges and Back Extensions
  26. A Set of Goblet Squats per Day Keeps the Doctor Away
  27. Brazilians Know Booty Best: An Interview With Nathalia Melo (Ms. Bikini Olympia Champion)
  28. The Hip Thrust Only Experiment
  29. Form Analysis Episode 1
  30. Poll Results: You Love the Hip Thrust!
  31. A Simple Test for Glute Activity
  32. How to Get the Bar Over the Thighs When Hip Thrusting
  33. The Glute Guy’s Secrets: The Art of Glute Building Part I – The First Session
  34. The Glute Guy’s Secrets: The Art of Glute Building Part II – Programming
  35. The Glute Guy’s Secrets: The Art of Glute Building Part III – Practical Solutions
  36. The Evolution of the Hip Thrust
  37. What’s the Best Single Leg Exercise?
  38. How to Do Band Hip Thrusts
  39. Charles Staley on Band Hip Thrusts
  40. The Standing Band Hip Thrust
  41. Top Ten Hip Thrust Variations
  42. A Squat Devotee No More
  43. Who thinks CrossFit needs a Glute WoD?
  44. How to Burn the Glutes and Get a Glute Pump
  45. How to Hip Thrust
  46. Hip Thrusts Helped Me Deadlift 705 lbs (Over 3.5 Times Bodyweight)
  47. You Can’t Stop the Hip Thrust, and You Won’t Break Our Stride
  48. The Glute Ham Tie-In
  49. A Spectacular Glute Transformation
  50. Sasha’s Glute Transformation Story
  51. The Glutes Can Take a Beating
  52. Glute Training: Pay Attention to the Eccentric Phase for Better Results
  53. 4 Myths About Female Glute Training

Kettlebells

  1. Are Heavy Kettlebell Swings Better than Deadlifts?
  2. Ask Bret Contreras (ABC): Why Swings Over Jump Squats and Oly Lifts?

Hamstrings

  1. 12 Hamstring Exercises for Hardasses
  2. Fantastic Hamstring Movements
  3. Gutting the Glute Ham Raise
  4. Interview With Jurdan Mendigutxia
  5. Inner/Outer Core is B.S.! Another Interview With Jurdan

Core Training

  1. Can’t Turn This
  2. To Crunch or Not to Crunch
  3. A Strong Case for the Rounded Back Deadlift
  4. Standing Rotary Training is Whole Body Training!
  5. Rotational Training
  6. Rotary Training for Badasses
  7. Ab Training for Absolute Badasses!
  8. Topic of the Week – Spinal Rotation Exercises
  9. Topic of the Week #3 – Core Training
  10. The Hollow Body Position and PPT Straight Leg Bridge
  11. Core Stability Training for the Advanced Lifter

Powerlifting

  1. The Effect of Range of Motion and Posture on Isometric Deadlift Strength
  2. 19 Squat & Deadlift Variations
  3. 7 Squat Dilemmas Solved
  4. The Keys to Stronger Squats
  5. The Keys to Stronger Deadlifts
  6. Dynamic Effort Training: BS or Legit?
  7. 3 Experts – 5 Optimal Training Programs
  8. The Best Damn Bench Press Article Period
  9. Five New Powerlifting Assistance Exercises
  10. Deadlift 5 Plates Like a Champion
  11. An Interview with Marte Elverum – A Women’s Norwegian Elite Powerlifter
  12. The Best Assistance Exercises for the Three Big Powerlifts
  13. Topic of the Week 2 – Best Squat and Deadlift Combination
  14. Topic of the Week #1: Type of Squat
  15. Traditional Squat vs Powerlifting Squat vs Box Squat
  16. Straight Bar Deadlift versus Hex Bar Deadlift
  17. Squats Before Deadlifts
  18. On “Creating Torque” by Screwing the Feet Into the Ground
  19. 8 New Exercises for a Thicker, Stronger Back
  20. 3 Things I Learned At The 2013 World Powerlifting Championships
  21. Glute Training is Good for Powerlifters
  22. Operation Get Strong and Sexy: Week 1
  23. Operation Get Strong & Sexy: Week Two
  24. Operation Get Strong & Sexy: Week Three
  25. Operation Get Strong & Sexy: Week Four
  26. Operation Get Strong & Sexy: Final Weeks of Training & Meet Results!
  27. From Wannabe to the Platform: My First Powerlifting Competition
  28. A Better Way to Cue “Knees Out” in a Squat
  29. Forward Lean in the Squat – is Knee-Dominant or Hip-Dominant Better for Moving More Weight?
  30. Grip Training for Deadlifting
  31. First Powerlifting Meet Results
  32. Second Powerlifting Meet Results
  33. Ronnie Coleman’s First Powerlifting Meet
  34. Reduced Load & Effort for Increased Results
  35. Why Percentages Fail Some Lifters
  36. Deadlift Lockout Strength
  37. Why People Must Squat Differently
  38. How to Increase Your Bench Press
  39. How to Increase Your Squat
  40. How to Increase Your Deadlift

Spinal Health

  1. Don’t Be Like Donald Duck
  2. Back Pain: The Postural-Structural-Biomechanical (PSB) Model & The Bio-Psycho-Social (BPS) Model
  3. The Sacroiliac Joint Takes a Beating!
  4. The Deleterious Effects of Sitting
  5. How to Get Rid of Chronic Back Pain
  6. Weight Belts: To Wear or Not to Wear
  7. Weightroom Solutions: The Hyperextension-Prone Lifter
  8. Squat Biomechanics: Butt Wink – What is it, What Causes it, & How Can it be Improved?
  9. The Importance of Locking Out With the Glutes: Gluteal and Pelvic Biomechanics
  10. A Day With Stu McGill
  11. Three Hours of Conversation With Dr. Stu McGill
  12. Transcribed Interview With Stu McGill
  13. New Research: The Glute Max is Really Good at Stabilizing the SI Joint
  14. 5 Things You Should Do Everyday
  15. Increase Athleticism in 6 Minutes
  16. Do Sit-Ups Ruin Your Posture?
  17. Learning Proper Form in Strength Training
  18. Finding Your Ideal Squat Depth
  19. Should I do a Powerlifting Competition?
  20. 5 Smart Assistance Exercise Strategies for Powerlifting And Overall Strength Mastery

Coaching, Personal Training, Programming, & Nutrition Topics

  1. Basic Screening & Assessment
  2. Topic of the Week: What Types of Cues Should Trainers and Coaches Provide?
  3. Muscle Strengthening Doesn’t Fix Form; Motor Control Training Does
  4. 10 Stupid Things Coaches Do
  5. Evidence-Based Coaching
  6. The B & B Connection: Episode 7 – Evidence-Based Fitness
  7. How to Be Successful in the Strength & Conditioning Field
  8. The Difference Between a Bad Trainer and a Good Trainer
  9. The 50 Commandments of Commercial Gym Etiquette
  10. 120 Thoughts and Observations on Training Women
  11. Loving Your Body
  12. Interview With Rob Panariello
  13. You’ll Never Squat Again: Why Physical Therapists and Doctors Should Learn Some Biomechanics
  14. Fitness is Not Religion or Politics, and there are Many Ways to Construct a Good Training Program
  15. We Are 90% Microbe and 10% Human: Can We Lose Weight by Boosting Good Bacteria With Probiotics & Prebiotics? 
  16. Genetics of the 21st Century: Microbes Affect Disease Susceptibility, Body Weight, and Ability to Build Muscle
  17. Courageous Conversations With Coaches: Anterior Pelvic Tilt With Elsbeth Vaino
  18. A Call to Action for S&C Writers: Quit Using the Term “Intensity”
  19. What’s the Biggest Problem in the S&C Industry?
  20. How to Be the Worst Personal Trainer Ever!
  21. The B & B Connection: Episode 3 – Periodization
  22. The B & B Connection: Episode 5 – Good Versus Bad Exercises
  23. If You Could Only Do One Lift…
  24. How to Graduate from a Powerlifter to a Strength Coach
  25. How to Strip the Weight Off of the Bar After Heavy Deadlifts
  26. What The Gambler Can Teach You About Strength Training
  27. Protein: The Most Important Macronutrient for Weight Loss?
  28. Do Carbohydrates Make You Fat
  29. Saturated Fat: Good or Bad?
  30. How Much Protein Do You Really Need?
  31. Why eating less and exercising more doesn’t always work for long-term weight loss
  32. Why You Don’t Really Need a Post-Workout Protein Shake
  33. How Being Overweight Can Make You Fatigued and Inactive
  34. Addicted to Fatigue
  35. It’s My PR
  36. Your Own Personal World Records Are The Only Thing That Matter
  37. Learning From Case Studies
  38. Introducing The Glute Lab: Part I – The Gang & The Strength Equipment
  39. New & Improved Garage Gym
  40. The B & B Connection: Episode 8 – Functional Training
  41. “You’re All a Bunch of Pathetic Weaklings,” Says the Steroid Using Powerlifter
  42. The Unexpected Flaw of the Paleo Diet Philosophy
  43. 4 Keys to Better Gut Health and Improved Fitness
  44. 3 Ways to Be An Insufferable Fitness Snob
  45. A Discussion With Paul Carter on Anabolic Steroids
  46. Should Strength and Conditioning Professionals Attempt to Incorporate “Everything” into Their Training Program Design?

Peer-Reviewed Articles (Journal Publications)

  1. To Crunch or Not to Crunch
  2. Exercise Technique: Barbell Hip Thrust
  3. Strategies for Optimal Core Training Program Design
  4. Do Single Joint Exercises Enhance Functional Fitness?
  5. Non-Uniform Changes in MRI Measurements of the Thigh Muscles Following Two Hamstring Strengthening Exercises
  6. The Biomechanics of the Push-Up: Implications for Resistance Training Programs
  7. Effect of Hand Position on EMG Activity of the Posterior Shoulder Musculature During a Horizontal Abduction Exercise
  8. Exercise Technique: The Long Lever Posterior Tilt Plank
  9. Movement Pattern Continuums – A Fundamental Component of Personal Training
  10. Are All Hip Extension Exercises Created Equal?
  11. In Response to Letter to the Editor
  12. Is Postexercise Muscle Soreness a Valid Indicator of Muscular Adaptations?
  13. The Muscle Pump: Potential Mechanisms and Applications for Enhancing Hypertrophic Adaptations
  14. The Increasing Role of the Hip Extensor Musculature With Heavier Compound Lower-Body Movements and More Explosive Sport Actions
  15. The Role of Kettlebells in Strength & Conditioning: A Review of the Literature
  16. Effects of different volume-equated resistance training loading strategies on muscular adaptations in well-trained men
  17. The effect of maturation on adaptations to strength training and detraining in 11-15-year-olds
  18. Regional Differences in Muscle Activation During Hamstrings Exercise
  19. lncreasing Role of Hips Supported by Electromyography and Musculoskeletal Modeling
  20. An electromyographic comparison of a modified version of the plank with a long lever and posterior tilt versus the traditional plank exercise
  21. Muscle activation during low- versus high-load resistance training in well-trained men

Instructional Videos

  1. Instructional Videos

24 thoughts on “About Me & Article Links

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