Author Archives: Bret

About Bret

I'm a blogger, author, personal trainer, CSCS, lifter, and PhD student. I love the field of strength and conditioning and teaching others about strength training and biomechanics. My blog is at www.BretContreras.Com.

Not Seeing Results? You Might Be Lying to Yourself

obese

Are you busting your ass in the gym and not seeing the results you desire? If so, you’re not alone. An alarming percentage of lifters are unhappy with their progress, and many of them blame their genetics for their lackluster results. However tempting it may be to blame genetics, there could be a simple solution.

Don’t get me wrong, genetics definitely play a very large role in determining your ability to lose fat, build muscle, and improve fitness. In fact, I’ve written two articles on the topic (HERE and HERE). The genetically-blessed can see twice the results with half the effort…that’s just all there is to it. However, many individuals wrongly blame genetics rather than take a hard look at their diet and exercise regimens.

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Updates: Thesis, FAQ Tab, and 605 lb Deadlift PR

Hi fitness friends, just wanted to provide a few updates:

PhD

I have less than one year to finish my PhD, so I’ve been cranking on research/data collection. I realized that very few sports scientists focus their strength & conditioning research on women, so I decided to hone in on females for my studies. Here are some things that I’ll be looking at with my thesis:

1. Gluteus Maximus EMG Review: what does the literature currently have to say about gluteus maximus activation associated with rehab, functional, and resistance training exercise? What are the gaps in the literature?

2. Gluteus Maximus MVIC Position: the gold standard in the research for maximum voluntary isometric contractions is the prone bent leg hip extension against manual resistance applied to the distal thigh. Does just standing and contracting the gluteus maximus leads to greater, equal, or less upper and lower gluteus maximus activation? Hypothesis: standing will lead to greater upper glute activation, whereas the gold standard will lead to greater lower glute activation.

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Ignorant and Incompetent People Aren’t Aware of Their Ignorance and Incompetence

bang

If you are heavily immersed in the fitness industry like I am, then I bet you never cease to be amazed at some of the ignorance and incompetence displayed by various members of our community. It’s all over the place, and you simply cannot escape it. Scrolling through Facebook and reading the comments might make you want to do this:

Ignorance comes in many forms, and sometimes it’s hard to imagine that the ignorant person is serious. I’ve found myself on numerous occasions reading various comments on social media and saying to myself, “This guy has got to be trolling.” But it turns out that many times the ignorant commenters aren’t trolling; they’re just really dumb. But ignorance isn’t exclusive to your casual social media commenter; the experts are guilty of it too. We have a myriad of seemingly scientific writers engaging in cargo cult science - it might look and feel like science, but it’s not science. These types are unwilling to doubt their own theories, which is counter to the essence of a true scientist.

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Which Glute Bridge is Best?: an Amputee Case Study

Today, I’ve got a cool case study for y’all. It comes from guest contributor Travis Pollen – a very astute up-and-comer in the field of strength & conditioning. Travis’s results closely mirror the results that I achieved when I tested myself five years ago with bodyweight bridging variations when collecting data for my glute eBook. However, Travis’s case study is quite unique in that he has a prosthetic limb on his left side, which made for a very interesting analysis. I hope you enjoy the article!

Which Glute Bridge is Best?: an Amputee Case Study
by Travis Pollen

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