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.

December Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

Hi fitness folks! Do you know the answer to the December strength & conditioning research review questions? If not, you ought to subscribe to our research review service.

The review costs just $10 per month and is released on the first day of each month. If you sign up before the month-end, you will automatically receive the next edition both as a PDF file and also in two different e-reader formats, which are compatible with both Kindles and Apple devices. To subscribe, just click on the button below and follow the instructions…


The next edition will be sent out on Monday so make sure you’re subscribed if you want to receive it. We also have back issues available for purchase HERE. If you’re new to S&C Research, you might wish to buy the last few and get caught up, or buy our Background Product to build a good foundation. Below is the list of questions we tackle in our review this month.

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Bret’s Booty-Blasting Protocol

You guys gotta try this protocol. I’ve been hip thrusting for over 8 years now (October 10, 2006 was the night I first conjured up the idea of doing loaded, full range hip thrusts), and I’ve tried all sorts of protocols.

I’ve done high reps sets, medium rep sets, low rep sets, rest-pause reps, constant tension reps, pause reps, isoholds, explosive reps, eccentric-accentuated reps, one-and-a-half reps, drop sets, single leg, marching, from the floor, shoulders elevated, feet elevated, shoulders-and-feet-elevated, with posterior pelvic tilt, bodyweight, dumbbell, barbell, band, bar plus band, bar plus chain, band around the knees, and machine (click HERE to see all of the hip thrust methods).

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I Want to Do a Chin Up! 15 Tips to Improve Your Chinning Progress


Many strength coaches believe chin ups to be the ultimate test of upper body strength. The problem is, many lifters, especially women, struggle with performing even a single bodyweight chin up. It is therefore of great interest for these lifters to figure out the quickest and most efficient route to being able to perform an unassisted bodyweight chin up. Here are some of the things that I’ve discovered over the past 17 years as a personal trainer.

Neghar Fonooni Busting Out Some Pull-Ups

1. Multiple Methods Can Work

There are many different methods that can build chin-up strength. No methods have been researched and compared in the literature to my knowledge. Therefore, we must rely on anecdotes, expert opinion, logic, and tradition in this case. Some lifters do chin ups very often, others 1-2 times per week, and others rarely do them and still retain their chin up strength. Seasoned lifters may perform advanced variations such as loaded chin-ups and side-to-side chin-ups twice per week. However, as a beginner, you will require different strategies to get you chinning, which I will expound upon at the end of this article.

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3 Tips for Faster Strength Gains

It’s funny how a big PR can immediately turn an average or lousy day into an amazing day. Showing up to the gym is easy. Going through the motions is easy. But consistently getting stronger month in and month out is very challenging. It requires intelligent training, sound nutrition, and ideal levels of sleep and stress. However, even when we seemingly do everything right, we sometimes spin our wheels. This is why it’s important to pay close attention when training. Here are 5 tips that can expedite your progress.

1. Manage Fatigue and Regulate Effort

You don’t always have to train balls-to-the-wall in order to see results. When I was a teenager reading bodybuilding magazines, I recall countless articles urging lifters to take every set to failure. In fact, I distinctly remember reading an article by professional bodybuilder Tom Prince, who claimed to take every set he ever performed to momentary muscular failure. I remember wondering how in the hell these bodybuilders could pull this off, knowing that they performed high volume training and probably busted out at least 20 sets per training session. I felt insecure about my own training and assumed that I wasn’t nearly as manly as these guys since I wasn’t able to do so. Well, let me clarify. I could indeed take every set to failure, but I didn’t feel that it was the optimal way to train.

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