Category Archives: Ask Bret Contreras (ABC)

Squats and Deadlifts Aren’t Panning Out the Way I Hoped

Hey, Bret, I have been your blog fan for a while and incorporated a lot from your advice in my training routine. However, I encountered a very severe problem in my training that is now making me lose the will to continue regular trainings since everything seems wrong.

I had lean legs and small, weak glutes. I was working out almost a year to achieve better physique, using mostly squats, different styles of lunges, deadlifts etc., body pump classes and total body workouts following my trainer’s advice, I wasn’t aiming for the huge booty, just a firmer, slightly more developed one. But it seems that only my legs were firing up. Upper glute is completely underdeveloped no matter what I do. Now I ended up with a really big hamstring muscle, quads developed as well, but glute is now even more ‘eaten’ in this muscle domination. I developed more severe case of anterior pelvic tilt now since i stopped training. I start again, then I get upset after feeling the pain only in my hamstrings after glute exercises even if I concentrate as much as I can on activation. So, bulked legs and no glute improvement. You maybe understand my disappointment and frustration after all the hard work. It’s impossible to find even jeans that fit me now. I am 56 kg, 172 cm, and I am all firm in my upper body, bulked in legs and weak in glute and lower back. Not the look I was aiming for.

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Always Be Thrusting

Hi Bret, I’m so discouraged. I just checked the dimensions of the hip thruster and I just don’t have enough space in my tiny San Francisco apartment. I belong to a small gym that only has a smith machine (no barbells). Can I still get awesome results with a smith machine for hip thrusts? Thanks, Maria

Hi Maria,

First off, the Hip Thruster can be rolled underneath a bed (with just the back pad sticking out) stacked in a closet, or stacked against a wall on the balcony, so you might be okay in that regard.

But please don’t sweat this. Just make sure you’re doing some sort of hip thrusting. Please click on:

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What Are the Best Glute Exercises?

Hi Bret, what are the best glute exercises that I should be doing? Thanks, Cindy

This is a question that I receive very often – everybody wants to know what the best glute exercises are. This question is difficult to answer. First of all, in order to be confident, I’d need for there to exist approximately twenty high-quality training studies for me to examine – longitudinal studies that compared the gluteal hypertrophic gains between various exercises, using different combinations of glute exercises, and using different types of subjects (genders, training age, etc.).

This research does not exist. In fact, there is only one training study to my knowledge that measured gluteus maximus hypertrophy – it was a Russian study that examined the lying machine squat exercise. At this point in time, we don’t have any RCT’s to reference in order to help us answer the question. Therefore, we must go down the line in terms of the hierarchy of knowledge and examine acute studies (mechanistic research), pilot data, anecdotal data, and bro-science.

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“You’re All a Bunch of Pathetic Weaklings,” Says the Steroid Using Powerlifter

mariusz

“Why is it, that weak lifters always have to make the claim that stronger people are using steroids?”

Recently, an anabolic steroid using powerlifting poked fun of me (a natural lifter) for being weak. When I asked him if he used steroids (I already knew the answer to the question), rather than answer me, the anabolic steroid using powerlifter replied with the question above.

I would now like to take the time to answer this question. Here’s why.

Anabolic steroids make the average lifter WAY stronger and more muscular. When steroids are added to the mix, it changes the rules.

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