Category Archives: Ask Bret Contreras (ABC)

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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How to Get the Bar Over the Thighs When Hip Thrusting

Hi Bret, I absolutely love the hip thrust, but to be honest, I loathe setting up the exercise because I struggle to get into position. If I use a bar pad, I can’t get the bar over my thighs and onto my hips, and if I don’t use a bar pad, it hurts like hell on my pelvis. I want to continue to hip thrust, but this problem is really bothering me. I thought I’d come to the Glute Guy for a solution. Do you have any suggestions? – Andy

Hi Andy, you’ve come to the right place. Many dudes share this problem, and I have just the solution for you. Place plates or mats where the barbell would normally touch when hip thrusting, and simply roll the bar up onto the plates/mats as shown in the video below. This is how my lifting partner Charles Staley does them, and it makes a world of difference for males with big butts and thighs.

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Deadlift Lockout Strength

Hi Bret, I’m a big fan or your blog and I appreciate your science-based approach. Recently, a popular Norwegian powerlifting coach stated the following:

“Missing a lockout is never about weak hip-extensors. If the person is strong enough to initiate a hip extension in the first place he should have no problem finishing it. If you stop close to full extension it is not about weak extension but weak grip or thoracic flexion”

I would love to know your take on this statement Bret. Thank you! – Andreas

Hi Andreas! Thanks for the compliment. Before I answer your question, I’d like to stress that I’m a huge fan of Norway’s strength & conditioning practices and their commitment to sports science. In fact, I’m probably more impressed with Norway’s efforts to understand the practical aspects of sports science than I am with any other country right now. I have no doubt that this coach in question works with some incredible athletes, and my response should not be misinterpreted as a sign of disrespect but as a way of pushing strength science forward.

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