Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

How’s it going fitness peeps? I’ve got some great articles, videos, rants, and before/after pictures for you to check out. Just keeping you in the know!

What’s this trainer doing by the way – spotting her shoe?

Good Articles

Here are some great recent articles to read, written by various colleagues.

What Exercises do More Harm than Good?

In general, I don’t like telling people not to do various exercises. Exercises are tools, and each tool is useful depending on the situation. Nevertheless, I found THIS article by Alexander Cortes to be very well-written, and I can tell that he’s highly experienced.

Supplemental Strength

Powerlifters, do yourselves a favor and check out THIS article and video by Dave Tate.

Ask the Experts Volume 2 – Neglected Muscle Groups and Training Tools

I chimed in on THIS article by Chris Slone.

Strength Physio Podcast

In case you missed it (I shared this in an earlier post), HERE is a podcast I did with Chris Lendrum. Physical therapists, you should subscribe to this podcast.

10 Commandments of Physiotherapy

HERE are Adam Meakins 10 commandments of physical therapy. Adam isn’t afraid to stir up the pot.

Insufficient Sleep

Greg Nuckols shares another great blogpost pertaining to the importance of sleep HERE.

Deadlifts Destroy Your Spine

In case you missed it, HERE is an article that Tony and I teamed-up on regarding the efficacy and danger of deadlifts.

The Real Reason You Still Have Back Pain (And What to Do About It)

Armi Legge wrote an excellent blogpost HERE on back pain.

Ladies, What is Your Goal?

HERE is a passionate article by Emily Soccolinsky that I appreciated.

Spurious Correlations

THIS website is hilarious. Correlation does not imply causation! This site will help you realize that. Correlations are certainly important and a component of science, but longitudinal research is needed to show cause and effect.

US spending on science, space, and technology correlates with Suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation

US spending on science, space, and technology correlates with Suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation

Type I and Type II Errors Simplified

Below is a hilarious pic from THIS website to help illustrate type I and type II errors in research.


Do You Even Mobility?

HERE is a very comical flowchart by Todd Hargrove. If you’re submerged in the physical therapy scene, then this will undoubtedly make you LOL. I’m not posting this to knock any approaches out there, but folks must admit that this is funny.

Physiology is Fascinating

The point of sharing THIS article on NO Boosters is simply to point out that physiology is complex. Research reports averages. Anyone who conducts research knows that there are large interindividual responses to various stimuli. Doctors know this, as should physical therapists, personal trainers, and strength coaches.

Shoulder Quadrants

Here’s a good pic showing the shoulder quadrants:


Stu Phillips on Protein Metabolism

HERE is a nifty little interview by Shelby Starnes and John Meadows with Stu Phillips on protein metabolism.

Good Videos

Here are some great recent videos to watch.

Are Athletes Really Getting Faster, Stronger, Better?

Below is an intriguing video by David Epstein. I have David’s recent book too and am a big fan. I don’t agree with David’s premise, but I don’t have the time to respond as it would take me a great deal of time to provide a counterargument to this talk. Nevertheless, it’s very intriguing and I’m sure you’ll love it.

Golfer Jonas Blixt Training

I highly enjoyed watching THIS video (embedded below). Very innovative training. The Hip Thruster makes a couple of appearances too! Sweet.

The History of the Universe in 150 Seconds

Below is a badass video detailing the history of the universe. This took 8,000 computers working for 5 years to create. See THIS blogpost, based on THIS published article and THIS project, for details.

Dan McKim Sets Scottish Hammer World Record

Two weeks ago I attended the CSCCa conference. I hadn’t met Dan McKim, but I spent two days with him working the Sorinex booth. Dan is the world champion in the Highland Games, and he and I hit if off instantly when we discussed training. He recently set a world record in the Scottish Hammer Throw. Check it out below. Total badass!

Pete Rubish Deadlift Assistance Training

Here is Pete Rubish performing some of his favorite deadlift assistance lifts. This dude pulls over 800 with no belt! Notice that he employs exercises that hit flexed range hip extension (Bulgarian split squats) and end range hip extension (bb glute bridges and 45 degree hypers).

Facebook Rants

Here are my Facebook rants over the past few weeks:

In my professional setting, I choose to associate with scientific individuals. One simple litmus test I use to determine if an individual is scientific is noting whether or not the person will change their stance on a particular topic given sufficient evidence. If they will, then they’re my kind of people!

During pull ups and chin ups, pay attention to lumbopelvic-hip mechanics. A little “English” is acceptable, but try to minimize lumbar hypertension/anterior pelvic tilt and swaying at the hips by thinking of the exercise as a “moving plank.” This increases the challenge for the core and the upper body muscles.

For the first time in several years, I decided to download and examine my list of newsletter subscribers. I was surprised to find that dozens of professional sport coaches, elite/Olympic athletes, and research professors subscribe to my newsletter. I guess that means I’m doing something right!

When you perform push-ups, consider squeezing the glutes and abs into a posterior pelvic tilt and holding that throughout the duration of the set. While it’s not necessary, it will prevent lumbar extension and anterior pelvic tilt from creeping in, which are typical patterns of form deterioration during the push-up. It will also provide a training stimulus for the core musculature and make the movement more challenging for the upper body muscles, thereby giving you more bang for your buck.

Whenever I’m at the airport, I’m reminded that my mission is far from complete. The world is in need of more glute development.

Glute Training Feedback

Below is some glute training feedback from around the web. I sincerely appreciate all of you women and men who take the time to write me, tag me, and post pictures. It makes it all worth it!


Thanks Bret.  That explains it.I just want to say that the fitness world on the ‘Net is a maze of conflicting misinformation but you (and Nia) stand out as beacons of reason and common sense.Keep up the good work! – Dave

So let me take a second and say how much I love your stuff…..I mean your blogs!  😉 It changed the way I worked with my swimmers, and the rest of my clients. I have been saying since January…this is the year of the Butt! Both theirs and mine. And I’m 60… And I’ve made improvements. Thanks for all you do! Linda

I love how strong my glutes have become. It’s like what ever I do, I can always count on them. They protect my back, whether I’m doing heavy DL, squats, sprinting and so on. It is an amazing feeling when you feel all that strength you have gained from heavy lifting transferred into a lot of power when sprinting or doing other athletic stuff. I have never felt something like this before, even though I’ve been lifting for a while. But now I hip thrust, that is the main difference and of course this well thought through Get Glutes program. What is amazing is that my daughter’s sprint group has now incorporated barbell glute bridges and hip thrusts into their strength program. People who don’t lift, don’t know what they that are missing out on! – Irene

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Hi Bret, here is my picture of before/after booty that I’ve achieved from using programs in your book Strong Curves.

As you can see, I had no butt at all. Thanks to my Asian genetics. I was like most women that thought doing hours of cardio or lots of HIIT would give me a body that I want but I was dead wrong. Besides, I was suffered from a chronic lower back pain. Too much cardio even do more harm than good to me. Then when I started lifting weight in year 2012, I focused solely on just squats, lunges and deadlifts to build my butt. Still, they didn’t improve much like I thought it would. 

UNTIL, I found your site and bough Strong Curves book. I finally learned how to fire up my glute properly and added hip thrust and glute bridge to my routine. Those 2 exercises gave me such a remarkable result. I got compliments from both men and women. Now I can say bye-bye to my pancake bum and my chronic lower back pain.

It has been a year since I started my booty-building journey and I will keep going and spreading glute gospel. Thank you so much Bret & Kellie for taking your time to write a book and awesome articles. More women (& men too!) need to do hip thrust. Ann

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Thank you Jesus for Bret Contreras – Edith

I just wanted to share my progress with you! These pics are one months progress, after making heavy hip thrusts a staple part of my training programme. I’m competing for the first time in UKBFF bikini this October, so glutes are obviously very important! But I am pleased to be seeing progress! Thanks Bret

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Hey Bret, I hope this note finds you well. First, I just wanted to thank you for always putting such great information out there, love your positive page & knowledgeable information. I purchased your Glute book several months ago & I have been working with Layne Norton as my nutrition coach since January 2013. Layne recommend that I add Squats & deadlifts to my Leg training program since this was an area I could not seem to develop & a team mate suggested I purchase your book & incorporate Hip thrusts as well.

I had an incredible 8 month off reason reverse diet accompanied by some insane PRs thanks to my CARBS & HIIT cardio, I am a reformed low carb 1-2 hours cardio bunny…anyway during my last elevated hip thrust session, I hit a new PR of 275lbs, I weigh 140 & I accomplished this while getting ready to hit the stage next weekend. YOUR BOOK has CHANGED MY LIFE & MY GLUTES which I truly believed was a helpless case…. I am 7 weeks away from my 50th birthday, a proud wife & Mother of 3 beautiful children..I am blessed. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I could lift my butt, especially at my age, its never too late..NEVER & I’ve still have work to do….I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon…sorry for the long winded story, just wanted to say THANK YOU, from the bottom of my Heart & GLUTES…lol…keep sharing & doing what you Love, your changing lives everyday…you changed mine…& I’m constantly turning people on to your page & recommending your Glute book..Take Care…I’ll be listening, Lisa…btw pic of left May 2013 2 days b4 my show, pic on right 7 days out..a balanced life is a happy life…Love my Elevated Hip Thrusts – Lisa

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Random Thoughts

How’s it going fitness peeps? I’ve got some great articles, videos, rants, and before/after pictures for you to check out. Just keeping you in the know!

Good Articles

First, I’ll post some articles by me, then by various colleagues.

Male Glutes

Ladies, are you satisfied?

Articles by Bret Contreras

I’ve been a busy little bee. Directly below are ten different articles/podcasts I wrote/recorded for other expert’s sites over the past couple of weeks.

Bigger, Better Glutes: Master the Hip Thrust

THIS is my best article to date on hip thrusts. Check it out on TNation!

Squats versus Hip Thrusts: Which is Better? Eric Cressey’s Site

THIS article was a slam dunk on Eric Cressey’s site. For glute development, should you squat, hip thrust, or do both?

Strength Defined on Ben Bruno’s Site

In THIS article I discuss my definition of “strong” and list numerical indicators of strength.

Strength is Corrective on Dean Somerset’s Site

In THIS article I tell my story and discuss the differences between my situation and my control’s situation (twin brother).

Pimp Your Program Design on Tony Gentilcore’s Site

HERE I discuss program design and list some important considerations when planning your training.

Interview With Sean Hyson

Sean asked me some excellent questions at THIS link.

Results-Based Program Design on Jon Goodman’s PTDC Site

HERE I list a simple program design strategy for personal trainers to help them achieve better gains with their clientele.

Interview With Chad Waterbury

In THIS interview, Chad asks me some great questions about strength training.

Programming the Deadlift on Jordan Syatt’s Site

In THIS article, I discuss programming considerations pertaining to the deadlift; the trickiest exercise of all.

Interview With Scott Rawcliffe

HERE is an hour-long podcast that covers a lot of ground. Scott asked me a wide variety of questions and conducted a very nice interview.

Articles by Other Folks


Haters Gonna Hate

HERE Jason Ferruggia wrote an incredible article on haters. Cliff notes: don’t pay them any attention, as they’re not your competition. They sit around and hate all day long on the internet, which explains their lack of success.

Training Frequency and Strength

Click HERE to see how training frequency affects strength gains. Chris Beardsley does an incredible job sifting through the research as usual.

It’s All in the Hips

THIS article discusses the importance of the glutes in running.

Minimalism isn’t Always the Optimal Way

Greg Nuckols wrote an excellent article HERE on assistance lifts and strength development.

Nick Tumminello Interview

HERE is a nice interview with Nick by Scott Rawcliffe.

The Belt and the Deadlift

In THIS article, Mark Rippetoe has some interesting thoughts pertaining to deadlifting and belts. I prefer to wear mine way up high, but I’d like to experiment with his suggestion

Hilarious Dave Tate Rant

HERE is a very comical rant about dieting by Dave.

Contest Prep With Dani Shugart – All About the Glutes!

In THIS article, Dani discusses her contest prep and gives a shout-out to Strong Curves.

The Workout Log

THIS isn’t an article; it’s a product (training log). My buddy Rob got it off of Amazon and it’s really cool. Thought I’d share the link in case some of you like what you see (not an affiliate link).

Eating Clean

TC Luoma wrote an awesome article HERE on clean eating versus orthorexia.

Belfies: Butt Selfies

I’d never heard this term before. HERE are 11 celebrity belfies.

The Importance of Sleep for Strength Training

Greg Nuckols wrote an excellent article on sleep HERE for strength training. Get your z’s!

Speed Training

Joel Smith interviews Mike Young about speed training HERE, and Mike delivers!

Bodybuilding vs. Powerlifting Type Training: Which Builds More Strength and Muscle?

Bradley Schoenfeld discusses the implications pertaining to his latest published training study HERE.

Tracy Anderson’s Men’s Only Method

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for! Tracy Anderson’s men’s only method. I keed, I keed. THIS is pretty bad, I’m not gonnna lie.

If You Want to Know About Glutes, Listen to the Glute Guy

Go ahead, call me a glute snob. I just hate lazy writers who make things up. If you’re going to write about something, do some freakin’ research.

THIS article is very poor. The glutes are not primarily fast twitch. There are two studies to date on the topic and both show that the glutes are a fairly even mix of fast and slow twich. Simple “rehab” type movements for high reps can indeed help with hypertrophy. Going half way down in a squat doesn’t get you half the glute activity; you can get equal activation if you use the same relative loading. Step it up Dalton, you’re a professor.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Science

This guy Henk Kraaijenhof is smart as a whip. Click HERE to gain some insight as to what HRV does and does not tell you.

Interview With Stu Phillips

Stu is also smart as a whip. Check out THIS interview he did for Erik Ledin on sports nutrition and hypertrophy training.

Graded Exposure

Physical therapists – make sure you’re following Todd Hargrove. HERE he discusses the mechanisms behind the efficacy of graded exercise.

Good Videos

Here are some great recent videos to watch.

Yohan Blake Training Clips

Check out Yohan, one of the top 3 fastest sprinters in the world, lifting weights. Just like Usain Bolt, he makes sure to strengthen end-range hip extension strength and relies upon a mixture of machine and free weight training.

4 Girl Chair Trick

This is pretty cool! My Get Glutes girls could do this with 225 lbs in their laps!

NFL Acceleration: Upright After 8 Steps

Check out Jadeveon Clowney’s blistering 40 yard dash for the NFL combine. Notice that he’s upright very quickly. NFL, rugby, and soccer guys reach top speed at around 20-30 meters and are upright very quickly, in contrast to sprinters who exhibit more forward lean and reach top speed at around 60 meters.

The Great Gatsby – Young and Beautiful 

I finally got around to watching The Great Gatsby and loved the movie. I read the book in high school and even watched the 1974 movie starting Robert Redford. I didn’t remember most of it, but watching it this time around left me fairly upset. Gatsby committed a huge blunder in life; you’re supposed to go after a woman who loves you for your true self. Anyway, the acting was fabulous, as was the song below. I may or may not have listened to it 5 times in a row.

Derrick Blanton Gives the Glute WoD a Try

Below is Derrick busting out our recommended Glute WoD, which left his glutes cramping and on fire!

UFC Jon Jones Busting Out Barbell Glute Bridges

Check out badass fighter Jon Jones doing bb glute bridges! Seems like glute training is finally starting to catch on with athletes. For example, HERE is badass Olympic weightlifter Mohamed Ehab hip thrusting a lot of weight.

Hormone Myths With Layne Norton

In the video below, Layne Norton discusses common hormonal myths associated with strength training. 

Ray Williams 904 lb Squat With No Wraps

Here’s a new world record; a raw 904 lb squat without knee wraps!

Facebook Rants

Here are my Facebook rants over the past few weeks:

I love squats and deads as much as anyone. However, they don’t maximize core muscle activation. Not in the rectus abdominis and not in either of the obliques. Any strength training expert who claims that they do has clearly never experimented with electromyography. Ab wheel rollouts, for example, absolutely crush these two lifts in ab/oblique activation, which makes sense considering that core stability is vector specific. Squats and deads resist trunk flexion, which is primarily carried out by the posterior trunk muscles (erectors), while rollouts resist trunk extension, which is carried out by the anterior trunk muscles (abdominals and obliques). Bottom line – include a variety of exercises to maximize performance, strength, and hypertrophy. One or two exercises can only do so much.

Habits are everything in health & fitness. You must get on a routine and stick to it religiously. Be realistic about your routine and don’t be overzealous, as this leads to failure and frustration. From time to time, you’ll fall off the wagon. When this happens, get right back on without dwelling over it – experiencing guilt only makes matters worse. Mind your strength, conditioning, nutrition, sleep, stress, support system, and outlook – they all feed off of each other.

Sometimes it’s very beneficial to go to the gym and do “light” sessions with the sole goal of honing technique. I did this with back extensions two weeks ago, goblet squats last week, and band hip thrusts this week. I didn’t go heavy and I didn’t come anywhere close to failure, but I used impeccable form and felt the right muscles doing the job. You can also do this in your warm-up. These sessions can be incredibly productive as they help build the foundation for future success. You may find that you experience an “aha” moment and say to yourself, “so that’s how this exercise is supposed to feel…”

Two different professional sports teams ordered Hip Thrusters last week. I hope this trend continues. In my opinion, every professional sports facility should have several Hip Thrusters, and hip thrust variants should be prioritized in terms of emphasis in program design.

When I was 16 years old, I got in a very bad car accident and my low back was all jacked up. I couldn’t play sports or even walk correctly for an entire year. I assumed that I’d be plagued with a bad back for my entire life, especially after the doctor informed me that I had the youngest case of severe disc degeneration he’d ever seen. This was undoubtedly unrelated to the car accident, but still very frightening to hear at the time. 21 years later, I deadlifted 600 lbs. This was yesterday, and today my back feels no pain or soreness whatsoever. Strong muscles are great, but a strong mind can help you overcome almost anything. Stay positive and determined!

If you want to be your best at demonstrating maximum strength, then you need to be performing maximum singles. As a young lifter, I recall not feeling like anything heavier than a load that I could lift for at least 5 reps did much for me. This is because I was very inefficient at maxing out at the time. These days, I’m so proficient at lifting heavy weights that anything over 5 reps feels like cardio to me. While you can definitely get strong by sticking to medium rep ranges, if you want to reach your maximum strength potential, then heavy singles, doubles, and triples will be of great benefit to you. It takes time to get good at heavy lifting, so stick with it. Mix in high rep work (13-20 reps) and medium rep work (6-12 reps) along side the heavy low rep work (1-5 reps); no need to only stick to one rep range in your training.

I like stretching, it makes me feel good. Many of my clients do yoga, which I support. That said, if a certain stretch doesn’t feel right, nix it or modify it so that it isn’t problematic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve advised lifters who were experiencing certain joint issues to stop stretching, only to be notified a week later that the issue went away once they stopped stretching. Bottom line – your stretching could be doing more harm than good, so be aware. Definitely don’t be afraid of stretching, but learn the difference between good pain and bad pain.

Some things can only be learned in the gym. And some things can only be learned in the lab. Bridging the science with the practice of strength training will yield the best results.

When deadlifting, think of “leg pressing” the bar off the ground. Once the bar passes the knees, think of “hip thrusting” the bar to lockout. Then think of “Romanian deadlifting” the bar down eccentrically until it passes your knees.

Americans take over 5,000 steps every day. People are extending their hips literally thousands of times every day via walking, standing from a chair, and climbing stairs, not to mention during cardio and recreation.

Yet all you have to do is visit a busy public place such as an airport or mall to witness the horrific state of affairs we’re in in terms of glute development. Athletic glutes are the rare exception, not the norm. If simple “hip extension” was the solution, nobody would experience glute atrophy or inhibition, and everyone would possess impressive glutes since everyone performs tons of hip extension repetitions on a daily basis.

Obviously there’s more to it, and the glutes require more activation, good cueing, and progressive overload via faster speeds and heavier loads over time for optimal functioning.

Glute Training Feedback

Below is some glute training feedback from around the web. I sincerely appreciate all of you women and men who take the time to write me, tag me, and post pictures. It makes it all worth it!

Hi Bret, I must say your book has made me stronger in one week with the hip thrusts and some of the other training exercises that i can do at home. My butt is on FIRE! I actually seen a change in how my butt looks and I can FINALLY do some TRX pistol squats easier, my running feels stronger!! So I know it is working. I could not figure out with all I was doing why i was so weak in my glutes. Doing lunges, squats climbing Camelback Mtn like a nut every week was not doing anything! I can finally feel my glutes waking up now, getting stronger and changing!

I will be 49 next week and I honestly feel keeping my glutes strong as I age will be key to functioning well. Best, Kim

Bret, just saw your post about pro sports teams utilizing the hip thrust in their program design. Just wanted to share that I’m currently interning with a pro hockey team and I recently convinced my boss to start utilizing them in our own programming. Once the players got past the fact that it looks like they’re humping a barbell, the began to love it! A few of them were concerned about the exercise throwing them into lumbar hyperextension, but again, that was cleared up once they actually tried the exercise. We’ve even had one player start doing them on a daily basis because he says that it’s helping decrease his back pain! Keep doing your thing, Bret. Really admire your work! – Patrick



Bret, I just wanted to drop you a line to day THANK YOU!!! Because of your program, I now measure 45 inches in the hips and 28 inches in each thigh! I can hip thrust 405lb easily!!! My squat strength has increased to 355lb. I have been asked to become personal trainer at the Air Force base gym!! The attached picture is from about 3 weeks ago.


I’m still working on my body but your plan has been the only plan that could give me these types of results! Bret, your research matters and your plan works! I have gained healthy mass and I don’t look too cut up or manly. The mass gives me the womanly curve I desired. Women stop me in the gym and on the street and want to know what I’m doing (or what plastic surgeon did this) and I tell them no surgery needed–just read Strong Curves! Thank you again; you’re the best:) Jessica

I didn’t anticipate showing off my booty at my wedding, but a gust of wind came up at the all-important “you may now kiss the bride” moment! At 40 years old, I’m pleased that everything under my dress looked good enough for an unexpected unveiling. Thank goodness for Strong Curves! – Renee


Bret, I wanted to show you what YOU did for me. I met you exactly one year ago (on my birthday) at the AZ training lab and ever since, my lower body lifts have been completely different!!!! Not until I really started playing with a mix of power and hypertrophy did I see a significant difference (6 months ago). Your techniques, studies, input, and hands-on demonstration really made a huge impact on me. I can never say thank you enough, you are helping so many people and I am blessed to have come across your page!!!! – Deanna


I’d been experimenting with different programs until I started focusing on IF (Intermittent Fasting) and training big lifts and lots of core work, but no cardio! After discovering Bret’s blog, I learned a lot about biomechanics and his invaluable training advice. I then added Bret’s Hip thrust and glute bridge (and also Strong Curves), I saw a remarkable transformation in my glutes and legs very quickly – these results will put a smile on any Asian girl’s face! Thanks Bret and you are truly amazing!


Hello, Bret! I hope you see this! I wanted to write and tell you how much the Strong Curves workout has helped me. I am 11 weeks into it and took pictures yesterday. It astounds me the difference in my backside, despite losing virtually NO scale weight. But more importantly, it was almost a therapeutic tool for my upper body.

I have been struggling with pain from an old shoulder/chest injury and slightly compressed disks in my spine. I love the “old school” lifting and a 5-day split, so starting your program with a bit of back each of four workout days and just one set of shoulders a week was new for me. I was so injured that I had to go really light on upper body moves in the beginning, but your methods managed to bring the volume down enough that my body began to heal and much of my pain has abated. I feel confident now to move on into my next phase of training without fearing injury from picking up bigger pieces of iron.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write the book and share your acquired wisdom and glute secrets with the rest of the world. It has helped me immensely! Nancy


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Random Thoughts

How’s it going fitness peeps? I’ve got some great articles, videos, rants, and before/after pictures for you to check out. Just keeping you in the know!

Good Articles

FREE E-BOOK: Training For Hypertrophy

Click HERE if you’d like a free review of the literature pertaining to training studies examining hypertrophy. I hope you appreciate Chris Beardsley – he puts out the best sports science information on the internet!


The Science of Gluteus Maximus Training

THIS isn’t an article; it’s a video. By me. You will like it.


Research Process Pitfalls

Most people haven’t the slightest clue as to what goes into publishing a study. Click HERE to read some of the pitfalls associated with publishing.

The Ten Richest Fitness Gurus

Click HERE to see who the ten richest fitness gurus are. Pretty sad state of affairs, but marketing trumps scientific knowledge any day of the week in terms of financial gain.

Personal Training Quarterly

HERE is the first PTQ edition – if you’re an NSCA member, click on the link for free access.

Old School Smarts

I thoroughly enjoyed THIS article by Bryan Krahn.

Good Videos

Derrick Kendall Squats 1,005 lbs

No big deal…

Hip Thrust Plyos

Not quite sold on these yet. I used to do something like these off the Skorcher four years ago (see HERE). Dominic makes them look so fluid and athletic, but many individuals would jar their lumbar spines via hyperextension when attempting these. Give these a try and let me know what you think.

Chris Duffin Deadlifts 405 x 40 Reps in 60 Seconds

Absolutely Insane!

Leroy Walker Inclines 500 x 10

Is this real life?

Fake Supersized Muscles

Say what you will, but you gotta admire the honesty.

Here’s to the Crazy Ones

I learned of this from listening to Steve Jobs’s biography. Such a brilliant ad! I vaguely remember it from 1997 but hearing about it in the audiobook made it more fascinating.

Facebook Rants

Here are my Facebook rants since the last random thoughts post.

Lifters can sometimes be quick to blame an exercise for causing pain and discomfort. Often, the fault is not on the exercise itself, but on the way the exercise is being performed or the way the training regimen is designed. Proper technical form is paramount, as is optimal recovery.

Two different Exercise Science students have recently forwarded me the notes from their Biomechanics courses to alert me that their professors are incorporating content from Chris Beardsley and my work It’s great to see educators expanding their course material to include content from a variety of sources and not just textbooks as it leads to better learning.

Finding the right personal trainer can sometimes be challenging, since many trainers attach themselves to a particular school of thought. Depending on your goals, their methods may or may not be ideal for you. For example, if your goal is to optimize glute shape, but your trainer doesn’t incorporate the best glute building movements into your program, you’ll likely be disappointed in your results. I recommend that you express to your trainer your desire to perform those movements, and if your trainer is close-minded and bull-headed, replace them with one that prioritizes your progress. The exercises you perform heavily influence whether or not you reach your goals. Dozens of members have informed me that their progress took off once they ditched their trainers and implemented Kellie Davis and my system (in addition, they spent less money in the process).

Personal trainers: If you find yourself dreading a particular client (maybe they’re toxic/negative, or they don’t respect you, or they’re overly flaky or uninvested), don’t be afraid to fire that individual. Not only will this clear up room for a more ideal client, it’ll also lift a weight off of your chest and reduce anxiety/stress.

I have a dream that one day people across the globe will be more concerned with their glute development. I have a dream that one day people will not be satisfied with flat buttocks. I have a dream that one day people will take matters into their own hands by strengthening their gluteal muscles. I have a dream that one day people will join hands and perform hip thrusts, squats, lunges, deadlifts, and back extensions together in harmony. Let glutes grow from the mountaintops of Italy. Let glutes grow from the forests of Brazil. Let glutes grow from the reefs of Australia. Let glutes grow from the skyscrapers of New York. And when this happens, we will display greater athleticism and incur fewer injuries. Glutes at last, glutes at last, thank resistance training, we have glutes at last!

The benefit of a relentless work ethic is that I’m now friends with top researchers and equipment manufacturers around the world. I often know of cool things in strength & conditioning and biomechanics far in advance of everyone else. Six years ago, nobody knew of me. I was just a man with a training studio who’d strip down into his undies at night to perform self glute EMG experiments. Now, I’m mixing it up with the bigwigs and have amassed an amazing following of readers. Hard work + passion can make dreams come true.

Proof that every exercise in the gym is functional – seated leg curls would make you better at this real world movement. Click HERE.

Glute Training Feedback

Working to build more mass on dat ass (that rhymes!) Been doing weight hip thrust on a weekly basis and squatting only on alternate weeks. I mentioned this before. I’m doing so because hip thrust stimulates the glutes more than squats. I’m not saying squatting doesn’t work! It does. But there is more stimulation in the glutes when I do the weight hip thrust. At the moment I’m only at 295lbs x 10 for hip thrusts. Even with padding my pelvis are so freaking bruised from that weight. Aiming to hit 315lbs without breaking my pelvis (kidding). – Melissa


Hi Bret,
A quick note to thank you. Your articles and instructional videos have revolutionized my training. I’ve been lifting in a haphazard way for some years but have really gained in confidence and skill since following your advice and programs. I train by myself, which makes it a little more intimidating heading into the weights area with the big guys (I’m a 5’3, 53gk, 41-year-old woman), but today a trainer came up to me and said it was great to see someone train so hard, big weights with barbell hip thrusts. He was impressed, and I felt pretty proud. Couldn’t have got this far without your help. 
PS: Since glute training I have eliminated my lower back pain, which was a welcome surprise!
Big thanks!

Hi Bret! I wanted to share with you my progress. I know this is showing a lot but this was the best way to see what progress I actually made! On the left I dieted down over the summer and over the year I lost 10% body fat total in 6 months. I lost what butt I had which I guess, now that I look back, was mostly from fat! The right picture is me after a 4 month heavy lifting/bulking winter phase AND 2 months of reducing caloric intake again, and I’m currently trying to get leaner. It looks like with your strong curves principles that I have added a lot of glute and leg muscle! I’ve been weight training for over a year now but I find that applying your knowledge & thorough research on the glutes (especially the best ways to activate them for hypertrophy) paired with good healthy eating has produced results I never ever thought I’d see on my own body! I’m 5’0 and my glutes/hip measurement went from 35 to 38! I cannot thank you enough and for all the articles, studies, research, and really helpful resources you have put out there for all of us women who thought that transforming our backsides was a futile endeavor. I recommend you and your works to all those who’ve taken interest in my new lifestyle and want pointers on how I did it. Thank you thank you!! – Jenina


Bret, I started following some of your video advice on building stronger glutes as part of my marathon training and it is the first time that a trainer’s advice hasn’t caused some tangental injury. Your exercise videos demonstrate what are apparently the proper forms for glute bridges, hip thrusts and more. The result has been stronger glutes and core; an improvement in my running time–a comfortable 11 minute mile down from 13; ITBS I used to get on long runs disappeared; and at 44, my posterior seems to get noticed in even my baggiest of pants (which I kind of like, this getting noticed). I recommend your videos and advice without hesitation. Frank

Ok, the one on the left is from a year ago when I was going to Bar Method classes and doing a bottom load of cardio. I was about 122lbs. I had ZERO definition. The one on the right is after working your program the past 8 weeks and 125lbs. I started in November but because of an injury, took a break about 1/2 way through December. I started up the Gluteal Goddess 12 week plan again the beginning of the year and this is my progress so far. I normally have a pancake ass so even though this isn’t where I want to be, it’s way better than where I started thanks to you!  Can’t wait to see the results another 8 weeks from now. Thank you for constantly educating me! On top of helping me build my booty, you’re making me a better trainer for my clients! – Julie


Bret, gotta admit bro, when I stumbled across your stuff I thought you were crazy. I decided to give it a shot tho and started doing hip thrusts, band hip rotations, goblet squats, and back extensions. Three months later, my deadlift has increased by 55 lbs, I split two pairs of jeans, and I’m hitting home runs just about every other at-bat with my company softball team. I’m trying to get my lifting partners to get on the thrusting train but they’re resisting. You’ve got a good think going dude, keep it up. – Bryce


Alan Aragon Coming to Toronto on June 14

Canadian peeps – my friend Alagon is putting on a seminar. I vouch for him 100%. Click HERE to learn more.


Dan Green Workshop April 19th in Tempe, AZ

Click HERE if you’re interested in attending a Dan Green (world record raw powerlifter) seminar at Revolution Training Systems. Dan is a freakin’ badass, and he’s very down to Earth and knowledgeable.

dan green

Six Blind Men and the Elephant

Physical therapists, massage therapists, and sports medicine personnel – you gotta admit, this is pretty funny!

Six Blind Men

Random Thoughts

How’s it going fitness peeps? I’ve got some great articles, videos, rants, and before/after pictures for you to check out. Just keeping you in the know!

Fun Game

Which side of your brain is more dominant?

Click HERE to see which side of your brain is more dominant. Are you right brained, left brained, or an equal mix (like me)? The game only takes 30 seconds and you can’t get any answers wrong. Why wasn’t school like this?


Spreading the Glute Gospel

Sincere thanks to all the ladies who are spreading the glute gospel. Keep it up please! A couple of weeks ago I asked you to Show Me The Booty and you did! You will notice that I now have over 100 testimonials and before/after pics. I’m loving all the social media attention and tagging – you ladies make a glute guy feel very special. Let’s keep spreading the word so other ladies can start training their glutes properly and actually start seeing results!

I Like it a Lot!

Dean Somerset tagged me on Facebook with this image. I don’t know who made it but I LOL’d. This picture was taken four years ago in the garage of my old house in Scottsdale before I went to New Zealand.

hip thrust II

Times They Are a Changing

Here is a screenshot of my Google Analytics data for number of visits per month since I started up in late 2010:

Google Analytics

WordPress stats shows over double that amount of visitors. Below is my Google Trends data.


As you can see, my popularity has risen substantially over the past several years. The downside of this is that the number of emails and messages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and WordPress rises in direct proportion.

I think I might get more emails than any fitness professional in the field. It seems like every lifter in the world wants to email me their personal 6 paragraph story along with their training regimens to see if their training is appropriate, every injured lifter wants me to diagnose them, and every exercise science student wants me to help them with their thesis.

I’ve put in more time pro bono than I care to admit – seriously 2 hours of answering emails per day for several years. I’ve reached a point where I can no longer keep up. Last week I drove to Las Angeles and noticed that I was receiving an email almost every 60 seconds.

I care about all of you very much, but I’m so flooded with emails that I simply cannot reply to everyone. There comes a point where it’s impossible unless you decide to cut out your social life completely or quit sleeping (both of which I’ve been guilty of in the past).

Furthermore, I’ve been receiving emails pretty much every week from people around the world asking me to speak at their events – including Spain, Norway, Australia, Canada, UK, and Iceland. This is very tempting as I very much want to speak to trainers and coaches from those countries, but I need to stay focused and not get distracted. Therefore, I’m not taking on any new personal training clients, I’m not accepting any more speaking engagements (I’m speaking at The Fitness Summit, the NSCA National Conference, and maybe the NSCA Personal Trainer Conference and that’s it), and I’m currently not taking on any online clients (though I might start something up soon with a colleague).

My sincere apologies to anyone who feels let down but I’ve been so swamped I can hardly see straight and something’s got to give.

Steve Jobs

Speaking of my drive to L.A., I’ve been listening to the Steve Jobs Biography audiobook and it fascinated me. Steve was utterly brilliant but at the same time he was a total prick with massive OCD’s. What’s really sad is that I can totally relate to Steve’s personality as I share most of the same traits (minus the genius haha!). If you haven’t read this yet, you should!


Big Congrats to Team Revolution!

On February 22, Team Revolution took first place at the Western Warrior Powerlifting Challenge at Die Hard Gym in Peoria (I train at Revolution in Tempe once per week). The meet started at 9:00 am and finished at 12:30 am, lasting over 15 hours! I felt like a proud father watching all of my colleagues compete. Here’s some footage from the meet:

This Quote Reminded Me of the Fitness and Physical Therapy Industries

Most people are walking around, umbilical cord in hand, looking for a new place to plug it in. – Cavett Robert

Young Experts in Strength & Conditioning

Here are seven upstanding, young, up-and-comers in the field of S&C and powerlifting:

Jonnnie Candito  I really like Jonnie’s YouTube videos. Such great biomechanical instincts related to powerlifting!

Ben Rice – Ben is an incredible powerlifter and has one of the best attitudes I’ve seen.

Jordan Syatt – Jordan is crazy strong. HERE he is pulling 425 x 3 @138 lbs at The Glute Lab. He has a lot of knowledge to share.

Greg Robins – Greg is also strong as an ox and possesses a ton of knowledge.

Greg Nuckols – Greg has written some guest blogs for me. He’s strong as a bull, writes incredibly well, and understands how to interpret research. Such a versatile guy!

Dan Ogborn – Dan is freakishly intelligent when it comes to muscle hypertrophy. He’s the next Brad Schoenfeld in the making!

Andrew Vigotsky – Andrew is literally a genius. He recently helped me create a biomechanics manual on squats and deadlifts for my upcoming 2 x 4 product. We used CAD drawing to model joint torques, and we even showed something involving the effect of hypertrophy on torque development that I’ve never seen anywhere else.

Good Articles

3 Ways to Optimize Your Sprint Strength Program

Click HERE to check out an article on optimizing strength training for sprinting by Joel Smith who is an Assistant Strength Coach of Olympic Sports at the University of California, Berkeley. 

18 Nutrition Myths You Want to Know

Check out THIS article – 18 fitness experts chime in to debunk what they believe to be the top nutrition myths.

Speaking of nutrition, Eirik Garnas, a frequent guest contributor to my blog, just started up a Facebook page HERE. If you like what he’s written on this site, then go like his page and follow his work.

A Case Against Specificity

HERE is an article by powerlifter Mike Tuchscherer where he discusses the specificity debate.

The Big Lie about Steroids

HERE is an article discussing research on anabolic steroids and the effect they have on strength and muscle mass.

Good Videos

905lb Sumo Deadlift

Check out this 905lb sumo deadlift by David LaMartina. It was a grinder, but it made its way to the finish line, which is what counts.

Kent Fleming Squats 1,000lb RAW

Kent Fleming becomes the third man to squat 1,000+lbs RAW. Insane!

Ms. Bikini Olympia Hip Thrusting

Check out Ms. Bikini Olympia Ashley Kaltwasser getting in some glute work with hip thrusts

How to Max On Hip Thrusts Properly

Here is Scott Brady, the owner of Metal Rhino in UK, working his way up to a 202kg (446lb) hip thrust. I wanted to show off this video because this is the right way to max out on a hip thrust. I feel that hip thrusts are a lift that should generally be performed in the 3-30 rep range, meaning that it’s not very conducive to 1RM’s. However, Scott does it right and keeps solid form all the way through, making sure to reach full hip extension. If you’re gonna max out on hip thrusts, then do it like this:

Yoga Pants Prank

This is an absolutely hilarious yet terrible prank to play on people. At least some folks still have a sense of humor. Keep hip thrusting dudes – even the bros will inadvertently check you out!

Zydrunas Savickas WR Tire Deadlift

Watch Zydrunas Savickas set the new world record tire deadlift of 1,155lbs at the Arnold Classic this past weekend.


Do You Even Lift?

This video is also hilarious! Admit it – you don’t even lift bro.

Here’s a chart to prove to you that you don’t even lift.

Do you even lift

Facebook Rants

Here are my Facebook rants since the last random thoughts post.

Charlatans fear the scientific method and do not want their followers to embrace it. Understanding the scientific method would expose the charlatan, so the charlatan will typically downplay the role of science and mock scientific thinkers. Don’t fall for this. Any industry that doesn’t appreciate science and base its foundation on the scientific method is built on shaky grounds which are bound to crumble in time. Whether you believe in it or not, science is true.

Achieving a great physique is akin to a steamroller. It takes time to build up momentum, but once you get moving, it’s difficult to stop. With the human body, progress isn’t made overnight. It takes time to alter your physiology so that it works in your favor. Once it’s functioning smoothly, however, you have more metabolic flexibility and can actually benefit from planned deviations that would be deleterious for the typical individual.

Just received this email: “Bret, the best thing about having a great backside is that I can look amazing at a wide range of body weight. If I weigh 118 pounds, my buns are perky and look great in a bikini. But if I weigh 130 pounds, my buns are rounder and I rock a cocktail dress. Before, I never liked the way I looked at any weight, but now I can’t decide which weight I prefer most. I love the flexible options that your glute training affords me. Thanks you’re the best!”

Resistance-training shouldn’t hurt. The session should start off with simple mobility drills to get the blood flowing and move the joints through full range of motion. Progressively heavier specific warm-up sets for the first exercise follow. Good form should be used for all work sets. If an exercise hurts during performance, it shouldn’t be included in the program for the time being. Variations and alternative exercises that work the same movement pattern can almost always be used for substitution. Strength training is much more fun when it feels right, and more progress is made in the long run when you go about it properly.

Thank you to all you bold lifters out there who saw a YouTube video of some madman humping a barbell loaded up with hundreds of pounds and thought to yourself, “I’m going to try that next time I go to the gym.” #hipthrustfever

Glute Training Feedback

Your book changed my workout life. Thank you so much! (I do not mean for these photos to be provocative. Thong is the only way to see all you have taught me). Time elapsed has been about 5 months. I started reading and following strong curves about 2-2 1/2 months ago. Fell in love with your glutes and legs routine. Literally only took me about 2 months for my butt to get its size and shape from hip thrusting and goblet squats. (Today I am up to 235 thrust and 80 goblet squats. 3-4 sets of 10)

Hip thrusting took me about 1 week to master and not feel it in my lower back and hamstrings. Today I cannot believe how much I can isolate and focus all my strength into my glutes. I fire them up haaaard thanks to you. I am amazed at myself for learning how to only use the glutes in hip thrusting. NOTHING activates the glutes as the thrust (you’re so right). 

2 -2 1/2 months for me to get these glutes! Can’t wait for even better results coming soon!  – Brittany 


It’s been over a year having started glute work, and I have you to thank for that. I haven’t experienced any low back pain since. – Jefferey 

Hey Bret!

My husband bought me your glute goddess book for a Christmas present (I’m an avid lifter and I’ve always had complaints with the shape of my butt, not liking it and all) so of course, I did your program “Glute Goddess for the Advanced Lifter” and all I can say is damn! I mean, not only does my butt look better, but I’m over all stronger and look better!! Thank you so much I still keep a lot of your glute work in all my days at the gym because I just love the way my butt feels and looks every week – best present ever!!! – Devon


Hi Bret, I told you I would send you bathing suit pictures as soon as I was able to take some, well I finally was able to take some pictures and here are the results.  Now as I mentioned when I first found your blog I was desperate, I had started walking 5 miles a day and my husband who is a BIG “ASS MAN” as they are called said your butt is flat now. 

 With all the walking I really had no idea how to maintain weight loss but keep a nice butt, until I found you my savior.  My husband literally shows off the pictures that I’m sending to you to both men and women, he is so proud of my progress and all the girls say ” I want a butt like that”.

I really have to thank you for the detailed time and effort you put into this passion to help people like me.  As you can see in my before pics I had a butt, way too much butt no shape just butt, and definitely not as good as I do now.  My daughter always pokes it saying “it’s so hard and round”. And I sincerely thank you for giving back my husband the one feature he can’t keep his hands off now. I’ll keep up the good work because I’ll keep following. 

I have the best ASS I’ve ever had my whole adult life, and I intend in keeping it. The pictures attached are in 2010 I was in Puerto Rico about 168, but when I got up to 189 I decided enough, I had to start exercising. In March of 2013 and was just doing the walking, floor pelvic thrust, everything you recommend that I could do outside and that my shattered knee would allow. I needed to expand my equipment for growth so I joined a gym and I just started incorporating free weights and machines about 4 months ago.

So a total of 11months of working of is the comparison picture.  The others are just different angles; I have to say I have seen the best results in the last 4 months. Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of me when I lost my butt, but I assure you it was tiny, and I’ve never had a tiny butt. It’s gotten to the point jeans are tight in my butt, and I have plenty of space on my waist. My friend started doing your workout about 2 months ago and she split a pair of jeans, I told her welcome to the BBC (big booty club).

Anyway from the bottom of my heart thank you soooooo much, you are the best and when people ask me how I always say ” look up the glute guy, do everything he says and you will have one too.  See attached pictures I don’t think you will be disappointed.  And please give me some feedback, areas you feel I need to work on more, what is the recommended exercise for the best results. Thanks again BUTTIE – you are the best of the best. – La Tasha


Went jeans shopping for the first time since before I started GG. When I started I was wearing size 14 jeans. I’ve since altered all of them twice and figured they might start looking odd if I altered them one more time. I was so amazed in the dressing room. Down 14 pounds and am now wearing a size 8. I had no idea that I had dropped down that much in pants sizes. I started out trying on the 12’s, then the 10’s.  I really had no clue that I would be trying on 8’s.  I’ve lost a total of 36 pounds since I started tracking weight loss and was at a size 16 at my heaviest.  I was a size 14 when I started Get Glutes and with that 14 pound weight loss have seen more changes than I did with that 22 lb loss prior to Get Glutes.  It’s nice to see the proof in the smaller clothing. – Teresa


LADIES!!! LADIES!!! LADIES!!! Have you tried the Shoulder Elevated Barbell Hip Thrust ala@bretcontreras1…my glutes have seen some amazing results in such a little amount of time…Start out just using bodyweight or a 45lb bar to get used to the exercise. – jforquer1

Hey Bret! Here is my 6 month progress using your glute activation exercises in combination with a healthy eating Amazing progress!!! Thanks so much!!! I will add, I work my glutes daily. 3 days a week is intense, other days, I just make sure to ‘wake them up’ before performing my daily routine. I keep a heavy resistance band in my car at all times. Love doing glute burners whil I sit in car rider line waiting for the kids un the afternoon I lift heavy 4-5 days a week and sprinkle in some early am cardio when i feel the need. Thought you would like to see the progress! – Sarah


I want to thank you for helping me find something I thought could never be found…my booty! I have a pretty athletic build but my butt was always missing, especially when I try to lean out…but I’m finally building a shelf a because of heavy heavy hip thrusters! So thank you for your research and for getting your knowledge out there!!! – Melanie

Hi Brett, Here are some before and after pictures after incorporating many of the exercises and suggestions in your Strong Curves book and website. What I find so amazing is the before picture was taken about 10 years ago when I was in about 31. I am now 41.  I exercised and ate a pretty healthy diet then. I did cardio and nautilus machines and hiked a lot. My young son snapped the 1st picture and I was appalled when I saw it.( The quality of the before pic is not so good  because I hid it in my makeup drawer for 10 years). I think I weigh about 2-3 pounds more now, so the change is not from losing weight. I have more improvement coming. I have recently increased the frequency of heavy hip thrusts and bridges to 2x  week and am seeing results already. I cut back on cardio too. Also, it helped to see Sammie ‘s glute pump favorites and the weights she does listed on your website. I am smaller framed too so it gives me a target . Thanks for making glute transformation such a passion. – Kim F. 


I’ve been doing barbell squats, deadlifts, and other compound lifts, progressive loading, and my body has developed nicely (even though I still have a long way to go). However, my butt wasn’t getting as shapely as I wanted it to, even with progressive load squats. All the advice I found was just “squat more! Squat heavier!” I knew I was missing something. Enter the hip thrust, and then visiting your website. It took me about 2 seconds to decide to buy Strong Curves. I went straight to Amazon and bought it. I am advanced enough to do the 12 week Advanced rotation, and I am in week 3. I am fortunate enough to have a full gym at my workplace, so I have access to all the equipment I need and can workout during my lunch hour. No kidding, after just 2 workouts with the glute bridges and hip thrusts, people are noticing my butt, in a good way! The pump is incredible. I also enjoy the stares from my co-workers as I am in the corner humping a bar loaded up with 45’s, while everyone else uses 5-lb neoprene dumbbells to do 100 bicep curls. Sometimes I want to tell them my secret, but most of the time I prefer being the only woman in the free weight section. My body has changed more in 3 weeks of Strong Curves, with two 20-minute sessions of hill sprints on my non-lifting days, than it has in 3 months of hour long cardio sessions and Body Pump classes. I can’t wait to see the results after I complete the 12 week program. – Michelle

Hey Bret, I’m a physio from Australia. I swear, your glute exercises have improved my effectiveness by probably 50%. Typical low back pain patients are benefiting very well by learning to engage and utilize their gluteals. Glute activation and hip mobility drills go a long way in helping them feel better. Cheers mate! – Robert

Click HERE to check out ‘Bringing Up The Rear Final Assessment – A Love Letter To Bret Contreras’ an article written by 43Fitness. She talks about her quest for better glutes!

Been hip thrusting for about 2 months now and have probably added about an inch onto my butt. I have trouble getting my pants on sometimes haha. In addition, my squat and deadlift feels so much more powerful. I actually caught myself standing to the side in front of the mirror in my underwear checking out my ass size. This is definitely one of my favorite exercises now. Thanks a lot Bret! – Brady