Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

Hi Fitness Friends, I’ve got some great articles, videos, rants, and before/after pictures for you to check out. Just helping out so you can stay on top of things!

Fun Game

People slow to react are more likely to die prematurely

I was reading THIS article in the LA Times which discusses the link between reaction times and premature death. In the article, they linked to a fun little game that had me hooked for a solid half an hour.

Click HERE to find out how fast your reactions really are! The lowest score I got was .1668 (rocketing rabbit). Can you beat me?

Glutes copy

Good Articles

Does repetition speed affect hypertrophy?

Click HERE to see Chris Beardsley tackling the topic of repetition speed in relation to muscle hypertrophy.

Does eccentric training lead to more hypertrophy than concentric training?

Click HERE to find out whether eccentric training really does seem to be better for hypertrophy than concentric training.

My Experience at the Assessing Movement Conference

Check out THIS detailed write-up of the ‘Assessing Movement Conference’ between Gray Cook and Stu McGill. Kasey Esser took some great detailed notes on this one.

Review-Stanford Summit with Stuart McGill and Gray Cook

HERE is another review of the meeting between of the minds with Stu Mcgill and Gray Cook.  Another great write-up and fantastic performance by both presenters.

Interview with Mike McGuigan

Check out THIS interview with Mike McGuigan one of my professors at AUT.

It is not just the brain that changes itself – time to embrace bioplasticity?

Click HERE for a good read on bio-plasticity and the brain by Lorimer Moseley 

Why the lats are so important in the bench press

HERE is an article discussing the importance of the often overlooked lats during the bench press.

Resistance Training Promotes Increase in Intracellular Hydration in Men and Women

Check out THIS Superhuman radio podcast with my good friend Brad Schoenfeld speaking about resistance training protocols to increase intercelluar hydration in men and women.

Is your Vitamin D supplement helping or hurting you?

HERE is an article on many things related to Vitamin D supplementation. Take a look.

Q&A: Brad Schoenfeld on Maximizing Muscle Growth

Take a look at THIS Q & A with Brad Schoenfeld on Stack.com speaking about maximizing muscle growth.

Strength training: Barbell hip thrust

HERE is an article on the hip thrust for Athletics Weekly by Anthony Robustelli and yours truly.

CARB CONTROVERSY – Why low-carb diets have got it all wrong

HERE‘s a great article from Brian St. Pierre on the science of low carb dieting.

Good Videos

Valentin Dikul – Strongest Glutes Ever? 

I never saw this until recently. This dude Valentin is insane. His strength was so far ahead of his time, and he did it all…squats, deadlifts, bench, kettlebells, gymnastics. Click HERE to read more about him. Below he’s doing a pyramid (crazy glute bridge isohold maneuver) with around 2,000 lbs – no big deal.

The Animal Underground: Andrey Malanichev Squats 926 lbs x 3

These can almost be considered speed squats!

Kent Fleming 970 RAW w Wraps

Check out Kent Fleming riding out a smooth 970lb back squat RAW with wraps

Andrey Malanichev All Time WR Squat – 1,014 lbs

Watch Andrey Malanichev break the all time WR squat at 460kg (that’s 1,014 pounds raw – no briefs, and no squat suit). Check out that speed!

498 lbs Raw Bench @ 148

Lei Liu breaks the all time WR parapeldgic bench press with an easy 498lb bench at 148lbs. Amazing.

Eric Lillebridge UPA Nationals 2014

Eric Lilliebridge doing what he does best and throwing ridiculous amounts of weights around with seemingly little effort – he set several records here.

Shanghai Tower (650 meters)

Does this video give you a panic attack? Take a trip up to the Shanghai tower…I hope your not afraid of heights.

SK Energy TV Spot, ‘A Trabar’

I don’t really know exactly what is said in the commercial. What I do know is that there is some grocery bag lunges and hip thrusting of cars.

FB Rants

Here are my Facebook rants from the last week or so:

“Son, lighten the load and do it right. You ain’t buildin’ muscle, you just strokin’ your ego.”

“There isn’t a single serious lifter I’ve ever known who doesn’t experience minor injuries or bouts of minor pain (low back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, etc.) throughout the course of the training year.

As a younger lifter, I trained through the pain, and this usually led to more problems. As I’ve matured as a lifter, I learned to train around the pain, which has led to much better outcomes.

Knee acting up? Maybe I can do RDL’s and back extensions pain-free. Back acting up? Maybe I can do walking lunges and high step ups pain-free. Shoulder acting up? Maybe I can do rows pain-free.

I’ve found that it’s much better to go to the gym and do what I can while listening to my body than to stay home and wait for the issue to completely clear up. I can work on weak links, train other bodyparts/movements, get the blood flowing, and maintain fitness, all while building confidence and signaling my brain to chill out with the pain response.

The area in question receives a dose of therapy because while at the gym training other regions, the joint moves through a range of motion and the muscles contract isometrically, which promotes recovery.  When the issue starts clearing up, I use a graded approach in training the area directly, and quite often I’m back in business very quickly.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to serious injuries, and it’s darn near impossible to make broad recommendations pertaining to injury and pain. But the point of this post is to inform you that these setbacks happen to every lifter. Over time, you learn how to deal with them more efficiently by paying close attention and making wise training decisions.” 

“Building an impressive physique is NOT just about going to the gym and “putting in the time.” One could easily go to the gym 5 days per week and see lackluster results. In fact, you see this with the majority of commercial gym-goers. What are typical commercial gym-goers failing to do properly? 1) Performing the best exercises for their goals, 2) Getting stronger over time (this is paramount), 3) Following a intelligently-planned program that pushes the intensity but still allows for optimal recovery, and 4) Eating properly for their goals. Each of these components are critical for long-term progress. For maximum results, train hard, train smart, and eat smart.”

 “Crummy training days usually don’t indicate that you’ve lost strength; they typically indicate that your strength is being masked by fatigue. When the central nervous system (CNS) is drained, your muscles will not contract maximally. However tempting it may be, avoid training “harder” on crummy days and instead ease up on the gas pedal. What you’ll commonly find is that your body will recuperate and your strength will rebound.”

“The glutes prefer a stable environment for maximal activation. If the goal is to develop the glutes, there’s no need for instability training. Hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, back extensions, and lunges will give you the most bang for your buck. Lateral band work will give you some extra upper glute development. If you want to develop better balance, single leg RDLs and pistol squats can be employed. Notice that these are all performed on stable ground – no stability balls, suspension systems, Bosu balls, core boards, wobble boards, dyna discs, or Airex balance pads needed (actually, the Airex pad can be used as a cushion between the bar and the hips during hip thrusts).”

“Just because you bought some food from Whole Foods or a similar type of store – it doesn’t automatically mean it’s healthy. Make sure you read nutritional labels to see ingredients, calories, and macros.”

“Doctors are not the experts of strength & conditioning. There are some who know a ton, and some who know zilch pertaining to our field. If you receive some advice that doesn’t seem accurate, don’t be afraid to question it or obtain a second opinion. Better yet, educate yourself on the topic and form your own opinion based on research and expert opinion from the medical and S & C fields.”

“I used to not see the point of low load glute activation work. What’s it going to do that heavy hip thrusts, squats, and deadlifts won’t do? Over time, I realized that I was wrong, after dozens of lifters emailed me informing me that doing some light glute work prior to heavy lifting augmented their mechanics and improved the way they felt during the session. If you haven’t experimented with it yet, give it a try. Conversely, if you have experimented with it and don’t find that it helps, don’t be afraid to drop it. But the way I see it, a couple sets of x-band walks, glute bridges, and multi-directional lunges before the workout won’t hurt you, and it just might improve your performance. Remember, the goal of glute activation work is quality, not quantity.”

 “I can’t understand for the life of me why so many fitness professionals tell their followers to just squat for glute growth. For years I’ve been advising my followers to employ a variety of glute exercises including hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, barbell glute bridges, lunges, back extensions, and more, and the response I’ve gotten has been phenomenal. If you want to maximize the shape of any muscle, you’ll get better results from performing several exercises compared to just one.”

glutelab

Glute Lab: Where Glutes Go to Grow

Glute Training Feedback

Bret, gotta say these hip thrusters are very useful, not only do they help with performance and size but they are like rehab for my lumbar spine. Sometimes when I Squat and Deadlift the old back can be tweaked or stained and every time (which is all the time) I do Hip Thrusters it takes all the pain away and makes my back feel great. Thanks for a great exercise – Jeff.

Bret, you come out with better content in one week than 99% of online fitness professionals do in an entire year. Thanks for all you do for the industry! – Jake

As I was finishing up my work out yesterday I had a big muscled up fella stop me.  He told me he had been lifting for over 40 years and that I had some of the best form he had seen in any guys or girls throughout the years.  I dropped your name of course and told him you had VERY high standards when it came to form :-)  He went on to say that the great form had obviously paid off based on how I looked.  He was very sincere and not creepy in the least as he was telling me this–a rare find at the gym. 

Anyway, I just wanted to say that the high I got from that compliment ranked right up there with some of the PRs I have set.  When I first started GG it took some time before I felt comfortable and confident in the weight room with all of the guys around and yesterday I felt like I had earned some respect and admiration. 

I have often talked about how this program can give you so much more than a better backside when you take the focus off of where you want to be instead of where you are and this is just another great example of that.  Good things come with consistency over the months.  I know to some this may not seem like the biggest or best compliment but to me it was awesome. – Tammy

Bret when I first found you I was desperate, I emailed you asking for advice because I had all the sudden started walking 4-5 miles daily and dropped weight fast. My husband who used to complain I was to big, now started saying you completely lost your butt, and to much weight, now I do have to say though it wasn’t muscle it was just big. So I went on a search found ” the glute guy, saw the picture of the girls and thought thats what I want, round teardrop bottom.I wanted one that sits up and is firm and round, so I emailed you asked you for advice and you encouraged me, that walking didn’t make me lose my butt, but I lost the fat, I simply needed to start building the muscle. So I followed you like a groupy that was obsessed, I hit it hard, I started with nothing simple no weights, just add butt exercises to my walking, and am now proud to say I am in a gym using heavy weight, however am limited to some exercises because of a bad car accident I shattering all of the cartilage in my right knee, and shifted disk in my lower back, this is very frustrating because deadlifts, single leg lunges on smith machine are out of the question -.-. None the less I don’t let it slow down my progress, I persevere and do what my body allows me to even pushing through the pain in some exercises, my husband LOOOOOVVVEEEESSS my butt, he couldn’t be happier, my workout partner is now hooked on your site as well. She wants my butt, I want her waist. Anyway I simply hadn’t had the time butt 😉 I wanted to thank you so much, you have been a hugh inspiration in my workouts, and I am always watching for new videos. I can’t send you my undies pictures, but I will be buying a bikini soon and sending you pictures. I hope you like what I have accomplished, you gave me the instructions and now I have a butt I have only dreamt of having. I can’t wait for summer. I will be sending you pictures soon. Once again thank you so much for being so kind, for guidance when I needed it most and for being such a caring person. Your the best and yes you should proudly post pictures and label them “butts by Bret” this is your baby and nobody, and I mean nobody as long as the other part is ok with it should tell you how to run it. Thankfully yours La Tasha

2 17

“Follow @bretcontreras1 and read his blog! Very informative! He’s the glute guy haha”

"Trying to reshape and add more muscle. Concentrating on my glutes. Now week 8 into the gorgeous glutes program and eating more food. Pic on the left was taken today and pic on right was 1 month post comp last year (same weight as well) Thanks so much @bretcontreras1 - rocifit"

“Trying to reshape and add more muscle. Concentrating on my glutes. Now week 8 into the gorgeous glutes program and eating more food. Pic on the left was taken today and pic on right was 1 month post comp last year (same weight as well) Thanks so much @bretcontreras1 – rocifit”

2173

“I’ve been told you cannot work out your glutes alone…it’s not possible…better to just squat…but I added hip thrusts to my workout and will keep it. I’m still almost the only one doing them in my gym. – Elin”

2174

I love #reposting this pic because in my life I’ve either been skinny/curveless or kinda thick with no distinct curvature lol. 9 months is not a lot of time at all to build a shelf you can be proud of. I became obsessed with glutes last year and 1 of the major influences on my training was @bretcontreras1 blog. He introduced me to hip thrusting among many glute activation exercises and opened my eyes that lightweight/bodyweight exercises shape the glutes – Jessica

Hi Bret. I have just received a copy of Strong Curves and after a quick browse Im blown away by its content. It has way more information than I expected and the descriptions and quality is outstanding. Im not normally into blowing someones trumpet so much but you have done a great job on this.

I have purchased so many products from more than likely some of your mentors in the past and although the content is excellent I feel there could be a bit more bang for your buck. I understand this is a living for them also but some of the prices are a bit high. 

Im so grateful to guys like yourself providing quality material at an affordable price for most. I have recently included some of your training principles in my own training and my clients. Im excited about the prospects they will bring. 

After suffering long term lower back pain and hamstring strains, I have found targeting the glutes specifically for the past 3 months has yielded great results. Strength in the glutes and relief in the lower back. A bit of a butt lift also! If it wasn’t for you Id still be suffering. Actually Im suffering in a different way because of you now. Thanks again Bret. You’ve gone to the top of my Go To Guy list for training related information. Keep up the excellent work. – Graeme.

Hey Bret, I inboxed you some time ago on your page in regards to a back injury I had (a disc herniation) that was causing me pain and preventing me lifting. You advised that I look into chronic pain and how to deal with it, and made some suggestions. To be honest that inbox changed me life. I read the article on your Blog about pain, and the story was identical to mine. I have gone from squatting nothing to now doing 140kg for reps in a few months. I just wanted to thank you for your help and the contributions you make to the industry. Thanks, Bret. – Brent

Hi Bret, I have attached a couple of pictures. I wish I had taken some “before” pics, but unfortunately i don’t have any.  Let me just give you a brief history: I am a mother and a personal trainer, 30 years old, and my butt and my thighs used to be my worst body parts. I used to be very insecure about them. I started training hard about 8 years ago, but never really knew how to go about transforming my legs and butt. My husband, who’s Brazilian from Rio, helped me a lot by introducing heavy squats, deadlifts, sumo squats, kickbacks with cables and ankle weights…etc and I improved a lot, but, I was always looking and searching for more ways to enhance and improve the glutes.

About 5 years ago, I came across one of your first articles on T-nation, and I could not believe that there was a professional out there who knows everything about butt training, EVERYTHING!! Since then, I started reading your articles and following you, you became my reference and source of information when i train myself and my clients.  Then I bought Strong Curves, and that was it, my progress just leaped!!! Not just the looks of my butt improved, but also my athletic performance. My overall strength increased. I can squat, deadlift and hip thrust much heavier! 

My advice to every woman (and even man), whether you are genetically gifted with strong glutes, or not, whether you want to transform, improve or just maintain your overall physique and body strength, is to get Strong Curves!!! 

Thank you Bret for your continuous research and passion.  – Missy 

2175

I ordered your book to strong curves the barbell bridges really changed my glutes and I now have lovely curves and bigger bum. Nataska

21762

Before and After

Love your program first time in 20 years of working out that my butt actually changed shape, got smaller and tightened up. – Melanie

217pants

Instead of posting a glutes pic, here was yesterday’s side effect of #hipthrusts. – Craig

217thrusts

Thank you for all that you do Bret! #️4glutes

217ocean

I can’t believe I for real used to look like that…not so long ago. Whew. I’m now completing 6 reps of glute bridges at 425lbs! – vannahlee

I have been doing your exercises for only a few weeks and my butt has lifted dramatically. I never thought I would have a nice butt. Thank u soo much for all the time and research u have put it has really helped me a lot. Thanks bret!!!! Oh and my boyfriend loves the results too lol – oceangirl

Hi Bret, I just want to say a big THANK YOU for Strong Curves!  I started the beginners program on January 2., and now, after 7,5 weeks, I have better results on glutes and hamstrings than I’ve ever had, and I’ve been lifting, on and off, for 25 years! Looking forward to seeing the results for the months to come Thanks again – Anne

2177

I wish I had taken a before picture. It was all hip thrusts. thanks for your page – Katie

It was a great feeling when I pulled my self up with 10kg extra weight during a chin-up. I never dreamt of being able to do that. GG isn’t just great for the lower body, my upper body has never been this strong and looked as good as it does now. I’ve been lifting weights for years and always wanted defined arms and back. And yesterday, my 17 year old daughter said to me, “mom, your arms have gotten defined.” Proud moment! Oh how I love this program and this community of strong and encouraging women and the best coaches ever. – Irene

Random Thoughts

Hi Fitness Friends, I’ve got some incredible articles, videos, rants, and before/after pictures for you to check out. Just doing my part in keeping you informed!

Good Articles

How does training volume affect hypertrophy?

HERE is great article from Chris Beardsley on the effects volume has in relation to hypertrophy.

How does training frequency affect hypertrophy?

HERE‘s another great article from Chris Beardsley. Chris discusses the research on this topic

Detox diets & juice cleanses: Could they make you more toxic?

Click HERE to see Ryan Andrews break down detox diets and juice cleanses. Juicing and detox diets becomes extremely popular around this time of year with summer around the corner. Take a look to see if its right for you.

Reignite Progress with New Science

HERE is a article by Borge Fagerli discussing important considerations in program design for strength development including training frequency and occlusion training.

7 Gym Hacks

Check out THIS new post by Nick Tumminello. Nick lays out 7 ‘gym hacks’ which are some non-obvious ways to solve problems and increase productivity in the gym.

The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational

HERE is an article discussing different biases. George Dvorsky talks about 12 different cognitive biases that prevent us from making rational decisions. It would seem that this article does not have much to do with the fitness industry, but upon close inspection, one will notice that it has everything to do with the fitness industry. 

Conference Review: Assessing Movement with Stuart McGill and Gray Cook

Click HERE for a review of the discussion between Stuart McGill and Gray Cook held at Stanford University. Kudos to Gray and Stu for going through with this. Filmed debates are a huge step in the right direction for our field.

Good Videos

Usain Bolt vs 116 years of Olympic sprinters

Check out this video to get a perspective into some of the fastest sprinters in the world and how others compare.

Derek Kendall 925×3 raw squat

Watch Derek Kendall back squat 925lb for 3 reps and making it look like a piece of cake

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ytz2TWhNzQ

Brian Shaw Deadlift Training

Check out professional strongman Brain Shaw lock out an 1140lbs deadlift

Derek Kendall Front Squat

Watch Derek Kendall sink an 800lb front squat in only a belt and knee sleeves

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxZ2-q1c5UI

Eric Lilliebridge Deadlifts 860lbs

Check out Eric Lilliebridge power through an 860lb deadlift at 23 years old, weighing 285lbs

Eric Lilliebridge Squats 955lbs

Watch Eric Lilliebridge squat 955lbs in training for a 13lb PR

Derek Kendall 975lb Squat

Check out Derek Kendall crushing a 975lb squat in training

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn3WKk07eMQ

Keenan Cornelius Hip Thrusts

Watch Brazilian Jiu Jitsu badass Keenan Cornelius hip thrust 495×7. Glad to see hip thrusts catching on in the BJJ world.

Dan Green 2014 USPA American Cup LA

Watch Dan “The Boss” Green break Larry Pacifico’s all time world record with a 2083lb total (no wraps) at 242lbs

Gym Training for the Strongman Atlas Stones 

Watch 6’7″ strongman Craig Pfisterer go through a training session for the Atlas stone event. Craig is a beast (see him lift a 505 Atlas stone HERE). I’m in good agreement with his choice of exercises – stone trainer lifts, Zercher lifts, hip thrusts, and upper back dumbbell lifts.

Gray Cook & Kelly Starrett Talking Shop

Here’s a nifty little video of Gray Cook and Kelly Starrett discussing movement. Kelly looks jacked! I love it when different experts get together to talk shop and engage in discussion – we need more of this in our field!

Jim Wendler – Strength Training Business Model

I’ve never seen Jim present like this before. This was an excellent video, and Jim is a total badass.

Who is The Sickest Squatter?

Watch this epic squatting battle between a powerlifter, strongman, weightlifter, and bodybuilder!

Facebook Rants

Here are my Facebook rants from the last week or so:

It takes some lifters considerable time to learn to contract their glutes properly. I’d say that 33% of lifters use their glutes very well. They feel the glutes working forcefully during all compound lower body movements, and they get an extreme glute burn when doing glute isolation movements. Another 33% of lifters feel the glutes activating well on certain movements but not during others. The remaining 33% rarely if ever feel their glutes working during exercise. They have trouble contracting them voluntarily, and they feel the hamstrings, quads, adductors, and erectors working, but no glutes. If you’re in this camp, keep working on building the mind-muscle connection. It requires intense mental focus, but it’s well worth the effort in the long run.

Quote of the day from my lifting partner: “Bret, all this glute stuff you have me doing is turning my girlfriend into a pervert. When I get out of the shower, she makes me stand there while she does physics experiments on my glutes.”

Don’t be overly envious of other lifters’ physiques and strength. Train for you and compete with yourself. If you train hard, eat well, and feel good, then give yourself a pat on the back.

A scientific individual exhibits open-mindedness, skepticism, curiosity, ingenuity, critical-mindedness, integrity, objectivity, and humility. In a day and age filled with quackery, pseudoscience, and logical fallacies, it can be difficult to remain respectful of those who don’t appear to be keen. Have patience with family, friends, and colleagues who may not exhibit the traits of a scientific person. We’re all human, we can all learn from each other, and we make more progress when we remain civil.

The “chest up” cue in the squat and deadlift is perfect for many lifters. These lifts load the spine in an axial manner while the torso is leaning forward, which leads to rounding if not buttressed by muscular effort to maintain good position. Usually, the “chest up” cue leads to great spinal posture when the loads get heavy and the reps approach failure. But there are indeed lifters who have very mobile spines and can overextend if left unchecked. For these individuals, the “chest up” cue can be problematic, and they need to also keep their “ribs down” so that they keep the spine and pelvis in fairly neutral positions. Different lifters require different cues!

Strength training is a form of “conditioning” in and of itself. Every wear a heart-rate monitor when performing dumbbell walking lunges, or barbell hip thrusts, or squats, or deadlifts, or dumbbell back extensions? Or even weighted chins or dips? If so, you’ll never doubt resistance training as a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT)! Paired supersets and medium-to-high rep ranges will amplify the effect if this is the goal. Don’t get me wrong, I like my Prowler sprints, hill sprints, jump roping, and barbell complexes just as much as the next guy, but not everyone needs to perform specialized high-intensity conditioning work. Weight training and plain old walking is a great combination. Excessive conditioning work can backfire and prevent strength gains, so make sure you’re not sabotaging your program with too much high intensity activity.

A new PR has a way of turning a crappy day into an amazing day.

Glute Training Feedback

“After following Bret’s advice for the past six months, my glutes have shaped up, my bodyfat is down 3.2% according to DEXA, I’ve increased my lean body mass and bone density, and fixed unilateral discrepancies in lean body mass. I can finally squat over my bodyweight with good form, and I’m hip thrusting with over 300 lbs week in and week out. Thanks Bret!” – Naomi

Capture demi2

“Before I started working out, my glutes were so weak that whenever I sat on a hard surface I felt like if I was sitting in two bones, it was really painful. But now, after I started working very hard on my glutes and doing isolated exercises, they completely changed. I no longer have a weak flat butt and I look and feel great!” – Yanelvi

3

Bret, as I guy who has been weight training for over a decade, I thought that the only way to get my glutes and rear chain strong was to pound them continuously with difficult movements 2 – 3 times a week. Without this routine, atrophy happened quickly and I would be back to square one in no time. I should have realized that meant I wasn’t giving them any stimulation. 

Fast forward to a week ago and I am starting the 30 day challenge thinking that it will be “cute”. The squats went from thigh killers to glute smashers after activating them via the right warmup and a few days of thrusts. Now I’m feeling them work when I’m doing a lot of activities and they get sore easily now. Thanks for doing what you do. – Brandon

Bret, just like everything it seems  thanks again for all the hip thrust help (and inventing it) In the past month I feel glutes on everything….just had to learn how to use em. Which is weird cause I’ve always had a big ol butt. I digress – Adam

Thanks @bretcontreras1 for your #strongcurves book – I’ll keep posting progress as it happens! This fella knows what he’s talking about…it’s not just about the #squats if you’re tryna #growthatbooty or even just strengthen and tone your whole body Photo on the left from November… Photo on the right is 2 months later in January – @mindbodysoulonthego

4

Hi Bret, I’m the old figure girl with awful hips/torn labrum/FAI. I’m a huge fan and am living proof that you can build a booty without heavy squatting. I’m 3 months shy of 45 yrs of age, and am ranked in the top 4 nationally in NPC Open figure class B. I’ve lost 35 pounds, then put 25 of it back on of muscle the good old fashioned way, through heavy ass lifting and eating like it’s my job. I didn’t pick up a weight until I was 40, having been a long distance runner for 20+ years. My legs were strong but my ass and hammies were non-existent. Throw in a complete ACL tear in 2009 with reconstruction and my right leg was gone, muscularly speaking. This in turn led me to strength training as a primary exercise, as my running days were over. 

5

I never had dedicated glute training until about one year ago…I always trained legs but never used specific glute isolation exercises. Then I saw the imbalance and realized I really needed to bring up my right quad and leg glute. I bought your book and with a new coach started hip thrusts, single leg glute bridges, Bulgarian split squats, lateral band walking, lying clam shells, cable glute kickbacks, smith sumo squats. I also use weighted prowler pushing/pulling for glutes now as well as sumo deads, all forms of deadlift, sumo smith squats, barbell/smith curtsy lunges. I don’t do ANY steady state cardio and eat about 1700-1800 cals daily. I’m 5’2 and 127 today, aiming for stage weight around 114 this summer for Jr. Nationals and or Team Universe where I expect to earn my IFBB status. Aim big, be big!!! 

6

I’ll be 45 June 25th, so I want to become an IFBB pro to prove it’s NEVER to late to start….women need to put down the pink dumbbells, hip thrust and EAT!!! I’ve had no lipo or enhancements to the lower body. All lifting and eating well.

7

Hope this helps you sell a few books and spread the message, because it really has made a difference for me and I’m thrilled to show and tell you the results! I’m still a work in progress, but pretty dammed happy with what I’ve accomplished this far! Using your glute guide and dedicated glute training without heavy squatting – I’ve transformed my glutes! – Trisha

8

Random Thoughts

Hi Fitness Friends! Here are 11 good articles, 4 good videos, and some glute training feedback to kickstart your week.

Good Articles

Here are some good articles from the past couple of weeks.

The Muscle Pump: Potential Mechanisms and Applications for Enhancing Hypertrophic Adaptations

Click HERE (click on the pdf button at the link for the full paper) to see an article my good friend Brad Schoenfeld and I recently got published, in The Strength and Conditioning Journal, on da Pump.

Arnold

Does training heavier lead to more hypertrophy?

HERE‘s a great article from Chris Beardsley.

Does training to muscular failure lead to greater hypertrophy?

HERE‘s another great one from Chris Beardsley.

Big Time Fitness Peeps

Click HERE to see Greatist.com lay down the Top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Professionals, and HERE to see Jason Maxwell’s Top 40 Fitness Professionals he predicts will make a huge impact in 2014. It’s nice to be included on these lists and to see many of my esteemed colleagues on the lists as well.

However, the reason why I’m sharing these links is mainly because I’m very glad to see my friends Brad Schoenfeld, Alan Aragon, and Layne Norton appearing on the lists – proving that science and evidence based fitness is gaining steam! Last year none of them were included so this is very promising!

If you’re not following these peeps on Twitter, click HERE to follow Brad, HERE to follow Alan, and HERE to follow Layne.

5 Strategies for Choosing Exercises

Brad Schoenfeld discusses 5 strategies you should use when deciding what exercises to use in your training. Check it out HERE

How to Build a Bully: Inside the Stanford Football Strength Program

Click HERE to take a look inside Stanford Football’s strength training program.

Increase Athleticism in 6 Minutes

Check out an article I had published on T-Nation  teaching you to how to increase your athleticism in 6 minutes a day. Click HERE to check it out – it’s just like my Five Things You Should Do Everyday blogpost with a few updates.

Woman goes to the gym for 100 days and makes this timelapse video

If THIS video doesn’t inspire you then clearly you’re not human!

You Know You’re a Meathead When…

HERE‘s a hilarious article by Ben Bruno. At some point in my life I could relate to every one of these.

Here’s A Horrifying Picture Of What Sleep Loss Will Do To You

Below is a pic from THIS article.

SleepDeprivation

Effects of Load on Good Morning Kinematics and EMG Activity 

Those of you in the Phoenix area; Andrew Vigotsky is recruiting participants for a research study being performed at Arizona State University. If you are interested please contact Andrew via the email given in the flyer below.

vigotsky study

Good Videos

Here are some good videos from the past couple of weeks.

Favorite Exercises to Build That Butt

Here is Lola, a Strong Curves lady, performing her favorite glute exercises

Chen Wei-Ling – 375 lb Raw Squat @ 101 lbs

Chen Wei-Ling cruises through an easy 375 lb RAW squat at just 101 lbs of bodyweight. WOW!

 Konstantin Konstantinov  Pulling Sumo For The First Time Ever

Here Konstantin does sumo block pulls for the first time ever and absolutely crushes 940lbs…Not bad!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f-8LsnoOqo#t=15

 Anatomy of Barbell Hip Thrust

Here is the anatomy of the barbell hip thrust – the creator did a great job with this. If anyone is interested, HERE is a free trial to the product (NOT an affiliate link).

Glute Training Feedback

Here is some good feedback on glute training from the past couple of weeks.

Last year at this time, I had no idea how much running across Bret Contreras‘s name in a blog post could change my body and my outlook on working out and life in general.  Bret, you totally pushed me out of my comfort zone time and time again but it has made me physically and mentally stronger.  Instead of being the typical frumpy 40 something mom I am empowered, confident, and happy.  My kiddos take notice of this which in turn is a huge gift I am passing on to them.  Positive and confident parents help make positive and confident kiddos!  I have also been pleasantly surprised and sometimes shocked by people who approach me in the gym.  At the beginning they were skeptical to say the least but now I often hear “whatever you’re doing it’s really working for you.” or “you’ve changed your whole body composition!”  Although I have cussed your name quite frequently I do appreciate you Bret!  – Tammy

The Get Glutes program has been so effective in glute development, I am really content with where I am at, I am at month 6(had been lifting heavy for 2 years prior so had a good base). I have a question on maintenance vs gaining more muscle.  If I am happy with where I am at now in glutes development should I just keep doing the same in terms of weight loading?  Should I not aim to add more weight to my lifts?  I don’t think I want to put on more size, my 7 year old has already commented several times about my growing behind lol, yes the program is that effective!  – Orchide

 Hi Bret! Just wanted to say Thank You for your advice last year re my glute bridges and hip thrusts!  And I thought I’d share a cheeky (get it!) progress pic from last years work.  The first pic is April when I bought the shorts, the second pic is October, our second trip to Turkey last year!  I’m thrilled with the results and am super excited for what I can achieve this coming  year! Thanks again, keep up the good work, I do love to read it!! Happy New Year! – .ViV. PS, I got a new pb of 100kg squat on NYE!! 😀

random thoughts

 Thank You! You, Kiefer, Jimmy Moore and Rob Wolf helped me reshape my booty in 12 weeks! Thrusters! – Christin 

rt2

I can officially hip thrust 300 lbs!!!!! Woot woot! Challenge yourself!!!! You’ll be happy you did. I was using 90lbs this time last year. – Deanna

rt3

Hi Bret! I’m on month 11 of Get Glutes, and I’ve done 3 sessions per week all the way through. My friends and husband have noticed a huge difference in my physique since starting the program – better muscle definition all over and a much better booty. In addition, I was having pain in my hip, sciatica in the same leg, and pain between my shoulder blades (probably from carrying kids), but all of those issues have been completely resolved because of this program. Just one year ago, I had not done any strength training… only running, yoga and a plyometrics class.  Now, I can hip thrust 105 kg (x12), squat 40 kg (x5), and deadlift 50 kg (x5)!  Most importantly, I feel stronger, I’m pain-free, and I love the way I look. Thank you so much! – Laura, 39

rt4

Hi Bret, I just wanted to say thank you for the amazing amount of quality information you put on your blog. I’m a research-holic with almost anything I’m interested in, and your blog is like heaven! Haha! I’ve actually shown my friends your blog — and they’re hooked now, too. Also, I just wanted to thank you for writing about daily training. I had read about daily training before, but didn’t know what that would look like in my own workouts (I had read articles re: powerlifters etc.). Thank you for spelling it out for the little people like me. I have seen amazing results in just a few weeks! I wish I had taken “before” pictures. I’ve also been incorporating barbell hip thrusts and now my glute training is killing me (in the best way). I’ve never felt such a burn in my glutes, so thank you! Keep the articles coming! – Alexandra

I just want to say thank you! For the man hours you have put into all the research, tests, trials, blogs, etc. I am simply amazed at the progress that I am seeing! 5 months in, and the results are there. I thought for so long that I was just cursed with not having a nice booty… your tools, tricks, and knowledge have helped me to prove that wrong! I have totally improved all other areas of my lifting regimen as well. Thank you and a huge thank you from my Husband!! – Sarah

Random Thoughts

Hi Fitness Friends!!! I’ve got some great content for you today!

Article of the Year

Biosignature Reviewed – Are Hormones the Key to Weight Loss? 

I’ve been wanting someone to review the literature pertaining to this topic for a very long time. In THIS article, Menno Henslemans reviews the literature and science pertaining to hormones and weightloss. It’s a great read. Kudos to Menno for taking the time to write this!

Other Good Articles

Is Postexercise Soreness a Valid Indicator of Muscular Adaptations?  

The NSCA made Brad Schoenfeld and my recent article free! Click HERE to access the free pdf!

13 Questions for The Glute Guy 

Michael Zweifel asked me some excellent questions in THIS interview.

How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science

Click HERE to read an awesome article by a scientist who chooses to no longer write for Nature, Cell, and Science because he feels that they’re impeding scientific progress.

Video of Dan Gable’s Home Gym

Click HERE to see a video of Dan Gable’s home gym (the one he trained in as a wrestler throughout his career)

Significant progression of load on the musculoskeletal system with extremely high loads, with rapid weekly weight gains, using the Anatoly Gravitational System, in a 10-week training period 

I don’t mean to be a hater, but this is one of the silliest training programs I’ve ever seen. Sure lifters doubled their strength because of the short range movements. Click HERE for open access.

Deepak Chopra Responds to Pseudoscience Allegations. Jerry Coyne Fires Back 

I enjoyed THIS dialogue. I’m not a fan of pseudoscience.

Motivations (Science-Based Medicine)

I also enjoyed THIS dialogue. I’m not a fan of alternative or complimentary medicine.

3 Bodyweight Exercises You Should Try For Glutes, Shoulders, And Legs

Nia Shanks gives some great advice in THIS article.

SHR # 1320 :: The Effects of Protein Timing On Strength And Hypertrophy PLUS Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle

Click HERE to listen to an excellent podcast with Brad Schoenfeld (and also Tom Venuto)

RA041 | Dr. Greg Lehman The Body Mechanic: Injuries, Posture and Treatments 

Click HERE to listen to an excellent podcast with Greg Lehman

The Art and Science of Dealing with Pain

Click HERE to listen to an excellent podcast with Jonathan Fass

What Is Strong? Real World Strength Standards For Raw, Natural Lifters 

Click HERE to see strength standards for raw, natural lifters

Lifter Profile: Bob Peoples

Click HERE to see how Bob Peoples trained; the first dude to ever deadlift 700 lbs

Good Videos

Dan Gable’s Home Gym

How to Perform Band Hip Thrusts Without a Hip Thruster

In Klokov We Trust!

Orlando Green Pulls 843 

The Glutes Talk – Mothers, Have You Had the Talk With Your Son Yet? 

People Are Awesome! 2013 (this is amazing stuff!)

Placebo/Nocebo Effect 


Glute Training Feedback

Greetings Bret, I’m an amateur (semi pro) kickboxer and this is my testimonial to you. Feel free to use it on your website. I felt obligated to thank you for the all the research and the material you’ve published on hip strengthening and glute development, since I’ve personally benefited so much from it.

About a year ago I reached a point where my legs, particularly quads, were well developed to such a degree that my overall speed hindered. Throwing my giant legs around would also take a heavy toll on my endurance, which is crucial in kickboxing.

A female friend of mine who was on a quest to make her ass bigger introduced me to your material. I didn’t share her enthusiasm for a big behind, but what I’ve read got me thinking about my overall hip strength, which I thought was being taken care of with deadlifts, lunges, and all the kicking I’ve been doing.

Skip 6 months later (with hip thrusting twice a week), I couldn’t be happier with myself. Why? You of all people know that a punch/kick begins at the hips. Quick hip ‘thrust’ (if you will) carries the rest of the movement. Today, right before I launch a kick, my hip moves almost with a snapping motion, which does wonders for my leg speed. I feel powerful man! 

I’ll never stop doing the hip-thrust…even if it makes my ass noticeably bigger (huge understatement!). Though I see many woman find it attractive.

Best, Alex

glutes

Hi Bret! Just wanted to let you know about the hip thrust competition last Saturday. I won in the over female 60kg category which was great (although I was only up against one person haha) but I have to say the hip thruster is amazing, it was so comfortable to use. Having to go back to using my bench at the gym is going to suck – Lola

Hello Bret, Yesterday, I purchased your book Strong Curves, and finished it in one day. I could not put it down.  I have been searching for something that would help me with gaining lower body mass and I think I have found it in your book.  Before purchasing your book, I tried hip thrusts for the first time on December 14th (last Wednesday); I was able to complete 3 sets of 6 at 135 pounds.  On December 16th, I completed 3 sets of 8 at 135 pounds.  On December 18th, I completed 4 sets of 6 at 150 pounds; and, today, I completed 3 sets of 6 at 175 pounds.  I have never completed any lift that I could feel in my glutes the way I do now.  When I measured myself on December 19th. I found I had gained .5 inches in my hips! I thought it was a fluke so I measured again today and it remains.  I am so excited to begin the Gluteal Goddess Program for Advanced Lifters. – Jessica

Just wanted to say Thank you for all you do!!! I am a believer and I am obsessed and I love my changes!!!!!!! And I will never go back to the way I used to work out!!
Sincerely, Lauren

hip thrust

On month 13 now, and just wanted to say that I am *seriously* enjoying this weight-lifting journey.  Every month I love the workouts and the variation each month. Now that I am no longer focusing on having such a restrictive diet I am much more focused on the workouts and life is just so much better. No more cheating and shaming as my on-plan meals are now enjoyable while still supporting my training/fat loss. My arse has put on another half inch in the past month and just generally feels enormous – nearly 39 inches now WAHOO!   

Thank you for this amazing program and these muscles!!!! Going to post more progress pics in a couple of months – excited to show you guys my progress! – Kristen