Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

Hi friends! I have 7 things to share with you today:

BC on Instagram

I just started up an Instagram account HERE. Please follow me if you’d like.

Instagram

30 Days of Thrusting Challenge Graphic

Kellie made this last night since my graphic from yesterday’s post was so pathetic! Click HERE for a pdf.

Thrusting Challenge

Erin Stern’s 9 Year Glute Transformation

Many of my female followers are big fans of Ms. Figure Olympia Erin Stern. I recently saw this pic on her Instagram account from several months ago.

Erin Stern

Many women want overnight glute transformations. This one took nine years of hard work and effort. Each month the glutes will look better and better, but it’s important to have long term perspective.

40 Minute Podcast on Glutes

Armi Legge just interviewed me on glutes HERE. Seriously non-stop glute questions all the way through!

More Booty Transformation Testimonials 

I received my copy of Strong Curves last week and it is so, so wonderful.  I love your honesty, no-nonsense attitude about nutrition, and of course, the training regimen. I began incorporating hipthrusts and bridges into my workouts based on reading your emails about two months ago, and my glutes are rounder and fuller.  I feel that various social media has brainwashed women into thinking squats are the be-all, end-all move for building glutes…you have confirmed my suspicion that this is not the case! – Nicole

I had been going to a boot strength/cardio boot camp class at a local gym for 8months Oct-May 3x/week. In June of this year I quit attending boot camp decided to try your 30day glutes challenge. I wanted quicker results to get rid of my cellulite and to get my glutes to lift and salute. I started the challenge with just my own body weight and focused on proper form. Once I felt confident doing the high reps of the hips thrusts and deep squatting, I added a barbell. I became addicted to the soreness I don’t think I ever felt on my glute muscles before. For the 2nd 30day glutes challenge I continued to add more weight to some of the exercises. My glutes feel like I have gained more muscle now my cellulite is a lot less visible back there. The booty is definitely more rounder and firmer after completing your both June and July’s 30day challenges. I will forever be grateful, Thankyou!  I did was able to hip thrust 105×4 last night!! I’m pumped!! Can’t wait to show you my results in a few weeks!! I can’t stop smiling. – Edith

Capture

Yesterday my friend and I stayed at a resort. We were at the pool and I noticed that these ladies kept looking over towards us. Eventually one walked over and said that they were all admiring my booty and that it’s amazing! Lol. Then these guys sitting next to us after a bit leaned over and told me that I win the best ass award!! Lol. Then his wife started crying and got mad a ME!! I was like wtf!!! Thanks for the added booty in just a few months of being on Strong Curves! – Allie

Hi Bret and your lovely associates Kellie & Marianne! I just finished the 12 week Gluteal Goddess Advanced Workout and thought it’s time for some feedback. I have gone from 40 kilos to 105 on the hip thrust. Not bad for a woman of 43 weighing 50 kilos! I even managed to trash the padding on a bench at the gym;-)

The results on my upper body isn’t quite as impressive. From 20 to 27.5 kilos on the bench press. Still doing three x three chin-ups but in the beginning I didn’t have the courage to do them in the gym. Now I walk over to the guys and ask if I can do them in between their sets:-) This has given me the courage to stand my ground in other men dominated areas outside of the gym as well!

I really liked the book Strong Curves and learned a lot from it. By going through the workout program I have learned how it’s built up and I really like how it gets my glutes active and just a tiny bit sore on rest days. Like many others I trained like the guys before with only one leg day a week. I got results from that training too, can’t deny that, but not even close to the astonishing strength I built up in the 4 months it took me to complete the 12 weeks Goddess program!

I guess I’m starting over with the same program from the beginning now, with the addition of classic dead-lifts since I really missed them. Nothing makes me feel as strong as doing them 😉

Thank you so, so much for your professional approach to women’s training! Love, Karin Glisell – Sweden

BIOMECHANICS OR NECROMECHANICS? OR HOW TO INTERPRET BIOMECHANICAL STUDIES

THIS is a cool paper by Richard Brand, MD. Here’s the abstract:

The field of biomechanics is inextricably linked with orthopaedic surgery: loads and load distribution play a major role in the problems we treat and in the success and failure of many of our treatments. Nonetheless, despite powerful investigational tools, I would argue biomechanics has made a relatively minor impact in clinical practice primarily because most studies fail to account for the major distinction between living and non-living systems: adaptability. While any study requires a clear question or hypothesis or goal, without accounting for adaptability and tissue tolerance, these studies might well be termed “necromechanical.” These studies will always have limited clinical relevance unless they contain several key features: 1.) A choice of a mechanical parameter which is arguably a surrogate for relevant biological behavior; 2.) A set of loading regimens which arguably represent the entire range of loadings experienced in vivo; 3.) An explicit discussion of tissue tolerance to the mechanical perturbations of the study; 4.) When appropriate (i.e., the question relates to longer-term effects), an explicit exploration of tissue adaptation over time. Without meeting these requirements, any biomechanical study is suspect and requires interpretation with great caution. When meeting these requirements, biomechanics can provide powerful tools to explain the function of the body and to predict the success or failure of treatments prior to using them on patients.

Barbell Glute Bridge Sliding Solution

Many lifters slide backward when performing barbell glute bridges. Here are a couple of solutions to prevent this from happening:

That’s all for today my fitness friends! Have a great week.

Random Thoughts

Greetings Fitness Friends!

Here’s another random blogpost from you. This week I’m including more testimonials, sharing good articles and services, and showing videos of incredible feats of strength. Here you go:

Book of Bad Arguments

HERE is a cool link to a book of bad arguments. Will somebody please pass this along to the entire body of YouTube commentors and S&C forumites?

David Kinsbury (Hugh Jackman’s Trainer) Sets the Record Straight

Click HERE to see David Kingsbury (Hugh Jackman’s trainer) chime in. The load was 462 lbs on his 5th set of 5 reps. It feels good to be right!

Hugh Jackman

Get Glutes Youtube Page

Below are a couple of recent YouTube videos that Kellie Davis and Marianne Kane recorded. Feel free to subscribe to the channel if you like this stuff!

Strong Curves FB Group (SC Ladies)

Around six weeks ago, some ladies took it upon themselves to start up a Strong Curves Facebook page. There are 357 members already! It’s a very nice community, so if some of you are looking for support then join the group.

Training With Purpose Isn’t Religion or Politics

I really liked THIS Elitefts article as it echoed some of my own thoughts.

Eric Spoto (Strongest Bencher on the Planet) Benches 315 x 45 Reps!

Ben Bruno’s Athlete Kevin Busting Out the Most Impressive Display of Single Leg Strength I’ve Ever Seen

Alan Aragon’s Research Review

My friend Alan Aragon has a badass research review service. (no affiliate link) that focuses on research surrounding diet/nutrition, body composition/fat loss, and hypertrophy. The article he wrote this month was so awesome that it inspired me to promote his service as I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on my blog before. If you’re interested in physique enhancement and nutrition, then I highly recommend his service.

Intriguing Article on Obesity

Having stumbled upon some of the research that David Berreby mentioned in THIS article myself, I was found the article quite fascinating and well written.

Gracyanne Barbosa – Brazilian Booty Queen

A Brazilian fan forwarded me Gracyanne’s Facebook link. Apparently she’s a big deal in Brazil, due to her giant glutes. In some of the pics her glutes look fake, as if she got implants, but in others they look real. Her strength is amazing so they might indeed be legit.

At any rate, she has a ton of exercise pictures on her FB page and I was pleased to see her performing a wide variety of axial, anteroposterior, lateral, and rotary exercises in order to hit the glutes from multiple angles. However, I didn’t see any barbell hip thrusts or barbell glute bridges being performed. I hope Gracyanne’s trainer starts incorporating these with her in time – I bet within a few sessions she’d be repping out with 315 lbs! She’d need a thick bar pad to cushion the hips though – that makes a huge difference.

Gracyanne Barbosa

Chris Beardsley’s Blog

For those of you who are interested in Sports Science, make sure you’re subscribed to Chris’s blog. He regularly puts out incredible articles showing detailed graphs and article reviews.

HERE is his latest one on the physiological responses that a bodybuilder experiences when dieting down for a competition.

Good Articles on the Topic of Pain

One of these days I’m going to write another article on the topic of pain. Though I had great intentions in my last article/video on pain, I can do better (my grasp on the topic wasn’t quite up to par). Until then, HERE and HERE are a couple of great articles on pain for those interested in this topic.

Interview by Robbie Bourke on Various Topics in S&C

Click HERE to listen to a recent 90-minute podcast where Robbie Bourke interviewed me on various topics surrounding the strength & conditioning industry.

Does the Pump Really Build Muscle? Podcast with Brad Schoenfeld and Yours Truly

Click HERE to listen to a recent 60-minute podcast on Superhuman Radio where Carl Lanore interviewed Brad Schoenfeld and I regarding hypertrophy training and the pump.

Hip Thrust til You Die!

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Strong Curves and Get Glutes: The Feedback is Phenomenal!

Just over two weeks ago I posted some testimonials (along with before/after pics) for Strong Curves and Get Glutes in an article about glutes HERE. I’ve been trying to consistently keep track of the positive feedback. It is very pleasing to me that after almost seven years of performing these methods and four years of promoting them, they’re really starting to catch on to the mainstream. Here is some of the praise I’ve received over the past couple of weeks: 

Just want to say that in TWO workouts my bum changed! I have been training for years. The hip thrust and activations are genius. Thank you! – Anat

My husband says nightly prayers for you Bret! – Verena

Hi Bret! First, thank you so much for the information, you have been sharing! A couple of months I got a back injury which meant goodbye to heavy squats and deadlifts. I found your blog, incorporated exercises like glute bridges, hip thrusts and donkey kicks in my routine and have to admit – my glutes have become rounder and more shapely than before with no more heavy (and painful) squatting. Plus, my thighs are becoming a bit more proportional and my knees never liked deep squats anyway. So massive thank you for that! – Mara

I had a case of pancake you know what I used to work the heck out of my legs, thinking that I was doing something for my glutes. End result-flat butt and overly sore legs. That is why I love this program so much. It is well thought out by the best trainers ever. – Tara

I never dreamed that I could change my glutes or my legs especially being in my 40s.  I’ve always had the work ethic and commitment but apparently never the right program.  GG is like a 50% off workout program–I’m working out half the amount of time I had before, I no longer have sore, achey joints, and I’m changing my body!  Sometimes I just want to hit some ladies over the head and say, “JUST TRY IT!!!!!”.  It looks like an intimidating program but once I got into it I realized it is such a huge confidence builder.  It’s empowering. – Tammy

My butt is getting hyoooooge too, haha. But in a good way. J – Tina

This is my first day on Get Glutes but not my first day gluting. My name is Lucy. I discovered Strong Curves nearly two months ago, right when I’d injured my hip flexor badly. As somebody who has loved strength training since high school, believing I’d have to stay away from the weights was a killer. I emailed Bret for advice on how to train the lower body without aggravating the injury. He confirmed that I’d have to stay away from heavy squats and lunges, and I assumed that all my hard work would be lost — my butt would turn to jello.

Not so! Lo and behold, within a few weeks my butt was feeling more solid than ever. Without squats!  It still cooks my brain to think about it.  My jeans started fitting tighter, too, but my thighs had slimmed down a bit. That meant it was all in the butt. (TMI, perhaps, but my boyfriend’s reactions seem to confirm this theory … and he didn’t even know I was on this glute journey!) – Lucy

I’m not generally one to write to trainers but your Strong Curves program is amazing. I’ve always been the girl with no butt and assumed I would be plagued with a small backside forever. Well not anymore. From May to Aug of this year I have put on approximately 2.5 inches on my backside. I can glute bridge 265 (just got there today) and I have women approaching me constantly asking about my backside. (I am prior military so i have always been fit but my bottom half has always lacked something. I was thankful for the baggy uniforms.) Thank you for your tireless research. Your book was not only entertaining and informative but also inspiring. I am attaching a before and after pic of my current progress but will keep going. Please note, I gave birth a year and a half ago so this has been an interesting journey with my body. You have helped on countless levels. – Danae

I am addicted and have completed the Strong Curves program. I hip thrust 315 pounds have super nice glutes! In addition, my waist has shrunk 2″ so I’m in my best shape ever. I competed in IFBB bikini a year ago and wish I had used your program then :(. I’ve received so many compliments that I have given your link to more people than I can count! – Evelyn

Three years ago I started experiencing SI Joint problems and had to cut out a lot of different exercises including BB squats, RDLs, and ab work. I changed to the leg press since it took my back out of the equation and I became extremely strong on it–at one point my PR was 400# for 4 reps!!!

Fast forward…

January 2012 we started an entire house remodel which I coordinated and ran for about 10 months. I had to cut my workouts down to bare minimum and my goal was to maintain during this time. When I don’t work out I drop weight very quickly and of course that means I lose muscle (that hard earned muscle) very quickly. In July I left my beloved gym for a child friendly gym, changed my workout to a traditional body building mass gains program designed for men which was also designed to be done at home w/ minimal equipment (no bb required). Since this was a guy’s program it hit the upper body really hard and the legs not so hard. Now don’t get me wrong. The leg work out was tough–step up into reverse lunge type of stuff–and every exercise for upper and lower body was 3-4 sets w/ 15, 12, 8, & 8 reps. All of my joints KILLED me. It was way too much volume for me to handle.

When I finished the program I had a very strong upper body–the strongest I had ever been actually but I didn’t realize how much leg strength I had lost.

Last night I dug out my training log and this is what I found:

In late January 2013 I started an online program with a body builder. This was the first time I had done the leg press and leg extensions in 6-8 months (the last time was when I was doing my “bare minimum” during the renovation time and I had already lost some of my strength). I was so disappointed, sad, frustrated, and angry w/ myself when I did this first workout. My leg press was down to 95 pounds for 15 reps (WHAT?!?!) and my leg extension was down to 70 pounds for 8 reps where it had been around 120 for 6-8 reps. There was no one to blame except myself. I had consistently put in my time and effort at the gym for the last 6 months but the program I had chosen didn’t lead me in the direction I wanted to go. And honestly, I wanted to finish the program to say “I did it!” (yes, a very wrong mindset!) which I could say that but look where it got my legs

Yesterday…

I’m in Month 6 and yesterday I surprised myself when I used 30 pound dumb bells for reverse lunges and I felt like I could have gone heavier. Then at the end of the workout I added on leg extensions for the first time since February. I did 2 sets of 8. The first set was at 90 pounds and the other set at 110. I honestly hadn’t realized that my legs were getting stronger. I had become so focused on my glutes I had totally overlooked the strength gains in my legs! I wanted to break out in the “I’m back!!!!!” happy dance … but I refrained.

For everyone who worries about losing strength while doing these glute-focused, full body workouts…I’ll just say have some faith in the program and the trainers and you won’t be let down. – Tammy

And here’s a video testimonial:

Keep Spreading the Glute Gospel my Friends!!!

That’s all for this week. Have a great rest of the weekend! – BC

Eason

Random Thoughts

Hi Fitness Friends! I have 15 things to share with you today:

The Beard is Gone!

It was fun while it lasted, but the beard had to go. I definitely looked a lot cooler as Mr. T / Zangief – now I just feel like a little boy. I think most ladies prefer me beardless though, including my girlfriend.

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How Pregnancy Changes a Runner’s Body – VERY IMPORTANT INFO!

THIS is an excellent NY Times article with input from an outstanding professor (Heiderscheit) regarding the physical changes that take place in women following pregnancy.

Essentially, the pelvis is in greater anterior tilt and also laterally tilts to a greater degree during running. Here’s a quote from the article:

“None of this was surprising,” Dr. Heiderscheit says. “Pregnancy and labor stretch the muscles and connective tissues in the abdomen,” which allows the slightly unmoored pelvis to tilt and sway. Unless a woman strengthens the affected muscles after pregnancy, the tissues remain stretched.

Relying on that gym standby, crunches, won’t do the trick, though, Dr. Heiderscheit says. They don’t activate the small muscles deep within the abdomen. Instead, he suggests pulling the belly up and in multiple times and also “imagining that you’re trying to cut off the flow of urine.”

If you’ve been following my blog and Youtube channel over the years, then you know that there’s not a single S&C coach who has emphasized pelvic strength and posture like I have. It’s very important!!! Click HERE & HERE for more training info along these lines.

Gluteus Maximus Webinar

Chris Beardsley and I created an informative webinar on the gluteus maximus for Mike Reinold. You can’t buy it outright though; you need to be subscribed to the monthly service in order to watch it. Click HERE (not an affiliate link) to check it out.

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Health & Fitness Documentary – Needs Donations

My friend Elsbeth is undertaking a project to film a realistic health & fitness documentary. Click HERE to check it out, and if you have some spare $ please donate to her cause.

Hanging with Girls Gone Strong

Last week I finally got a chance to meet Molly Galbraith in person, along with Alli McKee (I’ve met her twice) from the Girls Gone Strong in Las Vegas where I presented at the NSCA National Conference on Sprint Biomechanics.

Molly & Alli from GGS

Molly & Alli from GGS

Barbell Glute Bridge: 101 Reps with 115 lbs!

Here is Derrick Blanton performing a four-and-a-half minute non-stop set of barbell glute bridges. Talk about serious glute pump! I like the set up Derrick uses here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5-14bxnZNo

Great Article on Slow vs. Fast Eccentrics

HERE Dan Ogborn writes an excellent article on speed of eccentrics. I agree with his conclusion – you don’t necessarily need to accentuate the negative component for maximal results.

Kenta Bell Thrustin’ Away

Here’s a video of Olympic Triple Jumper Kenta Bell performing barbell hip thrusts. Some strong glutes on this guy!

Train Like A Man, Look Like One Sexy Lady

HERE is a great article by Melissa of MissyJillFit on women’s training.

How the Old Time Strongmen Trained

HERE is a good article about the old-time strongmen and the lifts they performed.

Halteres for Standing Long Jump Distance

As early as 708 BC, Olympians were using halteres (hand-held weights) for broad jumping. These 2-9 kg stone or lead weights allowed the athletes to jump as much as 17 cm. See THIS abstract for more info. My buddy Matt Brughelli (research professor at AUT University) has recently conducted some research on haltere training and broad jumping, and I’m very interested to see the results.

Koklyaev pulls nearly 800 lbs x 9 Reps!

Usain Bolt with a recent 200m Win

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bCeLUgsPeg

Was this Dude Born to Squat? Best Squat Structure Ever!

Raw Bench Pressing Champion Eric Spoto Going from 0-600 in 30 Seconds

Random Thoughts

Hello my Fitness Friends! I have some good information to share with you today:

My Three Training Facilities:

Lately I feel pretty spoiled. I’ve been training at three different places.

Gene’s Badass Basement in Scottsdale

First, I have Gene’s kick ass basement, which is better than most gyms. Check out all the goodies we have:

Revolution Training Systems in Tempe

Second, I train a few times per week at Revolution Training Systems. In addition to having the strongest pound for pound lifters in Arizona, Revolution Training offers excellent classes as well. Below is a video of a bootcamp class, and my friend Keats Snideman is teaching a kettlebell conditioning class there as well.

Bret’s Bedroom in Phoenix

And third, I have my bedroom. I recently renovated it!

Bedroom

With this simple set up, here are all the things I can do:

Back squats, box squats, front squats, Bulgarian split squats, barbell reverse lunges

Deadlifts, sumo deads, RDLs, rack pulls, good mornings

Hip thrusts, barbell glute bridges

Bench press, incline press, close grip bench press, military press, weighted dips

Bent over rows, weighted chins, inverted rows, one arm lever rows, easy bar curls

In fact, my girlfriend Diana just did her first workout in quite some time. I had her do one set of squats (135 x 5), one set of deadlifts (135 x 5) and one set of barbell glute bridges (135 x 20). She’s in school now and doesn’t have much time to train so I’m going to see how she likes HIT training (one set of a handful of exercises twice per week). Gotta keep that booty!

Most Popular Article Yet: Training for Maximum Muscle Growth Explained

I was shocked – the article I wrote last week on hypertrophy surpassed my all-time most read article. This surprised me because it was a very scientific article. Often S&C people get turned off by these types of articles so I’m happy to see that this was so well-received!

Louie Talking Shop

If you have an hour to spare, listen to Louie ramble!

Hatfield Talkin’ Shop

If you have another hour to spare, listen to Fred ramble.

Click HERE for the podcast.

Fred

Fred Hatfield doing his thang

My High School Football Program was Ahead of its Time

I recently stumbled upon this on a friend’s Facebook page. Check it out – the head football coach from my alma mater put this together in the early 1990’s: Shadow Mountain

Pumped Glutes – 100 Barbell Glute Bridge Reps with Just the 45 lb Bar

In our Get Glutes program, we (Kellie Davis, Marianne Kane, and me) recently programmed max reps on the barbell glute bridge with just the barbell. A couple of members informed me that they’ve never experienced such pumped glutes in their lives. I think the highest number of reps achieved was 70. Anyone think they can get 100?

Is This Heaven?

Heaven

Last Month’s Strength & Conditioning Research Review Service

Chris Beardsley and I have been scouring even more journals lately for our research review service. Last month, we downloaded a total of 370 articles from over 100 journals that we felt were worthy of reviewing. From there, we had to narrow it down to the 50 best, which is tough work. The end result though is the  most comprehensive and up-to-date science for our subscribers.

Top 20 Most Influential People in the Fitness Field

Several weeks back powerlifter/teacher/writer Tim Henriques created a list of the top twenty most influential fitness folks HERE. I was very proud to be included!

Congrats to Charles Staley on his 510 Deadlift at 198 lbs!

A couple of weeks ago my training partner Charles set a PR on the deadlift at 53 years old! And he’s lost 15 pounds in the past year too.

Charles pullin' 510 lbs!

Charles pullin’ 510 lbs!

Prospective Sports Science Students – Check out ETSU

Eastern Tennessee State University has an incredible staff and sports science program. Check it out HERE if you’re interested.

Sorinex Summer Strong

Two weekends ago I presented in S. Carolina for Sorinex Summer Strong VI and had a blast. I think it was my best presentation to date as I had tons of equipment to perform demonstrations and teach exercises, and the crowd asked excellent questions. I was very happy to meet Zach Even-Esh in person, I’ve been watching his videos for many years. Here’s Nick Tumminello, Zach, and me:

Nick Zach Bret

And here’s Joe Kenn, head strength coach of the Carolina Panthers, and me. Joe is a top-notch strength coach who I respect a lot.

Joe Kenn and Bret Contreras

Andrey Belyaev Beats Ed Coan’s Sumo Deadlift Record

Belyaev just broke Ed Coan’s 30-year deadlift record in the 198 lb weight class, pulling 862 pounds! Check out this motherfuckin’ form!

Here’s Ed’s legendary pull – check out this form too. Incredible!

Klokov Dimitry – Holy Hell! 

Kendrick Farris – Squat Jerking 473 lbs!

Two Excellent Hypertrophy Articles

HERE is one by Dr. Jacob Wilson on Overtraining/Overreaching in relation to hypertrophy.

And HERE is one on tempo by Dan Ogborn on Tempo in relation to hypertrophy.

That’s all fitness peeps! Have a great weekend.