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.

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How to Increase Your Squat

“Friends don’t let friends skip leg day”

It’s become somewhat of a running joke in the fitness community to poke fun at guys with massive upper bodies supported by a pair of scrawny legs. Lifters tend to train the muscles they can see in the mirror, which results in weekly workouts consisting of nothing but bench press and curls. While this may result in a physique that looks decent to the untrained eye, especially when viewed from the front while wearing sweatpants, it will look imbalanced, asymmetrical, and weak to those more versed in bodybuilding. And when it comes to athletics, without a good set of wheels, you’ll be left in the dust. Being a great athlete has much to do with transferring forces, either from the ground into an implement, or from the ground into an opponent. The stronger your base of support (legs), the more force you can create and the more athletic you’ll become, assuming power and coordination remain unchanged (they’ll likely increase with strength training).

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Coming Soon – 2 x 4: Maximum Strength

Coming soon - March 10

Hello fitness friends,

I have some very exciting news to share with you.

My new 2 x 4: Maximum Strength program is near completion.

I will be releasing this program on March 10th.

Coming soon – March 10

I can’t tell you how long and hard I’ve worked on this. In the past year and a half, I have:

  • Joined the strongest gym in Arizona (Revolution Training System) to mingle and talk shop with powerlifters, strongmen, and weightlifters
  • Read hundreds of journal articles on maximum strength training
  • Conducted an extensive analysis of anecdotal knowledge of maximal strength training by reading and watching hundreds of articles and videos of leading experts in the fields of powerlifting, strongman, weightlifting, and general strength training
  • Analyzed hours upon hours of video footage of elite strongmen, powerlifters, and weightlifters
  • Analyzed every popular maximal strength training program to note similarities and differences in program design variables
  • Formulated The Glute Lab to conduct numerous experiments using EMG, force plate, and video capture
  • Piloted the program with experienced lifters and powerlifters
  • Revamped and modified the 2 x 4 program for 18 straight months until I was finally satisfied

The program will include a ton of goodies and bonuses, including:

  • The 14-week 2 x 4: Maximal Strength Training Program
  • A quick-reference guide to over 140 exercises, with full descriptions, pictures, cues, and video tutorials for every single exercise
  • A quick-reference guide for the 36 safest exercises, with full descriptions, pictures, cues, and video tutorials for every single exercise
  • A Cues for Big Lifts document discussing the best cues for the squat, bench press, and deadlift exercises, with video links to an extensive video tutorial for each big lift
  • An extensive FAQ manual
  • An extensive How to Warm Up guide with pictures and video links
  • A 2 x 4 Personal Records Tracker Sheet
  • A Biomechanics of the Squat and Deadlift manual – teaching you how form and anatomy affects joint loading (this is the most extensive manual I’ve seen on the topic)
  • A manual teaching lifters how to adapt the program for different goals and preferences
  • A nutritional guide teaching caloric and macronutrient calculation with sample plans
  • and more

As you can tell, I’m extremely excited about this product. In fact, I think it’s my best work to date.

Though this product has the Bret Contreras name on it, it relies heavily on the knowledge I’ve gained from my training partners and colleagues.

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February Strength & Conditioning Research Questions


Hi fitness folks! Do you know the answer to the February S&C research review questions? If not, you ought to subscribe to our research review service. To subscribe, just click on the button below and follow the instructions…

Strength & Conditioning, Power and Hypertrophy
  1. How do NFL players in different positions differ in size and strength?
  2. How is squat strength associated with sprinting and jumping performance in soccer players?
  3. How do different strength training programs affect football players?
  4. How do energy expenditure methods differ when assessing bodyweight exercises?
  5. Can we justify small-sample research?
  6. Can blood flow restriction training improve size and strength in athletes in just 3 weeks?
  7. How do eccentric-only and concentric-only resistance-training adaptations differ?
  8. Are maximal strength adaptations affected by concurrent strength and sprint-interval training?
  9. What characteristics underpin sprint, vertical jump and change of direction performance?
  10. Does exercise performance differ in the morning and the evening?
  11. How do the biomechanics of knee extensions with and without rubber band resistance differ?
  12. What is the optimal recovery time for the PAP effect in professional soccer players?
  13. Can athletes perform more reps with 85% of 1RM eccentrically than concentrically?
  14. Do Olympic Speed Skaters use a polarized training model?

Biomechanics & Motor Control

  1. Does sprint running momentum predict ability in elite rugby union players?
  2. What happens at each joint during the first stance phase in sprint running?
  3. Do dumbbells lead to greater pectoral activity during bench pressing than barbells?
  4. Do different exercises activate different parts of the latissimus dorsi?
  5. What factors predict knee valgus during single-leg squats?
  6. How does gait differ between old and young people?
  7. Can real-time feedback increase forward propulsion during walking in older adults?
  8. Do powerlifters bench press more similarly to one another than untrained subjects?
  9. How can hip moment be maximized during split squats?
  10. Can the plantar-flexor moment arm predict plantar-flexor moment?
  11. Do elite Kenyan distance runners display longer Achilles tendon moment arms?
  12. Can warming-up with a weighted vest improve running performance?

Anatomy, Physiology & Nutrition

  1. Is vitamin supplementation beneficial in masters athletes?
  2. Can nitrite supplementation improve arterial function?
  3. Do the delivery formats of supplements determine their expected effectiveness?
  4. Does protein supplementation enhance carbohydrate supplementation for endurance exercise?
  5. Do prohormone supplements work?
  6. What do athletes actually eat at major competitions?
  7. Why is it important that water content in skeletal muscle changes after resistance exercise?
  8. Does concurrent training interfere with resistance-training adaptations through the AMPK signaling pathway?
  9. Does non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) differ between rats with high and low aerobic capacity?
  10. How much whey protein maximizes muscle protein synthesis after a workout?
  11. How important are satellite cells for hypertrophy?
  12. Is resistance-training as effective as aerobic exercise for type II diabetes?
  13. Can hamstring anatomy tell us why hamstring strains happen where they do?

Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation

  1. How much neuromuscular training is needed to reduce ACL injury risk by 70%?
  2. How do tibial plateau slopes influence ACL injury?
  3. Which track and field events are most at risk of hamstring strains?
  4. Do younger athletes display reduced tendon adaptations compared to older athletes?
  5. Does running in minimalist footwear increase the rate of injury in recreational runners?
  6. What factors are associated with lumbar lordosis?
  7. What do we know about overuse injury and burnout in youth sports?
  8. Which interventions can prevent sports-related injuries?
  9. Does patellar mal-tracking lead to patellofemoral pain syndrome?

You can click HERE to buy this edition as a back issue. Like all our editions, it’s packed with 45 – 50 great study reviews covering a range of topics relevant to exercise and physical therapy professionals alike, and it only costs $10 for the whole thing!

Not interested in these topics? Why not check out our brand new, free hypertrophy resource instead!

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