Random Thoughts

Hi Fitness Peeps! I have seven random things to share with you today. By the way, I finished a comprehensive article titled How to Fix Glute Imbalances which I’ll post in the next day or two so stay tuned for that.

1. Testimonial from Stu McGill

There are certain people in the profession who command respect, and one of these people is without a doubt Dr. Stu McGill. Many fitness professionals have read his books, but a couple of years ago I decided to start reading all of the journal articles he’s published that I could get my hands on (which is a lot – in 2012 alone he’s been involved in the publishing of 13 different articles which I’ll share below). Anyway, he has taught me a ton pertaining to not only the spine, but Biomechanics in general, and I’m always grateful for those who have helped shape my beliefs and methods. It turns out we share an intense passion for hip extension and the glutes, so it is very meaningful to receive such an excellent endorsement from Stu. Here’s what he had to say about Hip Extension Torque: The Scientific Guide to the Posterior Chain:

Hips are the dominant joint underpinning exceptional performance. The wisdoms are endless: In the Olympics we hear, “The great ones use their hips, the good ones use their backs and legs”; In the NFL, “Hip power trumps all other joints”; for groundwork in the UFC, “A hip beats a knee every time”. In clinics we understand that the “Hip extensors are the best extensors of the knee”, when standing hip extension drives the linkage to extend the knee without the stress of patellar tendon tension. Activation of the gluteal muscles is a wise strategy to recover from a threat to the ACL in the knee. In my world of enhancing back performance, the hips are the engine room to power the stiffened chassis of the core. Yet few summaries exist to synthesize the science that governs the mechanics of hip extension – until now that is. The team of Bret Contreras and Chris Beardsley have done the painstaking work and filled the void with this well organized and easily consumed review. Those wanting to be expert in training athletic potential will learn a great deal about the foundational mechanics of the hip musculature from reading “Hip Extension Torque”. Bret and Chris have given enabled application of the science by creating compendiums of exercises ranked for muscle activation. Thank you for your leadership gentlemen.

Professor Stuart McGill

2. Year in Review for 2012

I didn’t realize how much progress I made in 2012 until I wrote this. You can definitely say it was a good year for me!

  • Moved back home to Phoenix (from New Zealand)
  • Got my beautiful girlfriend back (I wrote about her in 2011 HERE). Well, we’re finally back together. She’s been training with me for 3 months and is already squatting 200 and deadlifting 225 by the way!
  • Acquired a steady lifting partner (Charles Staley)
  • Deadlifted 585 pounds for the first time, lifted on around 250 days
  • Started a research review service with Chris Beardsley – reviewed around 550 studies
  • Started up a podcast with Jonathan Fass – recorded 4 podcasts
  • Created two products with Chris Beardsley (Background and Hip Extension Torque)
  • Saved up over $30,000 for this year’s tuition and other related expenses, increased my financial disposition without compromising my integrity
  • Started training The Glute Squad, got great results, improved upon my methods
  • Spoke at 2 seminars
  • Filmed 47 Youtube videos
  • Posted  103 blogposts: From January to December (month to month) I posted 7, 8, 7, 13, 6, 7, 7, 9, 10, 13, 7, and 8 blogposts. Just went back through all of them with nostalgia!
  • Published 4 journal articles and submitted 2 awaiting review
  • Finished writing 2 books
  • Wrote or contributed to 16 TNation articles
  • Networked with other sports scientists, was interviewed on several different podcasts, wrote guest blogs and articles for many blogs and magazines, was featured on many “best of” lists, learned a ton in all areas of sports science especially biomechanics, answered a lot of people’s questions, posted lots of pictures of nice booties, etc.

 

 

3. Things to Come in 2013

Here is my “circle” of colleagues who I collaborate with: Chris Beardsley, Brad Schoenfeld, Jonathan Fass, Kellie Davis, and Marianne Kane. Between these five people, I barely have time to breathe – they keep me on my toes! Chris and I have a few papers we’re working on getting published. Brad and I do as well. Being involved with them allows me to shine as they do much of the dirty work that I’m not very good at. Jon and I have more podcasts on schedule (one of them Jon is dying to record as we’ve checked out 50+ papers on the topic). Kellie and Marianne  have been working very hard on our new glute site – we’ve received great feedback so far from subscribers pertaining to the videos and program.

In 2013, I’m going to delve heavily into my PhD. I will continue with the research review service. I will continue posting blogs and writing TNation articles. I will continue recording podcasts and glute training videos. I have Strong Curves coming out in April and Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy coming out in October. I will release some more products and speak at some more conferences. I’m going to keep training hard with my lifting partner Charles Staley. And I will finally compete in a powerlifting competition in April (first time)!  So this will be a big year I hope.

4. Presentation for the NSCA Personal Trainer Conference

Last night I completed my powerpoint presentation for the 2013 NSCA Personal Trainer Conference which is in Las Vegas on March 8-9. My lecture is titled, The Science of Gluteus Maximus Training, and I can pretty much guarantee that there has never been a “sexier” slideshow in NSCA’s history (before-after booty pics, etc.). I have 42 slides to discuss in 55 minutes, so this is going to be tough for me. But I have such a hard time omitting new findings and discoveries. I need to hire someone to zap me if I ramble or stray off topic!

All in the Name of Science!

5. Fitness Summit 2013

We’re 115 days out from this year’s Fitness Summit in Kansas City on May 3-4. Last year was a fantastic time, so mark your calendars. Lots of great speakers as usual – Alan Aragon, Eric Cressey, Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe, Bryan Krahn, and Mike T. Nelson (oh yeah and me too).

Alan, Bret, Nick – 2010 Fitness Summit

6. Two New Articles Accepted for the Strength & Conditioning Journal

I’m so excited to have recently gotten a couple of new papers accepted for publishing for the SCJ! One is very important in my opinion as it pertains to the good morning, 45 degree hyper, and horizontal back extension. It illustrates their hip extension torque curves and has implications for athletic training. The other discusses the exercise technique involved in the long lever posterior tilt plank (LLPTP) which I’ve discussed HERE. We conducted a follow-up to this article and collected data, ran the stats, and just submitted for publishing in a prestigious journal. The results are astounding – hopefully it gets accepted! I’ll definitely post a link here on the blog as soon as these two articles are published ahead of print.

7. Dr. McGill’s Research in 2012

Just wanted to give Stu a shout-out right back – he kicked some serious ass in 2012. Chris and I reviewed most of these in our research service. Stu has some awesome things he’s working on in 2013 so I’m looking forward to his findings. At any rate, he deserves props as he doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit!

  1. Kettlebell swing, snatch, and bottoms-up carry: back and hip muscle activation, motion, and low back loads
  2. Hip joint range of motion improvements using three different interventions
  3. Is there a low-back cost to hip-centric exercise? Quantifying the lumbar spine joint compression and shear forces during movements used to overload the hips
  4. Using the Functional Movement Screen™ to evaluate the effectiveness of training
  5. Predicting performance and injury resilience from movement quality and fitness scores in a basketball team over 2 years
  6. Progressive hip rehabilitation: the effects of resistance band placement on gluteal activation during two common exercises
  7. How do elliptical machines differ from walking: a study of torso motion and muscle activity
  8. Can altering motions, postures, and loads provide immediate low back pain relief: a study of 4 cases investigating spine load, posture, and stability
  9. Changes in torso muscle endurance profiles in children aged 7 to 14 years: reference values
  10. Extent of nucleus pulposus migration in the annulus of porcine intervertebral discs exposed to cyclic flexion only versus cyclic flexion and extension
  11. The relationship between general measures of fitness, passive range of motion and whole-body movement quality
  12. Arthrogenic neuromusculature inhibition: A foundational investigation of existence in the hip joint
  13. Movement quality and links to measures of fitness in firefighters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take care my friends in fitness!

41 thoughts on “Random Thoughts

  1. cliff graves

    looks very exciting bret. i am so glad you have teamed up with good people especially prof mcgill. you too have a good 2013

    Reply
    1. Bret Post author

      Thanks Cliff. Haven’t teamed up with Stu on anything yet, but hopefully one day down the road I can collaborate with him on some stuff. He’s all about the lumbopelvic-hip complex, and there are definitely things we’d both like to investigate. But unfortunately he’s in Canada and I’m in Arizona. Who knows?

      Reply
  2. Jeff G

    I have deepened my knowledge thanks to your hard work and look forward to reading your work in the future. Thank you for all the time and effort you put in and for sharing these thoughts/knowledge. Our profession will continue to develop positively with the efforts of individuals like yourself.

    Reply
  3. Faitasi

    You are a very hard working man. You deserve all the success you have received and all the success that will come to you in the future.

    Reply
  4. Ousama

    Congrats on a great year man, I really appericate all the applied knowledge that you bring to the table.. Look forward to learning more from your web site and published works!

    Reply
  5. Leon

    You are a great inspiration Bret! Both in life, and for me as a personal trainer and sports coach. But also as a osteopathic student, getting me more and more interested in the real deep and heavy stuff of biomechanics and how to combine it with training clients and athletes!

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

    Reply
  6. Keith

    Great article, Bret. Keep pushing. Btw, your, book about the glutes is great so far! Question for you: I like quarter and half-squats-to-pins(Love overcoming inertia on each rep. But can’s seem to find EMG studies. They’ll show partial squats, but not to pins. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
      1. Keith

        Thanks, man. “BW Hanging Single Leg straight leg glute bridge?” Recieved a high mark for the hamstrings. Gonna look it up.

        Reply
  7. Jim R

    Nice words from Dr McGill – man, get a room! ;)

    I feel even more privileged in knowing I was at one of only two of your seminars! It was great and I hope you’re back next year.

    Reply
  8. Pingback: All about the hips « Adventures In Strong

  9. voula

    Bret,

    Just bought the book Starting Strength 3rd edition and his squat variation is quite interesting. It would be cool if you could make a video about your thoughts on it and compare it to other variations and such.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  10. voula

    Also, I admire your work ethic and passion. Its very rare to find in ppl and the amount of achievements youve had in the past year is pretty amazing. Keep it up!

    Reply
  11. Gisell

    BRET YOU ARE FREAKING AWESOME AND I ADMIRE YOU! I WANNA BE LIKE YOU WHEN I GROW UP. I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOUR LATEST BOOK WHICH IS COMING OUT IN APRIL NOW (I CAN’T WAIT). I SIGNED ON AS A MEMBER OF YOUR GET GLUTES WEBSITE AND IF I CAN GET AN ASS LIKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND’S I WILL FOREVER BE IN DEBT TO YOU. (SHE IS HOT!)DO YOU TRAIN HER? I HAVE STRUGGLED WITH MY GLUTES FOR AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER. IT’S ALMOST AS IF GOD GAVE ME SOMEONE ELSE’S ASS CUZ IT’S JUST NOT IN PORPORTION WITH THE REST OF ME (SOY DOMINICANA). ANYWAY I AM DETERMINED TO MAKE IT HAPPEN WITH YOUR HELP. I HAVE BEEN LIFTING HEAVY FOR ALMOST 3 MONTHS NOW AND MY UPPER BODY LOOKS GREAT! IT ALWAYS RESPONDS TO MY WORKOUTS BUT THE RESULTS ON MY GLUTES ARE VERY SLOW IN COMING. I WEIGH 115 AND I CURRENTLY DEADLIFT 115LBS. MONDAYS HAVE BEEN MY DEADLIFT DAYS FOR ALMOST 3 MONTHS NOW. I DO 10 SETS OF 10 REPS OF DEADLIFTS WITH THIS WEIGHT. I ALSO DO 3 SETS OF 10 SUMO DEADLIFTS WITH KETTLEBELLS AND 3 SETS OF 10 SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTS AND ALTHOUGH I LOVE THE RESULTS ON THE REST OF MY BODY, MY ASS IS NOWHERE NEAR WHERE I WOULD LIKE IT TO BE. I DO SPLITS THE REST OF THE WEEK AND MY LEG DAY IS ON FRIDAY AND FOR THE LAST MONTH I HAVE BEEN INCORPORATING GLUTE BRIDGES. I PLAN TO FOLLOW YOUR GET GLUTES WORKOUTS FOR THE NEXT 3 MONTHS BUT I PLAN TO KEEP MY DEADLIFT DAY. I PLAN TO CHANGE THE LOAD FROM HEAVY TO LOW TO MODERATE AND INCREASE THE REPS TO 15 OR MORE; WHAT DO YOU THINK? ANY SUGGESTIONS THAT YOU HAVE TO HELP WOULD BE GREAT. I APPRECIATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND THANK YOU FOR SHARING IT! I AM A PERSONAL TRAINER AND ALTHOUGH I AM SUCCESSFUL AT HELPING MY CLIENTS MY ASS IS JUST STUBBORN! THANKS FOR YOUR TIME!

    Reply
    1. Bret Post author

      Gisell, thank you very much. Follow the Get Glutes plan and also start doing lots of RKC planks every day – learn how to squeeze the booty like crazy. Definitely incorporate more exercises that we prescribe and consistently gain strength in all rep ranges. Yes I train my girlfriend – she only trains one day/week and just has great genetics for looking good. I’ll tell her you think she’s hot – she’ll like the praise :) Best of luck! – BC

      Reply
  12. Bret Post author

    Thank you so much everybody for the kind words, the support and encouragement. I appreciate it very much – makes it all worth it!

    Reply
  13. Samuel

    “increased my financial disposition without compromising my integrity”
    I like this. I mean, I like pretty much everything you do, Bret, but I really like this a lot. The integrity thing is a *huuuge* problem in the industry, in my opinion, and we need more folk like you. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    1. Derrick Blanton

      Now hold on just a minute, Samuel. You’re alleging that the strength and conditioning industry has ethical problems? This is shocking!

      I am currently authoring a dubious research article extolling the virtues of an unnecessarily complicated “layering” system of training, featuring some slight variations on compound exercise techniques, garden variety post-tetanic potentiation ramps, and rest-pause techniques that, oh, by the way, conveniently only work well with a cocktail of exorbitant supplements.

      Our research shows astonishing gains of 15-lbs. of muscle a month, when combined with copious use of the secret ingredient supplements, and only when the subjects were dieted down to a “pre-program weight”. No, we haven’t gotten around to peer review yet, why do you ask?.

      Guess I’ll going to have to pull the plug in light of this new revelation.

      (But on the real, BC, I’m with Samuel….big ups on this one! Respect :)

      Bonus amusing anecdote: I actually do know a bodybuilder who was in a supplement ad. It was a before and after, get ripped ad. He literally gorged on doughnuts to get fat for the “before” pic. Note to savvy supplement buyers: When the before “fat” pic guy still has MASSIVE muscular traps, it’s safe to say he wasn’t really your average slob getting ripped on their supplement. LOL.

      Did I just completely hijack a nice Random Posts thread? I am such a bastard!

      Reply
      1. Sven

        Well, you made my day, at any rate. So, Derrick, do you think the layers would work great without a nutrition repartitioning agent?

        Reply
        1. Derrick Blanton

          Ha ha, Sven, I’m surprised at you! Didn’t we already cover this?

          Don’t even bother loading up your new trap bar if you haven’t consumed POWERFUL nutrient repartitioning agents. It will be a pointless waste of a good pump, and you won’t get results. Worse, you will give my special protocol a bad name!

          (Btw, whatever happened to the gymnastics rings focus? Seems like yesterday…)

          Reply
      2. Samuel

        Hah, I got a kick out of this post, Derrick.

        And will your product help me get a double bodyweight bench press and 21″ arms by Spring? Also I’m a hardgainer.

        Reply
        1. Derrick Blanton

          Samuel, hardgainer, schmardgainer!

          Of course the product(s) will help you EASILY achieve these goals. Of course! Don’t quit before the magic happens!

          Only two potential obstacles could prevent you from CRUSHING these very attainable goals:

          1. Allowing your Level 3 status to lapse due to not meeting the very affordable $500 monthly threshold, or

          2. Failing to hit the supra-maximal holds in the 7-12 minute window after cocktail #2-B.

          THIS SHOULD OCCUR DURING THE SECOND TIER OF LAYERS ONLY. Only the second tier, though. People get that ass-backwards, and it is really starting to piss me off. Remember, the third tier is where the scrape the rack techniques come into play, and should be precipitated by cocktail #36-F, (except on the fourth session of the training cycle, and every other Wednesday).

          Enough already, will you guys just do the program as it’s written and stop bothering me with your asinine questions? You and your pal, Sven, are going to find yourself downgraded to Level 1 status if these newbie questions persist!

          (Note: my satirical “Ask the Guru” online column will be up and running as soon as I can find a few sponsors. Everyone will be start fresh at Level 0, until their credit cards are pre-qualified. No exceptionsl!)

          Reply
  14. Steven Coe

    Great work man. You’ve definitely been killing the game since releasing the Glutei Maximi e-book. I’m looking forward to your future work.

    Hip Extension Torque is excellent by the way!

    Reply
  15. Maria

    Big pat on the back for Dr. McGill’s compliments of you! You have worked hard & shared so much with all of us. Not only have I put the knowledge I have learned from you on myself, my clients have benefitted too. I hear a lot less sciatica & low back complaints now. In addition. I can now access some yoga poses that I hadn’t done in a while because my hips are stronger & actually more flexible. You helped wake the sleepi g giant of my backside. Lastly, my husband loves that my butt is feeling round & firm:)

    Best to you for 2013

    Reply
  16. Haydn

    Bret, Thank you for all you contributed and authored in 2012; all the research and experiments you’ve conducted, studies you’ve examined and posted and your willingness to critique previously establish modes of training or programming that have no real scientific or experimental basis. From Advanced Training techniques in Glutei Maximi through posts here and across the web your authorship and programs are incredibly thorough, and well designed. You are truly advancing and revamping fitness, health and female (and male) booties everywhere. Rock on man. H

    Reply
  17. maureen

    great work…a lot of time a lot of knowledge which you so willingly part with… in order for us fitness junkies to have the right information needed to make decisions about our training…to save us the time so our goals can be obtained quicker and safer…looking forward to 2013 and all you have to offer….much appreciated

    Reply

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