Random Thoughts

Hi Fitness Friends! I haven’t written one of these in a while so here you go: 14 random things.

1.       Strong Curves Update

In just over two weeks, Strong Curves will be live. I’m blown away by how excellent the book turned out. This is my magnum opus – 2 years of hard work in the making, and I never could have done it without the help of my talented colleague Kellie Davis. She helped so much with the wording (not my strong suit) and with various chapters, not to mention there are several hundred exercise photos of her! April 2nd is the big day!

See how big that guy is smiling? It must be a great book!

See how big that guy is smiling? It must be a great book!

2.       The Fitness Summit: May 3-4

Less than 50 days away! Only $239 until April 1st where it increases to $279.

Click HERE to sign up.CEU/CEC’s available.

This will be my 3rd time speaking at the Fitness Summit and every year I have an absolute blast. The only downside of these weekends are coming home and returning to reality.

I’ll be lecturing on the posterior chain this year (not just glutes, but also hammies and erectors, so it will be unique).

I’ll also be conducting a “hands-on” practical session on glute training. Much of the stuff I know cannot be learned from lecture alone and must be learned by doing. While I love presenting science, research, and biomechanical findings, the practical tips regarding proper form and mechanics is even more important.

Other speakers include Eric Cressey, Alan Aragon, Lou Schuler, Bryan Krahn, Cassandra Forsythe, Mike T. Nelson, and Roland and Galya Denzel.

However, perhaps even more important is the fact that dozens of other fitness badass rockstars will be there. Jonathan Fass, Kellie Davis, Marianne Kane, Joy Victoria, Roger Lawson, JC Deen, Nia Shanks, Erik Ledin, Kevin Larabee, Kyle Bohannon, Leigh Peele, Jon Goodman, Sol Orwell…are you serious? How can any fitness enthusiast pass this up? I’m so excited about this I can hardly sit still. This is gonna be the best weekend ever!

"Glute-Off" Between Roger Lawson and Me

“Glute-Off” Between Roger Lawson and Me

3.       First Website Banner

I stumbled across this the other day with nostalgia – my first website banner (this took me a few hours to figure out how to make several years back – I’m a technological caveman). Those readers who have been following me from the old WordPress.com/BretContreras days will appreciate this.

Header3

4.       Sprinting Forces and Sprinter Characteristics

HERE is an article that Chris Beardsley put together that is bad ass! If you’re interested in sprinting, you should understand the inherent ground-reaction forces involved. HERE is another article dealing with characteristics of sprinters and comparing them to Oly and PL’ers.

5.       Crossfit Post

In case you missed it, HERE is a post I wrote up on a recent Crossfit Study published ahead of print in the JSCR. Cliffnotes – Crossfit is excellent at improving VO2Max but very risky.

Froning

6.       Interview on S&C for Sprinting by Joel Smith

I was very excited to be interviewed by Joel Smith HERE on strength training for sprinting. Joel asked me some excellent questions so props to him.

7.       Brad Schoenfeld Podcast

If you’re interested in hypertrophy, then you must listen to this HERE. An hour of muscle-building audio gold! The guy knows hypertrophy better than anyone I know.

8.       Warm-Up Practices

Chris Beardsley wrote up an excellent post HERE that reviews some important new research on warm-ups. If you’re a strength coach, then you should read this.

9.       Soccer Speed

To any Soccer players or coaches out there, HERE is a great article on soccer (football in countries other than the US) speed.

10.   Low Carb Article

Adam Bornstein put together an excellent article with the help of Alan Aragon on carbs HERE.

11.   Deadlift Analysis

Last week I saw a video from the Arnold Classic Strongman Competition of Mark Felix pulling a 1,122 pound Hummer Tire Deadlift. Apparently he pulled 1,128 on a fourth attempt that didn’t count. Out of curiosity, I wanted to analyze exactly when the bar broke the ground and compare it to Benedikt Magnusson’s world record 1,015 pound conventional deadlift. Here are some Youtube links so you can watch the lifts.

Here’s Mark

Here’s a different view

Here’s Benedikt

Now check out the joint angles when the bar leaves the ground. When bars bend significantly, it aids the lifter as it’s sort of a natural form of accommodating resistance. In other words, just like chains, some of the weight is still grounded while some is off the floor. Therefore, stronger lifters have a slight advantage due to Physics.

Mark2

This looks more like a rack pull!

Mark

Straight-On View

Benedikt

This bend is pretty significant too!

12.   NSCA Articles

If you’re an NSCA member, click HERE to read my latest article published in the Performance Training Journal (Feb/March 12.1) on “Movement Pattern Continuums: A Fundamental Component to Personal Training.”

Brad and I just got THIS article published in the Strength & Conditioning Journal. It’s an exercise technique article on the long lever posterior tilt plank (stay tuned – in a few months the follow-up article will be posted measuring the EMG activity of 4 different plank variations).

13.   Powerlifting Progress

I compete in my first Powerlifting meet in just a few weeks. My training has been very intriguing and I’ve learned a lot about my body. I’ve always trained for progressive overload with the big 3 lifts, but it’s different when you’re actually peaking for a meet.

I wanted a 400/300/600/1,300 squat/bench/deadlift/total, but I’m not so sure. Right now I’m at around 385/295/565/1,245 (raw of course). I’ll keep plugging away and see where the chips fall.

14.   More NSCA Stuff

Speaking of NSCA, my article “Are All Hip Extension Exercises Created Equal” was accepted and will be published in April’s edition I believe. This is my favorite article I’ve ever written, so I’m very excited to see it in print! I’ll be sure to post the link as soon as it’s published ahead of print.

I’ve been notified that I’ll also be presenting at this year’s National Conference which is also in Vegas in July – I’ll be giving a pre-conference with my professor John Cronin on sprinting.

Finally, here is a picture from the NSCA Personal Trainers Conference last weekend. I was very excited to finally meet Joe Dowdell, Jim Kielbaso, and Dan Trink, and to hang out with Brad Schoenfeld, Alan Aragon, Nick Tumminello, Lou Schuler, and Chad Waterbury again. One of the best aspects of these events are the inside-jokes and memories (Chad and I downed a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts late Friday night, Alan will eventually be named “Alagon” and then “the artist formerly known as Alagon,” Brad’s new name is “Rad Bro-nfeld,” etc.) – you had to be there to get it.

Contreras, Schoenfeld, Aragon, Dowdell, Trink, Waterbury, Schuler, Tumminello

Contreras, Schoenfeld, Aragon, Dowdell, Trink, Waterbury, Schuler, Tumminello

Okay my friends, that’s all for today! Have a great rest of the week!

11 thoughts on “Random Thoughts

  1. ggs

    Anxiously awaiting the arrival of the book. I too will be smiling for you successes and of course improving my body of knowledge. Who am I kidding I meant my butt. I enjoy all your postings and videos and I have no doubt that this will be my favorite book. Good luck at your meet you may not be able to hear all the people out there cheering for you but we are there and we are loud….

    Reply
      1. ggs

        I cannot think of a better one two combo for the body than you and Bret. The two of you compliment each other. Most of us who train want to be strong and sexy. With you guys leading the way its a slam dunk….Love your website also Kellie. I have been introduced to a lot of great websites thanks to the both of you. On my wish (bucket) list is to go to a seminar and have a hands on session with the both of you. Until then STRONG CURVES will do the trick….

        Reply
  2. Ola

    Hi Bret,

    Is Strong Curves going to be available in the UK? I’ve just had a look on Amazon.co.uk and it says it’s “currently unavailable”. Is it going to be available in ebook format as well?

    Congratulations!!!!

    Ola (UK).

    Reply
  3. Kimberly Mills

    Awesome post!!!! Preordered my copy of the book back in November… Can’t wait till it arrives! Also can’t wait to meet you and Kellie at the Fitness Summit! It is going to be a blast! Good luck on your first meet! Doing my third on March 23rd. Hope you reach your goal! :)

    Reply
  4. Guillermo Muñoz

    I just pre-ordered Strong Curves. I’m sure I’ll be smiling like you while reading it. I know it’s targeted for women, but hey, I might as well use it too! Gracias Bret!

    Reply
  5. Monica

    Hi Bret.

    I gained alot of weight after giving birth to my son two years ago. After dealing with post partum depression, I am FINALLY ready to lose the weight. I am suffering from lower back pain which seems to be attributed to pelvic tilt based on all te articles and that I have been reading about lower back pain. For someone that has alot o weight to lose and is having back pain issues, where do I start?! I loooove Marianne Kane’s and kellie Davis body and in particular their butts lol but where do I start without possibly injuring myself ? (I am referring to exercise not diet as I know diet will be crucial In my success)

    Reply
  6. Andy...

    4. Sprinting Forces and Sprinter Characteristics.

    What are the practical implications? For sprint-athletes:

    “Resistance-training programs involving the development of vertical force production, such as squats and deadlifts, may not be optimal or complete for training the maximum strength of the muscles for top speed sprinting.”

    The NFL combine results seem to prove this to be true (Vertical jump – 40yd dash comparisons), not just in terms of top speed but acceleration. Also, the quadriceps act to hinder the forward propulsion of the body (squats), so is it, the more strength you put into them the bigger the hindrance?. Great for vertical orientated sports/forces though, no question.

    Bret, what are your thoughts on the Gluteus Maximus/Hamstrings decelerating hip flexion?. I hear the Gluteus medius/min & hip flexion speed are far more important for sprinting?.

    Reply
  7. karina

    Hi Bret! I want to tell you Congratulations on the release of your book! I have been into health and fitness since I was in high school and Im much older now but Im always eager to try new training techniques. I have been doing the glute bridges and I see a difference on my glutes already in a short period of time. Thank you for this great post!

    Reply

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