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15 Random Thoughts

By April 13, 2012August 30th, 2014Random Thoughts

Hi folks! Here are 15 random thoughts for you, ranging from safe training practices, to blog haters, to regrets of the dying, to the impossibility of sticking with speed deadlifts.

1. New TNation Article

Two weeks ago I had a new TNation article published titled 21 Exercises for Injury Free Mass. I feel that this article should be a standard reference for lifters wishing to see nice gains without the risks of injury and pain. Some things can’t be learned in textbooks or journals and can only be learned in the weightroom through intense training, training others, having long-term workout partners, and talking to other regular lifters. This article allowed me to share 20 years of expertise in this area.

I suspected that the article would enrage certain “hardcore” lifters, but I think I did a good job of defending myself in the “comments” portion of the article. I’m not saying everyone should lift like this (I don’t), but folks who break-down easily should indeed consider this type of training.

2. Strongman Survey

My friend Paul Winwood is conducting a study on strongmen competitors. The aim of the study is to help improve our understanding of the risks and injuries associated with strongman training. The information will benefit strongman athletes and strength and conditioning coaches when prescribing strongman event training to their athletes. If you’re a strongman competitor, please click on the link and take the time to fill out this survey. Also, please send the link to any other strongman competitors you know. The more strongman competitors we can get to fill in the survey, the more accurate picture we will get of the injuries and potential risks associated with strongman implement training. To access the survey CLICK HERE.

3. Girls Gone Strong Apparel Finally Available!

Bracelets, calf socks, hoodies, t-shirts, hats, and more! If you’re a GGS fan then show your appreciation and buy some shit! HERE‘s the link.

4. The Body Mechanic – Greg Lehman

Each year I stumble upon some new fitness folks whose stuff I love to read/watch/listen to. Two years ago it was Brad Schoenfeld. Last year it was Kelly Starrett and Chris Beardsley. This year it’s Greg Lehman. The other day I got trapped reading his blog for a couple of hours. In the past year I’ve learned a ton; and perhaps the greatest skill I’ve acquired is the ability to spot a genius, and this dude is a smart motherf*$#er! I enjoy folks who have the balls to question everything yet do so in a professional manner without trying to sound better than everyone else – and Greg pulls this off to a “t.”

5. Blogger Haters: You Really Don’t Get It

It seems that there are always going to be a certain amount of people that really despise fitness bloggers. From time to time I’ll read horrible things written about me and/or my fitness colleagues. I usually chalk it up to jealousy. What’s unfortunate is that most of these “haters” have no clue what it’s like maintaining a popular fitness blog. Trying to juggle training, training others, reading blogs, reading articles, reading journals, writing articles, writing blogposts, answering emails, replying to blog comments, filming videos, being active on social media, creating products, and a social life isn’t easy. The other day I set my alarm for 4 in the morning to wake up and speak to a researcher in Europe. While I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I’ve got a great life, I don’t think that most folks could hack what I do. Whereas most folks would struggle keeping just 3 balls in the air at a time, I feel I have to somehow juggle 12 balls at once; the same goes for my colleagues. Sure haters are gonna hate, but the truth is that most of these haters couldn’t carry the jockstraps of the top fitness bloggers.

6. Good Reads

Here are links to six random articles and a good graphic that I’ve stumbled upon over the past few weeks that are non fitness-related but nevertheless very interesting.

Don’t Follow Your Passion; Follow Your Effort

The Five Personalities of Innovator: Which One are You?

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers

12 Things that Happy People do Differently

What is Science?

The Science of Epigenetics: How Our Minds Can Reprogram Our Genes

7. Five Biggest Regrets of the Dying

I always try to keep in perspective the advice of dying folks. HERE is an article that elaborates on the 5 biggest regrets of the dying which are listed below:

  • I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  • I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  • I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Don’t be obsessed with work, don’t conform to others’ expectations, don’t bottle up your feelings, don’t lose touch with your good friends, and make the pursuit of happiness a habit. As you can see from my comment above, I struggle with these!

8. Craig Liebenson Seminar

Funny story – a few weeks ago I on Facebook and saw that Craig Liebenson and Jeff Cubos were in Phoenix, at a restaurant right down the street from me. I read these guys’ blogs and am a big fan of their brainpower, so I just showed up at the restaurant uninvited and introduced myself. Craig was nice enough to invite me to the seminar he had going on the following day, and I was sure to show up.

There were several very cool things I learned from Craig – including his Wall Angel screen and his thoracic extension drills, but my favorite was a monster walk for glute activation done by placing the bands around the feet up by the toes and then walking forward and backward. I’m pretty sure that this band placement maximizes glute medius and upper glute max activity compared to bands around ankles or knees due to an increase hip external rotation demand. I’ll film a Youtube video on this shortly and post it.

Anyway, if you’re a physical therapist or a strength coach or personal trainer looking to advance your knowledge of physical therapy techniques, then I highly recommend attending one of Craig’s seminars. What I like most about Craig is that he incorporates things he’s learned from dozens and dozens of experts and professionals into his methodology. He doesn’t get stuck into one mode of practice; he uses it all. This is how all good practitioners should be. Here are some vids from Craig:

9. Ode to Personal Trainers

To me, personal trainers have the greatest opportunity out of all professions to radically transform their clients’ lives. Sure you could make the same case for teachers, counselors, and doctors, but I’ve noticed that radical transformations in a client’s physique will lead to just as much transformation in the brain via improved self-esteem and confidence. If you’re a personal trainer, be damn proud of yourself!

10. Jack London’s Advice to an Aspiring Young Writer

I don’t know if the younger generation still knows of Jack London, but when I was in grade school we all read The Call of the Wild and White Fang for book reports. HERE is a 1914 letter written by Jack to an aspiring writer. Jack puts this young lad in his place! There are many writers in the fitness field who expect instant success and they’d be well-advised to read this first!

This was one of my favorite books as a kid

11. What is My Most Popular Blogpost of All Time?

My last blogpost – A Strong Booty is a Healthy Booty – was read by nearly 11,000 readers in a two-day period earlier this week. Specifically, around 4,500 people read the post on Monday and around 6,500 read the post on Tuesday. It’s great to see the world reacting positively to strong female booties!

Karli: “I am woman and hear my glutes roar!”

12. Planned Overreaching

I’ve noticed that as they age, most of my fitness colleagues make the transition from bodypart splits and upper/lower splits to frequent full-body workouts. The majority of them hammer out 3-5 full body workouts during the week and by Friday they’re worn-out and aching, with diminished strength and performance. However, by Monday they’re back up to full-speed again after taking a couple days off. This is a form of planned-overreaching and it’s natural and effective. Just don’t let fatigue drop too low to a point where two days of rest won’t recharge the system.

13. Speed Deads: You Can’t Contain Them!

Without fail, every time I try to perform “speed deadlifts,” I end up going heavy. Usually I’m feeling a bit beat-up and I’ll say to myself…”I’ll just do some light speed-deads with 315ish and call it a day.” After a few triples with 315, I’ll tack on 50 more lbs and bust out 365. Then 405. Then 455. Then 495. Now the “speed deads” aren’t very “speedy,” but it’s nearly impossible to avoid going heavy when you get all ramped up from explosive deadlifts. It’s akin to putting a compulsive-gambler at a blackjack table, feeding him drinks, and expecting him not to play.

14. Free Creatine Report

Nick Tumminello and Lou Schuler have created a free creatine report that you can download with no strings-attached. If you’d like to know more about creatine, then click on THIS link.

15. I’m heading out to Vegas Later Today for the NSCA Personal Trainer Conference

Later today I’m heading off to Vegas to attend the NSCA Personal Trainer conference. I’m excited to watch Brad Schoenfeld, Alan Aragon, and John Cissik give their lectures.

That wraps it up for this random-thoughts post. Take care fitness-friends! BC


  • Awesome stuff here Bret. Don’t listen to haters, as you know. Keep kicking it forward.

  • Neal W. says:

    I feel that I also am good at recognizing genius. After all, I was an early adopter in reading your blog. 🙂 haha

  • ty murds says:

    Bret, I posted the survey to a couple friends who do strongmen as well as as Derek Poundstones Facebook page for his new gym. Hope it helps out.

    Are you back in the states by the way? All done with school?

  • Kellie says:

    I am sure this is all very interesting and informative, but I can’t stop staring at Karli’s bootay! AWESOME JOB, Karli! You look amazing!!!!!!!

  • Derrick Blanton says:

    Cuban: “Don’t follow your passion, follow your time.” Genius.

    Reminds me a little of this blogpost on SquatRx:

    Bret, thanks for taking your time and energy to do this blog which is always compelling. Keep learning, and keep teaching, brother!

  • Nice post Brett! Lets connect soon and have fun in Vegas!

  • Jackie Ashdown says:

    Great post Brett,enjoy Vegas! 🙂

  • Bonnie says:

    “The Five Personalities of Innovators” link only takes you to the Forbes front page. Here’s the link that takes you directly to the article:

  • Eric Bach says:

    Great post, like the personal training ode as I feel the same way.Have a blast in Vegas!

  • Sable@SquatLikeALady says:

    I’ll preface this by saying that I really do admire & respect what you do – I read and agree with 99.9% of what you write.


    I am really sick of everyone making blogging out to be this huge effort that makes a blogger’s life SO MUCH HARDER than everyone else’s.

    MANY, MANY people in this economy are working full-time, going to school, and making extra cash on the side through other venues (freelance writing, training, offering services like massage out of their own homes). So yeah, you might be reading articles and replying to emails and being active on social media all day….but that doesn’t make you any different from most working class Americans at this point. Most of us are up at 5am, replying to emails, reading articles in our field, returning phone calls, then going to work from say 9-5 and replying to emails, working on our employer’s social media or customer service, replying to more emails, fielding questions, returning phone calls, then training and doing schoolwork and replying to emails and writing and researching new developments in our fields. That is just how life is in the 21st century…. and bloggers have GOT to get over criticism. I mean come on — if blogging is your job or a significant revenue source for you, then your customers ie your readers are allowed to complain, just like a typical employee’s bosses/supervisors/coworkers/customers get to have a say. It’s life. It doesn’t make you a special snowflake.

    • Bret says:

      Sable, I did NOT mean it that way at all. I love my life. I’m not looking for pity. I didn’t mean that my life as a blogger requires so much effort. My intention was to inform the “haters” that I’m where I am because I work harder than them and I get out of my comfort zone more than they do. I shouldn’t be faulted for becoming popular, nor should my colleagues. I’ve noticed a trend – some folks seem to despise those who make it to the top.

      That said, I disagree with you. Most of my friends work hard, and they might put it 10 hour days, 5 days per week, but they take vacations, come home from work and tune out, and they just clock in and clock out without taking on any projects or adding any outside stress. I definitely agree with you that life in the 21st century requires that folks like us work hard and smart, assuming we want to get ahead in life.

      And I don’t feel I’m being “overly-sensitive,” I’m just making a stand. I felt I was very polite; in truth I’d like to ream the folks who I hear say these things but it certainly wouldn’t do any good.

      I commend you for calling me out! BC

  • Evan Gabriel says:


    I visited the link to Greg Lehman’s Body Mechanic page. It was certainly interesting hearing such a different perspective. But I’m curious–he basically refutes everything I’ve been reading from your and Mike Robertson’s writing. Specifically his posts regarding the hip flexors and hip extension. How they don’t shorten and stretching them is futile, APT is not responsible for back pain and cannot be so easily rectified, and how hip extension is dangerous and unhealthy. You obviously respect him and his word, so can you address his claims and how they square with yours?


    • Evan Gabriel says:

      PS–since beginning to incorporate hip thrusts, I’ve found I now experience what is commonly diagnosed as snapping hip syndrome on my left front hip. My program has not changed in any other respect with regards to hip training. Is this a common complaint among people who are either hip thrusting incorrectly, or possibly just brought an underlying problem to light?


      • Bret says:

        I am aware of snapping hip (seen a few articles in the literature on it and read Wikipedia: But I haven’t trained anyone with this specific problem, causing me to think it’s pretty rare. I’ve never received an email about this happening either. I’m guessing that your ITB, TFL, or GMed tendon is sliding over the greater trochanter, and perhaps it’s thickened a bit from the training (or the bursa is irritated). Just stop doing them for a while, do what you can in the meantime and then revisit them down the road (and gradually progress back into them) and see if things clear up. Of course, there could be an underlying issue that needs fixing, so I recommend going to a good PT if possible. Sorry to not be of more help! Best of luck! BC

    • Bret says:

      Evan, what I like about Greg is that he’s searching for answers and using science to explain or refute popular beliefs. Knowledge keeps building upon itself, and we should question everything (while being respectful). Some of our theories (lengthening the ITB, reciprocal inhibition, etc.) are dodgy and require more research. I don’t care so much if I disagree with someone; I can respect different viewpoints especially when the person is respectful, humble, and admits that he doesn’t know everything (isn’t trying to be a guru know-it-all). He’s open-minded to foam rolling working, and foam rolling working for the ITB (just not by lengthening it), he’s probably in agreement that glutes shut down but just doesn’t subscribe to the reciprocal inhibition theory, and he probably knows hip extension ROM is important but doesn’t feel that yanking on them via persistent static stretching is the best route. At least this was my initial perception; I already forgot what I read from his blog and need to go back and read it again. But I know when someone is freaky smart and Greg fits the bill. I love that he got me to think critically and influenced my thoughts on certain matters. Hope that helps! BC

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