10 Things I’m Thankful For

By November 27, 2014 Announcements

I intended on writing this first thing this morning, but I ended up sleeping in. Then I ate way too much Thanksgiving food and was out of commission for a few hours. But better late than never! Below are ten things that I’m thankful for this year.


1. Chris Beardsley

One thing I am extremely proud of is S&C Research Review. Without Chris, there is no research review. He also maintains the S&C Research Blog all by himself. In almost 3 years of monthly reviews, we’ve never been late or failed to deliver, and this is due to Chris’s high standard of excellence. It’s such a privilege to be working with highly competent individuals. Chris and I are educating hundreds of strength coaches, personal trainers, and physical therapists around the world and helping them elevate their methods and practices.

2. Brad Schoenfeld

Over the past several years, Brad and I have published 15 peer-reviewed journal articles together. We currently have at least 6 more articles in the works together in various stages of development, ranging from review papers, to experimental papers, to training studies. Brad is one of my best friends and our frequent phone conversations are priceless. I’m very pleased to be able to carry out meaningful research with Brad and continue to help push the strength training field forward.

3. Andrew Vigotsky

Andrew is currently my intern and he’s doing a kickass job. Andrew’s technological and mathematical expertise enables us to do some really cool things together. In addition to my PhD, we’ve been working on various other things, such as a mathematical modelling of the relationship between muscle hypertrophy, cross-sectional area, pennation angle, moment arm, insertion angle, specific tension, muscle force, and torque production, and also a model that calculates hamstring length based on hip and knee angles. Andrew’s passion and intellect are of great value to me, and I dread losing him when the internship is completed.

4. Speaking Opportunities

I haven’t been able to speak very often lately since I’ve been so busy. But I do manage to speak a few times per year at various events. During these times, I get to hang out with my fellow fitness friends. Usually I end up hanging out with Alan Aragon until the wee hours of the morning.


At these events, I also get to meet with passionate trainers and coaches from around the world, which is highly rewarding. It allows me to effectively spread my methods and ideas across the world. Next year, I intend on speaking in the UK, Norway, and possibly Spain. But not until I finish my thesis!

5. Glute Lab

Words can’t describe how awesome it is to have a badass garage gym. I pride myself on having the best equipment possible for enabling highly productive training sessions for myself and my clients. I even get to help out my twin brother when he trains here a couple of times per week, and I’m conducting my PhD research out of the lab as well. In a perfect world, we’d all have our own glute labs.

glute lab

6. Scientific Advancement in S&C

I’ve noticed that the strength training industry is gradually changing. Readers are no longer satisfied with pseudoscience – they want more. Fitness magazines, websites, and blogs are seeking more scientific information these days, and conferences and summits are calling for more scientific speakers. Science is winning, and readers are thirsty for accurate content.

7. My Clients and Lifting Friends

I have a pretty big online fitness presence, which is cool. But I don’t feel right if I’m not interacting with people in person and making a difference locally. I gain tremendous insight from my lifting friends at Revolution Training, and I thoroughly enjoy training my hardworking clients week in and week out. They inspire me to work harder and be better.

8. John Cronin

My PhD supervisor John Cronin from AUT University is far more than a professor to me – he’s almost like a second father. What I’ve learned from him about life far trumps what he’s taught me about sports science and research methods. He gave me a chance by accepting me as a PhD student and believing in me, which I’ll never take for granted. I have many fond memories from New Zealand working with John. For example, one night at his home in the Kaimais, we were discussing torque angle curves, and right there in the office we busted out the calculations for my Are All Hip Extension Exercises Created Equal article. John is all about making things happen.

9. My Readers

Several years ago, some dude who called himself The Glute Guy started up a blog and began pushing strange exercises and methods to fitness enthusiasts. He could have easily been laughed out of the field and dismissed as a lunatic, but you all listened to me and paid attention to what I had to say. An authority on any given topic is nothing without an open-minded audience, and you guys and gals have granted me that. Thank you for hearing me out and experimenting with my methods, and thank you for spreading the word, sharing my articles, tagging me on social media outlets, sending me before and after pictures, and defending me to naysayers. I appreciate it immensely.

10. Yoga Pants

I think this picture says it all.

yoga pants



  • Connie Ross says:

    Mr Contreras – You are awesome. Thanks for all the amazing work you do. Happy thanks giving to you from Australia. I’ve been a big fan of yours for ages. Please come and visit soon. I know lots of coaches that would love to host you 🙂

  • Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for putting out awesome content so often. I have clients getting great results from info you provide. Thanks!

  • Michelle says:

    I agree with Connie! I’m an Aussi too and I’ve just received my copy of Strong Curves. I can’t wait to get started! I love the idea of Thanksgiving because it’s a great way to stop and think about all the people and things that make our lives better. Thanks Brett and Kellie for writing such a comprehensive and useful book. I’m going to be rocking those yoga pants by next Thanksgiving!!! ;D

  • Ryan says:

    Long time follower of your work Brett – your articles are very well written and accurately convey a lot of important points in relation to exercise selection, prescription, programming and progression which is invaluable for me as a coach/trainer, and in my mind really bridge the gap between the science and practical application.

    Further to this you also train clients whilst researching and competing yourself, which speaks volumes about your personal integrity. In Australia this is much less common in our industry, most times people either excel from having in the trenches experiences, or being highly educated, rarely both. Therefore it is both inspiring and commendable to see someone such as yourself do so, and it shows in your writing as you really ‘connect the dots’ so to say.

    Keep up the great work – you’re names gonna go down in strength & conditioning history!!


    • Bret says:

      What an excellent compliment Ryan – one of the best I’ve received. You just made my day. I will definitely do my best to keep up the pace.

  • I lol’d at the yoga pants, and I am furiously jelly at the badass garage gym! I would love to have one of my own to train clients in and arrange weekend lifting workshops in…

    • Bret says:

      Daniel, at 24 years old, I purchased a Powertech power rack and bench, along with a barbell and plates. I spent around $500 I think. As time went on, I bought some db’s, an incline press, a seated military press, and some specialty items. A couple of years later I bought an Elitefts power rack/platform, GHD, reverse hyper, Prowler, 45 degree hyper, and specialty bars, bands, and chains. Then I purchased a dual cable column and a lever squat machine. Years later I made the hip thruster, then I purchased some heavy kb’s, squat stands, and more bars and plates. Then a Hammer Strength row and Cybex squat press. Then a single leg squat stand and more bands. I would like a dead-squat bar, a 150-lb kb, and eventually a leg curl and leg extension machine. What I’m trying to say is that I didn’t accumulate it all at once. This has been a 14-year process, and I couldn’t be happier with my current gym. But it all started with a minor purchase. So get the ball rolling and get started building your dream gym.

  • Jana NJ says:

    I don’t really leave comments but I follow your blog and got your books because I respect your work and see that you take this serious and you are one of the few that takes research seriously my husband is a researcher and I know the work it takes . There is a lot of crap out there but to have good reliable content specially for women is rare so Thank You!

  • Chuck says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Bret! You could have made number 10 number 1 though!

  • Ryan Banta says:

    Bret thank you for all that you do! Also, thanks for your comments and answered questions for the sprinter’s compendium. Have a great holiday season.


    Ryan Banta

  • Attila Fulop says:

    Since the day I met you, you have been a true inspiration to me. Your personality is what captivates me. You’re humble and caring approach toward people resonates throughout your work as well. Your concepts, research studies and attitude challenges us trainers and not only, to be better and more complete. Thank you for all the hard work, effort and energy that you put into this industry. I want you to know that you are valued not only as a fitness professional but as a friend and mentor as well. Please, continue to keep us excited, educated and on our toes to be able to help our clients, friends and families to be the best they can.

  • Zach says:

    It is hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like you have your squat rack on a rubber mat. Is this all? Do you have a platform? If so, did you build it and do you have any recommendations? If not, and it is just rubber mats, what brand/style did you buy?


  • Ggs says:

    I am thankful to all the people who care enough about people and their quest for strength and knowledge about fitness. I know that everyone has to make a living, but Bret and his pals go above and beyond with all their freebies… The info I have received over the past year is phenomenal.
    So thank you very much for going the extra mile and sharing your knowledge and your fitness peers (pals) with us.

  • Erik says:

    Hey Bret,
    I didn’t see Diana on the list. Why is she M.I.A. from the list? Also. did she graduate yet?

  • Michael T. says:

    Hey Bret & Bret’s Followers,

    This morning I worked out at an out-of-town gym and noticed just how ‘old school’ it was… I mean there were guys in the squat racks with chalk, standing around in between sets and cinching up weight belts and discussing reps, chicks and fast cars – was this a time warp back a couple of decades?! Eventually, one of the guys walked up to me and said my hip thrusts must be a great ab or back move… I really tried to be open minded, yet I noticed just how closed minded and unintelligent the world of fitness is/was and how Bret and his challenging of the status quo has really moved things forward. I am really thankful for this!

    It is no longer good enough to rattle off squats, lunges and deadlifts for anything lower body. Not because these moves aren’t effective, but to really question whether they are for everyone, and most importantly, whether they work on your personal body! I can’t tell you how many YEARS I’ve walked around with knee pain and lower back soreness with merely OK glute and quad development due to limiting my workouts to just heavy squats and deadlifts. Post BC (Bret Contreras), I now have no knee or lower back pain, and my ass makes me feel like a real athlete. I stand in line at the grocery store feeling like a little solid building! Ha! I’m faster, leaner and heavier than I was in my 20s and 30s and my abs are showing for once!

  • kadriye says:

    Bret,when are you due for UK -I hope for London??

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