Skip to main content

Hi fitness friends! 2015 was certainly an interesting and productive year for me. I hope that you all also had a fantastic and fruitful year.

Check out my 2015 highlights and other items of interest since my last Random Thoughts post:

2015 Highlights

  • Obtained PhD in Sports Science from AUT University

  • Co-author on 12 published peer-reviewed journal articles (35 total to date)

  • Presented in USA, UK, Norway, and Spain

  • Arguably got into the best shape of my life

Bret 225-lbs

Probably my best look at about 225-lbs. Right now I’m back up to 237 lbs but looking to start leaning out again.

  • Set numerous gym PRs at 38-39 years of age (squat 430, deadlift 405 x 20 reps, deadlift 500 x 10 reps, 16 bodyweight chin ups, bench press 335 lbs, hip thrust 725 lbs).

Of Random Interest:

1. 100 kg (220 lb) Barbell Hip Thrust Challenge

Fellow strong hip thrusting peeps, check out Derrick Blanton nailing 40 reps with 100 kgs (220 lbs). It took him 4 attempts over a 3 week period to accomplish this feat.  Now, he does use a tad shorter bench at 14.5″ – I use a 16″ bench for comparison. That can make hip thrusting slightly easier but he finds this to be a more comfortable height. This a brutal feat, nonetheless. The most reps I’ve ever hit with 100 kgs was 25, and I couldn’t imagine getting 15 more reps. Congrats, Derek! Think you can beat Derrick’s 40 reps or my 25 reps? Give it a try!

2. Attentional Focus for Maximizing Muscle Development: The Mind-Muscle Connection

Check out this paper I co-authored with my buddy, Brad Schoenfield, which has just recently been published ahead of print. This is a fascinating topic and the article can be downloaded for free at the moment. Click on the PDF icon under Article Tools at the link to download HERE.

My amigo and co-author Brad Schoenfield in Barcelona

3. Becoming a Better Human Seminar: Last Week for Early-Bird Discount

I’m presenting next month at the Becoming a Better Human Seminar in Regina, Saskatchewan. I was on the phone yesterday with my friend and co-presenter Alan Aragon, and I don’t think we quite realized how cold Saskatchewan is this time of year. Alan lives in LA and I live in Phoenix and methinks we might be some cold weather sissies. The only cold weather I hope to deal with will be in running from the hotel to the car.  Also there will be my buddy Eric Helms, a super-smart bro who is currently getting his PhD from AUT University in New Zealand (same school I attended), and Mike Tuchscherer, an innovative and freakishly strong powerlifter. Canadian friends who live close to Regina – you better be there! We need your warm bodies to huddle up with and prevent hypothermia. This is the last week to receive the early-bird discount (closes on Jan 17th). Learn more about the event HERE.


4. Reddit AMA

I recently participated in another AMA on Reddit to chat about Strong Curves and answer a few questions. This was a fun experience, as always. You can follow along with the conversation HERE.

5. Olympic Weightlifting Research by Chris Beardsley

Olympic Weightlifting fans, I have a treat for you. Chris Beardsley of Strength and Conditioning Research sifted through the research on Olympic lifting and summarized almost 300 studies. You can check out the summary for free HERE.

6. Bench Press Research by Adam Bentley

Love to read and think about the bench press? You will definitely want to take a look at Adam Bentley’s review article summarizing the research on this popular exercise HERE.

7. Finally Nailed a 315 lb Full Squat

I’ve always found squats to be incredibly challenging, so I’m very proud of my recent 315-lb for 10-rep full squat PR. At 6’4″, I have a large ROM with these. I actually measured it and it’s 29 3/8″ (74.6 cm). And by the way, I’m wearing blue sweatpants (courtesy of squat sponge) not jeans LOL, many of my followers thought I had jeans on. Maybe if I ever get to 365 lbs for 10 reps, I’ll wear blue jeans and a blue jean jacket, but I’d have to be way stronger and way cooler to pull off that feat. 

8. Gym Wildlife

Nothing like a good laugh at the expense of us gym-rats to brighten your day. Behold, and observe the gym and its inhabitants as you’ve never quite seen them before.

9. PTQ Volume 2 Issue 4

I serve as Editor-in-Chief of Personal Training Quarterly and our latest publication is now available. If you are an NSCA member, click on the link to learn more about strength training for endurance athletes to training for sedentary office workers, as well as insights for improving communication as a personal trainer.  Read more HERE.

10. Strong by Bret: Coming Soon

Soon you’ll be able to follow the same program I use with my Glute Squad clients. I’ll be releasing Strong by Bret in the near future, so stay tuned for that.

Love training my lovely Glute Squad Ladies. Be on the lookout for a new program based on their workouts in the very near future.

I love training my lovely Glute Squad Ladies. Be on the lookout for a new program based on their workouts in the very near future.

Well, friends, I think that wraps up my 2015 highlight reel and recent updates. I hope that you enjoyed the random information I’ve shared as much as I have. I look forward to what’s in store for 2016 and wish you all a healthy and happy year!



  • tammy e. says:

    Methinks 2016 will be even better for you! Go get ’em Bret!

  • Ron says:

    If you ever get that 365×10 full squat, you should totally do it in full James Dean mode. Go for Jeans, white t-shirt, leather jacket and sunglasses. It’ll be an early favorite for post of the year.

  • msytc says:

    Great to hear some updates Bret! It has been a while since you last posted. Look forward to more great reading and info as always.

  • Mark says:

    Damn, 2015 was quite a year for you! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit jealous, as my 2015 was pretty lousy.

    Here’s to 2016 being even better for both of us 🙂

  • Di B. says:

    Congratulations on completing your PHD Bret! 12 publications in a year is AMAZING! As someone holding a doctorate myself, I appreciate the difficulty of that task and am so impressed with everything else you’ve managed to accomplish this year in addition to graduating.

    I recently purchased Strong Curves and have been following the program for the past two months and have been seeing amazing results! Before it, I had strength trained on and off in the past using “guru” methods and never got the results that I wanted. Since beginning your program, I’ve seen amazing gains both in terms of strength and in my physique. I focus on chasing strength and PRs and am loving it! I never leave the gym feeling drained from doing hours of cardio, but instead like I’ve got more to give. I’ve even gained some more depth on my booty which, considering my genes, is a feat in and of itself!

    Thank you for sharing all of your valuable knowledge and science-based methods with the online community! Happy New Year and wish you the best for 2016!

  • MK says:

    Hi Bret. I’ve been following your articles and studies and they are super interesting. One question that has been plaguing me and I wanted to get your thoughts on are: Are plyo or just high rep body weight booty exercises just as good at butt building? I’m curious because I keep hearing about the “skater butt” and how huge and round skaters butts get and was wondering how that is possible without heavy weights. Are butt muscles different in that they will grow due to extreme stress whether it’s fast twitch or slow twitch? I ask because I’ve been following your program and I’ve been having some lower back issues whenever I go heavy which is very frustrating. Can’t find thoughts on this anywhere so I thought I’d ask the expert. Maybe it’s a topic you’ve covered already! Thanks and keep being awesome and sharing all your sweet finds.

  • Jeff says:

    Do you have a specific article on your diet to obtain your results this past year?

  • Eden says:

    Bret, you have nothing to worry about in Regina. I think this is the mildest winter we’ve ever had – it is like spring here right now (although you still might consider that cold). We’ve only had a few days of truly cold weather! Can’t believe you are coming here!!!

  • lucho says:

    hi Bret, after watching the 220 lbs. x 40 reps challenge I decided to give it a try using 225 Lbs..
    Here is my leg Workout: 1) Front Squat: 135 x 3,155 x 3, 185 x 3, 205 x 3. 225 x 3 ,245 x 3 265 x 23 2) Barbell back Squat rep out: @75 lbs x 25 reps. 3) Barbell high Pull; 115 x 3, 135 x 3, 155 x 3 4) BB hip thrust challenge: 225 Lbs x 30, 225 x 20 , 225 x 15 with 10 second hold at the end. 5)Single leg Bodyweight pistol squats : 3 sets x 8-12 reps. I am a 57 years old soccer player and coach . Any comments from you Bret or anybody and critique on my lower body workout for leg strength ,power development,etc ( I also alternate Romanian Deadlifts) thank you . Lucho

  • Lily says:

    Can’t wait for “Strong” by Bret – Please give us updates!!

Leave a Reply


and receive my FREE Lower Body Progressions eBook!

You have Successfully Subscribed!