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The Bret Contreras Podcast: Episode 2 – The State of S&C Coaching and More Squat Mechanics

By February 5, 2015January 3rd, 2017Powerlifting, The Bret Contreras Podcast


Click HERE to download an mp3, click HERE to listen in iTunes, click HERE to listen on Stitcher, or use the player below.


Links from the Podcast: Part I (0.00 – 38.12)

The Current State of S&C Coaching by Mark Rippetoe

The Strength of Evidence Podcast – Episode 3 (Olympic vs Power Lifting)

The Strength of Evidence Podcast – Episode 2: To Squat or Not to Squat

Maximizing Power Production

Kenny Dobbs Dunking

Machines vs. Free Weights: More Research is Needed

Force Vector Training

Strategies for Optimal Core Training Program Design

Lower extremity biomechanics during a regular and counterbalanced squat

Mary’s first pistol

Effects of weighted sled towing on ground reaction force during the acceleration phase of sprint running

Links from the Podcast: Part II (38:13 – 44.50)

Squats: Fold-Ability and Proportions by Tom Purvis

The Increasing Role of the Hip Extensor Musculature With Heavier Compound Lower-Body Movements and More Explosive Sport Actions

Hip- Versus Knee-Dominant Task Categorization Oversimplifies Multijoint Dynamics

lncreasing Role of Hips Supported by Electromyography and Musculoskeletal Modeling

Squatting Kinematics and Kinetics and Their Applicability to Exercise Performance

Part III – Reader Questions

I asked my readers to submit questions but I spent way too long answering them. So I decided not to include this as part of the podcast but to instead include the MP3 for anyone who wants to listen to all of the answers.

Click HERE to download the MP3 or just listen to the player below.


HERE are all of the questions on Facebook, and below are links to articles I discussed.

Force Vector Training

Do Light Weights Tone & Heavy Weights Bulk?

Why People Must Squat Differently

Measurement of Hip Range of Flexion-Extension and Straight-leg Raising


The 2-1 Method for Fixing Glute Imbalances

Effect Of Limited Hip Flexor Length On Gluteal Activation During An Overhead Squat In Female Soccer Players (S83)

Variation of rotation moment arms with hip flexion

Lengths of the external hip rotators in mobilized cadavers indicate the quadriceps coxa as a primary abductor and extensor of the flexed hip

Biomechanics of the Lumbopelvic-Hip Complex and Applications to Resistance Training

Velocity specificity of resistance training

Is Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness a Valid Indicator of Muscular Adaptations?

The effectiveness of resistance training using unstable surfaces and devices for rehabilitation

Instability resistance training across the exercise continuum

Don’t Be Like Donald Duck

Prenatal hormones in first-time expectant parents: Longitudinal changes and within-couple correlations


Gutting the Glute-Ham Raise

The Effect of Back Squat Depth on the EMG Activity of 4 Superficial Hip and Thigh Muscles

Best Squat Depth for Glute Activation

Effects of load on good morning kinematics and EMG activity

Kinetic and kinematic differences between deadlifts and goodmornings

What is the muscle fiber type of different muscles?

Does resistance-training change muscle fiber type?

5 Things I Learned About Training Through Reading Research

May Research Round-Up: Bloodflow Restriction and Hypoxia Training Edition

Inside the Muscles: Best Shoulders and Trap Exercises

Effect of hand position on EMG activity of the posterior shoulder musculature during a horizontal abduction exercise

Do Pain Pills Impair Muscle Growth?

The Use of NSAID’s for Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage: Implications for Skeletal Muscle Development

For the Millionth Time, Spot Reduction is a Myth!!!

Strategies for Optimal Core Training Program Design

Kickass Kim


  • Kenny Croxdale says:

    Maximizing Power Production

    A Review of Power Output Studies of Olympic and Powerlifting: Methodology, Performance, Prediction and Evaluation Test”, Dr John Garhammer, NSCA Research

    During Entire Snatch or Clean Pull Movements:
    34.3 w/kg Men
    21.8 w/kg Women

    Second Pulls:
    52.6 w/kg Men
    39.2 w/kg Women

    Squat and Deadlift:
    12 w/kg Men

    Kenny Croxdale

  • Vadim says:

    Very good podcast once again, so much info! wow.

    Bret, do you have a suggestion on a few exercises to maximise olympic lifts?

  • Tanner Gers says:

    Awesome job Bret. Your reflections and critique of your younger self, opinions based on published research and experience, analysis and comparisons, and all the perspectives you illustrate for various scenarios and everything else you’ve dumped here are all just outstanding. I also want to tip my hat to you regarding post production. Since I’m in this space, I can tell how committed you are to publishing a high-end product. Few know how much work it takes to do what you’re doing. Unless you’re an editing god, you probably spent just as much time recording, if not more, editing. Thanks for that and I look forward to the opportunity of interviewing you soon… If your schedule will only open up enough

  • Tanner Gers says:

    What a fantastic episode Bret. I really appreciate your wisdom and reflection on a younger self. You did a great job at providing perspective, constructive neutral critique on why or why not methods are applicable in various scenarios, and your experience, knowledge, opinions and research based thinking shines here. Plus, I love how you provide hypotheses and then say you don’t know… Because you don’t know if you don’t test and everyone is different, which is inline with the theory that you and Brad share about optimal hypertrophy methods. Since I’m in this space, I also want to tip my hat to you for the high-quality product your publishing. I know you’re spending a great deal of time editing, linking up everything for us to soak up, and on top of just providing great audio content. If your schedule will ever open up enough, I look forward to the opportunity of interviewing you-

  • Tanner Gers says:

    Sorry for the double post… I thought the first one didn’t go up

  • Michael Phillips says:

    Hey Bret,

    Great podcast overall. I think you presented some great information, opinions, and conclusions. However, I wanted to point out an erroneous conclusion you came to with respect to pistol squats. You mentioned that the reason holding dumbbells out in a front raise position during a pistol squat is easier is because it shifts that joint torque to the hip, and away from the knee. I disagree with your assessment of that scenario.

    Assuming the exact same torso position, the center of mass does indeed shift toward the knees. This translates to a greater moment acting on the hip, and a smaller moment acting on the knee. However, the total mass of the system also increase. So, even if the relative moment changes to some extent, the total torque that still needs to be produced by the knee is probably pretty much the same. However, as you indicated, there is now a greater demand on the hip than in the original, purely body weight, scenario. It doesn’t reduce the load at the knee though; it only increases the load at the hip.

    Again, this all assumes no change in torso position. With external load placed that far in front of the body, it is highly likely that a more upright torso position is attained. Consider the front squat for example. The reason it shifts more load to the knee and away from the hip has to do with the change in torso position. The external load placement, in theory, with no change in torso position, would make the exercise more hip dominant. However, you must always consider what external load does to the overall body position, and thus the barbell + lifter system. Thus, with a more upright posture, the moment will shift such that greater torque is demanded of the knee, and less of the hip, at least relatively speaking.

    The reason that it is easier to pistol squat with a light external load in front is because it makes it easier to keep one’s center of mass within the base of support, largely due to the changes in body position that it affords.

    As always, I always like reading and listening to what you have to say. You are a smart fellow, and I highly respect your opinion. Cheers!

    • Bret says:

      Michael, hmmmm, you’ve got me thinking! Then why do most people seem to do better with 10 lb db’s than 5 lbs db’s when doing pistols? It better balances them? Also, people do this with bodyweight squats; they put their arms out in front of them and it helps them stay more upright and squat better. Could it be that the shift in COM (assuming no change in torso angle) does a greater job of altering torques than the external load? I hope that makes sense. Basically, I agree that the external load would indeed increase total hip + knee extension torque, but I’m not sure if it just increases hip torque and leaves knee torque unchanged…maybe it decreases knee torque while increasing hip torque. How could we model this to see if you are in fact correct, or if I’m correct? I want to get to the bottom of this very badly as I hate not knowing the answer to these things. I could put my former intern Andrew on this question if need be, but do you have any ideas? Thank you very much for chiming in here and stimulating some great discussion.

  • Itai says:

    Hey Bret, fantastic podcast.
    I have one question.
    You mentioned that the hamstring pull both ends and produce knee flexion torque.

    With taking in mind the lumbard paradox, dosn’t the hamstring produce knee extention torque?

    All best

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