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Coming Soon – 2 x 4: Maximum Strength

By January 30, 2014Announcements

Hello fitness friends,

I have some very exciting news to share with you.

My new 2 x 4: Maximum Strength program is near completion.

I will be releasing this program on March 10th.

Coming soon - March 10

Coming soon – March 10

I can’t tell you how long and hard I’ve worked on this. In the past year and a half, I have:

  • Joined the strongest gym in Arizona (Revolution Training System) to mingle and talk shop with powerlifters, strongmen, and weightlifters
  • Read hundreds of journal articles on maximum strength training
  • Conducted an extensive analysis of anecdotal knowledge of maximal strength training by reading and watching hundreds of articles and videos of leading experts in the fields of powerlifting, strongman, weightlifting, and general strength training
  • Analyzed hours upon hours of video footage of elite strongmen, powerlifters, and weightlifters
  • Analyzed every popular maximal strength training program to note similarities and differences in program design variables
  • Formulated The Glute Lab to conduct numerous experiments using EMG, force plate, and video capture
  • Piloted the program with experienced lifters and powerlifters
  • Revamped and modified the 2 x 4 program for 18 straight months until I was finally satisfied

The program will include a ton of goodies and bonuses, including:

  • The 14-week 2 x 4: Maximal Strength Training Program
  • A quick-reference guide to over 140 exercises, with full descriptions, pictures, cues, and video tutorials for every single exercise
  • A quick-reference guide for the 36 safest exercises, with full descriptions, pictures, cues, and video tutorials for every single exercise
  • A Cues for Big Lifts document discussing the best cues for the squat, bench press, and deadlift exercises, with video links to an extensive video tutorial for each big lift
  • An extensive FAQ manual
  • An extensive How to Warm Up guide with pictures and video links
  • A 2 x 4 Personal Records Tracker Sheet
  • A Biomechanics of the Squat and Deadlift manual – teaching you how form and anatomy affects joint loading (this is the most extensive manual I’ve seen on the topic)
  • A manual teaching lifters how to adapt the program for different goals and preferences
  • A nutritional guide teaching caloric and macronutrient calculation with sample plans
  • and more

As you can tell, I’m extremely excited about this product. In fact, I think it’s my best work to date.

Though this product has the Bret Contreras name on it, it relies heavily on the knowledge I’ve gained from my training partners and colleagues.

I can’t wait to help you get stronger and to advance best practices in training for maximal strength.

The countdown starts today. T minus 40 days.


  • John V says:

    YEAH! All the sections look really exciting! Looking forward to this!

  • Alissa says:

    So excited to hear this…thanks Bret!!

  • Steinar Ekren says:

    10/10 will buy this to get maximum strong. Well done, Bret 🙂

  • Chuck says:

    Ok. Count me in.

  • Ted says:

    Bret, I hope you know I have nothing but the utmost respect for you.
    But are you serious?

    “The Most Effective Training Program for Maximum Strength and Muscle” designed by an adult man with a 400 pound back squat max.

    No offence, but let others come to the conclusion that the program is effective … why the hype?

    You called out Poliquin some time ago and accused him of being a “guru”, and I agreed with you. What would you call this that you are doing right now?

    • Bret says:

      Come on Ted, what does my squat have to do with anything? I’m 6’4″ tall with long femurs (I teach how anatomy influences joint torques in the manual by the way).

      In six months of training, my girlfriend broke the state record and raw squatted 225 lbs at a bodyweight of 118. Sammie raw squats 225 lbs too at a bw of 120 in 6 months of training as well. Andrew will probably hit 565. Joey is a 500 lb squatter. Rob is a 500 lb squatter. What’s important isn’t these individuals’ current strength levels; it’s how fast they’ve progressed.

      Anyway, what makes other coaches’ programs excellent – their strength? If that’s the case, just go search for Konstantin’s or Spoto’s routines, but I can assure you that these programs aren’t best for the masses. Or do you go by the strength gains a program elicits with the lifters who try the program? That’s what I’d prefer you judge the program by.

      Let’s say I got on steroids and trained in briefs, wraps, a belt, and a squat suit for a year, and got my squat up to 650 lbs. Would that make my program more effective? No, it wouldn’t. Maybe I could get my deadlift up to 700 this way too.

      The truth is, my strength has nothing to do with the program’s efficacy. Moreover, the coaches who tend to make the biggest breakthroughs aren’t always the strongest guys – they’re the weaker guys who are on a constant quest to increase their strength and discover the best training methodologies.

      If you try this program, you will gain strength, and you will love the program. Mark my words. By the way, other coaches have called their programs “the most effective” and I don’t find them to that highly effective for the masses. Nevertheless, I address some of this in the introduction to the book in a very professional and objective manner. I believe very strongly in this program, so I stand behind it.

      Last, I grilled Poliquin because of his pseudoscience, not because of his hype. I do not think it’s fair to put me in the same category.

      • I completely agree with you, Bret! Some people think that to train world class athletes, you should be a world class athlete yourself. My belief is that to train world class athletes you should aim to be a world class strength coach – and you are doing a pretty good job there, sir!

  • Jacques says:

    Hey Bret!

    I am glad you took your time to write a strength program for the masses. Just a couple of questions:
    -Will it be self-published or through a publishing company (like Strong Glutes was)?
    -Who do you think is the target audience for this product? Lifters with a fair amount of experience? Beginners? Regular people with desk jobs and intermediate weightlifting experience? (*prays for the latter*).


    • Bret says:

      Hi Jacques – self published (eBook), the regular program is for intermediates and advanced lifters who can squat, deadlift, and bench press with proper form. However, I teach beginners (and also people who are prone to injury who might do better with exercises other than barbell lifts) how to modify the program so it can work for them. Hope that helps! BC

      • Jacques says:

        That sounds great, Bret. Count me in! 😉

      • Mike says:

        Sounds great Bret! Looking forward to the modifications for beginners as I have a 14yo that is working his way through some body weight basics that I am going to require before he starts lifting weights and he is almost chomping at the bit.

  • Daniel h says:

    Sounds great, looking very much forward to it 🙂

  • Scott says:

    Hey, Bret

    I’m looking forward to reading about your program. From the information you have posted so far, it seems very similar to the programs I write for myself and my more advanced personal training clients.

    Keep up the good work
    Scott LaPier NASM-CPT

  • Philip S says:

    Sounds awesome Bret, looking forward! Is this product going to be sold in the form of an e-book or something similar?

  • Sarah says:

    Is this a book? Can I buy it in Canada in 40 days?? I can’t wait!!!

  • morgan says:

    shut and and take my money 😀

  • Dunkman says:

    I’m usually a hard sell on these things, but knowing your level of professionalism and research I won’t be able to pass on this one.

  • Bret says:

    Thanks everyone for the support! It’s very appreciated.

  • Sandy says:

    Looking forward to this. How much will it cost?

  • Alex says:

    Wow this looks really cool, one reason I trust this website is because it really seems evidence based. At the gym I always feel like I what I work on is so randomand directionless, especially when it comes to upper body and back strength… is this something that people not really smart about gym routines will be able to do? Also people who are starting out without that much strength?

  • Charles Lachaume says:

    Great job ! will it be released on ? how will it cost ?

    released on Human kinetics ?

    Thx and keep up the good work !

  • Charles Lachaume says:

    ok sorry ..just seen the cost reply 😉

  • Dimitar Mihov says:

    Niiiiiicee… finally something i’m RIGHT on, so i can full heartedly support you with buying (not that i wouldnt buy Strong Curves, but right now it’s not amongst my top priorities).
    OTOH a book thats read is not information of the book learned, but the energy/ideas of the author absorbed… so to speak.

    I’m curious to learn and try stuff.

    Quick question – can we implement your ideas INTO some other macro-routine

    (for example: DeFranco’s Westside For Skinny Bastards III part – has some MAX EFFORT days that are devoted only on that.
    I THINK his ideas are best left untouched for the first few cycles/maybe year, but heck – sometimes you might wanna switch routine after a while and you could just add variation into it (like maybe the max effort days follow 2×4 template??) and not go through an overall overhaul – cuz maybe the program works great so far, or maybe it just needs some tweaking (mostly for CNS purposes for example).

    Also if i want to work on speed/dynamic work (Rate of Force Developement) – is this inclued in this 2×4 program??)

    Overall like i said you’re the person to watch for now, cuz you’re still “on the path” and not “finished and satisfied” with the end point.

  • Oreste says:

    Bring it on. Is this related to your PhD work?

  • Ggs says:

    I know many people feel the same way I do….if it’s got your name on it it is Rock solid….from your blogs to strong curves and get glutes…I have never been disappointed…so I hope march comes quickly…

  • Sifter says:

    I doubt Angelo Dundee was the King of Boxing himself, but oh, what a coach!

    There is ZERO correlation between your maximum strength and how well you can get OTHERS to strengthen. One would think that would be obvious to every reader.

    BTW, off topic (sorta) the Israeli military often uses 18 and 19 year old female instructors for sniper instructors, as well as paratrooper training. It’s not that these women are physically strong, per se, but it becomes mentally difficult to not jump out of a plane when the 110 lb female instructor just did. Same goes with making the shot.

    Eliciting the best from others is a talent. Seems that you’re very good at it, kudos to you, Bret.

  • Laura says:


    You always take the high road when criticized. You are patient and explain things thoroughly and politely.
    I admire this. Yet another reason why everyone is inspired by you.

  • Karl says:

    Is this for gaining size or just strength? or have you noticed that the to follows?

    I really want gain strength without size so i can jump high, run fast etc 🙂

    • Ed says:

      Second that, I’m interested in gaining as much strength as possible with minimal mass/hypertrophy/mTor activation.
      Is this product suitable for this?
      Thank you:)

  • wjc says:

    is it here yet? Today is Mar 10 and I’m looking for it and not seeing it?

    What is the new release date?

  • Mike says:

    Bret, is this available yet?

  • Serge says:

    Bret, are there any updates? Where could I pick it up? 🙂

  • Anthony says:

    Ok Bret. Nice work building the anticipation…but where is it already?! Big fan of your stuff by the way – hence my impatience…

    • Bret says:

      April 14th. So sorry Anthony!

      • steven says:

        Here’s a perhaps odd question. Will this book be good for me given:

        a) I’m a competitive sprinter (at 52 years old) and don’t care about size, but I do care about strength… and I’m lower body/posterior chain focused.

        b) I’ve got a grade 2 spondylolisthesis and basically no disk between L5/S1, so I’m *trying* to put less load on my spine (I say “trying” because I LOVE squatting and heavy deadlifts, so it’s hard to quit… but I should).


        And, CONGRATS on what I know was a lot of work and what will be a BIG hit for you.

  • Alex says:

    Really excited for the release of this book, iv got very similar statistics at 6 foot 4, long femurs with a bodyweight of 227. I always find it fascinating to see how the tall guys lift, it was a great inspiration to watch your meet Bret.

  • Marc Assaraf says:

    Can’t wait for the book to come out. Great job on your PB’s and as always well
    Deliversed articles
    Ciao marc

  • jelani says:

    Does the program cover the snatch and the clean and jerk? Thanks

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