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Glutes, Glutes, and More Glutes

By April 12, 2013January 11th, 2014Glute Training

Hi Fitness Peeps!

A few things to share:

1. Strong Curves Update

Thank you very much to everybody who chimed in and jotted down an Amazon review. I very much appreciate it. I’m at a loss as to how to increase the book’s popularity. My publishers told me to do two things: 1) get lots of attention on blogs and social media sites, and 2) get lots of reviews. Both of these took place, but the book appears to have peaked and lost steam already.


Sunday night we were ranked 4th in Women’s Health books, 12th in Exercise & Fitness books, and 469th in all books. (I wanted to get #1 in Women’s Health)


As of today, despite getting more media and more reviews, we’re at #8, #30, and #1,076. Go figure?

I need to be thinking bigger. Maybe I’ll record a Youtube video with a plea to Dr. Oz to get me on the show haha! I feel that 98% of women should be doing the Strong Curves plan for their training (per their goals) – it makes so much sense to me (this is how I train my women and the results speak for themselves). I suppose I should be happy that we were at #4 at one point (top five).

2. What Needs to Happen to Create Nice Glutes (Personal Trainers: Print this Out and Show it to Your Clients)

The most popular image out of the book, based on input I’ve received and images embedded onto Facebook, is the one below:


This cracks me up – I created this image on Paint and assumed that the publishers would bring in a graphics designer to improve upon it, but I guess they liked it. Sure it’s a bit exaggerated, but it illustrates an important point.

I show this image to personal training clients so they understand what needs to happen. Their glutes need to grow markedly. Sure they need to lose fat surrounding the buttocks, but they also need to build muscle. Best way to build glute muscle – get freakishly strong at the hip thrust. Eating well and getting much stronger through intense workouts whittles away the fat, and building glute strength creates the shape.

When clients know and understand this, they will push themselves harder and do their homework (I prescribe them reverse lunges and single leg hip thrusts to do on their own), which makes my job much easier.

3. The Evolution of Glutes

Check this out: the evolution of the gluteus maximus!!! Squats and Hip Thrusts to the rescue!

Which color do you like best? I like green, blue, and red the best.

evolution-red3 evolution-yellow3 evolution-blue3 evolution-green3 evolution-orange3 evolution-purple3

4. How to do Back Extensions Without an Apparatus

Some of the Strong Curves buyers are already emailing me asking how they can do back extensions if they don’t have an apparatus. Here is a good way – just do them off of a standard bench:

5. How to do the American Hip Thrust

The American hip thrust is different than the standard hip thrust. I love both variations. Though I perform the standard hip thrust more often, I make sure to throw in the American version from time to time – based on my preliminary EMG investigations it leads to even greater glute activation than the standard version.

That’s all for today my fitness brethren! Keep thrustin’, BC


  • Rob says:

    Great book Bret! I’ve been following you for a few years now and you’ve made a huge difference in the way that I train and also the way I train my clients!

  • Collin says:

    Bret, great idea on how to do Back Extensions without an apparatus!

    I have one of your older articles where you listed the Straight Leg and Single Leg Straight Leg Glute Bridges as some of your favorite glute/hamstring exercises, and as solid replacements if you don’t have access to a Back Extension apparatus. Do you still feel these can be a solid part of someone’s exercise rotation, especially if they train at home?

  • Patrick says:

    Thanks for the update Bret. Have you tried making 2-5 page samples of the book on different places in the blogosphere? I would also may be think about audio/video narration of key sections/paragraphs maybe. I don’t know. Just some thoughts of from a guy who knows nothing about publishing.

  • Greg says:

    Thank you for all the articles, data, references, and videos you’ve put out there. You’re awesome. Recently in regards to the hip thrust you’ve mentioned bench height a few times. I’m long limbed, even at 6’4″, so most conceptions of generalized measurements for exercises don’t work for me.

    Is there a non-measurement rule of thumb to go by with bench height in the hip thrust? It seems that in most of your videos the thighs end parallel or very slightly above parallel to the ground with the angle between the leg and thigh at about 90 degrees or slightly higher. Is this a sufficient description for figuring out appropriate hip thrust bench height regardless of the person’s height?

    Conversely, are there any drawbacks to not having an appropriately sized bench in the hip thrust, other than sub-optimal glute activation?


  • Matt says:

    Awesome solution to the lack of a back extension bench, thanks Bret!

    The strong curves advanced workout, what do you think about female clients who want to train 4 times a week (like you prefer)? What if they alternated through workouts A-C so performed A,B,C,A the first week and B,C,A,B the next week and so on? Assuming she’s eating enough to recover would this be okay? I have a VERY motivated client with me. She hit 225lbs x 10 today 🙂

    Thanks again!

  • Matt says:

    I think the yellow looks best 🙂

  • Matthew says:

    Two things you need to do to get this book out there: offer affiliate links, and create a landing page that INS’T the Amazon buy page.

    The Amazon page isn’t going to do the book justice or highlight the awesomeness of the book in a way that inspire’s people to buy it. For an example landing page, you can basically click on ANY of Cressey’s products. And although you may have to offer a cut of the proceeds to anyone with the affiliate link, the benefit outweighs the cost. And I’m sure many people would do it for free.

    Also, I like the orange banner.

  • Matthew says:

    Also, dude, I love that back extension idea. I’ve been wanting to do back extensions for a while now, and didn’t have a way. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of that, ha. Love it. Thanks!

  • ggs says:

    Green and Orange are my favorite….Not sure why its not on the best seller list….This book rocks….I have been on a quest to find booties that have been touched by the Thrust…to my dismay there have not been many…I check at airports, supermarkets, malls and even gyms…and barely a one…the butt dilemma in this country is shameful…we must unite and bring this nation of buttastrophy to buttmastery… we can change this world one thrust at a time….Share the thrust…Pay it forward

  • ggs says:

    Before I make anyone angry…I know there are a lot of great butts out there…they are just not out there when I am looking…..

  • Melly says:

    Maybe you should have a tweetchat, a virtual ‘book signing’. Ask your readers to blog about it in advance. I bet one of your online mags would do a feature about you and the book in advance. I know I would attend and have questions for you.

  • maureen says:

    Maybe this book is a sleeper….It will take the first group of people 12 weeks to complete the program….then the shouting from the rooftops will begin….patience it will happen…good news travels fast.

  • Neel says:

    Hey Bret, sorry to hear the book isn’t doing what you want it to. There are myriad reasons why that could be happening:

    1) You’re catching the fitness wave late: some people have used other systems and may be satisfied with where they are.
    2) And why would they pay for a book when they can get so much of your high-yield information for free on this website/sample pages you released?
    3) In order to buy the book, women have to acknowledge to themselves that they don’t just want to be healthy, they also want to look sexy. Then they have to acknowledge the fact to the people in their lives. Americans as a whole have a little (read: huge) issue with sexual repression. The branding of Strong Curves is (while in my opinion classy) enough to turn some of those people off of it.
    4) Have you made big enough waves in the popular media yet? If I saw your name/book in the bookstore and looked you up, I wouldn’t be able to figure out what to make of you instantly (god forbid I should actually invest my time in learning about you). But most people want to be able put you into a convenient box so they can make a snap judgement on whether or not to buy your book. Better yet, they’d like for the media to have made a snap judgement for them. Maybe some mainstream publicity will help?

    I sincerely hope people wake up and see what they’re missing. For your sake and theirs.

    • Manuel says:

      Neel brings up a good point: how to alert people (both male and female) that they need to strengthen and build their glutes.
      The glutes have very sexual connotations, and your book uses this on the cover.
      One has to be at least an advanced trainer to acknowledge the importance of the glutes for performance.

      I followed your stuff for years and bought the old glute ebook. If I would not know you and just stumbled on the strong curves on amazon I probably would not have bought it, since it only addresses fit women who want to grow their booty.

      I am male and do weightlifting, and while I see that glutes look good in men as well, I am not interested in more hypertrophy there.

  • Neel says:

    Regarding the American hip thrust… isn’t this is a loaded spinal & pelvic flexion/extension movement? Isn’t that dangerous? To what extent is spinal flexion/extension safe within this context (as compared to an axial load)? I’d have a hard time prescribing anything over 225 to even the strongest of my trainees, for fear of spinal injury.

    • Derrick Blanton says:

      Hey Neel, this is a great question, and something I think about a lot! I enjoy discussions like this that go to the heart of the reality of moving in a 3-D world. Spinal bracing is something that remains a bit enigmatic to me.

      I think the key variable when it comes to spinal movement under load is, “Is the movement coming in opposition to the shear force at the spine, or as a result of being overwhelmed by it, and buckling into it?” Big difference.

      I suppose that if our bodies were machines, that we would have an utterly locked down spine and pelvis while the limbs move about. But I frankly don’t know if the hip capsule would allow as much ROM on a completely fixed pelvis. Particularly in athletic movement. I would even venture a guess that the pelvis HAS to move slightly to allow the femur to reach various ranges of motion. (Does the spine have to move slightly to allow for this? I suspect that it might. Discuss.)

      But I digress. HT’s and DL’s work at opposite ends of the shear spectrum. The DL load wants to pull you into PPT, so you try to work opposite that force with an APT force to try to keep the lumbar in neutral. (A better example of this might be a heavy good morning exercise.)

      Best case scenario with a heavy DL/good morning is the lumbar resists the shear force, stays in the neutral zone, thanks to compressive spinal bracing which includes a large lumbar moment.

      Conversely, the HT load works directly opposite on the spine. It is literally pushing your spine into APT, so you use your glutes to “hedge” into PPT to try to keep the lumbar in a neutral range. You may be moving the spine slightly, however it is in direct opposition to the load forcing your spine downwards. (And these are some of the heaviest loads that your body can lift, due to the good, stable leverages that the HT provides.)

      So the PPT force, and subsequent slight movement “cancels out” the shear force on the spine if that makes sense.

      Another example of this is PPT at TOP of DL, or at top of back extension. The forces at your spine have shifted, so you shift your response to those forces.

      To keep the spine in a neutral zone, I have personally found that PPT is the way to go on a HT, even more critical as you get heavier. In all these cases the spinal bracing system is working against the external shearing forces to keep the spine in a neutral zone.

      I would be interested in BC’s thoughts, as well as other readers as well.

      • Neel says:

        Derrick, well explained. I agree that in the real world, spinal motion (A/P and lateral flexion, as well as rotation) occurs under load all the time. And in my personal experience and in countless hours I’ve spent watching athletes move, I agree that the pelvis moves to some small degree with the spine.

        I like to think of it as “rhythm”. A lot of people have heard of scapulohumeral rhythm, particularly with overhead movements (I happen to think there’s also a scapulohumeral rhythm for every shoulder movement – protraction coupled to flexion, retraction coupled to extension, etc.).

        Likewise, there’s probably a pelvic-femoral rhythm. Since the pelvis is more rigidly attached to the rest of the axial skeleton (vs. the scapula which is primarily attached by the serratus and AC joint), it stands to reason that some of the impulse transfers further up the axial skeleton (ie, to the spine). So perhaps we ought to be thinking of a lumbo-pelvic-femoral rhythm.

        Getting back to the original point, I think it’s probably okay to have a little axial-skeletal motion, but only under low load, and preferably with trainees who understand the necessity to limit spinal/pelvic motion, and have acquired the skill to exert that control.

  • Stanley says:

    Ahh this is absolutely great for my readers, they would all love some good glutes. 😉
    A lot of my clients are interested in getting a perfect body, and a glutes specific guide would be awesome!

  • carol says:

    Bret, got your book. Love it. Will leave my first ever review on Amazon for you. Quick question. I do olympic lifts. How would you recommend combining glute training (gluteal goddess) with olympic training? Right now I do a 3 day cycle (A – power lifts, B – Snatch, C – Clean and jerk). I usually do pullups and pushups on all olympic days.. I do two 3 day cycles per week and on the seventh day I might do some kettle bell swings or suspension trainer.


  • Nick Christian says:

    Really appreciate your new book Brett. Thanks for the American HT vid, it will be something different to add into programming variations!!

  • Olivia says:

    Go green, is eye caching!

  • Billy Santana says:

    Thanks for the back extension alternative, Bret. Will be trying this on my own & with my clients… I think the orange one looks the best. 2nd choice: green.

  • Rachel says:

    I love the book. I bought it from because a woman on recommended it to me and I had remembered hearing about you in either Oxygen magazine or on a blog radio or something like that. I love the way strong perky glutes look and when I posted about exercises for the glute “shelf” that’s when I got the recommendation for you book. I’m barely into it and I’ve already learned a ton and really really love it. I can’t wait to get into the exercises! I’ll rate it on very soon 😉

  • misty says:

    I am slender, athletic and well toned, but have long suffered from pancake butt! I looked for a long time for exercises that increase the size of the glutes, and found the same exercises listed, such as lunges, squats, deadlifts. I tried these, to no avail. I just started the glute exercises you recommended in various youtube videos, and love the results. just a few thoughts: women are often influenced by ‘before and after’ photos of women who have been ‘transformed’ by the program, and many prefer videos to books. I know, from personal experience, that I like to see the exercise performed in order to ensure proper form. I would buy a droid/i phone app or downloadable video that includes your entire glute program. fitness books may not be the best medium for your product.

  • Jessica says:


    I just finished reading Strong Curves and have started implementing your concepts into my training. This book/program is amazing! It makes so much sense! I own & operate a women’s boxing & strength club and have started implementing Strong Curves and the girls LOVE it! We are calling 2013 are Summer of the Glutes! I’m so excited to continue using this stuff in my own training and with my students!

    I purchased the book for. My iPad so unfortunately I can’t photocopy the training logs to track my progress. Is there any chance you have a digital form of those logs you could email me

    Thank you for researching and writing this awesome program! You have new followers with all the girls at my club! Let us know if there is anyway we can help spread the word about Strong Curves!

  • monica says:

    Hey bret! first off I LOOOVE your articles. After reading them i have the biggest uh-huh moments and I completely agree to it all as I also practice your same views on fitness, strengh, and keeping the body injury free . I deff. appriciate your dedication for teaching us all your intelligent info and the work and care you put in with every post and response. I’ve been a weightlifter and fitness finatic for the past few years and currently a PT in my home town. Im overal pretty strong and fit and my workouts are split, intense and always in some way are different then the last. but what i really want now is even a bigger Butt!! but however not lose any muscle mass. i weigh about 127 and have aprox.17% body fat. my main goal now is to always keep adding muscle and strengh but reduce my body fat precent by about 4 %. i want your take on the best cardio that i can do to still add mass to my ass and get a bit leaner and deffined. Ps i know the great importance of nutrition and protein intake and HITT training, i do about 2-3 HITT a week of a sprints, and bike intervals( 45sec-1 min slow to 15-20 sec high intensity resistance standing up on bike pushing throughout my heals to feel it in the glutes 🙂 ) and may about 2 or 3 lower intensity days. I deffinitely need some clarity to which direction i should be taking. cant wait to hear from you!!

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