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Good Reads for the Week

By November 12, 2010December 23rd, 2015Good Reads for the Week

Well I thought it was going to come down to around 25 articles this week but there ended up being more. I whittled it down a bit but I have a hard time doing so as I like to hear different perspectives and I like to post a variety of articles. Anyway props to my friend Mark Young. He went out of his way to provide us with some great free material. Here you go!!!

Bret Contreras Articles

1. Big Arms with Tony Gentilcore and Brad Schoenfeld on T-Nation.

Article of the Week

1. Wow! Is Fat Loss all About the Calories and Nothing Else? This Article has Created Quite a Stir in the Fitness Industry. See Below for Several Responses to the Article. My Thoughts? If you want to lose weight, drop your calories. Don’t focus on cardio, focus on not eating so much. If you want to look your best, eat relatively healthy and do resistance training. Strength gives your body muscular shape!

New Blogs

1. Paul Graham

2. Ana Tocco

New Products

1. Timothy Ferris – The Four Hour Body (I’d like to hear some people’s feedback on this one. I admire Timothy Ferris but I’m just not sure about this book. Sure there are tricks but strength and good physiques take time!)


1. Great Podcast with Patrick Ward on Stop Chasing Pain Podcast


1. The Two Wise-Old Owls of Strength Training: Mike Boyle & Dan John – MBSC Winter Seminar – Feb 5, 2011

Great Deal of the Week

1. Mark Young Offers Free Interviews With Stuart McGill, Thomas Myers, Nick Tumminello, Jim Smith, Mike Robertson, Martin Berkhan, Leigh Peele, Jimmy Smith, Brendan Fox, John Paul Catanzaro, Scott Abel, and more! This is Huge. Seriously, I bet it took Mark dozens of hours to arrange, record, and post these interviews; and they’re yours for free if you sign up for his newsletter. Thanks Mark!!!

Blast From the Past

1. This one is from May but I never read it. Just got around to reading it and it’s a great program for hypertrophy. It’s a Wannabebig article from Daniel Roberts titled Hypertrophy-Clustered Training (HCT-12).

Good Reads

1. Awesome Article by Jim Kielbaso on “How to Become a Strength Coach.” If you’re an up and comer in this field, check it out. Jim’s website keeps impressing me more and more!

2. Tim Henriques on Bilateral vs. Unilateral Training

3. Joel Jamieson gives us part III of a three part series on explosive power development. This is great!

4. Great Blog from Kevin Carr on Battle Rope Variations! Innovative Stuff Right Here!

5. How to Write a Good Blog by Brendon Rearick, Part I and Part II

6. Cool blogpost by JRod – Shows some new hockey commercials that portray hockey players engaging in strength training and then offers commentary on them.

7. Four Ways to Ease Sore Hamstrings by Core Performance

8. Happiness is a Skill by Coach Nick Horton

9. Speed Kills by Anthony Morando

10. Minimalism Part III by Jason Ferruggia (this one is on nutrition)

11. Alex Moroko – 17 Reasons Why Bodyweight Training Rocks!

12. Ben Bruno Interviews Jen Comas

13. Excellent Dr. Clay Hyght Article – 9 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Bodybuilding

14. John Romaniello Interviews Valerie Waters

15. Should You Run Barefoot? by Core Performance

16. Ben Bruno – Single Leg Slideboard Leg Curls

17. Random Thoughts by Ben Bruno – I’m a Big Fan of Ben’s Blog!!!

18. Random Stuff by Mark Young

19. Three Types of Clients and How to Coach Them by John Berardi

20. Awesome Read by Jeremy Frisch on Kids and Conditioning

21. Conquering Chin Ups by Mike Robertson

22. Carl Valle on Bad Combinations and Clashing

23. Five Tips for Building a Sexy Make Body by John Romaniello

24. Mike T. Nelson on the Twinkie Diet

25. Nick Tumminello Shows How to Hit the Biceps and Triceps with the TRX

26. Great Read by Joe Bonyai on Training Athletes With Spinal Disorders

27. Muscular Adaptations to Training by Chris Beardsley

28. Great Read by Dave Rak on Vertical Jump Training on Coach Kevin Carr’s Site

29. Patrick Ward on the Female Triad

30. Minimalism Part IV by Jason Ferruggia.

31. Great Read by Joe Dowdell in Stack Magazine – Is MMA Training Appropriate for Other Sports?

32. Top Ten Poliquin Articles by Chris Beardsley

33. Five Lifting Problems Solved by Mike Scialabba on Wannabebig

34. Tom Venuto on the Twinkie Diet

35. John Izzo on Weak Glutes

36. Box Squats by Clint Darden on Elitefts

37. Six Tips for Building a Sexy Female Body by John Romaniello

38. Motivational Blog by Alli McKee

39. Neghar Fonooni talks about her Program. She runs a tight ship, but she delivers!

40. Dealing with Hip Internal Rotation part I by Rick Kaselj on Mark Young’s site

41. Step by Step Bench Pressing by Mike Robertson

42. PJ Striet on the Twinkie Diet – this one is great!!! I really like PJ.

43. Core Performance – Rolling Plank

44. Programming by Chad Pierce on Elitefts

45. Hidden Shoulder Killers by Lee Boyce

46. Interview with Jay Cutler


1. Eccentric Training for Strength & Hypertrophy

2. The Fall of the Hormone Theory

3. Switching Up Exercises

4. Low Reps vs. High Reps

5. HIP STABILITY: MECHANICAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF INDIVIDUAL MUSCLES – This is sweet! Shows the contribution of individual muscles to hip stability in the neutral and flexed positions in the sagittal and frontal planes

6. The Effects of Thoracic Manipulation on Posteroanterior Spinal Stiffness

7. Prognosis for patients with chronic low back pain: inception cohort study

8. Rehabilitation of the Stability Function of Psoas Major

9. This One is 15 Years Old but is a Great Read on Sprinting Musculature Implications

10. The Effects of Consuming Frequent, Higher Protein Meals on Appetite and Satiety During Weight Loss in Overweight/Obese Men

11. Complex Integrative Morphological and Mechanical Contributions to ACL Injury Risk


  • joe says:


    This is probably an OCD question, but I’d appreciate to know what you think.

    I was watching your previous blog over and realized that foot position changes which parts the hip thrust hits more. As such I’d like to ask the ff.

    Do you measure how far and how wide one’s feet are when doing hip thrusts or is it just where you feel most comfortable?

    And which parts do they hit more when you have them forward (further from you), closer (more under your body), closer together, and further apart.

    • Joe – it’s a great question and I did experiment a bit. For most people it didn’t matter much (if you put your heels together then it was too close and elicited less EMG, so too wide or too narrow got less, and feet flare didn’t matter too much either) but some women elicited surprisingly higher EMG’s from using a wider stance and flaring their feet (glute max may prefer to contract in an abducted, externally rotated position? I only tested a couple of people on this and need to do more.

      When I prescribe the exercise, I usually don’t cue it. I just tell them to get comfortable, and I try to make sure there’s around a 90 degree knee angle at the top of the movement. If you put your feet out further it’s more hammie, and if you put your feet closer to your butt it’s more quad. Perfect blend is right in the middle – knees at 90 up top.

  • Bryce says:

    Hi, Paul Graham doesn’t work on the link here and I was hoping to check it out.

    Thanks, like the variety at the end of the week but it’s daunting and a huge time-suck when I should be working. I try to convince myself this is part of my work.

  • Thanks for the mention, Bret. I appreciate it. Keep up the good work, here. Always awesome stuff.

  • SLS says:

    Interesting reads, especially the post and commentary on the twinkie diet. It is purely observational, but definitely illustrative. I think a key point from Haub was that he normally does not crave sweets so he probably has naturally good glucose control and insulin sensitivity. Also, I think obesity is a problem of long-term damage to insulin sensitivity and manifests at different rates depending on the person. Also, I have one more comment, but fitness and nutrition professionals are not physicists. Invoking thermodynamics is not the way to address this. I’ve made my own comments on this here but I have to admit its cobbled together from presentations, articles, and posts I’ve viewed by people much smarter than me.

    • SLS – that’s the one concern I had – insulin sensitivity. I wish he would have taken a look at that as well. I’ll check out your article! Thanks always.

      • Ch says:

        SLS, Bret,

        The Nazi’s showed us that the energy balance is the dominant factor in weightmanagement. They documented it accurate en in depth. They also showed that stress itself does not cause any weight gain.

        Every single trial after that, where people have been locked up (tightly controlled), showed that the energy balance is the dominant factor. So does professor Haub with his experiment.

        He has been active at 150 minutes per week and continued to do so during his experiment. If I have to estimate it, it would be at a level of MET 6. If you look at the research by Blair 1989, Meyer 2002, Kokkinos 2008, you’ll see that conditioning at around MET 6 is correlated with a lot of health advantages. Any additional MET leads to marginal increase.

        Being active (at MET 6 or higher) will lead to less dangerous visceral fat and decreases the chance of a fatty liver. Both correlated with insulin sensivity. Do not confuse insulin insensitivity with diabetes type II. They are not the same!

        All that biomarker fixation like hormones, EPOC, etc. just confuses stuff, because the rules are still really simple. Wanna loose weight, eat less. Wanna be healthy, move more. Wanna get strong, lift heavier weights. The rest marginal!

  • Jason says:

    REALLY feelin Jason Ferruggia’s Minimalism articles, he basically described my kitchen in a nutshell! Thanks for all the sweet links Bret!

  • Kellie says:

    Unfortunately, Tim Ferris’ fame will sell that book. When I read a while back that he was coming out with this, I just thought of the huge cult following that would again adopt his philosophy as the know-all/end-all of whatever he was touting. I think he should stick to what he knows and stop crossing into boundaries where he doesn’t quite belong. Leave that work up to the big dogs in the fitness industry.

    Admittedly, I am a huge fan of “The 4 Hour Work Week.” I just can’t for the life of me get the practice down.

    • Well I’ll remain open-minded.

      Experts – those who have been classically trained, know all the latest info, and think inside the box.

      Inperts – those who have not been classically trained, think outside the box, and come up with new shit.

      A guy like Tim could figure out some good stuff in our industry if he stuck around, but he probably likes bouncing around to different fields out of boredom.

  • Greg says:

    I look forward to this every week. Lot of good stuff there and Twinkie Diet quick provocative and very direct. I’d recommend more pics of hot girls not because it’s informative but because it’s just cool. LOL

  • Rick Kaselj says:


    Thank you so much.

    Never ever thought I would write something good enough to make your Friday reads plus your blog roll.

    Thank you so much.

    I owe you.

    Rick Kaselj


  • Damon says:

    I was hoping to make your “good reads” with my rant on the personal training industry. Oh well, lots of good information out there- thanks for giving me an internet “cheat sheet” on what sites to check out. Always enjoy your resources, keep it up!

    • Sorry Damon, I liked the article but by accident I didn’t include it. I put you on the blogroll. Are you on Facebook?

      • Damon says:

        I was not on Facebook because of my employment with the school board. I am creating a page for business/professional purposes only. I’ll sent you a request when I’m connected. Thanks for adding me me to the blogroll.

  • Paleo_rob says:

    Damn it Bret. I spend all my free time reading the last good reads, and by the time I finish you issue the next one. Stop being so selfish and give me time to relax! Haha

    Jokes aside, these are awesome posts mate. You really have the finger on the pulse of the fitness industry. Keep it up!

  • Kevin Carr says:

    Great batch this week Bret. Great stuff from Mark Young. Gotta love free! Thanks as always for the shout out.

  • Nick Horton says:

    Thanks for the link back, Bret.

    There’s some good stuff this week. I like the “low reps vs. high reps” post at Exercise Bio. I’ve always been skeptical about how important it is to use “bodybuilding” rep ranges when seeking hypertrophy. Mainly because in the sports world, the biggest athletes with the biggest muscles tend to lift heavy (or sprint) the vast majority of the time, and rarely do much bodybuilder type work (except maybe for the arms). I suspect overall volume and intensity are more important. If this article is correct, then rep ranges become less of an issue.

    Speaking of arms, I liked your 3-day a week arms routine in the T-nation article. I’ve done similar splits and had success.

    • Thanks Nick, I always say that we should get good at all rep ranges. In my own lifting I prefer lower reps because I hate high reps. Anything over 3 reps is “high reps” to me. 🙂

      But progressive overload (getting strong) is what matters most. If you focus on one day benching 315 for ten reps or on benching 405 for one rep, if you get there you’ll have a big chest!

  • Anoop says:

    Thanks Brett for linking the articles to Exercise Biology and supporting an evidence-based approach.

    Good luck with your Ph.D.

  • barbelljoe says:

    There is no doubt about it; Tim Ferris is one excellent marketer and a pretty good writer. If you go by the comments count on his blog it is obvious that his posts on diet and physical performance garner the most attention. Tim probably saw there was a way to cash in on his following. I have ordered Four Hour Body and it should be interesting to see what he has to say.

    By the way, I really like Four Hour Work Week, and it did change my outlook on life. But for me too…it is somewhat hard to achieve, especially if you are not a Princeton graduate like Tim.

  • Thanks again for the link as always Bret.

    I am excited to read Tim Ferri’s new book and I am sure it will be interesting. I loved the Four Hour Work Week, although I can’t say I am even remotely closet to 4 hours a day, much less a week, so more work to do on it. hahaha.

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

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