August Random Post

By July 11, 2018 Random Thoughts

Hi Fitness Friends!

Here are links to articles, podcasts, Instagram posts, and YouTube videos that I’ve been involved with (or ones that I thought were interesting) in the past month. I hope you enjoy them.

Preventing hamstring injuries – Part 1: Is there really an eccentric action of the hamstrings in high speed running and does it matter?

Preventing hamstring injuries – Part 2: There is possibly an isometric action of the hamstrings in high-speed running and it does matter.

This incredible two part piece (PART ONE and PART TWO) on hamstring mechanics during sprinting is a must read for strength and speed coaches. Much respect for the authors and website for tackling this endeavor (these aren’t peer-reviewed but they’re high quality science).

Mechanical Misconceptions: Have we lost the “mechanics” in “biomechanics”?

THIS paper by Andrew Vigotsky and colleagues is good fodder for any biomechanics and/or physics aficionado.

Nordic curls enhance sprinting ability by increasing hamstrings active stiffness

My colleague Chris Beardsley wrote THIS fascinating article on Nordics. Interestingly, you’ll see an article below by JB Morin detailing how Nordics don’t improve sprinting speed. You should always know both sides of a debate if you want to be a good practitioner and scientist.

What is training volume?

Chris Beardsley recently wrote THIS amazing article explaining the science behind training volume and muscle hypertrophy. The “stimulating reps” concept is spot on and much needed for understanding which reps of a set matter for growing muscle.

How does training volume differ between training to failure, avoiding failure, and using advanced techniques?

Chris Beardsley also recently came out with THIS badass article which compares the different advanced training methods for the purpose of increasing muscle growth. Chris deserves a big pat on the back for tackling these complicated topics and explaining them in a way that allows people to comprehend them.

NHE training improves sprint performance: a giant statement with feet of clay?

THIS is an excellent point-counterpoint article by JB Morin and Johan Lahti discusses the topic of Nordic ham curls and their role in sprint performance. Kudos to these guys for posting such great content and demonstrating how great scientists should interact.

Strength Radio Podcast: Interview with Bret Contreras “Evidence-Based Considerations for Coaching”

In THIS podcast, we discussed many aspects related to sports science and coaching.

The Esoteric Anomalies Podcast: “Glute Mechanics, Mechanisms of Hypertrophy & Dismissing Dysfunction”

In THIS podcast, we discussed glute science, hypertrophy mechanisms, and the power of words in limiting clients.

Business Meets Fitness Podcast: “Inventing Hip Thrusts & Mastering Your Niche”

In THIS podcast, we discussed many aspects related to business and the fitness industry.

The Fitness And Lifestyle Podcast: “Glute Training Mistakes And How To Correct Them”

In THIS podcast, we discussed the most common mistakes people make in their glute training.

JPS Health & Fitness: EMG & Volume For Glute Hypertrophy

In THIS podcast, we discussed electromyography and its role in program design for glute hypertrophy, along with various mechanisms of hypertrophy.

Revive Stronger Podcast: A Key Driver for Hypertrophy – Mechanical Tension

In THIS podcast, we discussed the importance of mechanical tension for hypertrophy along with other training topics.

Growing Massive Glutes with Bret Contreras

Vivianna and Anders from the new show Proof came to Glute Lab to investigate whether or not the glute pump is real. I put them through this workout:


Triple band barbell hip thrust 4 sets x 25 reps

2 rounds of this tri-set:

Db goblet squat pulses 30 reps

Db frog pumps 50 reps

Band seated hip abduction 3-levels 30/30/30 reps


I measured their glute girth before and after their workout, and lo and behold, Vivianna’s glutes gained an inch and Ander’s gained an inch and a half. They got a serious pump. It was a pleasure being on their show.

Here are some of my most popular recent Instagram posts:

*PLEASE SHARE SO WE CAN CORRECT THIS MISCONCEPTION!* • Many people, especially women, worry that weight training is going to make them bigger. Your size is mostly dependent on how much you eat. Strength training will help you look better at any given body weight. Since muscle is 15% more dense than fat, it will cause you to get smaller and occupy less overall space. This is true whether you weigh 250lbs, 200lbs, 150lbs, or 100lbs. The smallest you will be at any given body weight is when you are the  strongest and fittest at that weight. • I learned about the density of tissues as a PhD researcher, but I’ve been aware of this phenomenon for a long time. Over my 21 years of experience as a personal trainer, I can’t tell you how many clients ate the same and stayed the same weight over the course of a year of hard training, yet still ended up needing new clothes because their waist sizes shrunk significantly. This is also true for the legs; despite gaining tremendous lower body strength, the legs actually become smaller overall because of the simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain. • This phenomenon is known in fitness circles as “recomping.” Every fitness professional who works with ample clients in person is well aware of it. Some sleazy con-artists purposely play on women’s fear of getting bulky and try to convince them to abstain from lifting weights and gaining strength. Of course they fail to educate their clients on the role of diet in this matter. This fear-mongering is unacceptable and these charlatans need to be called out. • I wrote a blog post 2 years ago titled, “Strength Training is Fat Loss Training.” Please Google it. In addition, please swipe left to watch a video and see examples of women who have improved their fitness through strength and conditioning. DO THESE WOMEN LOOK BIGGER? DO THEIR LEGS LOOK BIGGER? DO THEY LOOK LIKE BULKY, MALE BODYBUILDERS? • No, they do not. They got smaller because they kept their caloric intake the same while gaining strength. Weight training is the best form of fat loss training over the long haul. Please don’t believe the lies. • #gluteguy #glutelab

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Good stuff from @soheefit! #Repost @soheefit ・・・ Hip thrust and glute bridge variations are incredible for strengthening and building up the derrière. 🍑 Here are the top 10 variations you must try! • Many people aren’t sure what the difference is in muscle activation between hip thrusts (shoulders elevated) and glute bridges (shoulders on the ground). They are very similar, but hip thrusts tend to activate the quads to a greater extent. I recommend incorporating both into your program throughout the year. • As for frog pumps, a lot of people love them and feel them highly activating their glutes, but some people don’t care for them – and that’s okay. I personally dislike single-leg hip thrusts but LOVE shoulder- and foot-elevated single-leg hip thrusts due to the increased range of motion. • Just about all of these exercises were thought up by @bretcontreras1 the Glute Guy. If you’re a client of mine or have one of my programs, you’ll see that hip thrust and glute bridge variations are a primary element in all of my workouts. ☺️👊 #thethrustisamust #hipthrust #glutebridge

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@therock thrusting 8 plates up and down like it ain’t no thang. #thethrustisamust #Repost @therock ・・・ These are called the “Hobbs Beef Piston Power Thrusts” 😂🥩 with 405lbs with a 15sec burn, churn and hold at the end. Training and dieting extremely hard for the next 16 weeks to be in the strongest & best shape I can be in for my HOBBS & SHAW film. This isn’t just another FAST & FURIOUS movie, it’s a spinoff opportunity to build out and grow the franchise and characters properly (taking a page out of MARVEL’s book) for audiences around the world to enjoy. Fans have been asking for this spinoff for years and I’m happy to say finally, their wish is my command. Let’s have some FUN. #AudienceFirst #SevenBucksProductions #UniversalStudios #HobbsAndShaw #HardestWorkerInTheRoom

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This post is 12 years in the making. Big thanks to @mahsa_akm for modeling. Some of these involve @the_hip_thruster but you can mimic them with innovation. Swipe left. HT pyramid – do 3 progressively heavier sets and then a lighter back off set for higher reps Double band HT – place a band around the hips and another around the knees BW knee-banded GB – push outwards as hard as possible on the way up AND down Enhanced eccentric HT – have someone stand over you and push down as you descend to make the eccentric load heavier than the concentric load Staggered (B-stance) HT – offset the feet. Around 70% of the load is on the proximal leg and 30% on the distal Foot and shoulder elevated single leg HT – use tall benches to achieve a great deal of hip ROM Pause single leg db HT – pause at the top for 3 sec 1 1/4 HT (HT plus) – go all the way up, come down 1/4 of the way, then rise back up Constant tension HT – perform like a piston and reverse the reps in mid-air (don't touch the bar down to the ground), avoid resting in between reps Rest pause HT – take your 6RM, perform 6 reps, rest 10 sec and perform 2 more reps, rest 5 sec and perform 1 more rep, then rest 5 sec and perform the final rep HT triple dropset – perform a set, strip weight off, perform another set, strip weight off, then perform a final set all with as little time as possible between drops. Load the ends with smaller plates to make it easier to slide them off Explosive barbell HT – load the bar to 60% of 1RM and thrust as rapidly as possible. Trap the bar pad in between the hands to prevent it from spinning Triple band HT – place two smaller bands around the bar and one around the hips Barbell GB – these involve less quad activity but also less hip ROM compared to HTs Double band feet elevated GB – note the angle of the bands relative to the body. Elevate the upper back onto a Bosu ball for even greater hip ROM and band tension These protocols are not listed in order from most to least effective. Experiment to figure out which ones work best for you. Several of these are sure to get your glutes fired up. #gluteguy #glutelab #hipthrust #hipthrusts #thethrustisamust

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I’m receiving numerous questions about the staggered stance (aka b-stance) hip thrust. It’s a mostly single leg exercise so you don’t have to use nearly as much loading as you do with double leg hip thrusts. But it’s much more stable than pure single leg where you raise one leg off the ground, so you use more loading than you would with single leg hip thrusts. Start with your weaker leg and then match the number of reps with your stronger leg. If you have an EZ-bar, use it preferably. The smith machine works great for these too. Begin with around 30% of your hip thrust 1RM and adjust from there. We like 3 sets of 10 at Glute Lab. Thanks to @benbrunotraining for this gem. #thethrustisamust #gluteguy #glutelab

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Superman busting out knee banded barbell hip thrusts! It’s a true pleasure seeing more and more celebrities and athletes hip thrusting. Thanks to the likes of top celebrity and athlete trainers @benbrunotraining, @gunnarfitness, and @risemovement, along with @theglutebuilder inventor @arturogarcia_gb, they’re not only thrusting; they’re coining their own terms to define the motion! #Repost @henrycavill ・・・ Working on the Super Buns! Whiiiiiiich if you vote for me in the Teen Choice Awards (link in bio) and I end up winning then you may or may not see them in a tight blue outfit much sooner! But totally probably. As an aside, please ignore the fact that I'm also 6 months pregnant with a baby made up entirely of cookies and pizza. Some stiff competition in my Teen choice awards category and I wish those Gentlemen very good luck! So get online and vote with your hearts….but vote for me. PS @TheRock. Just following your lead big guy. I see your Hobbs Beef Piston Power Thrusts and I raise you a Super Booty Burner with Paws 🐕 #KalPaws #Superman #TeenChoiceAwards #SuperBuns #SummerBelly

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Here are my top ten single leg exercises for building glutes. My favorites will undoubtedly be different from yours, which is fine. I actually made two lists; one for common commercial gyms, and another for @theglutelab (since we have way more bells and whistles than most gyms). Swipe left to see the lists and exercises. Take note of one theme: stability. Contrary to popular belief, the glutes prefer a stable environment if they’re to fire maximally. That’s right – the more stable the variation, the greater the glute activation. This is why I like bracing and using equipment such as lever machines, Smith machines, the EZ bar, and Bulgarian bags. A good glute program will employ a couple single leg variations each week. I’ll follow up down the road and film video clips for each of these exercises but for now you can look at the pictures. I have reasons for my exercise selections so if you’re curious about anything, just ask and I’ll do my best to answer you. Thanks to @jamiederevere for modeling. #gluteguy #glutelab

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*Enhanced eccentrics* There are two primary ways to overload the lowering/negative component of an exercise. The first way is known as eccentric-accentuation and involves simply lowering the weight more slowly. For example, you may use a 4-second eccentric count in a goblet squat. The second way involves adding load to the negative portion, which requires the use of 1) weight releasers, 2) a fly wheel, 3) manual resistance, or 4) the 2-legs up/1-leg down method. Manual resistance and the 2 up/1 down are clearly the most practical and convenient methods, and some exercises are more conducive to enhanced eccentrics than others. 🔹 In this post, I show you how we use manual-resisted enhanced eccentrics at @theglutelab with 5 awesome glute exercises (swipe left): 🔹 Leg press Seated hip abduction machine Barbell hip thrust Extra range side-lying hip abduction 45-degree hyperextension 🔹 When I first began utilizing this method several months ago, I did so mostly with lower rep ranges, but over time, I began using it exclusively with higher rep ranges in a smooth, rhythmic fashion. You want to get into a groove which requires practice on the part of the trainer and the client. My guess is that I add around 50-100lbs of resistance to the lowering portion, but it likely varies depending on the exercise (the extra range side-lying hip abduction involves less external resistance but is still challenging due to the exceptionally long lever length, or moment arm). Because I can’t quantify the loading, I don’t use this as a progressive overload technique; I use it in the middle or end of a workout as a finisher. Obviously, you can only use these techniques if you have a trainer or partner. 🔹 Note that the seated hip abduction machine involved a triple dropset and the barbell hip thrust was reversed in mid-air before touch-down. I have found these to be the most effective techniques for these movements. Enhancing the eccentric does produce more muscle damage and soreness, so it should be used sparingly. My model @jamiederevere is very sore today and all she performed last night was two sets of each of these. #glutelab #gluteguy

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This is the most brutal and loved/hated glute burnout we give to our clients at @theglutelab. It’s a knee-banded glute bridge/supine hip abduction ladder that has you performing: 15 bridges 15 abductions 14 bridges 14 abductions 13 bridges 13 abductions 12 bridges 12 abductions Then 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. My Glute Lab trainers @arbryce And @alex.sterner thought this up and it’s amazing. I have my Strong by Bret members starting at 12 on down this month and they’re saying it’s horrendous, so you can imagine how hard 15 is – you’re doing 240 total reps. Our most advanced clients can do them all in a row, but most mortals must rest several times in order to finish. Proceed at your own peril. Thanks to @jamiederevere for demo’ing, she’s using @the_hip_thruster loop which is perfect for this burnout. Please let me know what you think! And yes these build the glutes – that’s the point of doing them. #glutelab #gluteguy

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