My client Karli has been bragging to her friends about how strong she’s getting. She wanted to show her friends how she trains so she asked me to film some video clips. Here’s the deal. Karli has been training with me for around five weeks. She’s a natural born deadlifter. When she started, she had one of the worst cases of valgus collapse I’d ever seen. She had trouble doing bodyweight squats without letting her knees cave in. She also couldn’t lower her deadlifts under control and had very poor eccentric strength. I’ve been attacking her glutes like a madman and she has responded extremely well. What’s ironic is that I haven’t done any hip abduction work; just a ton of hip extension work with a focus on having her keep her knees out and lowering weights under control.
In just five weeks her booty is looking amazing and she’s getting very strong. I should also mention that she had some slight low back issues when she started training with me and those issues have completely cleared up. I’ve been having her do the following exercises:
Karli’s Primary Exercises
1. full squats, high box squats, low box squats, full front squats, Bulgarian squats
2. deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, rack pulls
3. hip thrusts, barbell glute bridges, single leg hip thrusts, pendulum quadruped donkey kicks
4. back extensions, 45 degree back extensions, single leg back extensions
The last time she did sumo deadlifts, she maxed out at 185 lbs. Just a week later, she did 225 lbs. This was a huge suprise for both of us. It reminded me of the scene in Unbreakable where Bruce Willis kept piling on the weights on the bench press. Karli jumped up 40 lbs in a single week! I don’t think I’ve ever seen this big of a jump in such a short period of time. As you can see, Karli was born to sumo deadlift…knees out, upright torso, finishes strong. Here’s a video of tonight’s workout…Karli did high box squats, sumo deadlifts, and hip thrusts.
Video of Tonight’s Workout
Keep kicking ass Karli!!!
Wow, thats awesome! She’s really getting strong for a relatively small woman. Keep up the great work with her!
You know what? The stupid trainers in the gym stopped me from doing the hip thrust. They said it was too dangerous! WTF?! When I get my own equipment at home…
That’s just retarded. That pisses me off! Stupid trainers.
“I’ve been attacking her glutes like a madman and she has responded extremely well. ”
Gotta high five ya for that lol 🙂
Like a rabid wolverine!
nice vibrams… really good lifts 5 weeks shes already stronger and in beter shape then 100% of the women who go to commercial gyms and “do the machines”.. great work
Well she was already pretty strong to begin with…got 135 the first time she did them in my garage I believe.
She’s extremely strong!! And awesome! Great training does wonders!
Is she training in Vibrams? BIG TIME! Do you have a lot of clients that do? Do you recomend these?
All the best,
Jay, I do recommend them but I’m not that particular. Personally I won’t wear them because they look so dorky IMO. But I like when my clients wear them for strength training purposes (not plyos or sprints of course).
I have a feeling I know the answer, but I’m curious as to why they are a no-no for sprints and plyos. I pretty much wear mine for everything.
Dave, it depends on the surface.
Wow, impressive and she’s not even bulky. 😉
Imagine that?! 🙂
This is another example of what all credible coaches and trainers should do on their blogs. Post videos of their athletes. Great work Karli and Bret!
Matt, I actually rarely see any coaches post videos of their athletes. It makes me wonder what they have to hide.
Oh, I forgot to add that she is really pretty!
Neal, she is definitely really pretty, but she’s a bit of an airhead. JK! She’s actually brilliant. Some people have it all.
What was her upper body like when she initially came in and how you programmed for her?
Niel, Karli doesn’t want her upper body getting too muscular so we don’t do much. Surprisingly she stays strong in her upper body, probably from a mixture of good genetics and the stimulus provided by the intense lower body work.
Awesome job, Karli! Bret is building a band of super women. I expect my cape in the mail any day now. 🙂
It should be there today or tomorrow 🙂
Hahahaha, MY glutes twitch as I watch her do her hip thrust.
Great job Karli. Do work!
Keep it clean Matias!!!
I actually meant it very literally. Like the first time I watch Titanic, I took a deep breath with the actors before they went under water.
Is every woman in Arizona gorgeous or does your reputation as the glute guy simply make you a magnet for them? Regardless, they are very fortunate to have found you and been introduced to serious training.
Bret Contreras, making the world a better place, one dedicated female lifter at a time!
Lee, haha. I’ve been pretty lucky I guess in that regard. I am definitely trying my best to help make the world a better place. Thanks for the kind words my friend!
Bret, you are giving me the wrong stats. What’s her age, where does she live, is she single?
And here I thought that I was the only one thinking this.
Daniel, she’s 24 I believe, she lives in Scottsdale, and unfortunately for you she has a boyfriend. I train him from time to time as well. He’s about as nice of a guy you’ll ever meet. But I need to keep him strong so Karli won’t whoop his butt one day! 🙂
LMAO @ Daniel.
Brett (and Karli), these vids are great adverts for what strength training can do for women – no bulkiness, only good things! Let’s hope they (the vids) get some play time around the web so that the message can spread. God, most makes my heart bleed when I think about all the good intentions gyms energy so many women waste in most gyms (and many blokes too, but that’s a different story).
I agree Steve! Only good things. So much wasted energy out there, which is indeed a different story (for men and women).
She’s short on all the hip thrusts.
I find doing them with proper form is very hard. I do two sets of 10 with 95#, making sure to not sling, to hyperextend (butt cracking walnut) at the end, and to hold for a one count. I get done and I actually have a head rush when I get up.
I think you are one of the few people, I’ve seen who does substantial weight, while still executing hyperextension.
I’m going to go to the gym now….and add a 2.5 on each side inyour honor. thought I would quickly work up to 135 plus, but it has not gone that way for me. Anyhow, time to progress a little…
Poly, this brings up a good point; I will address it in my next blogpost.
In your case just keep plugging away. The strength gains will come over time. I’ve put 50 lbs on my hip thrust in the last year from just being consistent.
What the %¤#! The video is not working, copyright claims by Sony Music Entertainment?
It’s working in the U.S….not sure why it’s not working there. Sorry!
Last weekend I saw a woman doing squats with a barbell, and her boyfriend stopped her and took her over to a Smith machine. I guess he doesn’t want her to be as strong as Karli(because then she’d trade him in on a guy who supports her more.)
Haha! This is what Steve was alluding to…so many good intentions gone wrong. I see guys all the time giving their girfriends their workouts; an entire day of chest for example. So incongruent with their goals.
awesome post, my girlfriend naturally has great glutes and legs, especially hams. nothing worse than a girl with no hammies. anyway i cant wait to show her this video to get her deadlifting.
Awesome Billy! Out of curiosity, do you have her doing hip thrusts?
Karli you look awesome! Glad to see you are finally catching up to my skills 😉
Kelsey! She’s the deadlift queen but you’re the squat queen. Quid pro quo. Hope you’re doing well.
Hahah! I will crush you. You better be rockin the hip thrusts in B-town!
Hey Brett, in her sumo deadlift it doesn’t look like she squeezes the glutes at the top, she kind of stops short it looks like at the top and starts to lower the weight before she gets the good squeeze. What you think?
Jacob, I agree. I told her that and even showed her in the vids (which I use for immediate feedback) but women these day have minds of their own! 🙂
This is just a case of a minor alteration though, as I’m sure she can stand tall and squeeze the glutes from this position. Thanks for the comment!
No problem, just thought I would point it out. Congratulations on the new PDF for Eric Cressey’s Show and Go. I’m a cressey performance athlete and you two combined to create something will be awesome. I’ve learned alot from you with your great videos on hip thrusts and squating, thanks for all the great info.
Thanks Jacob! You’re in good hands at CP. Eric and Tony are top-notch. I appreciate the kind words.
Bret…absolutely been using hip thrusts with her. When I found this blog orginally I was in heaven. All my clients and class participants know me always giving extra attention to the glutes. I never realized how much debate was behind this movement tho. It seemed pretty simple to me years ago when I first started in Personal Training. I had my people doing what I call “hip ups” on a stability ball. I would look around the gym looking for how I could add resistence and started using Body Bars, but then obviously they became too light. So, I need a more stable surface to add more weight to so I brought them to the flat bench. So, when I found you here with all this great information….i knew I was on the right path.
Awesome Billy!!! Great minds think alike!
karli- awesome work! bret, fabulous training! i better still be on the online training waiting list!
These videos are awesome!! I was curious how many times a week did you have her doing these workouts?
Hey Carisa, glad you like them. Karli trained this way 4-5 times per week. Hope that helps!
I have seen this video with Karli and it is really great! I have a question! If i want bigger, stronger bum the only way for it these excersices with these huge weights? I belive in your training, but I think now (after I watched the video) what I do at home with my maximum 20 kg weights is unuseful…
If I want results, I should use huge weights, shouldn’t I?
Anna, there are plenty of great bodyweight exercises but you have to keep advancing by performing more challenging variations, doing more reps, etc. Heavy weights are ideal IMO, but you can still get plenty of glute activation through bw exercises and you can still develop a very good bum this way. – BC