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Operation Get Strong & Sexy: Week Two

By October 7, 2013January 2nd, 2017Operation Get Strong and Sexy, Powerlifting

Welcome to week 2 of Operation Get Strong & Sexy. In case you missed it last week, click HERE to see what this is all about. Basically, my clients Erin & Sammie decided to set a date for a powerlifting competition (now 5 weeks out). Though they’ve done bodybuilding training and competed in bikini competitions, they’ve never competed or trained for a powerlifting competition. We’ve decided to film and broadcast our journey. We are training at Revolution Training System in Tempe, Arizona – a badass gym as you can see.


Sammie and Erin had another excellent week of training! Their form is improving and their strength is increasing. What more could anyone ask for?



I taught them some new lifts this week, which always feels a bit awkward, but they did very well. We established baselines for various lifts, tinkered with form, and set new PR’s in the squat, bench, and deadlift. I told the girls to enjoy these times, as after a couple of decades of lifting, PR’s are fewer and farther between!



Below is the video footage for our two training sessions.





  • Amy Gray says:

    Is that a sumo deadlift in the last picture?

  • Sawyer says:

    This is an off topic question. In a T Nation article, you state that figure models or women who are looking to build visually appealing glutes (secondary to strenghth off course! :] ) should focus on hip extension exercises to achieve an A-shape. I was wondering if you can say which exercises target the lower glutes the best or have you already written about this?

    Ps… thanks for your great work and research!

  • Charis Borchers says:

    Great tips on foot position for the hip thruster. Is “ass to grass” the best way to squat? What’s the benefit of both, A to G and just below parallel?

    • Bret says:

      It depends Charis. If you can squat deep with good form, then IMO yes. But if you can’t, then parallel is fine (or just below parallel). See my YT video on buttwink and also my TNation article on squatting. Cheers!

  • Ari says:

    Thank you for doing this.
    you might want to consider having Sammie use a low bar position instead of a high to mid bar position for the wide stance back squat if using the most weight is the main concern. The lower bar position might allow her to keep the knees from moving so far forward during the wide stance back squat. It could help with sitting back more.
    also pause squats might also help her squat. It would be a big challenge for her to keep good position during the pause at the bottom of the squat.

    for bench I’ve used chalk on the middle of the bar to see where and how consistent the bar touches.

    • Bret says:

      Great minds think alike Ari. I’m indeed going to teach Sammie the low bar squat (many women find this position very uncomfortable) and I agree that she’ll be stronger this way. I don’t think that Erin would be stronger with low bar but Sammie’s style is conducive to it. And I’ve been thinking that pause squats would be good for her too, with around 50-70% of 1RM, to help reinforce good position. Great idea with the chalk – hadn’t thought of that! Thanks dude.

      • Kevin says:

        Bret, why do women find low bar position uncomfortable? I’ve been teaching my girlfriend low bar squatting, and it’s been going great. But once we got to ~135lb the bar started to hurt her shoulders. Any advice would be hugely appreciated!

        You’re awesome!

  • Bibabu says:

    Erin looks a bit like Valeria Ammirato, an awesome german bikini competitor with very very good glutes.

    Sammie is cute,especially when she exhales

    Cedric, France

  • Pawel says:

    Hello Bret!

    Speaking of this DL picture, do you often allow your trainees use mixed grip?

    My biggest issue that stymies my DL is my weak grip. Mixed grip helps considerably but afaik it’s not the healthiest option.

    I suspect that girls have even worse issues with their grips as they become stronger. How do you tackle it?

    Best regards!!

    Paweł, Poland

  • Angelina says:

    Bret this is so inspiring – I’d love to do this after I reach my goals!! Even my son was motivated by the progressive strength of these girls (and of course they’re super cute too!). Nice job!

    ps….my son was listening to you and said you’re a great trainer 🙂

  • Russell says:

    With the ankle mobility exercises you are doing with Sammie, are there any other exercises you would get your clients doing if they had really bad ankle mobility.

    If they weren’t able to get their knee even past the end of the foot, would you have them doing other mobility exercises as well, or just stick with this exercise and get it to improve gradually over time.

  • Michael says:

    Are you just doing a linear progression in the weeks leading up to the competition? i.e. adding 5 or 10 lbs/week like you said. I’d be interested in seeing how you chose to program. Very educational vids, thanks!

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