Hi Fitness Friends!
Here are links to studies, articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and Instagram posts that I’ve been involved with (or ones that I thought were interesting) in the past month. I hope you enjoy them.
Differential effects of attentional focus strategies during long-term resistance training
I was very happy to be involved in this study. It the first training experiment to examine the effects of focusing on the muscle while lifting vs focusing on the environment. Bodybuilders have long touted the benefits of the mind-muscle connection, and we finally have evidence supporting its efficacy. Well, for the biceps but not for the quads (strange). My buddy Brad Schoenfeld did a write-up about the study on his blog which you can access HERE, and you can download the study HERE.
Hip thrust for a stronger squat
THIS article discusses a recent study that showed huge transfer between the hip thrust and squat.
20 reps for killer glutes
THIS article showcases one of my favorite glute exercises and includes Glute Squad member Brianna.
EMG differences between the deadlift, hex bar deadlift, and barbell hip thrust
THIS article discusses a recent study that examined the EMG activity between the 3 popular glute exercises, specifically looking at 1RMs.
Zydrunas Savickas starts doing hip thrusts, says his squat and deadlift feel even stronger
Former world champion strongman Big Z loves his hip thrusts. This is what he had to say about them in THIS article.
Mind Muscle Project podcast: How to be more scientific in your strength training with Bret Contreras
THIS podcast is one of my favorite and one of the most unique I’ve had the pleasure of doing. The guys asked me some excellent questions and I think you’ll love the recording.
Strong Life Podcast: Bret Contreras & The Art of (STRENGTH) Coaching
My buddy Zach Even-Esh asked me some badass in THIS podcast. Former gym owners always do (I hope you listened to the podcast I did with Joe DeFranco and Jason Ferruggia last year).
Glute Lab Promo Video
Below is a really cool video I had made to promote my gym.
This is Glute Lab!
In the video below, I show off all of the equipment and goodies I have at my gym. It’s nearly 30 minutes long, but I think you’ll appreciate the attention to quality and detail.
When You Just Want to Work the Booty
Here’s a humorous video I made to mock my fellow glute-obsessed compadres.
Rapping Fast in a Hotel Room
I made it into a rap song! Mac Lethal gave me a shoutout at 1:48. So cool!
Building a Booty: Explained by Bret Contreras
Below is a Q&A video I made with Hanna Oberg on common glute training questions.
How to Train Glutes During Pregnancy
I’ve never seen anyone do this topic justice, so I took a stab at it. This videos shows you how you can train glutes while pregnant.
Rule of Thirds
This is one of my most popular posts of all time on IG
When I entered the fitness industry, the only popular glute exercises were vertical (axial) in nature, and the advice was always to train heavy and go to failure. Ten years later, I’m very happy that the trends have changed and the training is much more balanced. Here is a simple system that will make sure your glute training efforts are productive and efficient. I call it the rule of thirds. The point of this guideline is not to become obsessive compulsive about your programming and make sure every week and session is in perfect balance, but rather to keep your overall plan in check. My programs don't always work out perfectly like this, but they're pretty well balanced. Approximately 1/3 of the glute exercises you perform should be horizontal in nature (involve horizontal force vectors), 1/3 should be vertical in nature, and 1/3 should be lateral/rotary in nature. I will make a post tomorrow detailing precisely which exercises are in each vector. Roughly 1/3 of loads you use should be heavy for lower reps, 1/3 should be medium for moderate reps, and 1/3 should be light for higher reps. Unless of course you loathe a particular rep range, in which case you can omit it and see great results as long as volume and effort are sufficient. In terms of effort, around 1/3 of your sets should be carried out to failure or 1 rep shy of failure, 1/3 of your sets should be performed to 2-3 reps shy of failure, and 1/3 of your sets should be taken nowhere close to failure. By programming your glute training this way, you will: 1) Fully develop the upper and lower subdivisions of the glutei maximi 2) Fully develop the fast and slow twitch muscle fibers 3) Hit the glutes from every angle/vector and joint action, thereby transferring optimally to sport performance and functional activities, and 4) Be able to tolerate higher workloads without accumulating excessive fatigue Basically, you’ll maximize the potential of the glutes! Stay tuned for an upcoming post on glute training frequency and also the force vector category post I mentioned above. I have much to teach you but rest assured, the Glute Guy has got you covered! #gluteguy #glutelab #glutetraining #glutescience
8 Ways to Improve Squat Depth
This infographic shows 8 different ways to improve your squat depth. I also posted a YouTube video HERE with detailed explanations.
Please see the accompanying video (I will link this on my story right now) I just uploaded to my YouTube channel; it explains this material thoroughly. You'll even see a special appearance from Skelley! Of utmost importance is for you to understand that the more upright you squat, the deeper you'll descend (given the same hip angle). This is illustrated in the video. Many lifters are interested in squatting deeper – especially powerlifters. We all have unique skeletons, and the sizes and shapes of our bones highly influence our movement patterns. Often times we can perform mobility drills and exercises to improve upon our mobility, but other times we are limited by our bones and ligaments. Nevertheless, there are several strategies that can help you get deeper in a squat, and these strategies have sound biomechanical rationale supporting them. If you train for aesthetics/physique purposes, then you should squat to the depth that most appropriately suits your body. For some, this means ass-to-grass, but for others, this means stopping just shy of parallel. If you compete in powerlifting, however, then you must descend at least to parallel (your hip crease must sink deeper than the center of the knee joint). I recommend that you experiment with each of the 8 strategies provided in the infographic in order to figure out the methods that best help you squat deeper. The rationale is continued in the comments section so scroll down). #gluteguy #glutelab #squat #deepsquat #fullsquat #biomechanics
Glute Training Vectors
This is also one of my most popular posts of all time. I’m glad you guys appreciate the glute science!
A couple of weeks ago, I posted an infographic on the “Rule of Thirds” with glute training and advised my followers to make sure that roughly 1/3 of the glute exercises they performed throughout the week were horizontal in nature, 1/3 vertical, and 1/3 lateral or rotary. Force vectors take into account the direction of loading relative to the human body. The direction of loading influences the exercise’s torque angle curve at the hips and the level of motor unit recruitment elicited in the various gluteal fibers. Vertically loaded glute exercises are the hardest on the body and work more lower than upper glute max fibers. Horizontal are less taxing overall but highly activate both the upper and lower subdivisions. Frontal plane lateral exercises completely target the upper subdivision of the glute max, whereas transverse plane hip abduction and hip external rotation exercises work both the upper and lower fibers. To make things more complicated, you also have blends and combinations of vectors. Ultimately, you want to be performing a variety of glute exercises that work different angles in order to fully develop the gluteals. I spent numerous hours creating these lists and made sure to include a video to reference in order to maximize your understanding. I don’t want you overcomplicating your glute training regimens but I’m trying to spark your interest in the science behind it all. Scroll left to see all 9 slides. There will undoubtedly be exercises on these lists that you’re not familiar with, but in time I will expose you to all of them. Big shout out to @stijnvanwilligen for the graphics! #gluteguy #glutelab #glutetraining #biomechanics
I cleaned up my diet and posted some progress pics.
1980’s Tom Selleck checking in. Been dieting for the past 6 weeks and lost 20 lbs. I was eating 6K cals/day and loving life but got way too fluffy. Now I’m down to like 2,500 cals/day and am stagnant AF. Annoying! Haven’t eaten this little since I was a baby. Gonna keep trying to get down to 225 lbs (7 more lbs to go) and then I’ll chill and try to maintain that. I feel like my setpoint is 300 lbs and I’m constantly battling a Minotaur to stay normal. I definitely look better naked but with clothes on I clearly don’t even lift. Current stats: 6’4” (193 cm) 232 lbs (105 kg) 41 years of age (old balls) Probably 16% bodyfat Body hair: infinity #gluteguy
10 Common Mistakes Women Make with Training
Men and women both make numerous mistakes in pursuit of their fitness goals, but the mistakes are somewhat gender specific. I have a men post in the works, but here is the women’s post.
Here are 10 mistakes that many women make in their pursuit of fitness goals. Please be aware that there are numerous badass women lifters out there who do everything just right. But these ladies don't represent the majority, and the purpose of this post is to inform the masses to help them better reach their goals. The majority of men make numerous mistakes in their training as well, but the mistakes tend to be different. I created a different list for men, which I'll post next week. And just to address my qualifications…I'm pretty sure I work with more women than anyone in the world if you tally up my personal training clients, online programming clients, Glute Squad members, Strong by Bret members, seminar attendees, etc. So I see this stuff on a daily basis and have been for 20 years as a trainer. In general, women tend to perform too many sets overall, and too many of these sets are characterized by low levels of effort. Many do too much total exercise overall (weights, yoga, cardio, spin, plyos, etc.), which significantly hampers their progress. Some women focus more on acute sensations such as sweating, feeling the burn, getting a pump, or being sore the next day, than on strength gains and long term progress . Many need to double their rest times and quit turning their weight training sessions into circuits. Many don’t plan out their training and fail to deload or fluctuate their training stress. Some employ too much variety and randomness and would benefit from greater structure and rigidity. Many women would benefit from taking complete rest days and focusing their attention on setting PRs and achieving progressive overload. Last, women should concern themselves more with the perfect program for them rather than the program their idol is supposedly performing. #gluteguy
Granny Glutes gone Wild
This is my most viewed video of all time. Just try to glute harder than her!
How to Succeed in Strength & Conditioning
Here’s an infographic I made that listed my thoughts pertaining to succeeding in our field. I recommend doing more stuff on the left and less stuff on the right.
I receive numerous emails and DMs from aspiring fitness professionals who wish to succeed in the industry, so I sat down and organized my thoughts on the topic. You hone your craft in the gym. Time spent in the gym = good. Time spent learning and expanding your knowledge also = good. Who you know is as important as what you know, so you gotta make connections and network. And you need to develop a strong work ethic and sound traits. But more important than what you do do is what you don’t do. So many of my friends and colleagues have pissed their lives away partying, gambling, and screwing around. I was Frank the Tank in my 20’s and partied like an animal. And guess what? Nobody ever heard of me; I was irrelevant in fitness. It wasn’t until I stopped acting like a kid and stepped it up in life that I started experiencing success. Of course you need to have a balanced life, and drinking a few beers or glasses of wine isn’t a bad thing. But you’ll never be all that you can be if you’re floating through life half buzzed and constantly seeking an altered state. S&C should be your drug! And I’ve never met a troll that amounted to anything in the real world. When you’re working, you’re not spending, so in essence you’re saving. And savings will allow you to attend seminars, get certified, get an advanced degree, subscribe to a research review, build a home gym, create a website, and/or open up a business. It’ll also allow you to pay your bills on time and treat spouses, family, and friends occasionally, which equates to less stress and more happiness. Anyone can be busy in life. That’s easy with modern technology. But not everyone can be efficient. Success begets success and each small victory paves the way for the next one. Now, if you’re passionate about this industry like I am, it’s not all hard work. Hell, much of this advice applies to any career or just life in general. If you’re currently slacking and not making the best decisions, start building better habits and setting small goals. I’m very proud to have built up my name and influence in this industry, but it wasn’t easy. It takes decades of hard and smart work and then one day you’ve made it.
I tried walking lunges with dumbbells the other day and boy did I feel them the day after!!!
However, I’m not sure how to incorporate them into a well rounded routine.I know I need to regularly be doing some: thrusts, back extensions, squats and deadlift exercises. I’m just unsure which catagory this exercise would best fit into. I already enjoy doing Leg Elevated Bulgarian Split Squats, Back extensions, RDLs and Hip Thrusts!
Back extensions and deadlifts are both more of a hip hinge than the lunge, which is vaguely similar to a one-legged squat. That said, I’ve sometimes people enumerate the “basic movement patterns” and include lunge separately from squat, hinge, push, pull (and sometimes carry) – for example https://www.t-nation.com/training/the-6-foundational-movement-patterns or cf. Dan John who doesn’t list them https://www.otpbooks.com/exercise-program-design-fundamentals-part-2/ .
(As Bret has written elsewhere, lunges involve a strong eccentric contraction in the glutes while they’re elongated; these compound to produce a lot of muscle soreness, so you have to be careful not to get too much unproductive muscle damage.)