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Random Thoughts

By June 2, 2011March 7th, 2014Random Thoughts

Here’s a quick random thoughts blogpost to tide you over.

1. Spartacus, 300, Gladiator, etc.

Lately I’ve been watching Spartacus episodes and I always feel very proud watching the show because of my own training. While I don’t train for hours each day and I no longer engage in MMA training, I still work my butt off on the big lifts. I felt the same way when I watched the movies Gladiator and 300. You can’t possibly understand the pride and sense of accomplishment associated with transforming your physique, athleticism, and strength unless you’ve done it.

So congrats to all my readers who have done the same! Other people come home from work, plop down on the couch, and flip on the tv, while we head straight to the gym to throw around some weights and keep our bodies functioning optimally. The days of gladiators are long gone but that doesn’t mean we can’t still feel like one!

2. FMS Hardcore!

Click on this link and watch the very creative video that Mark Fisher from Mark Fisher Fitness put together on the FMS. The FMS is a 7-Movement Screening System developed by Gray Cook and Lee Burton, and it just got much sexier!

3. If I Didn’t Train so Hard I’d be a Whale!

I spend my days trying to resist raiding the fridge and cupboards. My appetite is constantly tapping on my shoulder reminding me that food is near. I’ve always said that if I didn’t lift heavy weights, I’d look like a sumo wrestler. But this simply isn’t true. I recently took ten days off of lifting following my surgery and my weight didn’t change. I just wasn’t hungry and I found myself consuming much fewer calories. If I didn’t train, I’d lose a ton of muscle, but I wouldn’t gain a ton of weight since my appetite would adjust and quit turning me into a deprived Viking in search of food and women.

4. Fitness Blog Awards 2011

I’ve been reading journal articles like they’re going out of style lately, but journals don’t give me training ideas like blogs do. I want to thank all the fitness bloggers out there who spend considerable time each and every week coming up with free blogposts for everyone’s benefit. Most people don’t realize how much time goes into filming Youtube videos, editing, researching, etc.

While there are plenty of excellent writers, trainers, coaches, therapists, and researchers with excellent blogs, here are my “Blog Winners for 2011.”

Most Creative

Nick Tumminello – Nick is always coming up with great ideas and I always find myself thinking after I read his blogs.

Ben Bruno – Ben possesses some freakish strength and finds some very unique ways to push the limits on Mike Boyle-inspired functional exercises.

Smitty – Smitty from Diesel Crew consistently comes out with new exercise ideas that I incorporate into my arsenal.

Most Educational

Brad Schoenfeld – Brad is one of the most intelligent personal trainers I’ve ever met and is better versed in hypertrophy literature than probably anyone on this planet.

Mark Young – Mark is incredibly intelligent and often the voice of reason pertaining to various topics in our field.

Eric Cressey – Eric is one of the brightest coaches out there and is someone from whom I’ve learned so much in the past decade.

Most Humorous

Tony Gentilcore – Tony owns this category. His blog is absolutely hilarious and is one of its kind.

Best Exercise Form

Tony Gentilcore – I’m always using Tony’s Youtube videos in my emails as you won’t find much better form out there.

Joe Bonyai – Joe doesn’t blog often, but when he does it’s inspiring! He moves like a cheetah and a ballerina, making him the only cheetarina strength coach in the field.

Honorable MentionJust because they didn’t fit into one of these categories

Kelly Baggett – This guy thinks about jumping and sprinting all day long!

Matt Perryman – I love Matt’s thoughts on strength training. He has an amazing blend of practical and literature knowledge.

5. Daily Blogs

Here are two daily blogs you can follow that tel you what to read for the day.

The Daily Muscle

Everything Strength

6. TNation Article on Hypertrophy vs. Strength Training

This article was posted last week and was very popular around the strengthosphere. Check it out if you haven’t yet read the article. Brad Schoenfeld and I spent a lot of time on this one!

That’s all peeps! I’m out.


  • Marianne says:

    Ha haa – FMS HARDCORE – Love it!

    Sarah Connor from Terminator 2 was who I wanted to be … back then, a women doing pull ups – holy crap – super impressive! Never mind 300 we need more women kickin some butt on TV! Not that I advocate violence :-/

    Thanks for all the blogs too, will be checking them out Bret.


  • Smitty says:

    Thanks for the great support Bret and the kind words!

  • shama says:

    Hi coach, random thoughts are good except the you tube video of mark fisher & co. come on, are they serious? what’s it all about? cheers

    • Bret says:

      Hey Shama, he’s not trying to make fun of it he’s a big fan of the FMS. He’s trying to spruce it up because it’s so fundamental. Anyway all publicity is good publicity. Cheers!

  • Anoop says:

    I see a lot of comments in that T-nation article. Nice job Bret and Brad.

    Why didn’t you guys put the greater hormone release as one possible factors? Though it has been questioned these days, it was postulated as the major difference in training of powerlifters and bodybuilders.

    • Bret says:

      Anoop, we did. Here’s what we wrote:

      Shorter Intra-Set Rest Times

      Bodybuilders generally take fairly short rest periods between sets—around a minute or two on average, whereas powerlifters often take up to five minutes of rest between heavy sets. Shorter rest intervals have been associated with an increased anabolic hormonal response, particularly testosterone and growth hormone (Kraemer et al. 1990).

      Although it’s unclear whether the acute hormonal effects of resistance exercise contribute to greater muscle growth (Ahtiainen et al. 2005), several studies have reported a significant correlation with the magnitude of growth in both type I and type II muscle fibers (McCall et al. 1999; Häkkinen et al. 2001).

      At the very least, shorter rest times will increase training session density, increase “the pump,” and increase hormonal milieu. The improved anabolic milieu should facilitate an improved environment for increasing muscle protein synthesis and possibly satellite cell activity, though studies in this area are inconclusive (West et al. 2009; West et al. 2010; Ronnestad et al. 2011).

  • Mark Young says:

    Thanks for the mention Bret! The cheque is in the mail. 🙂

  • allie says:

    Whatever! No blogs of women?! I could list 10 awesome ones!

  • maureen says:

    Love your blog it is top ten on ten on my list.
    Thanks for all the great info..

  • Hadley says:

    Me too!! She was my hero, while growing up.

  • maureen says:

    I just spent the entire morning visiting your top ten list. Now I know why they are your top ten. Great sites all of them they are now in my favorites. I will be checking them out on a regular basis. Again thanks for the info..

  • Ben Bruno says:

    Thanks for the mention Bret!

  • James says:

    Ross Enamait is another guy that is on top of his game at the minute. I’ve learn’t a lot from him this year. Applying the addition of tension springs to isometric exercises was genius.

    • Bret says:

      I don’t follow Ross but I’ve seen his videos and love them. I’ve heard great things about him and he’s extremely creative.

  • Bret,
    The T-Nation article that you Brad published is one of the best I have ever seen on that site, which is full of great info, in the 5+ years that I have been reading.

    Keep up the great work


    • Bret says:

      Thanks Graeme! Glad you liked it. Aren’t you a baseball guy? You’re not supposed to care about hypertrophy haha! Just kidding you’re probably like me – you like learning about everything related to fitness. Cheers, Bret

  • paul says:

    The season is building and will soon be at an end. This means i’ll be analysing the season of my sprinters and working out what worked well or not so well. I am considering employing the following ideas into next years regimine and would like your thoughts to perhaps save me a year of trial and error……

    Gluteham raises.
    eccentric GHR.
    Calf raises.
    eccentric calf raises.
    twice a week of bulgarian split squatting, SLDL, single leg hip thrusts instead of once.
    deload week every 6th instead of 4th.
    less hypertrophy (8 weeks) more max strength work.
    descending rep ranges e.g 6,4,3,2,1
    6 sets of max strength work e.g 6+
    10-20 minute runs, pre-season for 400m runners

    Many coaches such as kelly baggett, marc magniacotti, eric cressey incoorporate the above weight exercises, but Vern gambetta (who i think is smart as hell) believes gluteham raises are as bad as hamstring curl machines and will only lead to hamstring pulls.


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