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Random Thoughts

By August 23, 2013January 23rd, 2014Random Thoughts

Hi fitness friends! I have 13 different things to share with you today (including links to four different podcast interviews with yours truly), some inspiring stories and links to great articles.

Illinois Grandmother Sets Powerlifting Record

Personal trainers: Give yourself a huge pat on the back. You are in perhaps the best position to affect positive changes in people’s lives. THIS is one such amazing story about a 73-year old grandmother who recently set a deadlift record. You gotta watch the short video embedded in the article – such a heartwarming message.


Booty Call: Interview with Bret Contreras

Krista Scott-Dixon of interviewed me a while back and asked me some excellent questions. HERE is the 60-min interview in case you want to download or listen to it. Krista has been around for a long time and is incredibly wise. Props to her for conducting a great interview.



Thoughts on Muscle Hypertrophy with Bret Contreras

JC Dean and Rog Law of   also interviewed me a while back and we had some most excellent conversation. HERE is the 60-min interview in case you want to download or listen to it. Rog and JC are hilarious! I think you’ll enjoy it.

JC, Alagon, and Roglaw

JC, Alagon, and Roglaw

Glute Science And Research With Bret Contreras

Scott Iardella recently interviewed me and we discussed glute science and research HERE. Scott kicked butt here and gave me a great interview. This is not to be confused with the interview from Armi Legge last week HERE where we also discussed glute science and training.



Why Clean Eating is a Myth

Congrats to Armi Legge for putting together this awesome article. I can see in the comments section that most people just don’t understand research and confused the point of the article. The article has 26K Facebook likes in two days so it’s good to see that many folks “get it.” Get to know Armi – he’s an up and comer in the field of nutrition & fitness and puts out some great material. Click HERE to read the article.



The Complexity of Biomechanics

Todd Hargrove wrote a great article HERE pertaining to the complexities of biomechanics and how it relates to other topics including physical therapy.


Is Criticism Helpful? 

Adam Bornstein wrote a thoughtful article HERE on criticism. If you’re going to comment, be proactive, respectful, and actionable.




Paul Ingraham has an excellent website filled with quality information. Click HERE to see the free articles available on his site. I wish that more physical therapists and massage therapists possessed the type of rigor and appreciation of science that Paul does.


Starve Mode

Leigh Peele has just released a product called Starve Mode (not an affiliate link) that some of my readers would likely enjoy.



David Hoff’s 1,210 Squat

Here is a recent video of a squat that has royally pissed off a lot of powerlifters and added fuel to the debate between raw and geared lifting and various federations.

This is the deepest part of his squat:


No disrespect intended for Mr. Hoff. I’m sure that if I wore all the powerlifting gear in the world and loaded up on all the anabolic steroids I could find, I would never even approach this guy’s level of strength. Putting 1,000 lbs on your back requires serious juevos – no way around it. However, this ain’t a legit squat! Step it up refs!

Results Inc.

If you’re in the Manchester area in UK, consider training at Results Inc.!

The Dude who Made Humping a Barbell Popular All Over the World 

I just got back from a 7-day Hawaii vacation. While I was there, I trained at a World Gym in Oahu. A powerlifter who reads my blog noticed me and introduced me to his lifting partner as “the dude who made humping a barbell popular all over the world” haha!

I took this picture! :)

I took this picture! 🙂

More Testimonials from Fans

Ecstatic today — it’s gotten cooler out (gotta love Canadian weather  ) so I have worn jeans for the first time in about 3 months. WOWZERS my ass is awesome  The difference from before is amazing. The legs are tighter, waist is a ton looser, and the booty is alllll filled out  😀   I LOVE GET GLUTES. – Kristen

Thanks Bret! Nice, I have performed American deadlifts (ADLs) the last 4 weeks and can actually see a different in both physique and strength People have always told me that heavy load is necessary to get maximum out of the glutes, but when I perform with lower weights and higher volume, damn that works! – Chris

Here’s an instagram picture testimonial from Zoe:


I’ve learned more in the last 5 months with Get Glutes than I had in the last 5 years.  I appreciate you taking the time to be so thorough. 

At the end of January I decided to check out a blog by the Cookie Monster, a figure competitor turned powerlifter. Her post was on glute activation and she had a video of Bret Contreras.  I’d never heard of glute activation or you or the hip thrust, but  I watched the video, thought about it briefly, and moved on. Over the next couple of weeks I kept coming back to her post and reading it and watching the video over and over.  I started reading all of your sciencey articles.  I like to research things to death before buying into the ideas so I was reading your articles and watching your videos constantly.  The Bret Contreras e-stalking had begun. I had seen the Get-Glutes link on your page but hello, there wasn’t any information on it!!!!  I then bought your eBook and started reading it.  I was probably 25 pages into it and kept thinking that I really wanted to do this.  I mean REALLY wanted to train like this so I stopped reading, got on the web and became a member of Get Glutes even though there was still NOTHING on the site to tell me what I was buying into besides 6 workouts from 3 coaches!  Woohoo!!!!  I was on my way!  

My kiddo had surgery about this time (mid-February) so I was stuck at home without any equipment but I could do glute activation drills and BW hip thrusts and bridges.  I thought I was going to die.  I would do 20 reps and the burn so was intense I couldn’t do any more.  I would then get up from the floor and go directly to the computer to watch Kellie rep out well over 300 pounds.  At this point I thought I would never be able to add weight much less see 300 pounds!  I could barely do 20 reps w/ BW!  I was completely in awe of Kellie (still am actually).  I kept working on it during the 2 weeks I was home with my kiddo then I officially started GG on March 1.   By this time my glutes were used to being activated, the burn had gone away, and I could add weight to the bar.  And add it quickly is what I did!

Here are my numbers from that point on:

02/16   Bodyweight hip thrust and glute bridge x20 reps (It was so HARD!!!)

03/01   Started Month 1 of Get Glutes

Barbell Hip Thrust

04/ 15   6 weeks 225×5

08/01   21 weeks 95×50 w/o rest 

08/13   23 weeks 275×10 (2.5 times bw), 295×5, 305×5; 225×20 (last two sucked though so x18 really) All PRs in one workout

08/20   24 weeks 315×5 (15 pounds shy of doing 3x’s BW)

Conventional Deadlift

145 x3 (never deadlifted before)

45 Degree Hyper/Back Extension

April-   BW (like the bw hip thrusts, once I caught on then the burn went away and I could really up weight)

08/16  60×10, 70×10, 80×10, 90×6, 90×5 (went a little overboard that day)

Reverse Lunge

03/04 40#   BARBELL x8x3

08/11   40# DUMBBELLS 8×3 (80 lbs total)

One Arm Rows

Started   25×8

08/14    45x8x3

I’m 42, 5’3″, started at 114 lbs (lost 4 pounds in the first month but nothing since), currently 110 lbs. – Tammy



My body has been a battle ground for many years. Always the “skinny” girl, I took it too far in 2008 where I dropped to a tiny 53kg – ridiculous for my 5″8 frame. This was achieved with highly unhealthy ways. Over the years, any fluctuation in weight has been a mental battle. A few months ago I hit 70kg. You can imagine what that did to my mind. When I started training with the Strong Curves, my mind and body finally came together. I am in my 5th week of training and sitting at 66/67kg HAPPILY. My BF percentage has been estimated at 16-18% so I know I am healthy. I just want to keep working to get stronger, fitter and better. – Hristina


That’s all for this week! Hope you enjoy the content.


  • Ted says:

    That “squat” pisses me off, too. If I were a world record holder and they would give at least two white lights to this guy for that attempt and he would therefore, consequently, break my record, I would not know how to feel. This cheating, this B.S. needs to fucking stop already.

  • Gil Greenlau says:

    Check out the spotter on the left during the Hoff squat. His hands are definitely on the plates, and it sure looks like he’s providing assistance…

    • Bret says:

      Hey Gil, I see the hands for sure. Not sure as to how much he’s helping. I assumed that that wasn’t allowed…maybe so with 1,000+ lbs.

  • Brian Catalano says:

    For all the bashing that CrossFit (still) gets, it’s nice when people respected in the industry like yourself give credit where credit is due, whether directly or indirectly. Granted MANY CrossFit “coaches” are hardly that, and don’t understand even elementary physiology, anatomy and biomechanics but it is clear that the 73 year old woman has an outstanding trainer.

    Just from watching the video, it is evident that her trainer has introduced her to proper technique, quality activation and stabilization drills, and cues her correctly for power-oriented drills (her medball overhead throws were pretty spot on, even if they are an “easy” exercise).

    Oh and that PL squat was garbage 🙂

    • Bret says:

      I agree Brian! I liked his choice of exercises and the submax loads (bw squats, light swings, step ups, submax pulls, etc.). And you can tell that they truly care about each other! I loved it!

  • bob says:

    Are you serious about the clean-eating-myth? Yes, there are many divergent views and many contradictory studies, but that does not mean there is no truth. “Half of what we believe is false. We just don’t know which half.”

    I’m also tired of the calorie-is-a-calorie idea as being obviously true. It *may* be true, but there is no physical reason it *must* be true. It is certainly within biology that 100 kcal of food X will be fully burned, yet 100 kcal of food Y will only be 95% burned and 5% kept as fat, due to hormonal effects.

    People cite caloric excess as the cause of weight gain. True. But unhelpful, since the part we control (calories in) is only one part of the equation.

    Surely it is so that we could burn different amounts of kcal each day, even beyond differences in exercise. Small changes in calories-out would have only tiny effects on body temp, but very large effects on weight long term. Do different foods affect this? I suggest an open mind on this question.

    • Bret says:

      Bob, Alan Aragon wrote an amazing piece on this in his research review last month. There was also this article which I linked a couple weeks ago which was great: I agree, different foods have unique physiological effects that impact metabolism, etc. However, the whole “clean eating” concept is subjective and misleading. Armi did a great job of painting the whole picture. I don’t feel that any experts are telling people to go out and eat a bunch of crap all day long. Most espouse eating mostly whole foods. However, some planned indulgence can be effective during dieting and shouldn’t evoke a terrible sense of guilt, etc.

      • Bret says:

        Just saw this quote from Alan Aragon:

        You know that the cleanest food in the world is? Hydrogenated vegetable oil. It was originally developed for the purpose of making soap. Pretty damn clean, I’d say. On a more serious note, the “clean” label is very misleading when applied to individual foods. There’s no way a food can be judged in isolation from the rest of the diet. To give an example, most people would call celery a “clean” or healthy food, and ice cream a “dirty” or unhealthy food. In the far-fetched/hypothetical scenario of being forced to choose only one of those foods to survive on, guess which one would sustain your health (and ultimately your life) longer? Hopefully you chose ice cream over celery, unless you’re anxious to knock on Heaven’s door. The point is, labeling foods as clean or dirty ignores context, and ignoring context is just plain dumb. I think that’s it’s intuitively obvious that the diet should consist mostly of whole & minimally refined foods. But still, it’s not all that simple, since certain foods are significantly altered from their original state (i.e., whey protein powder), but still have positive impacts on health. I wrote an in-depth article on the “clean eating” topic here. It’s a long article but worth the read for anyone interested. I think it’s been very amusing to see the definition of “clean” vary widely according to highly subjective criteria.

        Here’s a full article he wrote on the topic:

    • Daniel says:

      Bob, although it is interesting to consider the differences in food and body temperature it is only a small portion in TEE ( about 10%). RMR accounts for about 70% calories from Total energy expenditure, my suggestion is to focus on different aspects that will increase RMR throughout the day such as…. what is going on once the person is done exercising for the day, are they on the computer,desk job or watching game of thrones for 4 hours straight? Those things need to be considered for long term factors in weight control.

  • will says:

    “Squat”? That was more like a “Sumo Curtsey”…. How many cm (or inches) was the travelling distance to the ground? 12 to 15 cm (5-6 inches)?
    Albeit lets agree that remain standing while holding 1210 lbs is remarkable!
    i reckon that even stating that’s achievable for 0.09% of the population would sound pretty optimistic. For instance, not even in my more unrealistic dream -with ultimate enhanced drugs and gear included and granted optimal lifting mechanics- i would be able to lift 3/4 of that amount.
    However, it is not a matter or “liking” or “disliking” the 1210 achievement. The reality is this “Squat” shouldn’t be recognised as a record whatsoever as the lifter never went close to parallel, which is, as far as I know, what all federations’ rules demand.
    Respecting strict parameters would be good for the sport and fair with fellow competitors. I guess that’s one of the reasons why powerlifting probably would never be recognised as an olympic sport as it is somehow subjective or hard to judge (the alleged factor that explained the exclusion of the Press event since Munich 1972). Cheers. Will

  • Todd says:

    Thanks for the shout out Bret, I really appreciate it. The article was partially inspired by guys like you and Greg Lehman who know enough to know what they don’t know. Keep up the good work in biomechanics!

  • Anoop says:

    Congrats on all the testimonials bro!

    I got your book. And i never buy any books so that says something. Will send you the before-after pic haha

  • Joe says:

    Thanks for sharing our slow motion video Bret! Appreciate it!

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