Random Thoughts

By September 10, 2013 Random Thoughts

Hey Fitness Friends! Here’s an update including random things, good reads and views for the week, and feedback. Have a great week!

Random Things

Inner Strength Trumps Outer Strength

My website is all about building physical strength. But there’s outer strength and also inner strength.

Over the past week and a half my best friend from college passed away, as did my stepdad of 25 years. It was one of the roughest weeks of my life.

Dan was diagnosed a couple of years ago with stage IV colon cancer that had metastasized to his liver. From that point on until the day he died, he was never negative or bitter. He stayed positive, happy, and strong all the way to the end. I attended Dan’s memorial service and spent the day with his family Saturday and was amazed at the inner strength and determination displayed by Dan’s wife Amanda.

John suffered a heart attack three years ago and managed to survive an extra three years thanks to good doctors and good heart medication. Unfortunately, an antibiotic recently interfered with his medication and threw his heart rhythm out of whack. I spent last week in the hospital watching my mother and step-sisters remaining strong under dire circumstances until John was taken off of life-support. It was truly inspirational to me.

Make sure in life that you spend time developing your inner strength, character, and support systems. It makes all the difference. All the physical strength in the world doesn’t mean a damn thing if you crumble at the first sign of misfortune.

Your support system is everything!

Your support system is everything!

Flattered Over Hip Thruster Launch

Last week I launched my invention The Hip Thruster and was blown away by the response to my blogpost. Over 1.1K Facebook likes and almost 25,000 pageviews in one day!

Thank you so much to everyone for the support! I am so lucky to have the backing of the fitness industry at large. This meant so much to me especially during such a difficult time in my life.

The Hip Thruster

My Blog Continues to Rise in Popularity

Ever since learning about Alexa ranking, I’ve been checking in regularly. My blog is currently at 90,000 worldwide and 19,000 in the U.S.

Seeing this motivates me to work even harder. If I wasn’t limited on time, I could do even better as I have a long list of “yet-to-be-written articles” and “yet-to-be-filmed videos.” Thanks again for the support!

No Word from Miley

Unfortunately I never heard back from Miley after the blogpost I wrote. Still crossing my fingers as I know I could help her tremendously.

Nathalia’s Transformation

Last week I posted an interview with 2012 Ms. Olympia Nathalia Melo. She recently posted a before/after pic on her Facebook page showing her glute transformation over the past several years. I posted a similar picture of 2012 Ms. Figure Olympia Erin Stern HERE.

Ladies – if you visit my blog because you want a better butt, please know that booty-building is a marathon, not a sprint. Hard work and consistency pays off!

Up Top: First Competition in 2009 On Bottom: Last Competition in 2013

Up Top: First Competition in 2009
On Bottom: Last Competition in 2013

Good Reads and Vids

Chris Beardsley: Best Sports Science Blog on the Internet

I’ve been following Chris Beardsley long before I ever teamed up with him to do the research review service. He has the best sports science blog on the internet.

Click HERE to see all of his incredible articles on biomechanics, strength training, squats, deadlifts, sprinting, jumping, and more.

Fit Girl Problems

THIS was a great article by Kellie Davis on favorite jeans for developed booties. I had to laugh though, the picture she posted crashed the server as it resulted in so many clicks!

Kellie's picture crashed the server!

Kellie’s picture crashed the server!

Tara’s Beautiful Hip Thrust

I wanted to show off Tara’s hip thrust. She’s on Month 9 of Get Glutes and has built an incredible hip thrust. Here she is doing pause rep hip thrusts with 225 lbs. She keeps great form throughout the entire set!


I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted a link to Ross Enamait’s site so I wanted to share it with you. Ross is a stand-up dude who is incredibly passionate about fitness. He’s shared a ton of inspirational videos and filmed many “do it yourself” videos for garage gym owners. Check it out!

Ross Enamait

Ross Enamait

Peak Performance in NYC

I don’t know why but I’ve received tons of questions lately regarding the best place to train in NYC. Please visit Peak Performance – it’s a top notch facility with top notch instructors. Co-owner Joe Dowdell makes sure that his trainers receive the best education possible and stay up to date with S&C research and practices.


Peak Performance in NYC


Click HERE to read the advice of 15 different top experts on the topic of high intensity interval training versus low intensity steady state cardio for fat loss training. Kudos to the Martinez bros for putting this together.


Bret, I want to thank you for all that you have done to make lives better! I am a huge fan and have been following your work for a couple of years (starting from your writing on T Nation), and I have a “hard ass” to prove it! Even though I have been lifting for 3 decades now…squatting, deadlifting, you name it…your methods have made all the difference. Thank you!!! – June

Until now, I always felt uncomfortable looking in the mirror to check my glute progress. Gains were small at best. But now when I look, I can’t believe this is my butt….and I’m only in my 6th week on the program! – Traci

Lately I’ve had three male friends ask what I’m doing for workouts and whether it would work for them. One of the trainers at my gym said, “You’ve changed something. It shows. Great job!” At a party I threw a week ago, a guy I see regularly said, “I don’t want to be creepy and don’t know how to say this, but you’re looking great. Kind of… jacked? Not to say you didn’t look good before! Just now it’s obvious that you workout a lot.” The awesome part was getting to tell him, “Actually, I’m working out less. Just smarter.” – Lucy

My arse looks sooooooo fab in my dress. I literally couldn’t believe that was MY booty. My dress is mermaid style, so it hugs in all the right places. LOVING my curves! Yay!! – Kristen

But my funniest one was a month or so ago when we were with some friends and my boyfriend randomly said “Baby! Your butt is really getting bigger!” to which I replied… “THANKS!!”. And our friends just looked really confused like “ok… what just happened there?” – Emily

But I have to say that the progress that I made just this month to my backside is impressive. And I have been lifting heavy now for 3 years, obviously my glutes were dormant. I love this program, goodbye split workouts and the extreme muscle soreness for days that I had before. – Orchide

What a fantastic week it’s been. I was a little skeptical of this style of training, not that I don’t trust the coaches….but I was just so used to doing upper/lower splits. For the last year I was spinning wheels hard with training and nutrition. Finally got sick of it and gave this a whirl. Don’t think I could ever go back to what I used to. The workouts are sustainable, I am not spending HOURS in the gym. I also don’t feel completely annihilated when I am finish but I feel like I worked hard. The best thing is…it only took about two days for this to make a difference in my pain levels and I am slowly getting my confidence back with my strength. Plus. I love belonging to this great community. Thank you for being so awesome! – Linzzz

Heya Bret, so, I have never had much in terms of a backside, but thanks to you I am getting myself a bootaaaayyy! – Philippa




  • wickets says:

    “My blog is currently at 90,000 worldwide and 19,000 in the U.S.”

    well done…..i hope you post these #’s more often….you definitely have one the better blogs on the www and it would be nice to follow the rise to fame and fortune…..between your very cerebral musings and hottie pics, the site is a must see!

  • daveb says:

    Those thumbnails work like gangbusters, always catching my eye going through facebook. Thankfully, your content is consistently great!

  • Irene says:

    I just want to add for the girls w/problems finding good jeans, Levi’s is probably the best & most affordable option. They really craddle the butt beautifully.

  • Ondrej says:

    Stay strong Bret! My cousin died in March at the age of 20 so I understand your current situation.

    By the way, is the book on bodyweight training already published and temporarily sold out, or is the Amazon publication date wrong? I can’t wait to read it!

    • Bret says:

      Thank you Ondrej, I will stay strong indeed.

      I just heard back from Human Kinetics and they informed me that it usually takes 7 days for Amazon to start selling their books when they release them. So expect it in a week. It’s available on the Human Kinetics website right now though.

  • Etienne says:

    Hey Bret, big fan of your blog.

    I wanted to ask: I’ve been dealing for the past week with a pain deep in my left glute (possibly piriformis syndrome?); it tends to flare up when I do squats, to the point where I can’t continue even set up to do Pendlay rows without pain. Within an hour or two of the workout, the pain is gone, though. It stays mostly localised in my glute.

    Would you recommend I do some glute activation/strength work, as I hear lack of proper glute firing could be a factor… (I guess I should stop squatting too?)

    Thanks again

    • Bret says:

      Hi Etienne, sorry to hear about your issue. I would do the following:

      1. Don’t do any squats for 2-3 weeks. Do single leg stuff like reverse lunges or Bulgarian split squats instead to keep your quad strength up.

      2. Hopefully the pain/irritation will vanish and the tissue will heal after this time.

      3. Start performing band seated hip abductions trying to mimic your squat stance after the 2-3 week period is up – do one set per training day for the first week, then two sets the second week.

      4. Also add in other glute exercises such as hip thrusts, x-band walks, etc. Don’t overdo things, gradually ease into them.

      5. Ease back into squatting (after around a month). Hopefully this time around your glutes will be strong and the tissue in your deep hip region won’t be irritated.

      Best of luck,


  • Nikos says:

    Bret, I wish you strength and health. Your words are truly inspiring.
    Please, inform the readers that your Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy ebook edition is available in amazon from 6 September. Pesonally, I bought the pdf from humankinetics and I have to say that this is the book I have been waiting for. Great work! Highly recommended!

  • Oreste Lombardi says:

    Love your Hip Thruster, but did not have $600 real handy, but am good with tools. So with some lumber from my garage and some parts from Home Depot I assembled one.
    I have many references to you in my Second Edition of Formula for a Great Body, Mind, and Sex. I am going over the proof copy at this time. You have done an excellent job of elucidating the mysteries of muscle. I am convinced that the condition of the glutes affect the health of the body more than any other skeletal muscle. Also attention to the glutes has a positive effect on ones state of mind and the prospects of a happy old age.

  • Rocky Steele says:

    My sincerest condolences for your losses.


  • ann says:

    Since you are interested in producing training materials for women, I thought you might want to know that many women are turned off by the constant “gym porn” on your site. You may be a nice person, and I appreciate that you encourage women to get strong, but the photos on your site have caused a lot of lady lifters to develop a negative opinion of your attitude towards women, and hence to avoid your programs.

    • Bret says:

      Hi Ann,

      Do you have a link that I could read where women are expressing this? Since I train bikini models, should I not post competition pics? Should I never post pictures of male bodybuilders because they’re shirtless? Should men not read male fitness magazines because they feature shirtless men? Should women avoid Strong Curves because the cover shows off Kellie’s curves? Should women avoid reading Women’s Fitness Magazines too because of the pictures they use with women in sports bras and spandex? Where is the line drawn?

      As for women basing their opinion of my attitude toward women on the pictures I embed into my blogs – don’t you think that sounds a little absurd? Do you think that all of the women who offered nice testimonials about me would do so if I was a sexist jerk?

      I may put out a survey on my blog if I can figure out how to do it so I can get an accurate picture of how women feel about this. I know that the pictures inspire some ladies and turn off other ladies, but I can’t say for sure how the majority feel about it. At any rate, thank you for mentioning this.


      • ann says:

        Most of my online discussions about lifting occur in a closed facebook group of awesome female lifters. sorry, you cant see the group. your name and articles come up now and them but people often cant get past the photos into discussing the content. Some of the photos are not of your clients, not really lifting related even if they are in a gym, and just seem like you put them in because you think they are sexy. I don’t mind the before and after photos of your actual clients, provided the focus is not to be titillating.I think you often have a lot of good information in your articles so it would be nice to be able to discuss them without the distraction. Like what the hell does Jamie Eason, seductively posed, have to do with this article? http://bretcontreras.com/female-strength-levels/

        • Bret says:

          Fair enough Ann, but I’m amazed that 1) there are women who judge my entire character by the pictures I embed on my blog despite not knowing anything else about me, and 2) that they can’t “get over it” so to speak by realizing that there is great content and methods from which to learn. I’m trying to learn how to post surveys right now…I’m a technological idiot but I think I’ll figure it out

  • ann says:

    I still read your articles, even bought “Strong Curves”. It does seem like you do your research and present good information honestly (except for a certain idiotic article with “tips” for training women…). I just thought you might want to consider that some lady lifters, who don’t know you, only your website, are put off by some of the pictures on it.

    • Paloma says:

      Thank you Ann for bringing this subject. I wouldn’t dare to be the first person to point it out. However, I also think that some of your photos are inappropriate, just for you to know, Bret.

      And I am also a bit sick of watching boob jobs all over fitness pages (not only yours). I am a grown woman and I am over it, but I am sure that such exposure of artificially rounded breasts is affecting many teen agers or young women self esteem. And it shocks me a little because you expose those beautiful shaped ladies’ bodies and claim that it is all due to hard work, but it is not 100% true. Specially when we all know here that when a woman goes under 15% BF, their boobs, that are essentially BF will, in most cases (there are always exceptions to the rule, all right) shrink. So I believe that many women will look to their beautiful strong pectorals and small breasts and be sad about their lack of roundness. For me it is sad that so many women in this industry ends up with a boob job.
      I think that you should, at least, show the same amount of natural women than artificial ones. How can we now then that their booties were not as well placed by a surgeon?

      However, I do follow your blog and videos because I think the information you provide is most accurate and very useful to women.

  • Paloma says:

    Bret, I am also very sorry for your losses. I hope you can recover yourself soon enough, even thought the wound will never heal. However, eventually you will fell OK about them not being with you and you not being able to share your life with them. My aunty died 3 years ago and tears come to my eyes every time I think about her, which is very often. But it also reminds me that we have to take advantage of our time here.



  • Helena says:

    Hey Bret,

    I know this post is old, but I was curious about one of the links: HIIT vs LISS. You mention the article as a compilation of the thoughts of 15 experts, put together by the Martinez brothers. But the “Click HERE” doesn’t have an actual link. Do you think you could please find that and link it sometime? Thanks!

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