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Random Thoughts

By October 15, 2013January 14th, 2014Random Thoughts

Hi Fitness Peeps!

Here is this week’s random thoughts post.

Good Articles and Videos

Physique Frontier – Strong Sexy Glutes With Bret Contreras

Click HERE to hear Scott Tousignant interview me about sports science research, glutes, foam rolling and stretching, female training, the joy of competing, squatting, ankle mobility, and biofeedback.

Does research support the use of bands and chains?

Chris Beardsley rocked the house with THIS comprehensive article on accommodating resistance in strength & conditioning. Freakin’ awesome article!


Why Your Upper Body Training Might Need to Change

HERE is a nice video from Eric Cressey, who will be posting new vids all week and launching a new product next week. Check it out if you’re seeking a new training program.

Identical Twins With Significant Weight Differences Shed Light On the Phenomenon of Metabolically Healthy Obesity

THIS was an intriguing article on “metabolically healthy obesity.”

The “Missing Tile Syndrome”

My friend Charles Staley sent me this video and I absolutely loved it!

The Truth About Aspartame

Charles also sent me this video, which I loved as well, especially given the fact that I slam diet soda like it’s going out of style!

Facebook Dribble

Here are two messages I posted on my Facebook page over the past week:

  • No exercise is worth doing if it consistently causes pain/injury. Make sure you educate yourself about proper form and correctives, but not every body was built for every lift. Don’t be afraid to drop an exercise if it’s not right for you.
  • Joint stability is direction-specific. In sports, you need all of the muscles surrounding the shoulders, spine, and hips to be strong and well-coordinated in order to stabilize the body in the various force vectors. Power is also direction-specific. In sports, you need all of the muscles surrounding the joints to be strong and explosive in order to propel the body in the various force vectors. As you can see, weights, plyos/ballistics, towing, and sprints should be performed in different directions in order to maximize performance.

Glute Training Feedback

I keep thinking that the glute training feedback will subside, but it never does. Each week more and more people get in touch with me and tell me their stories. I love it!

After months of trying to improve on my glutes I finally found Bret’s book strong curves and I’m so glad I did. Performing regular squats and lunges just didn’t do it for me and after reading Bret’s book I realized there are so many other great exercises I needed to add to my daily routine. The book is extremely well researched and is very interesting to read. Only after a few weeks of doing the strong curves program I noticed a big change in my physique and others did as well. I have put on inches on my glutes and they keep growing and also I’m in love with the new shape. I have learnt so many new things thanks to Bret and his revolutionary way of thinking. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, not only for those looking to improve on their glutes but for anyone who wish to sculpt a beautiful body and improve on their physique and strength.” – Tindra (Tindra’s Instagram)


Wow Tindra! I’d say it’s working 🙂

Got the BEST compliment today thanks to Bret Contreras’ butt-working magic! A girl at the gym stopped me and asked for advice on glute training because “obviously something is working for you.” My booty has never been something to write home about so this was amazing. And OF COURSE, I wrote two things down on paper for her: “Bret Contreras” “Strong Curves” – Megan

Below are links to my 150 days of Get Glutes and Carb Nite (my nutrition plan). I’ve lost 14.8 lbs, but I’m more impressed with the changes in my physique. I don’t even recognize my before physique. I love the way my body is changing. I’m excited to see the changes I’ll make in the next 150 days. Thanks Marianne Kane, Kellie Davis and Bret Contreras for creating an awesome program! – Mary


Mary is en fuego right now!

BTW- I find myself squeezing my butt all the time during activity now- Like climbing the stairs- I am like ” are you using those muscles??” LOL- Wake up sleepy glutes! – Cherie

I just ordered Strong Curves. It is because of YOU that I perform hip thrusts, which helped me change my posture and alleviate low-back pain. Thank you very much, I’m a big fan. – Jeffrey

I just turned 40 in August and am in the best shape of my life.  I found BC during my Venus Index transformation.  I lost 25 lbs in early 2013 and lost most of my glutes too.  I added Strong Curves to my routine and have loved my results.  I jumped on GG as soon as I found you guys.  I’m doing glutes daily now and man are the changes coming fast!  Look forward to reading and doing more! – Jenny

I had a MAJOR hip thrust breakthrough tonight! It has been 4.5 months but I think I finally figured out how to use my Glutes! Better late than never. So here’s what I did differently, per all of your suggestions:

1. I used a step with 5 risers. Lower, so I don’t need to hoist myself up, and more comphy.
2. I kept the tension in my core and my spine straight rather than arching my back
3. I widened my stance and flared my feet out (I was inspired to tinker with this by Bret’s “Art of Glute Building” post)

And something clicked and I was able to do 205 x 8, 225 x 10, 225 x 9, 245 x 5, 245 x 4. Major PR! Then I walked home with some lovely glute pump. Thanks to all of you for helping me put the pieces together. It is really rewarding when it all finally clicks! – Emily

* This next one is my favorite! Stephen originally sent me the first message, and I asked him to ask the woman if I could post her picture on my blog. The woman (Marcy) actually emailed me (see second message) herself with an excellent story along with it. *

Brett! So our newest member here at Metroflex… the first exercise she does is glute bridges with 405! I had to ask where she picked that up… Bret Contreras Strong Curves! I knew it was you! – Stephen

Marcy hip thrusting 405 lbs like it ain't no thang!

Marcy hip thrusting 405 lbs x 12 reps like it ain’t no thang! This is at Metroflex gym in Texas; one of the baddest gyms on the planet.

Hello Bret, I changed gyms recently. In part due to you encouraging me to check into powerlifting.  This gym is for bodybuilders and powerlifters.  One of the trainers is a fan of yours.  He took a picture and video of me hip thrusting 405.  Tonight he said you wanted to use it on your site.  Yes, that would be ok.   

I actually think I can do 5 plates.  I’m on week 7 of the Advanced Program (started with Beginner back in May).  I did 12 reps last time with 405, and I could have done more.  I’m trying to take it easy since my physical therapist (broke my foot in Feb) asked me to not go all out.  The 12 reps was my 3rd or 4th set and that was  after working an hour and a half of ab and jog/walk intervals with the physical therapist.

Thank you so much for your encouragement.  I can’t really explain how much of a difference it made when you said you were proud of me for not being diabetic anymore and losing all that weight.  Really meant a lot.  Thanks so much! – Marcy


  • John says:

    You better do you homework on Aspartame. It was originally denied by the FDA in the 70’s because of toxicity issues. It wasn’t until Donald Rumsfeld, who owned a large portion of Serle shares (the company who owned the product), strong armed the FDA into approval. If you listen to the person above, who does these “InFact” shows, understand that this person does not work independently and is funded by special interest.

    • Bret says:

      John, I have done my homework…see the two links below:
      I’m not suggesting that it’s good for you or that it’s something you shouldn’t be concerned about to the slightest degree, just that the dangers are largely overrated and you’re not going to keel over and die if you have a diet coke here and there.

      • wayne eligur says:

        When I was a kid we NEVER ever had any Cokes – rarely ate out there was NO McDonalds in NYC at the time.

        See? It was un heard of for any family in my area to drink such at any time my schools and stores carried no soft drink machines and the soft drink section was a small one.

        I tried my first soda-diet in 1990 I thought how awful that NutraSweet or whatever was in it was ….

        How the artificial sweetener is made – the patent – it is made from bacteria in excrement as in feces – these bacteria are GMO kinds – they then produce the sweetener.

        HERE is my source:

        I say one should rely less on ANY GOVERNMENT related sites there!

        Well everything we eat now is substandard – been to EU and their food has about 1/2 less ‘poisons’ and was a break from out noxious plastic food – Bret I say we are stupid for not knowing or tasting all of it.

        What IS a fact is we are drowning maybe in a SEA OF POISONS all around not counting RADS from some far away disaster… I imagine the general panic now playing and escalating worldwide deadens all of us to any sense – taste smell and so on…

        I find the hip thrust essential to my own rehab however and am glad I found this website…

        Anyway drink in moderation all that stuff OK?

      • wayne eligur says:

        Ya sure Mr. Contreras

        Facts are way different – lookie at Walmart families piling up on all this stuff each day?
        And do look at all the miserably configured people in such stores and malls nationwide.

        I mean now I see electric wheel carts and oxygen tanks for many persons life is a 24/7 ER existence.

        In important ways Glutes command and reinforce all the connective parts of the body I have found. It is a BIG difference in the way I carry myself the power I can command my new found confidence of movement for all this I do say congrats well done man!

        Regards and best to you!
        Tucson AZ

  • JR says:

    Holy smokes. Marcy is beastly strong. If she did Muay Thai she would probably scare someone’s organs out of their body just by flexing at them.

  • Neal W. says:

    Bret, I listened to your podcast with Stu McGill, it was pretty awesome!

    As a BJJ athlete I was especially interested in the discussion towards the end.

    I know Stu’s answer, but I was wondering if you would ever include exercises for a BJJer that load the lumbar outside of neutral .

    • Bret says:

      Good question! I don’t think I would as BJJers get tons of repetitive cycles during sparring and training, so not worth the risk IMO.

  • Alex says:


    Regarding the hip thrust exercise- a few weeks ago you posted a video of a coach who taught the lift with a supinated grip. For grins, I tried it, and it rocks!

    My take- the supinated grip allows the lats to activate; it seems to take the load off the lower back and transfer it to the abs; I believe this allows for an immediate increase in the amount that can be lifted (10% ?!?), and is much easier on the lower back than conventional.

    I’d love to hear your take.


  • Joe Miller says:

    Like your Facebook dribbles, particularly the first one. The voice of sanity. Thanks for these tidbits (like the one about “Ease into It”). It keeps it real.

  • ggs says:

    Loved the video of the missing tile….my hubby has been telling me that for many years…not using the actual tile analogy but the same message…It smacked me right upside my head….I will try to focus more on what I do have instead of what is missing…Now the Glutes….I am sure for every person that tells you that you’ve changed their Glutes there are three or four who have not reached out to you yet….The Glute word is spreading…the Hip Thrust is the go to exercise for butt building strength…Women all over the world now have a new meaning for BC…Even Hubbies know your name and its flows from their lips with ease…..I personally sing your praises every time I get under the bar…Many thanks for the videos and the info always appreciated…

  • Ash says:


    Great article! Quick question on what you suggest as the best exercise for building the upper glute shelf. It seems like my butt is growing more in the middle and not finding as much growth on the upper portion. Really want that deep C curve where the lower cack meets the upper gluteus. Any suggestions much appreciated. 🙂

  • Anne says:

    Way to go Marcy! That is so awesome. You are a trooper! Keep up the good work 🙂

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