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Random Thoughts

By March 25, 2014December 23rd, 2015Random Thoughts

How’s it going fitness peeps? I’ve got some great articles, videos, rants, and before/after pictures for you to check out. Just keeping you in the know!

Good Articles

FREE E-BOOK: Training For Hypertrophy

Click HERE if you’d like a free review of the literature pertaining to training studies examining hypertrophy. I hope you appreciate Chris Beardsley – he puts out the best sports science information on the internet!


The Science of Gluteus Maximus Training

THIS isn’t an article; it’s a video. By me. You will like it.


Research Process Pitfalls

Most people haven’t the slightest clue as to what goes into publishing a study. Click HERE to read some of the pitfalls associated with publishing.

The Ten Richest Fitness Gurus

Click HERE to see who the ten richest fitness gurus are. Pretty sad state of affairs, but marketing trumps scientific knowledge any day of the week in terms of financial gain.

Personal Training Quarterly

HERE is the first PTQ edition – if you’re an NSCA member, click on the link for free access.

Old School Smarts

I thoroughly enjoyed THIS article by Bryan Krahn.

Good Videos

Derrick Kendall Squats 1,005 lbs

No big deal…

Hip Thrust Plyos

Not quite sold on these yet. I used to do something like these off the Skorcher four years ago (see HERE). Dominic makes them look so fluid and athletic, but many individuals would jar their lumbar spines via hyperextension when attempting these. Give these a try and let me know what you think.

Chris Duffin Deadlifts 405 x 40 Reps in 60 Seconds

Absolutely Insane!

Leroy Walker Inclines 500 x 10

Is this real life?

Fake Supersized Muscles

Say what you will, but you gotta admire the honesty.

Here’s to the Crazy Ones

I learned of this from listening to Steve Jobs’s biography. Such a brilliant ad! I vaguely remember it from 1997 but hearing about it in the audiobook made it more fascinating.

Facebook Rants

Here are my Facebook rants since the last random thoughts post.

Lifters can sometimes be quick to blame an exercise for causing pain and discomfort. Often, the fault is not on the exercise itself, but on the way the exercise is being performed or the way the training regimen is designed. Proper technical form is paramount, as is optimal recovery.

Two different Exercise Science students have recently forwarded me the notes from their Biomechanics courses to alert me that their professors are incorporating content from Chris Beardsley and my work It’s great to see educators expanding their course material to include content from a variety of sources and not just textbooks as it leads to better learning.

Finding the right personal trainer can sometimes be challenging, since many trainers attach themselves to a particular school of thought. Depending on your goals, their methods may or may not be ideal for you. For example, if your goal is to optimize glute shape, but your trainer doesn’t incorporate the best glute building movements into your program, you’ll likely be disappointed in your results. I recommend that you express to your trainer your desire to perform those movements, and if your trainer is close-minded and bull-headed, replace them with one that prioritizes your progress. The exercises you perform heavily influence whether or not you reach your goals. Dozens of members have informed me that their progress took off once they ditched their trainers and implemented Kellie Davis and my system (in addition, they spent less money in the process).

Personal trainers: If you find yourself dreading a particular client (maybe they’re toxic/negative, or they don’t respect you, or they’re overly flaky or uninvested), don’t be afraid to fire that individual. Not only will this clear up room for a more ideal client, it’ll also lift a weight off of your chest and reduce anxiety/stress.

I have a dream that one day people across the globe will be more concerned with their glute development. I have a dream that one day people will not be satisfied with flat buttocks. I have a dream that one day people will take matters into their own hands by strengthening their gluteal muscles. I have a dream that one day people will join hands and perform hip thrusts, squats, lunges, deadlifts, and back extensions together in harmony. Let glutes grow from the mountaintops of Italy. Let glutes grow from the forests of Brazil. Let glutes grow from the reefs of Australia. Let glutes grow from the skyscrapers of New York. And when this happens, we will display greater athleticism and incur fewer injuries. Glutes at last, glutes at last, thank resistance training, we have glutes at last!

The benefit of a relentless work ethic is that I’m now friends with top researchers and equipment manufacturers around the world. I often know of cool things in strength & conditioning and biomechanics far in advance of everyone else. Six years ago, nobody knew of me. I was just a man with a training studio who’d strip down into his undies at night to perform self glute EMG experiments. Now, I’m mixing it up with the bigwigs and have amassed an amazing following of readers. Hard work + passion can make dreams come true.

Proof that every exercise in the gym is functional – seated leg curls would make you better at this real world movement. Click HERE.

Glute Training Feedback

Working to build more mass on dat ass (that rhymes!) Been doing weight hip thrust on a weekly basis and squatting only on alternate weeks. I mentioned this before. I’m doing so because hip thrust stimulates the glutes more than squats. I’m not saying squatting doesn’t work! It does. But there is more stimulation in the glutes when I do the weight hip thrust. At the moment I’m only at 295lbs x 10 for hip thrusts. Even with padding my pelvis are so freaking bruised from that weight. Aiming to hit 315lbs without breaking my pelvis (kidding). – Melissa


Hi Bret,
A quick note to thank you. Your articles and instructional videos have revolutionized my training. I’ve been lifting in a haphazard way for some years but have really gained in confidence and skill since following your advice and programs. I train by myself, which makes it a little more intimidating heading into the weights area with the big guys (I’m a 5’3, 53gk, 41-year-old woman), but today a trainer came up to me and said it was great to see someone train so hard, big weights with barbell hip thrusts. He was impressed, and I felt pretty proud. Couldn’t have got this far without your help. 
PS: Since glute training I have eliminated my lower back pain, which was a welcome surprise!
Big thanks!

Hi Bret! I wanted to share with you my progress. I know this is showing a lot but this was the best way to see what progress I actually made! On the left I dieted down over the summer and over the year I lost 10% body fat total in 6 months. I lost what butt I had which I guess, now that I look back, was mostly from fat! The right picture is me after a 4 month heavy lifting/bulking winter phase AND 2 months of reducing caloric intake again, and I’m currently trying to get leaner. It looks like with your strong curves principles that I have added a lot of glute and leg muscle! I’ve been weight training for over a year now but I find that applying your knowledge & thorough research on the glutes (especially the best ways to activate them for hypertrophy) paired with good healthy eating has produced results I never ever thought I’d see on my own body! I’m 5’0 and my glutes/hip measurement went from 35 to 38! I cannot thank you enough and for all the articles, studies, research, and really helpful resources you have put out there for all of us women who thought that transforming our backsides was a futile endeavor. I recommend you and your works to all those who’ve taken interest in my new lifestyle and want pointers on how I did it. Thank you thank you!! – Jenina


Bret, I started following some of your video advice on building stronger glutes as part of my marathon training and it is the first time that a trainer’s advice hasn’t caused some tangental injury. Your exercise videos demonstrate what are apparently the proper forms for glute bridges, hip thrusts and more. The result has been stronger glutes and core; an improvement in my running time–a comfortable 11 minute mile down from 13; ITBS I used to get on long runs disappeared; and at 44, my posterior seems to get noticed in even my baggiest of pants (which I kind of like, this getting noticed). I recommend your videos and advice without hesitation. Frank

Ok, the one on the left is from a year ago when I was going to Bar Method classes and doing a bottom load of cardio. I was about 122lbs. I had ZERO definition. The one on the right is after working your program the past 8 weeks and 125lbs. I started in November but because of an injury, took a break about 1/2 way through December. I started up the Gluteal Goddess 12 week plan again the beginning of the year and this is my progress so far. I normally have a pancake ass so even though this isn’t where I want to be, it’s way better than where I started thanks to you!  Can’t wait to see the results another 8 weeks from now. Thank you for constantly educating me! On top of helping me build my booty, you’re making me a better trainer for my clients! – Julie


Bret, gotta admit bro, when I stumbled across your stuff I thought you were crazy. I decided to give it a shot tho and started doing hip thrusts, band hip rotations, goblet squats, and back extensions. Three months later, my deadlift has increased by 55 lbs, I split two pairs of jeans, and I’m hitting home runs just about every other at-bat with my company softball team. I’m trying to get my lifting partners to get on the thrusting train but they’re resisting. You’ve got a good think going dude, keep it up. – Bryce


Alan Aragon Coming to Toronto on June 14

Canadian peeps – my friend Alagon is putting on a seminar. I vouch for him 100%. Click HERE to learn more.


Dan Green Workshop April 19th in Tempe, AZ

Click HERE if you’re interested in attending a Dan Green (world record raw powerlifter) seminar at Revolution Training Systems. Dan is a freakin’ badass, and he’s very down to Earth and knowledgeable.

dan green

Six Blind Men and the Elephant

Physical therapists, massage therapists, and sports medicine personnel – you gotta admit, this is pretty funny!

Six Blind Men


  • Alan Aragon says:

    Thanks so much for the mention, Bret!

  • Katie says:

    I should have been asleep hours ago but that NSCA video was great! You mentioned a study that suggested certain positions that relax the hamstrings while activativing the gultes. Could you share a little more info on that? (I have some major problems feeling glute activation vs. hamstring activation in just about every variation of every exercise).

  • Sam says:

    Thanks Professor Contreras. I enjoyed the lecture. Can we get a copy of the slides? Or, even better slides with synchronized with audio.

  • Hayden says:

    Epic post, Bret.
    Love all the hard work and emphasis you’ve been putting on glutes and hamstring development..

    Ps, the 40 rep deadlift vid is insane! Love the guy commenting…”light fuc*ing weight” haha.


  • Thanks for the link, Bret!

  • Heh, the only one on the list of richest fitness professionals I know is Chuck Norris and I didn’t know he was a fitness professional.

  • ryan says:

    i fucking love these posts bret. I have such bad adhd that, i need stuff like this. Also, I have shit load of stuff bookmarked in cloud bookmark app that I haven’t gotten to yet. great stuff. love it.

  • Dunkman says:

    I can’t believe I watched the video about the Brazilian guy. Once I got over my queasiness, I started wondering… why no oil injections for the glutes?? He’s clearly glute deficient. Your work is not done yet.

  • Steven Sequoia says:

    Cheers & jeers (anyone out there old enough to actually remember reading TV Guide?)…Cheers: your seated leg curl video, 12 seconds of truth! Funniest video I’ve watched in a while (amazing how context adds richness, if I had just happened to see the video in a non fitness context, and without the lead in I would have asked for my 12 seconds back)…if it strengthens, it adds function, it’s just matter of where.
    Jeers: Usurping MLK’s “I have a dream” speech in the name of gluteal development, well, that’s just misguided hubris of the highest order. Actually borderline offensive. To take one of the most prolific, iconic, and legendary polemics against racial inequality and bigotry and hatred in the history of this country and use it as a “template” to champion your beliefs about gluteal development you have indeed made an ass out of yourself Mr. Glute Guy.
    Other than that, I love everything that you contribute to the field, and consider myself infinitely more knowledgable regarding strength and conditioning by virtue of all that you contribute so cheers to you for all that you do and give. However, just as seated leg curls can have unintended positive consequences via the functional continuum, so too can historical references have unintentded negative consequences via the social continuum.

    • Pat says:

      “Usurping MLK’s “I have a dream” speech in the name of gluteal development, well, that’s just misguided hubris of the highest order. Actually borderline offensive. To take one of the most prolific, iconic, and legendary polemics against racial inequality and bigotry and hatred in the history of this country and use it as a “template” to champion your beliefs about gluteal development you have indeed made an ass out of yourself Mr. Glute Guy.”

      Word. I’m sure Bret didn’t intend it this way, but any comparison between the desire for shapely glutes and the desire for the end of systematic racial oppression is inexcusably tone-deaf. But no need to go at his throat for an apology. Bret’s a good guy. It should be enough that his embarrassing statement stands, and he can look at it and cringe a little.

      • Steven Sequoia says:

        Thanks Pat, glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I agree with you as well that we can assume that Bret did not knowingly perpetrate this gaff, hence my “hubris of the highest order”. Bret is the man when it comes to strength and conditioning, he is putting out more useful and awesome content than virtually anyone else and I’m sure he knows this. We all have a proclivity for getting ahead of ourselves when we are on a roll and in retrospect can say “oh, ya, that…probably not the best idea…probably shouldn’t have done it…”
        In no way, is the body of his contribution, to the body of knowledge, of the body; that we have benefited from, infinitely, without contribution, diminished in any way whatsoever as a result of this gaff. However, I have a dream, a dream in which one day we can all come together and agree that we cannot talk about dreams in the context of MLK’s “I have a dream” speech, unless it is IN THE CONTEXT OF MLK’s “I HAVE A DREAM” SPEECH. Bret, you are indeed a groundbreaker, break your own ground my friend, and tread lightly on the ground of those before you.

        • Pat says:

          Hi Steven, I was expecting a late and eventually over-the-top reaction from other readers, calling for Bret’s head. Now I’m stunned at the complete silence. Remember the uproar over the “120 things on training women” post?

          Bret is a sexist pig for observing that women often wear pink, but appropriating “I Have a Dream” in appalling taste is perfectly fine? I don’t get it. I’m disappointed in our fellow readers.

          • Bret says:

            Steven and Pat, I’ve been called out in the past for being tone-deaf, so I’m not blind to the fact that I push some buttons from time to time. Anyway, it was not my intent to offend, and my naive, tone-deaf self thought that it was in a way paying homage to the greatest speech of all time. I know that glutes don’t compare in terms of importance to racial inequality – I wan’t trying to suggest that in any way. Sorry to disappoint both of you, and on a side note, I wish I possessed your writing skills. Regards, Bret

  • Will Arias says:

    Hi Bret, I hope you find interesting this paper from Cholewicki, Narendra & Reeves where they make a rather fascinating analogy associating concepts about “Spine stability” and “The 6 blind men and the elephant” metaphor. Here is the link:
    Cheers. Will 🙂

  • Osha says:

    Hello i was wondering if it is possible to go from 53in hips to 58in hips. I rely want to get bigger, if this is possible please reply

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