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Random Thoughts

By July 23, 2014January 13th, 2016Random 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

Here are some great recent articles to read, written by various colleagues.

Scientific Articles

Chris Beardsley

Chris has written some great scientific articles in the past month. Several months ago he focused on hypertrophy, then he moved on to strength, and now he’s examining power. Here are the last six blogposts:

  1. Resistance Training and Power
  2. Ballistics and Power
  3. Injury Rates in Strength Sports
  4. Range of Motion on Strength Gains
  5. Rest Periods on Strength Gains
  6. Training to Failure on Strength Gains

Other Scientific Articles

We’re getting fatter due to less exercise, not more calories. See HERE.

Are you tired of pseudoscience? HERE are 10 claims that the authors would like to see go away forever.

Nick Tumminello teaches you some B.S. detection strategies HERE.

Learn the science pertaining to bodybuilding contest prep HERE.

Speaking of contest prep, HERE is an image on Alan Aragon’s blog detailing their recent study on the topic.

HERE are 8 philosophical questions we’ll never solve.

The 10,000 Rule predicts only around 12% of performance? See HERE for details.

Can alternative medicine be a bad thing? Read HERE to learn one woman’s experiences.

Only 1% of scientific authors publish at least one paper per year. See HERE for more info on this. This boosts my confidence – I’ve published 7 so far this year, with 5 more in the works.

Greg Nuckols details a recent study comparing band resisted pushups versus bench press with similar EMG activity on strength gains HERE.

push up


Personal Trainer Quarterly

NSCA members, in case you didn’t see the latest issue of Personal Trainer Quarterly (PTQ), HERE is the link. We’ve had some great feedback on this issue. If you’re interested in submitting an article to PTQ, please submit to Matthew Sandstead at this address: – make sure you read the author guidelines HERE.

NSCA Response to Lawsuit

In case you haven’t seen it, HERE is the NSCA’s response to the CrossFit lawsuit. To be honest, I was disappointed when I saw the lawsuit – both with the phrasing (they accused NSCA and ACSM of being jealous???) and with the fact that they sued the journal. If CrossFit felt that the authors/researchers had a hidden agenda, then I can understand going after them. But you don’t go after the journal, especially considering that JSCR has published pro-CrossFit articles, their articles are balanced, and their publishing process is very fair. If CrossFit wanted to publish quality research investigating their methods, they too could submit to JSCR and get the articles accepted and injected into the body of literature. In this case, I’m sure they would value the NSCA, just as many of the evidence-based strength and conditioning community members do. I wish that CrossFit could see the NSCA as an ally and not as an enemy. The way I see it, the journal is not at fault; the onus is on the researchers.

New Hamstring Paper in JSCR

Brad Schoenfeld and I recently published an article HERE on hamstring EMG activation during stiff legged deadlifts versus lying leg curls. Our hypothesis was that the SLDL would activate more upper hammy and the lying leg curl would activate more lower hammy, but what we found was that both exercises elicited similar levels of upper hammy, but the lying leg curl activated greater lower hammy.


Female Training Articles

I’m pleased that many great strength training articles pertaining to women have emerged in the past several months.

For example, on T-Nation alone, HERE is my latest article on glute training for women, HERE is an article by TC Luoma on common training mistakes for women, and HERE is an article by Dani Shugart on breast implant considerations for lifters.

HERE is a very important and fascinating anecdote on how intensive/obsessive yoga can absolutely wreak havoc on your body. Yoga instructors – if you intentionally instruct people to avoid using their glutes, it can destroy their bodies over time.

Speaking of glutes, make sure you keep them in shape. A recent trend HERE shows how women are flipping up their dresses to show off their assets during wedding pictures.

But make sure you don’t hip thrust too blatantly in public, as THIS woman got arrested for her lewd conduct.

Last, but not least, HERE is an awesome glute transformation posted on Rob King’s blog.

Megan glute

Other Articles

Is there any skill required in manual therapy? Adam Meakins shares his intriguing thoughts HERE.

HERE is a recent T-Nation article about the sport of bodybuilding and how it should be judged – it’s not a beauty pageant!

HERE is a good article by Eric Bach on the front squat.

Mike Mahler and Sincere Hogan invited me to appear on their Live Life Aggressively podcast HERE; they gave me a great interview.

Armi Legge from Evidence Mag recently interviewed me HERE for his podcast; we discussed best glute exercises.

THIS was a rather chilling article about Lance Armstrong, addressing the aftermath of the scandal.

Bryan Krahn wrote a kickass article for Elitefts HERE on the price of the platform. I’m a champion of the raw/natty movement as I these guys have more fun with powerlifting and don’t get so demolished by it.

HERE is a new glute ham roller from Sorinex; I own one and it’s a great hamstring training tool. Stronger lifters can do them against band resistance for a pronounced training effect.

HERE‘s a cool article on All Things Gym on Klokov’s assistance lifts.

HERE is a nifty article on training considerations and program design by Charles Staley.

THIS is some seriously badass stuff on Spot Me Bro – African beasts getting jacked with what most would consider inferior training and nutrition environments. If there’s a will, there’s a way.


Good Videos

Here are some great recent (and not-so-recent) videos to watch.

Rocky IV Training Montage

Whenever I watch these, I’m amazed at the competency of those involved in the production. This is almost 30 years old! They use biomechanically similar means to illustrate Rocky’s old school regimen versus Drago’s new school regimen – it’s just brilliant. Some of this would be innovative even by today’s standards! Here are two videos:

Here is one scary-ass strongman video. Atlas stone dropped. Don’t watch if you’re squeamish.

Below is Coco doing a booty workout on a new surf-board machine. Looks very cool!

Here is Kellie Davis showing off a unique way to do band hip thrusts out of a power rack. One of our Get Glutes members figured this out.

What type of fitness chick are you? This is freakin’ hilarious – it’s from the same guy who filmed the “Do you even lift” video I posted a while back.

Here’s a way to do standing hip thrusts with a cable column:

Here’s a video of Pete Rubish’s deadlift training. Pete is one of my favorite powerlifters.

Jonnie Candito provides a great discussion here on how to mentally overcome a bad workout:

Below is India Paulino’s glute workout. Though I disagree with some of her explanations and would like to tinker her form a bit on some of the movements, I love her well-rounded workouts and her amazing attitude.

I didn’t even know that Weird Al was still around, but this video is hilarious. It’s on “word crimes” and is a spoof on “blurred lines” by Robin Thicke.

Facebook Rants

Here are my Facebook rants over the past few weeks:

The mental transformations that take place when adhering to a fitness regimen typically parallel the physical transformations. You’ll notice a dramatic difference in the way people carry themselves when they take control of their health and physique. They can go from Negative Nancy to Positive Polly in a matter of weeks. I see clients booming with self-confidence and zeal, and you’d never know that several months back they were overly withdrawn and self-conscious. Being proactive about health & fitness breeds success in other areas of life, including careers and relationships. There is no doubt that strength training affects the mind, body, and spirit. If you’re a fitness professional, be very proud, as you’re in the business of bettering lives and empowering people. 

What an amazing night. I’m staying at the Paris in Vegas, along with all the 2014 NSCA National Conference attendees. I went down to grab some snacks, and suddenly I kept getting stopped by one person after another to chat and take pictures. I ended up talking to various trainers and lifters for 2 straight hours – each of them telling me how my training methods have changed their lives. One used hip thrusts for rehab after lumbar surgery, one cured her chronic hip pain with hip thrusts, one guy knew my methods like the back of his hand and considers himself the “glute guy” in Florida (he’s training tons of women and figured out a very unique way to do band hip thrusts), one woman finally grew her glutes (which were the bane of her existence) and will be competing in figure in September, and one powerlifter informed me that his deadlift lockout strength has skyrocketed since implementing my methods. Ladies and gentlemen, the glute gospel is spreading!

I have a confession to make; I have a pet-peeve. Our industry loves to note the disparity between “working out” or “lifting” and “training.” Apparently, according to many experts in our field, “working out” or “lifting” implies that you’re aimlessly wandering around the gym with no goal in mind just to squeeze in a session, while “training” infers that you’re attacking the gym with purpose, a plan, and the goal of getting better over time. You might feel that this is all well and good, but I’d argue that it’s a semantically-driven ploy designed to make some lifters feel superior about their intentions. I’ve noticed no correlation between how lifters define their workouts and results. Genetics, effort, wisdom, and consistency determine your rate of progress, not terminology. Now please excuse me while I go lift.


Glute Training Feedback

Below is some glute training feedback from around the web. I sincerely appreciate all of you women and men who take the time to write me, tag me (or Get Glutes, or Strong Curves, or hip thrusts), and post pictures. It makes it all worth it! My apologies if I left anyone out; I’ve had trouble keeping up lately.

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  • steven says:

    Thanks to Kellie’s solution, and my new squat rack, I want to get some bands.

    What bands do you recommend for someone who is currently hip thrusting 375 x 5?

    • Bret says:

      Steven, I’d buy two monster bands and a strong band. You can pair them up. One monster for 20 reps, a monster and a strong for 15 reps, and two monsters for 10 reps. It’s hard to estimate due to differences in tibia length, bench height, rack width, and manufacturer, but this is my best guess.

  • Lee says:

    Concerning the YouTube video with Coco training on that machine. That is not a “surfboard” machine as the title implies. It is a React Trainer will give more details. It is the second generation of a machine called the quadmill. Which was specifically developed to help condition people for downhill skiing. So, technically, it is a second generation downhill skiing machine. What they found was that the original machine was good for a lot of things and developed the machine to address more things than just downhill skiing.

    It is a good machine. I have used the original quadmill machine and it can cripple anybody if you set it high enough. I haven’t used the new machine but I hear it is a great machine. Any way, I think you should know the proper name for the machine. I looked at the video on YouTube and they do feature the React logo on the machine. Any way, it has nothing to do with surfing.

    Just thought you and others should know. And I have heard it is great for senior citizens trying to regain strength in their legs. It is kind of expensive though


  • Philip says:

    hey bret (or bret followers), where is there a (contreras designed) hip thruster in the seattle area? i’d love to try one out. thanks for any info.

  • Eric says:

    Great list and links Bret– I have my nightly reading.
    Thanks for sharing the Front Squat article as well.

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