Random Thoughts

By September 19, 2016 Random Thoughts

Greetings brothers and sisters in fitness! It’s time for another round of Random Thoughts from yours truly.

Here are several items that I hope you find as interesting as I do:

1. New Glute Lab Seminar Dates Announced:  November 5th & December 3rd

The next Glute Lab Seminar is November 5th in Phoenix, AZ. There will be another on December 3rd, also in Phoenix. The cost is $399 and there are 16 seats available for each seminar. First come, first served.

In the morning, I will lecture on the science of glute training and program design. You will receive a pdf of the slideshow, which I update each month to include all the latest research. All of my past attendees receive a new pdf every time it is updated.

After a catered lunch, we will then have a learn-by-doing practical where I will showcase the mechanics, cueing, variations, and progressions of glute bridges, hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, back extensions, split squats, hip abduction, and more.

To finish the day, we’ll have a Q and A, we’ll take some fun pictures, and you’ll receive some free gifts.

You will leave much more confident and knowledgeable about your glute training and strength training in general. My attendees are always happy with their decision to attend.

Please email my assistant Maleah at maleah@bretcontreras.com if you’re interested. I hope to see you there!

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2.  Hip Thrust 10-Year Anniversary October 12th

The 10-year anniversary date of when I thought up the Hip Thrust is quickly approaching and I have been preparing an article for T-Nation highlighting what we’ve learned along the way. I intend on including my top-20 favorite bridging variations. I have narrowed the list down to nine for a sneak peak on Instagram. I hope you try some of these variations out soon if you are not already including these in your workout programming.

3. Upcoming DUP Post/Strong by Bret DUP Training Cycle Starting October 3rd

An awesome new blogpost is in the works on how to design your own DUP (Daily Undulated Periodization) plan based on my review of the literature, conversations with colleagues, prior experience with the twin study, and my own recent experience following a DUP protocol. This high-frequency approach to training the big lifts has definitely started moving my bench in a kick-ass way (I just benched 315 lbs for 4 sets of 2 reps!) so I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with my followers and Strong by Bret Members.

If you’d like to join my program and give DUP training a spin, sign up for a free two-week trial of Strong by Bret by October 3rd. There are two membership options to choose from so if you would like form checking feedback and advice, be sure and pick the Inner Circle option. Otherwise, stay tuned for my upcoming article.

Bench is finally kicking some ass! Big shout out to @helms3dmj who inspired me to step it up in my training. He made great progress this year by upping his benching volume and frequency, so I decided to give it a whirl and utilize a daily undulated approach like him. Tonight, I did: Bench 315 x 2, 315 x 2, 315 x 2, 315 x 2 Squat 365 x 1, 385 x 1, 405 x 1, 365 x 1 Speed Dead 405 x 5, 405 x 5 I've benched 315 x 2 two years ago but never for 4 sets. Methinks I'm at my all time strongest with bench but I'm gonna wait until next week to verify if I can best 335 lbs. Been doing 4 straight weeks of 6's, 2's, and 4's for bench and it's worked like a charm. Just doing singles on squats right now until my quad DOMs diminishes. Then I'll move to triples, doubles, and singles throughout the week. Also took it easy on my pulls because I want to try to hit something big on Friday. Perhaps 545 x 5 if it's there. But the real star of today was @emilytbofitness. Her bench is kicking butt too. She did: Bench 105 x 2, 105 x 2, 105 x 2, 105 x 5 Squat 205 x 2, 205 x 2, 205 x 2, 205 x 2 Deadlift 185 x 4, 185 x 4 I actually shut the camera off prematurely during her AMRAP last set of bench – she got 5 reps and not 4. The cues to "row your chest to the bar on the way down" and "push your body away from the bar on the way up" helped her tremendously. She moved back to high bar as low bar was irritating her shoulder during squats. Went really easy on deadlifts today so she can kick butt on heavy sumo deads on Friday. My vids are normal speed but hers are sped up 1.4X so I could squeeze everything in. #gluteguy

A video posted by Bret Contreras, PhD (@bretcontreras1) on

 4. The Best Advice for Women Who Lift – T-Nation

THIS  T-Nation article features the advice of many fitness industry pros, myself included. While I do not agree with all the recommendations, I believe that many women would benefit from following my advice and reigning in the volume of their workouts as well as having a more focused approach to strength training. I may elaborate more on this topic in the future as it is something I observe on a daily basis.

 5. California Dreamin’

Sayonara, Phoenix! I’m in San Diego for the month. I’ve rented a condo down on the beach and life is good. I think I could get used to this.

6. Intriguing New Jumping Research

The S&C Research Review service comes out on the first day of every month. The latest edition is about to drop so now is a great time to subscribe if you’d like to stay up to date on the latest in sports and conditioning research. This month’s preview topic is Vertical Jumping. You can check out the research preview and subscribe HERE.
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7. October Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

Can resisted sprint training with a sled load of 20% of bodyweight improve sprinting ability? What causes the sticking point in the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift? Interesting questions! Click HERE to see the rest of the October Strength & Conditioning Research questions and subscribe to the research review to learn the answers to these questions and more.

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8. New Deadlift PR!

Check out this bad ass training session from Friday night. I set two PRs. First, I sumo pulled 585 lbs for 2 reps. Then, I followed it up with 615 lbs – the most I’ve ever pulled.

9. Want to Hip Thrust 2,200 pounds?  The Hip Thruster has you covered.

That would be one helluva PR. Check out below to see what happened when The Hip Thruster team loaded up the unit with 2,200 lbs (1,000 kgs). So thrust on with your bad self and know that this sturdy piece of equipment can handle heavy loads with the greatest of ease.

10. SAWEH Episode 7 Interviews Part 2 Somerset, Contreras, Schoenfeld – Eric Helm

You may recall that I presented at the 2016 AFPT Conference in Norway this past August. While I was there, I sat down with my friend and PhD candidate, Eric Helms, to discuss glutes, hip extension exercises, and more. My copresenters Dean Somerset and Brad Schoenfeld also participated so methinks you’ll enjoy this interview. Why do I look like a plump and portly LOL?

11. 5-Steps to Arming the Public Against Charlatans and Fraudsters in the Fitness Industry – Alan Aragon

My compadre Alan Aragon readily admits that he churns out a full-length article at the turn of every ice age so I would definitely quench my thirst now and check out his latest article HERE.

Sports Nutritionist, Researcher, and Crusader Alan Aragon

Sports Nutritionist, Researcher, and Crusader Alan Aragon

12. Fitinfoclub Interview:  Episode 41 – Glute Galore

I was recently featured on the Fitinfoclub podcast to talk shop and discuss how I got into the fitness industry, my PhD research, and (surprise surprise) glutes. You can check out this podcast HERE.

Glutes…glutes, glutes, glutes

13. High-Speed Hamstring Performance and Injury Prevention

If you are a strength coach, an athlete, or a fellow sports science fanatic, you should take a look at THIS article from Michael Zweifel to see some cool shit pertaining to hamstring training. Michael is a highly innovative dude and I’m glad Joel posted this on his Just Fly Sports Performance site.

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14. PTQ Volume 3 Issue 3

NSCA members – check out Personal Training Quarterly, 3.3. This was an excellent issue, with articles on disrupting unhealthy habits with environmental modifications , hypertrophy training, and a research review on motor control exercise for low back pain. Nick TumminelloLee Boyce, and Justin Kompf all contribute so definitely take a look if you can HERE.

224x290_ptq_20150915. NSCA Personal Trainers Conference 2016 & NSCA Rocky Mountain Regional Conference

October 14-16 I will be in Jacksonville, Florida presenting at the NSCA Personal Trainers Conference and on December 10th I will be in Scottsdale, AZ presenting at the NSCA Rocky Mountain Regional Conference. Click on the links or pictures to learn more and I hope to see some of you there.

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16. Strength & Conditioning Research Infographics

Check out the latest from this incredible collection of SCR infographics, courtesy of Chris Beardsley.

 

We often assume that adding load will in an exercise will increase how hard all of the muscles work in the same way. So when it comes to lower body training, we assume that how hip-dominant or quad-dominant an exercise is remains constant, irrespective of whether we are using a 15RM or a 3RM weight. This is not actually true. In fact, as we add load, many lower body exercises become much more hip-dominant, even including the conventional deadlift, as this study shows. So when you are programming exercises, take account of the load. When using light loads with lower body exercises, you may need to add in extra, dedicated hip extension movements (such as back extensions, pull throughs, glute bridges, or hip thrusts), but when using heavy loads you may need to take some out.

A photo posted by Chris Beardsley (@chrisabeardsley) on

In the wider fitness industry, we often see people making the assumption that in order for exercises to transfer successfully to sport, they must take the form of ground-based, fundamental movement patterns. In this model, exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts are claimed to be the only ones that can produce improvements in sprinting, jumping, or agility tests. However, there are actually a number of studies that show improvements in sports performance from machine-based training. This remarkable study demonstrated an improvement in sprinting ability in a group of elite male soccer players, after training using (open chain) lying leg curls with eccentric overload. It therefore showed that the aspects of an exercise that determine transfer to sport are not limited to the movement pattern, but include other factors such as the muscle group being trained (the hamstrings are key to sprinting ability), and the mode of the contraction (eccentric muscle actions are very important during sprinting).

A photo posted by Chris Beardsley (@chrisabeardsley) on

This study showed that there are quite substantial side-to-side differences in hip, knee and ankle net joint moments between legs in the barbell back squat. This suggests that bilateral exercises may not necessarily train both legs effectively, and that supplementing the standard back squat (and other bilateral exercises, such as deadlifts) with unilateral exercises may be necessary for maximizing sports performance. In addition, this study shows a clear trend for the squat to become more hip-dominant with increasing load. This is similar to what we have seen previously with the lunge and with the conventional deadlift. This second point also has programming implications. To use the squat to increase quadriceps size, focusing on lighter loads is probably best. The lighter loads will make sure that the knee extensors are primarily responsible for lifting the weight. To increase squat 1RM, training often with higher percentages of 1RM is key, because the inter-muscular coordination you need for heavy loads will then be practiced regularly in your training.

A photo posted by Chris Beardsley (@chrisabeardsley) on

Well, friends, that’s all I have for now. I’m hoping that I see some of you at the next Glute Lab Seminars later this fall.

-BC

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