Skip to main content

Hi, fitness peeps! I wanted to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day but alas, I am a day late. Nevertheless, it’s time for this month’s edition of Random Thoughts.

1. New Glute Lab Seminar Date: March 18, 2017

I’m pleased to announce the next Glute Lab Seminar has been scheduled for March 18, 2017. The cost to attend is $399 and there are 13 spots remaining for this event. If you would like to reserve a seat, reach out to my assistant at

About the seminar:

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 (Ares Sports Rub and Squat Sponge stepped up and sent me some merchandise). 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.

2. 2017 ACSM Northwest Annual Meeting

I will be presenting (this weekend) at the 2017 ACSM Northwest Annual Meeting in Bend, Oregon on February 17th-18th. If you are in the area definitely come check this out. You can find out more info and see the schedule HERE.

3. Most Comprehensive Hip Thrust Tutorial to Date

Friends, take a look at my best hip thrust instructional tutorial to date – this took me an entire night of filming with 32 clips totaling 34 minutes! I went over:

1) Purpose of the hip thrust
2) Hip thrust mechanics
3) Common thrusting mistakes
4) Top 15 hip thrust variations
5) Program design schemes for hip thrusting

Thanks to Omar Isuf for featuring this on his YouTube channel.


4. Local (Phoenix) Volunteers Needed

I’m conducting three gluteus maximus EMG studies at ASU over the next few months with Professor Erin Harper. We are looking for female volunteers, ages 20-40 with at least 3 years of training experience who are available for data collection on Wednesday from 11 am to 3 pm. If you are interested in this and you are a local to the Phoenix area, please send a quick email to and my assistant will get you on the list.

5. Glute Blasting Circuit

My niece Gaby visited The Glute Lab the other evening and I filmed her demonstrating a highly effective glute circuit. My  Strong by Bret workouts utilize many of these same movements. We’re getting ready to start a new workout cycle on Monday so hop on over at the link and take advantage of the risk free two-week trial offer.

Bret's Badass Booty Circuits: Numero Uno —————- Is this what you wanted – a badass glute circuit? Well then that's what you get! Here's what you're gonna do: 1️⃣ Frog pump: do one high rep set. This might involve 30 reps or 120 reps; whatever makes your booty burn! 2️⃣ Dumbbell frog pump: add some load and bust out 20-30 reps. 3️⃣ Extra-range side lying hip abduction: keep the foot of the top leg turned downward into hip internal rotation. Do one set of 20-30 reps. 4️⃣ Knee-banded feet-elevated glute bridges: push through the heels and do one set of 20-30 reps. 5️⃣ Banded quadruped hip extensions: trap the band with the grounded knee and try to extend to fully. Do one set of 20-30 reps. 6️⃣ Step-up/reverse lunge hybrid: sink as deep as you can comfortably go into hip flexion. Do one set of 10-20 reps. 7️⃣ Band seated hip abduction: place bands above or below knee and do 20 reps A) leaning back, then B) upright at 90/90 hips/knees, then C) leaning forward. If you don't prefer the frog stance then use a regular stance instead with the first two exercises. Adjust according to your fitness level. This can be done before a workout, after a workout, or as it's own workout (in which case you may want to perform 2-3 rounds). Thanks to my beautiful model/niece @gaburrito_. #gluteguy #glutelab

A post shared by Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD (@bretcontreras1) on

6. JPS Podcast Episode 5 Interview

I recently sat down for a late night chat with Jacob Schepis of JPS Health and Fitness. We tackled a variety of topics ranging from my experience with training women to glute hypertrophy and mind muscle connection so there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.

7. Muscle Building Strategy

I’m here to pump you up with this awesome strategy for building muscle. You can see the details below the video but I really like this approach as it does not leave me sore and I am able to train full body the next day. The pump is killer!

Here's an awesome strategy for building muscle. I use this primarily with single joint upper body movements but it could be done with lower body single joint movements as well such as leg extensions, leg curls, seated hip abductions, and calf raises. Begin with really light weight and do 10 reps, then rest 1 minute. Make really small jumps in load and repeat (get 10 reps and then rest a min). Keep doing this until you can no longer attain 10 full reps. Then, drop the weight and hit a couple of back off sets for 10 reps. I did this last night with: Lateral raises 20 x 10, 25 x 10, 30 x 10, 35 x 10, 40 x 10, 45 x 10, 50 x 8, 30 x 10, 20 x 10 (90 total reps) Cable tricep extensions 120 x 10, 140 x 10, 160 x 10, 180 x 10, 200 x 8, 160 x 10, 120 x 10 (70 total reps) Machine preacher curls 70 x 10, 90 x 10, 110 x 10, 130 x 5, 90 x 10, 70 x 10 (60 total reps) Prone rear delt raises 20 x 10, 25 x 10, 30 x 10, 35 x 4, 20 x 10 (50 total reps) Arms and delts were pumped to the max but I'm not sore today so I can train full body no problemmo. Give this a try! #gluteguy

A post shared by Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD (@bretcontreras1) on

8. Why Are Strength Gains Force-Vector Specific? (Strength is Specific) – Chris Beardsley

Recent evidence suggests that strength may be specific along the force vector and my man Chris Beardsley is here to tell you why this may be.

Figuring out which exercises transfer best to athletic performance is an essential task for strength coaches. However, there are many different factors that likely influence the degree to which exercises transfer to key sporting movements, such as vertical and horizontal jumping, sprinting, and change-of-direction ability. One factor that has recently attracted a lot of attention is the "force vector" of the exercise. The force vector is the direction in which force is produced by the body, and the two most important force vectors are horizontal (anteroposterior) and vertical (axial). Horizontally-directed exercises (those which involve force production along a line between the back and the front of the body) are expected to be most effective for horizontal movements, such as horizontal jumps, sprinting, and change-of-direction ability. Vertically-directed exercises (those which involve force production along a line between the bottom and top of the body) are expected to be most effective for vertical movements, such as vertical jumps. This new study compared the effects of plyometrics training with either vertical or horizontal drop jump exercises on several measures of athletic performance (including sprinting), in elite male handball athletes.

A post shared by Chris Beardsley (@chrisabeardsley) on

9. Cheat Your Body Fat Test – James Krieger

Before you head to your next DEXA scan, take a look at THIS article to learn how to standardize your measurement conditions for a more accurate prediction.

Performing resistance training prior to a DEXA measurement caused a 2% increase in arm lean mass, and a 2% decrease in arm fat mass. Source

10. The Case Against Sugar – Review & Debates

Gary Taubes’ controversial anti-sugar book has, not surprisingly, garnered a lot of criticism. Check out THIS expert review of the book and some additional Taube’s criticisms HERE and HERE.

11. Experts And Gurus: What’s The Difference? – Todd Hargrove

Gurus and pseudo-experts peddling their specific brand of b.s. are a big problem in the health and fitness industry and I encourage all of my friends and readers to keep a look out for these types. THIS blog post lays out the distinct differences between a true expert and a guru and I definitely think it’s worth a look.

12. The Influence of Powerlifting on Bodybuilding, Part 1 & 2 – Eric Helms

How has powerlifting shaped bodybuilding training over the last decade? Should bodybuilders lift heavy…ever? My buddy Eric Helms wrote a great two-part series on this topic at the 3D Muscle Journey blog.  Be sure and read part two of this series HERE.

13. Alan Aragon Research Review

You subscribe to AARR, right? If not then you are majorly missing out. This incredible publication examines the latest in nutrition, training, and supplement research and none other than yours truly contributed to the last issue. I discussed leg curl and calf raise foot positioning for hypertrophy and you’ll need to subscribe to the review to read the deets.

14. 14 Baby-Makin’ Sexercises

BJ Gaddour makes one helluva Cupid! Some of these moves are at the top of my list so get your sexercise on and give some of these booty-makin’ moves a try.

15. Hip Thrust Graphic

My summer training partner Emily Thibault made this graphic to showcase good hip thrust form. Check it out!

Great hip thrusting advice by Em! #Repost @emilytbofitness with @repostapp ・・・ Hoping that this post helps some of you having trouble really engaging your glutes with the Hip Thrust. Try out these cues I learned from Glute Guy @bretcontreras1 to get those glutes firing properly! ……. Top picture: ❌Improper relative bench height (too tall), which often engages quads ❌Upward eyegaze, which tends to encourage anterior pelvic tilt ❌Anterior pelvic tilt (back is arched, which places stress on lower back) ❌Ribs are elevated, which again, encourages anterior pelvic tilt …….. INSTEAD, try: ✔️Shorter bench height (this can be very individual…Try out different bench heights or adjustable risers & find what engages your glutes best.) ✔️Forward eye gaze, chin tucked to your chest at the top of the movement. ✔️Posterior pelvic tilt (imagine tucking your "tail" between your legs like a doggie 🐕) ✔️Keep rib cage down and torso flat. …….. Give those tips a try & I'll bet you'll see a huge difference! 💪

A post shared by Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD (@bretcontreras1) on


Alright, folks. That’s all I have to share for now. I hope you enjoyed the content and keep working those glutes!


Leave a Reply


and receive my FREE Lower Body Progressions eBook!

You have Successfully Subscribed!