What’s happening, fitness peeps? It’s time for another round of big announcements, relevant news, and random thoughts from yours truly.

1. Glute Lab And Muscle & Strength Seminar

Get ready to get your science on and reserve your seat now for this special 2-day engagement at Iron in Santa Monica, CA.

I’m excited and a bit nervous about this since it’ll be the first time I’ve offered a 2-day seminar on my own. I’ve updated my glute seminar and compiled a new seminar that contains top notch presentations on hypertrophy, strength, and program design. I can’t wait to share these with some of you as I spent months getting them just right.

You don’t have to attend both sessions; you can do one or both according to your desires. Here’s the breakdown:

August 4, 2017 Session Details: Muscle & Strength Seminar – 6 hours of lecture, 2 hours of practical. (4 lectures: mechanisms of hypertrophy, training for strength versus hypertrophy, advanced training techniques, program design, one practical: mechanics of the big 3 powerlifts)

August 5, 2017 Session Details: Glute Lab Seminar – 5 hours of lecture, 3 hours of practical. (1 lecture: the art & science of program design, 1 practical: glute training)

Save $249 when you reserve a seat at both seminar sessions. Reserve your seat HERE before this engagement sells out.

Iron Santa Monica Seminars with Bret Contreras

2. Personalized Programming with the Glute Guy

Friends, I am pleased to announce my newest online training product, Personalized Programming with the Glute Guy. This is an exclusive opportunity to purchase a 100% customized monthly workout plan that I create based on your strength and physique goals. Yes, I write the programming based on your input from a highly detailed intake questionnaire. This product is not same as 1:1 coaching, but I think it’s a pretty damned good deal and I am happy to offer this to my readers.

If you’ve ever dreamed of working with me, go HERE now to learn more and sign up. Availability is extremely limited and all slots are currently sold out. I’ll be offering new spots each Sunday so check back for your chance to sign up.

Personalized Programming with Bret Contreras, PhD and CSCS

3. Strength training for sprinting (strength training for sport) – Chris Beardsley

THIS may be my favorite S&C article I’ve read all year. Weeding through and trying to make sense of the literature pertaining to resistance training and sprint acceleration and speed is not an easy task. But Chris Beardsley is the best in the world at this, and I’m proud to have him as a partner with Strength and Conditioning Research!

sprinting research

One of the many excellent infographics from Chris Beardsley’s article

4. Glute Guy Glute Training Videos – YouTube

I’ve tried to focus more on creating new instructional content for my followers on a variety of social media platforms. Take a look at what I’ve posted on my YouTube channel in the last month:

Knee Banded Barbell Glute Bridge

I wanted to film a video detailing the ideal way to perform glute bridges. You probably won’t be able to use/do all of this, but it’s good to know what’s optimal in case conditions allow for it. You will need a pre-loaded barbell, a mini-band or hip circle, and a partner. Three sets of thirty reps constant tension style with one minute rest periods will burn your glutes like crazy. HERE is how it’s done!

BC’s Band Glute Circuit

THIS is a 7 exercise mini-band glute circuit that you can do before a workout for glute activation or after a workout as a burnout.

Effective Home Glute Workout

HERE is a simple glute workout you can do at home. No equipment required except a couch. 

5. The Vision Board Podcast

HERE is a podcast I recently did with The Vision Board Podcast. We discussed glutes, EMG, personal training, business, social media, adversity, and the 5 people I’d most like to have at a dinner party.

6. Joe DeFranco’s Industrial Strength Show Podcast

Check out the latest episode of Joe DeFrancos Industrial Strength Show. Joe is a legend in our industry so I was elated to be on the show. Timestamps are included at the link.

7. Why Hip Thrusts Will Make You Strong As Hell – Men’s Journal

If you want to become a stronger and more powerful athlete, it’s all about the glutes. Check out THIS Men’s Journal blog post to learn why the hip thrust is so effective at isolating your glutes.

The Rock hip thrusts – damn skippy!

 

8. Eat.Lift.Thrive. – Sohee Lee

Fitness gals and guys, definitely check out my review of Sohee Lee’s new book, Eat.Lift.Thrive. Sohee knocked it out of the park and I wholeheartedly give this book two thumbs up! Click HERE to see why and read my full review.

9. International society of sports nutrition position stand: diets and body composition – ISSN

Please save (free PDF download), print, read, share, and reread THIS article. It’s the International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand on diets and body composition. Reading this makes me darn proud of my friend Alan Aragon, who spearheaded this paper and did a fine job at it. Projects like these make a real difference around the world. Props to Jose Antonio for assembling such a fine team of professionals to collectively take this stand. Evidence trumps dogma!

10. Reflecting on Five Years Studying Protein – Eric Helms

HERE is an excellent article by my colleague Eric Helms discussing recommended protein intake for athletes, resistance trainers, and dieters, and how his current position on the matter has evolved since his first peer reviewed article in 2013.

11. Pin Pull and Block Pulls are NOT the same – Dave Tate

Many novice lifters view pin pulls and block pulls as completely interchangeable. While you can sub one for the other in a pinch, there really are some pretty distinct differences between these two deadlift variations. Dave Tate of Elite FTS spells out the advantages/disadvantages of each lift HERE.

sumo pin pull, article by Dave Tate

12. Exactly How Kate Upton Works Out to Get Lean AND Strong – Women’s Health

3 time Sports Illustrated cover model Kate Upton is no stranger to the gym. But she hasn’t always been a beautiful sled pushing, hip thrusting badass. Learn all the deets of Kate’s training and improved mindset HERE.

Kate Upton (@kateupton) crushes a set of “slide-through lunges", which essentially combines a sliding reverse lunge and a forward lunge into one movement. Start by sliding backwards into a reverse lunge, focusing on taking a slightly longer stride to make the movement more hip-dominant with greater emphasis on the glutes. Then rather than returning to the starting position, slide all the way through into a forward lunge, here with a slightly shorter stride to make the movement more knee-dominant. Repeat in that fashion for 4-6 reps of each, making sure to keep a slow and controlled tempo. While lunges are ostensibly a unilateral exercise, this version actually works both legs at the same while also jacking the heart rate up like crazy. Kate makes these look easy because she’s a badass, but it’s actually a very advanced exercise, so make sure you’ve mastered sliding reverse lunges first, and also hold onto something for balance until you’re comfortable.

A post shared by Ben Bruno (@benbrunotraining) on

 

13. Secrets To A Strong Lower Body: Hip Thrusts, Walking Lunges – TODAY, featuring Ben Bruno

Take a look at my buddy Ben Bruno’s latest appearance on the Today show! Ben is doing a terrific job of bringing resistance training to the masses.

14. Ultimate Glute Development – Chad Waterbury

Give THIS comprehensive 7-minute glute developing sequence a try with your workouts this week. Chad is a natural teacher and has written several guest blog posts for this site and I was pumped to see this making the rounds on social media.

15. Advanced Personal Training – Paul Hough

Here is another great book for you guys to check out. Gold stars and two thumbs up for THIS excellent personal training resource. Definitely consider adding this book to your personal strength training library.

16. BC’s Top Instagram Videos From the Last Month

You follow me, right? Instagram is by far my favorite social media platform so if you want to stay in-the-know on all things glute related be sure to click the follow button. Here are my top vids and posts from the last month in case you’ve missed it:

Which is better for glutes: back squats or front squats? —————- The answer is neither. Even though heavier loads are used with back squats, they elicit nearly identical levels of upper and lower gluteus maximus activity. These were the findings of my 2016 study examining 13 trained women and 10RM loads, published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. Similar results were seen in a 2015 paper published by Yavuz et al. in the Journal of Sports Sciences examining 12 healthy males and 1RM loads. Since they are fairly equal in terms of their ability to grow the glutes, I recommend performing both squat variations but sticking most often with the style that suits your body the best. Some folks have a strong preference for back squats over front squats or vice versa. Either way is fine, just make sure you listen to what your body is telling you. #gluteguy #glutelab

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

#Repost @chrisabeardsley (@get_repost) ・・・ I have been asked several times for a simple summary of the ways in which strength is specific, so here it is. This summary infographic covers the main ways in which strength training produces specific gains in strength according to the program variables, but it doesn't explain the underlying mechanisms. Stay tuned over the next few weeks, as I release a series of infographics to show how these different types of training produce their specific effects! ——————– #sandcresearch #strengthandconditioning #strengthtraining #strength #sportsscience #biomechanics #performance #research #science #sciencetopractice #infographic #infographics #hypertrophy #muscle #gains #fit #gymlife #athlete #functional #functionaltraining #strengthisspecific

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

Important post here! #Repost @chrisabeardsley (@get_repost) ・・・ We often hear the expression "functional training" used by coaches to describe an approach to exercise programming. However, there is little agreement across the fitness industry about what a "functional training program" should look like. Whenever this level of disagreement is present among strength coaches, personal trainers, and other fitness professionals, it is worth investigating the underlying cause. In this case, the cause is most likely the use of totally different concepts of what makes training "functional". Although there are many possible definitions, most can be grouped into 1️⃣ those that focus on what exercises look like, and 2️⃣ those that focus on what training programs *actually do* for an athlete. ——————– #sandcresearch #strengthandconditioning #strengthtraining #strength #sportsscience #biomechanics #performance #research #science #sciencetopractice #infographic #infographics #hypertrophy #muscle #gains #fit #gymlife #athlete #athletes #athletic #functional #functionaltraining #functionalpatterns

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

Check out this email, this is inspiring! Hey Bret! I just wanted to say thank you 🙏🏼🙏🏼 since I'm following you, me and my clients have made serious booty progress! What shocked me today (in positive way 🙏🏼) was comparing my moms progress pictures! I found a picture from when she was way younger and she looks sooo much better now! 👀 we've made the most progress this last year since we're following you! Seriously we owe you our booty gains👌🏼 #Repost @fitbylina_ (@get_repost) ・・・ I don't believe that genetics or age can stop you from reaching your goals 💪🏼 I believe in hard work, lifting heavy and smart! This is my mom! She started lifting 2 and a half years ago at almost 50 years and this is her result. And we're still not done here 😈 @judyta_fit Credits to the amazing @bretcontreras1 who has made me become a better trainer and bootybuilder with his amazing content 🙌🏼 Knowledge is the key!

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

"In my 20 years of helping people achieve their fitness goals, there's one thing that I wish I could impress upon everyone: Quit trying to be hardcore. Hardcore gets you injured, causes you to fizzle out, and prevents you from adhering to the plan long-term. So many of us lifters wear our brutal workouts, bland meals, and mundane lifestyles like badges of honor. Yes, if you want to achieve your physique goals, you will have to suffer a little bit – get to the gym consistently, abstain from overindulging, prioritize your sleep, and turn away from opportunities to have fun at times. However, suffering and results are not linearly related. Puking after your workout, training to failure 52 weeks out of the year, choking down dry, unseasoned chicken, and lugging around Tupperware containers throughout life will not get you greater physique improvements. Not to mention the counterproductive component, this mentality is not sustainable and can quickly lead to burnout. If you put your energies and thoughts into training, eating, and living in a manner that's more moderate and enjoyable, your life will be better, and you won't have the ups and downs that are all too common in these "hardcore" individuals. The more extreme the methods, the harder the rebound tends to be. This goes not just for bodyweight and body fat but also mental stability and physical health. There are so many paths that will elicit positive adaptations. Your plan may or may not involve heavy squats, high intensity interval training, or eating egg white and broccoli omelettes for breakfast. If you like these things, then by all means, please continue. But you can be just as healthy and fit without doing any of those things. Pay attention to what you do and don't like and what does and does not feel good for you, and factor these elements into your program." #gluteguy

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

And here's another anecdote in case you think squats are necessary for glute development. Amelia @amelia_dione loves her hip thrusts, kickbacks, deadlifts, and band work. She doesn't squat or lunge or leg press, yet she still saw incredible results. These coaches who say you have to squat to build a butt don't understand glute biomechanics. If you like to squat then squat, but if you don't then don't. Same goes for any other lift – even the hip thrust 😬. Plenty of great glute exercises to go around. #Repost @amelia_dione (@get_repost) ・・・ 🍑 happy hump day 🍑 – My 4 year transformation (of ditching bad tans 😂) – Left seeing a PT 3x a week for variety of HIIT circuits & heavy leg days involving squats, leg press, lunges & leg extensions – Fast forward and I haven't performed any of these exercises heavy in 3 years- or even performed them at all – As you can see in the comparison pics I've only really grown my glutes. These days I train glutes 5x a week, which i built up slowly over the years. Majority of the exercises I perform are hip thrusts, cable kickbacks, deadlifts & extra high rep band work for the glutes as burn out circuits or pre-exhaustion super sets to heavier lifts. I place a high emphasis on foot placement such as turning my toes out and driving through my heals in hip thrusts or applying pressure to the outer edges of the feet in deadlifts – Bodybuilding is about finding that mind-to-muscle connection, lifting heavier whilst maintaining the right connection & consistency with your training

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

Melissa @enduringfitness – barely any squats or deadlifts over the past several years. Just tons of hip thrusts, glute bridges, frog pumps, lateral band work, and more targeted glute training. One of the most impressive glute transformations I've ever seen. #thethrustisamust #Repost @enduringfitness (@get_repost) ・・・ To be honest I would rather stick a needle in my eye than share these photo's but here we go… Top left – regular weight training including squats and regular lunges etc. Top right – nearly a decade later doing much the same thing but training legs harder and more frequently. As you can see my glutes still looked terrible. Flat and saggy. Bottom pictures – Current glute shape… 3.5 years of consistently training glutes starting out with @bretcontreras1 Strong Curves program for a few months…. and moving on from there programming all my own glute training every week from what I learnt through Brets blogs etc. and my own experimentation. Barely a squat was performed over the last few years and only some deadlifts. But many thousands of hip thrusts and glute bridge variations have been done! And an absolute ton of accessory work. I could go on forever about my glute transformation…. but perhaps if any one has questions pls post below and I'll be happy to answer! Ps I'm currently 6kg heavier than the top photos! #glutetransformation #hipthrust #frogpumps #fitgirls #fitchicks #fitbods #fitnessmodel #abs #fitfam #ifbb #ifbbbikini #igfitnessgirls #instagirls #instafitness #chickswholift #bootybuilder #bootybabes #bossbabes #booty🍑 #bootyworkout #fitspiration #curves #girlswithabs #instabooty #bikinigirls #iifym #enduringfitness #aussiebabe

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

I recently had to start performing grip work again as my deadlift grip strength has been lagging. If you're like me and you already regularly perform exercises like squats, deadlifts, back extensions, glute ham raises, and reverse hypers, then adding in additional grip exercises that hammer the spinal extensors can be recipe for disaster. For this reason, I've gravitated toward spine-sparing grip exercises and away from heavy shrugs and farmer walks. You wouldn't think that hangs, grippers, and squeezes would boost deadlift grip strength as they're not highly specific, but they do. Please click on my profile and watch the linked YouTube video I filmed demonstrating these four techniques. If you haven't subscribed yet to my channel, please do so. #gluteguy #glutelab

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

Alright folks, hope you enjoyed this edition of Random Thoughts. I look forward to seeing some of you in beautiful Santa Monica, CA at the Glute Guy 2-day special event later this summer.

-BC

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