What’s happening, fitness friends and followers? Hope you are ready to expand your fitness horizons because it’s time for another roundup of Random Thoughts and interesting links from yours truly.

1. Science Is Self-Correcting – The Case Of The Hip Thrust And Its Effects On Speed

Two new studies just emerged showing that heavy hip thrusts failed to improve sprint speed. Science always leads to better understanding over time. All sports scientists, strength coaches, and those of you who hip thrust for functional performance should definitely read THIS recent blogpost to hear my thoughts on the hip thrust and when and how this exercise should be used.

2. The No Barbell Experiment On Squat And Deadlift And Hip Thrust Strength

A little more than 5 weeks ago I decided to conduct a little experiment on myself. I wanted to see if I could keep my squat, deadlift, and hip thrust strength while sticking to mostly machine training and no barbells. THIS blog post has the full deets of the experiment.

3. The No Barbell Experiment On Squat And Deadlift And Hip Thrust Strength – Results

HERE is the full write-up of the results of my no-barbell-experiment. Contrary to what I predicted, I ended up gaining 20lbs on my squat while losing 40lbs on my deadlift and hip thrust.

4. How to frog pump like a boss!

Here’s a snippet from my latest YouTube video on frog pumps. Please go to YouTube and watch the entire video, as I explain:

-Why people either love or hate frog pumps.
-The two bodyweight frog pump methods that I use: the rep and the squeeze.
-How to frog pump with additional load.
-Alternatives to try if you don’t like frog pumps.
-Common set and rep schemes.
-Proper technique.

Shoutout to Skelly for making an appearance!

5. Bigger, Stronger, Faster, The Force Vector Theory? Optimizing Glute Training and more with Bret Contreras – Muscle Expert Podcast

Check out THIS podcast I did with Ben Pakulski. We discussed a variety of topics ranging from quarter squats to force vector theory to internal vs. external cuing. Click on the link to listen and read the full discussion time-stamps.

6. The Science of Building Muscle with Bret Contreras – Renegade Radio Podcast 

HERE is an excellent podcast presented by Jay Feruggia. This might even be my most favorite podcast appearance ever. Definitely bookmark this one and take a listen. Timestamps are included at the link.

7. How to Do Hip Thrusts

THIS YouTube video turned out so well! Marie Wold Fitness and I filmed this on a whim during my lunch break at last month’s Glute Lab Seminar in Santa Monica and I’m pleased to say we nailed it. It’s a comprehensive hip thrust tutorial video. I hope you enjoy it!

8. How to Front Squat

Marie and I also filmed a video demonstrating proper form for the front squat. Check it out below and give Marie Wold a follow!

9. 6 Things I Learned from 6 Months of Hip Thrusts – Nick English

HERE is a cool article from Nick English. He did my “Strong by Bret” program and wrote about his experiences.

10. Sarcomere Length-Tension Misconceptions – Andrew Vigotsky

HERE is an outstanding blog post about the sarcomere and evidence of muscle specific sarcomere length-tension relationships as explained by my uber-smart compadre, Andrew Vigotsky.

11. Strengthening the Practice of Exercise and Sport Science

Major props to Israel Halperin and Andrew Vigotsky for publishing THIS gem that looks at various ways in which we can improve the quality of published exercise and sports science research.

12. Fast off the Ball: Revisiting Heavy Resisted Sprinting for American Football – Cameron Josse

HERE is an in-depth exploration of the potential for increasing athletic performance with heavy-resisted sled sprints from Cameron Josse, director of sports performance at Defranco’s Training Systems.

13. Individualized Program Design: the Next Step in Evidence-Based Fitness – Menno Henselmans

In THIS Bayesian Bodybuilding blog post, my super-jacked colleague Menno Henselmans thoroughly explores the necessity of systematic individualization to achieve optimal results from your fitness programming.

14. Fix Your Diet: Understanding Macronutrients, Calories, Training, Supplements & More

Take a listen to THIS incredibly informative podcast featuring the sultan of evidence based nutrition, Alan Aragon.

15. Muscle hypertrophy science with James Krieger

Weightology founder James Krieger appears in THIS podcast presented by Fit Amputee. Topics discussed include:

  • Protein intake vs timing to improve your gains
  • Myth of having protein straight after training
  • Longer rest periods allow for more load volume
  • Doing 2 to 3 sets vs 4 or more sets
  • If your time is limited, drop sets would be beneficial to improve your hypertrophy
  • Pyramid vs traditional vs drop sets
  • What further research needs to be done?
  • If you go over a weekly volume of 15 would be overtraining?
  • Bulking out but not being to get lean

16. How To Thrust – Eric Helms

My buddy and stunt double Eric Helms discusses the why’s and how’s of the hip thrust in THIS 3d Muscle Journey blog post.

17. 150 Pound Back Extensions for Glutes & Hams – Charles Staley

Click HERE to find out why Charles Staley says heavy loaded back extensions are the best deadlift assistance movement, period.

18. Periodization: History and Theory

Check out THIS intriguing article by Greg Nuckols on the origins and rationale behind periodization.

19. How Does Strength Training Work?

Check out Chris Beardsley‘s new page on Medium where he has recently been posting stellar articles on the following topics:

  • What happens when we lift weights?
  • What is strength?
  • Can we get stronger in more than one way?
  • How are gaining “strength and size” different?
  • What does the “principle of specificity” actually mean?

20. ‘Diets and Body Composition’ with Alan Aragon and Brad Schoenfeld

Check out THIS awesome podcast with Alagon and Broenfeld where they discuss the latest ISSN position stand paper on diets and body composition. Topics discussed include:

  • Defining ‘Diet’
  • Body Composition and Assessment Methods
  • Diet Archetypes
  • Nutrition v Exercise
  • Mechanisms Governing Body Composition Changes
  • Metabolic Adaptations to Over and Under Feeding
  • Reflections and Future Directions

BC’s Top Instagram Posts From the Last Month

You follow me, right? Here are my top posts you might have missed over the last month:

This is great! In the past couple of years, we've seen Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model @kateupton, NFL linebacker @jhharrison92, actor/former wrestler @therock, actress @gabunion, rapper @50cent, comedian @chelseahandler, supermodel @izabelgoulart, and now former world's strongest man @savickas_bigz busting out hip thrusts. Big Z (Zydrunas Savickas) won the World's Strongest Man title 4 separate times and the Arnold Strongman Classic title 8 times. He has squatted 938lbs, benched 631lbs, deadlifted 880lbs, strongman deadlifted 974lbs w/straps, Hummer tire deadlifted 1155lbs, standing overhead pressed 575lbs x 2 reps, and log lifted 503lbs. He's 42 years old and recently leaned out tremendously. Teachable moment: Many of my followers will be quick to "correct" his form and say he should be looking forward and tucking his chin because that's what I teach lately. You can highly activate the glutes with the looking-up position, but you will also likely activate the erectors to a high degree. If your goal is to strengthen the entire posterior chain or if you've tried both ways and prefer this method, then go ahead and look up. The main point I want to convey here is that Zydrunas has been thrusting for a while and this is the way he likes to do them. You don't correct this; you learn from it. He's activating his glutes just fine. #Repost @savickas_bigz (@get_repost) ・・・ Hip thrust #hipthrust #legday #glutes #hamstrings #gym #gymlife #fitspo #fitfam #strongman #bigz #training #trainingvideos #bodybuilding #bootybuilding #strength #fitness #fit #liftingweights #liftinglife

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

Wear them with pride my friends! #gluteguy #glutelab

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

*Quick Lower Body Training Tip* Don't confuse this tip with leaning forward. You should indeed be leaning forward at the bottom of your squats, lunges, and step ups. The angle of forward lean will depend on exercise variation, relative femur length, ankle mobility, shoe wear, relative quad strength, load, and fatigue. However, whatever torso angle you have at the bottom of the movement, that's the angle that should stick for the first half of the rising phase. Don't shoot your hips up and horizontalize your torso as you rise out of the hole and turn your lifts into good morning hybrids. Make sure the knees and hips extend at similar rates to prevent this from occurring. Keep the back angle solid and your performance will benefit. #gluteguy #glutelab #squats #deadlifts

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

Please share this so we can clear up this misconception‼️ . I'm sure you've seen the images floating around the Internet showing what 5lbs of fat vs. 5lbs of muscle looks like. The replicas typically shown are a giant blob of fat next to a tiny mound of muscle, and you're inevitably left believing that 5lbs of fat takes up 5x more space than 5lbs of muscle. . This is a myth! 🚫In actuality, the density of mammalian skeletal muscle tissue is 1.06kg/L, while that of adipose tissue is 0.9196kg/L. In other words, fat only takes up 15% more space than muscle. . So 5lbs of fat weighs the same as 5lbs of muscle – obviously! But muscle is only slighter more dense than fat. . How did this misconception arise? I do not know, but I surmise that some sleazy marketer fabricated the idea to sell a product or service by dramatizing the visual effects of getting into shape. 🤷🏽‍♂️Whatever the case, this individual clearly never chased down the science like I did. Unfortunately, these images are so common nowadays that they aren't questioned and are passed along as fact. Exaggeration is never a good idea; people deserve the truth. 🙌🏽 #science #fatloss #muscle #musclescience #fitness #bodybuilding #gluteguy . References: . 1️⃣Lohman TG. Applicability of body composition techniques and constants for children and youths. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 1986;14:325-357 . 2️⃣Méndez J, Keys A. Density and composition of mammalian muscle. Metabolism. 1960;9:184-188 . 3️⃣Farvid MS, Ng TWK, Chan DC, Barrett PHR, Watts GF. Association of adoponectin and resistin with adipose tissue compartments, insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia. Diabetes Obes Megan. 2005;7:406-413.

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

In other words, most people should CTFO and CTFD (chill the F out & calm the F down). #gluteguy

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

Alright friends, that wraps up all I have to share for now. Catch you on the flipside.



  • Ron says:

    For what it’s worth, these are my favorite posts. Reading articles and listening to podcasts, even if the information is old news to me, is still motivational to me to get my ass working out on those hard days. This saves me the trouble of searching for new sites as old ones stop updating.

  • mabel harri says:

    One question that has never been addressed or answered: Should hip thrust be done before or after squats, before or after deadlifts?

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