Strength Creates Curves

By November 13, 2014 Glute Training, Glutes

Shelley has been a Get Glutes member for over a year and a half. When she first started, she wasn’t very happy with her physique.


Can you imagine how she would have felt if someone informed her that in a year and a half, she would gain 4-5 more pounds of body weight? She would have been pissed off for sure. As it turns out, that’s exactly what happened. And what if she’d been told that she would work her butt off in the gym for 18 straight months, but then been shown the following graph that charted her changes in measurements?


Again, she would have been highly discouraged. But this is exactly how it went down. Shelley busted her butt in the weight room for 18 months, and the weight on the scale didn’t budge (it actually went up 4-5 lbs), and her measurements didn’t change to much degree.

But of course, there’s more to the story. Shelley dragged herself to the gym week in and week out, pushing herself to the limit and striving for PR’s. She fought like crazy for an extra rep or an extra five pounds.


Lo and behold, she began to see changes in her body shape. With every PR, with every additional rep, with every extra plate on the bar, she was rewarded with minor changes to her physique. Over time, these small changes accumulated. Eighteen straight months of consistency and hard work turned these minor changes into something major. Here is Shelly’s physique progress.





Here is what Shelley had to say about the Get Glutes process:

So, here are my accomplishments this year…

-I’m really happy with hip thrust and barbell glute bridge numbers as well as 45-degree hypers and bench press.

-I can do 4 unassisted chins and pull ups. 

-I hit a PR of 175 on the DL which is huge for me.  I have to be so conservative with this lift and it used to make me feel like a failure.  At one point I was resigned to never lifting more than 135lbs.  Now I hope that if I keep working away with dynamic effort I might eventually sneak my way up to 225.  But for now I’m just really happy to have pulled 175 for 3 reps with absolutely no back problems.  I feel like with this lift where I am now able to gauge what is doable and what is risky without feeling like I’m being a slacker.  This feels like progress.  In some ways it is kind of liberating to realize I’m not ready to pull a certain weight and walk away from the bar.  Instead of feeling like failure, it’s more like, “ok, I’m not ready yet”.  I kind of look forward to going back, plugging away using dynamic effort, knowing that eventually I will get there safely.  

-I probably gained somewhere between 4-5 lbs and don’t care.

-I’ve noticed huge overall changes in my mindset.  I love thinking in the long run now.  It makes everything feel so manageable.  I also love that I found a form of exercise that I look forward to and that doesn’t feel like something I have to do so that I don’t get fat.  

-I think my eating habits have improved in the sense that I don’t freak out or catastrophize when I have pms and crave sugar.  I can just accept it because I know my body can handle it because the rest of the month I’m eating clean and putting in the effort at the gym.  It’s also easier to avoid junk food without feeling like I’m depriving myself.  Before it used to be that I didn’t eat the stuff out of fear of getting fat, which felt like deprivation.  Now I avoid it because I don’t want it to negatively impact my training.  For some reason that doesn’t feel like deprivation.  

Things for the next year….

-I’d like to improve my bench press and squat numbers.  I would love it if I could bench my bodyweight at some point. I’ve been shying away from the squat because it’s a hard lift for me.  When I look at my 1RM graph it’s the only lift that I haven’t made gains on, but it’s also the only lift I haven’t really worked on.  The lack of progress is totally because of lack of effort, which is probably more psychological than anything.  Time to remedy that.

-Continue to build more muscle, especially shoulders and lats.

Strength training is a funny animal. There will be times when the scale doesn’t budge. There will be times when your measurements don’t change. There will be times when your strength stagnates. Some days, your physique will appear to be getting worse. But the human body adapts in waves, and if you stick with strength training and work hard, you will see major improvements. With smart training, sufficient effort, sound nutrition, and consistency, you can transform your physique and radically improve your health. But simply showing up to the gym isn’t enough. You must be getting stronger at the most important movements for your goals. Strength creates curves.

One last thing I failed to mention – Shelley is the mother of five kids! Great job Shelley, we’re so proud of you.

For more inspiring stories:

See Kristen’s story here: Strength Trumps Conditioning for Body Improvements

See Mariah’s story here: Transform Your Physique: Mariah’s Story



  • tammy says:

    Awesome job Shelley! You look amazing. I couldn’t be happier for you!

  • Teresa Garner says:

    Isn’t 5 kids? 😀 Amazing, amazing, amazing! You are such an inspiration Shelley!

  • Ashley says:

    Amazing progress! Keep it up!

  • Mario says:

    What I love about this website is it may be the only fitness website out there that does transformation photos from the waist down! There’s a million fitness programs like P90X or Asylum or whatever and they’re all upper body focused. They have a million exercises for your shoulders, arms, abs, back, chest and when it comes to legs they all resort to lunges and squats. They totally forgot the glutes! The world of fitness needs Bret Contreras and a more integrated full body look at fitness! It will be revolutionary!

  • Mario says:

    Congratulations on your transformation, Shelley! You made a big jump!

  • Debbie says:

    Amazing, impressive results Shelley !! My shape is pretty similar to yours and these nos. are very motivational 🙂 Your front core is looking rocking hard ! By the way, I do Foundation Training for my back/posterior chain strength. Makes me feel more confident doing squats and deadlifts 🙂

  • Mariah says:


    You look FABULOUS!! You have obviously been putting work in. Your whole body looks amazing, but I especially love your booty and abs. Well done:)


  • Sarah says:

    Shelley, you look amazing! Especially your glutes, WOW. You are an inspiration.

  • Sherah says:

    Shelley do you have a fitness blog? I’d love to know more about how you manage to stay motivated & find time with so many kids! You look AMAZING!!!

  • Bonnie says:

    Amazing work, Shelly! Super inspiring! How much did you change your nutrition in that time, or was it mainly your gym work? I know so much change really comes from how you eat, but because you didn’t reference it a ton, I was just wondering how much you tweaked it or thought about it (I’m trying to be more intuitive about my eating but have to work at it!)… WAY TO GO!

    • Shelley says:

      My diet was quite good to begin with. I was nursing my baby when I started, so for the first 6 months I didn’t really make any dietary changes beyond eating a bit more protein. Once the baby was weaned I used the maintenance nutrition guidelines in Strong Curves. I did a cut for a couple of weeks but my strength plateaued so I gave it up. For the most part I eat at maintenance or a bit above. I’m not a consistent food tracker.

  • Diane says:

    Wow, what an amazing transformation! You look awesome. It is really motivational for me personally because I haven’t seen much change in weight and measurements but I do see a change in appearance. I have been lifting for a year, the Strong Curves program for part of that, and I know I look different but the scale is the same. I should have taken some good before pics! And I need to focus more on upping the weight and not being afraid of going heavier.

  • Kristen G says:

    Great story Shelley! I’m glad to finally see those awesome muscles on here 😉

    You rock. Keep up the hard work 🙂 xx

  • ggs says:

    Impressive, motivational and appreciated….Love to see how your hard work paid off…Cannot wait to see your pics and numbers 18 months from now
    Fellow get glutes member giving you a big high five…..

  • Lilly says:

    Amazing! You look fantastic!
    I’ve been following SC for a few months now while dieting and i see some nice changes but i really want to gain a little in size. Would maintenance work or should i go up a little?

  • Izzy says:

    I don’t have facebook so I don’t know where to contact you apart from the commets.

    Dear Bret,

    I started the Strong Curves Program about three weeks ago, but I have a problem. All the exercises work very well in my right butt and I also think that I can alteady feel improvment in my right butt. The problem is, that I cant seem to activate my left butt properly. Either my right butt does all the work or my left hamstring is activated. Clam shell exercises or abduction work well in both sides, but I can’t seem to fire my left butt with squats and especially one leg glute bridge. My hamstring starts to cramp while I can feel the burn in my right butt. What can I do, because I’m afraid that my right butt will grow even stronger, while my left butt remains weak, thanks Izzy

  • Kellie says:

    Love ya, Shelley! You are amazing in so many ways. Thanks for taking the time to share your progress. Can’t wait to see what this year brings!!!!

  • deborah says:

    Congratulations Shelley, you’re in fantastic shape and a true inspiration.

  • Ashley says:

    Way to go!! Awesome transformation. Keep up the great work !

  • Sanne says:

    Great stuff Shelley. This question is more for Bret and Kellie. I am in week 12 of the Strong Curves work outs. Really love is! I would like to start to burn some more tummy fat (had to work overseas for a month and a month no exercise will do that to ya). Now i am unsure whether to do the Strong Curves for serious lifters, or go with this 6 month deal. Any thoughts?

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