Tammy’s Terrific Transformation

By June 21, 2015 Glutes, Guest Blogs

Over the past couple of years, I’ve posted several guest blogs from Get Glutes members Tammy(Mariah, Kristen, Emily, Shelley), but today’s is extra special to me as it’s from Tammy, who I feel is the O.G.G. (original get glutester). Tammy was the first member on Get Glutes who really started killing it, and everyone fell in love with her positivity and enthusiasm. She was working hard on improving her form, setting PRs week in and week out, sharing experiences and giving advice to fellow members, and being encouraging and supportive to everyone. Her attitude was contagious, and she inspired others to do better. Here are 6 questions I asked Tammy:

1. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview Tammy! You are a Get Glutes rockstar, so it’s about time I featured you on the blog. I want to discuss the transformations you’ve gone through during your time with Get Glutes. First let’s discuss the transformation you’ve undergone with regards to your attitude toward cardio and strength training. How has this changed over the past couple of years?

Hey Bret!  I appreciate you letting me share my journey.  Five years ago I was doing an hour of weight training and an hour of cardio 5 to 6 days a week and let me tell you I was working hard.  I stayed thin but I couldn’t build muscle.  I was tired and my muscles and joints ached nonstop.  I tried body building programs from fitness magazines and I tried some of the Beachbody video programs (P90X, Insanity which caused a chronic lower back injury, and Body Beast which I gained a lot of upper body strength but I loss strength in my legs during the program).  I always had enjoyed doing weights more than cardio but I thought I needed the cardio to stay lean and I stayed on this course for a couple of years before starting Get Glutes in 2013.

When I first came across your name I was totally intrigued with how you trained women.  I watched video after video of these lean ladies lifting a ton of weight and it gave me goose bumps!   I watched them do over 300 pounds on the hip thrust and I had no idea how they were doing it.  I could barely get 20 body weight hip thrusts before my glutes were on fire and so I couldn’t imagine adding weight. I didn’t think I would ever be able to lift like they were but I wanted to give it a try.   Shortly after that,  you started Get Glutes and I joined immediately.  I was nervous about going into the “big boy” side of the gym but I couldn’t wait to get started.  It was exciting and scary but I’m so glad I gave it a chance.

After starting the program I felt like I got a 50% off workout coupon…I was working out for about an hour 3 to 4 days a week (strength training only) as opposed to 2 hours 5 to 6 days each week.  I started seeing results by the end of the first month, my lower back issues cleared up for the first time in over 2 years, and my joints no longer hurt!!!  Within the first six weeks I went from doing body weight hip thrusts to doing 225 pounds for reps.  My strength gains totally blew my mind and needless to say I’ve been hooked ever since.

2.  Tell me some of the nuances associated with being a strong woman that you’ve experienced in your gym. 

We’ll just two years ago the hip thrust hadn’t hit east Tennessee yet so when I started doing it I got a lot of attention and as I added more weight to the bar I got even more attention.  I have to admit that it was a little creepy to have guys that I didn’t know standing over me as I hip thrust.  It was obvious they were only curious because they didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing but it was still a little creepy.   I can’t tell you how many times I heard “Is that an ab exercise?”, “You’re going to KILL your back!”, “Did you find that in a girly magazine? It’s never going to work.  You need to stop reading that crap.”  I heard all kinds of crazy things from these people that I had never talked with before but I ignored them and just kept doing it and kept getting stronger and stronger at it.  When I started hip thrusting 2.5 times and up to 3 times my body weight it turned into fascination that a lady my size could lift that much.  The amount I was lifting was still blowing my mind but it had started blowing other folks’ minds, too.  The somewhat negative comments turned into, “how can somebody your size lift that much???”.   Great coaches, great programming, and dedication on my part.  That’s how.

I was doing band hip thrusts this week when a guy suggested that I try them with a a barbell across my lap.  The guy next to me chuckled and said, “She’s the queen of hip thrusting.  She’s been doing it for quite a while.”.  Nice compliment from the guy who told me to quit doing exercises from those girly magazines. 🙂

3. Tammy, did you change up your nutrition or keep it similar?

I’ve been eating intuitively for a few years now.  I’m in my mid-40’s and I want to enjoy life which means enjoying food and the social occasions that go along with it.  I’m also a mom of two boys and I think it’s important for them to see me eat foods that many lifters feel are off limits.  I eat pizza and hamburgers with them every week.  I think it’s more about portion control instead of having food (or food groups) that are off limits and this is what I want my boys to learn.  I’m their role model and it’s not healthy if they see me freaking out over what I ate or how much I ate.   Having said that, I do realize that my diet has impeded my progress but that was something I was okay with.  I would go absolutely crazy if I counted calories, macros, etc.  I would rather be my size and shape than be on a miserable diet so that I could be a little bit leaner.

This was after 5 months of Get Glutes. At 5'3", Tammy had lost 4 lbs which brought her to 110 lbs.

This was after 5 months of Get Glutes. At 5’3″, Tammy had lost 4 lbs which brought her to 110 lbs. Pretty impressive for a 42 year old (she’s 44 now).

4. Okay, now let’s discuss the mental transformation you’ve experienced along the way.

When I started Get Glutes I just wanted to lift heavy.  I wasn’t really thinking about the physical changes that would follow and a mental transformation associated with lifting had never even crossed my mind.  I remember during the first couple of weeks of Get Glutes I used a preset barbell for glute bridges and hip thrusts.  I was repping out like crazy on it because it was too light.  So after I finished a very high rep set, I sat on the floor thinking that it was ridiculous that I was using the preset bar because I KNEW it was too light.  I glanced over at the other side of the gym where the big 45 pound bars were.   I thought if I was going to do this program and succeed at it then I was going to have go over to where all of the guys worked out to use a bar and plates.  My mind was racing with the fact that I was going to have to figure out how to set it all up, how much weight to put on the bar and still be able to lift it, and of course, I was imagining all of those guys watching me–whether they actually noticed me doing it or not really didn’t enter my mind.  I sat there a few minutes longer and decided that I would have to suck it up and just do it…first thing tomorrow morning.

The next morning I got to the gym very early and went to set up my bar with weights for the hip thrust.  I was so scared!!! Which is funny because now I know it’s really not a big deal.   Anyway, I used 25 pound plates and set it up at the END of a bench–not the side.  I dead lifted it up, sat down on the END of the bench, and then scooted down to the floor.  The set was easy peasy so I was super happy about that then it came time to get off the floor.  The plates weren’t big enough to sit directly on the floor so I the bar was laying across my lap and I was sitting at the END of the bench so I couldn’t use my elbows to help me get back up on the bench.  Essentially, I was stuck.  Hello!  I just survived doing my first real set of barbell hip thrusts and now I’m STUCK????  You have to be kidding me.   I wiggled around until I got out from underneath it. It wasn’t pretty or easy to be honest and I was mortified.  Then I hear this guy in his nice Southern drawl say, “Next time you get stuck under a bar just yell at me and I’ll come save you.”  What????  Why didn’t you save me the first time????  You sat there and watched me squirm around and didn’t offer to lift it off my lap???  But being the nice Southern girl that I am, I politely thanked him then immediately changed to the big boy plates so that I could slide under the bar without needing to be “saved”.   And yeah, that set was easy peasy, too.  I was much stronger than I knew!

So, what’s my point?  It’s okay to be scared but you can’t let it hold you back.  Everybody has a “first time” in the gym.  Mine just happens to be a funny story and when I look back on those memories I barely recognize the girl I was.  Each new exercise that I “conquered”, each additional plate that I put on the bar, each new workout gave me a huge feeling of empowerment that has carried over to other facets of my life.  My husband jokingly asks what happened to the mild and meek girl that I had always been.  Well, she found her true self after learning to lift heavy.  I’m confident and happy and maybe at times I’m a little more than he can handle.  It’s not a bad problem for him to have really. 🙂

5. How has the Get Glutes forum helped you in achieving better results? 

The forum really makes Get Glutes.  The members have access to you and Kellie every day.  We can send in form checks or ask questions and you both will personally get back to us within a few hours usually.  The videos of each exercise gives us the normal variation, the regressions in case we’re not strong enough, and progressions for the more advanced lifters but the forum gives us a chance to interact with you and Kellie so it’s like having our own personal trainer.  I’m thankful for all of those times you pushed me so much higher than I ever thought I could reach.  I would laugh and think my new goals you had set for me were totally crazy but after a day or two I would totally buy into it and believe that I could reach those goals.  I may not have the biggest glutes or the best glutes but I have some damn strong glutes and I’m proud of that!

The other unique thing about Get Glutes is that you get to interact with the other girls who are doing the same program as you. I loved the friends that I have made on there.  We have shared many laughs, cheered one another on, gave comfort on those days that didn’t go so well, and have helped the newbies learn the ropes.  I have been on many exercise forums but this is the first that is always a positive and supportive group .

6. Fantastic Tammy! Last question, what are your top five tips for women who are new to fitness and are looking to improve upon their physiques? 

Set short-term and long-term goals.  A short-term goal would be something you want to accomplish by the end of the month.   A long-term goal would be a weight PR you would like to hit in 3 months.  Pick out a particular exercise and set a PR goal for that exercise.  Hip thrusts and back extensions/45 degree hypers were my favorites and so I was constantly pushing the envelope on those.  It makes it fun but it also keeps me focused on doing more.

Progressive Overload—Bret has a great article on this.  Read it.  Read it again.  (HERE is the link). Then read it one more time.  Progressive overload is where it’s at.  Record your workouts each and every time!  I know that sounds so nerdy but it’s important to track your weights so you can effectively use progressive overload.

In Get Glutes we use a variety of rep ranges— we might do sets of 5, 8, 20, 30, or even 100 and we always use heavy weights even with those high rep sets.  Pay attention to what your body responds to and alter your program accordingly.  My body loves high rep stuff although my mind isn’t always in agreement.  So I might do heavy sets of deadlifts (sets of 5 reps) one day but the other two days I would do sets of 20 to 30.   Not everybody will respond the same so you need to figure out what works for you.

If an exercise hurts then find a different variation.  This is one of the most important things that I learned from Bret.  I used to think that I was cheating if I didn’t do a workout as written but he proved me wrong.  There’s a lot of good exercises out there to choose from.

Take a video of your form.  I can’t tell you how different you *think* you look versus how you actually look doing an exercise.  It was one of the most humbling things that I have ever done but it made a huge difference in my lifting.

Thanks again Bret for giving me this opportunity to talk about my experience with Get Glutes.

Here are some numbers you asked for previously which I didn’t include in the interview:

Hip Thrusts:

Month 1 Started at BW 3×20

6 Weeks 3×5 225 pounds

14 Weeks 3×10 225 pounds  “The Official Hip Thrust Club”

Month 5 330 pounds…3 times my body weight!!!

Month 7  225×25; 295×8

45 Degree Hypers

Month 2 Started with body weight

Month 5 3×20 65 pounds

Month 6 3×6 90 pounds (I weighed 110 at the time :-))

In November 2014 I decided to increase my protein and change my training to focus a little more on high reps for glutes and hamstrings because they responded well to that in the past and high volume for my quads because of my chronic lower back and hip flexor issues.  I did lots and lots of sets of low box squats and goblet squats since they didn’t both either my back or hip flexor.  I now have very prominent hamstrings and great separation between my hamstrings and quads.  Although my quads are still lagging, my legs look the best that they ever have and for being 44 I couldn’t be happier.  I recently added in conditioning for the first time in over 2 years.  I’m wanting to get a little bit leaner without having to alter my diet.  We’ll see how it goes 🙂

Here are some progress pics… The last 3 pics in the line are from Month 1 GG in March 2013, 1 year GG, and 2 years GG.   There’s not a huge difference in the pics themselves but there is a huge difference in the density of my muscles in person.  This is one time that pictures really don’t tell the whole story in my opinion.  A few days ago a guy at the gym told me he bet all of the ladies at the beach were hating on me.  He said I had put in a lot of hard work and it had paid off.  It was a nice random compliment from one of the guys who used to pick on me for doing “those crazy exercises”.  Another guy saw me taking a video for a form check one day and he asked what I was doing.  After I explained he said, “oh, I check your form every day and I can assure you it’s excellent”–a little cheesy but he’s old and cute so I’m ok with it 🙂

Tam

Click on the pic to enlarge the image. These changes were solely due to gaining strength via smart training, as she quit doing conditioning/cardio and kept her diet constant.

42 Comments

  • tempest sharp says:

    This is so inspiring for me, as i had done these workouts for a little over a year , and then got tired of going to the gym, and felt as though some of the equipment i didn’t have, and i stopped. Ironically i had been thinking of starting again here at home, in the next few days since i have no hubby and no kids this week. Was going to get my butt out of bed. Then poof this awesome article came across my newsfeed on fb, and then i messaged Tammy, and i think i’m ready to start again. Just not sure to start completely over and not doing the workouts for the whole month, or do them for maybe two weeks….

    • tammy e. says:

      Ok Tempest it’s time for a come back girl 🙂 You were one of the original posters on the GG forum so we have shared lots of stories between us and had a lot of great laughs. I KNOW you can do this and you need to believe that you can do it, too. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Go get ’em girl!

  • msytc says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences Tammy – and damn, you look fine for someone nearly in their mid 40’s! I’m 43 and also have never felt better since picking up Strong Curves 5 months ago and just joined Get Glutes. What a great community – so friendly and supportive and the information and coaching is top notch. I’m in NZ and Kiwis (men in particular) are not as ‘forward’ as American guys so even though I’m probably the only person in my town hip thrusting, I do get odd stares but more and more, I feel I’m getting respect. Especially when they see someone showing up day after day and now I can hip thrust 160kg (352 pounds) for multiple reps. I was always scared of the gym and felt too intimidated to ever set foot in there (especially having been a skinny-fat ectomorph), but like you I was committed to transforming myself. Just pop on some head phones, crank out your favorite music and follow the program. Repeat 3-4 times a week and you WILL see results! So glad to find a community like Get Glutes with like-minded folks.

    • tammy e. says:

      Thanks! You sound like my long lost twin 🙂 WTG on the 160 kgs!!!! That’s some crazy strong glutes there. The sky’s the limit, right?

      • msytc says:

        Absolutely! 🙂 I also loved that line in your blog about ‘finding your true self after learning to lift heavy’. Amen girl!

  • Annie says:

    Tammy, you look fabulous! I loved reading your story, and especially like your common sense approach to diet. You and a number of the other strong ladies at Get Glutes have been a huge inspiration to me, and encouraged me to push myself harder than I would have on my own. That, in combination with the GG training program itself, has allowed me to see results I would never have thought possible at the age of 69.

    • tammy e. says:

      Thanks Annie! It’s awesome that you are rocking it at 69. WTG girl! I miss chatting with you ladies on the forum. Maybe when things slow down some here I’ll be a regular on there again. Keep up the good work!

  • Lisa says:

    Tammy,

    Thank you for sharing! I am 46 years old and so inspired to work harder after reading your story. And, I really need to increase the weight I am thrusting. I appreciate your honesty about the awkwardness you felt when doing hip thrusts for the first time around men at the gym. I’m the only person that I know of who’s doing hip thrusts at my gym. I was so embarrassed the first time and I’m so glad that so far none of the guys have asked me what I’m doing.
    Anyway, thanks again!

    • tammy e. says:

      Thanks Lisa! Just keep in mind that one of these days all of those awkward looks will turn into jaw dropping awe, Most days I wear a hat and turn my music up high so I can stay in my own little world. Who really cares how strange hip thrusting looks if it actually works? Keep it up and you’ll get the last laugh 🙂

  • Sonni says:

    A truly amazing and inspirational story!
    I just turned 55 years young and have been following Strong Curves and love it, my butt feels firmer but am wondering if there is any hope for someone in their 50’s to build a butt! mine is pretty flat.

    • tammy e. says:

      Thanks Sonni! I’ve had a hip flexor injury for about a year and a half now. In November, Bret suggested that I quit doing barbell hip thrusts to see if that would allow my hip flexor to heal. It was SO very hard for me to cut them out but I did. I did some band work (seated band abductions, standing band abductions, etc) but did not hip thrust at all from November until March. During this time I really increased my protein (around 125-150g/day) and I focused on doing the exercises that didn’t bother my hip flexor. I did tons and tons of low box squats which use the glutes more than the legs along with high rep KB dead lifts (glutes and hamstrings), 45 degree hypers (or back extensions), and kb swings. In March I started doing hip thrusts again and surprisingly I hadn’t lost any strength. Unfortunately, after a few weeks of doing them my hip flexor started hurting again so I stopped. Then I saw a new workout in GG for band hip thrusts super setted with band pulses (check out Kellie Davis’ instagram from about 3 weeks ago to see a video). I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these. I think going for the big burn is where it’s at. Since starting these in May my booty has grown. I do these every day at the gym along w/ other band work (high reps — usually sets of 20 to 40 :-)) I just add it in at the end of a workout. I think 1.) bands are underrated, 2) You should get strong by doing barbell HT but don’t get carried away by chasing PR’s all of the time, 3) find your “sweet spot” where you feel the most burn on barbell HT (mine was 185# for about 12-20 reps. I could do 295 for 8 reps but at that weight I never felt the burn. 295 is impressive but 185 is *probably* where glute development happens 🙂 4) use those bands to build the burn!!! Good luck with it!

      • Sonni says:

        Hi Tammy,
        Wow, thank you SO much for all the wonderful info!! thank you for taking the time to post that!
        I’ve been doing some of the banded exercises and boy do they burn and I love KB swings.
        I’m sure I’m not eating enough protein so going to up that, all in all I am so excited to be working out this way, you can really feel a difference.
        Thank you again!

      • Chris says:

        If someone can do an exercise 295lbsx8, then 185×12-20 is too little weight, especially for the lower part of that rep range. Burn ok, but know that burn will even occur with no weight (BW) at all given high enough reps. But, as in your example, you would miss out on a huge portion of the tension side of things, another very important, if not the most important factor for hypertrophy.

        Bands are fine as are high reps – but the relation to the weight is off between those two weight x reps examples. Put some more 20,30,50 lbs on the barbell for 12-20 and youre getting the best of both.

      • Bret says:

        This is so great to hear Tammy! You give the best advice – loved your 3 points. You really have a knack for helping others. And regarding the hip flexor injury, it was the stupid Bulgarian split squat challenge that caused it all, lesson learned. I still feel bad about that. Glad you don’t hold it against me. I’m so proud of you Tammy, keep on rockin’!

  • Shelley says:

    Tammy’s it made my day when I saw that your post was “finally” up! Awesome post from the best encourager around!!

    • tammy e. says:

      Thanks Shelley! I “finally’ reluctantly agreed to do it. I actually agreed to do it in November but then it took another 6 months or so to get it done 🙂 Bret probably passed out when I sent it to him :-). I miss you girl! We need to catch up soon.

  • Marisa McKenzie says:

    Wow Tammy!!!! You look friggin’ amazing!!! Love your article. Thank you so much for sharing. I am a hip thruster as well and have been doing the strong curves program too. I am 43 with two kids too!! Just wondering if you can let us know what a typical day looks like for you nutrition wise? I am counting macros with a coach right now but may change soon to more intuitive eating. Thank you again, you really are very motivating and inspirational!!!

    • tammy e. says:

      Thanks girl! This is a little embarrassing since I know some ladies really, really, really watch what they eat and so what I’m getting ready to list probably (for sure) wouldn’t make their list of foods. This would be a typical day of every single week during the last 3 years. School days I’m much more consistent so we’ll go with a school day meal plan:

      Pre-Breakfast– 6:00 a.m. This is a snack 🙂 while I’m packing lunches and making each kid a completely different breakfast I eat Greek Yogurt –umm flavored, flip cup Chobani–who the hell eats plain Greek Yogurt??? and coffee with real sugar and creamer.

      7:30ish- Finally home from dropping the kids off at school and now it’s time for the real breakfast… 3-4 whole eggs (I know, I know. A couple of days ago I changed to 2 XL whole eggs and 1 yolk) and 2 pieces of Blueberry Streusal bread toasted (I know, I know, I KNOW!!! But it’s so freaking yummy!) And another cup of coffee, with real sugar, and creamer.

      I work out mid-morning or late morning so there may be a protein bar either before or after the workout on the way to or from the gym according to if I’m hungry. Some days I need it and some days I’m still full so I skip it so it all depends on how I’m feeling.

      Lunch–either left overs from the night before– chicken, roast, pork chops, steak plus veggies, rice, and/or salad. If I don’t have left overs or I’m just not in the mood to eat them then Isopure low carb protein shake (2 scoops), banana, silk milk, PB2 powdered peanut butter (2 tablespoons).

      Afternoon snack– I graze on whatever I come across. It could be from snacks listed below or it could be a protein shake if I didn’t have one for lunch. Just depends on how hungry I am.

      Dinner- This is usually around 5 or 5:30. I make hamburgers out of 85/15 ground beef with garlic salt and about a 1/2 cup of Ketchup mixed in with the beef. I use a George Foreman grill (I also use it to grill chicken). I never buy hamburger buns because my kids eat gluten-free bread so I just use my normal whole wheat bread for a bun. I also add ketchup and mayo 🙂 to the bread. I also slice up cucumbers and add salt to them — (we live in the hot and humid south so a little extra salt is ok) and carrots. Yep, that meal is very low on veggies but that’s what I eat. I would also like to say that I’ve tried eating lean beef or turkey but it didn’t leave me satisfied and then I would want to munch and munch and munch even though I just finished eating a full meal. Btw, I also use full fat dairy products for the same reason.

      Bedtime snack- It’s really according to what I’m craving, how hungry I am, and how active I’ve been. I work out 2-4 days/week. I’ve been working around injuries for the last 1 1/2 years so the workouts are according to how my body is feeling–intuitive training :-). I also walk my dog for about an hour, and I refinish furniture. It could be another protein shake like above sometimes made with water instead of milk, or Greek yogurt, Nutella cup with the little dipping sticks, or a bowl of cereal because I love cereal (mini-wheats).

      Water, water, water. Sometimes a Gatorade or two in the summer (it’s freaking hot and humid here). Occasionally some lemonade or tea that provides absolutely nothing except a lot of useless calories but I really try to stay away from those–so that I can enjoy all of those other things listed above.

      Fruit and nuts are thrown in there somewhere but nuts are like potato chips to me and I will just keep eating them when I start.

      Ok, to sum it up… my diet probably just left you speechless because it kind of has the same effect on me. My diet is not the worse by any stretch of the imagination but it’s also not the best. I should point out that my youngest son has a sugar malabsorption problem and so we keep very little sugary foods in the house which includes most fruits. I ate this way during the last 2.5 years and I lost 9 inches overall, gained 2 in my chest, and gained 2 in my hips so it worked for me. Could I have gotten better and quicker results if I had counted macros and calories? You betcha but it’s something that I didn’t want to compromise on. As I always say, “you get out of it whatever you put into it” whether that’s your effort in the gym or your effort in the diet. I’m not training for anything so I’ve been ok with my results so far and I’ve gotten there by being happy along the way. If I decide to do a bikini comp then I’ll most definitely change my eating habits… for a short time.

  • Iris says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing, Tammy! Now in my late 30s, I am always happy to see women a few years older than I am who look as you do…incredibly awesome! Unfortunately I cannot do hip thrust as they cause me knee pain (patella tendon), for whatever reason, this seems to be extremely rare…but I have gotten some nice results with barbell glute bridges. You mentioned low box squtats: Is there a reason that you prefer them over “regular” squats? Are they more effective for the glutes? Thanks a lot!

    • tammy e. says:

      Hey Iris!
      A couple of things on the knee pain…what height is your bench? I think Bret usually recommends a bench around 16″. I have a short torso and longer legs and I have found that using a shorter bench or an aerobics step with 3 risers works best for me. Occasionally I will set it up with 4 risers but I’m still more comfortable with 3. Stretch your quads before each set–that might actually be the culprit. Also, when you are using a higher bench then more quad is used in the movement so it could be a combination of those two. Do you do glute activation exercises prior to starting your workout? Those will help wake up the lazy glutes and get them ready to lift. When I do really heavy loads then I no longer feel my glutes firing. I’m sure they are still working but other muscles might be helping more at that point. If you think this might be happening with you then find a weight that you feel the glutes doing the work and just do more reps. Point your toes 30 degrees out ( you can also do this with back extensions and 45 degree hypers). This will give you more glute activation :-). You can also lift your toes up so that you are REALLY pushing through the heels during the movement. And if none of those suggestions fix your knee pain then most definitely stick with the glute bridges!!!!

      A true box squat is where you sit all the way down on the box (kind of roll back onto your haunches) while keeping your core tight and everything turned on. Then you slowly roll a little forward and push up with your glutes. This version hits the glutes more than the quads. I’ve had a tight hip flexor that doesn’t always allow me to squat but this version I can tolerate without a problem usually so I stick with it. It doesn’t hurt while I’m doing it and it doesn’t cause more tightness or pain the day after.

      • Bret says:

        Tammy = The Glute Girl

        Hahaha! Seriously though, your advice rocks. BTW, I have my shorter women and my women with shorter torsos sit on an Airex balance pad when they use the Hip Thruster, which makes it around 13-14″ in height for them and makes a big difference.

  • Anna says:

    Hi Tammy,

    Think you so much for your post!! You aré an inspiration! Where do you get all these strength from, girl?! I am currently hip thrusting 330 lb but it is only x2.2 my weght and a struggle for me.. I am in this plato for more then 3 months allready. Also 2 weeks ago i added some short cardio separate workouts (3-5 times a week) and started controlling my macros and calories with fitnesspal to loose some weight. Well my deadlifts and hip thrusts got even more difficult now. I lack energy even though i try eating arround my workouts and i am more hungry then ever… To make it even worse in did not looose much weight for the moment 🙁 smth like 500 gr… So is it normal ti experiment this if you need to loose weight? Thanks again

    • tammy e. says:

      Hey Anna! It freaks people out at the gym because I can lift so much. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “You’re so small! How do you do that?” or “There has to be some trick to doing that!!!”. I just say I’m skinny strong :-). I honestly don’t know how I can lift as much as I do and at the beginning it totally freaked me out because I kept adding weight on each week.

      And now let’s just brag on you for a minute sister!!! Anything over 300# is damn impressive so don’t be selling yourself short! Take a moment and really pat yourself on the back for that accomplishment. It’s huge and you should celebrate it!!!!

      With that said, I will now tell you what I learned from my heavy hip thrusting days…. Getting strong was bad ass. It was most definitely a feeling of empowerment, a big ego booster, etc; however, (you know there’s ALWAYS a “however”), I think (and Bret backs this up too) once you get to a certain point you are just chasing a number (which is impressive) but it’s not doing a whole lot of good for glute development. I will also say that it can be EXTREMELY hard to let go of the ego and do lighter loads where you get the most activation. We found that 185# is generally a “sweet spot” for *most* people meaning that you can get some amazing activation (cell swelling, burn, whatever you want to call it) and that’s what will build those glutes! I’m finding very similar results with doing high rep band above the knee hip thrusts w/ high rep pulses (check out Kellie Davis’ Instagram video from about 3 weeks ago). I love love love these! They show up in a Get Glutes workout in Month 27 or so. They are by far my favorite glute exercise!

      So… find your sweet spot and do 3 sets of 12-20 reps once or twice each week. On the other days work in sets of 8 and sets of 5. This is what I used to do at least. It covers a variety of rep ranges so you keep up your strength with the heavy sets and you get the burn from the high rep sets. Remember full ROM trumps heavier weight.

      Diet is not my specialty by any means but for most people I’ve seen the coaches recommend around 1750-1800 calories. Macros depend on your goals. I lost around 9 inches total –7 inches off my love handles. I gained 2 inches in my chest (umm, upper back but wouldn’t it be nice to gain it in your chest?) and 2 inches in my glutes at the widest without changing my diet or doing cardio. I slowly added muscle and lost BF along the way. Bret wanted me to focus on building muscle to round out my shape instead of just dropping my BF from the get go. It was hard mentally to take that approach but I did see where he was coming from. If I had added in cardio or dieted then I wouldn’t have had the energy to go in and set PRs and hit it hard every single time. It’s a fine balance and it takes a while to figure it all out and also get your brain on board with the program (the brain is always saying do MORE MORE MORE to get better results but we know that’s not the case. Workout and eat smarter not harder).

      Hope that helps! And please remember these are things that worked for me but I’m not an expert 🙂 Good luck!

      • Anna says:

        I cannot express enough gratitude for taking your time to respond in such a detail! Bret is right, you are like a rockstar in this matter!! Now i can see where all this strength comes from, your energy is really special. By the way i am writing from Chile, so your post is definitely transcending frontiers. 🙂

  • Iris says:

    Thanks a lot for the advice on the hip thrust! I am definitely going to give it another try :-)!

  • Maleah says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! It is SO so inspirational to see another mom kicking a** and having such amazing results while still enjoying fun meals with the family. I had seen some of your pics on GG, had no idea you were 44!! Hard work pays off. I love that our community makes it so much fun to do.

  • Kristen G says:

    Finally this is up! Yeah! Great article Tammy. And might I say you bootay (and the whole package) is looking mighty fine these days! 🙂 Keep being awesome and inspiring. xx

  • Kellie says:

    You are amazing. That is all. Thank you so much for your support, for believing in our program, and for being such a rockstar! xoxo

    • tammy e. says:

      Kellie, you and Bret rock! You both bring different perspectives to the table on just about every issue which goes to show that there’s more than one way to tackle a problem. You really summed it up when you said “for believing in our program”. I think every new person starting GG questioned the “short” length of the workouts and we all felt like we needed to add extra things in because we weren’t getting enough but that’s not true. The programs are perfect just the way they are. I think the ladies who follow the program “as written” are the ones who get the most out of it. You guys are the experts and we have to learn to trust your judgement. I am thankful each and every day that I found Get Glutes. It totally changed me from the inside out. Ya’ll are not only great coaches but also great people. Thank you!

      • Bret says:

        Funny you say this right now Tammy – I decided to take on 2 online clients and both are SOOOOO skeptical over the lack of volume and the shorter workouts. My regular clients tend to be the same way. But after a couple of months of steady PRs, they appreciate the brevity. It’s not easy to steadily gain strength and set PRs month in and month out, there’s a delicate balance of effort/frequency/volume that needs to be appreciated. Thanks right back to you!

  • elise says:

    This is hugely inspiring. I’m not a GG member but I have the book and have read and studied Bret’s and Kellie’s posts and reached out to both of them and yes, like other posters have related, they respond kindly and informationally.

    So validating to hear that 185lbs seems to be the sweet spot for results. My bar only currently holds 175 max. I gotta get another couple plates. (I also find that med/high volume swings (I’m an SFG girl) really activate and grow my glutes. I was doing a 300 swings a day challenge without any thrusting and it was very effective.)

    But Tammy, most of all, way to be a kick-ass role model for your kids. I am 46, have a boy and a girl and my daughter’s friends—she’s 9—already gripe about their bodies in ways that chill me to the bone. I am so happy to hear that you eat intuitively and enjoy meals with your family, socialize and the lot—AND look lean and healthy doing it. I am sick of the maximalist approach—super-restrictive or complicated diets plus time-consuming workouts that painfully tax the joints.

    You are clearly a kind and generous woman. Thank you for your story and inspiration!

    • tammy e. says:

      Thanks Elise! There’s some Strong Curve FB groups that are fun and supportive if you happen to be on FB. I have SC too although I never followed the program. I bought it as a resource to go along with GG and to support Bret :-). I’m on one of the SC FB groups –I enjoy reading through it but not posting. Those girls have had some amazing results though! Very inspirational.

      It sounds like you’re really in tune with what works for you and that’s an achievement all by itself. So good for you! You know 175# on the HT might not be much (if any) different than doing 185#. If you are getting great activation there then you can call 175# your sweet spot 🙂 I love KB swings but have NEVER, EVER thought about doing 300 swings in a day. I bet your booty did benefit a lot from that!!! Keep up the good work!

      A couple of weeks ago I went out of state to visit with my family. My boys are 9 & 11 and my nephew that we were visiting is 10. He’s had a growth spurt and is tall and stick thin at the moment but he mentioned that he was afraid he was getting fat so he was going to skip a meal!!!! We sat down and had a Pow wow at that point. My parents, brother, and sister all think I’m too skinny so I know they aren’t telling him that he’s fat but it’s still so hard to believe and understand where it’s coming from.

      Thanks again for the kind compliments! You made my day 🙂

  • Linda Riley says:

    You look amazing, and your strength is hugely impressive. I wish everyone would drop the qualifier “for a 44 year old”, or “for someone in her 40s” when they’re observing your incredible progress and results. Your age is completely irrelevant in this discussion. I realize that as women in our 40s (I’m 48), those of us who lift are markedly different than many, if not most women in their 40s, but to qualify these statements with the age-related disclaimer, in my opinion, detracts somewhat from what you have achieved. Your results would be equally as remarkable if you were 24 or 34.

    You look amazing. Full stop. Your strength is impressive. Full stop.

    • tammy e. says:

      I got a kick out of reading your response Linda :-). I’m obviously over the hill and have been put out to pasture but that’s ok. Hasn’t anyone told these readers that 44 is the new 24????

      Btw, if you’re looking for me I’ll just be standing in line signing up for my medicare and social security benefits. 🙂

  • sarah says:

    Hi Bret. Hi Kelli. Hi Tammy.

    I have been a trainer for the past 8 years at a pretty sweet gym in NYC – Peak Performance. Ive been a fan of Brets for just about as long when I was introduced to his work by a trainer there. Ive read “Strong Curves” and did the program two years ago. I feel good about my body and the bootay but I have been feeling a little uninspired in the weight room lately. So Miss Tammy, YOU just Inspired ME to sign up for the Get Glutes program. I love your personal story, the vulnerablity, and the resulting strength. Im looking forward to the accountability of the group and to be re-inspired by women like you (and Brett and Kelli) Even coaches need coaches and inspiration. Be seeing you in the forum soon, thanks guys!!

    • Bret says:

      Hi Sarah! I know of you! Several mutual colleagues speak highly of you. So glad that you’ve been inspired 🙂

    • tammy e. says:

      I’m totally flattered Sarah and I’m flattered that you actually took the time to leave a little message 🙂 I’ve been reading some of Sohee’s stuff and if I’m not mistaken then you worked together. That must be the rock star gym– “pretty sweet” sounds like a bit of an understatement 🙂 And you have a big endorsement from Bret. You gotta love that!

      So glad you took the plunge and joined GG. The first few months may seem easy to you but by month 4 things pick up quite a bit and by month 6 the difficulty really picks up. It’s like a whole new ball game at that point. Can’t wait to hear more from you on the forum or the new FB page.

  • Wendy says:

    Hi Tammy, where can I find your blog referred to above as “Finding your True Self after Learning to Lift Heavy?” . Love your work!

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