The 30 Days of Thrusting Challenge

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve got a new challenge for you! You’ll be doing 30 straight days of thrusting. Let me state up front that this challenge isn’t for newbies. You need a minimum barbell glute bridge and hip thrust strength of 95 lbs for 10 reps in order to give this a shot. If you’re not there yet, just wait until you are. If you currently only train glutes once or twice per week, you may want to perform a conditioning week prior to performing the challenge where you train your glutes on 4 separate days.

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Here are the rules:

  1. Make sure you always feel the glutes doing the work – don’t go too heavy to where you feel other muscles taking over 
  2. Control your lumbopelvic region and don’t hyperextend (overarch) the low back or allow the pelvis to excessively anteriorly rotate (roll forward)
  3. Don’t limit yourself to what’s written on the schedule; if you can do more reps with a certain load, then by all means do more reps
  4. Don’t be foolish and train through pain or injury; if something acts up take a day or two off, and if that doesn’t help stop the program
  5. Make week one your easiest week in terms of how hard you push yourself, week two a bit harder, week three very hard, and week four the hardest
  6. If you can’t perform the schedule exactly as it’s written, just do the best you can
  7. If you want to perform other exercises/workouts for the legs and hips, reduce your volume and intensity dramatically and just go through the motions with them – make this month all about building your thrusting strength and power

great butt

You will notice in the schedule that you’ll be alternating between barbell exercises and bodyweight single leg exercises. This way, you can plan on attending the gym on every odd day and you’ll have the option of training at home on every even day.

30 Days of Thrusting Challenge

Thrusting Challenge

With the barbell glute bridge, you’ll be laying on the ground. All other exercises will be performed with the shoulders elevated onto a bench or couch. The hip thrust march is performed like this:

Of course, the most optimal way to do your hip thrusts is using the hip thruster!

Hip Thruster barbell band

The Hip Thruster is the best way to do the hip thrust – stable and versatile!

59 Comments

  • Sabine says:

    Hey Bret,

    i´m currently doing the Strong-Curves Workout “Gluteal Goddess”.
    So I will stick to that plan. I just have a question: I love Barbell-Glute-Bridges, (because of the pump 😉 ), but when I´m going heavy, I´m always sliding away. after a few reps. So I have to stop and get back in to position.
    Do you have a solution how to fix that problem?

    Thank you very much!

    Greetings from Germany!
    Sabine

    • Bret says:

      Hi Sabine! I have this same exact problem and it’s incredibly annoying. I’ve found that the only ways I can prevent this are to 1) do them on rubber flooring, which is only available at certain gyms, or 2) have someone stand against my shoulders like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-4-GwGnDMs

    • Kiko says:

      Yep that’s a pain in the ass. I’m always having to reset. If I’m lucky I have a shirt that catches on the floor. So maybe try a different shirt.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Sabine,

      I lay with one shoulder against the bottom of the squat rack (I prop a pad on the rack so it doesn’t hurt)…I don’t slide. Hopefully that will work for you, too! I like Bret’s answer with someone behind you, but I don’t have a training partner, so the rack works well for me.

      Suzanne.

    • sara says:

      put heavy dumbells in front of your feet to keep you from sliding

  • Julie says:

    Hi Bret, I respect and appreciate your work. I am training for a kettlebell competition and will be doing snatch and jerks. I have been doing hip thrusts and feel like they are a good addition to my training. From your science background, do you think they are helpful at this time. Competition is in October. I had been using them as part of lower body work 3 days per week. Now that I am focusing on competition prep, I have moved away from the dead lifts and deep squats but kept the hip thrusts. I understand that you may not have enough info for the question but just more generally speaking…what is your opinion? Thanks

    • Bret says:

      Hi Julie, great question! Since you’re looking at maximal transfer to snatches and jerks, I think hip thrusts and American deadlifts could be of value, possibly hip thrusts twice per week and American deadlifts once. These will build end-range hip extension and glute power to help accelerate the kb upwards. Best of luck!

  • nounabelle says:

    hi i am very lost with my body shape i will you can help me brother pleaz
    i am thin short but i am apple shape
    my arms are big toned my hips butt legs very flat
    i trained with weights 5 months without result
    i did diet i lost all my weight but arms still there
    i m confuse i wish you unswer

    • Bret says:

      Nounabelle – in order to build shape you need to get markedly stronger. It’s not just about training with weights, it’s about progressive overload. Make sure you’re using good form and focus on gaining strength on squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, reverse lunges, back extensions, etc. This will build glute, quad, and hamstring mass. Best of luck to you!

  • nounabelle says:

    ok thank you for unswer
    but how can i reduse arms they want go by diet
    can i grow big hips in a year !!
    if i got prignant and stop exercicing will i loose all the results !!!

  • nounabelle says:

    this exercices you posted are every day
    shouldnot too much
    or its 2 3 times a week

  • Jessica Jane says:

    Hey Bret! Great set-up. I counted the sets per each week, and it seems to range from about 16-22 sets. I’m currently focusing on lower body by doing about 27-30 sets a week (~9 per session), on alternate days. Exercises included are single-leg hip thrusts, donkey kicks, GHRs, good mornings, glute bridges, RDLs, box squats, heavy sled/car pushes, bulgarian lunges, and low/high cable RDLs. I vary weights, rest periods, reps, and TUT. Do you think this would be just as effective, or have you found it crucial that you perform booty exercises everyday? Thanks!

    • Bret says:

      Jessica, your current routine seems great. I’m curious to hear how the ladies respond to this program and eagerly await feedback. I got the idea because I recently trained a woman 5 times over a 10 day period and her glutes grew 2 inches. It was insane. We did hip thrusts each session and she increased her hip thrust strength from 135 x 10 to 275 x 10. I think 3-6 days/week is optimal and might vary from one woman to the next due to individual physiology.

  • mgt says:

    Hi I’m currently at a 100 lb barbell glute bridge doing 3 sets of 16 reps. I don’t want to go to the gym, it’s extremely intimidating and inconvenient (working full time, 2 kids). Can you suggest a way to increase intensity for this challenge without going above 130 pounds (which is the max weight I have at home)?

    • Bret says:

      Sure mgt, just increase the reps you do. If you can do 100 x 3 x 16 right now and at the end of the month you can do 130 x 3 x 30 your glutes will be much stronger and will have grown a bit.

  • Suzanne says:

    Going to keep this on the back burner for future reference…I am currently on my second round of Strong Curves advanced program…LOVE IT, Bret!! Thank you for your expertise! I have recommended your book to all who are asking how I’m getting so lean and fit!

  • Susy says:

    I have two silly/dumb questions:
    When you say “pyramid 10/6/4/20” does that mean, we do 10 reps ,then 6, then 4, then 20?
    And Max time and Max reps…does that mean as much and many as we can do? I haven’t bought your book quite yet, since I am currently doing another program from Lauren Brooks, so i apologize for not knowing this!
    Thanks!

  • Evy says:

    I am definitely saving this one for the future when the body is primed and ready. Currently doing the 30 day glute challenge along with another challenge that is almost totally lacking in glute aspects. For me, I build upper body easily and it is the glutes that are my weak spot -figuratively (pun??) and literally. Thank you for another great one.

  • gabriel says:

    hi bret, first i want to say thank you for all the great info and articles on the site, i learned a lot from you and put to use lots of your ideas with my clients.
    i want to ask you a really important question about reps and intensity for legs excersise in women. i have read in lots of books that going by 2-3 set and 12-20 reps for hamstrings is wrong advice, and the best rep-set scheme would be 4-6 sets and 3-8 reps on the hamstrings.
    I have always use this last scheme with excelent results, the ladies getting really slim and firm legs, specially with women who have really big legs, hips and high body fat on that area. I’m afraid that they won’t reduce their legs and butt size if they go for the 2-3 sets and 12-20 reps. Please let me know what you think, i really respect your opinion and always willing to try new ways for sculpting ladies. Sorry for my bad english, greetings from Argentina!
    Gabriel

    • Bret says:

      Gabriel, I’ve encountered more studies showing that the hamstrings are slow twitch than studies showing that the hamstrings are fast twich. My take is that they’re like other muscles in that they’d benefit from a combination of low, medium, and high reps.

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Bret! I’m going to be having a baby any day now and I cannot wait to get back to lifting heavy weights! My rear end has suffered these past 9 months. I’ve been exercising consistently throughout pregnancy; glute specific I’ve done bodyweight bridges and light kickbacks but that’s about it. I think I’m going to have a hard time holding myself back to reasonable progressive resistance when I am cleared to lift again. Any tips for me?

    • Bret says:

      Sure Rach, just build back gradually and resist the urge to go too heavy too soon. Due to muscle memory (your muscles still have all the nuclei they gained from previous training) your strength and muscle will come back much quicker this time around, but make sure you use great form and feel the right muscles doing the job. Congrats on your baby!!!

  • mh says:

    Can’t wait to do this one.
    Did your 30-day glute challenge and got results (prior to that my body did not even know it had muscles there!?!). Have had comments left right and centre about my (previously flat n flabby) now perkier derriere and it turned out to be a great warmup for SC gorgeous glutes which I’m doing now. Once I get up to the weight mentioned, guess what I’ll be doing! Love love love. And talk about posture, confidence and *everything else* boost 😀

  • Beatrice says:

    I can’t wait to try this routine. Just to double check- it’s okay to train the glutes every day on consecutive days?

  • Xan says:

    Hi Bret
    I just completed the second day of the 30-day challenge. And what’s obvious to me was my glutes were fired up more when doing bodyweight single-leg hip thrusts than 90lbs glute bridges for 20 reps.

    Is this normal? Or is my glute bridge technique questionable? Or does it mean I should just increase the weights for glute bridges?

    Thanks!

  • Lou says:

    Can’t wait to start this!

    Do you have another recommendation for starting weights? I can do WAY more than 95 lbs for 10 in the hip thrust. My 10RM is about 210. I haven’t done glute bridges in ages, since I like the fuller ROM of the thrust. And what about rest between sets?

    • Lou says:

      And for pyramids… same weight? Or different weights for each set? Or a different weight for the last set of 20? Sorry, I’m a bit confused by the specifics.

      • Bret says:

        Pyramids – you might do 185 x 10, 205 x 8, 225 x 6, 115 x 20. You’ll need to figure this out yourself but the loading is dependent upon your current strength. Try to use more over time.

    • Bret says:

      You’ll be repping out with 95 lbs, so you might get 30 reps with it. Induces a huge burn! Rest 60-90 sec between sets.

  • Kate says:

    Bret you seem like such a genuine person and I’ve learned a lot from you. But I’m personally put off by the pictures you post of women in seductive poses. Most of us will never look like these models – this kind of “fitspiration” isn’t inspiring. Maybe T-Nation has the audience for it, but I find it degrading.

    • Bret says:

      Kate, I’ve been doing this ever since I started blogging. It’s sort of my thing. I’m not trying to be degrading at all. I hope you can look past this as I get a lot of emails from people saying that the pictures inspire them.

  • Re says:

    Bret
    I found your website probably about a year ago after reading Marianne’s blog.

    I just finished day 5 of the challenge this morning, and I am amazed at how my glutes feel. It’s been a while since my glutes have been sore, and I am definitely sore. I think because I normally focus on a much lower rep range (4-8, with 10 reps per set being about the max that I might do) and my glutes aren’t used to the higher reps.

    I’m anxious to see what kind of results I get. Thanks again for the program.

  • dani says:

    Hi Bret,

    Can’t wait to try this challenge! One question, what is the difference between the barbell hip thrust and the barbell glute bridge (it’s hard to tell by the photo, kinda dark on my computer)?

    Have fun in Hawaii . . . lucky dog!

  • Glenda says:

    I have to admit I neglect my glutes. I know it’s wrong. I’m a trained professional, for crying out loud! But I’m guilty.

    A few weeks ago I bought a set of bumper plates last week specifically for glute bridges and, BAM, this program popped up on my news feed. Fate, I tell ya’!

    Today was Day One. I’m excited…I know you won’t let me down! 😉

    • Glenda says:

      Lol…what I meant to say was, I bought a set of bumper plates a few weeks ago and last week this program popped up in my news feed. I should probably learn to not use the iPad for this sort of thing. 😉

  • dani says:

    Hi Brett,

    A couple of questions. I have very prominent ASIS and when doing the barbell glute bridge, they really get in the way (even in a posterior pelvic tuck/tilt). Would it be better to have the bar resting just below the ASIS or just above them?

    Also, is it feasible that I can get more hip extension in a double leg thrust/glute bridge rather than a single leg? It seems with the single leg hip thrust I cannot get a lot of hip extension as opposed to double leg thrusting or glute bridging.

    Thanks for your help!

  • Teri says:

    Hi Bret, I just started the challenge today. Love the Barbell Glute Bridge, so I’m already stoked about the rest of the month. Question about day 2 (and others like it) where it says “max reps”. What exactly do you mean? I’m assuming as many reps as possible. If that is the case, do you mean body-weight or loaded? Thanks!

  • Michael T says:

    Bret,
    I am at day 12 on the thrusting challenge and all I have to say is thank you, thank you thank you! My ass feels like its been pumped w an air pump! I was skeptical about working glutes every day, but I haven’t been sore and I’m faster than ever jogging… I can’t wait to see what day 30 feels like!

  • Marie says:

    Bret, I’m on my last week of this challenge and it’s been great! I’m not new to these moves and I’ve been following you for awhile. I wanted your advice on where to go after this challenge. I don’t want to lose any of the gains I feel I made. I have gained strength and have enjoyed “the feel” (so to speak) of training the glutes daily…any thoughts or recommendations for a transition after I complete the challenge. Thanks!

  • Nicole says:

    Hi Bret, I am excited to try this challenge, but I’m not sure what weight to start with. You say that to start this program we should be able to do a min of 95 lbs for 10 reps, but since day 1 starts with 3 sets of 20 reps, I’m assuming that if your max is 95 lbs, we dont start out with that. What’s a good guide for how much weight to start with for week one? Thanks for your help!

  • Christina says:

    Hi, I’m currently on a weight training Program that’s working great for me but only consists of 2 leg days on Mondays and Thursdays. How can I incorporate this challenge without overworking the glutes since it calls for weights every other day which would mean I would eventually end up doing weights a day before and after my leg days? Should I do the weighted excercises monday, thursday, and Saturday and do the non weighted excercises back to back on Tues and Wed?

  • Tracey says:

    50 hipthrust walks x2
    1.10 minute hipthrust hold
    70 hip thrust

    I do this everyday as well as other stretches.
    I have been doing this for 2 weeks.
    I have chosen this work out as it does not affect my illnesses which is sciatica and pubic bone pains.
    Am i wrong to do this everyday.

    I sometimes get pain in my lower back which i never use to get.

    Thank you in advance and i spend most of my time being motivated due to ur published info

  • liz says:

    what does it mean by max time?

  • Renee says:

    Hi Bret,
    Thanks for sharing your expertise with us, you are an excellent guide and motivator. I just wanted to ask your opinion about the effectiveness of training on a particular muscle group every day versus every other day. Isn’t it necessary to allow up to 48hrs between sessions to allow recovery and achieve maximum muscle gain?

    After reading your 30-day plans it’s apparent that you dispute this recovery theory. There is so much conflicting information out there and trust you as an authority on the subject.

    Thank you again for all of your advice and inspiration, it is truly appreciated by many. Keep up the great work 🙂

  • gina says:

    Hi Bret! Ever time I perform the hip thrush my knee hurt. What am I doing wrong? Please help! P.s I love your book!

  • Anna Bitterman says:

    Hi!!!after trying so many workouts trying to get a nice butt finally found you😀I just finish the fist challenge and going for the second one //I will do the three challenge/// I start to see changes in my glutes 😀 but my inner thighs are getting bigger and I only 5″2 this cause my legs to look shorter and after finish the first challenge I gain 2 pound I was thinking well is muscle but my legs looks fatty I fallow a clean diet and I do weight and cardio any advice please!!!

  • Joanna hyde says:

    Hi Brett,

    I’m trying to grow my glutes will this 30 day challenge do that or just tone it?

    And secondly everyone says that you shouldn’t work out your glutes every day?

    Thank you 😄😄

  • sachin ravi says:

    Hey bret. Im a 19 year old guy. I have a very weak and huge butt. Will hip thrust help me burn the fat and reduce the size of my butt,also make it stronger

  • Elissa says:

    HI Bret!

    I had my son just over 5 months ago now but had to have a C-section so barbell thrusters are still uncomfortable even when using a pad… I’ve been doing them with a sandbag (40lbs) but can’t really go heavier at the moment. I want to try your 30 day challenge. Is there anything you suggest me trying?!

    Thanks!

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