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Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD

PhD Sports Science CSCS,*D Author Lecturer Inventor @the_hip_thruster Owner @theglutelab Founder Booty by Bret Click below for programs and products:

Exactly twelve years ago today (October 10, 2006), I thought up the loaded hip thrust in my garage gym. I was watching UFC fights (@titoortiz1999 was ground and pounding @kenshamrockofficial) and I decided there should be a heavy, full-range exercise to strengthen the glutes in a bridge pattern. The first idea involved a glute ham developer, reverse hyper, and dip belt. This led to the db hip thrust, double dumbbell hip thrust, band hip thrust, single leg hip thrust, barbell glute bridge, barbell hip thrust, and combined barbell plus band hip thrust. Now there’s a million good variations! I’ve used many pieces of equipment over the years. From the Skorcher (my first invention), to a bench, to aerobics steps with risers, to @the_hip_thruster, to the @bootybuilder.official, to @theglutebuilder, to the smith machine, to thruster benches, to the @glutedrive. It’s been a fun journey seeing the hip thrust rise in popularity and become commonly utilized in gyms around the world. I hope in 8 more years (20 year anniversary) we have hip thrust machines in every gym so we won’t have to load all these damn plates onto a bar and hog all the benches lol. #gluteguy #glutelab #thethrustisamust


Every 4 weeks, I design new, full body workouts with an emphasis on the glutes. The workouts are comprehensive and are sure to hit the glutes from all the angles. If you want to build your best butt possible, then join Booty by Bret. It’s just $29.95 and you get PDFs of your program, video tutorials of the workouts, and access to an exercise instruction library. I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. Glute Guy has you covered. Click on the live link in my profile to join. #gluteguy #glutelab #bootybybret


Several years ago, @mountaindog1 was talking about doing leg curls before squats. He said they just felt better when he did this. People who did hip thrusts and glute activation work before squats were saying the same thing. @biolayne would do a big glute squeeze before he descended into a squat; he felt more powerful when he did this. Bodybuilders “pre-exhaust” a muscle to make sure it gets fully worked during compound movements, but studies showed the opposite. For example, if you perform flies or cable crossovers prior to bench press, your pecs don’t activate more, but your front delts and triceps do. ⁣⁣ ⁣ Two years ago, I performed leg curls prior to back extensions, and I couldn’t complete my normal 3 sets of 30 reps. I could only perform 3 sets of 20 reps because my glutes were cramping so bad. Last week, I performed leg extensions and leg curls before frog pumps and got the biggest glute burn of my life. ⁣Recently @alex.sterner has been performing calf raises before Nordic ham curls because it causes him to feel more hammy. What am I getting at here? All of these things have me thinking about potentiation and inhibition during resistance training. ⁣We need research to pinpoint the precise mechanisms that contribute towards these sensations. The nervous system can detect fatigue and steer neural drive to synergistic muscles. @megan.kineticadvantage has some brand new data on this. Pumped up muscles that are engorged with blood can alter mechanics. Pre-activation can acutely increase EMG activity or diminish it if too much fatigue sets in. Simply performing an exercise before a compound lift can make that lift “feel better” by increasing body temperature and mobility. Some of this could also be due to placebo effect. ⁣ ⁣ I encourage you to experiment along these lines. If you haven’t already, try performing low load glute activation or leg curls prior to squats, deadlifts, or back extensions. Try fatiguing the hamstrings, quads, and/or adductors prior to frog pumps or glute bridges. Try performing hip thrusts last in a lower body workout in a fatigued state with lighter loads. ⁣See if any of these tricks help you feel more glutes. #glutelab #gluteguy


Most of you are underdoing it on effort and overdoing it on volume. This is my glute workout from Monday night. I did 6 total sets - that’s it. But I hammered those sets so hard I was completely wiped out. I do 6 more sets for glutes on Thursday nights and it’s all I can recover from if I train this hard per set. Most of my female clients do around 36 sets a week for glutes. Some do less and some do more. I do 12 sets lately. But my glutes are growing because I’m gaining strength and exposing the muscles to increasing levels of tension. Smith hip thrust 12 plates x 16 reps 14 plates x 8 reps 16 plates x 2 reps 10 plates x 20 reps Seated hip abduction Stack x 40 reps Stack x 40 reps Many of you are doing so many sets but it’s mostly junk volume. Sets that don’t create a hypertrophic stimulus. I have clients come to me bragging how they do 30 sets of glutes 4 times per week and when I train them they’re crushed from 12 sets in one hour because I push them to the max on those sets. I’m not saying you should just do 12 sets a week or that you should take every set to utter failure. I’m merely suggesting to stop worshipping volume and start focusing more on setting PRs and doing the proper amount of sets that allows you to fully recover and continue making gains. My buddy @bjgaddour does just 3-6 sets per week for hammies and has some of the best hamstrings this side of the Mississippi. I believe that women can and should do more volume than men, but if you’re doing 60+ sets per week for any muscle then you’re not pushing your sets hard enough and you’re just going through the motions. Less can be more in the weightroom if you up the intensity of effort, train closer to failure, and utilize progressive overload. #gluteguy #glutelab #thethrustisamust


I can’t keep a plant alive even though there are only two variables (assuming good soil): sunlight and water. When a plant is dying, do I water it more or less, or do I give it more or less sunlight? Or maybe it’s a combination of the two. ⁣ ⁣ Human muscle physiology is much more complex. ⁣Many of you are failing to see progress in the gym and are wondering why you’ve seemingly plateaued. If your glute gains are stagnant, consider one of these 8 variables. ⁣ ⁣ 1️⃣EFFORT: Most people train hard in terms of raising their heart rate and sweating, but most don’t train hard when it comes to progression. To build muscle, you have to place increasing amounts of tension on the muscles over time. This requires you to gain strength and set PRs (personal records). ⁣ ⁣ 2️⃣TECHNIQUE: Proper mechanics sets the foundation for progressive overload. A PR is only a PR when the same form and range of motion is utilized. Make sure you focus on the muscle while you lift. ⁣ ⁣ 3️⃣PROTEIN: You want to consume around 1g of protein per 1lb of lean body mass per day. Many people fail to consume this amount. ⁣ ⁣ 4️⃣CALORIES: You’ve gotta feed the muscle to burn the fat. Food fuels intense workouts. I’m not saying you have to be in a massive surplus; I’m simply saying that you need energy to train properly. ⁣ ⁣ 5️⃣SLEEP: Sleep is necessary to repair muscle and energize you for your workouts. ⁣ ⁣ 6️⃣STRESS: You cannot gain muscle optimally if your stress is through the roof. Manage it. ⁣ ⁣ 7️⃣EXERCISE: I get it - you like to train. But many of you will never see ideal results because you’re exercising too much. You don’t see bodybuilders trying to juggle resistance training, aerobics classes, spin, yoga, Pilates, HIIT, running, and plyos. Train like a beast in the weight room in a well-fed and rested state, then go home and recover. Some additional exercise is okay, but there’s a clear interference effect if you go overboard. ⁣ ⁣ 8️⃣EXERCISE SELECTION: Do your hip thrusts and a few other glute exercises you love. ⁣ ⁣ Booty building is a 24/7 endeavor. Make sure you’re working hard on all aspects to put yourself in the best position to gain strength and muscle. #gluteguy #glutelab


Last week, I posted a story about upper back training and many people requested video clips of the exercises I listed. Most of you already perform variations of chins, pulldowns, and rows. These, along with deadlifts, are staples for back training and are the most important exercises for developing a big back. However, other exercises are needed to maximize your upper back hypertrophy. Here are 10 awesome exercises to develop the upper back (mostly traps, rhomboids, and rear delts). I’ve been hammering these exercises twice a week lately. I hope it pays off soon. Swipe right to see: 1. Snatch grip overhead raise 2. Lever shrug 3. Db elbows out row 4. Low to high face pull 5. Db prone trap raise 6. Db prone rear delt raise 7. Db prone shrug 8. Db single arm face pull 9. Kneeling high to low face pull 10. Cable rear delt fly #gluteguy #glutelab


Gilbert, AZ you now have a Glute Squad. I spent considerable time teaching @kareynorthington and @northingtonfitnessandnutrition my system, and I made sure they have all the important equipment to do it justice. 20 spots available. Contact Karey or visit Northington Fitness and Nutrition to sign up for a class. Mondays and Thursdays at 6 pm. #Repost @kareynorthington with @get_repost ・・・ Did you miss the FB live on the Northington Fitness and Nutrition Page? It’s available for replay but we are going to spill the beans... ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Gilbert, you’re getting a Glute Squad! 🍾🎉 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you don’t know @bretcontreras1 , you may be living under a rock 🗻 Bret is “The Glute Guy”, the inventor of the HipThruster, creator of Bret Contreras HipThruster Loop, and world renown scientist and strength training expert. The only Glute Squad to date is at his gym, The Glute Lab, in San Diego and we are lucky enough to bring it here 😱 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We have 2️⃣0️⃣ spaces available for memberships and we would LOVE to have you join! 🍑 Link in BIO


Just over here getting strong AF on the Nautilus Glute Drive. Today, I did: 10 plates + bands x 20 reps 12 plates + bands x 15 reps I also hammered smith machine hip thrusts earlier this week and pumped out: 12 plates x 16 reps 14 plates x 8 reps 8 plates x 30 reps I think that this is the biggest my glutes have ever been so I’m quite happy primarily using these two pieces for glute training for the time being. Swipe left to see all sets. @nautilusstrength @glutedrive @peteholman1 #nautilusglutedrive #thethrustisamust #gluteguy #glutelab


Yesterday I trained CrossFitter @jennilyn33 and gave her a badass glute workout. Here's what we did: Band Skorcher hip thrust 2 x 20 reps Lever single leg RDL 2 x 8 reps Assisted eccentric step down with pause 2 x 5 reps Pendulum quadruped hip extension 2 x 10 reps Eccentric lever squat with pause 2 x 3 reps Rounded 45 degree hyper 2 x 30 reps Nordic ham curl 2 x 5 reps Seated hip abduction machine dropset 2 x 10/10/10/10 reps Hope this gives you some good ideas! Reps sped up 2X to fit in more footage. #gluteguy #glutelab


Here’s a great hip thrust variation from @benbrunotraining that combines a bilateral hip thrust with a single leg hip thrust. You go up with 2 legs and down with 1 leg. This serves as a great standalone exercise to hammer your glutes (eccentrics are brutal, but awesome), or as a good way to progress to single leg barbell hip thrusts. Swipe left to see Ben do a set with heavy weight. I like doing these in alternating fashion over doing all the reps with one leg then repeating with the other leg, as Ben shows in the video. Give this one a try! #benbrunotraining #brunostrong


Just a typical day at @theglutelab training my Glute Squad. Thanks to my cameraman @aayushswamy for making it all look so badass. #glutelab #gluteguy #glutesquad


Around 6 years ago, my followers began using the term “sweet spot” in reference to the load that they felt maximized their glute activation during hip thrusts. I had very strong clients who could hip thrust 315lbs for 5-10 reps, however, they felt their glutes working the most when they used 185lbs. Naturally, they wanted to know whether they should stick solely to their sweet spot load or go heavier, even though they didn’t feel their glutes working as much. ⁣ ⁣ My advice is to use a variety of loads and try to get your glutes to feel all of them. I remember when I hip thrusted 815lbs, my hamstrings almost seized up and I barely felt my glutes working at all. That said, I am able to feel my glutes working very hard with a legit 3RM and 5RM. And of course, with anything above 10 reps. ⁣ ⁣ Oftentimes, you cannot feel your glutes because your form deteriorates. This is not always easy to detect, but you don’t achieve as much hip extension (less glutes), you arch your back more (more erectors), and you push more with your legs (more adductors, hammies, and quads). If you’re stricter during heavier sets and at the end of lighter sets, you will feel more glutes. ⁣ ⁣ Nevertheless, it’s okay to use your sweet spot load most of the time. A good rule of thumb could be to use your preferred weight with 60% of your sets, with the remaining 40% split between going heavier and going lighter. ⁣ ⁣ Variety is good, and you should experiment with different set and rep schemes as well as tempos (pause reps, etc.). The goal is to gradually raise your hip thrust sweet spot over time, with a big emphasis on gradual. It won’t go up by 100lbs in 2 months; think more like 20lbs every 4-6 months, and the rate of increase diminishes with more years of lifting experience. ⁣ ⁣ #glutelab #gluteguy #thethrustisamust