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Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD

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

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List of Instagram medias taken by Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD (@bretcontreras1)

Report Download 204 4.22K

* Smith machine glute bridges * These are great. They require tension through a fuller range of motion since the plates don’t touch down. Do them off a bench. I like vertical smith machines a bit more than angled ones but both work. 5 sets of 20 reps will smoke your glutes.

Glute Lab Report Download 56 4.02K

Glute Squad ladies absolutely crushed it last night at the @musclecontest. Swipe left to see some of their incredible pics. They looked so amazing and worked their butts off (or on) for this show. I’m so proud of them. I could go on and on about each of their stories but @brianna_fit_ took the overall for amateurs, @chrisannanorthrup won her class in the masters division. @mahsa_ifbbpro almost won her first pro show which would have been insane but ended up getting second. @domscottfit, @jadedouglashileyfit, @cabalstrong10, and @katherrinee improved their physiques and looked their all-time bests. This is what it’s all about. It’s such a privilege to work with such badasses.

Instagram Image by Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD (@bretcontreras1) with caption : "Exercise variations exist on an unstable to stable continuum. For lower body ground based movements, on the far left, yo" at Glute Lab - 1847423035343205372
Glute Lab Report Download 161 5.95K

Exercise variations exist on an unstable to stable continuum. For lower body ground based movements, on the far left, you have variants that involve free weight single leg performance, possibly while standing on a wobbly device or placing a wobbly barbell on your back. On the far right, you have variants that involve machine double leg performance, possibly on a smith or plate loaded lever device. Traditional barbell variants would lie between the two extremes. The point of this post is to discuss the role stability plays in eliciting strength and hypertrophic adaptations. With strength adaptations, it's all about specificity. Wobbly training will make you the strongest at wobbly training. Barbell squats and deadlifts will make you the best at powerlifting. And machine training will make you strongest at machine training. But what about building glutes? Glute EMG activity is reduced with unstable training assuming relative load and effort are controlled. The brain will limit muscle activation of it senses instability (can’t fire a cannon out of a canoe). So unstable is inferior for building muscle, but what about barbell versus machine? We need more data on this. The same goes for transfer to performance. For improving explosive actions, unstable is inferior, but we don't have enough data to address what's optimal between barbell versus machine training. The vast majority of coaches would predict that barbells offer just the right amount of stability to maximize hypertrophy and transfer to sport. However, machines could have a slight edge. We've been performing a ton of plate loaded lever exercises at Glute Lab with much success. We love our lever reverse lunges, lever single leg SLDLs, and smith machine B-stance hip thrusts. And we've experienced zero injuries in six months of being open. We will have to wait for future research to inform us as to what best builds muscle and best transfers to sport, but it'll be either barbells or plate loaded machines, not wobbly training. You can absolutely include some unstable training into your regimen, just make sure you always include stable variants!

Glute Lab Report Download 146 4.72K

Every month, I change up my hip thrust variations and am reminded of how awesome some of them are for building the glutes. This dual banded barbell hip thrust burns and pumps up my glutes like no other exercise. This is why I love @the_hip_thruster. You can use just a barbell, just a long band, or a bar plus short bands. I get my short bands from @sorinex and use 135 lbs plus the strong (blue) bands for 4 sets of 15-20 reps and I can’t walk properly for 30 minutes. You can rig something up at your gym using a bench and dumbbells but just make sure the dumbbells don’t slide around. Make sure you pause at the top for a brief moment and reach full hip extension.

Glute Lab Report Download 122 5.03K

Bros, have you tried the javelin press or the dumbbell single arm face pull? If not, you’re missing out! My trainers here at @theglutelab (@alex.sterner and @arbryce) taught me the javelin press after they saw @jhharrison92 doing them with heavy weight (of course). And I thought up the face pull idea with a db a couple of months ago; I really like them. These are clips from my stellar shoulder workout two nights ago. The first 3 vids are javelin press: 65 x 12, 75 x 6, 85 x 1. I want to hit 95 lbs for 3 reps but that will take some time. Then I did heavy lateral raises- 40’s for 20 and 50’s for 10. Sometimes I go light on these and am strict, other times heavy like this with some English. Shown next in the lineup are alternating db front raises (35 x 20) and prone rear delt raises (50 x 10). Last up is db single arm face pulls with 60 x 12. Swipe left to see all vids. This was a kickass delt session and I hope it inspires you to give it a try or at least give the javelin press a shot. If you do, make sure to grab the dead center of the bar and squeeze hard. Start with just the bar...they’re much harder than they look.

image by Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD (@bretcontreras1) with caption : "Hip thrusts do a booty good!

#Repost @karacloutierfit
I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how to buil" - 1843672949612060170
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Hip thrusts do a booty good! @karacloutierfit ・・・ I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how to build glutes, so here are the 3 most commonly asked questions and answers: 1️⃣How often should you work out your glutes? 2-3 days a week. 3 days if you exercise 5 or more days a week, and 2 days if you don’t exercise as often. 2️⃣What are the best glute building exercises? Always start with glute activation exercises to prep your glutes to receive the most impact during your workout. Some of the best glute building exercises are barbell hip thrusts, cable pull-throughs, squats, cable kickbacks and deadlifts. I’ve found that adding a resistance band to a lot of these exercises helps with making sure your glutes receive most of the impact since some of these exercises are compound movements. 3️⃣What should you eat to build your glutes? Lots. Your body in general needs nutrients to recover from workouts and grow. Eating 3 wholesome meals a day, healthy snacks in between and within 45 mins after a workout is the best way to see glute growth. Wholesome meals include all your food groups like protein carbs and veggies. My favorite healthy snack is 2 rice cakes with pb or almond butter. (I also eat unhealthy snacks and meals from time to time and I never sweat it because I think of it as feeding my booty 😂) *️⃣Also, make sure you’re not doing too many exercises on your glute days, you’re giving your all to the couple exercises you are doing, you’re giving your glutes proper rest in between sets and during the week, you’re incorporating weights through progressive overload, but not trying to do too much to make your glutes sore, and that you’re being consistent with exercise and eating! Tag someone who could benefit from these FAQs😊 Also, @bretcontreras1 is a good person to follow for more advice!

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New York City where you at?! On Sept 1-2, Alan (@thealanaragon ), Brad (@bradschoenfeldphd), and yours truly are going to science the shit out of NYC with all we got!!! These are two of my best friends and two of the smartest, most passionate individuals you’ll ever meet in Strength, Nutrition, and Conditioning. These guys literally conduct the research and write the books on hypertrophy, fat loss, sports nutrition, and body comp improvements and their information is cutting edge. They have to update their slides the day before their seminars to include the latest and greatest research findings. I can’t wait for you to meet them and acquire their knowledge. I’ve learned so much from them and you will too. They’re also down to Earth and hilarious so it’s guaranteed to be a great time. Of course, I’ll be teaching you all about glutes and providing a lecture and a practical. Thank you Mark Fisher (@mfisherfitness) for hosting this event. The attendees will gain 1.4 NSCA CEUs and learn the most current science & practice-based knowledge and skills for transforming physiques & lives. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about hitting NY like a freight train. The pics are of our San Diego gig last March that sold out. - I will link this on my story (, you can register ASAP. I can’t wait to see you all in the city that never sleeps. Trust me this will be so much fun!

Instagram Image by Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD (@bretcontreras1) with caption : "In 2014, I conducted a pilot experiment with my interns and @joeypercia. Basically, the three of us did" at Glute Lab - 1841400931055280328
Glute Lab Report Download 383 8.11K

In 2014, I conducted a pilot experiment with my interns and @joeypercia. Basically, the three of us did a bunch of exercises while hooked up to electrodes and measured the EMG activity of select muscles during various exercises. We found that we could indeed significantly alter the elicited level of muscular activity by focusing or not focusing on a particular muscle during a lift. Check out the glute activity in the back extension when you try versus try not to use your glutes: 6% compared to 38% of MVIC. This is with the same load, effort, speed, and form. But does this enhanced activity translate to greater muscle hypertrophy? My buddy @bradschoenfeldphd and I recently conducted a training study showing that the biceps grew bigger when participants focused their attention on the muscles (internally) versus on the environment (externally). This paper was recently accepted for publication. Bottom line: don’t be afraid to squeeze your glutes if you want them to grow to their full potential. Bodybuilders have long touted the importance of the mind muscle connection, it’s great that we now have some evidence supporting their theory. I will post a link to the full write up of this experiment on my story.

Report Download 131 8.41K

Good stuff here from Sean! Give these three movements a try if you haven’t already. Haven’t seen the 3rd one before and I like it! @apexstrengthsociety ・・・ The 3 Best Glute Exercises you’re NOT doing.. but should be! . There are countless ways to train just about every structure/musculature of the body and discovering & creating new exercises or variations of existing ones are fantastic ways to add new challenges to an already vast pool of options. . • Front-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squat • Performed just like a conventional BSS however having the front foot elevated (try to keep the elevation lower than the elevation of the back leg) allows for a greater range of motion and in turn greater muscle recruitment! . • Loading Pin Sumo Deadlift • This is essentially a Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift in which I’ve replaced the KB with what’s called a “loading pin” (from Spud Inc) and attached a V- handle typically used as a cable row attachment. The 2 angles of the 🎥👆🏼show how wide the feet placement should be aswell as the ideal angles at the hip, knee and ankle to ensure maximum glute focus! . • Swissball Wall-Sit Hip Abduction • Now I’m going to be so bold as to say I’ve created this variation. I’ve looked online & haven’t seen it anywhere so I’m claiming it 😝. I’ve found using the swiss/exercise ball supporting the upperback (opposed to a conventional wall-sit position) greatly reduces the loading of the quads, allows the pelvis to maintain a posterior tilt & creates a superior loading of the glutes! . A big thanks 🙏🏼 to @bretcontreras1 for suggesting the loading pin option (I’ve seen him program this for his own clients and he was kind enough to help me out in recommending it). And I wonder if he can weigh in his thoughts of the Swissball Wall-Sit Hip Abduction.. 🤔 When it comes to glutes, nobody comes close to Bret in knowledge & experience. . . . .

Glute Lab Report Download 149 4.61K

Just two bros training glutes together, no big deal. @mattogus and I had a stellar training session the other day that left both of us fairly crippled. I believe Matt is pound for pound the strongest hip thruster on the planet. We warmed up then he ended up hitting 725 lbs for 5 reps (I only got it once 🙁) with a loop around his knees which is 4X bodyweight for him as he weighs 180 lbs! Then we did band shoulder and feet elevated hip thrusts with 2 strong bands for 2 sets of 25 reps off the Glute Builder, 2 sets of 10 lever reverse lunges, 2 sets of you 10 lever single leg RDLs, and a burnout set of 40-50 reps off the seated hip abduction machine. Swipe left to see all vids.

Peter Mollo Fitness Report Download 239 8.75K

This is amazing! It’s like I’m in Glute Lab. This is a gym in Rhode Island getting great results using the same exercises, techniques, and equipment that we do. I love positively influencing the world and am so happy to have trainers and coaches out there that trust me enough to experiment and implement my methods. Great job Peter, keep it up 👊🏽 @petermollofitness ・・・ I’m so passionate about helping my clients see results in the areas they want to develop the most! Having @bretcontreras1 as a mentor has played a huge role in perfecting my Glute Training Methods! I’m appreciative of how helpful he is and how hard working my clients are! Three months in @petermollofitness wouldn’t be as busy as it is without the support we receive from all of you!! 🍑

Instagram Image by Bret "Glute Guy" Contreras PhD (@bretcontreras1) with caption : "Just hit 400K. Thank you so much to each and every one of you! Your support means everything to me. Strength and Conditi" at Glute Lab - 1836780410346716221
Glute Lab Report Download 365 13.72K

Just hit 400K. Thank you so much to each and every one of you! Your support means everything to me. Strength and Conditioning has been my obsession for as long as I can remember, and I couldn’t imagine a better career. Early on, I started noticing some of my colleagues taking shortcuts, focusing their efforts on learning marketing tactics and shying away from the gym and the science. They didn’t seem to want to buckle down and do the “heavy lifting” necessary to master the craft. If you want to truly know S&C, you have to lift weights and experiment in the gym, train a wide variety of people from all walks of life, and hit the books at night time with just as much vigor. You have to put in your time, and if you sell out and resort to sleazy tactics, it backfires on you. I’ve watched colleagues go down this road and it’s never pretty. I’m proud of my career path as I’ve stayed true to my values, maintained integrity, focused on teaching others, and strived to provide good customer service. It seems that you all have noticed; the reason why my audience continues to grow is due to all of the selfless and caring people who tag me and introduce me to their followers. Let’s keep “spreading the glute gospel” and improving the way the world trains glutes. In my short time in this industry, we’ve made gigantic strides in this critical area of training, but some people and some fitness circles are still unaware or unconvinced. Our work is not done. I promise to continue to research, conduct experiments, and maximize my learning in order to be the best Glute Guy I can be for your betterment. Onward and upward!