Diet & Weight Magazine

Bringing Up The Rear Final Assessment – A Love Letter To Bret Contreras

By 43fitness

Before we get started I want to preface by saying that I’m a happily married woman. Bret, however, has affected my workouts so profoundly and in such a positive way, that I have developed a deep affection for this man, despite never having actually met him.

So you realize I’m pretty freaking excited to share this final assessment on my assets with you.  Since October I’ve been really targeting the hind-end landscape, and there is a LOT more relief on that topographical map these days, thanks to Bret Contreras, the Glute Guy God and my squishy blue square.

squishy blue square

Make my day, PUNK!

The squishy blue square is a new investment that I made specifically to fulfill the needs of this program (and to keep the gym nazis outta my space).  It’s a lovely piece of equipment, which I will treasure forever.  And it’s MINE.  See?  It even has my name on it!  You may sense that a rant is coming, and you’re right.  If you would like to opt-out of this vent session, simply scroll down to the PROGRESS section.

Rants aren’t normally my thing.  I like to keep my posts upbeat and positive, but sometimes one just has to let off a little steam.  I covered this on Facebook, but I just have to recount the torrid tale once again here because I am stilled highly annoyed with this guy and secretly give him the stink-eye when he isn’t looking.

I got in big time trouble at the gym right before Christmas.  And what I was doing was SO offensive that I was interrupted mid-set by a punk trainer (he looks like he’s 12) while hip thrusting a lot of weight . Seems the blue squishy squares are NOT to be used for anything except standing on. I like to utilize one as padding between me and the heavy bar that sits across my hips.  No it wasn’t manufactured for that purpose and YES I get that.

I am certainly not on a quest to damage anyone’s property, but the conversation that ensued with this rude gym employee post-set was a little unnerving. 1. Don’t stop anybody in the middle of a set for any reason.  It’s dangerous and irresponsible.  Period. 2. Don’t tell me that just because you don’t have anything else I can use for padding that I need to just stop doing hip thrusts and use substitute exercises like squats (because they are the same you know). AND also don’t tell me how rare these moves are, and that I couldn’t possibly expect to be supported with helpful equipment at this ‘progressive’ gym. Blah blah blah. So I bought a pad of my own and I have abused it on a regular basis with no damage so far. Because it will be identical to the untouchables at the gym (except for the subtle surname branding), I can’t wait for said punk to approach me again on this topic.

And Now for the Progress

As mentioned previously, I’ve been exclusively using the Strong Curves program to lift and shape my bum, and I’m happy to report that it really works – even for ahem mature chicks like me! I feel compelled to let you know that the 12 weeks were completed over a month ago, and I apologize for the late update, but life has been a little crazy as of late.  Good crazy, though, so all is bueno.

I was only looking to target my lower body for this experiment, so I used the Gorgeous Glutes portion of the program, created for just that purpose.  My upper body workouts pretty much stayed the same, with a few tweaks to accommodate the 3x/week glute work. Since we last spoke on this topic things were looking good, but I feel like even more progress was made since that time, and I’ve got the pics to prove it!

Exhibit A:  The Right Side     My original ‘before’ photo for this series was taken on the right side for good reason.  The right side of my lower body is flabbier than the other side.  I know body parts are nature’s creation and not everything in nature is exactly symmetrical.  However, it’s been a bone of contention within my psyche for some time, and I figured THIS is where the upholstery meets the road for this challenge.  If I can get some improvement with this nonconformist plane of my body, then anyone can!

glutes final right side comparison

I felt obligated to add the little line segment graphic for comparison against differing backgrounds. I need to find a better backdrop!

Exhibit B:  The Left Side     And now for some good fun.  I love my left side.  I really do.  And I feel like my left side truly reciprocates that love so I had to amp things up a bit for these pics.  Big-time improvement here, and just for emphasis, I donned a lighter colored suit and offered up the BAM shot.  :)

glutes final left side comparison

I know it’s shameless, but I just can’t offer any apologies on this one.  And I want to let you know now that these workout pants from Old Navy (now discontinued) are the most flattering pants on the planet. I am owned by 3 pair.  I wash them gingerly, wear them every chance I get, and plan to be buried in them.

Exhibit C:  The Rear View     I can’t say I’m as excited about this side as I am the others, but then again, I wasn’t looking to target this angle as much.  With less body fat ALL the angles would surely improve, but a girl’s gotta live.

glutes final back view

Probably not the most flattering depiction here, but I wanted to keep the comparisons true to the original shots.

The Bottom Line     Yes.  It works.  If you are committed, follow directions, aren’t afraid of the gym nazis and eat to fuel your body, this really honestly works.  And you don’t even need a gym to get started.  If you’re nervous about glute bridges or hip thrusts I would highly suggest that you get your form down solidly at home with just your body weight.  The book conveniently builds this beginning phase into the program.  Once you gain confidence, then you can progress to adding weight plates and eventually barbells (or small vehicles).

Once you do, you’ll be a novelty, I assure you.  I’ve literally had guys boldly approach and caution me to ‘be careful’ as I’m loading the 45lb plates onto the bar.  I appreciate the concern, gents, but I’m really OK.  I do feel tough thrusting those bad boys, though, and it’s not why you might think.  My ultimate goal achievement of 45lb on each side allows me to GET UNDER the bar by myself.  The 45 plates on end are tall enough to provide ample clearance under the bar.  Up until that point, the Lobster was having to set the barbell in my lap.  I love my dutiful spouse (and his butt is looking great too by the way), but I feel much more like myself (independent) being able to do these unassisted.

Forever Changed    With me personally there is obviously room for improvement.  I would LOVE to get my hands on an entire month (and I’m sure you would too) without trips, holidays, illnesses, kids’ illnesses, extra curricular job duties, fill in the blank.  This would allow me a solid stretch of training and eating with absolute focus and ferocity.

Will I ever look like the bikini competitors featured on Bret’s site?  Probably not, because for this season of my life, that time for myself will always be fleeting.  But with this program I believe that I could, and I won’t stop trying because my lower body workouts are forever changed.  F O R E V E R.  This program works for me on all levels and my previously achy hips and newly minted confidence love me for that.

Free Information    If you still haven’t bought the book, and you SHOULD, then download this FREE 46-page sample of Strong Curves and be sure to subscribe to Bret’s Facebook page.  He’s a wealth of generous knowledge, for which I will be forever grateful.


How’s your gluting going?

Endorsement Disclosure:  From time to time I’ll extol the virtues of a specific product or service, such as this one.  Rest assured that I received zero compensation in doing so.  If I really like something, I feel compelled to share.  Word of mouth is a powerful force, and I love to see excellence rewarded.

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