Bret Contreras Workout And Diet
Arizona native Bret Contreras was always into fitness. While pursuing his Master’s degree at Arizona State, a professor suggested he pursue exercise as his focus. Contreras took the advice and opened a strength training facility, quickly developing a following. His day job was teaching, but after a few years, he decided to make fitness his life’s work. Contreras became a certified strength and conditioning specialist and earned a PhD in Sports Science from AUT University in New Zealand. Contreras is the founder of The Glute Lab, BC Strength, and Booty by Bret. ‘The Glute Guy’ is a regular contributor to Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness and Oxygen magazines, and has authored and co-authored a few fitness books including Glute Lab, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy and Strong Curves. Contreras has millions of followers on social media. He is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs about 230 lbs.
Bret Contreras’ Diet
Contreras firmly believes in the importance of diet for fitness and overall health. He eats about 6 meals a day made up of basic foods that supply solid nutrition and fuel his training sessions, including eggs, lean meat, and fish. He does not avoid carbs and admits to having a sweet tooth which he manages with fruit in all forms: fresh, dried, and juiced. As for fats, he eats plenty of seeds, greek yogurt, and nuts. He drinks plenty of water every day along with 2 whey protein shakes. He supplements with fish oil.
Fuel for Training
Contreras’s basic rule of eating is that the food has to contain nutrients. He eats whole, natural foods and takes a pass on the junk. He refuels every few hours to keep his metabolism revved.
Contreras doesn’t believe the hype that meat is bad for you. He eats red meat at least once a day. He’ll also have another type of meat such as poultry or seafood for the protein and minerals it provides.
The Mighty Seed
Contreras eats nuts and seeds for their high nutrient content and because they contain monounsaturated fats which are essential for producing testosterone.
Contreras does not believe that carbs or any other macronutrient is evil. He eats from all food groups, and avoids empty-calorie foods.
Treat Your Gut Right
Contreras eats 2 servings of greek yogurt each day primarily for the gut-friendly bacteria it contains, but also for calcium, protein and B vitamins.
Sweet Tooth Trick
Contreras admits to having a ‘serious’ sweet tooth. He curbs it by eating fruit.
Contreras has a unique approach to cheat meals. When he is being strict, he’ll have 2 per week. But when he is looking to gain, he’ll cheat every day, sometimes at every meal.
What to Eat
- Orange juice
- Protein shakes
- Lean meat
- Greek yogurt
- Skim milk
- Peanut butter
- Olive oil
What to Avoid
- Empty-calorie foods
- Processed foods
- Junk food
- Added sugar
- Artificial ingredients
Contreras on eggs
I usually eat between 3-6 eggs per day and I do not have elevated cholesterol levels. I do, however, have elevated levels of strength and muscle. Go figure!
Contreras on cholesterol
As for the whole “high levels of cholesterol in egg yolks make them bad for you” topic, there isn’t much truth to this claim.
Contreras on nuts
I eat a ton of macadamia nuts, almonds, and cashews.
Contreras on yogurt
Greek yogurt is…higher in probiotics…but unfortunately it’s more expensive.
Contreras on the importance of regular meals
If I go too long without food, I’m liable to eat an entire carton of ice cream!
Bret Contreras’ Workout Routine
Contreras developed the barbell hip thrust after watching a UFC fight in 2006 in which he thought the fighter had weak glutes. The exercise allows for full range of motion while weighted. He also invented a piece of gym equipment called the Hip Thruster which is adaptable to several exercises.
Pick the Right Tool
Contreras says for maximum gains, you must perform the right exercise to create the right kind of tension on the targeted muscle. But a single exercise will not be enough to grow muscle. You must do variations on the exercise to get full-spectrum growth.
Journal for Results
Contreras recommends writing down your workouts to better track progress.
Contreras works out at least 4-5 days a week. He does a combination of strength training and cardio, with the lifting coming first.
Basic Workout Advice
Contreras recommends lifting a weight to do 6-12 reps for 2-3 sets with a 1-2 minute rest between sets. If you can do more than 20 reps, it’s too light.
Contreras believes that most of your gains will come from the basic moves: squats, deadlifts, and bench press.
A Bret Contreras Routine
Start out doing 2-4x week, working up to 4-5x week. Do 6-12 reps x 2-3 sets.
1-2 min rest between sets.
Mix up your exercises.
Walk after strength training.
Focus on big lifts:
Some fave glute exercises:
Barbell hip thrust
If you overdo the eating, do some extra exercise to burn it off.
Contreras on his focus on glutes
The glutes are so dang important: sprinting, jumping, cutting, twisting, protecting the knees and back, not to mention looking athletic and sexy!
Contreras on adaptive weightlifting
I believe that the big lifts can and should be modified to be more joint-friendly.
Contreras on a varied routine
Be sure to rotate lifts, incorporate variety and get strong in low, medium, and high rep ranges.
Bret Contreras’ Supplements
Contreras uses creatine because it lets him train harder. He takes 5g per day.
Contreras takes coenzyme Q10 every day because of its many benefits including preventing cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as promoting longevity.
Contreras takes antioxidant grapeseed extract for its many health boosts including longer life and a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
Contreras uses whey protein to build and repair muscle, decrease recovery time, and curb hunger.
Contreras supplements with fish oil for its anti-inflammatory omega 3s that are good for the brain, heart and overall health.
Diet Energy Drink
Contreras doesn’t use a pre workout, but he will have a diet energy drink before sweating it up at the gym.
Contreras calls his multivitamin his ‘insurance policy.’
Bret Contreras’ Lifestyle
Stomach Sleeping Tip
Contreras has a simple tip to avoid low back pain due to sleeping on the stomach. He says you should simply lift the body up and squeeze the glutes as hard as possible before lying down. This action grips the spine, holding it in a more natural position.
The Truth About Bodybuilding
Contreras says that genetics are a very important component of how your body will respond to strength training. Many people’s bodies don’t respond at all, and some actually lose muscle.
The Scientific Approach to Weight Loss
Contreras admits that he struggles with self-control when it comes to eating. He does not believe anyone else can tell you the ‘right’ way to proceed, and that the key to success is to test out different methods, and keep track of what works.
Science, and Vanity
Contreras has done a lot of research on the glutes, and while many people use his barbell hip thrust for performance and to prevent injuries, most people do it to get a better-looking butt.
What Women Want
Contreras has discovered that women want a shapely rear but they don’t want bulky thighs. Yet another win for the barbell hip thrust move.
Be the Anti-Snob
Contreras says that while it’s easy to criticize celebrities for their imperfections, we should encourage one another instead.
Contreras on low back pain
Don’t just accept low back pain as part of life. Be proactive about it and figure out solutions.
Contreras on sleep
Sleep should go hand in hand with your strength training endeavors, not work against them!
Contreras on his career path
Since I was 16 years old, I’ve been helping people either as a training partner, a personal trainer, a strength coach, or a writer.
Contreras on self-control
Every few hours, it takes everything in me to not enter the kitchen and devour everything in sight.
Contreras on strength training
You read that correctly: Some people don’t show any noticeable results.
Contreras on haters
Can’t we we be proud that Hugh [Jackman] is confident enough to post a picture of himself…? Don’t be a fitness snob my friends!
Personalized Training with Bret
Hip Thruster Equipment