I’ve tried many workout programs over the years. I love to see how other trainers program and I often pick up tips and tricks that I can incorporate into my own programming. You have to be careful, though, especially when purchasing a program online. There is a lot of garbage out there! But, if you stick to the tried and true coaches and trainers, you should be fine. For a long time, I’ve had Bret Contreras’ Booty by Bret program bookmarked and have religiously followed him on Instagram. I even stalk podcasts for his interviews! After completing his new StrongLifting Certification, I became more interested in seeing how Contreras programs.
StrongLifting is a cross between power lifting and body building. It prioritizes five main lifts–squat, deadlift, hip thrust, pull-up, bench press, and overhead press. Everything is built around making gains with those compound movements. The certification makes me eligible to judge a StrongLifting competition, something Contreras has already hosted and plans to do more, but it also helped me learn more cues about how to perform these main lifts. This will help me and my clients in the long run.
Booty by Bret emphasizes glute development–hence the name– but also overall muscle growth and strength. I can see the emphasis on the main lifts already! The program consists of four-week cycles of three full body or four-day body part split, depending on your preference. Two optional glute days are also included that are mini circuits to further work those muscles and he recently added upper body to those days.
Wow… what was I waiting for? This program is perfect for me! I love full body, three days a week. It works best for my schedule and recovery. What’s more, the additional two days are perfect because my goals are to grow my glutes and shoulders. Those circuits include glute exercises, as well as shoulder/delt exercises. It also leaves room for a rest day or two, as well as my Peloton rides, which I like to incorporate as much as I can without compromising my muscle gains.
This month–May/June–the two main lifts are the squat and the bench press. There is also hip thrust–because of course there is–and compound exercises for the back, such as the pull up. But three days a week, we are doing a squat and bench press variation. This allows you to get really good and practice with a movement. It also allows for progressive overload and improved form since you are hitting the exercises so often. As someone who needs to work on both of these exercises, I was thrilled to start here! The first week is a deload week and you progressively add effort through week four.
Booty by Bret is a well-programmed routine that is perfect for beginners to advanced lifters. There are different versions of the exercises to align with your skill level and what you have available as far as equipment. Each exercise has a video demonstration, if you need it. There is also a private Facebook Community that you can join to ask questions, get assistance with form, and more. At $29.95, it’s a steal compared to gym memberships that don’t offer ANY support or programming whatsoever.
I have learned so much from Contreras over the past few years. It’s amazing to experience his research and expertise through his programming. I look forward to future months to come on the program!