Glutes Are the New Biceps

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Living in a pretty historical, cultural, and overall kick-ass city (Boston), Lisa and I like to spend our weekends walking around to the various neighborhoods to take in all the sights and sounds that they have to offer. Whether it’s heading to the North End to eat a quaint italian restaurant, walking through Boston Common and then down Newbury St. to look at all the shiny things we can’t afford, or just chilling in our own neighborhood – Coolidge Corner – we can always find something fun or interesting to do.

Another one of our favorite areas to frequent is the South End.

The South End is considered the “trendy” part of the city teaming with hip restaurants, cafes, shops, and boutiques. It’s ubiquitously fabulous in every shape, way, and form.

Even more fabulous than this commercial:  JAZZ HANDS!!!!!

Additionally, and not surprisingly, the South End is also known for its fashion sense. Now, fashion is not my forte. You’re reading a guy’s blog who’s idea of dressing up is a pair of jeans with a GI-Joe t-shirt.  Worse, I wear white after Labor Day.  Oh, the horror!!!!!

Whenever I’m in the South End with Lisa and we walk into some clothing store, she’ll inevitably go into fashionista mode and start conversing with the sales lady person.  Hem line this, v-neck that. Blibbidy blah, blibbidy bloo.

They might as well be speaking Klingon.

I usually just zone out and stand there like a zombie or go light my face on fire to help pass the time.

But recently something caught my attention.  Well, two things actually.

1.  At one store we were in, the sales lady person said something along the lines of “brown is the new black,” alluding that brown (and all it’s various shades) are now “in,” and that this season brown is all the rage.

I thought this was interesting, and something that will make a little more sense in a few seconds once I tie this into the actual purpose/title of this post.

2.  Even more intriguing to me was how much money people would spend for a pair of jeans and yet have no ass to show for it. It was amazing.

Men and women alike.  No asses.  Anywhere.

Maybe I’m missing something, but it doesn’t make much sense to me to buy a pair jeans that’s equivalent to a car payment and have no ass to show of it.

Sure I saw some flat stomachs on the ladies, and many of the guys walking around had biceps.  But no where to be seen was a nice, plump, round tush/bum/butt/ass/derriere/badonkadonk/whatever your term of choice.

Honestly, though, it isn’t even limited to that one instance or point in time.  Rarely (if ever) do I see a well-rounded backside.

I was in a 7 Eleven not too long ago getting my caffeine fix when I saw two bodybuilder type guys walk up from behind me to pay for their things at the cashier counter.  Both were really tan and had on skin tight shirts and for all intents and purposes were two really built dudes.

But neither of them had an ass.

Judge me as you will – yes, I looked at two guys’ backsides and noticed they didn’t have one.  Don’t kid yourself, you do it too!  We ALL judge others and give everyone the once over.  Guys and girls alike.

Guys look at other guys and judge whether or not they can take them in a fight.

Girls look at other girls and judge whether or not they can take them in a fight  (or if they’re an uppity skank).  This is especially true if two women are wearing the same outfit.

It’s a two-way street.

Either way, when I saw a 2×4 in place of where their ass should be, I knew the two guys in question were suffering from what I call Noassitis.  Get it?  No-ass-itis!!!

Note:  giving credit – I think Mike Boyle originally coined the term, but he may have called it something else.

Nevertheless, it’s a growing problem and it’s what spurned this post.

Much like brown is the new black in the fashion world, in the strength and conditioning world glutes are the new biceps.

Glutes are the new biceps!!!!!!!!!

Yeah baby!!!

I’d be remiss not to give credit to the Glute Master himself – Bret Contreras – as he’s been championing this sentiment for years now.

Thanks to him the glutes are getting MUCH more attention, but no where near the amount of attention they should be getting.

There are still plenty of people (men AND women) who spend a vast majority of their time and energy training a muscle the size of a tennis ball (bicep), yet ignoring the largest and most powerful muscle in the body (the glutes).

Of course, I’m not insinuating that one should ignore their biceps.  Trust me, I get it.  That’s just looney talk.  Most are going to train them no matter what I say, so there’s no point in wasting my breath.

All I’m suggesting is that a slight shift in training economy and priority is in order.

I’d argue that if you’re the type of person who places an emphasis on his or her glutes and includes more exercises into your repertoire that targets them, you’ll probably have decent sized arms anyways.

You’ll have biceps despite what you do.

As an example, look at Kellie Davis, model and co-author – along with Bret Contreras – of the upcoming book Strong Curves.

She glute bridges her ass off (or, more appropriately, on) and she still has shapely, “toned” arms that most women would kill for.

You think she’s performing tricep kickbacks and various bicep curl exercises to look like that?

Hell no!

Switching gears to those of us who pee standing up, and using myself as an example, I too have decent sized arms that most guys would like to have . I’m not saying this to brag, it’s just what I’ve been told.** Yet, despite the contrary, I don’t go out of my way to perform a lot of isolated bicep work.

Instead, the bulk of my upper body work consists of a healthy dose of row variations, chin-ups, and push-ups.  But I also place a premium on things like deadlifts, squats, glute bridges, Prowler pushes, kettlebell swings and various single leg exercises – all of which hammer my posterior chain (and more specifically, my glutes).

I can probably count on one hand the total number of times I’ve gone out of my way to perform a bicep curl in the past year.

Likewise, I generally don’t go out of my way to program any “isolated” bicep work for the bulk of my athletes and clients.  Sure, I’ll throw them a bone every now and then, but for the most part their training entails compound movements with an emphasis on their backside.

And, predictably, their biceps grow (or, in the case my female clients, they attain that “toned” look that’s so coveted).  Go figure!

Again, this isn’t to suggest that I feel blasting the biceps isn’t warranted or that I never do it.  I do.  All I’m saying is that for most people, most of the time, they’d be much better off nixing the curls in favor of curing their Noassitis.

It’s not hard to walk into a gym and notice someone with sculpted arms or pecs that could stop a mack truck. What’s rare is seeing an impressive set of glutes.  THAT’S what will separate you from the masses – and not coincidentally, make those designer jeans fit like a glove.

On that note, below are some instructional videos that will hopefully get the ball rolling and point people in the right direction.  Train your glutes people!!!

Hip Thrust Instructional Video – Bret Contreras

NOTE:  Also, I’d highly suggest reading THIS post by Kellie Davis on proper range of motion while performing hip thrusts/bridges.

How To Set Up To Deadlift Properly

Box Squat vs. Squat TO Box

Get-Up and Swing Tutorial

* = Okay, I lied.  I’m completely bragging.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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