Hello Blog Reader!
Welcome to my blog. In case you haven’t heard of me, my name is Bret Contreras, and I’m quickly becoming known as one of the “go-to” individuals in the Strength & Conditioning Industry for great advice. In the past year, I’ve contributed to over 60 different online articles for various strength training websites, and I’ve written over 100 different blogposts as well. I work very hard to keep learning and disseminating quality information to my readers!
I believe that my experiences have led me to be one of the most unique fitness professionals and that there are a number of reasons why someone might want to listen to what I have to say. Here are some of those reasons:
1. Intelligence and Credentials
I obtained my master’s degree (MA) six years ago from Arizona State University, graduating summa cum laude (straight A’s). So many would say that I’m quite “booksmart.” I have an extensive mathematics background as well. In a previous life I taught high school mathematics for six years in the Scottsdale Unified School District. I believe that my math and science backgrounds give me an advantage as I have a real knack for understanding Biomechanics. Thirteen years ago I received a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) certification from ACE (American Council on Exercise). I earned my CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist) credentials from the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association) nine years ago and still hold the certificate to this day. I’m also FMS (Functional Movement Screen) certified.
Many individuals possess good levels of either left-brained (logic) intelligence or right-brained (creativity) intelligence. I am very lucky to have been blessed with both. My left-brain keeps my right-brain in check but I always enjoy learning from folks who think up new ideas and aren’t afraid to put themselves out there and show their ideas to the world. Critics are many, but innovators are far and few between.
2. Personal Training/Strength Coaching Experience
I have been a certified personal trainer for thirteen years and have trained hundreds of clients and athletes over that time span. In fact, when I owned my Scottsdale training studio called Lifts I often trained over twenty clients per day as we offered affordable group training and often trained several clients at once throughout the day. This fast-forwarded my level of experience and greatly improved upon my knowledge of personal training. Prior to leaving my teaching career I was a strength coach for a football team at the high school level. A good trainer can never let up on training others as a great deal of learning and innovation comes from problem-solving as it relates to personal training.
3. EMG Experiments
I have extensive experience in utilizing electromyography (EMG) to learn more about muscle activation. I am highly unique in this regard. My EMG experiments have taught me very much about the human body and have helped catapult me to the top of the industry as many of my articles that discuss muscle activation have become very popular.
4. Continuing Education
I consider my work “fun,” so I don’t mind spending most of my day learning more about physical fitness. I am not married and don’t have any kids so I’m able to spend long hours delving into fitness-related topics. I enjoy learning from research and journal articles, textbooks, books, magazines, online magazines, dvd’s, podcasts, seminars, forums, and blogs. I’m also friends with many top trainers and coaches and am able to call them on the phone to talk shop and discuss certain topics.
I have a strong desire to learn as much as possible about a variety of different fields. I follow and try to maximize my understanding of bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, strongman, mixed martial arts, track & field, and physical therapy. I believe that my open-minded approach has allowed me to become highly effective as a trainer and coach as I’m able to borrow what is useful from each field and incorporate it into my methodology. I want to be the best trainer possible for any client who approaches me, so I need to know a ton about movement, hypertrophy, fat loss, strength, power, speed, agility, conditioning, flexibility, and corrective exercise. For any given topic, I want to know the scientific theory behind it, what the journals have to say about it (if any), and what the top minds in the field (coaches, trainers, researchers, therapists, etc.) think about the particular topic.
6. Innovative Approach
Some folks rely solely on research to substantiate their methods, which I feel is suboptimal. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate older methodology and believe that what held true many years ago still holds true today for the most part. However, our industry is growing very rapidly thanks to the internet. There are dozens of brilliant minds sharing their new ideas and staying “ahead of the research.” Many of those individuals are listed on my blogroll. Often research takes years to catch up with the top practitioners and simply confirms what we already knew. Research is certainly important, but so is staying ahead of the curve.
I am proud to have invented a piece of equipment that I love (called the Skorcher which I utilize in my training but don’t intend to manufacture) and to have “discovered” many unique exercise variations. My innovative approach to strength training has helped me become very popular as there aren’t many trainers/writers who have popularized new exercises and new methodology. It is an honor for many of my methods to have spread and trickled their way around the globe.
I have been published on the top three online fitness websites which include TMuscle.Com, StrengthCoach.Com, and Elitefts.Com, and my work has spread to Men’s Health Magazine and Oxygen Magazine. Most of the top coaches and trainers today are employing some of my methodology. Although I only recently started writing, I’ve already been asked to travel across the country to give a presentation, a trend that I hope continues.
I’m realizing that many trainers and lifters doubt certain claims and beliefs but they either don’t have the courage to buck the system or they don’t have a platform from which to be heard. I have always been the type of person who stands up for what I believe in even if that means that it won’t make me the most popular person. While I’m open-minded and love hearing new ideas and learning more about science, I’m a fan of “movement” in general. I don’t judge others for what kinds of exercises or routines they partake in as I feel that everyone has a right to train in the manner that fits their personality and helps them be consistent in their training.
9. Lifting Experience
I believe that this is the most important reason why you should listen to me. I’m just like you! I train extremely hard week in, week out. I have strength-related goals and physique-related goals (my physique goals keep my strength goals in check). I want to become bigger, leaner, stronger, and faster. I’m still learning everyday and trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. It is very important as a trainer/writer to keep training hard as there are new methods that pop up that require experimentation to learn, and this experimentation requires a decent base of strength & conditioning. I haven’t taken longer than a week off from training since I started working out nineteen years ago at the age of fifteen!
I’ve been told that I’m a heck of a nice guy and that I seem to really care about helping others. I try to stay positive and often attempt to inject some humor in my writing. I don’t care how smart someone is, if they’re always negative then why read their stuff? Life is short and it’s important to avoid excessive negativity. I believe that we should strive to surround ourselves with positive, passionate individuals. I try my best to respond to every comment that warrants a response on my blog, and to offer high-quality advice in order to benefit as many people as possible.
So there you have it – the ten main reasons why you should listen to what I have to say! Thank you very much for stopping by! -Bret