Tag Archives: exercise

All About Weightlifting, the Hip Thrust, and the Squat Sponge

15 Dec

Writing about weightlifting yesterday got me really amped up about fitness and the topic of weightlifting for women. So here’s another blog post about it – I hope you like it and if not, i’m sorry and I promise to return to normal fashion-related blog posts.

I’ve been weightlifting for over 2 years now. My boyfriend got me into it because he was tired of hearing me complaint hat all my hard work with cardio wasn’t giving me the results I was looking for. I won’t get into it all here, if you’re interested to hear in more detail the process of starting to lift, check out my blog post where I explain how I got into weightlifting.

When I first started, I did mostly what my boyfriend did, so I targeted arms, shoulders, and even traps…eek. One day, I thought to myself, what are my goals with weightlifting? What does my ideal body look like? Let me tell you, it didn’t look like my boyfriend!! He’s incredibly sexy, don’t get me wrong, his muscles are very built and he’s a big guy…but uhhh I don’t awnt to look like that!

So I started looking into fitness girls on Instagram and bodybuilding.com and I stumbled upon Jamie Eason’s Instagram account. I immediately fell in love. She’s sweet, bubbly, gives great advice and has an amazing physique. I embarked on her LiveFit training program and started to see some great results. Here I was with toned arms, non-jiggly legs, and my stomach was getting less flabby. And then…I hit a wall. My legs were looking great, albeit getting a little thick, but it didn’t both me. What did bother me was how disproportionate my tiny butt looked next to my newfound muscular thighs. My butt was non-existent, just flat and soft and I hated it!

Here comes the tireless search to include glute activating workouts and exercise programs to build that booty! Squats and deadlifts, while amazing compound exercises, were just not enough. Enter Bret Contreras, Strong Curves, and getglutes.com. If you haven’t heard of Bret Contreras, today is your lucky day. You are welcome, in advance. Bret Contreras is the glute guy, the glute ninja, the glute expert, heck, even the glute god and he co-wrote the exercise for a booty glute handbook – Strong Curves. I obviously bought the book right away and was introduced to the holy grail of glute activating exercises – theĀ Hip Thrust. Look it up online, on YouTube or something, please people don’t waste any more time without this exercise in your life!! And pictures will not do it justice, I want you to watch video! Here is a link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCm-70-9_XE I’ve literally taken all the work out for you, no excuses not to watch.

So did you watch? You can laugh. I know it looks awkward but I will trade an awkward few minutes a day for a bangin booty. I’ve been doing this for about a year and a half now and my booty is ever so grateful. I really want to get Bret Contreras’s hip thrust machine, the one he designed and built himself, but my studio apartment simply won’t allow the space for it :/ Anyway, you don’t need it to get great results. I usually do some form of a hip thrust every day that I work out, which is about 3-4 times per week. I set up using a regular barbell that I fit with the appropriate amount of weight. At first, you’ll start low with just the bar, but don’t feel sorry for yourself, you should quickly increase the weight to make sure that booty is on fire and being challenged.

After a year and a half of doing hip thrusts and engaging in progressive overload, I can now hip thrust 240 lbs (OMG?!) and my glutes show it. My boyfriend can’t get enough my bubble butt now, but that’s neither here nor there.

Ladies and gentlemen (because this exercise is a great accessory exercise for weightlifting for both genders) how did I manage to hip thrust such a ridiculous amount of weight without crushing my hip bone? Drum roll please…the Squat Sponge!!

The Squat Sponge was originally designed to be used during squats to protect the back from the barbell. Bret Contreras followers, including myself, now use the Squat Sponge as the perfect pillowy cushion between a heavy ass barbell and their hips/skin. It’s super durable and has yet to show any signs of wear and tear (I’ve had it for almost a year now). I think at a certain weight it may fail under pressure (see what I did there) but at my 240 lbs it’s not showing any signs of buckling. At least for your first 250 or so pounds of hip thrusting, you can rely 100% on the Squat Sponge. Once you go over that number, well first off – wow and second, you’re a lifting beast, you don’t need a fluffy sponge.

Anyone out there use the Squat Sponge? Or have the hip thrust machine by Bret Contreras?