Welcome to Booty by Bret!

Booty by Bret is both a program to enhance your physique, gain strength, and improve your overall confidence, as well as a community of like-minded individuals who share similar fitness goals. Please take the time to review this guide, as doing so will enhance your overall experience and results.

Program Options

Booty by Bret offers different program variations, with altered frequency. While individual differences should influence how you structure your training, it is recommended all beginners to Booty by Bret start off by running the 3X full body program for a minimum of 3 months to get a feel for the system before considering a different variation (found in the "Your Program" tab).

Exercise Variants

Booty by Bret offers 3 exercise variations to accommodate different equipment availability. Each 4-week program will contain A, B, and C options of the same exercise category, which are categorized by the following:

  • "A" option: full commercial gym
  • "B" option: Well equipped home gym
  • "C" option: dumbbells and bands

While we advise doing the "A" option when possible, you can combine exercise variations from each category which best fit your body (i.e., if your gym doesn't have access to a particular piece of equipment, do the "B" or "C" option for that exercise.

Key Terms

You’ll hear a lot of terms being used to describe different components of within Booty by Bret. Developing an understanding of them will enhance your results. If you have experience within the exercise science realm, a lot of these terms may look familiar, however, a lot of terms are vague in the scientific literature, so we recommend looking over how we define them:

Volume: the total amount of working sets. With Booty by Bret, we’re specifically concerned about the number of sets that are performed close to failure.

Volume Load: sets * reps * load

Frequency: How often you’re training per week. This can be used to describe how frequently you’re training a muscle group within a week, how many strength training sessions you’re doing in a week, etc.

Failure: We actually break failure down in to 2 different categories, as different training experience, exercises, etc. will influence how exactly you fail.

  • Technical failure: form breaks down more than 15%. This is most common with compound lifts. While the percentage is arbitrary, some form breakdown is to be expected when pushing for PRs, however, you never want to cross into the “dangerous” range of form breakdown.
  • Task failure: the inability to repeat a task (ex: your form remains but you’re unable to get another repetition). This is more common with machines and isolation lifts.

If you’re new to strength training, you may feel as if you could push your muscles harder with certain lifts but you feel as if your coordination isn’t there. This is part of the process and not indicative of you doing anything wrong; as you gain more training experience, technical failure and task failure will begin to mesh into one one.

Load: The amount of weight you’re using. 

Periodization: How you plan, organize, and manipulate variables for the training program. You’ll hear this referred to the Booty by Bret 5-month periodization cycle. 

Rest: The amount of inactive time between sets. In Booty by Bret, we don’t recommend “active rest”, since the goal is to optimize strength. 

Recovery: While recovery can have multiple definitions in the exercise science world, we’re more concerned about your ability to safely maintain strength and overall performance in the gym. It’s important to note this is NOT strictly mean that you’re no longer feeling sore (and you can be adequately recovered while being slightly sore).

Progressive overload: The gradual increase of difficulty of exercise over time. Typically, this will come in the following:

·  Increasing weight to an exercise while doing the same amount of reps

·  Increasing the amount of reps you do while keeping the same weight

·  Improving your form

·  Increasing your range of motion

·  Increasing time under tension

Personal Record (PR): PRs are how we quantify progressive overload. Form, range of motion, and time under tension are assumed to remain the same while PRing. It’s important to note that hitting a PR doesn’t only apply to hitting a new 1-rep max (or lifting more weight than you ever have). PRs come in the form of:

·  Increasing weight to an exercise while doing the same amount of reps (typically in compound exercises)

·  Increasing the amount of reps you do while keeping the same weight (typically in bodyweight exercises)

Effort: This is commonly referred to as exertion. How hard you are training. We quantify this as a rough gauge of proximity to failure, using two subjective scales:

·  Reps in Reserve (RIR): How many reps you think you could do with a given weight at the end of your set. For example, if you could do 225lbs for 10 rep-max and you did 8 reps, that would be a 2RIR (or 2 reps in reserve).

·  Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE): Your assessment of roughly how close you trained to muscular failure. This is given on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being so easy your effort is hardly noticeable, and 10 being deliberately training to muscular failure. It’s important to note that while RPE refers to exertion, we’re more specifically interested in local (muscular) exertion, not global (total body) exertion. This means that while doing a set of deadlifts to failure (RPE10) will feel more demanding overall, a set of failure of dumbbell lateral raises to failure is also an RPE10.

Session RPE: How difficult your overall gym day felt. Session RPE is a good way to track your overall recovery. A good way of thinking about this is how exhausted you feel after your entire session. It’s important to note that session RPE is NOT the mean of individual exercise RPEs. Using the deadlift and lateral raise example, your session RPE will be much higher from deadlifts than it will from lateral raises (despite them both being RPE10s in the example above) due to the systemic demand of deadlifts.

Deload: Deliberately exercising with low effort to allow your body to recover. For BootybyBret, this will always be on week 1.

Mind-Muscle Connection: Focusing on contracting a desired muscle on a given exercise. Commonly referred to as “internal cueing” in the scientific literature

Booty by Bret Explained:

Monthly Booty by Bret Flow:

5-month rotation

Month 1: Stronglifting

Stronglifting is Bret’s competition to determine who has the best strength (both relative and total) in the 6 main exercises: Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Military Press, Chin-up, and Hip Thrust.

This is a very strength dominant month, with more compound exercises, a bit lower volume, and typically lower reps. The primary goal is to gain strength and proficiency at these 6 main exercises, with much of the “supporting” exercises being variations of the Stronglifting6. From a research perspective the number of reps of a set isn’t a great indicator of how hypertrophic potential, as long as you’re equating for the RPE, so don’t view this month as not being physique-oriented. The mind-muscle connection is of much less significance during this month, so don’t be alarmed if you’re not feeling any one muscle group specifically working. This month is often nearly identical to what Bret’s clients competing in Stronglifting use.

Lifting with very heavy weights, low reps, can be very demanding, and often can fatigue your lower back and core musculature to a large degree. With this in mind, we lead into the next month:

Month 2: Bikini Bodybuilding

This month can be seen as taking the opposite approach relative to the Stronglifting month. You’ll be doing a bit more volume during this month, with the use of more machines, exercises with greater stability, and less overall systemic demands. While you still want to get stronger when possible, it’s not quite as important during this month, as more mind-muscle connection based training will be applied.

Having had 4 months of significantly less overall demanding workouts, you should feel like your body is ready to start pushing a bit heavier again, which leads us to month 3.

Month 3: Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a well-rounded approach to lower body training. Please note, the ratios aren’t intended to be exact, rather, to serve as a guideline to ensure all functions of the glutes are being targeted throughout the month. You can expect a pretty even blend of heavy, moderately heavy, and light glute work, along with vertical hip extension, horizontal hip extension, and lateral/rotatory work.

After having completed a month filled with more fundamentals, we move into the following month:

Month 4: Glute Squad:

Glute Squad is Bret’s group of long-term, in-person clients out of Glute Lab: San Diego, and Glute Lab: Fort Lauderdale. The Glute Squad month for Booty by Bret will typically best reflect what Bret is doing with his clients in person (unless they are getting prepared for a Stronglifting meet, in which case, the Stronglifting month will best reflect Bret’s training), along with a lot of more experimental exercises found. This month also tends to include more intensity techniques, such as dropsets, rest pauses, etc.

Month 5: Grow Your Glutes (Not Your Thighs)

As the name suggests, this month’s primarily goal is glute training. With that in mind, this month isn’t intended to atrophy your thigh musculature, rather, just to focus on glute growth itself. Since muscles don’t work in isolation, you’ll still be hitting this month as a byproduct of thorough glute training. This month blends a hip thrust specialization plan along with more unilateral exercises, and all lower body accessory lifts are intended to hit the glutes.

Weekly Booty by Bret Flow:

Booty by Bret utilizes a periodization strategy called “effort wave loading” across 4 weeks, wherein week 1 starts off with a deload week, then each week gradually increases in effort, ending with week 4 included max effort (RPE10) with the goal of hitting PRs. While the framework of the workouts are consistent throughout each month, the workouts get harder each week via applying the concept of progressive overload. In most cases, increasing the amount of weight you lift will mediate the reps in reserve week to week, and in doing so, you will hit PRs along the way. For isolation lifts, you may need to keep the weight the same throughout the month and aim to add a rep each week – this is perfectly acceptable and encouraged. A good indicator you’re lifting as hard as is intended is if you feel like you need to deload by the end of week 4. The week-by-week breakdown can be conceptualized as follows:

Week 1: [Deload week]

  • 3-5RIR on each set
  • Focus on learning the flow of each week
  • Experiment with weight to figure out how heavy you’ll need to go in future weeks
  • Take time to perfect form on familiar exercises

 Week 2: [ramp up week]

  • 2-4RIR on each set
  • You should feel like your form is being challenged but not breaking down – this should be a very “sustainable” level of effort while still being difficult

 Week 3: [match old PRs]

  • RIR1-2 on each set
  • While it’s unlikely you will match PRs on every exercise and every set, this week you should feel like you need to get psyched up before each set. Under normal conditions, you should be within 5% of your all time PRs

 Week 4: [max effort]

  • RIR0-2 on each set
  • Aim to set a new PR on at least one set of each compound exercise
  • By the end of this week, you should feel exhausted and looking forward to deloading

Daily Booty by Bret Flow:

We recommend watching the daily workout videos to get an idea of specifics within each exercise. You can fast forward through specific chapters which pertain to the exercise option you’re doing (A,B, or C option) to cut down on time. Similarly, an overview of the “why” can be found in the Your Program tab. 


To start, review the Warmup tab to begin the workouts. The PDFs only refer to the amount of working sets that you’re doing, which you’ll want to do perform ascending sets prior to the first (which don’t count towards your working sets). It’s important to note that warming up only aims to optimize your performance while decreasing injury risk - you shouldn’t feel fatigued or pumped after your warmup phase.

Following the Workout:

While all of the workouts are displayed on their respective split variation under the “Your Program” tab, we recommend downloading either the PDF or spreadsheet to view the workouts, as additional details are given.


Within the PDF, you will find individual tables for each workout, with each row representing the exercise in chronological order, and each column representing the exercise option. For each exercise category, you’re only selecting ONE exercise option based on your gym availability and preference. The PDF formats everything as “sets * reps” underneath the exercise name. Each exercise is hyperlinked to the respective video in the exercise library. You are completing ALL of the sets for each number before moving onto the next row, resting for the given time for each exercise category. For an example, please see below:

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Get in touch

We hope you enjoy the Booty By Bret program. If you have any questions then please get in touch with our friendly customer service team by emailing admin@bretcontreras.com - we are here to help!

Alternatively, you can also view the FAQ for answers to a range of frequently asked questions.