You want to build the perfect booty?
Of course you do. No one ever wrote a song about a small ass! Or at least, that’s how the saying goes.
In case you missed Part 1, we talked about why glute specific training is necessary (because in reality, it’s about more than aesthetics). So without further ado, let’s get into this; we have a lot to cover.
1.) Practice higher frequency
The best way to trigger muscle growth in this area is to train these three muscles more often. A traditional body split training (i.e. Chest & triceps day, Back and Abs day) doesn’t allow you to hit this muscle group that often, limiting their growth potential. However, consistent exposure to these exercises will simulate muscle growth and get you better and stronger at those exercises. The exercises won’t always be the same each day, but you can safely train the glutes 3-4x a week.
2.) Think high volume
High volume training pertains to the amount of sets and reps one does in each workout. To build those buns, you want to train the big-bang-for-your-buck exercises first in your training session before hitting up accessory work or isolation exercises. For the big lifts like bench press, deadlift, squat or chin-ups, work within 4-6 sets and 5-8 rep scheme. Once you move to more glute-focused training like the single-leg hip thrust or barbell hip thrust, you can increase the number of reps from 8-10 (if using heavy weights) to 15-30 reps (if using bands or bodyweight).
As an example, you might start your workout with heavy squats for 5 sets and 5 reps. The accessory work afterwards might look something like this:
A.) Barbell squat (5×5)
B1.) Barbell hip thrust (5×12)
C1.) Banded clamshells (4×15)
C2.) Stability ball hamstring curls (4×15)
D1.) Frog pumps (3×25)
Note: This is not a real program. It’s just a birds-eye view of the volume I’d throw in for certain exercises.
3.) Use a variety of tools
There is no single way to build strong glutes, which makes it super fun to train because you have a variety of tools to play with. Barbells, dumbbells, stability balls, gliders, bands, bodyweight, kettlebells, and of course, explosive movements like jumping and sprinting. I mean, you can really go nuts with this. In this case, it’d be a damn shame to stick to one machine or one exercise over and over. If you want a strong, sexy booty, you must try different exercises and tools to stimulate muscle growth. Play around with different tools in the accessory part of your workout and track those exercises so you can assess how your ASSets respond. One of my favorite ways to create a pump in my glutes at the end of a workout, is hitting them hard with bands in the high rep range. It’s simple yet effective and makes my booty grow.
4.) Train from a variety of angles
Given that three muscles make up the glutes, it behooves you to train them in all planes of motion. After all, your butt does a lot more than just look good. When training, consider exercises that move you beyond the saggital plan (back and forth). Hit up some side to side movements like side shuffles, side lunges, lateral box step-ups or jumps, monster walks, clamshells, etc. The biggest mistake people make is sticking to the same exercises in the same plane without ever recruiting the other muscles or twitch fibers in a workout. Spice it up!
5.) Build a strength base first
I get a lot of questions about how to build a perkier, bigger butt from women who spend most training hours doing things like barre, Pilates, BodyPump or excessive cardio. All these things are fun and worthwhile, but for the purpose of building dat ass, it’s not doing you any favors.
If you have weak glutes or are new to lifting weights, Pilates is a great way to build body awareness and teach you how to activate your glutes so you’re not walking around with “dead ass” all the time. However, Pilates will not build the strong, powerful, round butt you’re craving, and this is coming from a Pilates instructor. Classes like BodyPump, which focuses on muscular endurance, or running on the treadmill has the opposite affect on your derrière too. Building your booty = muscle building. Excessive endurance training cancels out all that muscle building work and your booty hard earned #gainz.
There’s no need to ditch the classes or exercises you love, just scale them back and prioritize strength training instead. Having a strong foundation of the basic lifts puts you at an advantage too, allowing faster recovery and less injury.
6.) Lift heavy…sometimes
This point requires some clarification because you know I’m all about heavy lifting. If you want to grow that beautiful butt you have to spend some part of your training on heavy lifts. This includes the big lifts (deadlifts, squats, press, etc.) and some accessory work. There’s no need to go to failure every set. In fact, you can scale back on the heavy weights in your accessory work depending on the tools you’re using and how many sets/reps you have. For example, I might start out with a heavy set of squat and barbell hip thrusts. The kind of heavy that hurts your soul, know what I mean? The accessory work, which might include lateral walks, inverted rows, and step ups, might feature a moderate set of weights in the 10-12 rep range, and some bands for 12-15 reps. It’s not fancy but it’s effective. The heavy weights stimulate muscle growth, strength and technique while my high rep exercises give me a nice pump. Who doesn’t love that?
7.) Carb it up
Nutrition is an absolute must for muscle building. If you’re training heavy and at high volume, your body needs the right nutrients to support protein synthesis and recovery and make that booty grow. Carbs get a bad rep but they are not the enemy! Bad science is. On your training days, aim to get your carbs right after your workout if you can along with plenty of protein and vegetables throughout the day. Nutrition is essential for any goal, so don’t go pounding back donuts because you hit a 115lb hip thrust (which is awesome by the way! Go with your bad self!). Be smart with your nutrition and recovery so you can see all that hard work take shape.
My love, don’t get trapped by the Smith machine or walk around in ankle weights hoping your booty will grow. Train with purpose and hit these 7 principles in your training to get the results you want. Stay tuned for Part 3 because I have so much more in store!