How to grow your Glutes 101
Glute training has exploded in popularity over the past few years, not only through models and fitness influencers on Instagram, butt mainly the leading research by Bret Contreras - "The Glute Guy". If you don't already, follow his social media for the latest advancements in glute training.
Over the past 4 years I have studied the muscles, the training protocols and applied what I have learned on myself and countless clients to great success, not only for aesthetic purposes - but injury prevention/rehabilitation, posture improvement and athletic performance.
Here is a simple guide that is proven to work and what I almost always come back to when the goal is to grow a bountiful booty...
#1 Target them directly
Squats will contribute to development, *butt* hip extension focussed exercises are where the money is at - hip thrusts, deadlift variations, hyperextensions (pictured).
#2 Target them often
3x per week
4-8 sets per session
Varying rep ranges (3-5, 8-12, 15-20+)
A day resting them between each session works very well for my clients and allows them to get the most out of their specific sets. Training them every single day, or with too much volume can't stall growth as exercise is a stress on the body after all - you must allow them time to rebuild and grow through recovery.
#3 Train for strength
You need to force adaptation/growth through stimulation. Bodyweight exercises and cable kickbacks alone will not do that.
Log your sets, reps and weights and aim to improve in some way each time you repeat that session or exercise.
Plus, have you ever seen somebody who can squat very heavy weights without some kind of glute development?
Focus on getting strong.
#4 Feed the booty
If you aren’t eating enough calories, and your protein intake isn’t adequate - it will take much, much longer to see progress.
A good rule of thumb is to aim to consume 1g of protein per 1lb of your bodyweight to help preserve or build muscle.
Most people can be in a slight calorie surplus by multiplying their bodyweight (lbs) by 15-17.
However, the most accurate method would be to track your current daily calories, and presuming your bodyweight has been maintaining at that average intake - increase by 150kcal and monitor your progress for 14 days. If there is no change and you have been consistent, increase by another 150kcal until you see slight weight gain.
#5 Supplement with abduction
Hip abduction simply put is taking your knee away from your body to the side (think if you're sat down and you separate your legs). I say supplement as the muscles targeted (gluteus medius) here are much smaller than the gluteus maximus, and serve greater purpose in joint health.
Knee-banded exercises should be sprinkled in and not the primary focus of your program if your goal is to grow the glutes in size. The majority of my clients, especially those who spent long hours sat driving or at desks, will implement hip abduction drills into their warm-ups.
#6 Be patient
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will day ass.” - Josh McDool, circa 2016.