By Chris Martinez CISSN and Eric Martinez CISSN. Attention ladies and gentleman! You say you want a nice butt; you want people’s jaws to drop when they see you walk by, and you talk about how you’re going to get your butt in great shape. Well here’s your opportunity to get that booty that you’ve always desired. When you’re in the gym, have these tips on a note pad, journal, I Pod, smart phone, on your training partners butt, or better yet have them ingrained in your head. Here are 6 tips that will get your glutes to salute! Guys put your egos aside and read on, if you only knew how important it is for men to have strong glutes. Check out this kick-a$$ glute workout!
#1 Activate your glutes properly!
It’s imperative that we take 15-20 minutes to properly warm our bodies up and activate our glute muscles, remember they are the steering wheel to your lower body and they deserve to be activated. Keeping this muscle healthy, strong, active, and full ROM (range of motion) is key for a successful training protocol overall, not just for your lower body, but for your upper body and for the long run most importantly. With the sedentary lifestyles these days, most people never activate their glute muscles; therefore this beautiful muscle is never used. We recommend doing “Monster walks” or “Sumo walks” exercises prior to resistance training. These exercises involve walking in semi-squat postures with resistance bands placed on the forefeet in order to involve the gluteal muscles and the tensor fascia latae (TFL). We promise you these will burn and fire up those booty muscles!
Take home message: Activate your glutes properly before resistance training to fully engage all of the glute muscles.
#2 You want a firm butt, hit some damn weight then!
If you are one of those people that believe in traditional bodyweight circuits being able to shape the glutes sufficiently, then you probably need to go ask the Kardashian girls for some glute advice. Beginners are probably the only people that can get away with body weight circuits because their glutes get a great stimulation from not being used to any type of muscular adaption in that region. As you get experienced, your body becomes more advanced, this is where you need to overload the glutes with weights in order to stimulate muscle growth. As you progress, add in more challenging exercises that include using weights so you increase strength, get that full muscle stimulation, and growth in the glute muscles.
Take home message: You need to overload the glutes to get them to grow folks. Body weight or magazine workouts aren’t gonna cut it.
#3 Get your booty under a bar and thrust!
Enter the highly underrated, but extremely effective barbell hip thrust. The barbell hip thrust was invented by Bret Contreras, aka “the glute guy.” He said “When the knees stay bent, the hamstrings are placed in “active insufficiency,” which means that they’re shortened and cannot contract with maximal force. Since the hamstrings can’t produce sufficient force, more work is placed upon the glutes to get the job done. This is why bent legged hip extension exercises such as bridge patterns work so well in hammering the glutes.” So, allowing your knees to stay bent, this leaves less of a tendency for your hamstrings to activate and take over the workout. This evidently leads to your glutes firing and getting more stimulation. When placing a barbell with weight under your belly button and thrusting up in the bridge position, this leads to a great workout by overloading the glutes with weight and targeting the gluteus maximus.
Take home message: If you want to isolate the glutes without any hip or quad involvement then get under a bar and thrust!
#4 Squat deep or go home!
Uh Ohhh…Squat deep or go home time! Research shows that adding resistance to a body weight squat only stimulates the glutes to around 30-40% MVC (maximum voluntary contraction). Okay… but exactly how much resistance, what kind of volume, reps, frequency, and squatting technique are we talking here? Our point is, this research was most likely done on an average Joe or untrained subject and they probably squatted quarter squat style, where they basically stimulate nothing but the quad muscles. However, if you squat deep, past parallel, you will get much more MVC stimulation in the gluteus muscles and hamstring muscles. Not to mention full range of motion squats puts more TUT (Time under tension) on the Gluteus Maximus muscle as well (1). “The three primary components essential for muscle development are mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage,” states Brad Schoenfeld.
Take home message: If you aren’t buying any of this, just try a normal text book squat first or famous quarter squat, then a deep squat and then get back to us on which technique stimulated your glutes more.
#5 Don’t be afraid to train those buns more than once a week.
The gluteus maximus is an incredible muscle. It could and should be trained heavily on multiple days of the week. For optimal results, should be trained at least 2-3 days of the week. Why you ask? Research shows that glutes are not highly active during daily tasks such as walking, walking up the stairs, or getting up from a chair, maybe 10-15% glute activation at most. It’s because your hamstrings are over stimulating your gluteus maximus. Also, after a bout of resistance training, protein synthesis in skeletal muscle remains elevated for 48-72 hours. If the muscle is only trained once per week, then it will only be making new muscle tissue for 2-3 days post exercise. The rest of the week (4-5 days) it will be just sitting there, not growing. You might as well hit it again and maintain the growth response! So, this leaves the door wide open for you to train your glutes frequently. You must keep in mind that a lot of the frequency depends on how bad your glutes are lagging. If you have a Vida Guerra butt, then 1-2 days of glute training should maintain it. If you have a Megan Fox butt (flat), then 3 to 4 days of glute training should be sufficient. If you’re in the middle of that, then 2-3 days of glute training should do it. Adjust accordingly to your booty.
Take home message: Don’t be afraid to train your glutes more than once a week, see how your booty responds to more frequency.
#6 How many reps to get that booty to pop you ask?
A couple of studies showed that the glutes are more slower twitch, than fast twitch: (2) gluteus maximus 68% slow, 32% fast and (3) gluteus maximus 52% slow, 48% fast. For this reason, lighter loads and body weight workouts may be of benefit when shaping the glutes. But, keep in mind that there are still fast twitch muscle fibers in the glutes and fast twitch muscle fibers have proven to be the most amenable to gains in size and strength. So, it’s important to overload the glutes with heavier weight and lower reps to activate all the gluteus maximus fibers.
Moreover, research by Goto et al. Shows that combinations of high and low intensity regimens are effective for optimizing the strength adaptation of muscle in a periodized training program (4). So, you must not leave out higher reps either because higher reps will really fire up the glutes, deplete glycogen, and give you that pump. So, it’s important to include all rep ranges when training your glutes. Anywhere from 4-6 reps, 8-12 reps, 15-25 reps, and sometimes 30-50 reps, so you can activate all your gluteus maximus fibers.
Take home message: See what rep range ultimately works for you. Just because a book or study says to do lower or higher reps, doesn’t mean you have to stick to that. Everyone’s body is different and reacts differently to certain rep ranges. So try all rep ranges and see what works best for your booty.
Now that you have these 6 tips to get your glutes to salute mastered down, keep in mind that these are tips and methods that we practice and preach when it comes to glute training with us and clients. There are other great tips, methods, and approaches out there on training glutes and from other coaches. But, we feel that these 6 tips can really be a game changer, in this context, a real booty changer for you! Just remember that to always keep an open mind to training your glutes and to not get stagnant with one method or style of training because there could be some sort of training out there that could bring jaw dropping results to your behind! Last but not least, guys, really take these tips into consideration because strong glutes can have a carryover effect on deadlifts, squats, sprinting, jumping, posture, etc. Oh and by the way, women don’t want a guy with a flat butt!
Chris Martinez, BA, CISSN, CPT – Co-Owner/Founder of Dynamic Duo Training www.dynamicduotraining.com
“Live a Dynamic Lifestyle”
(1) Burd et al. Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. J Physiology. 2012
(2) Sirca and Susec-Michieli. Selective type II fibre muscular atrophy in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip. J Neurol Sci. 1980 Jan.
(3) Johnson et al. 1973
(4) Goto et al. Muscular adaptions to combinations of high and low intensity resistance exercises. J Strength Conditioning. 2004