(This article was featured at Muscle and Strength.)
If there is one part of the body that makes or breaks a physique, it is a well-developed gluteus maximus aka rear/butt/booty/donk/derrière.
Even an otherwise well-developed physique looks incomplete with pancake glutes.
Genetics is the father of how your glutes will naturally look, BUT you can maximize your genes through proper training and nutrition methodology. And I am the good doctor (the Glute Doctor actually) who is going to show you the way.
Genetics will be the author of how your book (your glutes) reads without editing (training/nutrition).
Some of us are born with naturally flat butts. I am one of them.
Some of us are born with naturally round rumps. Think Serena Williams or Jennifer Lopez. When you look at certain athletes in certain sports, the glutes stand out more especially in track and field.
Sprinters have the best glutes in the world. A sprinters’ training revolves around sprints and heavy lower body lifts. When I arrived in college I was 135lbs of nothing but bones.
After 3 years of running track and developing my training programs, I was 155lbs with glutes higher and tighter than a military fade. We all have the potential to develop glutes, but it will take time and patience.
The Moves That Will Literally Save Your Arse
Sprints are the ultimate training movement. If I could do 3 movements for the rest of my life, sprints would be my first choice. If you are not sprinting as a part of your training regimen, you are LOSING BADLY.
Injuries that prevent you from sprinting today can be overcome with a proper protocol. As far as being lean and having a super booty go, there is no equal move.
When I ran track, sprints were most responsible for building my legs. If building up some serious glutes while burning fat sounds appealing to you, then you should keep reading!
If you are not sprinting as part of your training and hopping on that lame treadmill/elliptical again I advise you to make the change…unless you enjoy being Pamela Pancake.
Barbell Hip Thrusts
Hip Thrusts are the number 1 barbell glute movement in the book. Period.
This move was brought to the forefront by Bret Contreras in 2009. And shortly after reading his classic article “Dispelling the Glute Myth,” I began to implement the barbell hip thrust into my training protocols.
I WISH I would have known about this movement during my track days. What a difference it could have made!
One of my female athletes hip thrusted 325lbs @ 120lbs bodyweight. By the way, she is 19! And her speed on the track improved greatly. I am a big believer in this movement and have used it in my training protocols since 2010.
For women who are looking to truly add shape, size, and curves to your backside then THIS is the move for you.
For men looking to perform better on the field or faster on track then THIS move is for you. There is no reason why the hip thrust should not be a part of your regular fitness regimen.
Check out my 48-year-old client, the Glute Queen hit 365lb at only 124lbs bodyweight in the video below. There is a reason why she is the Glute Queen!
Barbell or Dumbbell Lunges (Walking or Reverse)
Lunges are very tough mentally and physically, but they are very good for the glutes. The advantage of the barbell version vs. the dumbbell version is that you can really load up good weight without having to worry about your hands. Your grip will always quit before your legs do.
Most gyms do not have the spacing to allow for true barbell walking lunges, but you can perform them in the squat rack by stepping into the lunge and then stepping back. By adding a forward stretch (the stretch lunge to be exact) you can truly stress the glutes in a major way.
If you do not have access to a barbell or want a change of pace, the dumbbell lunge will serve you extremely well too. Your back knee must contact the floor for the lunge to count. Remember the glutes are what get you out of the hole.
Squats are at the top of the list for overall movements and leg movements for good reason. The only problem with squats is that MOST folks do not squat below parallel and into the bucket. You cannot get proper glute activation when you perform worthless high squats.
You will see many a meathead squat with excessive weights and horrific form. And most times they will also have pipes as legs. If their legs are big however, you can be guaranteed that they are no stranger to certain “tonics.”
Leave your ego at home and get into the bucket to truly stress the glutes. Just like with lunges, the glutes are what will push you out of the hole when it comes to squatting.
You will have to lower the weight initially to get deeper BUT you will hit the glutes much harder and force them to grow! You can view these moves in the video below:
Of course, knowing is only a third of the battle. Execution and planning make up the rest. How can you use these movements as part of your scheme to produce results?
I will share a basic protocol below. You will replace your regular leg day with this glute specific scheme. You can perform your normal upper body training.
Fitman Standard Glute Scheme
1 Lower Body Day and 1 Sprint Day (Separate by 72 hours. If you perform legs on Monday, perform the sprints Thursday or Friday.)
- Barbell Squat 5×5, rest 90 seconds between sets
- Barbell Hip Thrust SUPERSET with Dumbbell Lunge 3 or 4 sets x 8-12 reps, Rest 45-75 seconds between moves and 1:30-2 minutes between sets.
Day 2-Perform either option A or B. Not both.
- Option A-Hill Sprints x 6-10 reps: There a great hill around my area at Upper Moreland High School. The “U.” The “U” has no friends and has repeatedly made me scream for years. It is about 350-400 meters long. I have done intervals from 25-400 meters.
- For you, find an incline hill, and alternate the distance each week. I recommend 30-100 yards. Rest is the walk back.
- Option B-50 Meter Sprint x 6-10 reps: Very simple scheme here. Find a track, get warmed up thoroughly, and run very fast for 50 meters. The rest is the walk back to the start line. For a warm up to prepare you for sprinting, check out the video below.
Fitman Advanced Glute Scheme
2 Lower Body Days and 1 Sprint Day (The ideal split for this is Mon/Thu/Sat or Tues/Fri/Sun. My preference is to go Day 1 on Monday, the sprint day on Thursday, and Day 2 on Saturday)
- Barbell Squat 5×5, rest 90 seconds between sets
- Barbell Hip Thrust SUPERSET with Glute Ham Raise 5×6, Rest 45-75 seconds between moves and 1:30-2 minutes between sets.
- Barbell RDL 5×10, rest 90 seconds between sets
- Barbell Hip Thrust SUPERSET with Dumbbell Lunges 5×10, Rest 45-75 seconds between moves and 1:30-2 minutes between sets.
Day 3-Perform option A or B. Not both.
- Option A-Flying 30 meter sprint x 6-8 reps. You will run these on the turn leading into the straightaway. Accelerate into the turn, and you should be full speed by the time you reach the 100-meter start line. Rest is the walk back.
- Option B-10 x 100 meter sprints. You should be sprinting at about 75-85 percent of your max speed. If you do not know 100 meter dash time, then have someone time it for you. If not, just run hard 10 times! Rest is the walk back.
Even if you were born with the serious condition known as Nassatol (pronounced Na-Si-Tol), there is hope. By performing these basic movements and this basic scheme over time, anyone is capable of developing rounder and more powerful glutes.
To gain mass in your glutes while using this scheme, you will want to increase your calories so that you can build more muscle. Remember the strength and growth you want will not occur with a haphazard nutrition plan.
I promise you that great changes are going to come whether you want better performance or just want to look better in those jeans. And fellas, the ladies are watching you in those jeans. Being known Frank Flat will never be acceptable!