Go to any public place and take a gander at the different glute sizes and shapes of people passing by. Many individuals have what Stu McGill would call “gluteal amnesia” as their glutes don’t fire properly. This is usually accompanied by marked atrophy, or very little glute development. Given that America is roughly 2/3 overweight or obese, you’ll see a lot of fat covering up those hips too.
But every once in a while, you’ll see a diamond in the rough. A set of athletic and shapely glutes sparkling in the crowd. What created this incredibly pair of glutes? Is it genetics, or hard work?
A recent study by German researchers examined the muscle volume of the gluteus maximus in 45 men and 48 women. The graph below shows the results.
As you can see, men have greater glute size than women. But what I find most interesting is the wide variation of glute size between individuals. One man had 198 ccm of gluteus maximus muscle volume, while another had 958 ccm. This means that one guy was walking around with nearly 5 times bigger glutes than another guy!
If you’re lucky and have great glute genetics, then good for you! All you need to do is stay lean and your butt will look amazing. Eat reasonably well and stay active (even just doing cardio) and your butt will continue to look great year in and year out. But if you’re unlucky and have poor glute genetics, your only hope is the information and advice contained within this website! Folks with this disposition will need to build their hip thrust like crazy in order to just have normal glute development.
But rest assured, with hard work, intelligent training, and consistency, everyone can dramatically improve the size and shape of their glutes. I’ve done it myself, and I’ve helped thousands of others do it as well.
Preininger B, Schmorl K, von Roth P, Winkler T, Matziolis G, Perka C, Tohtz S. The sex specificity of hip-joint muscles offers an explanation for better results in men after total hip arthroplasty. Int Orthop. 2012;36(6):1143-8.