Gluteal Goddess Workout

By August 19, 2010 Glute Training

Since she’d seen such bootiful results, I recently convinced one of my female online training clients to come to BCSC (aka Bret’s Garage) and let me film her training session. It wasn’t a big deal as she lives about 30 minutes away from me. Her name is Kellie Davis, and let me tell you she has one hell of a backside! Here’s a close-up:

Relax tigers! She’s happily married. Kellie recently begun figure modeling and has quickly transformed her physique. She hasn’t even been training for two years and she already looks better than most figure models who have been training for half their lives. What’s her secret? Getting strong at the best exercises!

I had never trained Kellie in person but I’d seen her workout journals and some video clips of her training. I wanted to know how her form looked when going heavy. This was a great experience for both of us as she received some good feedback on her form and I received some good training clips to illustrate that a strong booty equals a nice booty.

All in all I was very impressed with her form and natural strength levels. Most video clips I get from online clients are absolutely atrocious…anterior weight shift, valgus collapse, coming up onto forefeet, folding like an accordion, rounding the low back, not using full ROM, etc. So Kellie’s form is very good considering that she’s never yet worked with a trainer in person. I told her she needs to work on keeping her neck in neutral position during squats and deadlifts (many women find this difficult as it feels normal to them…they’ve developed some sort of ingrained extensor reflex that requires them to move down in weight when they try to fix the problem), lift more smoothly rather than jerky on the first rep of the deadlift, push through her heels during her inital rep of hip thrusts, use slightly more ROM down low in the hip thrust, and use slightly less ROM up top during back extensions. I didn’t get to experiment much with foot positioning on squats but she may find squatting easier if she flared her feet more and “sat” in between her hips.

What’s great is that you can tell that Kellie knows how to use her glutes. You can really see them kicking in during her back extensions and pendulum quadruped hip extensions.

A beginner female glute workout (assuming she’s relatively fit) at BCSC might consist of:

bodyweight box squats 2 x 20
bodyweight double leg Skorcher hip thrusts 2 x 20
bodyweight walking lunges 2 x 20
bodyweight 45 degree hypers 2 x 20

Over time we keep going up in the three R’s: repetitions, range of motion, and resistance. When someone can do 20 reps of something, I move them up in ROM (for example – go higher on step ups, go lower on box squats, etc.) or add resistance (for example – have them hold onto a dumbbell in the goblet position during box squats, place a barbell in their lap during hip thrusts, etc.). When the time is right, I introduce new exercises and exercise variations.

An advanced glute workout at BCSC might consist of:

barbell full squats 2 x 8
barbell deadlifts 2 x 5
barbell hip thrusts 2 x 10
weighted back extensions 2 x 20
dumbbell walking lunges 2 x 20

In subsequent workouts, I may substitute box squats or front squats for full squats. I may substitute hex bar deadlifts, good mornings, Romanian deadlifts, or single leg RDL’s for deadlifts. I may substitute barbell glute bridges, single leg hip thrusts, or pendulum quadruped hip extensions for barbell hip thrusts. I may substitute weighted 45 degree hypers, band 45 degree hypers, reverse hypers, or single leg back extensions for weighted back extensions. Finally, I may substitute high step ups, Bulgarian squats, reverse lunges, or pistols for dumbbell walking lunges. Sometimes I get creative and throw in band hip rotations, band seated abductions, sled pushes, kettlebell swings, etc.

The idea is to become very strong over time. Kellie has gotten much stronger and her glutes have responded quite favorably to this increased strength. Here’s a video of her workout.

225 lb hip thrusts! That just happened. Kellie’s glutes are stronger than those of most men. If all women trained like this, the world would be a much better place!

86 Comments

  • Truet says:

    I have been following your work since you first popped up on T-Nation. Thank you for all of your contributions to the strength and conditioning world. Since your first articles on glute training, I have seen improvements in all of my female clients, ages from 25 to 55. And you have helped me increase my female clientele business to four additional hours per week. That equates to an additional $1,040 a month 🙂

  • All I can say is wow! I’m inspired! Thanks for that video.

  • John says:

    Where can I get the pad used in the hip thruster?

  • Joanne says:

    Fab article – Thanks to Kellie for doing this! Inspiring indeed, good to see the girls bringing it.

  • Karli says:

    Great showcase of your workouts. Plus I love that she’s rockin’ the Vibrams!!!

  • Mark Furner says:

    Bret ,
    Wow, she is really ,really” Very” impressive and inspiring at the same time. Bret ,you really know the fitness game well. Im becoming addict of the stuff your putting out there. Im slowly adding things and working on flexabilty alot more than I have in years. Im a visual person ,so when I see it I can do better when I do it. I stopped using a training log and havent video taped myself in along time, since my boxing or martial arts days , but I think I’ll start doing both again. I train my 18 year old son too, so were both following your stuff pretty close. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!!

  • kdavis27 says:

    Thanks for all of the wonderful feedback! Working with Bret has completely changed the way I think about training. Prior to my meeting him, I was stuck in a rut of high volume training bogged down with supersets, giant sets, and metabolic circuits. Essentially, it was overkill and very taxing on my growth.

    Bret introduced me to his methodology and within two weeks my physique had completely changed. He lowered my volume and really focused on increasing my strength. Just by switching focus, I grew bigger and stronger all at once.

    Each week I train with him, I set new records. Even since we filmed this video a couple weeks ago, I have added 30 lbs to my hip thrusts and 10 lbs to my deadlift. The past 4 months have been my most successful months of training and I go into the gym everyday ready to shatter ceilings previously placed above me.

    Since training with Bret, I have put on considerable size in my glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, pretty much every muscle group. I have leaned down considerably, all while maintaining the exact same weight I started at. I have accomplished all of this without any sports supplements (not even whey or casein), and without meticulously measuring foods, timing meals, or cutting calories.

    All of this was accomplished through Bret’s advanced training methods (I will let him explain that since he knows what the hell he is talking about), and strong work ethic. I trust him every step of the way, and without question, it is working.

  • shg says:

    great article bret, thanks for providing all these great videos! they are really helpful!

    you rock;_))))

  • kdavis27 says:

    PS- I even have my husband hooked. He started training with Bret recently, so we will soon be the Glute God and Goddess. Does that make Bret a Titan?

  • Bret and Kellie thanks for the video and keep up the good work!

  • Matias says:

    She’s a beast! Bret do you ever have her do sprints? It would be interesting to me to see what her times are. You know, just for fun.

    • Matias, I don’t have her do sprints. I have journal research that shows that sprints interfere with biochemical pathways involved in muscle growth. While sprints will help pack on mass for beginners, it can actually negatively impact more advanced lifters in terms of hypertrophy. That’s why the bodybuilders don’t sprint or do plyos – the risk isn’t worth the benefits.

      • Matias says:

        Thank you Brett, I’ll pay more attention to that. Though I would have never thought that sprints aren’t good for aesthetic reasons. I’ve seen some good looking ass sprinters…lol .

        How about your niece? Since you train her like an athlete, would sprints be good for her?

        • Matias, you’re correct, most sprinters have great glutes. I attribute this to sprinting (anteroposterior load vector which loads the hips through a considerable ROM) as well as their training (plyos, Oly lifts, squats, etc.). And of course, they are genetically elite so sprinters with great glute power would rise to the top and “skew” the public’s perception (there are plenty of people who sprint, squat, lunge, etc. who do not have nice glutes). However, if I had six months to maximize someone’s glute hypertrophy, I wouldn’t have them sprint. I’d make it all strength training…types of squats, deads, bridges, lunges, etc. Strength training has less of an RFD/elastic component, more TUT, an eccentric phase under more ROM, more “limit strength” oriented, more conducive to hypoxia/occlusion for a pump, etc. For all of these reasons I like hip thrusts over sprinting for max glute hypertrophy. However, if one wasn’t doing hip thrusts and was just squatting, lunging, and deadlifting (the traditional route), then sprinting would add some additional hypertrophy due to the anteroposterior vector and glutes getting worked from a “hips-neutral” position (and even into hip hyperextension in some sprinters…though most don’t reach this zone).

          As for my niece, of course sprints are good for her! Sprints are truly good for everyone. For athletes they’re a must. For those solely seeking physique changes or hypertrophy, they’re optional. For fat loss, interval sprints are cream of the crop but I prefer aiming at diet changes for fat loss and trying to hold onto strength (without doing too much cardio, HIIT, complexes, tabatas, intervals, circuits, etc.). Since she’s a volleyball player and might run track next year, then sprints are a must for her.

      • Matias says:

        Excuse with the double “t”, Bret.

    • kdavis27 says:

      Challenge accepted 🙂

  • Eric Buratty says:

    Bret,

    This was awesome! I believe you can narrow down the wording of your statement even more:

    “If all women (and men) trained with this kind of work ethic, the world would be a much better place.”

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Eric

  • Mark Young says:

    I can picture this conversation:

    Bret: I know you’re an online client, but I think we should get together so I can take a close up shot of your butt and then videotape your workout.

    Kellie: Are you sure that is really necessary? I am a married woman.

    Bret: Yes, it is especially important that I analyze your glutes up close and in person and get photos/video to prove it. You success is dependent on this.

    lol.

    Just kidding. Great job Kellie! Keep killing it Contreras style.

  • felixuhlirach says:

    Holy F-ing Shit!! Out-fricking-standing, Ms. Davis, and Kudos, Senor Contreras! That does it, I’m officially moving to AZ to train at BCSC. Very impressive!!

    One extremely minor suggestion. Lock up that left supinated elbow on the DL’s..I need to watch again, but looks like a slight soft bend which could translate to some bicep tendon issues. .

    Thanks for the motivational vid! Shit, I gots to go get my train on now!!

    • Great call Felix! I should have mentioned that in the blog. Her workout is very inspiring indeed!

    • kdavis27 says:

      If I could chime in… I have overly flexible tendons and ligaments in my elbows. I tend not to completely lock them when deadlifting because when locking my elbows, they actually flex beyond a natural position. But, thank you for making a note of it for other lifters.

      • felixuhlirach says:

        Hi Kellie, clearly you know what you are doing, so hopefully I didn’t overstep. Everybody on the internet is a critic, ha..

        I am extremely impressed and inspired by your drive and determination. Not only with your training intensity, but also with your mastery of all of the lifts. Your form is terrific.

        Sometimes I wonder if women are genetically different than men with regards to flexibility, mobility, tendon length, etc.

        Regarding your propensity to lean out too quickly, is this possibly due to not using supplemental protein shakes? I think you mentioned before that you don’t use any supplementation whatsoever incl. protein.. Could I ask why? Again, not a critique, just honestly curious. As hard as you train, I could see where recovery could become a challenge.

        All the best to you and Bret..Fantastic work!

      • kdavis27 says:

        Hi Felix,

        Definitely not overstepping 🙂 I just have crazy elbows.

        Supplements: I used to take them. I tried many different supps on and off for years. I grew tired of the regimen and all of the side effects. Slowly I weaned myself off each one, taking note of any changes I felt. All of my changes were for the better. When I started working with Bret, I challenged myself to see if I could still make progress without taking anything. So far, so good.

        As far as leaning out too fast, I would have this problem in previous shows even when I was taking supplements. I cram into my daily regimen whey, casein, creatine, BCAAs, Beta-alanine, GABA, you name it. I still leaned out very quickly. Now I just eat 🙂

        Sorry to hijack your blog, Bret.

      • Matias says:

        Lol… my girl is the same way. Her locked elbows extend further back.

  • Neal W. says:

    Great stuff, Bret! I’m sure that her husband is very thankful for your services!

    Anyways, I have a request. I’d love to here your thoughts on strength training for grappling arts (bjj, mma, wrestling) and your position on the lumbar flexion debate in relation to grappling.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Haha! I’m sure he is too. That’s a very good question Neal and one that I should definitely address. I’m actually working on an article about that topic if I can ever get around to finishing it.

  • Peter says:

    Nice stuff, thanks, Bret! Two questions – did you build that bench for the scorcher 1-leg hip thrusts, or is that commercially available and what is that song playing on the video?

    • Peter, we do single leg hip thrusts, band hip thrusts, barbell hip thrusts, and band plus barbell hip thrusts off the Skorcher. The Skorcher is not commercially available, sorry! You can do the single leg hip thrust off of two benches though. The song is I’m Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphies. Thanks!

  • Bob McSweeney says:

    Bret,

    While I don’t discount your comment about having found research showing that sprints interfere with biochemical pathways involved in muscle growth (it would be interesting to see how much sprinting we’re talking about here), I’d have to think a large reason why most bodybuilders rarely, if ever, bother with it is because they’re just not all that good at it and would likely end up unintentionally injuring themselves before seeing much benefit from them.

    On a related note, I personally would view sprinting as, if anything, mostly a wake-up call for the CNS, at least when physique development is the primary goal. And even in that context, it would hardly seem necessary, unless of course the person had a specific reason for wanting/needing to be engaging in short sprints.

    • kdavis27 says:

      Great insight! Historically, I have always been a sprinter and am still quite good at it though I do not practice on a regular basis. I know a ton of bodybuilding coaches shy away from it as a means to lean down competitors. However, more and more figure athletes are taking up sprinting as an added form of cardio.

      I love sprinting in my off-season. I know that Bret is careful with my cardio when training for a show because I tend to lean down rather quickly. That video was filmed in my off-season so you can visualize how tough it is for him to keep size on me before a show.

      Thanks again!

    • Bob – I agree; they’re not that good at it, they prepare their tissues to get good at slow, controlled movement, their elasticity isn’t that great, they have on average 30% less type II muscle fibers, being that large would place tremendous forces on their bodies…lots of reasons. The risk just isn’t worth the benefit for them especially considering that most would actually lose size. Many years back, when I started really learning about the science of strength training, I thought to myself, “bodybuilders should have phases where they do explosive stuff including plyos, ballistics, Oly lifts, sprints, etc. to train their nervous systems to be more efficient. They they should transition to a heavy strength phase, and finally move to a medium-high rep range phase for max hypertrophy.” As the years went on I realized that bodybuilders know what they’re doing and that the Weider methods suit them just fine. The use instinctive training and are always trying to feel the muscles working. For non-genetic-elite, strength plays more of a factor in hypertrophy (we have to focus on getting stronger rather than just pump the weights…bodybuilders can’t keep trying to get stronger every year or they’ll end up tearing something as most are already pretty darn strong. I think that prior to my hip thrusts, anyone who chose to sprint could see additional glute/hamstring growth, but my hip thrusts mimic the sprint pattern and allow for more controlled training with a concentric and eccentric phase and less explosion and room for injury. I hope it doesn’t seem that I’m bashing on sprinting; it’s the topic that I spend more time researching on than any other topic. But for max hypertrophy it’s not only unnecessary, but possibly counterproductive as there’s a high chance of injury.

  • Lee Remick says:

    Hi, Bret. A few questions….

    If you were working with a client (male or female) who was more interested in bring up a particular lift/maximizing performance in a given lift, say the deadlift or squat, would you go with more sets of the primary lift than in cases where you’re “spreading the wealth,” like the sample routines in this post?

    And speaking of spreading the wealth, do you ever split up the various glute-centric movements, perhaps performing fewer different movements in one session with more sets of the ones that are performed, over multiple sessions? i.e. instead of a routine like what you posted as an example of what an advanced glute workout might look like, start off one session with squats and the other with deadlifts and then include one or two of your other favorite glute movements in each of those sessions

    Obviously the samples listed are a fraction of a fraction of how you might program, so this question is entirely out of curiosity and not in the interest of creating confrontation.

    Lastly, and regarding your comment “Finally, I may substitute high step-ups, Bulgarian squats, reverse lunges, or pistols for dumbbell walking lunges,” are these grouped together on the basis of all being single-leg in nature and involving simultaneous hip and knee extension or is there another more prominent reason why these are grouped together in terms of making a substitution?

    Thank you for fielding my questions and for being so generous in sharing your knowledge. It’s an honor to learn from you, and your commitment to learning, extensive knowledge base, and willingness to contribute to the betterment of others are all reasons why you inspire me and make me realize just how much I need to up my own efforts.

    • Lee – of course! I’m a big fan of variety and for physique purposes I feel that people do too many sets of few movements rather than a couple sets of many movements. I think that the method you suggested would work fine (ex: squats and hip thrusts on day one, deadlifts and single leg hip thrusts on day two, and lunges and back extensions on day three). But I feel that I’m always trying to get my clients stronger on around fifteen different lower body lifts, and the more frequently they train those lifts the better results they’ll see. This, along with the fact that my clients prefer variety and enjoy working out more when they do more movements, explains why I stick to more movements and less sets per movement. However, I still think you could see excellent results doing it your way. Yes, I try to do around 2-3 knee-dominant single leg exercises per week. Thank you very much for the kind words!!!

  • Lee Remick says:

    Hi, Bret.

    With the high step-up in the video, do you think that step height and pushing off with the down leg is superior to going with a moderately lower step and using little to no push off from the down leg?

    I’ll often progress no higher than the client can go with almost no contribution from that down leg, while emphasizing hip flexion more so than with a more knee-dominant step-up, but perhaps I am missing the boat by not pushing the step height a bit more and worrying less about assistance from the down leg. In fact, I usually cue the client to lift the toes of the down leg foot up and turn the leg out slightly to mute its potential to contribute.

    • Lee, yes I do. I’ve heard all the arguments against the step up but in this case I feel that people should simply give it a try. Do you end up using some momentum? Yes. Does it work the glutes through a full ROM? Yes! Seriously it’s an amazing exercise…one that’s extremely underrated and underappreciated in my opinion. Lower step ups just don’t work the glutes like high step ups do.

      • felixuhlirach says:

        I thought this was an interesting question, so I had another look at the video. Then I looked at a video of myself doing a full ATG front squat, freezing the video at rock bottom position. Same joint angle!

        It occurs to me that from the core down, a high step up is essentially a single leg full front squat.

        Her butt is just above the level of her foot. So it seems to me that a full front squat compares to a high step up like a hip thrust compares to a single-leg hip thrust.

        More stable, and more effectively loaded. More taxing on the CNS.

        Both are great exercises.

  • Mark Furner says:

    Just curious, in propotion to her height , How many inches is she stepping up. I guess I mean what would be the ”standard” you’d use to determine the height for a step-up ,for the best glute activation for each individual. Like ,I think Im around 5-10 in regular shoes.I dont think Im as flexable as the lady in this video at this point , but what would be a good height for the best glute activation in general , or to get the most out of that exercise. Also, Im considering a 45 degree angle bench , can you tell me which muscle gets the most activation during this movement when done properly. Ive never done the 45 degree angle back raise ,so again just curious. Have you ever noticed that alot of the really good athletes seem to almost always have great glutes and hams?

    • Not sure Mark, I’d have to go out and measure…I have the holes on my Elitefts power rack taped off and marked. She’s stepping from the 16th hole. I make sure it’s not too high for their hip flexion ROM and that they don’t round their back. I’d want to put the thigh at above parallel, but the higher the better assuming you have good hip flexion and good balance/mechanics. As for the 45 degree hyper, it works a good blend of posterior chain; hams, glutes, and erector spinae. I use it very often with my clients. If you teach it right, it’s all hip extension. Clients must have good hamstring flexibility to be able to drop down to proper depth. Tell them to relax the erectors at the bottom of the lift, and while keeping the spine in that position (neutral), raise the torso by squeezing the glutes. When I get people doing them right they always remark that they’d never done them correctly, always used their low back, and never used their glutes. Of course, Charlie Francis said (about sprinters): “Looks right, flies right.”

  • paul says:

    hi bret,

    Good to see theres some practical sport scientists out here providing us with useful knowledge.

    I’m a sprints coach and will be using the hip thusts (single leg too), Back extension, reverse leg press, BSS, quarter BSS, and cable knee lift next season. In the max strength training phase ive split them up into 3 workouts…..

    Day 1. (‘MAX STRENGTH’)
    A1 Bulgarian split squat 4 x 6 e.l
    B1 Reverse Single leg press 4 x 6 e.l
    B2 DB bench 4 x 6
    C1 Single leg quarter squat 4 x 8 e.l
    C2 Chin ups 4 x 6

    Day 2:
    A1 Knee lift 4 x 5 e.l
    B1 Back extension + weight + band 4 x 5
    B2 Incline Bench press 3 x 5
    C1 Single leg back extension + weight + band 3 x 8 e.l
    C2 Inverted row 3 x 8

    Day 3:
    A1: Hip thrust 4 x 5
    A2: one arm row 3 x 6
    B1: Single leg hip thrust 4 x 6 e.l.
    B2: Chin ups 4 x 6

    How would you structure these lifts in terms of hip/knee dominant days?

    • Paul, how are you gonna do your reverse leg presses? Do you have a Universal machine? I’m more of a fan on equally distributing stress on various days, so I’d rather split up the Bulgarian squat and single leg quarter squat, split up the back extension and single leg back extension, and split up the hip thrust and single leg hip thrust. Maybe Bulgarian, rev leg press, and sl back ext on day one, back ext and sl hip thrust on day two, and hip thrust and sl 1/4 squat on day three. Upper body looks fine…though I’d consider throwing in a press on day 3. Going that low in reps on back extensions takes very skilled athletes. I can get away with it as I’ve been lifting for 19 years now but many athletes won’t get a lot out of that rep range until they’ve had some time to practice. In this case you might want to pyramid until they get better. Great questions!

  • paul says:

    Also bret, i purchased your ebook but have not recieved anything from last week, i may have gave you the wrong email. can you email your book please

  • paul says:

    Why do you split them up? My thoughts were to overload a group of muscles each day, maybe im wrong! Cheers for the guidance here.

    How would you structure a typical week of max strength for a guy with experienced squats/deadlifts/olympic lifts for international level sprinters?

    Reverse leg presses would be done on your standard leg press machine but standing with a foward lean. Also, would it be any good doing reverse hypers with your feet underneath a smith machine bar? Or holding a DB between your legs? Ive not done these before.

    Very gripping book and great info thats totally changing the way i approach the gym exercises for next year!

    Thanks,
    Paul

    • Paul, the idea is to avoid soreness incurred from doing too much on any one particular day, which lets you get good quality workouts on subsequent days. Frequency is very underrated. No! Reverse leg presses were Charlie Francis’ idea and he did them with a Universal machine; not a regular leg press. It can’t be done on a regular hip sled. Doing reverse hypers with a db between your feet is not very comfortable. Try it and see if you like them. Thanks Paul!

  • allie says:

    Kellie, you are AMAZING. Bret, amazing training with her!!
    This may have been answered above already but i can’t help but wonder- have you kellie, recently leaned out after a bulking phase? your hamstrings and glutes are amazing and have incredible mass to them, but you are very lean- you look amazing and are moving some seriously impressive weights there- fabulous job!!

    • kdavis27 says:

      Hi Allie! Thanks for all of your wonderful compliments. I have never done an actual bulking period, meaning intentionally raise my caloric intake to add mass. As far as actual weight goes, my weight has stayed the same (in the 125-128 range) even though I have added a significant amount of muscle.

      I never really manipulate my diet to add size or lean out. I maintain a consistent diet throughout the year and when I do get close to a show, I only drop my calories (very minimally) in the last 2-3 weeks. As far as when this video was filmed, I was coming off a contest prep. It was perhaps 3 weeks after I stopped “dieting”. When I do diet, my calories never go below BMR. So, how I look in that video is how I look year round.

      Does this answer your question?

  • Erik Petersen says:

    Bret,

    How do you feel about kettlebell training (swings especially) for glute development and fat-loss work? Just curious as it has definitely made my glutes bigger and stronger and I was a former cyclist. I to favor high frequency and lower volume (about 3-4 hours total per week) work. I do lots of training with my groups outdoors during the summer so I use primarily kettlebells for the portability factor, but the intensity is obviously much lower than heavy barbell work. Any ideas for max glute strength using primarily kettlebells that go up to 70 pounds?

    Thanks!
    Erik

    • Erik, here are my thoughts: Journal studies show that the moment arm for the glutes improves as the hip extends. Unfortunately many exercises don’t inherently take advantage of this pheonomenon as tension on the hips reduces as the hips extend (think squats). A KB swing definitely takes advantage of this phenomenon, however, the KB swing works on speed strength. I would never recommend a speed strength exercise for max hypertrophy (think plyo push up, jump squat, power snatch, etc.). For hypertrophy purposes, I like heavy bridge variations. Squats and deads work good too for hypertrophy purposes. If you’re untrained and you start “swinging,” you’ll definitely see some good glute results in strength, power, and hypertrophy, but you get beginner gains from anything early on. For “power purposes,” I think the KB swing could work very well as long as you’re able to accelerate a large load (heavy KB) very rapidly over time and use primarily the hips (as opposed to the hips and knees like many often do). To answer your question, I think for your situation (training outdoors in groups with KB’s), I think you should do plenty of KB swings, single leg glute bridges, single leg squats, goblet squats, walking lunges, cleans, snatches, jumps, and sprints. This is probably all the stuff you’re doing anyway.

  • allie says:

    It does! Thanks so much for the reply! This goes against everything I believed though about not being able to add mass without an intentional bulk. Does Bret deal with your meal planning/diet too? Thank you!!

  • Zach says:

    those weren’t deadlifts, they were romanian deadlifts!!! after this egregious error, how can we ever again trust anything you say?!

    haha jk. nice shoes. vibrams kick ass

    • Zach, I’m of the “powerlifting mentality” in that a deadlift is however you look at your strongest technique. Many are strongest with high hips. Why make them get the hips lower and use more knee flexion if it limits their poundage? Do you agree?

  • Nadine says:

    Great article Brett, and Kellie you are looking awesome! Way to push hard and heavy.. how a workout should be.. Brett to get the full ROM in your standard weighted glute bridge do you ever suggest raising the feet.. onto a bench and performing the glute bridge weighted like that.. more activation? Or is it just raising your glutes as high as possible.. I am not sure I am able to go as high as you are in your video and not sure if that is do to weak glutes, my flexibility, or maybe it’s okay? ANy tips would be appreciated.. and I have been doing them un-weighted for a while so am familiar with the concept – so I believe.

    • Nadine, it’s really hard to use weight in this scenario. I use my Skorcher which makes it easy to put a barbell in the lap while using the full ROM, but when you use 2 benches they can slide apart. You may be able to figure something out in this regard. Raising up that high has to do with hip flexor flexibility, which improves over time. Just make sure you keep thrusting and you stretch them out. Just make sure to squeeze your glutes as hard as possible up top and don’t get more ROM by hyperextending (overarching) the low back.

  • Anastasia says:

    Hi,

    This looks amazing and also inspiring Im so ready to try this out! My question is how often should I do this routine? and should I also do cardio?

    • Anastasia, don’t do all of these in one workout. If you’re trying to bring up your glutes then hit them three days per week. Always try to do a quad dominant lift and a hip dominant lift. For example, squat and deadlift. Lunge and hip thrust. Step up and single leg hip thrust. Etc. You can do cardio if you like. Program design depends on a lot of different things…goals, training history, schedule, preference, weaknesses, etc.

  • Matias says:

    Bret should she always do one quad and one hip exercise, even if she’s trying to bring up her glutes. For example I can squat my body weight and some change, but I’ve had to relearn the glute bridge and make the mind muscle connection with my glutes. I’ve been having great progress but I’m no where near the weight that I use when I squat.
    I haven’t been squatting because I’m already quad dominant and I don’t want to be counter-productive.

    My goal is health and then hypertrophy

    P.S.
    I’m a soccer player (just in case…lol)

    • Matias, as you know there are rules and then there are exceptions to rules. In your case you should hip thrust for a while (and learn to box squat – sit back). Focus on driving up your hip thrust numbers while practicing form on box squats and let the two balance your hip strength in relation to your knee strength. Good question!

  • Ian says:

    Bret, Kellie, – nice work!

    I will definitely pass this info on to all the women I know who are looking to get a fuller, rounder, perkier butt, and are finding that doing thousands of lunges isn’t the answer.

    Thanks

    Ian

  • ALEX says:

    A)Glute training for a pregnant woman (5 months)with flat butt genetics. it is possible to achieve something? what to do and what is risky? better do nothing for the remaning months?
    B)I have incorporated heavy barbell hip thrust and barbell glute bridge for 8 months now in my 5/3/1 wendler routine (almost 2 years) with lots of deadlifts, deep squats, front squats and weighted back extension. great strength gains and movement control especially in the squat and deadlift. My knee pain is almost disappeared; it only takes a few warm up sets to go 100% pain free with heavy weigths for me (Deadlift 180 kg X 6 – Squat (below parallel 140 x 6) weigth used in the hip thrust after squats-leg ext.-hypers: 130 kg x 8/10 – weigth used in the glute brige after deadlifts-front squats-leg ext.: 140 kg x 10/12 + 2″ peak contraction every rep.
    Now i was thinking about including deep fascia stretching a la DC training for the glutes and other bodyparts to have better size and shape results. Specifically for the glutes and scientifically speaking, do you honestly think that fascia stretching after workout can deliver visible results in terms of shape and size or it is only valuable for injury prevenction and stuff like that?

    • Bret says:

      Alex –

      A) Hell no! You can train the glutes right up until the day of delivery. Just ask my colleague Cassandra Forsythe. She did it. I’d just do lots of glute bridging and lunging.

      B) I’m on the fence about fascial stretching for increased hypertrophy. I could argue either way. I really need to look into this and see what the literature has to say. Great question!

      Bret

  • Jeff H says:

    Hello Bret,

    I appreciate all you’re doing to spread the “glute message”. I wish I could get my wife on this train though! LOL I love me some muscled glutes.

    Now I’ve read about your trials and tribulations with the Scorcher which I thought was too bad. It looks like a great piece of equipment and I was curious if you ever thought about making a few of them for us to buy? Any suggestions as to how we can recreate a similar piece of equipment without having to piece together a couple of benches? I’ve seen a few of the GHDs with the round pads that look very close to your Scorcher except the footplate is vertical versus about 45 degrees. Anyway, thanks for the great glute info!

    • Jeff H says:

      Oops, sorry it’s Skorcher. My bad!

    • Bret says:

      Jeff, thanks for the kind words. I have definitely thought about it but the manufacturing process is annoying, especially in this economy. Unfortunately it’s very hard to recreate, as you’d need two objects and they slide apart (unless you secured them together). I think that one of these days I’ll decide to manufacture the Skorcher so just sit tight and do the bench/ground version for the time being. -Bret

  • Jason N says:

    Hey Bret,

    I’m loving all of your glute articles. I’m helping my wife come up with a program to improve her glutes and she’s loving all that I’ve put together from your stuff.

    Question – her knees are pretty bad and she’s had a number of replacement surgeries. She’s still able to lift but as much as she’d like she’s in pain from full squats and lunges. I’ve got her doing the hip thrusts and glute bridges, as well as high step ups. Any other recommendations to avoid knee pain but still get the development she’d like?

    Thanks!

  • Trent says:

    Hey Bret!
    I was just wondering (I want to be that go to guy when it comes to fitness so I am brushing up on stuff from here and fitness black book), would a workout differ depending on what the glutes look like? If so, what are some tips on giving some girls advice to workout to perfectly shape it?
    Thanks

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