Sasha’s Glute Transformation Story
by Sasha Ann
I have been bodybuilding for almost 2 years now and I love it! Although I’ve come a long way in that period of time, it took a lot of hard work, dedication, failures and successes. When I first started training at my local gym, I was only familiar with the “sculpting” and “toning” workouts that were seen in fitness magazines. My diet consisted of processed foods that were advertised as “low-fat” or “healthy” frozen meals. I was working out consistently, doing aimless amounts of cardio and afraid to lift heavy in fear of looking too muscular.
I know many other females who share the same story, and being a trainer I know it all too well. I was not reaching my goals but instead hitting plateaus. I wanted to be shredded while building my glutes, but I couldn’t seem to develop muscle while losing bodyfat at the same time.
With the help of friends, I began prepping for my first NPC show. I wanted to learn about my own body and in turn help others realize their own potential through proper nutrition and exercise.
The pictures above are from when I first started prepping up until a month away from my competition. I was doing 5 day splits (shoulders & abs, back & bis, chest & tris, quads and hamstrings on different days). My leg days consisted of squats, leg press, lunges and step ups. I didn’t know anything more than these go-to exercises. I was happy with my results but I knew I could look better. I thought I was doing everything right, but something was definitely missing. After my show, I took some time off to learn more about training. My mother, having been supportive of my bodybuilding lifestyle, introduced me to Bret Contreras’ book Strong Curves.
Through reading his book, I suddenly discovered what I was missing. I was clearly not training my glutes optimally! I started to add hip thrusts, reverse hypers and deadlifts to my workouts, along with dynamic warm-ups (glute bridges, sumo walks and side lying clam raises) before my leg day for glute activation. After I started seeing a change in my shape, I made a plan to start a new split for my second show. Upper body push, glutes, upper body pull, legs, rest and a second glute day. I did this for my entire prep and the results were unimaginable!
Above is the difference between my first show, NPC Charlotte Cup, compared to my second show, IFBB North Americans, after incorporating specialized glute training two times a week. This transformation took 16 weeks! I finally got that hour-glass shape I was hoping for. Not only did I learn a lot aesthetically about the glutes, but biomechanically as well. I was able to focus on what exercises worked the different parts of the glutes and realized that to gain that round shape you would have to incorporate variety.
This is the most recent picture of my transformation. I can’t believe I was able to obtain all of this in a little less than a year! I’m in a much better position come time for next contest prep. Aside from my results, I have learned so much about training, and that’s what’s most important to me. I am now able to understand proper glute progression so that I am able to teach my clients how to achieve the same results. I’m also a better-rounded athlete. I can run faster, lift heavier and I have great balance. Just goes to show you how important glute training is for your entire body.
Bret has unknowingly helped my fitness career not only through his book but by posting knowledgeable training advice through his blog and videos. I look up to him greatly. Thanks Bret, for everything!
Below is a sample video of my glute training. I did this workout last week. Notice the variety and multiple directions of resistance. I feel that this is key for optimal glute building.
But the story goes on. Here is a more recent progress picture as I started leaning out.
And here is my latest competition picture. As you can see, the added glute mass is vital so that after dieting down and attaining low levels of body fat, there’s still shape to be seen.