Serious Glute Development for Serious Lifters

By December 8, 2014 Glute Training, Glutes
    On Thanksgiving, I posted a blog that contained the picture below.

    yoga pants

    It’s one of my favorite pictures. I didn’t know who the woman in the picture was at the time, but she and her husband actually commented on my Facebook page, and she shared the article herself on her page. Her name is Kristina Krstic, and her husband Nemanja Krstic snapped the picture. They are personal trainers in Abu Dhabi, which is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Guess what she was thankful for?

    Screenshot

    Kristina (click HERE for her Instagram) was thankful for the hip thrust. I should have known that she loved her hip thrusts! Below is a picture of her hip thrusting.

    hip thrusts

    Checking out Kristina’s pics made me realize that I haven’t posted any success stories in a while. I’ve been storing them up, knowing that I’d eventually get around to sharing some of them.

    Several months ago, my client Alli sent me this picture. Prior to training with me, she’d been doing CrossFit for a couple of years (see picture on left). She wanted more glutes, so I had her focus on progressively heavier hip thrusts for a year (see picture on right).

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    Over time, her training has gradually evolved to focus on high repetition glute exercises such as hip thrusts, back extensions, American deadlifts, goblet squats, and lateral band work. I took this picture right after a high rep tri-set of band hip thrusts, bodyweight back extensions, and band seated hip abductions. Stories like these are why I recommend that CrossFitters perform a separate glute WOD each week.

    hip thrust

    Another client of mine named Deanna (HERE is her Instagram) saw tremendous gluteal results as well. She too has shifted her focus toward high frequency higher rep glute training. She trains glutes 4-5 days per week and includes tons of hip thrusts, back extensions, squats, deadlifts, and lateral band work. She gained 30 lbs and tons of strength, and now she has a booty.

    gluteals

    Remember Erin (HERE is her Instagram) from Operation Strong & Sexy? On the left is her first contest a couple of years ago. In the middle and on the right are from a contest last April.

    erin

    Recently, Erin decided to train glutes daily and up her protein content. The results have been phenomenal. Her hamstrings have grown in addition to her glutes. Next time she competes, she will look even better.

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    She’s been utilizing a lot of variety, mixing together heavier, medium, and lighter sets of lunges, back extensions, hip thrusts, smith machine squats, sumo deadlifts, reverse hack squats, and plenty of band and cable glute exercises. She always had nice glutes, but now they are world class.

    glutes

    Last year I posted a before/after pic that received a lot of attention from Sasha (HERE is her Instagram, and THIS is her transformation story – though you’ll see below that her transformation continues).

    Sasha3

    The added glute mass really pays off when dieting down for competition. Sasha recently competed again, and check out her results. Incredible glute development.

    sasha fit

    Each of these ladies perform a variety of glute exercises in their training. Don’t just stick to one or two glute exercises, you want a variety to stimulate all of the fibers through all of the mechanisms of hypertrophy. Each of these ladies targets their glutes with higher frequency. One day per week doesn’t cut it – train glutes at least 3 times per week for maximum results. Each of these ladies experiments with technique and exercises. Tinker with form and utilize different variations to figure out what works best for you. Finally, each of these ladies do their hip thrusts – they do a body and booty good.

     

31 Comments

  • Those are some incredible results, really!

    Thanks for sharing this!

  • manu says:

    Hi, Bret! I have used your training tips for about two years now, but for a year back I noticed a tremendous difference between my left and my right glute, where my left glute has not responded to any of the heavy lifting(deadlifts, hipthrusts, glute bridges, squats).

    I first noticed this after reading your article about glute imbalance, but I have decided to give up heavy lifting entirely. The difference between right and left glute has just continued to grow, and I can even feel the difference when I walk.

    When I do the exercises to activate my left glute, instead my left hamstring has grown a LOT. I really do not know how to solve my problem.. Do you have any helping information, or will my glutes never be symmetrical?

    • Bret says:

      manu, I would seek out a physical therapist. There could be some anatomical issue or dysfunction that is causing this, and it’s impossible to guess online. In the literature, there are all sorts of anomalies that I’ve stumbled across with regards to gluteal anatomy, and there are all sorts of possibilities. Sorry this is happening to you, it must be very frustrating. I’m sure you’ve tried things like prone bent leg isometric hip extension static holds for time (bent legs takes hamstrings out, and isos are bare bones basics which build a foundation). Over time, you progress to small amplitude dynamic movements, then gradually progress in reps, ROM, and load. That’s my system, but there could be other issues that a physio could diagnose and help solve. Best of luck, don’t give up.

  • Nick says:

    Anyone aware of what Deanna Kane’s training shoe’s are? You can see them in her hip thruster video, I don’t have instagram so can’t ask her there and see no other way to! I’m guessing Reebok Nanos?

  • Christina says:

    Those results are amazing! Bret, could you please tell me if one needs to wait 24 hours between lifting? I want to hit glutes 4-5 times a week like these ladies but everyone says muscles need rest time. Thank you!

    • Bret says:

      Christina, look at my testimonials. Scroll up and down the list. Over 200 pictures of great glute development, and almost all of them trained glutes with higher frequency (3-5X per week). I’m aware that many trainers still recommend training glutes once per week, but this is why they don’t have a website full of before/after pictures. Trust me, it works.

  • David says:

    I would be great full if you could indicate why training glutes once per week doesn’t cut it. Could you please explain the science behind your theory, why/how you believe this would achieve more
    Muscle hypertrophy for the glutes and the hypertrophic mechanisms behind your theory, thank you so much!
    David

    • Bret says:

      David, I have explained this in previous articles. In general, higher frequency glute training allows for greater TUT, greater volume performed when fresh, more variety, more ways to target both type I and type II fibers through differing rep schemes, more ways to target upper and lower fibers, more ways to stimulate through each primary mechanism including tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage, and more time to practice technique/hone form. My clients always see better results when they come to me from previous trainers because I increase the frequency. I’m involved with a study that should be published within the next year that will lend some support to higher frequency training for hypertrophy, but I can’t divulge any data yet.

  • RevengeLookingExGF says:

    Hey Bret!
    Since I read your last post about being superficial… I wan’t to go all in and be the mostEST superficialistEST girl ever.
    I know you’re super busy w/your PHD, but… Have you thought about doing a New Years Party Booty/body camp? (This has nothing to do with my ex bastard boyfriend attending the same party… ((Ok, maybe it does)).

    Assuming I have all the time in the world, and I would follow macros/calories religiously, I’d love to know what to do to look as hot as possible in two weeks. I could possibly figure something out, but I think it’s too easy to overdo it and don’t want it to be counterproductive 🙁 So I’m asking my fave fitness expert advise- Pretty please? I betcha many girs would be up for this, we’ll be your guinea pigs if you want to try some new theories and all that jazz.

    • Bret says:

      After I finish my PhD in August, I’d actually like to start doing certain things like this, but I’d definitely try to put a more socially-acceptable spin on it haha! Bodybuilders generally diet down for around 12-16 weeks prior to a comp. Some of my bikini girls didn’t diet at all, they just trained hard and gained strength all the way up until their comps. It all depends on your current status. In 2 weeks you can definitely make improvements, but nothing magical.

      • RevengeLookingExGf says:

        Awesome! 27.5 BF. Would like to be 24.9 🙂 I’ll be waiting for your booty boot camp!
        (this was NOT a serious post, just in case you thought it was)

  • Leeny says:

    RevengeLookingExGF, I completely understand being mad at an ex, but it’s about moving on and looking and feeling great for yourself. If you’re getting into great shape as some sort of, “Look what you walked out on” thing, you’re holding onto something you need to let go of. It will just keep you stuck in the past. You are giving your ex power. Train because you want to be a strong, powerful, beautiful you, not to show your ex. He’s your ex. Read Bret’s book, follow the regimens he gives on his blog and maybe get a trainer. Get gym buddies to work out with, if you don’t already. Do things that you love and make you happy. If lifting is one of those things, that’s great. Most of all, focus on you and not your ex. Best wishes on your road to a great new and improved life. You’ve probably already lost at least 80kg of dead weight.

    • RevengeLookingExGf says:

      Leeny, I wasn’t serious! Didn’t think anyone would take me seriously with the name I chose. I mean I am attending a New Years party and I wanted to look as best as I physiologically could 🙂 School’s out for the summer starting satuday, so I will have lots of free time to be consistent with my training and plan my meals (and sleep 8 hours/night OhMyGodsoExcitedforThis). My ex IS attending, and I love him with all my heart because he was a very important person in my life, but our time is over, I don’t want to get back with or take revenge or anything, I wish him the best things in the world because he deserves them. I won’t lie, I’d love to get a reaction, but that’s it. I had just watched “Blank Space” video for the first time before I wrote this post, that’s where I got my inspiration for the ridicoulousness. Thank you so much for taking the time to try to help me! So sweet of you.

      – Sarah

  • ani says:

    Bret, so when you talk about your girls growing glutes 4-5 times a week are they doing everyday with heavy Weights or are some days done with body weight? And to grow a nice booty like that of one of your girls how much cardio are they doing if any and is it high intensity or steady state cardio?
    Your work is amazing by the way. Im very glad for you and your quest for a world with better booties. Thanks for sharing

    • Shay says:

      All of the above! Do some bodyweight, some band work, and some heavy weights…mix it up. Do 3-4 days of cardio. Mix that up too, some steady state, some hiit. Do what works for you, but be consistent.

  • Mitchell says:

    Wow, thats some very serious gluts training. She must have been training six days a week to have glutes like that. Her hard core diet also helped to enhance her glutes 🙂

  • Amy says:

    I’m a 47 year old mother of 5. From the side my glutes no longer sag. I am lacking the top development. I have a large frame. I’m only 5’8 but my inseam is 34. So I struggle. I can back squat 205 for reps, hip thrust 315 and bench 135 for reps. I think because my hips are wide, I’m not going to see the same result. I don’t know. I weigh 130. I want more curve but I don’t want to gain weight. Am I sabatoging myself?

  • Ben Fury says:

    You’re making the world a more beautiful AND more functional place Bret! Glutes are the engines that make the whole lower kinetic chain work better and more powerfully.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Ericka says:

    Bret, thank you so much for all the information, I always look forward to all your posts, best of all I am proof of the hip trust!! I went from girl with no butt (it wasn’t on my genes) to the girl with butt. Currently I just order your book, (strong curves) and I was so exited until I found out I’m pregnant, and now I’m freaking out cause I was hip trusting 155 lbs.. and now I don’t know what to do since I had made a huge improvement on my butt muscles, I’m still working out, but I’m trying to figured out if I can still do hip trust with some weight while I’m pregnant, I know you are not a doctor (and I’m waiting to see mine in 2 weeks) but do you have any information on that, that can help me? Please!!! Another factor is I’m 40 years old, and since I have been pregnant I notice I’m more tired when I work out, so I already when way down on the weight I lift…
    Thank you so much for the hip trust!!!

  • Erin says:

    Bret, great work! The pictures are beyond amazing!! If (hypothetically of course) I were to have a pancake butt where would I even begin to start to transform? I workout 4-5 times per week and while the glutes are beginning to very slowly transforming! I would love to hit them harder to see faster results. Any advice??

  • Rob says:

    Hi Bret, thanks for everything. You put an earlier Instagram link in there twice. The one for Sasha is the same as earlier. Thanks again!

  • Kevin Tyree says:

    Brett do you do online coaching and how much do you charge? By the way I still think you need to add pictures of Ki-Toy Johnson and Nyomi Banxxx.

  • Tricia says:

    Hi Bret,
    I’ve been training glutes 4-5 times per week following your program for the last few years and have made great strides. I’m pleased with the growth on the upper portion of my glutes, but one thing I don’t seem to be able to fix is the sag on the lower part of my glutes (the “smile” line). Nothing I do seems to help lift that area. I’m 42…do I just have to accept butt sag as part of the aging process or is there something more/different I can be doing? Also, I notice the sag is worse on my right glute than my left (my right glute also has some cellulite but the left one doesn’t). Ideas??? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

  • Neva says:

    Hey Brett!

    So I’ve been reading your stuff on glute development religiously for a while now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to start doing high frequency glute training but I’m confused about a couple of things. When it comes to maximizing gluteal growth, is it better to focus on light weight/high reps, heavy weight/low reps, or a combination of both? Your client Alli has incredible results, and I’m wondering if she only does low weight/high rep work or if she also includes some heavy weights. Also, are there certain exercises that should be performed only with heavy weight (or only with low weight)? Lastly, should you do a mix of heavy weight and light weight on the same day or should you separate heavy days from light?

    I know that it’s different from person to person, but I’m desperate to grow my glutes and am really hoping you can give me some more specific details so I can create an awesome glute-building program. Thank you so much!

  • Keziah says:

    Hey Brett, I’m new to going to the gym etc and I was wondering where to start! Because I want glute development – mine is naturally good, pretty firm but I feel I’m losing that as I have being doing less exercise than I used to. I used to do athletics training 5-6x per week, and horse riding 4x per week. Mucking out etc too. Now, all I do is basketball twice a week and the gym three times a week. But when I’m at the gym I want to make it count to getting good glutes! I usually just do running, rowing, cycling etc. Glutes are my main concern, because I’m happy with my torso but due to quite small hips and muscly thighs I sometimes feel a little boyish. I’m 16, eat well, have a high strength-to-weight ratio, and I’m willing to put in the effort towards getting more developed glutes. I just need a basic set of exercises that I can do, and for you to give me some guidance as to how to vary intensity of my workouts throughout the week, so if you could help me with that I’d be really grateful!
    Thanks
    X

  • Brian says:

    Great article man, I really appreciate all the knowledge you have and share to our community!

    I do gotta say; that CF vs Hip Thrust photo made me giggle. That poor girls CF Box was not doing their job. The glutes we build at our box are impressive 🙂 lol

    Thanks again!

  • Paola Valadez says:

    Hi Bret! I’m a fan.. I have a question, how many exercises do you recommend per session for glute development?

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