How to grow your butt without screwing up your training split.
What if I told you that you could keep your beloved training split and still develop the kind of ass that demands respect from women?
Well, I’m here to save your life.
With the right combination of glute building movements and minor adjustments to your warm-up, I’m going to help you to increase your strength and athleticism by focussing on this overlooked but critical task: building a better ass.
This program was designed to work seamlessly with a typical 4 body part training split performed by most gym-bros:
If your training split looks different don’t worry, you can still implement these strategies with ease.
Sitting for long periods of time will decrease the nutrients that your muscles receive. This causes your hip flexors to adopt a stiff and shorted position, which in turn decreases your ability to use your glutes properly.
According to research done by Brad Schoenfeld1 the three main mechanisms for muscle growth include: mechanical tension (ex. hip thrust, back extensions), metabolic stress (ex. lateral band walks), and muscle damage (ex. full squat, lunge). This is why strength training reigns supreme for optimal glute development because we are able to maximize these variables compared to just using bodyweight or high-velocity plyometrics movements.
It’s important we attack all of these mechanisms while addressing the primary functions that the glutes are intended to perform for an ass that is up to par with your girlfriend’s standards.
Details can make all the difference when it comes to training the glutes.
Glutes have four primary functions: hip extension, hip abduction, hip external rotation, and posterior pelvic tilt. Most people only focus on hip extension and leave the other 3 functions out.
In order for the glutes to be in the best environment for growth, it’s important that they’re able to perform the functions they’re intended without any major restrictions. If any of the prime functions of the glutes are restricted our body seeks movement somewhere else, typically the spine. This typically leads to lower back pain, which further impairs the glutes to fire because your body’s natural defense mechanism.
The Fix: Stretching, SMR, and mobility drills ensure proper mobility in the hip.
Most people lack any real muscle-mind connection, and so they don’t know how to physically feel their glutes working.
Performing movements considered “glute exercises” doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get the same training effect as someone who has a great connection with their glutes. I have clients who don’t feel back extensions in their glutes until they learn how to properly activate and maximally contract. Body positioning and focus are huge for this.
Hip stability plays a large role in controlling your body and becomes even more important when moving through a greater range of motion — which is very important when trying to increase muscle damage, one of the key mechanisms to growing better glutes.
The Fix: Low load activation drills are essential for hip stability and developing a great muscle-mind connection. They will be included in the warm-up and on upper body days, and MUST NOT be ignored.
“You can’t shoot a cannon out of a canoe.” – Louie Simmons.
Louie is referring to a strong, stable base to perform so you can powerful movements while displaying maximal strength. This allows the body to transfer energy efficiently.
Learning how to properly execute the essential movement patterns are important in staying safe and getting you strong as hell. Tweaks in certain exercises will allow for increased glute activation; we’ll address this in the next section.
The Fix: Different approaches are prescribed to ensure the well-rounded development of a stable core. These movements are implemented in the warm-up as well included as fillers.
Moving through a full range of motion (whenever possible) will build more muscle in the glutes, as long as an intense concentration and focus is present. Enter muscle steering.
Muscle steering is the ability to focus attention from certain muscles to others in an attempt to maximally stimulate a targeted muscle.
While I was working for the butt master himself, Bret Contreras, we decided to perform a muscle steering experiment on three subjects. We choose various upper and lower body movements while hooked up to an EMG, a device that measures muscle activation. Then we actively tried to focus our attention on different muscle groups while performing the movements.
It is important to note that variables were kept consistent – stance width, range of motion, angle, tempo, load, and movement path.
The results were awesome. We found that just because an exercise is seemingly a “glute builder,” doesn’t mean you’re getting the best results out of it; the intentional effort for each contraction was a game changer.
There comes a point when you are unable to focus on the primary muscles worked, and the focus distributes to various other muscles.
For targeting muscle development in a certain body part, it is wise to take the weight down slightly to train the muscles you are intending to train. The bro’s had it right all along.
Front loading volume refers to the amount of work done before the actual main workout even begins. We will achieve this by adding movements into your warm-up that weren’t there before.
This is performed on lower and upper body days. This increases overall training volume without being too fatiguing on the body or affecting recovery and future workouts.
In some cases the work done on upper body training days can even help aid in the recovery process.
The exercises performed on these days are high in metabolic stress so they pump tons of nutrients and blood into the muscles which in turn aid in recovery. The pump is real.
Front loading volume = increased frequency = increased growth potential.
These increased time under tension induces a high metabolic stress. This is where knowing how to properly vary movements becomes key in making sure all mechanisms of butt growth are covered.
Most specialized glute training programs are designed for women and typically vary high rep ranges because of the predominance of type 1 fibers in women.
This is typically due to the author’s failing to understand the importance of strength in hypertrophy gains.
We don’t screw that part up. Every bro deserves strength and aesthetics.
Hip thrusts are the premier glute building exercise; they’re easy on the joints and easier to recover from than heavy squats and deadlifts.
This warm-up is performed everyday that you train. In a perfect world, you would move through this warm-up on off days as well to keep the body moving optimally and to aid in recovery.
(*) Indicates the movement be performed in one of two ways: immediately following the warm-up OR as a ‘filler’ during the workout — in between rest periods of other exercises. Fillers are a great way to stay busy and make your training more efficient
(**) Indicates constant tension sets meaning without any pause in between reps. For example during the hip thrusts there will be no touching at floor at the bottom of the repetition.
The great thing about glute training is some feel their butts working best in certain movements while others feel it best in something completely different.
Make sure to play around with your foot angle, stance width, and pelvis alignment to find the position where you can feel it the most in your glutes.
Now can have a better ass without sacrificing training the other body parts that you love.
It is a win-win situation.
Comments for This Entry
Roy ReichleI agree with Tom McDonald. Any video to accompany the warm-up. Many of the exercises I recognize but some are unknown to me. Thanks!
December 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm
Tom McdonaldGreat post. are any videos available for that great warm-up.?
September 13, 2015 at 2:01 pm