Booty work is all the craze today. Every female wants that nice round glute shape, and their willing to train their glutes every session to get there. However, it has become increasingly obvious that most of the fitness world lacks a full understanding of what it takes to build big glutes. Part of this blame falls on the “fitfluencers” that sell booty guides and promise that training with bands at home will give you the results you want. Its easy money, selling 5,000 cookie cutter programs for $35 is great for business, but it lacks in the quality department. Most of your fit chicks didn’t build their glutes using a band, though it is part of the equation. Other parts of the blame fall on those that think just because they have a big butt, they know what it takes to get one. These people have genetics and estrogen to thank as these two things play a major roll is fat storage location, and that’s most of what it is, fat.
3 loading vectors
There are 3 main loading vectors we look at when building big glutes. A vector is the line of movement (up, down, side to side). The 3 vectors are vertical, horizontal, and lateral. All your major glute building exercises are going to occur in one of these three vectors.
The vertical vector is an up and down motion and includes squats, lunges, split squats, Romanian deadlifts and others
The horizontal vector works horizontally and includes hip thrusts, reverse hyperextensions, frog pumps, glute bridges and others.
The lateral vector is a little more isolated to train, and includes band lateral walks, cable abductions, and machine abductions among others.
Since these are the 3 main vectors you can load the glutes, it is important to use an exercise the uses each of these vectors in your booty days to ensure well balanced growth. From this point, you can choose 1 exercise from the vertical vector, one from the horizontal vector, and one from the lateral vector. If you complete an exercise in each vector with enough intensity, you will have fully challenged the muscle to grow to its fullest potential.
Glutes grow just like every other muscle, overload. Overloading the glutes with tension or volume over time will cause muscle growth over time. Male bodybuilders have huge glutes and if you asked them what caused their growth, they wouldn’t say high rep band work. Athletes have huge glutes, and they don’t do high rep band work. The two populations listed above overload their muscles with force or volume, and growth is the outcome.
How many days per week should I train glutes?
The answer to this question is truly dependent on who you are. Some people only need to hit glutes once per week to grow, others could need 3 sessions per week to see optimal progress. It will depend on how long you have been training, what your goals are, what other parts of your body need work, and how intense your lower body days are. If I were to construct a strict booty building plan, I would do 3 lower body days and 2 upper body days per week.
Monday: Light Lower Body
Tuesday: Upper Body
Wednesday: Heavy Lower Body
Thurs: Upper Body
Saturday: Medium Lower Body
Lower body day #1 would consist of low weight high rep work using split squats, frog pumps, and band lateral walks.
Lower Body day #2 would be a heavy day consisting of squats, hip thrusts and machine hip abduction.
Lower body day #3 would be a medium day consisting of lunges, reverse hypers, and cable abductions.
This would be just one of many different ways to train if glutes were the main priority, and this plan wouldn’t be for everyone. Tailoring a plan to your specific needs will always yield the best results.
BS Exercise Science