Posted by Dayne Hudson in Muscle Building
Estimated reading time: 6mins
This is one thing the booty builders totally understand. They don't just train glutes "once or twice" a week and think they've done everything they can. They know they can train their glutes three times per week (with various intensities), as muscle protein synthesis levels return to baseline after 48 hours. This means over a given week and year, they're putting in more blood sweat and tears for gains.
A rough training program could look something like the below:
Tuesday: Focusing on other muscle groups
Thursday: focusing on other muscle groups and/or rest.
Saturday and Sunday: focusing on other muscle groups and/or rest.
Something else these fitness experts understand is not only the power of hip thrusts, kickbacks, and all the other powerful glute exercises but also the power of squats.
A recent study used ultrasound (far better than other measurements) to report the muscle growth of the glutes during the hip thrusts and the squats. The researchers recruited advanced female trainers who performed hip thrusts and deep squats for 12 weeks, measuring their “1 Rep Max” (1RM) and muscle growth.
And not surprisingly, hip thrusts induced significant improvements in glute strength and glute size. But when it came to overall glute growth and muscle growth, the squats were significantly better for growth! In fact, the glute growth resulting from squats was more than twice the hip thrusts.
So why is this? Research shows that muscle growth is best when a muscle is under more tension. Such is the case with the squats; you'll notice there's a shorter range of motion during hip thrusts than there is with squats.
And this is all information Instagram fitness stars understand; you can utilise both exercises for glute growth, but don't underestimate squats.
It sounds a bit hocus pocus, and some gym-goers might scoff at the suggestion, but research shows the mind-muscle contraction works. This is when you visualise the muscle and metaphorically "put your mind into your muscle" and really focus on the contraction.
Watch any Instagram star famous for her glute development, and you'll see a deep focus with each repetition, not just hard out crazy lifting with terrible form! By really concentrating on each rep and squeezing and contracting correctly, you'll be well on your way to superior growth.
This is a controversial topic, but science makes it pretty clear; mixing up exercises is great for motivation but not for muscle growth. But the famous booty builders know that having to train a muscle group three times per week can be a recipe for boredom if you don't keep it interesting. Mixing up exercises across certain days is a great way to ensure you're always keen to train. There's booty bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and machines. Take your pick!
Progressive overload -- adding more weight as time goes on -- is one way to ensure changes in muscle size. But that isn't always the best option for every exercise. For example, as explained by scientific researcher Brett Contreras, who specialises in glute hypertrophy, the heavier weight on certain exercises isn't always ideal. Brett outlines the measurement of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIP), which is how much (or little) a muscle is engaged during a certain exercise and/or weight.
And for hip thrusts, training at 50% of your 1RM (one rep max) will activate your glutes at around 40% of MVIC. This is compared to 50-60% MVIC with 90% of your 1RM. This means the benefits of heavier weight during hip thrusts aren't very impressive; about 20 reps can be done at 50% of your 1RM and only 3 can be done at 90% of your 1RM. This might just mean that lighter loads are better for glute growth in comparison to more weight. Heavier weight also increases your chance of injury, and a solid mind-muscle connection cannot occur during 3 reps as it can during 20 reps.
And Instagram booty experts all understand this. Check out your feed; you won't see them going for big heavy lifts. You'll see them repping it out during each set.
Talk to any of these girls; this isn't just a phase. Glute growth has been something they've been hammering at for years on end. Turning up every week. Day after day. It doesn't happen overnight, despite what it may look like, and some people may tell you. It's about having a plan and sticking to it. To recap:
1. Train your glutes 3 times per week and go all out!
2. Understand the importance of squats
3. Focus on your mind-muscle connection
4. Mix up your exercises for added motivation, utilising booty bands, machines, dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells.
5. Don't go too heavy on exercises like hip thrusts: rep it out and focus on solid contractions!
6. Be consistent. Every week.
So, there are the six principles of booty growth the Instagram fitness stars have mastered. If you want to follow in their footsteps, be sure to get all these rights, too!