Everyone wants a bigger set of glutes; it doesn’t matter if you’re a male or a female. We all love seeing nice-looking glutes on someone of the opposite sex, sometimes even on someone of the same sex.
Like pretty much everything in the fitness industry, glute training is surrounded by many myths and misinformation.
Our job is to set the record straight when it comes to glute development, once and for all!
Myth #1 – Glute Training Will Change the Shape of Your Behind
The most important things that determine the look of your glutes are the width of your hips, your muscle insertions, and your fat distribution. All of the things mentioned above are genetically predisposed.
We come in all shapes and sizes, and that’s perfectly fine!
Working out and directly hitting your glutes will make you look better, but it won’t change your bone structure.
Myth #2 – Squats Are the Best Glute Exercise
I love squats. They are great.
While they may be a great exercise overall, they aren’t the most effective booty builder out there.
A study from 2016 done by the Glute Guy himself, Bret Contreras, showed that hip thrusts elicit much more gluteus activation than the back squat. Front squats and back squats have shown similar glute engagement in a 2015 study by Yavuz et al.
This shouldn't mean that you need to ditch squats altogether! They are still a terrific exercise; there's a reason why they stayed a big staple of almost any workout routine.
Myth #3 – You Can Lose Fat on Your Butt by Training Glutes
Spot reduction is a fitness myth that somehow remains prevalent in the industry, even though it has been disproven a hundred times.
It sadly just isn’t possible, no matter the body part.
Your genetics determine fat storage, so you can’t do anything about it unless you get liposuction.
If you really want to get rid of some fat on your buttocks, you’ll need to lose fat all over, and the only way to do that is to be in a caloric deficit.
Myth #4 – Train Your Glutes Once a Week
The optimal frequency of booty workouts is 3 to 4 times a week. Let me explain.
The main driver of hypertrophy for any body part is volume. Volume is determined by the total reps you do and the weights lifted.
You could do 30 sets of gluteus exercises in one day, but you'll be too tired for most of your workout to get any significant results. The worst thing is that you'll be recovering from a workout like that for the next two weeks.
Instead, you should split up those 30 sets during 3 or 4 different days. That way, you will optimize your work, meaning you'll maximize your glute growth!
Myth #5 – Glutes Are Predominantly Fast-Twitch
This myth probably stems from the fact that sprinters and other explosive athletes usually have massive glutes, but it's not actually true. We now know that the gluteus maximus is almost equally comprised of both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles.
It should be noted that hypertrophy is almost the same when comparing a higher rep bodybuilding-style training to a lower rep powerlifting type workout. The most important thing is the total volume you're doing.
Considering the distribution of slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers in the glutes, the most effective way to train them would be to include various rep ranges.
Myth #6 – You Only Need One or Two Exercises
The gluteus maximus contains three anatomical parts that function uniquely from one another. For example, squats and lunges will work our lower glutes, but clamshells and side-lying hip abductions will be better for our upper glutes.
Some exercises are more well-suited for heavy weights and low reps, while others are better for lighter weights and higher reps.
Myth #7 – Getting Sore Means You Had a Good Workout
Being sore isn’t a great indicator of an effective workout, and being sore all the time means that something is wrong.
DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is the actual name for the thing we call "soreness." You get DOMS if you're starting a new workout routine, doing a new exercise, or eccentrically stressing your muscles a lot. Another way to get DOMS is to work on your glutes only once a week, which, as mentioned above, isn’t ideal at all.
Having muscle soreness in a particular muscle may show you that you targeted that muscle in a session, but the benefits stop there. Being sore constantly can negatively affect the quality of your workouts.
If you aren’t switching up your routine or introducing new exercises in your current routine, you shouldn’t feel DOMS after the first two weeks of working out.