Building a butt

I’ve always hated my butt. Always! With 15 years of skating in my past, I’ve had a fair amount of muscle there, but never liked the shape. Add in the years of poor lifestyle choices and lacking strength training, and it was the body part I hated the most. When I first saw my competition bikini, I almost cried because the reality of how much of my butt would be on display was overwhelming. In the world of bikini competitions, it’s ALL about the butt! So, a huge focus of my training (and a constant concern) has been on building a better set of glutes.

Last week I posted a before and after picture of my back pose. I created it because I was really frustrated and angry with my progress this year – only to be totally shocked at the difference and proud of the changes I’ve made. In response, I had a LOT of great comments, and so many women asked me how I did it. So, I promised to put up a post about it.

Back Pose Progress

My leg training overview:
– I train quads and glutes once a week (Sunday always)
– I train hamstrings separately, on Wednesday
– I lift as heavy as possible, with proper form, aiming for 6-10 reps
– If I get more than 10 reps with proper form, I increase the weight

Staple exercises on leg day:
– squats (alternating between plate loaded free squats and smith machine / alternating foot placement for different targets – quads vs. glutes / hamstrings)
– leg press (plate loaded – alternating foot placement, one-leg and two-legs)
– leg extensions
– lunges of some variety (walking with weights or stationary)
– choice of cable kick backs, abductor machine, step ups or glute kick backs using the laying hamstring machine

For the last few weeks, I’ve followed a more unstructured plan for leg day, which has turned out to be pretty effective judging by the DOMS I’ve felt. By unstructured I just mean that I go into the gym with a rough plan of what exercises I want to do, but if I’m feeling strong, or really feeling my targeted muscle, I keep going. See below for an outline of what I did today.

Warm up with Smith machine squats – progressively increasing weight, range of motion, and changing foot placement

Smith machine squats: 3 straight sets, 3 sets mixing in bottom half range with full range *when using the smith machine for squats, be careful with your foot placement – a lot of people put too much stress on their knees using this machine for squats

Plate loaded leg press: total of 4 sets, varying weight between sets, focusing on a full range of motion, and using slower tempo on slightly lighter sets *HANDS OFF your legs – no cheating!

Squats, leg press & walking lunges

Squats, leg press & walking lunges

Leg extensions: total of 4 sets, progressively getting heavier. Mixed in bottom half, top half, holds at the top, and basic full range

Weighted walking lunges: total of 3 sets – 12 steps out, 10 stationary lunges, 12 steps back, 10 stationary lunges other leg (that’s one set)

AND, my legs were toast, and I was dripping with sweat and panting. Be sure to stretch!

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Tell me your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s