6 reasons why you may be seeing a lack of progress- and what to do to ignite better results.
Chill Out With the Squats
Growing your glutes is not all about doing squats (and heavy ones at that, but more on
this later). Now before you start calling me crazy, hear me out. You must understand your glutes; they are composed of three different muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. This means you need to change things up– do both compound and accessory exercises to hit the muscle(s) differently, alternate between heavy weight and reps (contraction focused), etc. Squats are a great exercise- but if you feel stagnant and are doing squats every single time you go to the gym, then you should probably change it up.
The intensity of your workouts play a big role in your progress– so does your attitude/mentality. Do you absolutely dread training glutes? If so, more likely than not, your training- and results from it -reflects it.
Oftentimes, when we like doing something less, we do it half-heartedly. We slack off and work with less intensity and passion. If your glutes are of your main goal, yet you despise training them- then change your mentality: suck it up, psych yourself up, and get to work.
Spend more time working towards what will lead you to your goals. Want your legs to be more sculpted and your glutes to take off?- then why are you spending two of your workouts every single week doing the bandwagon “chest and tris” and “back and bis” workouts? Yes, developing an overall figure is optimal, but why not spend more of your time and emphasis on your goals more often throughout your week?
For example, my weekly workout split is this: one overall upper body day, one overall leg day, and 2-3 glute centered days. Now, I didn’t always train like this- it wasn’t until this past year I started splitting my workouts this way -but my progress in my goals (glutes and hams.) has risen significantly.
Your time is valuable; spend where you care the most.
Work Those Angles
Contraction, contraction, contraction…contraction. If you follow me on the ‘gram, you know I’m a huge advocate for contraction in my workouts- especially when it comes to glutes.
Ever since I started placing more emphasis on contraction (squeezes)- especially with bands -I have seen a rise in progress– growth and shape. As mentioned above, it’s not all about weight. Your muscles grow under both weight and contraction based exercises.
Band Werkkk If you're not incorporating band work- you're missing out! You can use them to warm-up, during your workout with compound exercises (squats, hip thrusts, etc), or to conclude your workout. Contraction contraction contraction. I have seen such a rise in progress since adding more bands (and other contraction based) exercises into my glute days- especially at the end when burning out with supersets like these. Hop to it!
The smallest tweak– whether it’s the placement of your footing/toes, grip, or bending of your torso more –can make a huge difference in how you feel the effectiveness of an exercise. Experiment (still maintaining good form) until you feel it just right. Sometimes closing your eyes, going slow and focusing/visualizing the muscle(s) you want to use (A.K.A. mind-to-muscle connection) is all it takes.
Food (Eat Up)
You can’t expect to grow your glutes (or anything else) if you are eating equal (maintenance) macros (cals., carbs., protein.) or less. You need to be in a surplus (A.K.A. bulking)- to nourish the muscles so that they can repair and thus grow.
Now don’t go over board and use your surplus as an excuses to stuff your face with pizza and donuts every day because you are “bulking”- I am not endorsing that. Calculate your surplus through an app like MyFitnessPal, so that you are fully aware and not eating too much over- which will lead to packing on more body fat that you will have to work 2x-3x harder later to get it off. Be smart.
Want to calculate your required macros yourself?
Good rule of thumb: maintenance (not gaining or loosing): 10-13 cals. per body lb. Surplus (bulking): 14-20 cals. per lb.
There are 4 cals. per gram in carbs. and protein. Fat contains 9 cals. per gram. How you split your macros is up to you. Experiment and find what your body likes best- more protein, less carbs? Less carbs. and more fats?
Goodbye Scale, Hello Mirror
If the idea of the scale going up scares you, realize that building muscle weighs more than fat. Don’t alway judge by the scale- you know your body better than anyone or anything, and can see and “feel” when you have more or less of fat or muscle.
Remain patient. You won’t reach your goals overnight, next week, in a month, or maybe even next year (depending on your aspirations)- but don’t lose heart. Fitness really is a journey; learning what works best for you and what doesn’t. Be persistent, work hard, and stay positive and humble– and you will get to whatever/wherever you want to be. 🙂
Your friend in fitness,
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