I’m thrilled to introduce Bret Contreras for this special guest Interview! Bret is the founder of my no.1 go-to website for the best-ever booty exercises, tips & a non BS approach to sculpting the glutes of your dreams. I’ve compiled a series of top booty-sculpting-related questions and now it’s time to hear what the expert has got to say!
Let’s give it up for Bret!!
1) In your opinion, what are the most effective exercises for targeting the glute area?
First off I’d like to thank you for the opportunity Isabella, it’s a privilege. My top ten favorite glute exercises include (they change from time to time but in general here they are):
- Barbell hip thrust
- Barbell glute bridge
- American hip thrust
- American deadlift
- Full squat
- Barbell reverse lunge
- Dumbbell back extension
- Band hip rotation
- Band seated abduction
- RKC plank
Most of these are on my Youtube Channel in case you want to check them out.
2) Do you have any tips on progression for the exercises mentioned above?
Of course I do! But it all depends on the fitness level of the client. Very weak beginners might need to start with side lying clams, side lying abductions, bodyweight glute bridges, bodyweight high box squats, low box squats, and dumbbell RDLs. Advanced exercisers end up doing the ten exercises I provided in the first question with heavy loads. Most people fall somewhere in the middle. In general, you must first master your bodyweight. Once you can do something with good form, you make sure you can do it through a full range of motion. Once you can use a full range of motion, you start doing more reps. Once you can get a certain number of reps, you add load. Once you can use a certain amount of load, you can either choose a more advanced variation, or simply keep adding more load.
3) What’s your take on nutrition for sculpting a dream booty?
Trainers who don’t focus on nutrition are fighting a losing battle. The majority of people need to lose fat, and good nutrition is paramount for fat loss. However, a dream booty is all about curves, and strength creates curves. Therefore, nutrition alone won’t sculpt a dream booty unless the individual has amazing genetics for possessing great glutes. Abs are made in the kitchen, but glutes are made in the gym.
Abs are made in the kitchen, but glutes are made in the gym!
4) Considering the role that genetics play, do you have any tips on how to make the most out of what your mama gave you (ex. can you transform a flat booty into a bubbly behind)?
Many women could never build the booty they desire from going on a crash diet, doing excessive cardio, or focusing on yoga, Pilates, or aerobics. The only chance they have is with heavy strength training. My best tip would be to take two years to build up one’s hip thrust to three sets of ten reps with 225 pounds. When this occurs, good things tend to happen to the glutes.
5) Can you lose fat and simultaneously build a stronger, bigger behind?
Of course you can! This is what I do with my clients time and time again. It’s easy to lose fat with a good diet, and it’s easy to build glute muscle with most folks since many don’t activate the glutes properly and most don’t perform an optimal glute program to begin with.
6) What are your top exercises for sculpting the glutes with minimal engagement of the legs (especially the quadriceps)?
Great question! American deadlifts (like a Romanian deadlift but with a big glute squeeze up top), barbell glute bridges, band hip rotations, and band seated abductions work well for this purpose.
7) What is your best advice for gaining mass (in the booty)?
Make sure you’re consuming sufficient protein and get incredibly strong at the hip thrust while using perfect form.
8) By following an adequate training program and nutritional plan, how much time can one expect before noticing major changes in their gluteus muscles … in other words, how much time does it take to transform your behind?
Another great question. True story – my best responder noticed massive changes in only two weeks (6 workouts). These are the lucky folks. Most require 2 months to start noticing results and after 3 months they see big changes. Some require 6 months but it all depends on the person.
Most people require 2 months to start noticing results and after 3 months they see big changes!
9) How often should you train your glutes (on a weekly basis)?
I believe that 4 sessions per week is optimal, but 3-5 are ideal depending on the program.
10) When creating a booty workout routine, how does one determine the appropriate amount of exercises, weights, sets and repetitions?
This would require an entire article, but I’ll try to be brief. It depends on many factors, but let’s pretend that we’re performing 3 booty sessions per week and that they’re spread out evenly, for example MWF. Each day you want to perform a knee-dominant exercise, a couple of hip-dominant exercises, and at least one glute-accessory exercise. Loads (weight) depend of course on the fitness and strength of the individual, and sets/repetitions will vary dramatically. For example, on a particular day you might go heavy on hip thrusts for low reps, use moderate weight and reps for squats, and then do high rep American deadlifts and band seated abductions. That’s just one example, but you’d switch this up throughout the week.
11) Can you give us a sample of a weekly glute training program for intermediate fitness levels?
An intermediate might do the following:
Day One: hip thrusts 3 x 8, Bulgarian split squats 2 x 12, sumo deadlifts 3 x 5, band hip rotations 2 x 10
Day Two: single leg hip thrusts 2 x 10, full squats 3 x 5, single leg back extensions 2 x 12, RKC planks 2 x :20 seconds
Day Three: American hip thrusts 3 x 12, high step ups 2 x 8, kettlebell swings 3 x 20, band seated abductions 2 x 30
12) In your opinion, what is the no. 1 mistake ladies make when trying to sculpt a strong and sexy derriere?
They don’t learn proper form, they don’t really learn how to use their glutes during the various movements, they don’t perform the best exercises, and they don’t follow optimal routines for their goals (that’s four mistakes, not one…sorry!).
Bonus question 13) Any final tips on workin’ out that booty?
Yes. I spent 2 years putting together all of my methods along with the help of Kellie Davis for our new book Strong Curves. It’s 43% off right now through Amazon. It is 320 pages long with over 200 exercise descriptions and several training programs for various fitness levels and goals. I’m very proud of this book – it’s my magnum opus! If any readers seek more information, they can check out the book. They can also visit my BLOG as I’ve written numerous articles on glute development there. Thanks again Isabella!
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