This article and the 4-week glute programme was written by one of The Food Medic team; personal trainer
and fitness writer – Adam Willis.
Glute focused training has seen a HUGE rise the past few years, particularly amongst Women. We are here to support you on this journey – but whilst many people are hitting the key movements to achieve this goal, there is also a lot of attention going to the wrong things like glute band work, higher rep/low load exercises and too much isolation work.
When it comes to growing a bigger and stronger [insert any muscle you wish] hypertrophy must be your training focus and there are 3 key principles you must take into consideration:
1] You must create Mechanical Tension:
To achieve mechanical tension, you must create high muscular force through the fullest range of motion possible with an exercise.
This means that you must lift heavy weights, and progressively increase the weight you’re lifting over time
The sweet spot for achieving this is through performing sets of between 3-8 reps and ensuring that you take most of your sets to within 1-2 reps from technical failure.
2] You must create Muscle Damage:
Muscle damage is best achieved by utilising slower eccentric phases [the lowering phase of a lift], full range of motion for an exercise and high muscular tension.
This means that you must lift weights that challenge you, and progress them over time. You also want to utilise the fullest range of motion possible, whilst also focusing on slowly lowering your weights
The sweet spot for achieving this is through performing sets of between 8-12 reps and ensuring that you take most of your sets to within 1-2 reps from technical failure.
3] You must create Metabolic Stress:
Think of metabolic stress like going for “the pump” or “the burn” type training.
The key to achieving metabolic stress is trying to keep constant tension on the working muscles during your set.
The sweet spot for achieving this is through performing sets of between 12-20 reps and ensuring that you take most of your sets to within 1-2 reps from technical failure.
It’s with those key principles in mind that you won’t find glute band work, or high rep/low load training in this 4-week Glute training programme because they don’t achieve the 3 key principles needed to create glute hypertrophy.
What you will find however are movements like Romanian Deadlifts that you can create a lot of mechanical tension. Single Leg Hip Thrusts, Walking Lunges and High Box Step-Ups that will help you create metabolic stress…and a whole bunch of other great training that will create all the muscle damage you need to build bigger and firmer glutes.
But before you jump into the programme, I want to leave you with these 5 key points that will help you see great results with this programme:
- Stick to the programme for 4-weeks and try to avoid adding in any additional training. Adding in additional exercises, lifting days, HiiT, MetCons or cardio can change the results you get as they create a different, and often competing training stress, that your body has to also recover from.
- Always lift with good technique.
- You must use weights that challenge you. If the weights are too easy your body will not be stressed enough causing less, or no, adaptation and changes to take place.
- You must seek progressive overload to keep your body challenged, either by increasing the weights you’re lifting week to week, or through doing the same weight for more reps than the previous week.
- Be sure to stick to the programmed rest periods. Taking little to no rest might crank your heart rate up and get you hot and sweaty but it’s going to do very little in the way of helping you build bigger and stronger glutes. Rest as prescribed so that you can use heavier weights and achieve the goal of hypertrophy.
Now, let’s get training…