Build a Booty


By Taylor Robbins, C.S.C.S
This may be the most desired goal of every female…
Have an amazing booty, that is perky, tight, and has a peach-like look.  No wonder Beyonce gets so much attention.
You are here because you desire this result for yourself.
The cool thing is it’s one hundred percent possible.  You can lift the butt, make it more tight, fill out the jeans, and even rock the bikini.
This article will detail how to build this booty with the proper exercise selection and training techniques. The reality is we can give you all the answers here (which we will) but it doesn’t work unless you commit to doing it consistently.
Without further ado, and so you can move from feeling uncomfortable with your butt, and self-conscious about it, to being fully proud of what your mother gave you, let’s jump in.
First, we must understand the anatomy of the booty.
Basic Anatomy
The booty is comprised of a few muscle groups
-Gluteus maximus
-Gluteus medius
-Gluteus minimus
-And other muscles like the obturators and piriformis but those are not as important in this discussion.
The most important of these muscles which gives good shape, size, and perkiness is the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius.
Gluteus Maximus – The largest muscle in the human body.
Origin – Fascia (connective tissue) of the glutes medius (smaller glute muscle). Basically, connected to your erector spinae, ilium (largest part of your pelvis bone), sacrum (base of the spinae), coccyx (tail bone) and sacrotuberal ligaments.
Action – Extension of the femur from the flexed position in the hip joint. When you are coming back up from the squat hole or when you swing your leg backward before you kick a ball.
Gluteus Medius – Smaller gluteal muscle.
Origin – External surface of the ilium between the anterior and posterior gluteal lines. Outer surface of the pelvis
Action – Abduction of the hip and stabilisation of the pelvis. Imagine bringing 1 leg to the side while standing on the other leg. It is also responsible for the medial rotation of the hip. Stand on one leg, bend one leg backwards and turn it outside. That is the medial rotation of the hip.
Now that you know a bit of the anatomy, what does it mean?
In order to have a nice booty, you must increase the size, tone, and shape of these muscles.  This would be called muscular hypertrophy.
For muscles to go through hypertrophy, they must be constantly stressed and progressively stressed.
Basically, you need to keep adding weight and/or volume (reps times sets) in a workout to see results.
Additionally, you need to create proper biomechanical movement to appropriately innervate/activate the muscle fibers of the gluteus maximus and medius.
These movements include primarily the squat, lunges, step ups, and deadlifts.
Doing these exercises places the load of the weight on the glutes the most as well as place those muscles through their complete range of motion which helps recruit more muscle fibers for more adaptation.
Lastly, the intensity of resistance matters for recruiting these muscle fibers and getting them to grow and get toned.
The gluteals are mainly fast-twitched muscle fibers or type 2 muscle fibers.  What this means is not all the muscle fibers of your glutes are recruited and used unless the weight is heavy enough.
That means heavy weights are in, and the baby pink dumbbells from pump class are out.
With this said, let’s explain the 3 major mistakes you are making in trying to build your booty right now.
1. You think cardio or cardio machines involving the legs will help your butt grow.
I am sorry to bear bad news, but this is plain wrong.  Think about the force it takes to push a bike pedal down…almost none.  
“But I feel the burn.” The burn does not indicate muscle breakdown and overload of those muscles.  It’s just a sign of rising lactic acid that can no longer be cleared.
Plus, you are not placing stress on the glutes through a complete range of motion.  So, cardio just struck out on building the booty.
2. You lift a 20 pound bar in pump class for a million reps.
Again, although you may be doing the proper exercises now like squats and lunges, you do not have a heavy enough load to stress and recruit all the muscle fibers of the glutes.
3. You hit machines to isolate the glutes and don’t squat.
The most coveted machine on the workout floor for a woman is the “crotch crusher.”  You know which one I am talking about, it’s the one you sit in and squeeze your legs together and drive your legs apart and you are making sure no one is watching because of how awkward it is.
Well, you’re right, it’s awkward.  And the worst part is it does not build the booty very well.
Again, the glutes are primarily activated via hip extension, and slightly less so via external rotation.  The crotch crusher machine is doing internal and external rotation, which may activate the gluteus medius a bit and definitely the adductors, but not to a large extent.
Furthermore, because this is an isolated movement (only one joint moves at a time, here being the hip) the weight you move in this exercise is not nearly the weight you could move if doing a multijoint movement (using more than one joint at a time) like a squat.
The rule for muscular development is moving as much weight as possible for more and more reps until you can move heavier weight again.
I should have you convinced now that proper weight lifting for a nice booty is utilizing sub-maximal weight (3 rep max to 12 rep max) and multi-joint movements like all forms of squats, lunges, and deadlifts.
With that said, here is a list of the exercises that will be best for building the booty.

  • High bar back squat
  • Low bar back squat
  • Box squat
  • Front squat
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Sumo deadlift
  • Traditional deadlift
  • Deficit deadlift
  • Step ups
  • Split squats
  • Walking lunges
  • Drop lunge
  • Rear foot elevated split squat
  • Reverse hyper extensions
  • Good mornings
  • Prone leg curls

Some of these you may have heard of, some may be completely new.  No worries.
There is this cool thing called Google, and you can look up a lot of these exercises.  If you want to download our free 7 Day Booty Blueprint, you can click the link and we have a :60 technique video for every exercise for the 7 days of programmed workouts.
How To Program:
The best way to program booty workouts is to first of all, have a plan.
You may be in the habit of walking into the gym and deciding what you will do right there.  
Big mistake.
In selecting exercises, pick the multi-joint ones first and select the ones where you can lift the heaviest load.
For most people, this means starting with squats and loving down the line of less and less complex movements.
An example exercise selection for a glute day may be:
A1) Low bar back squats
A2) Drop lunges
B2) Prone leg curls
A1 and A2 mean these two exercises are done back to back with no rest.  B1 and B2 are paired together as well.  It starts with more complex movements first and then gets more simple.
Intensity and Volume
Next thing you should know is intensity and volume.
Intensity means what percentage of your 1 rep max (max load you can lift for one rep) you will use for the workout.  Usually, the intensity breakdown looks like this:
1 rep=100%
2 reps=95%
3 reps=90%
4 reps=87%
5 reps=84%
6 reps=80%
7 reps=77%
8 reps=74%
9 reps=70%
10 reps=67%
11 reps=64%
12 reps=60%
When you add in volume (how many reps times how many sets you do), you may need to change intensity to accommodate all the multiple sets.
If you will be doing 3 sets of 10, you would not use 67% because you may  be able to hit all 10 reps on set 1 and 2, but on set 3 you would only get 8 or 9 reps.  So, you can choose to do 90-95% of your 10 rep max, and then try for more the next week.
For beginner’s I suggest doing 3 sets of 10-12 for most exercises, and as you progress, heavier loads can begin to get thrown in on appropriate exercises.
Next is tempo.  This is simply the speed you lift the weight.  Most people don’t know this, but changing the speed of lifts can affect your hormones differently.
For example, lowering the weight with more time releases more growth hormone, and for the females, this is a very good thing as GH attacks fat cells for energy use.
Holding a lift at the end of the stretch period will release more IGF-1 which equates to strength gains.
More time spent contracting or lifting a weight releases more testosterone.
We like to note tempo on lifts as follows 4212.
These four numbers mean lower the weight for 4 seconds, hold it at the bottom for 2 seconds, lift the weight for 1 second, and pause at the top for 2 seconds before doing another rep.
Having this level of specificity in the programming leads to more adaptation and results.
Lastly, is rest intervals.
The rest interval one hundred percent changes the adaptation on the body.
A shorter rest interval can lead to more fat loss, and longer rests can lead to more strength, but both have their place as we have realized you need to be strong for a nice booty.
Additionally, rest intervals are highly based on rep range.
When you do less reps (and therefore more weight) you need a longer rest to successfully lift the weight again.
When you do higher reps, you can rest for less time.
Example Glute Training Day:
A1) Low bar squats 12 reps with 4011 tempo
A2) Drop lunge 8 reps each side with 4201 tempo
Rest :60
3 sets
B1) Split squat 8 reps each side with 3001 tempo
B2) Walking lunges 16 reps each side with 2000 tempo
Rest :90
3 sets
C1) RDL 10 reps with 4200 tempo
Rest :45
3 sets
Some of you think you will get “bulky” if you train like this.
Take the case of our amazing clients Kelly and Briana.
Kelly wanted to just lose weight.  And she did by just lifting weights.
Briana wanted to get more lean and toned.  And she did by lifting like this.

Furthermore, women do not have the physiological ability to get bulky unless you eat like a beast and you take steroids.

Men can put on 25 lbs of muscle a year when just starting out.  Women have 40% of the androgens men have (anabolic hormones for muscle growth) and 30-40% of the muscle nuclei.  You don’t even have the potential to get bulky.
“But I tried this one time and got bulky.”
Then I say to you your nutrition was WAY off.  No one can get excessively bulky unless they are eating a large quantity of calories.  We simply don’t suggest this unless you want to aggressively put muscle on.
Now you have learned a bit about the exercise for building a great booty.  If you enjoyed this article, please like and share it, and we can make some more content for you to help you achieve your booty and dream body.

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