How to Tweak Your Diet & Workout To Get Your Best Booty!
So you are working out… hitting the gym hard, trying to grow that bum, and instead, you see it shrinking! Yikes! Indeed it can be frustrating to see your hard work in the gym reap minimal results. But there is a pretty good explanation of why this happens. In my video below, I will give you a list of what might be going wrong in your nutrition or training that may be holding you back from getting your best booty or, worse… letting it get smaller!
My 10 Take Away Tips
Is It Bad To Do Too Much Cardio?
If before your efforts for a bigger booty started, you had some fat on your butt, giving it some of its natural shape, and then you start doing cardio and dieting, know that you will lose some of the fat on your butt. However, since you cannot generally spot reduce, the fat will come off a bit everywhere. Running won’t make the fat specifically come off your legs; doing ab crunches won’t make it come off your belly. The fat will come from your face, belly, arms, legs, butt, and everywhere else. For this reason, you have to be strategic when working towards your goals.
I’m not saying to stop all cardio or skip eating well; those are great for your heart and overall health when done correctly. However, I am saying that if you want size and shape on your bum, you’ll need to start lifting some weights specifically and correctly to see size gains on your glutes from increased muscle! This, in addition to some quality sweat sessions and proper eating, should heed some good results with time and consistency.
Does Glute Activation Work?
In short, yes, glute activation, in addition to the hip release, is a fantastic way to start your leg day. It allows for the best range of motion and for what is known as the mind-muscle connection to work optimally. Here is a quick how-to, to get the most out of your leg day, including proper activation.
Warm up for 5-10 minutes at a low intensity to warm your body. This can be a brisk walk, slow jog, jump rope, bicycle, etc.
Release your hips, especially if you spend time sitting throughout the day, causing your hips to tighten. This hip tightness makes it much tougher to activate your glutes properly. To release hips, I like to use a 5-inch myofascial release ball; this thing is worth its weight in gold! I release each hip for about a minute. Another option is a massage gun.
It’s finally time to activate your glutes! Here are a few exercises that I love. These videos are from my TWL Fitness APP, where I lead you through activation at the beginning of every leg day. Try it free for 30 days here on me. Use promo code: HOURGLASS to access this gift.
My number one rule in glute activation is not to go through the motions; the repetition is not complete until you feel a contraction! If you don’t feel the contraction, you get very little out of the movement. I have other videos on how to find your flex. If you need access to this, feel free to email my team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to assist. Once you learn how to activate it properly, you’ll never need to relearn it; it’s like riding a bike. It’s a skill to learn, but once you’ve learned it, it’s yours forever!
Here are a few great activation movements.
Single Leg Hip Thrust
Lifted Clam Shell
What Are The Best Exercises For Building Glutes?
The best exercises for building the glutes are those with the best biomechanical angles and movement and to cause glute contraction.
Choosing the correct movement is not enough, though. To get the most out of these movements, you want to be focused on the glute muscle and ensure that you are contracting, squeezing the muscle in the contraction phase, and ideally controlling the eccentric phase (the down phase).
Another critical factor will be ensuring that you are adequately challenged. For most, this will mean adding weight to the movement. Here is an article with some of my favorite home equipment for making gains if you want to build a home gym.
Please keep these factors in mind when looking at the exercises below. They’re great exercises and can give you great results with consistency, but please keep the above tips in mind.
Here is my list of the very best exercises for building glutes:
1. Hip Thrust
3. Single Leg Deadlifts
4. Hacksquat or Lever Squat
5. Smith Machine Reverse Lunge
6. Cable Kick-Back
7. Kneeling Cable Kick-Back
8. Abductor Machine
9. Bulgarian Split Squat
11. Glute Ham Machine
If you’re looking for home, or gym workouts that includes your warm-up, activation, release, and proper glute-building protocol, like the above, check out my home/gym training app – TWL APP (30 days free with promo code: HOURGLASS). If you workout at the gym exclusively and are looking for a curve-building routine, try my gym training program TrainWithLyzabeth.com – It includes the best Hourglass Shaping/Booty Building Workouts + Five Holistic Eating Plans. Pay once, and keep it forever!
With the above list of exercises, I give the caveat that for these to be effective, it’s ideal that:
1) you do a proper warm-up, hip release, & glute activation.
2) You learn to lift to focus on the muscle that you are working
3) You work with weights that are heavy enough to work towards failure/muscle fatigue
4) You are consistent
5) You eat adequate protein and calories to maintain muscle growth
6) You include rest as part of your program
Are you Eating Enough Protein?
Getting adequate protein in your diet is imperative if you’re looking for strength and muscle gains. Protein is your main build & repair macronutrient.
How do you know if you’re getting enough? If you want to take this seriously and see some real ‘booty gains,’ I suggest counting your macros for 30 days or at least one week at a bare minimum. This is an important step, not to be skipped so you can have a better understanding of how many grams of protein that you’re taking in on a daily basis as well as what it takes to get the necessary amount of protein in your diet. If you’re looking for an eating plan that lays out You can check out this article if you’re looking for more information on counting macros.
The recommendation for protein is varied across the research. However, the numbers that I lean towards from reading many studies, staying on top of new research, and training thousands of women, including PRO-level fitness competitors, are as follows:
1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.5 – 0.7 grams per pound. This is generally an ideal amount for optimal protein synthesis.
Are You Eating Enough Calories?
Understanding the need to eat enough calories when trying to add size is where many people ‘miss the mark’ on reaching their goals. Let’s break this down for you.
Suppose you’re successful in adding some strength training to your routine to add muscle to your frame, aka adding curves. In that case, you need to maintain this new muscle tissue with adequate calories or risk burning this precious tissue as fuel. It’s that simple. How many calories will you need? I have an article about macros that you can check out to ensure that you eat enough to maintain your muscle mass. If you think this will help you, you can check it out here 🙂
Are You Looking At The Whole Picture?
Sometimes when we have a goal to focus on, we get tunnel vision and, as they say, wouldn’t see the forest for the trees.’ Or, in our case, we don’t see the booty gains for the overall body reshaping. I am 100% guilty of this. When I used to train for my fitness competitions, I would train my glutes intensely to ensure not to lose my size when cutting down for fitness shows. But, of course, I always lost size; as we talked about above, if you’re losing fat, you’ll lose some of your glutes no matter how many squats you do (as you cannot spot-reduce). But while I may have lost inches on my butt due to overall fat loss, my waist-hip ratios always stayed pretty similar, and I got pretty ripped! So the only way I knew I was still maintaining my curves was by looking at my overall body and not just the 2 inches lost on my butt. I had also lost 2 inches on my waist, so my curves were intact, and my butt looked different but perkier from all those glute-focused exercises.
What I’m saying here is if you’re eating clean, adding some sprints and or a cardio session in addition to your glute training, know that you will likely lose inches on your butt, but also on your arms, legs, and waist. Please don’t just focus on the inches lost on your butt; that will drive you crazy. We are reshaping here and working on overall health. It’s okay to lose some inches on your butt as long as you are losing overall and, including strength training to add some glute muscle/curves and to eat enough food & protein to maintain your new muscles as they form.
The best way not to lose focus of how you’re doing is to take full body photos in a bathing suit or tight workout wear and take new photos once a week in the same clothing, lighting, and angles, if possible to track your progress. You can take measurements of hips and waist as well as other areas as well. You can do a DEXA scan periodically if you’d like to do the gold standard of tracking your progress. These scans will show you exactly how much fat, water, muscle, and bone mass you have in each area of the body. It even breaks it down from the right side to the left side. If you are very invested in tracking your progress, you can go this route; otherwise, photos and or measurements should be enough to help you see your progress’s overall picture.
The Illusion Of Fuller Hips
Creating curves is building size on your glutes, but it’s also creating the illusion of fuller hips, even though you can’t really add size to your hips in the gym. What you can do is work on waist cinching. By doing waist-cinching exercises and breathing techniques, you can work towards losing inches on your waist and, potentially, rib area. These exercises will change your waist/hip ratio, making it look like your hips are fuller, even though they have not changed in size.
My favorite techniques for cinching the waist are all Pilates based. I received all of my Pilates teachers’ certifications back in 2007. I completely changed my body by adding the correct form of Pilates to my weekly training. My ribs, which used to be a bit wide, slowly but surely cinched and lost inches in this area. In addition, my lower abs completely flattened and my waist got very defined. The secret to proper form is to focus on proper breathing and contraction, do not just go through the motions! I’ve taught hundreds of Pilates classes, and maybe 5% of people new to Pilates get the form correctly on the first try (usually dancers or gymnasts). Here is a video where I show correcting form on one of my lovely fitness clients, Kinar, that you can watch to understand the correct form and breathing better.
Work With Your Genetics
It’s imperative for you to look at building the best version of yourself. This means looking at other women in hopes of looking like them will only cause you not to appreciate what you have achieved.
If you look through some of my clients’ before/after photos, you can see that they all look fantastic in their afters, but they do not look the same. They are the best version of themselves.
There are little tricks that you can do to change your natural shape, and most of these have to do with lifting heavy weights. Lifting heavy is how I give my clients curves. While many people say that you can’t get bulky from lifting weights, I would say, yes, you can if you’re not doing it correctly. I’ve worked with enough personal trainers as clients and changed how they trained with weights and completely transformed their bodies from looking very fit and boxy to looking very fit and curvy.
My secrets are training the areas I want to be larger consistently with heavy weights, i.e., the lats, shoulders, glutes, and legs on most women. I used waist-cinching abdominal training and trained all other areas with weights but not as heavy. So it’s a mix, and we throw in compound movements for overall strength and health, but it’s a mix with bodybuilding-type techniques to create an Hourglass Silhouette through training.
All of my training programs offer this style of curve-building training. If you’d like to try a free trial, check out my Fitness App – TWL APP for incredible home & gym workouts. Use promo code: HOURGLASS for 30 days free.
If you’re looking for more support, you can try my all-access program with home follow along Hourglass Workouts, access to my Curve-Building Gym Routines, 5 Holistic Eating Plans and a weekly group zoom with me and the team to answer your questions and go over the topic of the week. Try this program for 30 days free with promo code: HOURGLASS .
The process is faster and easier if your goal is to get slim. But, your goal is to, in essence, change your frame; this takes longer and needs more discipline, but the rewards are worth it!
To get slim is a more linear process of adjusting calories/macros and exercise. Most people can achieve success in the first week.
Reshaping the body takes time. You might start to see the results in a few months, and if you continue and stay consistent over the years, it generally keeps improving until you achieve what you’re after and work on maintenance.
The curve-building protocol generally looks a bit more like this:
1) Start with maintenance calories or a bit higher to ensure enough calories to maintain new muscle. Learn to lift heavy with good form, and start your routine. Spend 1-2 months on building muscle (not weight loss). Include some cardio, at least 20 minutes of good sweat-based cardio, three times a week.
2) Continue the weight lifting, but add some Met-Con workouts (including HIIT and muscle work) to start seeing more fat burn. Move calories to maintenance.
3) Once you see muscle strength increase and are ready to start cutting, you can increase the HIIT sessions to 3 times a week. I’m a big fan of sprint training and Tabata for this. I have a great variety of HIIT and Sprint Training on my TWL APP that are all follow-along workouts. Now that you’re ready to cut, the essential part for fat loss will be cutting calories. At this point, we cut 250 calories a day off of your maintenance until you get your goal weight.
4) Once you hit your goal weight, you move your calories back to maintenance by adding back 50 calories a day each week until you hit maintenance again. You will need to keep up your training. You can generally cut one day off of your training and still maintain your results.
5) If you want to add more muscle at some point, repeat this process and then move back into maintenance.
This is how I train all of my clients. If you’re looking for a program to get you to your goals, I offer a more intense program called the Hourglass Workout Online. In this program, I offer you all my curve-building gym programs, five eating plans, and my how to lift correctly online course; I meet with everyone once a week on zoom live to discuss a new topic and answer everyone’s questions. There is also an archive of our previous calls with topics including hormones, fat loss, growing your food, a non-toxic kitchen, warm-ups, Kegels and pelvic floor, progressive overload and building, how to count macros, and more! My goal is your success, and I love that we have a strong community and weekly chats to ensure we get everyone there. Check out the Hourglass Workout here and use promo code: HOURGLASS to try the first month free.
I’m looking forward to helping you get to your goals.