I like big butts: How to grow your glutes

Looking through social media, big butts seem to be very on trend at the moment, and while some people may think it’s great and want to grow their glutes, others may not, and that’s perfectly okay, everyone has different goals for their bodies! But if you’re looking for some tips to grow those glutes, keep reading.


Anatomy of the glutes

The Glutes are made up of 3 muscles, the Gluteus Minimus, the Gluteus Medius, and the Gluteus Maximus. Each plays a different role, so you want to ensure you are working all three, just like you would train the front and back of your legs.

1. The Glute Maximus is one of the largest muscles in your body and is the most superficial (close to the surface) of your glute muscles, which means that this is the muscle that will give you some shape and mass.

2. The Glute Medius is located on the sides of your butt and main role is hip abduction (think taking the leg away from the body) and helps with overall stability of the pelvis.

3. The Glute Minimus is the deepest and smallest of the glute muscles. It works with synergy with the glute medimus to abduct and internally rotate the thigh. They provide stability, and assist with simple tasks like walking and running.


Why should you train your glutes?

It’s not just about getting a Kim K butt (although, I’m not convinced hers is 100% real!) Bigger and toned glutes not only look ascetically pleasing but strong active glute muscles are great injury prevention. A sign of inactive glutes can be lower back pain, knee pain, tightness in your quadriceps, poor posture or excessive fatigue in your quadriceps to name a few. Bear in mind that inactive glutes are not the only cause of these injuries, and you should always get these issues checked over by a physiotherapist.


How to train in the gym:

Start with training the big compound exercises first, which for your glutes is 3 main movements:

  1. Squats
  2. Deadlifts/ Hip Hinge exercises
  3. Hip thrusts

There is lots of variations of the 3 compound movements. Make sure you are using a weight that is challenging for you but can still preform with perfect technique. Think about squeezing and contracting the glutes with each rep. You want to push yourself to fatigue where you can feel the burn in the glute muscle. If you finish the set and you could of done 5 more reps, try increasing the weight. We ideally want to finish the set 2 short of failure (2SOF), meaning you had only 2 more reps left in the tank for that set.  Aim for 8 – 12 reps.

Then you want to add more isolated exercises:

  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Bridges
  • Reverse Lunges
  • Curtsey lunges
  • Donkey kicks / kick backs
  • 1 leg Romanian Deadlifts
  • Hip abduction exercises


Resistance bands and glute activation:

As we generally sit a lot with our daily life, our quadriceps can become tight and dominate. If you only feel your quadriceps working when you do a squat, glute activation is really important for you to “switch on” the glute muscles for your workout. This is key to be able to grow your glutes.

You can activate your glutes by using a mini band. You want to make sure that the resistance band is tight around your thighs, just above your knees, or around your ankles. There are a number of exercises you can do to warm up your glutes, such as squats, crab walks, clam shells, glute bridges, donkey kicks, fire hydrants and many other hip abduction movements. It should only take you about 5 minutes to warm up your glutes, you don’t want to tire yourself out before you’ve even started your workout!


How long will it take to grow my glutes?

This will depend on genetics, how often you train, and what you eat.

Nutrition is really important as well as the training to grow your glute muscles. You want to make sure you are in a calorie surplus and eating adequate daily amount of protein. We recommend eating 1 x BW (KG) to 1.5 x BW(KG) = grams of daily protein.

You can still gain muscle on your normal number of calories or even in a deficit, but it will take longer. Eating a calorie deficit can work well if you would still like to lose body fat while still toning your glutes.

While eating in a surplus, it is said to take around three months to really grow your glutes and see progress. However, genetics also plays a part. By adding some of those compound and isolated exercises to your next leg day, I’m sure you’ll start to see some results soon!

The Truth About Abs

Different parts of the abdominals, how to get a flat stomach, how to strengthen your core…

We’ve all heard or tried to crunch our way to a six-pack! But I’m sure you soon realized that no matter how many you did, that six-pack never showed! The truth is there are more and better ways to effectively work out and define your abdominal muscles which a big part of this is your diet and getting leaner. Before we begin talking about how to define the abdominals it is best to understand how the muscle group is made up.

The four main muscles within the abdominal muscle group are:

Rectus abdominus – the long strap of muscle that extends the entire length of the abdominal wall (the muscle that is associated with the “six-pack” look). This muscle is responsible for all your movements that involve flexing or extending the spine e.g sit-ups or mountain climbers.

Internal & External obliques – these are considered your side muscles with your external oblique being the most superficial (closest to skins surface). In simplified terms, the external oblique runs downwards from the posterior part of the ribs to your abdomen and pelvis. Internal obliques lie underneath running from your pelvis/abdomen up towards the ribs (work in opposite directions). These muscles are responsible for any twisting, side flexion, or rotating of the torso e.g bicycle crunches.

Transverse abdominus – the deepest of the muscles with fibers running horizontally anteriorly across your middle. This muscle helps to compress the abdomen and stabilize the pelvis (known as the corset muscle as it provides the corset effect). This is the most important as it sits closest to the spine and improves posture and strengthens the lower back.

The core of your body

Abdominals play an important role in overall posture, balance & stability, good back health, and everyday tasks. The abdominals are the literal core of your body so it is important to train your abs for strength not only the idea of a flat stomach. When you have a strong core, you are less likely to put pressure on your lower back and reduce the chances of back pain as you get older. A strong core also helps to prevent injury throughout your everyday life by keeping your posture in check and giving you the support, you need to carry out things during the day.

The unfortunate thing with abs is no matter how hard you train them unless you’re eating a healthy diet and losing overall body fat your six-pack won’t show. That’s not to say that doing a lot of core exercises isn’t beneficial as you will be improving your core strength, however, you will not be able to spot reduce your stomach fat to show off your strong core with thousands of crunches. The key to improving your core definition and strength is to incorporate a range of core exercises into your everyday workout routine as well as lose overall body fat. People store excess body fat in all different places whether it be their stomach, hips, thighs, back etc, which can also affect the amount of hard work you will need to put in to get a strong visible six-pack.

Before you think it’s going to be a never-ending battle between you, the gym, and your diet… Here are some of my helpful hints to get you closer to that six-pack and an overall stronger core!

  • Engage your core throughout the day! When you’re sitting at your desk all day try and take a moment every so often to adjust your posture and activate your core. This means sitting upright and squeezing your tummy muscles together. If you do this enough times it will begin to feel natural.
  • Focus on compound movements that involve your core throughout your whole workout. In fact, in almost every exercise you should be engaging and activating your core in order to stabilize your movement. Such as during pushups – squeeze the core, front weighted squats – squeeze the core, and shoulder press – squeeze the core. This is all beneficial to your posture, preventing injury and executing the exercise correctly.
  • Try adding a 5-10-minute ab routine to the beginning of every workout. Often people save their ab exercises to the end of their workout and then choose to skip them out because 1. You’ve run out of time or 2. You can’t be bothered. Adding abs to the beginning of your workout will help fire them up to remain engaged for the rest of your workout.
  • Understand your gut! Checking your stomach out in the morning is always so much more satisfying than later in the day because of our tummy’s bloat. Bloating is completely natural and you cannot stop it from happening however, you can help reduce it by understanding what works for you. Certain foods may cause you to bloat more than others. Try and figure out what makes you bloat the most and control your portion sizes to prevent that 5-month-pregnant feeling.
  • Get up and move! The more energy you expend each day the better for not only your overall health, mood, gut, and energy levels but also helps aid in fat loss by burning more calories.
  • Focus on your core – when you are exercising your core, really focus on those muscles and practice proper engagement and contraction of them as you do the exercise. This is the best way to really feel that burn and get the most out of your workout.

Come chat to us about booking in for a complimentary personalised program and we can show you some of our favourite ab exercises. There are much better exercises than the traditional crunch or sit-ups.

5 ingredient ‘Nutella’ fudge cake


150g coconut oil
3/4 cup cacao powder
6 eggs
1 cup rice malt syrup
1 cup hazelnut meal


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a circular baking pan with baking paper.
  2. Place coconut oil and cacao in a saucepan and stir until combined and melted.
  3. In an electric mixer, combine eggs and rice malt syrup.
  4. Add hazelnut meal and the chocolate mix to eggs and rice malt syrup and fold lightly until combined.
  5. Pour into the baking pan and bake for 35 minutes. Let cool, dust some cacao powder over the top and enjoy!

About My Clean Treats

Jess Lirosi is the creator of healthy dessert blog My Clean Treats. Featuring simple, guilt-free recipes, from chocolate cacao cake to traditional white chocolate and raspberry jelly slice, Jess’ desserts are made with no refined sugars or plain flours as she makes natural alternatives to her favourite treats.

You can find more of Jess’ clean treats at mycleantreats.com or follow her on Instagram @jess_mycleantreats, like My Clean Treats on Facebook or Twitter @jeslirosi for more healthy sweets.

How to stay on track over the festive season

During the festive season a lot of us tend to fall off the bandwagon and lose track of our healthy eating habits and regular exercise routine. Whilst it is perfectly okay to overindulge at your family Christmas BBQ or drink a little too much champagne over the New Year, you don’t want to lose sight of your end goals completely.

A common excuse at this time of the year is that you will start over in the New Year so everything you do now doesn’t count. Using this excuse to slack off your routine makes it that much more difficult to get started in the New Year and can often come with a lot of dread when you notice your favourite summer dress is a bit tighter than usual. Staying on track and enjoying this silly season doesn’t have to be a big task and doesn’t have to stop you from doing the things you love at this time of the year.

Here are my top tips to staying on track whilst still having a good time:

  • Drink plenty of water in between all the festive treats and alcohol! Staying hydrated will help to reduce overindulging, feeling sluggish and that hangover feeling the next day. If the idea of having a glass of water doesn’t appeal to you throughout the day, mix it up! Pour yourself a glass of sparkling water into a champagne glass and add a slice of lemon and some mint leaves! Great way to fend off the peer pressure!
  • Try all the salads and grilled veggies! Rather than loading your plate up with garlic bread, potatoes and meat, give some of the salads a go! Put the salads/vege on your plate first so you bulk your plate up with goodness before the carbs. Add your meat or protein source and then with the small room left take your garlic bread. You might discover a new salad recipe you love for summer
  • Stay away from the nibbles table when possible! At your family events or BBQ’s, try to strike up a conversation with someone out of reach of the nibbles. This way you can’t just sit there, mindlessly snacking the whole time. Enjoy the nibbles by going up to the table, grabbing a few things, and walking away again.
  • Keep as little festive treats in your house as possible! If it’s not available to you, you can’t eat it. I’m sure during the festive season you will be indulging in treats at Christmas and New Year events so you don’t need the extra treats lying around your house for you to snack on.
  • Get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Going to the gym might not be doable for you at this time and that’s perfectly okay. However, try to make the most of the longer summer days and get outside for walks with your friends, play cricket on the beach, kick a ball around or swim at the beach! Anything that keeps you active and expending some of that extra energy you’ve got!
  • Enjoy summer fruit! Instead of reaching for a candy cane or chocolate bar, snack on a piece of fresh fruit. Have the fruit prepped and ready to eat in the fridge so it is the first thing you see when you open the fridge. I like to chop up my pineapple and watermelon ready to grab and go.
  • Get creative with your favourite festive baking! Try to find some healthy alternatives to your favorite recipes and create your own healthy version that works for you! There are so many small ingredients swap you can do to make your recipe a bit healthier!

Don’t restrict yourself from your favourite foods and don’t feel guilty for not making it to the gym like you usually would. The most important thing is to find a balance in your lifestyle that works for you. You could always just try an maintain your weight over this period instead. Do your best and enjoy your holidays!

Getting back on track after the Winter slump

The dark mornings and nights, and the moody weather of Winter can cause motivation to be at an all-time low. Now that spring is here and the days are looking a little brighter here are a few tips to help you get back into your gym routine.

Set Your Next Goal

Organising your next significant goal is one of the best ways to keep you on track. With a challenge planned for the near future, you will be less likely to give in to the urge to skip a session.

Here are some examples:

  • 6km/12km/ Half or full marathon
  • Sign up for a triathlon
  • Tough Gal Challenge – An obstacle mud run. Great way to challenge all your aspects of your fitness and have fun too!
  • Goal to squat or deadlift bodyweight
  • A goal to beat your own 1000 m, Ski erg, rowing or 5km Run time

 Plan tomorrow, tonight

Spending a few minutes at the end of each day thinking about what you’re going to do tomorrow, and physically writing it down, increases your likelihood of completing the task.

  • Plan your workout
  • Plan what time you will train
  • Write a mini goal for your session
  • Have everything you need laid out and ready to go – gym gear/clothes, alarm set, food and snacks prepared etc.

Train with Others

Making a commitment with a friend or a group not only makes the workouts more fun, but also keeps you accountable. Knowing that you are meeting someone will make you less likely to skip the gym. Convince a friend to join you and take turns at planning your workouts to keep things interesting. Joining a group fitness class is also a good way to make friends at the gym to keep you accountable.

Change your workout routine

Repeating the same routine and exercises can become boring and contribute to motivation loss. To avoid this, try out a new workout style, new exercises, or a new group fitness class. By switching things up you’ll keep your mind and body engaged. Doing the same routine continuously can create some great results (if you are doing a progressive overload), but can become very monotonous and boring. It’s great to try new things and challenge your muscles in a different way to keep yourself interested.  Come see us for a new complimentary personalised weights program for the main gym.

Treat yourself to some new gym gear

A term called “enclothed cognition” refers to the psychological influence that clothing can have on us. It suggests that “dressing for the part” subconsciously changes our behaviors and attitudes. Basically, if you’re dressed for the gym, you’re not only more inclined to be active, but you can feel more confident in your abilities, leading to improved focus, motivation, and gains. So yes, this is your excuse to go buy some new gym wear that you feel good in 😊