Do I Have to Lift Heavy to Grow My Butt? (Explained!)

Spread the love

The common advice we often receive is that to develop muscles and increase size, we need to lift heavy weights.

However, is this actually true when you’re trying to grow your butt?

Various muscle groups typically respond differently to resistance training.

Therefore, if you want to grow your glutes it’s best to find the right combination.

So, I’ll now reveal the best way to train your butt, especially in terms of how heavy you should be lifting.

Do I Have to Lift Heavy to Grow My Butt?

There have been various studies which show that glutes are made up of approximately 52-68% of slow-twitch muscle fibres and 32-48% of fast-twitch muscle fibres. Therefore, a combination of heavy and light/moderate work is the ideal way to grow your butt. This is best achieved through heavy general lower body exercises and lighter specialist glute exercises.

1. The Glutes Are Made Up of Fast & Slow Twitch Muscle Fibres


The type of muscle fibres which make up a particular muscle is typically a great indicator of how heavy you should lift.

With that being said, I personally believe that everyone should focus on building strength whenever they first start working out.

Basically, only once you’ve worked towards your strength potential will you see some significant changes to your physique.

Unfortunately, many people first visit the gym and focus solely on hypertrophy training, while using mainly isolation exercises.

However, if you’re looking to grow your butt you can approach things slightly differently.

The gluteus maximus, which is the main one of the three gluteal muscles, is actually made up of both slow-twitch and fast twitch muscle fibres.

But, they mainly consist of slow-twitch muscle fibres.

In fact, some people may find that up to two-thirds of their gluteal muscle fibres are slow-twitch.

Now, slow-twitch muscle fibres typically respond best to lots of volume and a higher rep range.

In fact, the glutes respond really well to building your reps up towards failure.

So, you may now think that the best way to train glutes is with lighter-to-moderate weights and higher reps.

Now, while this initially may seem to be the case, I don’t personally think it’s always best to focus on specialist glute exercises.

So, for me, I would actually prefer to perform certain lower body exercises with heavy weights in the 3-5 rep range.

This could encompass squats, deadlifts, lunges, stiff-leg deadlifts, etc.

Therefore, this would be the strength-training portion of my workout, thus satisfying the fast-twitch muscle fibres.

I would then turn my attention to more glute-specific exercises, e.g. hip thrusts, cable kickbacks, resistance band clamshells, etc.

I would typically perform these movements in the 12-20 rep range, thus satisfying the slow-twitch muscle fibres.

Basically, a combination of heavy, moderate, light, and even bodyweight exercises is the best way forward.

2. Glute Progress Can Be Stalled By Only Lifting Heavy

Okay, so you now know that the glutes are made up of both fast and slow-twitch muscle fibres.

Therefore, they will respond best to a variety of training, light, heavy and bodyweight.

However, it’s also true that you may experience no butt growth at all if you solely focus on heavy lifting.

The glutes are the largest muscle in the human body, but also generally some of the most underused muscles too.

And this has definitely been made worse in the modern day and age.

Basically, we spend a lot of our time sitting nowadays, whether at home, the office, or even on holiday.

And unfortunately, every time we sit (which is frequently) the glutes literally turn themselves off.

In other words, whenever we sit, our glutes are no longer activated.

This also means that when we exercise our glutes are typically the last muscle to activate.

Furthermore, it can actually be quite difficult to determine whether out glutes are activated during certain exercises.

Plus, this can be made worse if we immediately start our workout with a heavy specialised glute exercises.

This is why I believe it’s better to perform your initial strength training with a lower body compound exercise.

So, in effect, you would start your workout with a few sets of 3-5 reps of heavy squats or heavy deadlifts, before focusing more on your glutes.

This actually provides you with an opportunity to activate the glutes before you specifically isolate them.

Unfortunately, if you don’t do this then your “stronger” muscles generally take over.

We can agree that hip thrusts are one of the greatest glute exercises ever.

However, quite often you may not actually feel the movement in your glutes.

A prime example of this is if you feel hip thrusts in your hamstrings, quads, knees, or lower back.

This simply comes down to your glutes being “asleep” and therefore your other muscles take over.

3. Ensure Your Activate Your Glutes Every Day

So, I’ve spoken of how many of us have underused glute muscles.

Plus, the fact that we do so much sitting literally sends our glutes to sleep.

This then means that it can be harder to activate your glutes when performing certain exercises.

And the result of this is generally that we are left with tight or weak glutes, which can lead to all sorts of other issues.

As an example, a weak butt can often be the culprit when it comes to back pain.

In effect, your glutes simply aren’t strong enough to support your body and therefore your lower back takes up much of the strain.

Then again, inactive glutes may mean that other muscles end up doing most of the work during various exercises.

This can cause further glute weakness, muscle imbalances, and of course, injury.

Personally, I believe it’s a fantastic idea to activate your glutes on a daily basis.

And I think you should do this whether you’re training that day or not.

The simple fact that your butt is going to “fall asleep” at some point during the day, it makes a lot of sense to get the muscles working.

Plus, the glutes are the largest muscle in the body, so you’ll want to keep them constantly fired up throughout the day.

So, a 5-10 minute glute activation session every morning could do you the world of good, in both the gym and in life in general.

Activate Your Glutes in 8 Minutes – No Equipment

Final Thoughts

So, I hope you understand that you don’t have to lift heavy to grow your butt.

The fact that the gluteus maximus is made up of both fast and slow-twitch muscle fibres means that it will react better to an all-round workout.

Therefore, it makes sense to perform heavy, moderate, light, and bodyweight exercises for your glutes.

With that being said, it can be quite difficult to activate the glutes, as we spend a lot of time sitting on our butts.

So, you should aim to activate your glutes on a daily basis.

This will ensure that your glutes are fired up and ready for whatever exercises you want to throw at them.

If you want to take your glute training to a new level then I have just the thing for you. What follows is a 36 exercises that should be performed over 8 workouts, i.e. 2 workouts a week for 4 weeks. By the end you will have achieved a stronger, firmer and rounder butt. To discover more check out my Unlock Your Glutes Review.

Leave a Comment