Last updated on February 11th, 2023 at 03:27 pm
Regardless of whether you’re looking to get stronger, build muscle, burn body fat, or lose weight, it makes sense to train the largest muscle in the body, i.e. the glutes
However, when it comes to training the glutes, is there ideal number of minutes or time your workout should take?
The ideal glute workout will be between 15-30 minutes. However, it is better to view glute training in terms of total sets performed during the week. The optimal amount for a large muscle group such as the glutes is 15-20 working sets in total. This is best achieved by performing multiple workouts during the week, thus meaning that each workout falls in the 15-30 minutes range.
Glute Workout Length Does Not Indicate Effectiveness
The amount of time a glute workout takes is not an indicator of how effective it will be.
The same can be said when it comes to training any body part.
In fact, even if you’re training multiple body parts, the length of your workout will have little bearing.
Okay admittedly, working your glutes for 5 minutes at a time, once a week, will typically not produce the desired results.
But, the same can be said for training your glutes for a 2-hour session.
I guess it’s human nature that if something appears to be doing us good then we automatically assume that doubling or trebling our efforts will be even better.
However, this is definitely not the case.
Yes, I understand that many bodybuilders and powerlifters will spend 2-3 hours a day in the gym.
But, they are training for a specific reason, plus their bodies have become used to what they throw at it.
You can also assume that many of these types of lifters will “enhance” their performance to help them train for longer (if you get my meaning).
Nevertheless, for us mere mortals, the length of a workout should never be of concern, but rather the intensity.
In effect, if I train my glutes with extremely high-intensity for just 15 minutes, I can expect better overall glute growth than if I train for an hour while putting in very little effort.
And this is the point – the more a workout drags on, the more likely you will be “wasting” a lot of sets.
Focus on Total Sets For the Entire Week
For me, when it comes to training a muscle group, such as the glutes. I prefer to focus on total working sets.
So, I would typically want to perform a certain number of exercises and sets on a weekly basis.
When it comes to the larger muscle groups this is generally 3-4 exercises for a total of 15-20 sets.
Whereas, for the smaller muscle groups this would typically be 2-3 exercises for 12-15 sets.
The glutes are the largest muscle in the human body, therefore they would fall into the first category.
Now, in order to train the glutes effectively I would want to hit all 3 gluteal muscles, i.e. Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus, and Gluteus Medius.
Additionally, the glutes are best worked through 3 planes of motion, i.e. vertical, horizontal, and rotational.
By doing this I can work all the gluteal muscles, while also hitting each plane of motion.
This would satisfy using at least 3 exercises, and I would simply perform these exercises for a total of 15-20 sets.
How long this “workout” takes me will obviously depend on reps, sets, rest periods, and how I choose to complete my total number of sets.
Work Your Glutes More Than Once a Week
Something else to consider is splitting up your total number of working sets throughout the week.
In fact, this is something I would suggest you do for every muscle group, and not just your glutes.
There are a couple of main reasons for this.
Firstly, if you’re trying to perform 15-20 sets in one workout you could run into certain issues.
You will generally find that your first few sets are performed with adequate intensity, but then as you fatigue the remainder of sets aren’t really providing you with any oomph.
Furthermore, you should also be wary of increased cortisol levels when working out.
Cortisol is the stress hormone, which typically works against building muscle.
You’ll find that cortisol levels will usually become elevated after around 45 minutes of high-intensity exercise.
Whereas, this could take 2-3 hours when performing moderate-intensity exercise.
However, you never really want to get to this stage during any workout.
In effect, once your body is releasing cortisol your workout pretty much becomes ineffective.
So, a great way to avoid this is to split your working sets up during the week.
As an example, you could pick two glute exercises for your main weekly glute workout and hit these for about 8 sets in total.
Then later in the week (once your glutes have recovered) you could complete 8 sets again, but for two different exercises.
Then again, you could also perform one exercise at the end of a workout twice a week.
Realistically, it depends on your focus when it comes to training glutes.
So, you could easily perform a glute workout 2-4 times a week.
However, just ensure that you stick to the totals of 3-4 exercises for 15-20 sets.
Don’t Forget Nutrition & Recovery
Now, while training your glutes is extremely important in producing a stronger, rounder, firmer, and bigger butt, it isn’t the end of the story.
You must remember that the glutes are a muscle, and therefore much the same as any other muscle group, they require rest, recovery, and good nutrition to grow.
So, you could actually train your glutes with high-intensity and on a regular basis, but never notice any difference in your physique.
All muscles in the human body are typically “damaged” during exercise.
And it’s not until we allow the damaged muscles to rest and then feed them, especially with protein, that they can repair themselves and grow back bigger and stronger.
So, always keep in mind that the “good stuff” happens when you rest and when you’re asleep, as opposed to while you’re in the gym.
Additionally, depending on your training and physique goals, your nutrition also aids muscle recovery and growth.
The basis of nutrition will always be that if you wish to lose weight/burn body fat then you need to consume fewer calories than you’re burning on a daily basis.
In order to maintain your weight then consume the exact number of calories that you burn on a daily basis.
And finally, in order to get bigger and build muscle you’ll need to consume more calories than you burn.
Your first step is to calculate your maintenance calories, which is based on your sex, age, height, weight, and levels of physically activity.
Then you simply choose your training goal and eat accordingly.
Key Learning Points
- A glute-specific workout can be 15-30 minutes.
- The intensity with which you train your glutes is more important than the length of your workout.
- A great aim for glute training would be to perform 3-4 exercises for a total of 15-20 sets over the course of a week.
- If you wish to focus on growing your glutes it makes sense to train them more than once a week.
- Effective glute workouts will ensure you hit all 3 planes of motion, i.e. vertical, horizontal, and rotational, etc.
- Rest, recovery, and nutrition is just as important as your training when it comes to producing great glutes.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.