I am pretty sure I have complained about this “lifting legend” at some point in the past (since I have complained about every subject under the sun at some time in my surly existence), but I decided now was the time to pause, take a deep breath, and get in a nice full rant on……
YOU CANNOT BUILD GREAT GLUTES WITH SQUATS ALONE.
I think everyone knows I have big issues with the whole “peach gang” mafia and their weird obsession with stating that ALL girls who squat have glutes, and to get glutes you MUST squat…..and my main issue has to do with this repeated dogma that somehow if one just squats, she (or he, not being sexist here) will get that perfect bubble ass he/she can then post on Instagram and #peachbooty tag it as proof they are in some elite club of worthy arses.
Here’s a tip:
LIKE 99% OF YOU CANNOT DEVELOP GREAT GLUTES WITH SQUATS ALONE.
Do they help?
In my opinion they should be included (in some form) in every leg day. They are ONE of the cornerstones of having a nice bum.
But are they the KING (queen?) of ass movements?
I am a quad-dominant athlete……like ridiculously so.
If any of you have gandered at my all-to-frequent and borderline narcissistic Instagram posts you will see this.
There is a reason for this.
In most squat and leg movements my quads will bust in on the scene, whether I want them to or not, and try to take over the movement. One reason they are so big is because they “activate” in most any leg movement, and because they activate they get bigger. Then, the bigger they get, the more they activate, and so on, leaving my glutes and hams to hang out at the back of the party like awkward wallflowers, wishing they would get asked to dance. I powerlifted nonstop for 6 years, doing all manner of heavy-ass squats, and STILL NEVER HAD AN ASS. My quads over-activating left my glutes unable to activate. I didn’t even know how to GET them to activate, could not feel them working, even when I actually started getting decent depth.
You wanna know when I started to grow an ass?
IT WAS WHEN I STARTED ISOLATING GLUTES, AND FINDING SQUAT/LEG MOVEMENTS THAT MADE ME USE MY ASS, WHETHER I WANTED TO OR NOT.
Growing a part by focusing on it!??!?
Seems simple, but when we are training in a sports specification (like powerlifting, strongman, etc), we sometimes get blinders to common sense approaches to training. Also, there is the added bias of many powerlifters against training like “fit chicks” so we often are teased for DOING the very movements that will help us grow our glutes…….things like cable kickbacks (from varying angles), bridges/pelvic thrusts (machine or barbell), and cable pull-thru’s (as well as other stuff like donkey kicks, reverse power squat machine good mornings, clam shells, etc). Isolation movements are just that……movements that will force you to use your glutes and pretty much make it impossible for your quads to crash the party.
Another good method is to STUDY the compound/heavy movements you are doing to see WHICH ONES MAKE YOU USE DAT ASS.
For me, I used to do a lot of conventional pulling, and almost no sumo work. I also always squatted in about the same stance, feet shoulder width apart, and sometimes closer for front or SSB work. (Hello quads.) When I started sumo pulling to more fully develop my hips, I realized something amazing……MY ASS HURT LIKE MAD THE NEXT DAY. My ass had never really hurt squatting, or just barely. Now I felt like someone had beaten me about the hiney with a 2×4.
Same thing happened when I decided to go back to Smith squats…..people love to hate on the Smith, but it fucking works, especially for hypertrophy. I went back to sumo stance work on the Smith and my ass and hams were FRIED, as well as my inner thighs, which are hard to “activate” in a normal squat or conventional pull (at least for me).
The really neat thing about this type of experimentation is studying your lifts to see how you can REALLY make it suck for your ass/hams…..I started doing variations on sumo pulls…..double front banded sumo, partial RDL’s, double partial RDL’s and 1.5’s being some of my favorites.
On squats, 1.5’s are deadly as well. Think about it…..the top half of a squat is quads and bottom half of a squat is the portion where your ass and hams are working…..SO SPEND MORE TIME IN THE BOTTOM.
Doing that low half rep as part of a full squat rep makes your posterior chain work twice as hard. They are BRUTAL.
On deadlift, banding or making top half HARDER is obviously going to make your glutes work, because you have to force your arse through, HARD, to lock out. Partials are great because you keep tension on ass and hams WHOLE MOVEMENT. They get no rest, so get way more work, and at lighter weights.
You may all assume I am speaking about aesthetic gains, but I am not. Obviously, if you have a big muscular ass you will squat and pull much better. Someone quad-dominant with inability to fire their ass and hams is clearly not optimizing on heavy lifts. The best part is…..once you MAKE your ass and hams activate, they LEARN how to do it, and that will carry over to your competition squat and deadlift. So now you do not only have the added ass MASS to utilize for strength, YOU KNOW HOW TO USE IT. Double win.
So do those goddamn cable kickbacks, you prideful morons. Do the barbell bridges, and put up with random gym folks eyeballing your hump abilities. Think about what you are doing, and pay attention to what works to “get” your ass…..AND INCORPORATE IT INTO YOUR TRAINING REGULARLY.
Now a disclaimer…..so the peach gang doesn’t put out a hit on me…..this all worked FOR ME.
It took weeks/months of study and reorganizing training to develop this individual approach. Do I think most of it would work for others? Yep. But clearly, no one else is me. So YOU need to use critical thinking and experimentation to develop what works FOR YOU. My main point is to AVOID DOGMATIC APPROACHES TO TRAINING. Just because the crowd says something will work, does NOT mean it will work FOR YOU. Clearly, if you are not seeing results, CHANGE YOUR MINDSET….change your training, change some movements….keep what works, chuck out what does not. That’s it…..that’s my rant for this month….so now…….
GO GET THAT BIG ASS, SEA BASS!!!
Follow on IG: @_the_kraken_