As you embark on your fitness journey, you might be wondering, “How long does it take for the glutes to grow?” Growing your glutes takes time, dedication, and patience. Your progress will depend on various factors, including your genetics, workout intensity, consistency, nutrition, and recovery.
In this article, we’ll dive into the key factors that influence glute growth and provide a realistic timeline to help you manage your expectations and achieve your dream booty.
How long to grow the glutes?
Assuming you optimize the factors we’ll discuss today, you might start seeing minor improvements as early as 4-6 weeks. However, it typically takes about 3-6 months for more noticeable changes to occur.
For a complete booty transformation, you’ll need to be patient and committed, as it can take around 1-2 years.
We know that might not be the instant result you were hoping for, but trust us – the journey is worth it.
It’s essential to remember that everyone is different. One person may start seeing results within a month, while another might have to wait 3 months before noticing any gains. Numerous factors contribute to muscle growth in the glute region (and the rest of the body), some of which we can control, and others we cannot.
Continue reading to discover how you can make the most of your time and begin building that dream booty today!
Before diving in, let’s take a moment to re-familiarize ourselves with the basics of glute anatomy. This will help us stay on the same page throughout the article when discussing these powerhouse muscles.
Our glutes are comprised of a trio of muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus.
The gluteus maximus takes center stage as the largest and most visible muscle among the three. Its main function is hip extension, but it also lends a hand in the abduction and external rotation.
Next up, we have the gluteus medius, which is the second largest muscle in the group. Nestled at the top of your booty and hidden beneath the maximus, the medius primarily focuses on abduction while also contributing to external rotation.
Finally, let’s not forget the petite gluteus minimus. Although it’s the smallest of the bunch, it plays a vital role in working alongside the other two muscles. Tucked away beneath its larger siblings, the minimus assists in both abduction and external rotation.
Factors that impact your glute growth journey
When it comes to building a bootylicious backside, there are several factors at play. By effectively optimizing each element, you’ll be well on your way to some serious glute gains.
Before we dive into the aspects you can control, let’s address the genetic elephant in the room.
Your genetics have a say in your body structure, which includes the shape of your hips, waist, and backside. While some people are born with wider hips, others have a narrower frame, which can impact the shape of your booty before you even pick up a dumbbell.
Metabolism also falls under the generic umbrella. Some lucky individuals have a fast metabolism, making it easier to lose fat but more challenging to build muscle. You’ll need to eat more than average to fuel your body with the energy required for muscle growth.
Where your body stores fat is another genetic factor. Some people naturally store fat in their glutes, giving the appearance of a larger derriere, while others store it in their midsection, creating the opposite effect.
Unfortunately, we can’t choose where we lose fat first during a weight loss phase. Your body will make that decision for you. Your genetics also determine how quickly you build muscle and your maximum potential for muscle growth in specific areas. But don’t stress too much about reaching your genetic potential; it takes years of consistent training and proper nutrition to get there.
Now that we’ve covered what’s out of our hands, let’s focus on the factors we can control to make the most of your glute-building journey.
Training is a key ingredient in growing your glutes.
A well-designed training program not only builds muscle but also helps lose body fat, both of which significantly impact glute progression. Be sure to target all three glute muscles, with an emphasis on the largest one, the gluteus maximus.
The best approach to growing your glutes involves a mix of compound and isolation exercises. Various training variables, such as volume, frequency, load, rest, and exercise selection, all contribute to your glute growth.
However, the most crucial principle for building muscle is arguably progressive overload.
Progressive overload means gradually increasing the training stimulus over time, forcing your body to adapt continuously. If your training remains the same week after week, your body will stop adapting once it has adjusted to the stimulus, leading to a progress plateau.
To keep growing, you need to keep pushing your limits. Here are some ways to implement progressive overload:
- Increase the number of sets
- Increase the number of reps
- Reduce rest times
- Increase training frequency
- Increase resistance
Increasing resistance is the most common method, likely because it’s the easiest to track and apply.
Diet – Nourishing Your Muscles
When it comes to muscle building, your diet is the star of the show.
To build muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn daily. If you don’t, growth simply won’t happen, no matter how hard you work at the gym. If you’re putting in the effort but not seeing the glute gains you desire, your diet might be the missing link.
Eating more calories than you burn provides your body with the energy it needs to grow. During workouts, you break down muscle fibers; your body then uses this surplus energy to rebuild those muscles, making them bigger and stronger.
Protein consumption is also crucial for muscle building. Protein’s amino acids are the building blocks of muscle, helping to rebuild them after a workout. Without enough protein, you won’t be able to optimize the rebuilding process.
To gain mass, aim to consume 1.6–2.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight, which is much higher than the average person’s requirement of 0.80 grams. But don’t forget about carbohydrates and fats!
Carbohydrates provide the energy needed for high-intensity workouts, while fats play a role in hormone regulation. To figure out exactly how much you should be eating to build muscle, check out our recent article, “How many calories do I need when bulking?” and calculate your daily macro requirements.
Muscles aren’t built during your workout; they grow during your recovery. When you exercise, you break down muscle fibers, and it’s during your downtime that they rebuild themselves. If you don’t allow enough time for this rebuilding process and jump back into working out, your muscles won’t have a chance to recover and grow.
Because of our sedentary lifestyles, many of us spend most of our day sitting, causing our glutes to become dormant. It’s essential to “switch on” your glutes before working out, ensuring they’re awake and ready to perform.
Failing to activate your glutes can result in surrounding muscles overcompensating during exercises, which can lead to injuries and muscle imbalances – definitely not ideal.
Spend just 5-10 minutes on glute activation before your workout to avoid these issues. Try a few of our favorite glute activation exercises, performing 2-3 sets of 15 reps each to prime your glutes for the rest of your workout.
5 Handy Hints to Boost Your Glute Growth
Here are five fantastic tips, spanning both workouts and diet, to help you grow your glutes at a quicker pace.
Embrace Heavy Loads in Training
Neglecting heavy loads can hinder your overall glute growth, as you won’t be training all the muscle fibers. By incorporating heavy weights (5-10 rep range) in your glute exercises, you’ll build glute strength and target more fast twitch muscle fibers (which grow better with heavier loads).
Mix in High Reps and Short Rest Periods
Alongside heavy loads, you’ll want to train with higher rep ranges, nearing or reaching failure. Aim for 15-30 reps with shorter rest periods (30-60 seconds) in exercises that specifically target the glutes and enhance your mind-muscle connection.
Savor the Glute Contracting Moment
Though the glutes are engaged in most lower body exercises, it’s essential to focus on muscle contraction (i.e., squeezing the muscle) during isolated glute exercises, especially if you’re struggling with glute growth. Flex your glutes at the peak of each movement to activate more muscle fibers and improve your mind-muscle connection.
Dedicate 3-4 Days a Week to Glute Training
By training your glutes multiple days a week, you can increase training volume while allowing for recovery between sessions. For standard muscle growth, aim for 15-20 total work sets across 2-3 hard training days. To maximize glute growth, bump it up to 20-30 sets.
Fuel Up with Enough Calories
Limited calorie intake can restrict glute growth, regardless of your workouts. To accelerate glute growth, follow the above training tips and ensure you’re in a caloric surplus.
Developing shapelier and more toned glutes naturally requires consistent effort and a balanced diet. While exercise is essential, vitamins and supplements may also play a role in supporting your goals of achieving a bigger booty. That said, it’s important to have realistic expectations about the time it takes to see results.
6 Top Exercises to Supercharge Your Growth
Here are six fantastic exercises to target and expand your glutes. You can find all of these exercises in the Fitbod app and easily incorporate them into your program.
Bulgarian Split Squats
This advanced movement can be performed with body weight, dumbbells, or barbells and requires great balance and coordination.
- Choose your preferred weight (barbell, dumbbells, or bodyweight).
- Stand in front of a bench or box that’s about as tall as your shin, and place your back leg on it.
- Lower yourself into a kneeling position with your front foot flat on the ground.
- Stand up using your lead leg, then go back down, softly touching your back knee to the floor every rep.
- Builds lower body strength and targets one leg at a time.
- Useful for addressing muscle weaknesses.
- May be too advanced for some beginners.
This dynamic single-leg exercise can be done with any form of weight or just body weight.
- Hold dumbbells by your sides or use a barbell or body weight.
- Take a step forward, allowing your weight to transfer to the lead leg.
- Allow the back knee to touch the ground as you lunge forward.
- Push through the lead leg to stand up, and bring the back leg underneath you as you step forward.
- Trains the lower body in a way that translates to real-world movements.
- Improves balance and coordination.
- May cause stress on the knees if not strong enough to handle the movement.
This hamstring and glute exercise is excellent for strengthening and growing your glutes.
- Grab a barbell with some weight (dumbbells also work).
- Stand upright and push your hips back while keeping them elevated.
- Flatten your back and grab the barbell.
- Lift the barbell using your hamstrings and glutes, and stand up without arching your back too much.
- Lower the weight slowly to the ground and repeat.
- Adds a ton of muscular stress and tension to the hamstrings and glutes.
- Requires good postural control.
This classic glute-building exercise should be in any program aimed at growing your glutes quickly.
- Using a barbell, lie with your upper back on a bench and your hips on the floor.
- Roll the barbell into the crease of your hip (use a pad for comfort).
- Lift your hips to lift the barbell off the floor, driving through your heels.
- Isolates the glutes and takes the stress off the lower back.
- Can aggravate the lower back if not extending your hips at the top.
Cable Hip Extensions
This exercise isolates the glutes when done correctly.
- Attach a loop strap to the end of a low cable pulley and your ankle.
- Stand facing the weight stack.
- Lift the leg with the loop backward, keeping it straight.
- Pause at the top of the movement, lower slowly, and repeat.
- Isolates the gluteus without loading the lower back.
- Safe for any level.
- Requires body awareness to lift the leg without moving the lower back or pelvis.
A less advanced version of the hip thrust and Romanian deadlift.
- Stand facing away from a low cable stack with a rope attachment.
- Hold the end of the rope handles about 3-4 feet away from the cable stack
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, stand upright, and flex your glutes. This is the top of the movement.
- Softly bend your knees and let the cable run between your thighs, as if performing a Romanian deadlift.
- Keep your back flat, push your hips forward, and stand up using your glutes. Then, repeat.
- Great for isolating the glutes (and hamstrings if done all the way down).
- Targets the glutes with high reps while minimizing strain on the lower back.
- Some people might struggle to extend their hips without using their lower back.
- Focus on the top ¾ of this movement to really isolate the glutes.
How do I know if I’m genetically predisposed to having a bigger or smaller booty?
While it’s impossible to predict your exact genetic potential, you can look at your family members to get a rough idea of what you might inherit. However, keep in mind that with consistent training, proper nutrition, and dedication, you can still make significant improvements to your glute size and shape regardless of your genetic predisposition.
Can I build glutes without using weights or going to the gym?
Yes, you can build glutes with bodyweight exercises, such as squats, lunges, and glute bridges. However, to maximize your glute growth, you’ll eventually need to add resistance in the form of weights, bands, or other equipment to continue challenging your muscles and promote progressive overload.
How do I know if I’m eating enough to support glute growth?
To ensure you’re consuming enough calories and nutrients to support muscle growth, track your daily food intake using an app or journal. Aim for a caloric surplus and consume 1.6–2.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight. If you’re still unsure, consider consulting a nutritionist or personal trainer for personalized advice.
How can I tell if my glutes are activated during my workouts?
You’ll know your glutes are activated if you feel a “burn” or tightness in the muscles during your exercises. To enhance your mind-muscle connection, focus on contracting your glutes at the peak of each movement, and perform glute activation exercises before your workouts.
How do I prevent lower back pain while training my glutes?
To minimize lower back strain during glute exercises, focus on maintaining proper form and engaging your core. Avoid exercises that cause discomfort or pain in your lower back, and consult a fitness professional if you’re unsure about your technique.
Can I grow my glutes while also losing body fat?
While it’s challenging to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously, it’s possible for beginners or those returning to exercise after a long break. To achieve this, you’ll need to maintain a slight caloric deficit while still consuming enough protein and nutrients to support muscle growth. However, keep in mind that progress may be slower than focusing solely on muscle building or fat loss.
Achieving your dream glutes requires a well-planned training program and proper nutrition.
Remember, building muscle in any area of your body doesn’t happen instantly. It’s the result of consistent effort both in and out of the gym.
You might start noticing minor changes within 4-6 weeks, while more significant progress tends to appear within 3-6 months. To truly transform your glutes, stay dedicated for 1-2 years – trust us, it’s worth the effort!
We hope you enjoyed today’s article. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.