You’ve got yourself to the stage where you confidently say you’ve got your glute training sorted. You’re doing the important glute building exercises including squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts (to name a few) and you feel like you’re making some decent progress – in terms of lifting numbers and muscle growth.
But something you’re slightly caught up on is how often you should be training your glutes. You know you need to be targeting them often enough to build muscle but are conscious of doing too much.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Today we’ll be discussing how often you should train your glutes to maximise your efforts.
|Table of Contents|
|Why should you train your glutes|
|How often should you train your glutes|
|What exercises should you perform|
Of course, the number one reason why you want to train your glutes is purely for aesthetics. However, this is certainly not the only reason; several other health benefits exist.
The glutes are the biggest, strongest muscles in the body and play a vital role in stabilising the pelvis.
Weak glutes could wreak havoc on your knees, lower back, hips, and ankles, so developing a strong set of glutes is vital for avoiding injury.
Plus, the glutes are considered the powerhouse muscle of the body. Basic sporting movements such as running, jumping, driving forward, driving upwards, twisting, and turning all stem from the power generated in the glutes.
The strength we build in the glutes is transferable to all other lower body movements we perform in the gym – thus if we want to unlock some big numbers in our squats and deadlifts – glute training is a must.
You may think you should train your glutes almost daily to see the best results – the more the merrier, right? The truth is that doing so could be counterproductive and leave you with less-than-desirable results.
To see the best results, you should only look at training your glutes 2-4 times a week, making sure never to train them on consecutive days to give them an excellent chance to recover and grow.
If you are not used to weight training or training, or you’re still relatively new to the game, you may only be able to manage up to two weekly training sessions. You must listen to your body and if you need more rest between workouts, then do so.
As your body gets used to regular training sessions, you will be able to increase from the one or two weekly gym sessions.
It is worth noting that the type of exercise you perform will affect your recovery times.
If you were to perform a heavy weight lifting session involving heavy compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts, you would likely need longer to recover than if you were to perform a bodyweight or banded workout session.
Performing a heavy weight lifting session will result in microscopic tears in your muscle tissue; these will take a little time to repair, which only occurs when you are resting.
Likewise, a longer glute workout will take longer to recover from than a shorter workout.
On the other hand, you'll encounter fewer tears while performing bodyweight exercises, so you won't need as long to recover from these workouts.
In simple terms, the harder you push your body, the more time you will need to recover.
One of the most important exercises for your glutes and training, in general, would be the squat.
You can start with bodyweight squats, and progress into weighted squats when these become too easy.
Your form will be important when squatting, not only to ensure you do not injure yourself but also to ensure you are activating the correct muscles.
If you want the best results, you should aim to squat as low as possible; this will really work your glutes.
Romanian deadlifts would also be a great addition to any glute workout.
Unlike a traditional deadlift, this variety does not use your quads with the high hip position involved shown to focus primarily on your glutes.
The Romanian deadlift is also an excellent exercise choice for increasing hip mobility, which can help with several issues, including ankle, knee, and lower back pain.
Alongside these squats and deadlifts, you should consider other isolation exercises, such as hip thrusts, Bulgarian split squats, glute kickbacks or reverse lunges (there are plenty of others too!). These are all excellent exercises for focusing on underdeveloped glutes.
You may think performing these isolation exercises would be a waste of time, especially if you perform heavy compound exercises that work multiple muscles. However, this is not the case.
The problem with compound exercises is that the larger, stronger muscles will take over, so any smaller muscles will be neglected.
For example, depending on your body shape, limb lengths, and other factors, some people may be heavily quad dominant during the squat, so they will see bigger muscle gains on their quads rather than the glutes.
Note, this is the case for everyone, but it’s a good idea to supplement the compound exercises with isolation exercises such as dumbbell exercises and cable exercises to ensure we’re hitting both the upper and lower glutes.
To see muscle growth, you will need to put yourself into a calorie surplus. This means you need to be eating more than you burn daily. We need to be in a positive energy balance.
If you’re unsure how much you need to be eating to build muscle – check out our popular article ‘How many calories do I need when bulking?’ which details exactly how many calories you should eat, along with how these calories should be distributed amongst proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Protein in the macronutrient that promotes recovery and rebuilds the muscles broken during exercise. It is vital that you get enough protein in your diet, or you can say goodbye to muscle growth.
Protein will help repair damaged muscle fibers and will ultimately help encourage muscle hypertrophy.
Research has found that 1.6-2.2g of protein per KG of body weight (0.7-1g per lb of body weight) is the optimum amount per day to maximise muscle growth. 
To see that muscle growth, you need to push yourself each workout.
This can be difficult if you perform the same exercises each week without increasing the number of repetitions performed or increasing the weight lifted.
Failure to push yourself may lead to your body plateauing, where you no longer see any progress.
You need progressive overload, the process where you should aim to increase the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions when exercising.
Progressive overload will help you avoid any plateau; as the weight and repetitions increase, your muscles will be challenged and become bigger and stronger.
Research has found that progressive overload is key for seeing those muscle gains you desire .
If you want the best results, aim to train your glutes 2-4 times a week, focus on heavy compound lifts with a few isolation exercises thrown into the mix, and ensure you get adequate nutrition.
Most important of all is rest; the glutes aren’t built in the gym – they’re built when outside of the gym when we’re resting. If we don’t rest enough then the glutes will not have time to grow and progress will be compromised.
Listen to your body. If you feel ready to go again – do it. But if you’re still feeling the DOMS, it might be a wise decision to give yourself an extra day’s rest.