You might recall that I decided to try out the workouts recommended by the Glute Guy (Bret Contreras). So how have they gone?
Phase Two – starting out
I had correctly assessed that I need to start at phase two, although I did do a couple of phase one workouts during my first week just to be sure. Everything seemed easy enough at phase one so I continued straight on into phase two.
Lacking most of the equipment that is used for some of Bret’s exercises I have restricted myself to single leg hip thrusts, weighted glute bridges and band seated abduction.
When to do your glute workout
Bret is quite insistent in his article that you should keep in your usual leg workouts and do the glute workout twice a week in addition to this. There was no way I was going to do 6 workout days a week so I tagged the glute workouts onto the end of my two upper body days.
The disadvantage of this was that I was rarely in the mood to do anything else by the time I got to the end of an upper body workout so persuading myself to stay in the gym that bit longer (especially during a cutting phase) was tortuous.
However, I did manage to persevere, thanks to the brevity of the workouts, and I was really impressed with the results.
What were the results of the Glute Guy workout?
I did the full workouts for 4 weeks before going on holiday and saw marked improvement to my glute development. Some of it may have been from getting rid of some of the fat that stubbornly collects round my glutes during cutting, but the tape measure also revealed that parts of my glutes actually got bigger during the cutting phase!
I take measurements at three different points (top, middle and bottom of my gluteal area). The only answer I can come up with when muscles become more defined but the measurement stay the same or get bigger is that I am getting some muscle development.
Pleasingly I also found that the muscle-mind connection with my glutes became more pronounced. I was aware of my glute muscles participating when I walked along the road or up stairs without having to really focus on the muscles.
So Bret’s workout is definitely a positive step down the road of eliminating an atrophied bottom! (By the way, while looking for a photo for this, I went to Wikipedia. The photo of male buttocks on there is an unsightly image of well-atrophied flat bottom syndrome.)
Taking it forward
With an emphasis in my bulking cycle on building up work capacity and therefore having much longer upper body workouts I’m struggling to convince myself to continue putting a full glute workout (no matter how short it is) onto the end of the upper body workouts. However, I’ve seen such great results so far, that I don’t want to stop doing these glute exercises.
The desire to increase my work capacity has meant that I am doing more high rep (5 sets of 8 reps) assistance exercises on lower body workout days as well, so I have incorporated the glute exercises into this. I do two lower body workouts each week and each one contains either weighted glute bridges or single leg hip thrusts as an exercise. I then do 3 sets of 12 reps of band seated abductions at the end of each lower body workout (before stumbling out of the gym, walking like John Wayne).
I realise that this means I am actually only doing the weighted glute bridge and single leg hip thrusts once a week, rather than twice a week as I was doing before. But hopefully I am getting enough glute work through this and my other exercises to continue to see glute development.
If it doesn’t work then I’ll be going back to the drawing board to consider some other way to reincorporate the original Glute Guy workout format into the program.