Text reads: Glute building 101. Image of a female training glutes in the background on the belted squat machine.

Glute Building 101: The Reality of Exercise Selection

Oct 07, 2022

Do you want to build epic Glutes?

Then the absolute key is to just search online for the “best Glute exercises”. Once you’ve found these magic exercises, all you need to do now is to complete a few training sessions featuring these exercises, then presto, you have amazing Glutes... right?

Unfortunately, no… 

When it comes to growing your Glutes or any muscle, there’s a lot of factors that go into it. Whilst prioritising key exercises makes sense, as can strategically altering your exercise execution and programming, this does not guarantee your Glutes will grow.


Because doing the perceived “best” or “right” exercises is only one piece of the Glute hypertrophy puzzle. Yet, if we purely focus on perceived magical exercises and acute feelings, plus overlook other key factors, the results will usually be subpar and especially over the long run.

Whilst superior exercise selection is a massive factor which can help take your physique to the next level, exercise selection can be best viewed as the first step to aiding growth potential, rather than the only step. So, think of exercise selection as simply selecting one path to take you to your desired outcome, which in this case is Glute hypertrophy.Yet just like when driving a car to a destination, we can also go down many different paths. However, some of the routes we take may be suboptimal, excessively slow or take you down a dead end. Plus, how well you drive (or train) and whether you have sufficient fuel in the tank, can impact whether you even reach your destination at the desired time, if at all.

So, whilst we do want to prioritise exercises which challenge all your Glute muscles well, performing these exercises is more about positioning you best for growth success. To achieve Glute growth more optimally, you also want to:

- Work with a sufficient intensity of effort when training
- Prioritise progression and overload in the gym
- Execute your exercises well
- Employ the right amount of training volume
- Use a quality training program tailored to you
- Ensure sufficient recovery from training and life
- Invest a considerable amount of time to allow growth to occur
- Consume sufficient calories to aid muscle growth potential

Whilst none of the above factors will be as eye catching as the latest Glute workout on social media, if you tick all of these boxes you will better position yourself for superior returns from your training effort. This is especially the case if you are utilising savvy exercise selection which challenge your Glutes well.

So, if you’re consistently going to the gym and doing all the “right” exercises, yet not seeing the returns you would hope for, my advice is to audit yourself and reflect on the above factors.

Is something off?

Are you not adhering to any of these key factors?

Is it really “bad” genetics which is the main issue?

Sometimes there may be multiple key limiting factors stunting your Glute growth which are clear to see, yet at other times the answer may be less clear initially. Yet, if you’re not sure what is missing, consider investing in an elite coach to help position you for success.

Whilst genetics do play a key role when it comes to the physique building and transformation process, genetics are not the only factor which impacts your status and muscle building potential.  So, if you haven’t yet built your dream physique and Glutes, be patient and stick at it, but make sure you’re doing all the right things to set you up for superior growth over time too.

Ultimately great exercises won’t achieve great Glutes by themselves, if they don’t occur in unison with the right strategy, consistent effort and sufficient time.

Thanks for reading,

Team Atlas