Um, yeah, if the man who trains Kim Kardashian is dishing out tips on how to get a bigger but, you better believe we’re listening. When celeb PT Gunnar Peterson (who has also trained Jennifer Lopez, Ciara and Dakota Johnson, BTW) kindly offered to pull the curtain back on how to get an amazing booty, we knew we were about to stumble on some serious workout gold.
Peterson explained that when a woman wants to get a curvier butt, she’s usually referring to “enhancing the gluteus maximus and medius while keeping (or making) the waist small.” Specifically, women are wanting to create a “shelf at the top of the butt and distinct separation where the glutes meet the hamstring at the top of the back of the leg.”
So think Kylie Jenner in bodycon.
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He also shared with us some recommendations of how you can get an ass of Internet-breaking proportions all for yourself, without the fee of a celebrity-vetted trainer. Specifically, he makes his clients focus on lower-body exercises such as “squats and lunge variations.” Next time you hit the gym, try doing 8 to 12 repetitions of squats and side lunges, followed by hip bridges. “I can’t recommend a weight because everyone is different. The weight should be whatever causes your form to fail between 8 to 12 reps,” he suggested. When it comes to doing the hip bridges, Peterson suggests using a weight plate, sand bag, or medicine ball on your bikini line as resistance. Or try doing single leg bridges with no weights.
The biggest mistake women make when trying to build a bigger butt is simply giving up too soon and not trying hard enough, so be sure to experiment with heavy weights:
“The biggest mistake is that women aren’t lifting heavy enough in fear of getting big. They should push themselves!” Peterson advised. When it comes to the frequency with which you should hit the gym, that differs for everyone and will take some testing out to come up with a perfect time frame: “Allow time in between heavier lifting days for your body to adequately recover,” he cautioned, adding, “This varies drastically between exercisers, so trial and error will be the best way to gauge.”
In addition to exercise, what you eat is important too—and also how much you eat. Peterson actually recommends eating more while you’re trying to get a curvier backside. “Consume quality calories above and beyond your normal caloric intake,” he said. “Start with 250 to 500 supplemental calories daily and make sure you’re happy with your progress.”
After trying out the diet, if that feels like too much food, you can then pull back a little on the additional calories. “You need to eat adequate calories and get plenty of sleep, which is when your body recovers and builds muscle,” Peterson said.
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And no, he’s not suggesting you inhale fries or Chipotle to get those extra calories: “Protein and carbs you need to eat right after your workout, whether it be a protein shake with a fruit or chicken or fish with a sweet potato,” he explained. It’s also best to stick to whole foods rather than protein bars or protein shakes; however, he concedes that these are OK “if you’re in a real bind” and advises to pick ones with a high-protein to low-sugar ratio.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Originally published March 2016. Updated May 2017.