GLUTE BUTT BLASTER with Amanda Latona

We all have our favorite muscle groups. Leading contenders include the biceps, pecs, shoulders and back – showy muscles that are both enjoyable to train and a sight to behold.

However, seldom do we have cause to single out what is arguably one of the most impressive body parts ever to have captivated audiences in an onstage line-up. That’s right, the booty!

Main extensors of the hip and also of immense importance when working the thighs, the gluteus muscles (or gluteals/glutes) are among the strongest collection of muscles of the human body.

Comprised of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, the glutes are one area that must not be neglected if we wish to score high on the judging sheets and also between the sheets. Sadly, they are often left ‘behind’ where specialized training is concerned.

Aside from their impressive appearance when fully developed, a strong, muscular set of glutes is essential for all sporting activities

…SCORE HIGH ON THE JUDGING SHEETS AND BETWEEN THE SHEETS!

and, of course, when hoisting massive poundages in the gym. Indeed, without a powerful butt, we would greatly limit the amount of weight lifted on the squat, lunge and almost every other movement that requires a strong base of support.

Thus, the glutes provide much assistance when adding extreme mass to the entire physique (in particular the quads and hams).

One athlete who has, for over a decade, used one of her most trusted ass-sets to become a fitness-leader par excellence is Amanda Latona. Amanda – an ALLMAX Nutrition athlete and IFBB pro fitness and bikini competitor (with 25 wins to her credit) – has carved out a career as an accomplished athlete, personal trainer, model, TV host, and recording artist. She’s also the creator of a popular online fitness video series.

When Amanda talks fitness, people listen.

After all, she’s been in the gym figuring out how to build the perfect physique for the better part of two decades. A first place finish in her Olympia debut, in 2009, brought to fruition many of her earliest collected insights. She has only continued to evolve (in both training wisdom and physically) since then.

Whether it is admitted to or not, a great behind is a major calling card of the fitness and bikini pro. And Amanda is renowned for her dynamite derriere. Now, in an ALLMAX first, Amanda exclusively shares her award winning glute-building techniques.

In the following workout you will learn the most effective ways to transform your flabby or non-existent behind into a shape-defining winner. For pro athletes such as Amanda you can, with her advice, further perfect your money-maker.

1. Machine Squat – with 2 second holds

You’ve no doubt heard the phrase ‘she squats’ when used to describe the owner of a well-formed set of glutes. And it’s true. Of all the specialized butt-building movements on offer (the best of which comprise this program), this most basic of mass-builders ranks as the best of the best. Amanda does hers first in her workout when her strength levels are highest, on a machine (a Pendulum Squat Machine to be precise).

For Amanda, past-parallel squatting is essential when fully-fleshing the glutes, and the Pendulum squat allows her to do this in the safest and most effective manner possible. You’ve heard “ass to grass”, right? This means you’ve got to get your booty down to your ankles to fully activate your glutes. Tap that ass! You’ve got to get low to grow.

TAP THAT ASS! GET LOW TO GROW.

Like any self-respecting pro, Amanda takes every opportunity to both intensify and maximize the effectiveness of each of her training movements. For machine squats she uses an ultra-strong band to ensure perfect form and to increase tension on the quads at all ranges of this movement.

To maintain continuous tension on the working muscles (in particular the glutes) Amanda accentuates time under tension (TUT) by taking a two second pause at the bottom of the movement. Instead, she isometrically contracts the quads, hams and glutes before powering the weight upward and squeezing hard at the top. But there is to be no resting. By the end of each set her glutes are on fire (metaphorically speaking, of course). This removes any momentum and really forces you to fully contract and engage key gluteal muscles.

2. Weighted Jump Squat

To activate a maximum number of fast twitch fibers (of which the quads and glutes are primarily composed) Amanda trains dynamically via the jump squat. Not for the beginner or weak of heart, this movement taxes multiple muscles along with the cardiovascular system to enhance not only the building but also the shredding process (a great set of glutes means nothing if they are covered with a layer of unsightly adipose).

Amanda’s level of development and experience allows her to jump as high as possible and land into a full squat,

JUMP AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE AND LAND INTO A FULL SQUAT

all with added resistance. Upon contacting the ground she allows her arms to extend below her knees, thus exaggerating hip extension and, once again, achieving a full range of motion (or Ass to the Grass – ATTG).

A stickler for safety she advises the beginner to start with small weightless jumps and gradually work up to a full jump with resistance. For the advanced athlete/trainee the jump squat, as demonstrated in the accompanying video, can be supersetted with the machine squat for a skin-bursting muscle pump. Says Amanda: the bigger the pump and the greater the blood flow, the more muscle you can develop.

3. Barbell Hip Thrust

Among Amanda’s favorite glute builders, the barbell hip thrust is a power move that allows the use of heavy weights combined with extreme isolation for full glute activation and development.

FULL GLUTE ACTIVATION AND DEVELOPMENT.

Though many consider the squat a superior heavy-duty glute builder, Amanda urges devoted butt builders to “think outside the squat” for a great set of glutes.

4. Banded Barbell Hip Thrust

To ensure maximum muscle fiber recruitment, Amanda varies her training weights on this movement – for three sets she goes heavy and powers the weight up (in a controlled manner) before adding a band, lightening the load for a final three sets and holding each positive contraction for a two-count.

FINAL THREE SETS AND HOLDING EACH POSITIVE CONTRACTION FOR A TWO-COUNT

No jerky or rapid movements. Complete focus is needed to keep the tension where it counts: fully concentrated on the butt.

5. Butt Blaster

The ever-popular Butt-Blaster is next in Amanda’s repertoire of isolation-heavy booty-builders. Often perceived as a light ‘finisher’ to be done at the end of an exhaustive workout, the Butt Blaster, when properly executed, is anything but. In fact, Amanda will often begin her workout with this movement, opting to treat it as a full-fledged builder rather than a lightweight ‘shaper’ (whatever a ‘shaper’ is supposed to be).

Since it’s impossible to distinguish a builder from a shaper (muscle development will either occur or it will not, the ‘shape’ being the result of the muscle-building process, not some mystical ‘shaping technique’), it’s important to treat all movements as builders. Do so, and a great ‘shape’ will surely follow.

To achieve a good glute squeeze, Amanda recommends finding a suitable foot placement (which will vary from person to person) and, with feet flat, pushing more with the heel. Only then will full glute development occur.

ONLY THEN WILL FULL GLUTE DEVELOPMENT OCCUR.

A fully-braced upper body will also ensure “full glute activation” says the long-time pro contender. For the final set of four, Amanda completes a double drop set to fully exhaust any remaining muscle fibers.

As with any movement, Amanda advises seekers of the bountiful booty to not be intimidated by the amount of weight needed to properly activate the target muscles. She personally uses the entire stack and, as such, her glutes are among the world’s best (not over-developed but in perfect proportion to the rest of her stellar physique). To change the shape of one’s glutes we must be willing to push the limits, says Amanda. This, according to the ALLMAX athlete, means upping the resistance at every available opportunity.

6. Kneeling Cable Kickback

Next up, to work her glute/hamstring tie in, Amanda completes three sets of kneeling cable kickbacks. Again, she does not believe in simply going through the motions; rather, she adds as much weight as she can handle to ensure perfect glute roundness and the all-important booty-lift.

Kneeling on a flat bench, with ankle attachment securely in place, Amanda, with working leg perfectly straight, raises this leg straight out and away from the machine, squeezing her glute hard upon positive contraction. The key to getting a full range of motion and full glute activation on this movement

…SHE ADDS AS MUCH WEIGHT AS SHE CAN HANDLE TO ENSURE PERFECT GLUTE ROUNDNESS…

is to position the bench far enough away from the machine so as to allow a full negative contraction while exaggerating the descent.

Rather than wasting energy switching the bench back and forwards (as when training one leg at a time), Amanda conserves hers for when she needs it most: for the actual movement. As such, she completes three sets on one leg before switching to the opposite side and nailing its partner.

7. Reverse Hypers on a Stability Ball – with 2 second holds

On this famed movement, Amanda positions her hips over the front of a reverse hyper machine that is high enough to provide a full range of motion (without feet touching the ground). To ensure full glute involvement, she places a full-sized stability ball between her feet and, using adductor strength, squeezes hard at all points within the range. A high bench allows Amanda to keep her legs straight, thus ensuring more tension is placed on the glutes (a flat bench would necessitate bending the knees).

THUS ENSURING MORE TENSION IS PLACED ON THE GLUTES

More than simply an exercise to be tacked on at the end of a set, the reverse hyper, especially when performed the way Amanda does it, is a highly complex movement that hits all of the glute muscles (not just the larger gluteus maximus).

Time under tension, a fully controlled negative (and subsequent stretch) and a massive pump courtesy of a two second hold at the top of this movement all add up to a firm and formidable booty.

Creating a booty-full butt, Amanda Latona-style

Follow this workout and there is little chance that you will be left behind when it comes to turning to the back of the stage. Give Amanda’s “Glute Butt Blater” training a decent shot but also be sure to mix things up: as your body becomes accustomed to this workout, change the order of movements, increase or decrease the rep ranges from week to week, and include a variety of intensity techniques (drop sets and rest pause, for example) to hit the glutes from “different angles” and to “keep it guessing”. Most important of all, enjoy the process and you will come to appreciate the value of hard, dedicated training for many years to come. Now go kick some butt!

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, ENJOY THE PROCESS AND YOU WILL COME TO APPRECIATE THE VALUE OF HARD, DEDICATED TRAINING FOR MANY YEARS TO COME. NOW GO KICK SOME BUTT!

The workout:

1. Machine Squat

  • 3-4 sets
  • 10-12 reps

2. Weighted Jump Squat

  • 3-4 sets
  • 10-15 reps

3. Barbell Hip Thrust

  • 3 sets
  • 10-12 reps

4. Banded Barbell Hip Thrust

  • 3 sets
  • 12-15 reps

5. Butt Blaster

  • 3-4 sets
  • 10-12 reps (last set drop set)

6. Kneeling Cable Kickback

  • 3 sets
  • 10-15 reps

7. Reverse Hypers on a Stability Ball – with 2 second holds

  • 3-4 sets
  • 15-20 reps
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