How to Build Your Glutes Without Building Your Legs

As a bikini competitor (and a female living in our booty loving society!), at a certain point you might want to continue growing your glutes without growing your legs. How does one do this?!?!

Bodybuilding is a fine art in which you want certain muscles to stand out versus others. In the bikini division, if your quads and hamstrings are more muscular and predominant than your glutes, it draws attention to the wrong areas of your physique (my issue, see pic below) and lets be honest, bikini is all about the booty!

GLUTES

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just wake up with muscular legs! I spent the last 4 years heavily squatting, leg pressing, lunging, hack squatting, deadlifting, quad extending, and hamstring curling 2-3 days a week. It has taken time for my legs (and my glutes!) to grow…

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But for the past 7 months I’ve been working solely on my glutes. Here is a photo comparison to when I decided to start competing to last week:

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WOAH! So, what have I been doing and not doing?

  1. For the past 7 months I completely took out squats, leg press, lunges, step ups, quad extensions, bulgarian split squats, and hack squat, isolated hamstring exercises.
  2. I started working my glutes 3-4 times a week
  3. I ate more (clearly, I also have put on some fat) 🙂

Here are the exercises that I have been doing 3-4 times a week:

1) Glute Bridges

2) Feet Elevated Glute Bridges

3) Hip Thrusts

4) Single leg foot elevated hip thrusts

5) Kickbacks

6) Kneeling Kickbacks

7) American Deadlifts

8) Kneeling Squats

9) Hyperextensions

10) Band or Machine Abduction (band abduction supersetted with Hip Thrusts in the video)

Here is a photo of the Evolution of my legs and glutes over the past 5 years!

evolution of the glutes

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Things To Consider When Trying to Lose Fat and/or Gain Muscle

Fat loss and/or muscle gain requires quite a bit of organization and thought. Everything counts.

-What’re you eating and/or not eating?

-How often are you eating and what’re your portion sizes?

-How much alcohol are you in taking a week?

– Are you sticking to your diet Monday-Friday until 5pm then have no structure for the weekend?

-How many grams of protein, carbs, and fat are needed to get to your specific goal(s)?

– How much water are you drinking?

– How much are you sleeping?

– What’re you doing or not doing in the gym?

– How often are you lifting weights and how are your workouts organized? Are they even organized?

-Are you just throwing around weights or actually stretching, squeezing, and activating muscles?

– How much tension are you really creating within muscles?

– Are you doing cardio? What’s the frequency, intensity, and time?

– What’re your stress levels? And how do you manage stress?

-Are your fitness and health goals really a priority?

– Are you consistent, persistent, and patient?

The Importance of Progress Photos

If you’re anything like me, you want immediate results. Your thought process is something like this, “I’ve been hitting my glutes harder for the past 2 weeks, my butt MUST be huge by now…” or “I’ve increased my cardio this past week. Do I have abs now?”

The body takes quite a bit of time to change and here is where progress photos come in. Honestly, I hardly ever track my body fat and only check my weight once a week to report it to my coach. Other than that, I go off of my photos. Why? Because we all want to look good naked and photos show way more than the scale or your body fat!

I have been taking weekly photos for the past 3 solid years and the change is incredible. My weight has ranged from 103 lbs-130 lbs and my body fat has ranged from 12% to something around 28%.

Left: When I decided to start losing weight 3 years ago. 125 lbs.
Center: 6 months after left photo. I was doing a ton of cardio and not eating a whole lot. I had no idea what I was doing with my diet or the way my workouts were structured. I clearly burned through a good amount of fat and muscle. So sad. 103 lbs.
Right: Right when I started my prep for the second show. 2 years after the center photo. 128 lbs.

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Left: A few days before my competition. 120 lbs.
Right: 10 weeks into my off season. 125 lbs.
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Left: The thinnest I’ve been at 103 lbs
Right: A few days before my show: 120 lbs
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Left: The thinnest I’ve been.
Right: Me on stage in November 2013
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Left: A year ago
Right: Last week
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There is so much progress that the scale and numbers won’t show! I highly recommend taking weekly photos. They are such a great reference for how far you’ve come. Whenever I feel discouraged or unmotivated, I look through my photos. And the best part about it… I can’t wait to look back in a year from now and see even more change!!!!

Follow me on Instagram for more progress photos: SKSAHNI

How To Become The Sculptor To Your Own Physique

About 2 years ago, every time I looked through a fitness magazine, I was absolutely positive that I was screwed because of my Indian genetics. “Those white girls popped out of their mommas looking like that!” “I will never have a nice butt and cut abs thanks to my genes!”

Now, I am NO WHERE close to looking like the girls I admire in fitness magazines, but boy was I wrong. With the right amount of protein, carbs, and fat, precise weight training, and smart cardio…I HAVE MANIPULATED MY BODY! It can be done people. So, cut out all the excuses you have been telling yourself and become the sculptor of your own physique. You want a nice booty? Go squat, deadlift, leg press, lunge and sculpt yourself that perky, round ass. What a nice back? Go pull and row, narrow and wide till your back is exactly what you want it to be.

I took a little over a year in off season to focus on adding mass and more shape to the lower half of my body. Here are a few progress photos on how my off season is going!
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Left: February 2012 Right:  February 2013

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The one on the left was when I was 18 weeks out from my last competition and the one on the right was of me last week, 18 weeks out from my next competition.

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Left: Feb 2012 Right: May 2013

Your body is clay. Your diet, cardio, and weight training are your tools. The gym and your kitchen are your workplace. You are a sculptor. Now go create!

-Sumeet

17 weeks out!!!

Follow me on Instagram: SKSAHNI

Where Are All My Girls At?

I walk into the gym, set my bag down, warm up, slip my gloves on, and I get to work. I always try to push myself HARD and usually wind up grunting louder than the average guy does. Between sets I may look around to check out who else is in the weight room, but to my disappointment, all I ever see are guys. I often stick out being the only female, but day in and day out, I can’t let that stop me from going hard with all the boys.

This attention was something that used to intimidate me to the point where I’d feel much more comfortable on the treadmill or in a yoga class. I didn’t want guys staring at me when I didn’t really know what I was doing! I can’t concentrate on my workout with eyes on me! They would all judge me! And of course there was this thought of, EW! Weights?! I don’t want to get all buff and bulky! Talking to more girls about lifting made it clear that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.  Looking back, I was another victim of the widespread misconception that females who weight train are going to end up overly muscular and looking like female bodybuilders.  I didn’t know it then, but my views on weight training would change drastically as I experienced first hand the ACTAUL affects it can have.

Now I have no shame in saying I am addicted to lifting. There are so many reasons why I strength train. Maybe if I tell you a few reasons I love it, you will keep an open mind to weight training as a woman (or man, to the guys reading this). Here are a few:

  • I’ve seen the most changes in my body with strength training. I’ve lost fat, toned up, have better posture, and now have the most feminine curves I’ve ever had (who doesn’t want this?!). These are all things I could never achieve with cardio, yoga, pilates, spinning, kickboxing, etc.
  • It feels good moving heavy weights. The endorphins released make you feel incredible.
  • Don’t worry about not knowing what you are doing at first, you will learn over time.  Besides, NO ONE knows what they are doing when they are starting to learn something that is challenging.
  • I don’t care what US weekly says, Jessica Alba, and Beyonce did not build those bodies by “hiking and riding their bike twice a week.”  They built their bodies with strict nutrition and hard work in the weight room! Anyone who tells you different isn’t giving them credit for the very hard work and dedication they put in.
  • A girl who knows what she is doing in the weight room can be damn sexy.
  • I am able to see my strength increase, which is the most rewarding feeling!
  • It has helped me build my self confidence.
  • You get in tune with you body. You learn how to push yourself a little more every single day, but also learn when it’s a good time to back off a little.
  • Every workout is a mental, physical, and emotional challenge. How cool is that?
  • I’ve seen such an increase in my mind/body connection.
  • Training is THE best stress reliever.
  • I saw a dramatic increase in my dedication, commitment, and drive. Not only just with training, but also in how to apply those traits to other important things in my life.
  • Every time I’m in the gym now I get approached at least once by someone encouraging me, asking me what I’m training for, or asking for advice. That feels so good.
  • It’s humbling. I know that I’ve made progress, but I also know there is a long, long way to go.
  • There are still times I feel those judging eyes on me and have a moments where I feel self-conscious. Then I stop and remember I belong here too, and I use those judgments as fuel to push myself to be that much better
  • The satisfaction of being able to deadlift more than the guy next to you is priceless.

It’s funny to think that what I used to be afraid of now encourages me. I am no longer afraid of being stared at or approached. If I don’t know how to use a machine or do an exercise, I watch youtube videos or just ask someone at the gym. I no longer fear that working hard in the weight room will make me bulky or masculine, because the truth is, I know it will only make me, leaner, sexier, and more feminine.

-Sumeet

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