Your optimal training frequency for the Glutes part I: Exercise Type

The best training frequency for muscle growth is a controversial topic. Most elite bodybuilders swear by training a muscle only once a week (Hackett et al., 2013). A recent meta-analysis concluded that working a muscle group twice per week was superior for hypertrophy compared to once per week (Schoenfeld et al., 2016).


Still, modern progressive lifters argue that training a muscle multiple times per week gives better results. Bret’s client Erin is a perfect example of this. She’s seen amazing results training the Glutes a whopping 6 times per week! How often should you train the glutes for maximum results? The short answer is 2-6 times per week. The long answer requires you to read on, as there are variables you will need to adjust in order to optimize your recovery and ability to train effectively at a given frequency.

Read the full article on

Read the Dutch version of this article on

2017-12-08T10:18:09+00:00 November 28th, 2016|8 Comments


  1. Kate September 6, 2017 at 17:54 - Reply

    I read your article describing stretcher, activator, and pumper exercises for the glutes.

    Can the upper body exercises also be broken down into these categories? And how could I find out about these?

    • Stijn van Willigen September 13, 2017 at 05:50 - Reply

      Hello Kate,

      Great question.

      Certainly, they can. As a rule of thumb; band exercises don’t damage the muscles as much, and are easier to recover from. Machine exercises are generally also easier to recover from. Exercises that put a lot of tension on the muscle when it’s stretched, like dumbbell flyes (chest), pull-ups (lats), incline bench biceps curls, overhead variations of triceps extension, ab wheel ‘roll-out’ (abs), wide-grip bent-over rows (middle traps/rear delts), and DB shrugs (upper traps) damage the muscles more and probably need longer recovery.

      Hope that helps,


  2. simran September 26, 2017 at 09:40 - Reply

    Hi, I have read articles from you and brett and I have a question. I’m a skinny woman slowly bulking. I currently weight 44kg and am 5″5, gaining weight is difficult because my metabolic rate is quite high. I don’t have access to a Gym as I am a med student and am always busy! I do however have barbells (with max weight 45 lbs) and resistance bands.

    I was wonderding can I grow my gluteus still by
    1. eating more
    2. doing the stretcher, pumpers exercise
    3. doing your recommended exercises and doing higher reps rather than heavier sets?
    4. training glutes 4-5 times a week

    I know I;m not doing progressive overload anymore since that would require me to purchase more and more weights which I don’t have space for. Can I not gain size in the glutes from higher reps?

    Any advice will help

    • Stijn van Willigen September 26, 2017 at 13:59 - Reply

      Thanks for your reply, Simran.
      Indeed, eating more is important if you want to gain muscle. However, given your situation, training with progressive overload may be even more important. At a certain point, doing more reps is not going to stimulate any further growth.
      I know you probably hate to hear this, but investing in barbells you can load with more weight (up to 250 lbs) is going to make a major difference for you. Otherwise, you should focus on movements you can do with only one leg, like one-leg hip thrusts, one-leg hamstring glides (on floor) and one-leg squats. This increases the resistance without much need for weight.

      Other than that, you could work with increasingly stiffer bands. However, you should re-evaluate whether it’s possible to fit a gym membership into your busy med schedule. If only for 3 times per week 30 mins per workout.

  3. Lucero October 31, 2017 at 07:05 - Reply

    Hi! I found your article on Bret’s page and I just wanted to say a million thank you’s!!! Trying to set up the right glute training program can be overwhelming with all the different information that’s out there so having an article like yours is super helpful. I just had a question in regards to the example workout. I’m currently following a 6 day workout split, in which Mondays (ham/glutes) and Thursdays (quads/glutes) are my full leg days. Then I have 2 other days, usually Wednesday and Saturday, which are just glute days accompanied by another upper body part. If I were to follow the example workout that is in the article:

    3 x 8-12 Back Squats
    3 x 8-12 Romanian Deadlifts
    2 x 30 Frog pumps (pumper to finish off)

    Could I add more exercises for hamstrings/quads?? (NOT for glutes) For example, 2 more exercises of different variations of leg curls or leg extensions/ leg press? I typically do anywhere from 7-8 exercises with 3-4 sets each on my FULL leg days. Or is this doing too much? Again, thank you so much. Hope to hear back!

    • Stijn van Willigen November 1, 2017 at 21:45 - Reply

      Hey Lucero,
      Glad to help!

      Could I add more exercises for hamstrings/quads?? (NOT for glutes) For example, 2 more exercises of different variations of leg curls or leg extensions/ leg press? I typically do anywhere from 7-8 exercises with 3-4 sets each on my FULL leg days. Or is this doing too much? Again, thank you so much. Hope to hear back!

      That depends on how advanced your hamstrings and quads are. The more advanced, the more volume and frequency these muscles can handle, and the more exercise variety they will need. To get an idea of how advanced you are in these exercises, look here:
      You can take the Squat as a proxy for how advanced your Quads are, and the Deadlift as a proxy for how advanced your Hamstrings are.
      I’ll be releasing an article with much more info on this soon.

      I think you’re probably overdoing it on the amount of exercises and sets. I advise focusing on the Hip thrust, Bulgarian split squat and Deadlift for the glutes. Those are the bread and butter. Aim for 10-25 sets of these per week (again, depends on how advanced your glutes are).

      Hope it helped,

  4. dina January 18, 2018 at 11:08 - Reply

    hey can i ask a question please ,
    i have been training for a year now and my glutes are slightly reshaped but they never got bigger although i do glute workouts 2 times per week and i carry heavy loads (my max is 45 kgs) but for me this is heavy ..i dunno what should i do should i train them 5 days per week or just two? and how many workout excersise should i do per day? and should i stick to specific pumper and stretcher and activator every workout? or when should i change and what to change exactly? plz i need ur help to make my glutes grow !! thanksss in advance

    • Stijn van Willigen January 18, 2018 at 14:15 - Reply

      Hi Dina,

      Depending on how advanced you are, you should be training your glutes 2-10(!) times per week. If you want to find out how many times is optimal, take a look at part 2 of this article:

      Focus on doing 15-35 sets (the more advanced you are, the more you should do) of stretchers/activators per week.

Leave A Comment