Do Squats Really Work?
Before I started working out regularly, I would see all of the fitness girls on the internet and think, “there’s no way my body will look like that”. Sure, I was fit, and dieting but I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to see.
I wanted to build a better butt, toned legs and arms, lean abs. But I couldn’t figure out how these women were building these gorgeous bodies. Do squats really work and will they work for me?
The short answer is YES! Yes, they do work. What they don’t tell you is how long it takes to happen. With consistent work, dedication and a lifestyle change, I saw a complete body change in about 18 months. So how did it happen for me?
It takes consistent work for the change in your body to occur. They say that it takes about 2 weeks for you to notice weight loss, 4 weeks for people close to you to notice and 8 weeks for the world to notice. But we’re not just talking about weight loss, we’re talking about losing weight, toning and building muscle. Toning and building muscle takes time. It takes months and sometimes years, just depending on your genetics and lifestyle. This is why so many people will say that you have to be patient and consistent. Without either of them you won’t see the change you’re looking for.
Donkey Kicks on The Smith With A Friend 🙂
What Kind of “Work” is Involved?
Well, that all depends on where you’re starting from and what your goals are. For me that meant, sticking to a regular workout schedule. Over the years my routine has changed for my fitness goals, but when I was building my booty, I was doing cardio 3-4 times per week (I still do that), legs 2 times per week (I still do that), and upper body 2 times per week-now I do upper body once per week. While my time at the gym is pretty much the same, what I do while I’m there is different.
It’s also important to note that while you’re working to build your bum, you don’t want to ignore the rest of your body-that’ll start to look disproportionate after awhile.
This also depends on where you’re starting from, and what your goals are. But you want to eat. I eat every 2.5-3 hours and I eat lean and nutritious meals. My snacks are fruits or rice cakes with peanut butter and I have smaller meals more frequently. The body needs fuel to survive, so give it what it needs. Just in moderation and as healthy as you can make it. I believe in balance, so I don’t starve myself and I don’t believe in denying myself too much. That said, if I indulge with my food, I work it off the next day.
Most importantly, you’ll probably need to change your relationship with food. You’ll also need to learn about food and how to make it work for the goals you’re wanting for yourself, instead of allowing it to hinder you. Once you master food, you will truly start to see the change you wish to see.
Sample Glute Day Routine
Here’s a sample of what I do on a glute day
*Glute activation so the muscle knows that I’m about to work it out
1 x 20 Air squats or goblet squats with 10 lb weight
4 x 15 Hip Thrusters (med to heavy weight)
3 x 20 Curtsey Lunge (light weight)
4 x15 Squats (Sumo, Front, Sissy, Traditional, Bulgarian Split- glute focus)
4 Sets of walking lunges-at least 10 steps each leg
3 x 20 Donkey Kicks (llight weight)
4 x 15 Deadlift (med weight)
3 x 12 single leg deadlift (med weight)
Goblet Squats with a 35lb weight-great for glute activation or as part of your workout.
TIP: the number in front is called “set” and represents how many sets you do of the work out, the 2nd number is “reps/repetitions” means how many times you do it. So 4 x 15 means you would do the exercise 60 times before moving onto the next one.
When Do I rest?
I like to workout 3-4 days in a row then take a complete day off. On the day that I rest, I try to eat very healthy that day since I’m not burning extra calories. When I have my toughest workouts (leg day and cardio), I like to have my cheat meals on that day-but that’s only once per week. Be smart about when you eat certain foods and make it match your workouts. You’ll see better results that way if your caloric intake matches when your body is working and resting.
How Do I know It’s Working?
The long and short of it is that squats work if you do. It will take time. It will hurt. It will be hard work. Stay the course and you’ll see the change you’re looking for.
I Don’t Want To Look Like A Man
While my fitness competition days are over, I still work out regularly, eat well and look and feel great. It’s a lifestyle that can last your lifetime if you want it to.