While some men complain of flat or non-existent butts, others may say, "Be careful what you wish for." Men with sculpted, tight rear ends catch the eye of admirers, but buttocks covered in fat do just the opposite.
No one workout targets your butt for fat loss directly, but certain strategies help you lose fat all over — and some of that fat will disappear from your backside. Patience, smart eating habits and a little kick in your workouts are what a man needs to lose glute fat.
Why Spot Training Isn't Possible
While it would be nice to point to your trouble areas and designate them as the recipients of your fat-loss efforts, it's just not possible. Every body has a set way of gaining and losing weight, determined by hormones, genes and habits. You can commit to strategies that help you lose fat, rather than just weight — which includes muscle and fat — but from where you lose that fat is largely up to your body.
While you lose fat, simultaneously build muscle in your glutes, so you create a tight, rounded rear end that fills out your jeans and powers future workouts.
Read more: The 7 Principles of Fat Loss
Fat loss isn't possible without some adjustments to your diet. First and foremost, ensure you're not overeating and taking in more calories than you burn. Fat loss usually results when you create a caloric deficit. While lots of metabolic factors come in to play when talking fat loss, you can generally lose about 1 pound when you burn 3,500 calories more than you consume.
To cut calorie consumption, stick to smart portion sizes. At most meals, fill your plate halfway with colorful, watery vegetables and then a quarter each with a whole grain or smart starch, such as sweet potatoes or winter squash, and a lean protein, such as chicken breast or trimmed steak. Add a thumb-size serving of a healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocado, and you've got a healthy meal that supports a fat-loss plan.
When focusing on these healthy meals, cut out the foods that sabotage your fat loss plans. These include refined grains — including white bread and white rice — and added sugars. Sugary drinks, alcohol and fried foods are other foods to avoid.
Kick up Your Workouts
Cardio, especially high-intensity interval training, is a cornerstone in your glute fat loss exercise plan. A survey of research published in the Journal of Obesity in 2011 concluded that HIIT turns on specific mechanisms in your body that facilitate fat burning. An added benefit? HIIT takes less time to perform than steady-state, moderate-intensity workouts.
The idea behind HIIT is simple. You alternate hard, intense bouts of work with milder bouts to cobble together a 20- to 40-minute workout. During those intense bouts, you're putting in an all-out effort. HIIT isn't easy, but it's effective. A sample routine, for example, might involve the treadmill.
HOW TO DO IT: Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes, and then perform 10 total rounds of the following: 1 minute of running at the fastest pace you can maintain alternated with 1 minute of walking. Cool down and your effort is done.
Aim for between two and three HIIT workouts per week. On most other days, perform a steady-state cardio workout to burn calories. Good butt-building cardio involves the step mill or hiking up an inclined treadmill.
Sculpt Lean Muscle
A comprehensive strength-training program builds lean muscle, which makes your whole body look leaner and toned — including your buttocks. A higher, more efficient metabolism is another added benefit of increasing the percentage of muscle on your body. This means it's easier for you to lose fat, and keep it off.
The fat on your rear end covering your butt muscles may be your focus, but you benefit from a whole-body approach to your muscle-building workouts. Train your back, chest, abs, arms, shoulders and legs. For your butt in particular, effective muscle-building exercises include:
These exercises strengthen and build shape in your glute muscles. They don't directly make you lose fat from your buttocks, but the muscle they create will be revealed after a few months of eating right, performing cardio and lifting weights. Fat loss takes time, however. A reasonable, sustainable rate of loss is about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Read more: 17 Exercises to Tone and Shape Your Booty
- American Council on Exercise: Myths and Misconceptions: Spot Reduction and Feeling the Burn
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Regional Fat Changes Induced By Localized Muscle Endurance Resistance Training
- Journal of Obesity: High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss
- Fitness Republic: 5 Best Butt Exercises for Men