Squat Life vs. Shot Life

* drinks protein shake and does a couple push-ups to get my chest up for this comment *

                  ” squats do not make your butt bigger !”

It’s all a fraud. From 30-day squat challenges, to countless posts about how squats will give you the perfect ‘apple bottom’ you’ve been searching for, you’ve been hoodwinked! Bamboozled… in a sense. Now, conventional wisdom says  if the gluteus maximus  (which is the largest muscle in the human body) is worked out until you can’t sit straight, it will, in turn,  grow and somehow gain 20 inches seemingly overnight. You may have even seen some before and after shots to ‘prove it,’ Well,  check her passport for new stamps  because anyone who did  that pretty much booked a round trip to the Dominican Republic and voila: the dream came true.

before after squats

She’s not telling you that though. Instead, she’ll post countless pictures extolling the benefits of squats. Listen, who am I to judge? DR is gorgeous this time of year.   But just before you book your trip, give me a second to propose the idea that looking healthy is never  better than being healthy.

No generic exercise can help you perfect your butt. Keep in mind no two individuals react to an exercise regime in the same way — everyone’s fitness  journey will be unique. So by extension, no one exercise, workout regime or diet can make you look like your favorite supermodel  if you don’t have her genetics. What these articles and pictures do is exploit the idea that big butts make women feel whole or rather, men seem to appreciate them and so women try to acquire them in any way they can. Like, by squatting. One million times a day.

squat challenge

Here’s the skinny (well, maybe I should say, ‘the curve?’):  Butts have muscles just like the rest of your body. So yes; squats will create growth but not the type that most expect. To begin with,  most ladies diligently follow their daily squat challenge chart of an increasingly high number of  squats (most likely in  poor form…but that’s none of my business) but doing eleventy million squats is not the best (or even an effective) way to increase your lean muscle. For example, to complete  250 squats properly, you would need to hold little to no weight. However, to increase lean muscle you need a strong enough stimulus to force your body to change (i.e. develop new muscle). Because the body is a perfect and adaptable machine, as your fitness level improves, you’ll need to hold dumbbells. So by day 25 of the squat challenge, if you’re still doing it without weights, you’re wasting your time.

To be clear, squats are amazing; they’re actually the best total exercise you can do—they build  your core, your legs and have a high caloric expenditure.  Squats can also make substantial changes to your butt if you get under the squat rack and through that can improve your glutes’ strength, shape and firmness.  But that’s it. According to Prevention.com, squats do not make your butt bigger. It’s all in the genes. Frankly, the genetic makeup of the human body accounts for 40 percent of how we appear today.

So, you can squat ‘til your kneecaps pop off, you cannot go from Kate Moss to Kim Kardashian West. You either have it or you don’t.

model

For better or worse, our culture defines women by their sexuality and in many communities, sexuality is personified  as a curvaceous figure.  So,  I understand how that pressure would lead a woman to drastic solutions like butt implants. (Plus, why go to the gym when you know that the way your genetic makeup is set up, you’ll never get what you want, right?)

Obviously I’m being facetious, but in truth, unless your assets to pay the bills, why get implants in your glutes? The issue here is the idea that many people will sacrifice actual health to appear healthy. And I suppose there’s merit to both sides; as a trainer, I could never consign body augmentation. As a member of society I could argue that this is no different from wearing makeup, or purchasing hair. And before you say that the difference is that implants require surgery, keep in mind that there are COUNTLESS stories of  fatal allergic reactions to make-up and weave glue. Women are walking around looking like LeBron because lacefronts have ripped their hairlines to shreds. The point is that much like butt implants which, if all goes well, are perfectly safe, when things go awry, even makeup can cause serious physical damage.

But no matter how you slice it, butt implants and smidge of lipstick do not carry the same risk. Even with the advances in modern day technology many people get implants and inadvertently sign themselves up for  lifetime doctor’s visits. Your butt may indeed get big, but things could go left along the way. All procedures come with the possibility of complications. A short list of nightmares below:

  • Infection
  • Butt implant shifting or rupture
  • Nerve damage
  • Asymmetry

So, is your health worth the risk?  Plus, that last potential side effect should give you a moment of pause; like, what are you going to do with one huge butt cheek and one tiny one? I don’t have the answer to that. But before you decide to take that risk understand that it may not outweigh the reward.

 

YOUR NEXT REP: Follow me on Twitter and IG  and feel free to share and comment.  All workout (and thought) partners are welcome!

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Melly D. says

    Yassssss!!! Society NEEDS to know this! I actually thought that squats do make your but bigger. That is, in keeping with the fact that the gluteus maximus is a muscle that like any other, grows. But, it does make sense that the junk in your jeans is associated with the junk in your genes. Keep informing the masses. Dope!

  2. C says

    Heavy barbell squatting can definitely alter shape and firmness (think perky rather than size). Women at my powerlifting gym (especially novices) seem to develop decent booties and backsides over time. No they don’t get bigger & more ample but visually there are significant changes.

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