RFT: Iron in Heels – How to Achieve That Booty!

RFT: Iron in Heels is a bi-weekly series on tamilyouth.ca that seeks to educate, inspire, and empower Tamil youth to improve their fitness and well-being by developing an active lifestyle.

Written by: Sulaksana Sabaratnam


I want dishwasher abs. I want a coke bottle waistline. I want toned, jiggle-free arms. I want that firm booty! Everyone enters the gym environment with a goal in mind. It may not always be related to aesthetics, as one may merely prefer working out as a means to release stress.

A goal that I found a majority of females that I had the pleasure of working one-on-one with was to build their derriere! Prior to creating a program for these women, there were a couple of consistent concerns:

1) Why am I losing all my weight from my lower body first?

2) Why am I not seeing any booty gains?

Image Source:http://cdn.gymaholic.co/articles/workouts/6-women-routine/woman-squats.jpg

Image Source:http://cdn.gymaholic.co/articles/workouts/6-women-routine/woman-squats.jpg

Why Am I Losing All My Weight From My Lower Body?

It is not to say that women generally lose weight from their lower body, but one must keep in mind that as females, we do carry more fat around our hips and when we are losing weight, it is a lot more noticeable in that region. Having said that, there are two major factors that I was able to pin point in both, diet and workout that were possible culprits to the problem. These two factors included: 1) not eating sufficient amount of food to maintain muscle mass due to a stringent diet and 2) not incorporating resistance or strength training to maintain muscle mass.

If one does not consume enough calories (energy) than needed for the body to regularly function, not only will your metabolism slow down, but you will lose weight! BUT, WAIT! Did I just say lose weight? Is that not the goal? Yes, the goal is to lose weight, but here’s the catch! You will be losing lean muscle mass, and holding on to fat mass. Therefore, the body will not tone up and one will have a higher fat to muscle mass ratio; becoming what others have coined “skinny fat.”

The foods you eat will definitely kick-start your weight loss goals, but food alone will not help you build muscle mass. Women tend to have more fat stores surround their hips compared to men, so when one loses fat, guess what? The shape of your lower body tends to change as well. Building that booty consists of working out your glutes and the muscles surrounding them; quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and hips. By incorporating workouts that place resistance on these muscles, you will help, not only maintain, but build these muscles.

Why am I Not Seeing Any Booty Gains?

When it comes to incorporating resistance training, there are a couple of factors that directly impact muscle growth. The factors are as follows: 1) rest period, 2) number of sets, 3) isolation of muscles and, 4) using machines.

Rest Period

When it comes to taking a rest in between your sets, many tend to get carried away or lose track of time in between sets. The optimal time for rest is 30-90 seconds for maximum results. Unless one is trying to be a powerlifter, this is the range you want to stay in.

Number of Sets

For increased size, it is proven that one includes six sets, each consisting of a rep range of 8-12 for each exercise. Having said that, it is important to keep in mind that this is for hypertrophy; increase in size.

Isolation of Muscles

When someone asks you, “How do you get your booty to grow?” the typical response is to do squats. Yes, squats are a great compound workout that activates many muscle groups, however as much as compound workouts are essential, so are exercises that target specific muscles. Isolating a muscle is a great way to help improve overall functionality. For example, if one wanted to squat heavier, isolating your hamstrings, glutes, quads and abductors would be a great way to start. This is also a great way to improve on an aesthetic level; if you want a more defined glute-hamstring separation, isolate those muscles.


Using Machines

Free weight exercises are great for incorporating the total body; these include lunges, squats or deadlifts. However, strength machines are a great way to ensure that there is a consistent resistance placed upon that muscle. For example, when isolating quadriceps, the leg extension machine is perfect! It will ensure the set load placed on your quads will be the same no matter what angle you are extended at. Not to say one or the other is better, but a great program will incorporate both.

BOTTOM LINE – Although genetics play a great role in determining our fat distribution, body shape and how we gain muscle and lose fat, we are able to manipulate our bodies to a certain extent through proper food and exercise when done properly.

Stay tuned for my next piece on “How to Achieve that Booty! Part 2” where I will introduce various exercises to help make those booty gains!

For questions and inquiries, you can also contact me on Instagram at @sulaksanas! Your question may be the topic of my next piece!


SulaksanaSabaratnamSulaksana Sabaratnam is a certified personal trainer and weight-loss consultant. She is currently working towards her nutrition manager (NM) certification. With her passion in fitness and her drive to challenge the limits of her body, Sulaksana also enjoys educating her male and female clientele who benefit from both, her physical weight training and complementary nutrition knowledge. Through her articles, she hopes to help women feel comfortable in the gym atmosphere, invite women to take on strength training to strengthen and accentuate the feminine curves and encourage them to ask questions freely. Follow her via Instagram at @sulaksanas for daily inspiration! 

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