How To Eat Carbs + Grow Your Glutes and Stay Lean

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You have killer leg/glute workouts week in and week out, but you’re just not seeing those booty gains that you’ve been working SO hard for. You have that summer vacation or wedding coming up and you want to build lean muscle without packing on the unwanted fat. All of the talk about how carbohydrates are bad has scared you away from them, and now you aren’t sure where to turn.

Don’t worry…I’m here to help! I’ll explain why carbs are NOT the enemy and why you need them to build muscle, how to stay lean without throwing carbs to the curb, and will share some of my best glute building exercises so you can have that burger, and build beautiful lean buns, too! (IIFYM for the win!) 🙌


If you are in a serious relationship with carbs and you’re thinking about breaking up with them to help shed the fat for the upcoming bikini season, please just stop for a second and reconsider. Carbohydrates do so much more for us than we think. They help us concentrate and stay focused, give us energy for our bad ass workouts, and of course, help build lean muscle. Let’s talk about why carbs are really not the enemy here and why you need them to see those gains.

Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for everything that we do. During digestion, carbs are converted into glucose. Glucose circulates in the blood and is sent to tissues and organs like the brain right away to be used for immediate energy. It helps fuel us and keeps our bodies running in kick-ass mode all day long. The remaining glucose is converted into glycogen that is stored in the liver, muscles and other tissues. Glycogen is stored as the backup energy source for when you really need it most!

Think of your body like a car. You fill your car up with gas. You drive. Fuel gets low. You refuel. Simple, right? The same goes with our bodies. Eating carbohydrates is the fuel your body needs to function properly and build lean muscle. You wouldn’t drive your car around on empty, risking the chance of running out of gas, would you? (All of my people that like to live on the edge, keep your answers to yourself 😉).

FOOD IS FUEL. Give your body the fuel it needs, especially PRE and POST workout. Your body will thank you by busting you through your amazing workouts—giving you the results you’ve been working SO SO hard for.


So, we know how important carbs are for building muscle, especially those buns…but how do carbs work their magic? Carbs give us the energy we need to get the most bang for our buck during our workouts. The Central Nervous System (CNS) is your control panel during your workouts. The energy that carbs fuel the CNS with are vital for muscle growth and without carbs, we just won’t see progress we are working our asses off (or should I say on) for. It tells your body what muscle fibers to fire and how intensely they should be firing. Working on your Mind/Muscle Connection (MMC) will really help your brain communicate with the muscle fibers and contract the muscles you are focusing on. As the CNS and your MMC get stronger, the connection will get better and better, resulting in more muscle fibers being recruited. This results in..TA-DA! MUSCLE GROWTH!

So, where do we go from here? You now know how important carbohydrates to keep your body running, growing and kicking ass, but now you are wondering how much fuel your body needs to keep a lean physique, but also build beautiful buns just in time for summer. Check out my blogs on BMR and TDEE –  where I help you calculate your specific energy needs. In each one of my Jessie’s Girls Training Programs, I guide your through calculating your body’s BMR and TDEE, and the breakdown of Macronutrients (Macros) you should follow for the best results for your specific goals.  


Now we have the ingredients we need to build…let’s get grillin’. Here are my TOP 5 Favorite Glute Exercises to help build those buns. Always remember the Mind Muscle Connection, especially while isolating your glutes. The Mind Muscle Connection is where the mind meets the body and you really THINK about the muscles you are targeting with each contraction. This is the breakthrough component when it comes to progressing towards our ideal physiques.  

  1. Hip Thrusters: These are my absolute favorite! Place the barbell across your hips. Make sure your knees form a 90 degree angle with your toes pointing outward, slowly lower the weight. As your lift to the starting position, squeeze your glutes!
  2. Squats:  Place the barbell on your traps. Place your feet shoulder or hip distance apart, toes pointing straight ahead or outward. Tighten your core and inhale before pushing your butt back to lower into the squat. Go low enough to activate your glutes, keeping your knees straight over your toes and pushing outward. Drive through your heels on your way back up, squeezing your glutes at the end of the movement.   
  3. Lunges: These can be body weight or you can add weight for more of a challenge. Don’t rush- slow and steady wins the race!! Step forward creating a 90 degree angle and drive through your heels to really target your glutes and hamstrings.
  4. Step ups: Use a box that is about knee-height. Pick a weight that makes the exercise challenging while still being able to keep your balance. Drive your weight through your heel as you step-up onto the box. I like to complete one set fully, then switch legs.
  5. Split Squat: I like to do these on the smith machine for extra stability.  Make sure you keep your knee right above your toes throughout the entire movement.  Drive up through your heels.

You CAN build beautiful buns and enjoy the foods you love without packing on excess fat. These changes don’t happen overnight and require lots of patience and consistency, but I can tell you it’s so worth it. My philosophy is to show you all how to live happy and healthy lives while working hard towards your goals. Be stubborn about those goals and flexible about your methods. Train hard, track your macros, and love the process. Now go build those glutes…and enjoy that burger, too!

If you want more insights on how to build a shapely posterior, check out my Jessie’s Girls Bikini Body training program. From building shapely glutes, to cutting down on unwanted fat, I show you how to get beach body ready without starving yourself in the kitchen and overdoing it in the gym. For more information on how you can get a rockin’ bod click on the button below!




2020-01-28T13:54:55-08:00Jessie’s Blog, Motivation, Nutrition|0 Comments

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