8 things J Lo did to build her glutes - from how often to train to what to eat

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Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Not only is Jennifer Lopez on top of her career - and rebranding middle age - she's also working hard on her personal fitness, too.

Never one to do things by halves, it comes as no surprise that J Lo goes hard when it comes to her glutes routine, which she turbocharges with a well-rounded diet.

We spoke to celebrity personal trainer Jay Cardiello, who previously helped Lopez sculpt her famous posterior, for all the details - including how often to train, what to eat, and a unique approach to rest. Here are his tips:

1/Always include glutes

Chances are you’re familiar with the idea of dedicating each workout to a specific body area for better results (such as ‘leg day’), but Cardiello is rewriting the rulebook. Every session he crafted for Lopez included glute moves, along with working other parts of the body.

"We trained this area of the body in every workout," he says.

The duo didn’t, however, exercise every day. "I prescribe a program to be done four times a week for optimal results," he adds. "J Lo and I rested two-to-three days a week depending on her schedule and what her workout week looked like."

2/Max out your muscles

Cardiello swears by one particular technique for results: rapid muscle response. It’s a form of training that means you change exercises every 30 seconds, to stimulate your muscles, raise metabolism and burn fat.

"My workouts are backed by science," Cardiello says. "They’re designed to give you maximum results in a short space of time, and rapid muscle response does just that."

When asked how, he explained: "Rapid muscle response (RMR) works by forcing the brain to signal neurons to fire more quickly, resulting in faster muscle activation patterns to stabilise the body. It’s extremely effective for building lean muscle mass because the brain tells muscles to contract at an increased rate.

"J Lo’s training plan was a hybrid of cardio, strength, agility and core balance exercises – all based on rapid muscle response with 30-second blasts."

3/Balance out weights with rest

When it comes to breaks in between said 30-second blasts, they’re only permissible with weighted moves.

"With bodyweight exercises, we did not rest so as to burn more fat and sculpt more lean muscle," Cardiello says. "But when performing weighted exercises, we would rest between 30 and 60 seconds, so that we could focus on form."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

4/Get solid sleep

We’ve told you before and we’ll tell you again: sleep is everything.

"One thing I always reinforce with my clients is sleep. They must sleep six or more hours prior to the day of the workout," he explains.

5/Give it all you’ve got

When asked for his non-negotiables, one thing is clear: Cardiello won’t cut you any slack.

"I ask all my clients to give their workouts everything they can," he says. "Let’s face it, everyone experiences times where they don’t feel like working out, but when you enter the gym, you give it your all."

6/Switch up workouts in a cycle system

There’s method behind everything Cardiello does, and that includes how and when he and Lopez would mix up moves.

He explains that their workouts were first designed according to a macrocycle, with the singer-actress going on tour marking the end, in which they would identify certain phases such as preparation (the start, using Lopez's base fitness level) and competitive (the end, when they’d go hard and she was at peak fitness).

Within the macrocycle, Cardiello broke down her workouts into microcycles, ranging from 1-3 weeks.

An example of this might be an endurance block, if Cardiello decided Lopez was in a position to progressively increase training volume, or a block of heavy lifting days, if she needed to build strength but had spent the previous week doing cardio.

It’s basically about looking at your goals and working out how to get there, then using your time wisely.

7/Follow a fast flow

You know how sometimes you end up wasting 10 seconds of a set because you’ve been faffing about getting into position? A fast flow routine is about making sure that doesn’t happen.

Cardiello explains: "Workouts are sequenced according to a fast flow, to allow the body to move seamlessly and efficiently between exercises, so that no time or energy is wasted."

For example, you'll do all mat moves in one block, then move onto standing moves as one segment.

8/Eat everything

By everything, we mean every food group, and Cardiello has a useful way of working out proportions.

"I always say to measure your food by hand: your palm represents protein, a fist is carbs, two fists for vegetables, and a thumb for fats/oils."

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