Woman’s own feature

Can you lift, firm and smooth a booty in under two months?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you will have noticed that butts are a thing. And I don’t just mean butts, I mean BUTTS. There’s a lot of things I won’t thank the Kardashians for (cycling shorts as a fashion statement being one), but encouraging people to embrace their curves is one of them. But what if you don’t want to go down the implants route and you don’t have the genes? Can you create a firm and sculpted butt from nothing? And how long will it realistically take?


While I think the Kardashian-Jenner clan are fire in their own way, the booty I have always most aspired to is Jennifer Lopez in the music video for ‘I’m Glad’. I mean, just look at it…

It’s natural, toned and attainable (kinda).

I have always been very Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones about my bum; I like it, just the way it is. But, looking at it in the mirror a few weeks ago I realised that, surprise surprise, my 30-year-old bum does not look 21 any more. It’s a little flatter than it used to be, a little saggier and just not packing the same peach-shaped punch it used to. In fact, while I’ve always been lucky enough to find exercise keeps my arms and stomach toned, no amount of cardio, yoga or pilates has ever reduced even a tiny bit of the wobble in my thighs and bum. 

So, I enlisted the help of Lucie Cowan, a personal trainer at Third Space in London, to help me.

Third Space City gym
Gyms- the modern torture chamber…harder!harder!
Come on …push yourself
No pain…no gain

Sort of helps when you’re training here – there’s even free deodorant and hair bands in these Cowshed-stocked changing roomsTHIRD SPACE

Lucie is an expert in building lean muscle and seemed like the perfect person to hand my butt over to for six weeks. Lucie, my life arse is in your hands…


I realise just how much the Kardashian look has impacted our beauty ideals when Lucie looks positively beaming to discover my goal isn’t to just grow a bubble butt to rival Kim’s.

Building a firm, toned bum is all about strength, explains Lucie. Squats and lunges might be some of the best moves out there to build muscle in your glutes, but if you want to be doing them properly, in a way that will really shape and change your butt, you need to be adding weight to these moves.

This is where Lucie explains this isn’t just a butt challenge, it’s an all body challenge. If I want to be able to lift, and maximise my glute development, I need to build strength in my core and upper body too.

To assess where I’m at, Lucie scans me on their InBody machine (as part of Third Space’s bespoke OUT/SET induction) under the strict instruction that I’m not allowed to obsess over any of the numbers. The good news is that my BMI is ‘normal’ but, as expected, my muscle mass is ‘under’ and, because my body has to be made up of something to hold it upright, my fat is ‘over’. In short, my weekly pilates and yoga classes (and when-I-can-be-bothered runs) have done sweet FA to build a sufficient amount of muscle or really burn any fat. The result – minimal tone.




Next up, my diet. Lucie and I agree that any huge shifts in the way I eat aren’t a good idea. I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet and we want the changes to be something I can maintain long-term. But one thing that does need drastically changing is my protein intake.

I’ve always thought protein was just a thing huge beefcake guys ingested when doing crazy intense bodybuilding, rather than something anyone exercising needs. But, Lucie explains, you need to consume protein to build muscle. If you start strength training without enough protein, you won’t be able to build the muscle you need. Lucie first advises aiming for 25g of protein per meal, but that in an ideal world I’d be nearing 2g per kg of body weight per day – so in the region of 110-120g for me.


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