Here's what you need to know...

  1. Designed intelligently, a 30-day workout challenge can accelerate progress and fast-forward motor learning and muscle gains.
  2. The 30-Day Squat Challenge is designed to boost your squatting proficiency. You'll be completing 24 squat sessions in a single month – eight heavy workouts, eight medium and eight light – using back squats, front squats (or goblet squats), and bodyweight squats.
  3. The 30-Day Hip Thrust Challenge will take your current 3 sets of 5 hip thrust max to a 3 sets of 10 max. Your glutes will hate you, then thank you.
  4. The 30-Day Glute Challenge is going to really test you. You'll be alternating between heavy hip thrusts, back squats, and American deadlifts on subsequent days.

If designed properly, a 30-day workout challenge can expedite progress and fast-forward motor learning and hypertrophic adaptations. Here are my three favorite challenges aimed at bringing up the glutes.

1.  The 30-Day Squat Challenge

This challenge is designed to boost your squatting ability. You'll complete 24 squat sessions in a single month. Exactly eight of these sessions will be heavy, eight will be medium, and eight will be light. You'll be performing barbell back squats, barbell front squats (or goblet squats), and even bodyweight squats. That way, you won't have to make it to the gym every single day if you don't want to.

After your squatting, you'll perform bodyweight hip thrusts and band seated hip abductions for increased glute activation. A few notes:

  • During your medium load sessions (8-12 reps) using front or goblet squats, use the same load throughout the month but constantly try to improve form and use a one-second pause at the bottom of the reps.
  • During the bodyweight squats, cross your arms in front of your body and use a controlled tempo (2 seconds for the eccentric phase, 1 second pause at parallel, and 1 second for the concentric phase).
  • Start this challenge with a squat load you can perform for 3 sets of 3 reps with excellent technical form. Each heavy session you'll use the same load, but you'll increase the number of sets or reps you perform.

For example, let's say you can currently squat 315 pounds for 3 sets of 3 reps. You'd stick with the same load (315 pounds) for every heavy session and at the end of the month, you'll be cranking out 315 pounds for 4 sets of 6 reps. You can then can retest your max and I'm confident you'll notice around a 30-pound boost in limit squat strength.

Week 1

  Workout 1 MON THU
A Heavy Back Squat 3 x 3 4 x 3
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 2 x 20 2 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 10 2 x 10
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Front or Goblet Squat * 3 x 8-12 3 x 8-12
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 2 x 20 2 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 10 2 x 10
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A Bodyweight Squat * * 2 x 20 2 x 20
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 2 x 20 2 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 10 2 x 10

* Front or Goblet Squat — Use a one-second pause at the bottom position.

* * Bodyweight Squat — Cross the arms in front of the body during the exercise. Use a controlled tempo: 2 second eccentric phase, 1 second pause at parallel, and 1 second concentric phase.

Week 2

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Heavy Back Squat 3 x 4 4 x 4
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 3 x 20 3 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 15 2 x 15
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Front or Goblet Squat 3 x 8-12 3 x 8-12
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 3 x 20 3 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 15 2 x 15
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A Bodyweight Squat 3 x 20 3 x 20
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 3 x 20 3 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 15 2 x 15

Week 3

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Heavy Back Squat 3 x 5 4 x 5
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 4 x 20 4 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 20 2 x 20
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Front or Goblet Squat 3 x 8-12 3 x 8-12
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 4 x 20 4 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 20 2 x 20
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A Bodyweight Squat 4 x 20 4 x 20
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 4 x 20 4 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 20 2 x 20

Week 4

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Heavy Back Squat 3 x 6 4 x 6
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 5 x 20 5 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 25 2 x 25
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Front or Goblet Squat 3 x 8-12 3 x 8-12
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 5 x 20 5 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 25 2 x 25
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A Bodyweight Squat 5 x 20 5 x 20
B Bodyweight Hip Thrust 5 x 20 5 x 20
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 25 2 x 25

Day 30   Test 1RM Back Squat

2.  The 30-Day Hip Thrust Challenge

The 30-Day Hip Thrust Challenge will take your current hip thrust max of 3 sets of 5 to a max of 3 sets of 10. For example, let's say that you can currently do 3 sets of 5 reps with 365 pounds in the hip thrust. This equates to 15 total reps over the 3 sets. At the end of the month, you'll be performing 3 sets of 10 reps with 365 pounds, or 30 total reps over the 3 sets. This should result in an appreciable amount of increased glute mass.

Assistance lifts for this challenge include kneeling squats, band standing hip thrusts, single leg hip thrusts, American deadlifts, RKC planks, feet elevated glute bridges, goblet squats, and bodyweight back extensions. With the various assistance lifts, I suggest focusing on achieving an intense gluteal squeeze at end-range hip extension on each repetition. In other words, don't just focus on the weight – focus on form, load, and also intense glute contractions.

Week 1

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Heavy Hip Thrust 3 x 5 3 x 6
B Kneeling Squat 3 x 10 3 x 10
C Band Standing Hip Thrust 3 x 10 3 x 10
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Single Leg Hip Thrust 2 x 8 2 x 8
B American Deadlift 2 x 20 2 x 20
C RKC Plank 3 x 20 sec. 3 x 20 sec.
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A Feet Elevated Glute Bridge 2 x 20 2 x 20
B Goblet Squat 3 x 10 3 x 10
C Bodyweight Back Extension 2 x 20 2 x 20

Week 2

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Heavy Hip Thrust 3 x 6 3 x 7
B Kneeling Squat 3 x 10 3 x 10
C Band Standing Hip Thrust 3 x 10 3 x 10
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Single Leg Hip Thrust 3 x 8 3 x 8
B American Deadlift 2 x 20 2 x 20
C RKC Plank 3 x 20 sec. 3 x 20 sec.
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A Feet Elevated Glute Bridge 3 x 20 3 x 20
B Goblet Squat 3 x 10 3 x 10
C Bodyweight Back Extension 3 x 20 3 x 20

Week 3

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Heavy Hip Thrust 3 x 7 3 x 8
B Kneeling Squat 3 x 10 3 x 10
C Band Standing Hip Thrust 3 x 10 3 x 10
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Single Leg Hip Thrust 4 x 8 4 x 8
B American Deadlift 2 x 20 2 x 20
C RKC Plank 3 x 20 sec. 3 x 20 sec.
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A Feet Elevated Glute Bridge 3 x 20 3 x 20
B Goblet Squat 3 x 10 3 x 10
C Bodyweight Back Extension 3 x 25 3 x 25

Week 4

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Heavy Hip Thrust 3 x 8 3 x9
B Kneeling Squat 3 x 10 3 x 10
C Band Standing Hip Thrust 3 x 10 3 x 10
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Single Leg Hip Thrust 3 x 10 3 x 10
B American Deadlift 2 x 20 2 x 20
C RKC Plank 3 x 20 sec. 3 x 20 sec.
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A Feet Elevated Glute Bridge 2 x 20 3 x 20
B Goblet Squat 3 x 10 3 x 10
C Bodyweight Back Extension 3 x30 3 x30

Day 30   Heavy Hip Thrusts   3 X 10

3.  The 30-Day Glute Challenge

This one is going to really test you. You'll be alternating between heavy hip thrusts, back squats, and American deadlifts on subsequent days. Each day, you'll also be performing pause reps for the primary exercise, along with a lateral band movement. For pause reps, you want to hold the desired position for 3 full seconds on each rep.

The pause position for hip thrusts is at the top of the movement (lockout); the pause position for back squats is at the bottom at parallel depth; and the pause position for American deadlifts is at the bottom at knee level. Stick with roughly the same weight throughout the month on the various movements. You'll be increasing your reps each week and building stamina.

On the last day of the program, you're going to go for one all-out set of 15 reps with your current 3 sets of 6 maximum on the hip thrust, back squat, and American deadlift.

Week 1

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Hip Thrust 3 x 6 3 x 6
B Pause Hip Thrust * 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 15 2 x 15
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Back Squat 3 x 6 3 x 6
B Pause Back Squat * * 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Monster Walk 2 x 20 2 x 20
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A American Deadlift 3 x 6 3 x 6
B Pause American Deadlift * * * 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Sumo Walk 2 x 20 2 x 20

* Hip Thrust — Pause for 3 seconds in the lockout position.
* * Back Squat — Pause for 3 seconds at the bottom.
* * * American Deadlift — Pause for 3 seconds at the bottom at knee level.

Week 2

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Hip Thrust 3 x 8 3 x 8
B Pause Hip Thrust 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 15 2 x 15
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Back Squat 3 x 8 3 x 8
B Pause Back Squat 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Monster Walk 2 x 20 2 x 20
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A American Deadlift 3 x 8 3 x 8
B Pause American Deadlift 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Sumo Walk 2 x 20 2 x 20

Week 3

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Hip Thrust 3 x 10 3 x 10
B Pause Hip Thrust 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 15 2 x 15
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Back Squat 3 x 10 3 x 10
B Pause Back Squat 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Monster Walk 2 x 20 2 x 20
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A American Deadlift 3 x 10 3 x 10
B Pause American Deadlift 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Sumo Walk 2 x 20 2 x 20

Week 4

  WORKOUT 1 MON THU
A Hip Thrust 3 x 12 3 x 12
B Pause Hip Thrust 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Seated Hip Abduction 2 x 15 2 x 15
  WORKOUT 2 TUE FRI
A Back Squat 3 x 12 3 x 12
B Pause Back Squat 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Monster Walk 2 x 20 2 x 20
  WORKOUT 3 WED SAT
A American Deadlift 3 x 12 3 x 12
B Pause American Deadlift 2 x 3 2 x 3
C Band Sumo Walk 2 x 20 2 x 20

Day 30   Hip Thrust   1 x 15
Back Squat   1 x 15
American Deadlift   1 x 15

Don't be foolish and assume that 30 days isn't enough time to see appreciable strength gains. Give these programs your all and watch your strength rise and your glutes grow.