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Certified personal trainer Amanda Lee has become a social media sensation, with more than 3.8 million followers on Instagram (@AmandaEliseLee) who follow her page for butt workouts, fitness motivation, okay, and the sexy photos. We chatted with the Los Angeles-based Instagram star to find the workouts she does to get those amazing glutes.
M&F Hers: What was your motivation to get started with training?
Amanda Lee: I started a training routine because I was super thin. I was really skinny and scrawny, and I hated it. In high school, I weighed 98 pounds and I was always really self-conscious about it. So around college, my mom was really into fitness and working out so she kind of showed me the basics and got me comfortable in a gym. Then, I started working with weights, building up a little bit of muscle, eating more protein, and I started to gain a little bit of weight and felt much more confident. That’s how it all started. It was a way to build confidence, get stronger and be healthier. For me, it was never about losing weight. It was always about being stronger.
How often do work your lower body?
I used to do it twice a week, but I just recently started doing three times a week.
What does your glute workout usually look like?
It usually consists of one heavy day, where I’ll do squats, leg presses, and walking lunges holding weights or curtsy lunges with a weighted bar. Then I’ll do one lighter day, where it’s more of a cardio workout like step-ups, side-to-side steps and jumping, such as jumping lunges and frog jumps or stairs.
How often do you change up your workout?
I change it up every time. It’s impossible to have a completely new workout every time, but I try to at least change something about the workout every time. Whether it’s just changing around the order or I’ll think back to what I did in my previous workout and make sure I never do the same workout twice in a row.
What is the most challenging butt exercise that you do?
They’re all pretty challenging. I would say when I go up in weight it’s the most challenging. I started out skinny, so my body type is not necessarily super muscular and it’s a challenge for me to build muscle. Any time I add heavier weight, it’s challenging.
What is your favorite exercise?
Definitely walking lunges. I always feel them the next day, I feel them while I’m doing them and you definitely see the results.
What are some common mistakes you see your clients make when they set out to change their lower body?
I would say that the most common mistake is using the wrong form. It’s probably number one because most people just watch an exercise and they’ll do it without making sure that they have the right form. To have exact, precise form is so important especially in lower body, so I would say that’s a really big one. You’re going through the motions and not really focusing on the muscle, making sure you’re pushing through the heel, making sure your abs are tight, and all of those things that make doing the exercise worthwhile. You’re spending your time, but you’re not really going to see any results if your form is not on point. I always recommend a trainer, even if you can only afford a few sessions, just to really make sure that you can grasp the concept of it before just going in. Otherwise, it’s just going to end up being a waste of your time.
Do you have any signature calorie-burning exercises that you recommend?
I would say different jump variations. Whether it’s frog jumps, in-and-out squat jumps, jumping lunges, side-to-side step-ups on a step, or side to side on a Bosu ball. I sometimes do burpees with the Bosu ball. When you do the burpee, you also incorporate the squat going down so you’re working lower body and core. They’re probably the best for calorie burning.
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Are there any signature strength training exercises that you feel are really important?
Squats are very standard and they’re very important for building not only the glutes, but also the legs and the core. Lunges, definitely, and Romanian deadlift is really important. Weighted deadlift is one of my favorites for hamstrings, and building hamstrings is definitely necessary. In terms of going heavier, the squat rack, leg press and deadlift are the most important for going heavier.
Is there anything else that you feel is helpful to training?
The most important thing to me, if you don’t do anything else, is making sure that you use your mind while you’re working out so that you really focus on the muscle. Even if you’re not doing as intense of a workout as somebody else or as heavy weight as somebody else but you are really focused on the muscle and connecting your mind to your body, you’re going to see better results than someone who is doing a harder workout or who might be doing more weight but doesn’t have that mind-body connection. I would say that’s probably the single most important thing you can do.
Do you have any recommendations for people who are intimidated to get started?
Either start with a trainer or even a friend who is really familiar with fitness and training. Some people are intimidated just to walk the grounds at the gym. So someone who has been there and who’s familiar with it can help you get your feet wet and get comfortable in that environment.
Do you have a favorite mantra or motivational quote that inspires you?
“You only regret the workouts you didn’t do.” It’s pretty cliché, but it’s so true because you never say to yourself, “I wish I didn’t do that workout.” But there are many times when you’re like, “I wish I would’ve worked out today.”