I am a female. 113 pounds. I am going to start working out because I want my butt to get bigger. I have whey protein. These are the questions I have:

  1. How much protein do I need overall in order to gain mass/muscle in my butt?

  2. What types of food should I eat?

  3. If I make a protein shake, how much protein should it have?

  4. What do I need to do/eat before a workout?

  5. Should I drink a protein shake before or after my workout?

Thank you. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • the best way to show gratidute here would be to accept his answer and/or upvote it. Jul 30, 2016 at 10:56

2 Answers 2

1. How much protein do I need overall in order to gain mass/muscle in my butt?

A pretty good rule of thumb that's used in fitness circles is 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight each day, though various newer studies have shown 0.7g per lb to be just as effective. In your case, 80g of protein would be a good target, with 90g to 113g being ample.

As for overall calories, the discussion between JJosaur and mirower is quite informative. If you're only just starting resistance training, you may be able to get away with overall caloric maintenance (even deficit) and still build muscle as your body adapts to the new demands. Later on though, an overall caloric surplus will ensure that you continue to gain muscle mass.

There are a few good calculators out there on the internet where you can enter your bodyweight and level of activity to work out a basal metabolic rate, and then from there you can work out how much you need to eat to be in an overall surplus.

2. What types of food should I eat?

To gain weight in a healthy way, it's best to go for foods which are both nutritious and calorically dense. There are so many bodybuilding staples out there on the internet, but really you can't go wrong with eggs, nuts, seeds, fish, whole milk, butter, chicken, red meat, dark leafy greens, and as many vegetables as you can comfortably fit in. Fruit is generally good, being mindful of the sugar content.

3. If I make a protein shake, how much protein should it have?

Usually a single serving of whey powder will contain between 20g to 40g of protein. Again, there's some more recent evidence out there suggesting that 20g is a sufficient amount for a single shake.

4 What do I need to do/eat before a workout?

Since you're trying to build muscle, I'm going to suggest that you focus primarily on resistance and weight training. ExRx.net is an excellent resource showing you how to correctly perform movements with weights, minimising the risk of injury and getting the most out of the exercise. It's always a good idea to try the exercise with very light or no weight first to get the correct form, pacing and range of motion.

Since you mentioned wanting to work your butt, you'll likely be interested in movements like weighted squats and glute bridges.


5. Should I drink a protein shake before or after my workout?

While I agree with JJosaur that diet is really the critical component to be concerned with, there is a decent trend in the literature showing that 20g to 40g of protein consumed within a few hours before resistance training, and within 90 minutes after resistance training, is a good method of giving yourself the best chance of building muscle. Either can be as a meal or shake, and is largely down to preference.


  1. Eating more calories than you need (known as a eating a surplus/bulk) will cause you to put on weight. Weight gain is really as simple as calories in vs calories out. In terms of planning how much protein you should be eating studies are divided but around 1g per 1lb body weight seems to be the middle ground. Note: Resulting body composition (fat/muscle ratio) is majority to do with your macro nutritional breakdown.

  2. Eat healthy ones! It's easier to tell you what you should avoid: High-Carb Low-everything-else, foods are the worst for your goals. Avoid crisps, lost of bread, sugary sweets. Eat wholegrain and 5 fruit & veg a day. Lean meat is great! Healthy food, everything in moderation

  3. No one can possibly tell you. Protein shakes are a supplement. They are there to give you the protein you are missing from your normal diet. People drink them because after certain weights is it really hard to take in the protein required through food alone. Not that it is impossible, if you have enough cod. You need to track your carb/protein/fat and overall calorie intake over a few weeks to work out how much your need.

  4. Warm-up before any routine. Unless you particularly want to take pre-workout you don't need to. Your diet choices should provide you with the energy you need.

  5. In terms of protein timing, in the grand scheme of things, it's not very critical. Of far greater importance is hitting your calorie, macro- and micro-nutrient needs over the course of the day. After that, consistency and commitment should be applied to an appropriate workout plan that suits your performance and/or body goals. If you tend to train in a fasted state, getting your post-workout nutrition in as soon as possible is a good idea, but the first two points (daily diet goals, consistent training) still take precedence. For a review specific to protein timing and it's effect on strength and muscle building, check out this review and this question.

Finally, for more information on the workout required and someone else's experience of a similar question, look here.

  • Your answer seems overly simplistic. In addition, I'm not sure about some parts of it. How does "The style of workout" determine where the "weight ends up and in what form"? That implies you can target calorie distribution. High carb may not work for you, but, there's no evidence to suggest that it's inappropriate for all people. I'm not sure suggesting caffeine supplements to someone is appropriate. Especially, not knowing how they would react.
    – rrirower
    Jul 28, 2016 at 12:50
  • Though a coffee contains 100mg of caffeine and 2 cups won't send people into cardiac arrest I accept your point and edited. My point about "targeted calorie distribution" was more pointed towards targeted muscle growth. If you eat at a surplus and only do squats and deadlift your lower body will develop a lot more than your upper body over 6 months.
    – John
    Jul 28, 2016 at 13:37
  • On my answer being simplistic, OP wants to gain muscle mass and asks if protein powder can help. Weight gain is directly a result of more calories-in vs calories-out and there is currently no substantial evidence that contradicts that.
    – John
    Jul 28, 2016 at 13:40
  • Yes, but, in the context of the original question, your answer suggests that the OP can specifically "gain mass/muscle in my butt". In addition, I would argue that if all you do is squats and dead lifts, regardless of the amount of calories, your lower body would still develop faster than your upper body for the simple reason that it is receiving the majority of the resistance work.
    – rrirower
    Jul 28, 2016 at 13:52
  • They can gain muscle mass in their butt by doing exercises focused on that area; though I do agree that OP cannot choose where fat mass will end up. Most beginners can re-comp but once noob gains run out and you are still eating at a cut you would very quickly stop being able to gain muscle mass.
    – John
    Jul 28, 2016 at 14:49

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