Get some ass

April 19th, 2011  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  31 Comments

Having grown up in the 70s (BTW guys, there’s no apostrophe), the concept of “70s Big” always cracks me up. For those of you born after Magnum PI, you have to understand that the 70s was a very earthy, hairy, body-positive kind of time where the human physique was frequently revealed in all its resplendently awkward glory.

And it was a time when people trained in gyms with cinder block walls with free weights and — if things were fancy — a few leg curl machines that smelled of old leather. When people wore knee socks unashamedly and most lifters were big because they ate steak and drank milk.

As the 70s Big site explains:

“It’s currently in vogue to have a spindly, thin appearance which is typically accompanied by a low body fat percentage. Regardless of why this has come to be, those who have such an appearance are not very useful. Imagine asking someone of this ‘stature’ to help you move your car out of the road, haul some lumber, or even fend off a potential zombie attack. It simply wouldn’t be feasible.”

So, 70s Big is about keepin’ it real, shaggy, and strong as heck. On that note, here’s a fun piece about squatting, ripping the ass out of your pants, and what it means to be a 70s Big chick.

Lately, I’ve been growing some serious gluteyliciousness.

I don’t know whether it was the KB swings, or the 100-rep deadlifts, all my sitting and BJJ yanking my pelvis into hyperlordosis, or just a little extra squeeze in my ass cheeks as I walk to practice recruiting the lazy medius and minimus, but my ass has definitely gotten larger and more in charge lately.

I turn around and it’s like BAM! There it is! Two cannonballs defying gravity back there! You could put a tray of drinks on that bad boy! I feel totally J Lo and I love it.

“You have to show your ass,” says my fashion consultant sister, who shortens my sweaters, snuggifies my shirts, and takes away my baggy pants, making me wear leggings and Sir Edmund Hillary boots, a combo that makes me look like Leela from Futurama (purple hair included, BTW).


As a girl with a WASP brain in an Eastern European body, I am initially stumped by this “show your ass” concept.

I spent my first two decades strategically tying sweaters over my pear-shaped frame, envying the bony boy asses of models, then the subsequent two decades more or less not thinking much about the posterior at all. I knew my ass-to-grass squats were taking care of hip extension so I didn’t really concern myself with what the booty was doing.

Like a lightbulb boy working on his beach muscles (i.e. pecs and biceps), I spent way too much time focusing on the stuff I could actually see — although unlike a lightbulb boy, I actually trained my legs. I rocked the quads so hard I sometimes forgot that there was something that prevented my pelvis from driving two stabby points into my chair.

Enter BJJ in 2007 (hip bridging), judo in 2008 (trying to make people trip over my ass), and Bret Contreras with his glute analysis in 2009 (violating a barbell in public). Recovering enough from my back injury in the early 2000s to start deadlifting again, sumo-style this time, using high-rep sets to rebuild the endurance of my spinal erectors. My crazy ideas about shit like 50-rep sets of 1 full Olympic clean every 30 seconds… and then every 20 seconds… and now working on 1 per 10 seconds…

And finally, acquiring my own adorable little set of vinyl-covered kettlebells to swing. (Yes, although I stand against the concept of adult women lifting pink 1-lb dumbbells like it has some kind of point, I still like pink-coloured heavy weights. I wish my Olympic bumper plate set came in shades of pink. Fucking deal with it.) I swung and swung, repeating Dan John‘s mantras in my head: If it’s important, do it every day. And pull your thumb to your zipper!!

Little did I know that all this humping, bumping, and trying to kick people behind me would amount to something. Two somethings, technically. Possibly with their own sentience.

This is especially interesting at a time when asslessness seems to be en vogue.

I like a good caboose on people, so it’s visually painful to walk around the streets of Toronto and observe urban hipsters whose droopy pants hang sadly, plumbline-straight — or worse, concave — from their lumbar spine to their knees. (On the other hand, Lululemon actually makes guys’ pants for “hockey butt”, so if you have a hind end that earns the envy of all the other crimson-cheeked baboons in your posse, get thee to Lulu and stuff the spheres into their accommodating wares.)

No matter what your size, if you don’t get regular activity you are doomed to have a spine like a question mark and the body language that goes with it. As Will Brink used to say, You need a big hammer to drive a big nail. A strong ass means a happy spine. A strong ass is a great foundation for a fit and healthy physique.

Be ass proud, people! Squat, deadlift, run and jump. Make your bum do its job, as Geoff Girvitz of Bang likes to say. It’s the biggest muscle group in your body, so put it to work.


  1. Gwen says:

    April 19th, 2011at 5:25 am(#)

    Great post! I’m having trouble with the squats and deadlifts at the moment – I’m pregnant (first trimester), and my ligaments and energy levels are shifting on me in surprising and painful ways, so I’m dialing it way back. I’m down to an empty bar! It’s so sad and lonely looking. I’m looking forward to the second trimester.

    And in the spirit of pink stuff and being strong not skinny, I assume you have seen this but just in case you haven’t – best shirt ever:

  2. Ginger Baker says:

    April 19th, 2011at 6:43 am(#)

    I am SOOOO sharing this on a forum I frequent, where I just the other day answered a question entitled “how to get a firm bottom?” with the simple answer: squats and deadlifts, with WEIGHT. :coughs: It doesn’t hurt any that the other forum members recently saw a pic showing off my ass and know that I can put my money where my mouth is LOL.

    Welcome to the land of the proud ass! :hugs: :D

  3. How to get a firm bottom? says:

    April 19th, 2011at 6:44 am(#)

    […] I read the latest blog on Stumptuous, I knew I HAD to share it here. Get some ass :: __________________ Pansexual kinky poly woman w kids, raw foodist, who performs burlesque […]

  4. Laura says:

    April 19th, 2011at 9:36 am(#)

    Awesome post!

    I really liked the article about the pair of pants, makes me feel better about my recent grappling shorts failure (although it was more thigh than butt related).

  5. simma says:

    April 19th, 2011at 1:36 pm(#)

    I think that phrase should read “purple hair included, *F*TW”.

    As a straight-waisted woman with an ass that is tiny and walnut-like in an untrained state, I thank squats and deadlifts every day for my booty. While many women worry that the training will make them too masculine, I actually think it’s made me more feminine by giving me some back.

  6. Dana says:

    April 20th, 2011at 4:41 am(#)

    Still hoping some clever clothes designer will give us pants with a small waist and ample room for our backsides and quads!

  7. Roland says:

    April 20th, 2011at 6:21 am(#)

    A nicely developed and functioning ass is great rehab. Rehab for any spine and knee issues and rehab for attractiveness issues.

    My goal, jeans that are hard to buy.

  8. Marnie says:

    April 20th, 2011at 7:36 am(#)

    Futurama and kettle bells in one post? As always, wonderful and inspiring!

    I was wondering what your weekly routine is that has produced such, um, prolific results? What is your kettle bell routine, and how do you integrate it in with your Olympic lifts?

  9. Doreen Dixon says:

    April 20th, 2011at 8:03 am(#)

    Past 60, even a fat ass tends to migrate upwards, becoming saddle bags and leaving a flat and bony butt that’s VERY uncomfortable on wooden chairs. With a bum knee, real squats are but a dream; the rehab versions don’t do SQUAT (so to speak) for building glutes. I’ll have to wait for surgery to make good squats possible again.

    Once I can do it right, is it possible to overcome Granny Butt with exercise or just to modify the effects? This old girl needs to know!

  10. Sandra says:

    April 20th, 2011at 8:53 am(#)

    I think this article would be even better with photos of Mistress Krista’s Leela-ass.

    After reading this article, I grabbed my copy of Rippetoe’s Starting Strength while dialing up Sir Mix-A-Lot on the ipod. Today, the book – tomorrow, the iron!

  11. Jen says:

    April 20th, 2011at 9:45 am(#)

    Amen, Dana!

  12. Mistress Krista says:

    April 20th, 2011at 10:06 am(#)

    For @Doreen: Hey, other heavy lifting silver foxes: What’s your experience?

  13. Pancake butts will be envious « Arabella – Fit and Healthy (Well, getting there…) says:

    April 20th, 2011at 11:29 am(#)

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  14. soundposted says:

    April 20th, 2011at 11:33 am(#)

    @Doreen – glute bridges don’t tax the knee the same as squats. If you can do them one-legged with body weight, try holding a 10-lb plate on your non-working thigh next. If it’s too hard between two benches, try with your feet on a bench and shoulders on the floor (Dave Draper has a video on his page).

  15. simma says:

    April 20th, 2011at 3:16 pm(#)

    @Doreen: Deadlifts have actually done more for my ass than squats. They’re much easier on the knee than squats, and you can go heavier than with any other exercise. Do them with slightly more bend than a stiff-legged deadlift, but not so much of a knee bend that they irritate your knees.

  16. simma says:

    April 20th, 2011at 3:21 pm(#)

    FYI, I have a bum knee. Squats are fixing it, and deadlifts helped me stay sane while my squats were puny. Not all knee conditions tolerate squatting, but many more do than doctors and physical therapists think they do. So “bad knees” is sometimes a reason TO squat, not a reason to avoid them.

    The tricky part is finding an experienced trainer/coach to teach you to squat ultra-correctly, and finding a doc and/or therapist who actually knows enough about lifting to be able to truly tell you whether your problems fall into “must squat” or “must not squat” category. The latter are very, VERY hard to find and usually work with professional athletes, not the general public, at least in the U.S.

  17. Stephanie says:

    April 20th, 2011at 7:54 pm(#)

    @Doreen – I’ve found that weighted split squats are easier on my knees than full squats, and boy do they make my rear sore.. you also might want to try hamstring development- romanian deadlifts will spare your knees and get that posterior chain working.

  18. Terry Gibbs says:

    April 20th, 2011at 10:11 pm(#)

    Back in a Universe long, long ago, Tommy Kono put up a drawing of a male with arms extended straight over head. On that drawing starting from the middle of the hips he drew concentric circles, and said that as each circle moved further away from the hips the capacity of those muscles got weaker.

    don’t care how big someones arms are…
    Hips rule

    Krista, loved it as always

  19. Chip says:

    April 21st, 2011at 6:24 pm(#)

    “…when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face, you get SPRUNG!”

    All you bruthas can’t deny!

  20. Paul says:

    April 23rd, 2011at 7:10 pm(#)

    What, no pics of that booty?? :)

  21. Ed says:

    April 24th, 2011at 5:19 pm(#)

    Did you blog about the 50 oly cleans? I saw some tweets and am now interested in trying it.

    I’d like to read more if it’s in the blog, but I couldn’t see it when I looked through the blog articles just now.

  22. Mistress Krista says:

    April 29th, 2011at 5:00 am(#)

    Ed: Take a barbell. Load it up with about 70-80% of your body weight for starters (or whatever is about a 75% effort clean for you). Set a timer. Do 1 clean every 30 seconds till you hit 50 cleans. Lie on the floor. Cry. Then, eventually, reduce the time interval. I’m up to 1 clean/15 seconds for 50 cleans @ 75% bw. Working on 1 clean/10 sec.

  23. Wednesday 5/4/11 • Derby City CrossFit – Louisville, KY says:

    May 3rd, 2011at 6:45 pm(#)

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  24. Bev says:

    May 4th, 2011at 7:19 pm(#)

    I don’t care if it looks stupid- I do weighted hip thrusts in the gym and everyone in the gym looks at me like I’m a freak. but, damn, my ass looks good :)(and my squats and deadlifts have improved dramatically).

  25. Mistress Krista says:

    May 5th, 2011at 2:21 am(#)

    @Bev – Keep giving new meaning to “my humps”!!

  26. Leela says:

    May 8th, 2011at 8:03 pm(#)

    I really enjoyed the page you linked to, but I have to say that 38″ is not very big! Really, that’s rather slender.

    The glutes are the foundation of many dance techniques. A strong butt makes a good dancer. Hooray for glutes!

  27. Blog-watch: glutes news says:

    May 26th, 2011at 12:40 pm(#)

    […] Mistress Krista has been having excellent success with her glutes and I would very much like a dose of whatever it is she has been doing.  Perhaps the 100 reps approach should work. […]

  28. on and off gym goer says:

    June 17th, 2011at 9:39 am(#)

    This is interesting to me because some years ago I wrote you that strength training was making my butt bigger and you suggested I was imagining it.

    As I’m also pear-shaped and don’t need to get bigger — I just don’t think I look good — I’m now doing a program that specifically avoids putting weight on the lower body.

    What’s wrong with “’70s” ?

  29. Mistress Krista says:

    June 18th, 2011at 11:32 am(#)

    @on and off: To be clear, much of my own ass girth is fat — just as it is for most women. Women drastically over-estimate the degree to which muscle mass contributes to their butt size. And people in general are fairly poor judges of what is actually happening with body composition. I have clients swear they are gaining massive muscle, but when we measure them with skinfold calipers, they’re usually gaining fat along with strength. Or they’re gaining nothing at all, and just changing their perceptions of what is going on, particularly if they experience slight edema from heavy training.

    ’70s is fine; 70’s is incorrect.

  30. Megan says:

    March 4th, 2012at 5:44 pm(#)

    I’m so late to this…

    After years of wanting Serena Williams’ butt, then giving up, I’m finally about to embark on developing my own behind for what it is. Starting with the 200 plie squat challenge…curious to see where it goes from there. I’m scared I’m going to hit a wall because of knee issues, but I’m ready to try! Great post!

  31. becky farmer says:

    August 8th, 2012at 11:02 am(#)

    OOhhhh! I am so envious of your backside! I am working as hard as I can to achieve the beautiful “C” butt but it is hard to be patient. :) It’s nice to see other women glory in their backside!

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