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Meet the Badonka-Dudes — The Gym Bros Obsessed With Building Butt

They've spent years toning that tuchus, and not just for the looks. Healthwise, they may just be ahead of the curve

Anton, a 25-year-old from Texas, has a humongous ass — a bouncy, meaty bubble butt his pants can barely contain. He’s ripped at least eight pairs in the last five years — “like, right down the butt crack, from waist to waist.”

André, an 18-year-old Swede, has had his share of trouser troubles too. “Pants would fit weirdly and it was hard to find the right size,” he says.

Yet these guys have no regrets about bulking up their buttocks. They weren’t born this blessed — they spent years in the gym doing deadlifts and squats to tone their glutes into the perfect shape.

Originally, Anton says, he simply wanted to stand out from the guys in the gym who only cared about their “glamour muscles,” so he took pride in having a high squat max. Now he credits a healthy love life to his tantalizing tush: His girlfriend “calls my ass perfect and grabs it all the time. I fucking love it, and her.”

These are the badonka-dudes — the regular guys who’ve embraced the upward trend of building butt. To learn more, we talked to Katie Lunger, owner of the booty-centric Los Angeles–based gym Bünda, and a few more tuchus-toning bros. As it turns out, they may just be ahead of the curve.

Big-Ass Benefits

“Women are attracted to it,” Anton says. “In my younger years I took it as a good sign. I’d even try and hook up with someone who objectified me like that, and it worked out a decent amount. Actually, if I’m being honest, my ass was probably my primary pick-up move. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I dance pretty well. I’m Hispanic and I’ve been dancing salsa and merengue since birth, so my pick-up move in college was essentially to dance until someone decided they liked what they saw and danced with me. It was as effective as it was not.”

André began specifically training his ass up last year when he noticed his natural gifts. “I have pretty good ass genetics,” he tells MEL, “but I started incorporating more stiff-legged deads and hip thrusters and noticed a positive ‘lift’ in my ass from just ‘big’ to more firm and shaped.”

André agrees with Anton: “Girls dig the ass. Now that I have a job and can afford pants that fit my ass perfectly, I’ve noticed girls quite dig the big behind. Who knew?” he says. “To be honest, I don’t mind being checked out, whether it’s because of my ass or whatever it might be.”

Beyond picking up women, Lunger says, there are physical benefits to a big butt. “If you train your lower body enough, you’re going to get the stomach that you want, and the glutes are extremely important to stabilize the lower back and the knee.” Lunger adds that while working on the core has been deemed a go-to move for a sexy physique, “people have forgotten that glutes are really the keystone to being functional and having healthy joints. If your glutes aren’t strong, your posture is going to suffer, and eventually you’ll probably have lower back and knee pain.”

Lunger says guys like André, Anton and the other men who come into her gym are making a good investment in their future health. “If you’re targeting something like the glutes, the glutes have a ton of muscle mass. You’re going to burn a lot of calories when you train that, therefore your arms are going to get leaner [and] your abs are going to get leaner.”

Another bonus? Crowd control. Anton says people notice his humongous ass and stay out of his way. “It just doesn’t work to put me in places where I have to share butt space with someone else,” he says. “So for the most part, people are aware of how poorly I fit into small things, and I get to ride shotgun perpetually for eternity.”

Derrière Downsides

Anton’s big butt might be saving his back, knees and sex life, but he admits he’s grown a little tired of the attention it brings. “I wouldn’t say I experience this to the degree a woman has, but it does occur relatively often: my ass being grabbed, pinched or otherwise catcalled by women,” he says. “Crowded bars especially are apparently open season for women to grab my ass, then bolt before I can identify them. There’s nothing good that comes out of random women grabbing my ass — it’s just rude.”

He says he’s been sexually harassed while working as a waiter, “by both patrons and co-workers (all female), and it’s just uncomfortable.”

Being pinched by strangers in the bar isn’t the only negative for Anton. “Most [of my] complaints have to do with shopping for pants and fitting into small seats. I can’t wear anything other than loose-fit, [and] I have to buy pants four sizes up from my normal waist because [they] just won’t fit otherwise.”

Oh yeah — and then the pants rip. Pair after pair. It’s “half while dancing, because I like to drop it low on the dance floor, and half while doing everyday tasks like getting into my car, or stepping up a large step,” Anton says. “I try to move in the full range of motion every time I try on pants at a store. If I feel any tension whatsoever, I put the pants back, because they will rip. They are not worth it.” Anton says no one besides his mom knows what kind of pants to buy him, but he has found “salvation” in the “stretchy/sporty khakis” offered at REI.

André had the same problem with pants catered to regular-sized asses. “I used to have insecurities about my big butt [when I was] around 16 to 17,” he admits. “But I’ve since found suit pants make my ass look pretty firm and well-shaped. Tight jeans, specifically Dsquared2 jeans, fit the best — they make it look big and tight.”

The Workout Is a Beast

Lunger says that while the practice of specifically working on a nice ass is currently marketed mostly to women, her male customers tend to get hooked after one visit. “Sometimes the way we get men is the girls will either bring their husband or boyfriend,” she says. “And then it’s funny, as soon as guys come in here, they realize that it’s a very challenging workout and come back on their own. Stairmasters are what firemen use for their tests, so it’s no joke.”

She adds, “A lot of guys concentrate on the upper body because that’s where they want to see the change, but the great thing for those guys who come in is that they find stimulating the lower body training [gets] you a better result in your upper body as well.”

The benefits aren’t just visual, she says. “In our culture today, we’re constantly sitting.” (It’s true, and there are lots of reasons why we shouldn’t.) “People are losing activation of the glutes, and a great way to help people prevent injury and burn the most calories — to really get the most bang for your buck — is to train the glutes, the area that has a lot of muscle mass and will generate the most caloric burn.”

The Platonic Ideal of Posterior

What makes the perfect guy butt? To find out, I spoke with u/RationalCube, moderator of r/HeSquats — a NSFW subreddit dedicated to guys with nice asses.

“Maybe it’s bias, but most guys I know have a good butt, and they work hard to specifically maintain it,” RationalCube says. “For me, a good butt is a meaty bubble butt. I want a good butt to have a firm jiggle and a firm squeeze. So, I guess it’s both shape and size.” He says a friend he calls “Thicc Nick” is a perfect example. Thicc Nick boasts “cheeks that are literally the size and shape of melons.”

Though he doesn’t know the specific demographics of his subreddit, RationalCube says it’s open to all. “Men, women and any other gender are welcomed. I’m sure we can all appreciate a good ass.”