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Top 8 Ways To Get The Best Muscle Pumps While Training

Top 8 Ways To Get The Best Muscle Pumps While Training

If you’ve been lifting weights for a while, one of the main things you’ll be more than familiar with in the gym is the almighty pump.

This is what happens when you train a muscle with such concentration and focus that it fills with blood and has a tight, pumped-up feeling. Most like it because of the way it feels, but also because of how it looks while it’s in full effect. You look bigger, fuller, and thicker and get a glimpse of what you could look like all the time with just a few more months of training. It’s a feeling that’s so good that legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger compared it to being as fulfilling as an orgasm. And experienced lifters agree, it really is that good.

But it’s not just about vanity, achieving an optimal pump is key to improving your overall muscle mass. With regular pumps, your muscles adapt to the work load and produce more blood vessels to handle the stress. This allows your muscles to use more nutrients and oxygen to achieve a better pump and faster muscle growth.

However, not many know how to get the most out of it. In this short article, we’ve put together a list of the top 8 ways that you can get the best results come lifting time.

1. Eat A LOT Of Carbohydrates

If you’re on a low carb diet, this may be why your gym sessions have been lacking recently.

One of the main things you need to be getting into your body when looking for a serious pump is glycogen, and the only way you’re going to get that is through carbohydrates.

Glycogen is essentially stored carbohydrates in your muscles, and is pretty much what fuels your workout and also ensures that your muscles have enough water in them. When your muscles have all the glycogen they need, they allow you to hit your workout at maximum intensity, which allows you to create more muscle fibers and push more blood and water into your muscles.

This doesn’t mean you can just eat any food that is rich in carbohydrates (you can put the Pop Tarts down), aim for healthy options with slow-releasing energy (complex carbs) like oats, brown rice, or quinoa.

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More-Rice

    2. Increase Nitric Oxide levels (Your Secret Weapon!)

    If you want to have the ultimate pump, you need to be looking to improve your nitric oxide levels. Nitric Oxide is your best bet for getting a solid pump — it’s the molecule that regulates blood vessel dilation. And the more dilated your blood vessels are, the more blood they push into your muscles for that skin-splitting pump.

    There are numerous ways you can boost the amount of nitric oxide in your body, but one of the best methods is to make simple tweaks in your diet.

    The cocoa in dark chocolate has been seen in studies to have a great effect on overall blood flow and blood vessel dilation, and the same is said for other household food and drinks like black tea and watermelons.

    You can always supplement to improve your NO levels too — natural nutrients like Red Asian Ginseng and L-Citrulline (a derivative of watermelon) have been shown to have a host of benefits for raising circulation and overall gym pump.

    watermelon

      3. Up Your Water Intake

      One of the main ways you’re going to get a better pump is to ensure your body’s produced as much blood as it can, and the best way to do that is to stay hydrated.

      Over half of what makes up your blood in your body is water, so it’s important that you’re constantly giving your body enough of it to get the best results. Make sure you’re taking in at least 2 and a half liters of the clear stuff a day to ensure you’re getting the full benefit.

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      thirst

        4. Less Rest = More Results

        Unless you’re performing a workout that depends on it, chances are you’re not counting how long you’re resting between sets — but you totally should be.

        Most lifters usually leave a few minutes after each set before attempting the next one — especially if they’ve been dealing in heavy weights. Our advice is to lighten the weight and knock that time down to a conservative 30-60 seconds. This shorter amount of time reduces the amount of blood that can leave your muscles in between sets. By giving them a shorter rest, you’ll fill them up with more blood and get a more satisfying pump.

        2013_08_12_Weight_Lifters_B

          5. Higher Reps For The Highest Form Of Pump

          One of the better ways to train for a pump is to work out at high rep ranges. Most beginners usually hover around the 8-10 rep range, and this is fine for getting that balance between both size and strength. However, if you’re looking to have that superhuman pump, you’re going have to put in a lot more reps than that.

          To get that Hulk-like feeling that you get from blood rushing to your muscles, you need a reason for it to be there, and a lot of reps makes that happen.

          The more reps you do in one set exhausts and recruits more muscle fibers in that particular body part. To support your lift, your body sends in as much blood as it can to ensure you don’t drop it.

          It’s a great way to really bring out your size.

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          venice-muscle-beach

            6. Super Sets Are Super Effective

            Super setting is a way for you to take your pump from high reps to the next level.

            If you haven’t heard of “Super Setting,” it’s essentially training a different muscle, or different area of the muscle, instead of taking a rest. This keeps the blood in that area and makes sure the muscle group is constantly under tension. It’s a lot harder to pull off, but the pump is unbelievable.

            A good example of an effective super set would be a lat pull down and a cable row. Both exercises train different areas of the back and it encourages your body to send more and more blood that way. You’ll definitely feel the burn.

            USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)_140616-N-MU440-033

              7. Take It Slow And You Will Grow

              This is one of the most underrated ways to workout: slow reps.

              So many guys in the gym seem to use weights heavier than they can handle, and the result is them trying to get the set finished by getting momentum on their side — and speed is a good way to achieve this.

              Going too quickly in the gym and relying solely on this momentum stops your body from having full control over the weight. This means you’re not recruiting muscle fibers as efficiently or supersizing your pump.

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              With slow controlled movements, you can really squeeze the blood into your muscles and activate as many muscle fibers as possible.

              If you lower the weight, and think about moving your muscles rather than moving the weight, you’ll definitely feel a lot more benefit.

              88038410284---download-by-sonja-langford

                8. Negative Reps Bring Positive Experiences

                In a similar vein, negative reps are another form of exercise which is often overlooked.

                Negative reps are the final end of the movement in a lift, for example think of a bicep curl, when you’re returning the weight back down — that’s the negative part of the lift, and it can be a goldmine for pumps.

                Instead of just dropping a weight back to the starting position to hammer out another rep, why not see how slowly you can make that journey back? This recruits a lot more of the stabilizing muscle fibers in your body and sends even more blood to the area to support the action.

                It makes a serious difference, and if you’ve never done it before, you’ll feel amazing during your session — and sore as hell the next day.

                Weights-1

                  Photo Credits: More Rice, Watermelon, Thirst2013_08_12_Weight_Lifters_B, Venice Muscle BeachUSS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)_140616-N-MU440-03388038410284 – download by sonja langford, Weights 1

                  Featured photo credit: Sandra Wickham Fall Classic 2014 via flickr.com

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                  Last Updated on October 15, 2020

                  10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

                  10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

                  Are you having a hard time going to the gym for strength and conditioning? Do you want to work on your lower body strength but aren’t sure where to start? In this article, we’ll be breaking down 10 lower body workouts anyone can try at home. No gear is needed for these workouts, just some space and a bottle of water waiting nearby.

                  What Do Lower Body Workouts Target?

                  When you tackle a lower body workout, you’ll be focusing mostly on leg workouts that strengthen your thighs and calves

                  .

                  However, a lower body workout can also be great for strengthening your hips, glutes, and core, as well as stabilizing your knee and ankle joints[1].

                  Major muscle groups for lower body workout

                    Building lower body strength is key to helping you move through your day without pain and stiffness[2]. It can also help you achieve your other workout goals.

                    Do you want to train for a marathon? You’ll definitely need to build up your leg muscles. Do you want to start endurance training? It’s hard to do if your legs and glutes get tired before your heart rate goes up.

                    To get started, try a lower body workout from the list below.

                    10 Great Lower Body Workouts

                    This will give you an overview of some workout combinations that will help you build lower body strength using your own body weight. In the next section, we’ll go deeper and give you an overview of each major exercise.

                    1. The Starter Workout

                    3 sets of 8-12 reps of:

                    • Squat
                    • Single Leg Deadlift
                    • Glute Bridge

                    (30 sec to 2 min rest between each set)

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                    2. The 7-Minute Workout

                    3 rounds of 30 seconds of each exercise:

                    • Walking Lunges
                    • Quarter Squat
                    • Step Up
                    • Single Leg Deadlift

                    (1 min rest between each round)

                    3. The Unilateral Workout

                    4 sets of 16 reps of:

                    • Reverse Lunges
                    • Single Leg Deadlift
                    • Skater Squat
                    • Single Leg Glute Bridge

                    (30 sec to 1 min rest between each set)

                    4. The Endurance Workout

                    2 sets of 20-50 reps of:

                    • Squat
                    • Walking Lunge
                    • Single Leg Deadlift
                    • Glute Bridge

                    (1-2 min rest between each set)

                    5. The Back-to-Back Lower Body Workout

                    5 rounds of 10 to 20 seconds of each exercise:

                    • Skater Squat
                    • Step Up
                    • Single Leg Deadlift
                    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
                    • Quarter Squat

                    (30 min rest between each round)

                    6. Strength Lower Body Workout

                    5 to 10 sets of 4 reps of:

                    • Walking Lunge
                    • Single Leg Deadlift
                    • Squat

                    (30 sec to 2 mins of rest time between sets)

                    7. Glute Burner Workout

                    4 sets of 10-30 reps of:

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                    • Walking Lunge
                    • Single Leg Deadlift
                    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
                    • Quarter Squat

                    (1 min of rest time between sets)

                    8. The Advanced Lower Body Workout

                    3 rounds of 20 seconds of:

                    • Squat
                    • Walking Lunge
                    • Skater Squat
                    • Reverse Lunge
                    • Glute Bridge
                    • Single Leg Deadlift

                    (2 mins of rest time between sets)

                    9. The Quick Lower Body Workout

                    2 sets of 10 reps of:

                    • Reverse Lunge
                    • Step Up
                    • Single Leg Deadlift

                    10. The 100 Repetition Challenge

                    2 sets of 50 reps on each leg of:

                    • Walking Lunge
                    • Single Leg Deadlift

                    (4 mins of rest time between sets)

                    Lower Body Workout Exercise Breakdown

                    Here’s the breakdown of the lower body exercises[3] that you found in the workouts listed above.

                    1. Squat

                    Squat
                      A squat is a compound movement which uses the major muscle groups of the lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, spinal erectors).
                      How to Do a Squat

                      Place feet hip-width apart or a little wider. Your toes should be pointed slightly out, arms out in front of you. Sit into your heels until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive through the heels, return to the starting position, and repeat.

                      2. Walking Lunges

                      Walking lunge for lower body workout

                        A lunge is a complex movement that focuses mostly on thigh and knee strength, but it also gets into the glutes and core.

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                        The walking lunges are a harder version of a split squat, which is stationary. It then adds the component of stepping and keeping balance, which engages the gluteus medius, as well as allowing a larger range of motion.

                        3. Reverse Lunge

                        Reverse lunge

                          A reverse lunge is very similar to the split squat, but instead, after every rep, you are returning to the starting position and stepping back.

                          By reverse stepping, you are allowing for more emphasis on the hamstrings and gluteal muscles as opposed to the quadriceps muscles in a forward stepping lunge.

                          4. Quarter Squat

                          Quarter squat for lower body workout

                            A quarter squat is the top ¼ movement of a squat. This will work mainly the gluteal muscles as it emphasizes the hip extension and not a lot of range of motion on the quadriceps.

                            5. Skater Squat

                            Skater squat

                              A skater squat is a unilateral variation of the squat, this squat really engages the gluteus medius and hamstrings as it works unilateral stability and hip flexion, which fires up both the hamstrings and glutes.

                              6. Step up

                              Step up for lower body workout

                                The step up is the greatest balance of getting the glutes and quadriceps muscles firing. Doing steps up during a lower body workout will not only get the glutes going, but the quadriceps as well.

                                7. Glute Bridge

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                                Glute bridge

                                  Glute bridges are a great way to nearly isolate the glutes and build a great butt. This entire movement works through hip extension, which the main movement of the gluteal muscles.

                                  8. Single Leg Glute Bridge

                                  Single leg glute bridge for lower body workout

                                    Single leg glute bridge ensures that we are evenly building the glutes and not relying too heavily on our dominant leg and symmetrical butt.

                                    9. Single Leg Deadlift

                                    Single leg deadlift

                                      Single leg deadlifts engage the entire booty and hamstrings, especially the gluteus medius due to its unilateral stability property. This is a great way to spice up some routine deadlifts and engage the core while you’re at it.

                                      Before and After Working Out

                                      Before engaging in any physical activity, consult a doctor if you have not worked out in years. However, if you want to go at it without consulting a doctor, start slow and build your way up.

                                      Even if you’re doing an at-home workout, use dynamic stretching or some light jogging[4] as a warm up before starting the lower body workouts.

                                      Try these quad stretches to get started:

                                      Finally, at the end of the lower body workout, use static stretching to reduce injuries and to calm down your heart rate gradually.

                                      Final Thoughts

                                      Completing a lower body workout can help you look and feel great, but it can also help you engage more fully with your daily activities and keep you healthier in the long run. Get started with any of the above exercises today.

                                      More on Strengthening the Lower Body

                                      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Klaver via unsplash.com

                                      Reference

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