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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.

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          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.

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                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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                  Published on July 13, 2018

                  13 Pregnancy Yoga Exercises for The Last Trimester

                  13 Pregnancy Yoga Exercises for The Last Trimester

                  Practicing yoga during pregnancy is a great way to nurture you and your baby. It can also help you cope and prepare both your mind and body for any pregnancy demands and challenges that you may face especially during the third trimester.

                  Yoga during pregnancy helps you to create space for both your baby and your internal organs. However, make sure that you only do what feels right and works, avoid muscle strains and extreme pressure exercises.

                  There are plenty of yoga techniques that can help you to prepare for labor in the 3rd trimester. Before you try out yoga, make sure you talk to your doctor. This way, you may know the do and don’t during this stage. The following are some of the common yoga exercises to try out during the third trimester.

                  1. Birth prep exercises

                  This mainly entails simple exercise designed to reduce pains and aches and can as well as help position the baby in a good pelvic alignment. Include this technique in your workout rest brakes, warm-up, and as part of your daily poses.

                  Here’s an example of it:

                  2. Cat cow

                    This is a great pose for lengthening your spine and strengthen your core muscles.[1]

                    This pose is a great technique for all pregnancy stages. It will help strengthen your belly as the pregnancy continues to grow.

                    This asana also relieves the back and allow a better circulation of spinal fluids and blood.

                    Practice belly breathing when performing this pose. It will aid in calming your mind and reducing morning sickness.

                    It should be done about 5 times for best results.

                    3. Warrior II

                      This technique is great for strengthening your core and legs and as well as lengthen your spine. Even though this technique is a little bit challenging, it is said to help alleviate backaches during pregnancy.

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                      4. Bridge pose

                        This pose is convenient if you want to open up your hips and strengthen your glutes, core, and hamstrings.[2] Also, it can be practiced in all the trimesters.

                        Begin on the side and roll to the back as you move your body into a bridge pose. This helps avoid stressing your rectus abdominals.

                        Avoid this exercise if you feel uncomfortable on your back.

                        5. Cobblers pose (Baddha Konasana)

                          This technique is said to improve the health of the reproductive system.[3] During pregnancy, it aids in opening up the pelvis, therefore ensuring an easy and fast labor.

                          It is also said to calm the mind and improve blood circulation. This yoga practice can be performed as follows:

                          • Sit on a mat and stretch out your legs.
                          • Fold your knees and bring your feet at the center.
                          • Then straighten your back.
                          • Using your palms hold your feet for a few seconds.
                          • Release.
                          • Repeat this about 4 times.

                          6. Warrior I

                            This technique helps you explore your upper body. It helps to open up your chest and strengthen your legs. This technique helps restore the health of your spine and help make space for the growing uterus.

                            Also, it helps your mind relax and stay focused and maintain balance. It can be performed as follows;

                            • Place your feet apart in a hip-width position.
                            • Pivot on the left foot.
                            • Make your right foot to face forward.
                            • Lower the pelvis, then assume a lunge.
                            • Look forward and lift your arms above your head.
                            • Hold that position as long as possible.
                            • Release the pose.
                            • Repeat the process with the left foot forward.

                            7. Corpse pose

                              This technique aims at relaxing your body and mind.[4] It boosts your energy instantly and hence it’s convenient for battling any fatigue during the pregnancy.

                              Also, it helps in fighting off any side effects of pregnancy such as pain, morning sickness, and nausea. This pose can be performed as follows:

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                              • Lie on your back.
                              • Let your palms rest beside you while facing upwards.
                              • Close your eyes and then relax- your arms should be alongside your body.
                              • Breathe.

                              8. Spiraling movement

                              This entails moving your pelvis in circular motions and moving your hips. These movements help to massage down the baby’s head onto the cervix.

                              Also, these movements helps you keep your pelvis mobile and relaxed while loosening your muscles and ligaments.

                              You may consider using a fitness ball to help in the movements.

                              9. Child’s pose

                                This is a resting pose. It helps to focus on your breath, breathe more deeply, and also it’s a good position to rest between labor contractions.[5]

                                This is a great position that will help you find peace and promote a healthy and a happy pregnancy. It’s safe for all trimesters.

                                Relax and move your knees apart, then rest your head on your fists, hand, or on the floor. You should avoid this position if your pubic symphysis is sore or open. Relax in this position, eyes closed.

                                10. Chanting

                                Making your own sounds during pregnancy and birth is a powerful way to regulate your breathing, it enables you to focus and relax as you deal with the pain that is associated with pregnancy and labor.

                                Practicing voice sounds can help you open up and have an easier and more comfortable labor. You can do this as follows:

                                • Sit comfortably.
                                • Close your eyes.
                                • Placing your index fingers on the lobes of your ears, take a deep breath.
                                • Exhaling slowly, make gentle humming sounds.
                                • Do this 5 to 10 times.
                                • You can also do this while lying down with arms by the side of the body.

                                11. Standing hip rotations

                                  This moves will help strengthen your pelvis as well as relax.[6] You can do this as follows:

                                  • Stand with feet wide apart but comfortable.
                                  • Slightly bend your knees.
                                  • Place your hands on your hips and rotate your hips.
                                  • Try to keep your upper body still.
                                  • Focus on rotating the hips and the belly.
                                  • Inhale while moving your hips forward and exhale while moving them backward.
                                  • Do this as many times as you wish.

                                  12. Tree pose

                                    This is a balancing technique. It helps strengthening your legs and core. It also improves posture and alleviates back pain. How to perform this pose:

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                                    • Feet on the ground, shift your weight forward and backward until you gain balance.
                                    • Shift your weight to one foot.
                                    • You can also lift one of your foot to your ankle to gain balance.
                                    • Bring the foot higher to your inner thigh.
                                    • Put your hands in a prayer position.
                                    • Hold this for 5 breaths.
                                    • You can also raise the arms above your head.
                                    • Repeat with the other leg.

                                    This technique is safe for all stages during pregnancy.

                                    13. Meditation

                                    Over the years, meditation has been used to manage a lot of conditions such as depression, stress, anxiety, and much more.

                                    During the last trimester of your pregnancy, meditation can help to move gracefully as you approach labor. It will help you ascertain a more peaceful state of mind by avoiding stress and anxiety especially if you are giving birth for the first time.

                                    Develop the habit of practicing meditation on a daily basis.

                                    Guidelines for pregnancy yoga

                                    There are some poses, however, that you should avoid while pregnant. They include plank cross, locust pose, boat pose, plow pose, and much more. Consult with your doctor on the best exercises.

                                    Here’re some guidelines you need to know before practicing yoga:

                                    1. Do what feels right.

                                    Starting yoga especially in your last trimester can be challenging while it’s really important in preparing both your mind and body for labor and pregnancy-related demands.

                                    To avoid accidents or extreme positions, you should practice yoga poses with the guidance of a trained tutor.

                                    When choosing which yoga poses to perform, listen to your body and do what you feel comfortable doing. Since all women do not have the same challenges and experience during pregnancy, avoid doing poses that your friends are doing if they don’t feel right to you.

                                    2. Do fewer poses.

                                    In case you are into physical exercises, it’s important to soften your training to avoid harming both your body and the health of the baby. Also, avoid long hours of training. You can talk to your doctor to guide you on the most convenient techniques to practice.

                                    During pregnancy, your body tends to have higher temperatures and it may feel hotter than usual. It’s recommended to avoid practicing yoga in a heated environment. Perform these techniques in a suitable environment with fresh and adequate ventilation.

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                                    3. Don’t get distracted.

                                    Reduce distraction while practicing yoga. For instance, a telephone can interfere with proper meditation.

                                    4. Stay comfortable.

                                    Wear loose and comfortable clothing.

                                    5. Do not eat before yoga.

                                    Practice yoga on empty stomach. Most techniques are effective in the morning.

                                    6. Always warm up for a few minutes.

                                    You can walk around, loosen your joints, move your limbs and warm up your muscles.

                                    7. Stay hydrated.

                                    Make sure that you are well hydrated especially when practicing challenging and sweaty poses. Dehydration, especially during the last trimester of your pregnancy can have severe sequences such as false early labor or preterm labor.

                                    Yoga techniques are the best kinds of workouts to try out during pregnancy. Especially if practiced together with mild exercises such as walking, it can help the expectant mother deal with both emotional and physical changes with ease.

                                    Also, it will help mothers feel relaxed and stay in shape during the last trimester of pregnancy.

                                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                    Reference

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