One of the best things about lifting weights and bodybuilding is the pump your muscles get while working out.
When you have a good pump going, your skin feels so tight that it feels like your muscles are going to tear through it.
The pump you get from lifting weights isn’t just a cool feeling.
It helps your muscles grow by delivering oxygen and nutrients to them as you tear them down.
While there is some debate whether it’s necessary to build muscle, most experienced bodybuilders will tell you that it’s important if you want to maximize your potential for muscle growth.
I will tell you this. I can notice a difference between the people in the gym that train for the pump and the ones that don’t.
The muscles of the guys and girls that go for the pump have a different shape and size. They generally look better.
Based upon my personal experience, I think you should be focusing on increasing the pump you get while working out if getting bigger is your goal.
If you just want to get stronger or increase your max lifts, this post isn’t for you. The pump shouldn’t be your focus.
If getting a better pump is important to you, then you are in the right place.
I’m going to tell you how to get a better pump so you can start reaching your potential for muscle growth and stop wasting your time throwing weights around.
I have personally used each of these 6 ways to get mind blowing pumps that even Arnold would admire.
# 1- Stay hydrated
When you are dehydrated, your muscles are flat.
Your blood volume drops when you are dehydrated.
With the decrease in blood volume, you are going to have a difficult time getting a decent pump in the gym.
On top of that, your workout is going to suffer if you aren’t drinking enough water. You are going to tire quicker and have a difficult time pumping those reps out.
You don’t have to drink a gallon before you work out, but you should drink enough so that you aren’t dehydrated. Everyone seems to have a different amount.
I almost always lift in the morning. I try to drink a liter of water immediately when I wake up and I have found that for me, that’s enough to get me hydrated for a workout.
Don’t overdo the water however, or it’s going to be moving around in your stomach the whole time and slow you down.
# 2- Carb up
This is probably the most important one on this list and something I learned the hard way recently.
I typically follow a very low carbohydrate diet, which means that keeping my glycogen stores full is a problem.
I feel much better eating fewer carbs, so I’m willing to take a bit of a hit when it takes to muscle size although, many people have built great bodies without a ton of carbs.
Anyways, there are days when I eat near zero carbs. I was finding that it was impossible for me to get a decent pump no matter what I did.
This is admittedly a stupid mistake looking back, but something I had to find out for myself. I thought I’d be able to make it work without carbs, but I was wrong.
I found a carb supplement called Karbolyn, which is able to rapidly fill your glycogen stores without spiking your insulin and it’s made all the difference.
Even without eating prior to my workout, Karbolyn mixed with Legion’s Pulse pre workout, gives me skin tearing pumps.
I really didn’t want to admit that carbs were necessary for the pump and muscle growth, but my experience tells me that they are.
Regardless of your diet, I recommend taking in some type of carbohydrate before your workout. I highly recommend Karbolyn if you are on a low-carb diet.
If carbs are a regular part of your diet, eating some type of complex carb like oatmeal, Ezekiel bread or sweet potatoes before your workout should do the trick nicely.
It will take some experimenting to find the right amount, but around 50 grams of carbs seems to work for most people.
# 3- Slow the F*** down
All too often in the gym I see people blowing through their sets.
They do fast repetitions and take zero time to focus on the quality of the repetition.
If you want to get a better pump, you have to slow down.
You can’t just blow through your entire workout and think that’s going to cut it.
You need to focus on the mind muscle connection for each repetition.
Whatever body part you’re training, you have to make it do the work. This takes focus.
Squeeze each repetition and focus on the form. Steady and smooth is best. Think of yourself as an artist. An artist doesn’t rush through his work just to get it over with. He works methodically and with quiet intensity.
I’m not saying that you have to be like Grandfather Time working out, but you need to go slow enough to make sure you get a good squeeze in every repetition.
The squeeze is where that pump is ultimately going to come from.
You can do everything else on this list perfectly, but if you’re not squeezing you probably won’t get much of a pump.
# 4- Higher repetitions
I think that this is known by most people who have trained for a while, but you will more than likely need to do a higher amount of repetitions per set when aiming to maximize the pump you get.
I say more than likely because I’m sure there are a few freaks out there that can get a good pump doing sets of five.
It’s just not me or anyone else I know. I’ve found that I need to do somewhere in the 12-15 repetition range to get the best pump possible.
It doesn’t have to be every single set, but most of your sets should be higher repetitions if the pump is your goal.
Even though you are doing more repetitions than usual, it should still be as heavy as you can handle.
This isn’t an easy 12-15 repetitions. You should barely be able to get the last 2-3.
Don’t be afraid to go for even more repetitions. I have heard of people doing 50 and 100 repetition sets.
It seems extreme, but they swore by it and their results spoke for themselves.
Start with 12-15 repetition sets and go from there. You will know when to adjust it after a while.
# 5- Take A Nitric Oxide booster
Nitric oxide boosting supplements aim to naturally increase the amount of nitric oxide present in our bodies.
Contrary to popular belief, these supplements don’t actually contain nitric oxide.
They contain ingredients like arginine and citrulline, which help to increase the body’s natural levels of Nitric Oxide.
Nitric Oxide is a gas produced by the body that assists with blood flow. It’s a natural vasodilator, which means that it widens blood vessels and increases blood flow.
With higher levels of Nitric Oxide in the body, you can get more blood into your muscles.
More blood to the muscles means a better pump.
There’s some debate whether these supplements actually do anything to increase your Nitric Oxide levels, but I think they definitely can help. The issue is just finding a good one.
It wouldn’t be one of the most popular supplements out there if it didn’t work.
# 6- Take shorter breaks
If you want to get a good pump, you can’t be taking all day in between your sets.
Taking 5 minutes between a set isn’t going to help you get a pump. If anything, it will kill whatever pump you had.
I recommend no longer than one minute between sets. At the absolute most, I would say a minute and a half.
By going faster, you are going to keep the blood pumping to those muscles. You want to get them as full as possible within the time frame of your workout.
You shouldn’t be taking all day anyways between sets unless you’re training for strength.
This is about getting big and ripped. That’s going to require some work on your end. You need to sweat.
If you’re not used to going fast, it will be an adjustment like anything else. After training like this however, I doubt that you will want to go back to the way you used to train.
Pump it up
If you follow the tips I’ve laid out above, you can expect a stronger pump. Once you figure out what it takes for you to get a quality pump, you are well on your way to seeing the great benefits it has to offer.
I go in a lot of phases of bodybuilding and lifting, but I definitely prefer to train by focusing on the pump.
I feel better and I feel like my muscles look better overall.
Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, I hope that you put it to good use and crush it in the gym!
P.S. What do you do to get a killer pump in the gym? I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and questions below!