If you’re maximising your muscle pump during workouts then you’re onto a good thing. Increased blood flow to your muscles gives them an aesthetically-pleasing bulge, but it also ensures you’re targeting the muscles as effectively as possible. Achieving optimum muscle pump needn’t be an elusive endeavour, if you follow these tips.
If you want to maximise blood flow to your muscles to create a pump that’s the envy of your gym mates, you need to stay on top of your fluid intake. Sipping 2-3 cups of water before and during your workout will keep blood flowing to your veins and arteries, filling your muscles with fluid, rather than leaving them looking limp and shrivelled.
Slash your rest periods
Kick back your rest periods to less than a minute if you want a muscle pump to be proud of. By reducing your rest periods, there’ll be more blood staying put in your muscles, leaving them looking their swollen best throughout your entire workout.
Stock up on carbohydrates
The key ingredient of a killer muscle pump is glycogen. Without glycogen cursing around your muscles, your pump will look deflated. How can you fill your muscles with glycogen? Simply by eating a diet rich in high quality carbohydrates such as rice, sweet potatoes or oatmeal. Supplements that increase blood flow to muscles, such as nitric oxide, may also be beneficial.
Squeeze the muscles
You can make your muscles work harder and improve your pump by squeezing them after each repetition. Slow down the pace of your reps and contract your muscles as hard as possible, concentrating on your muscles in the process. Ideally, get squeezing alongside a range of around 10-12 reps per set for optimum benefits.
Slow your reps down
To ensure you get the squeeze technique spot on, slow your reps down if you want to pimp up your pump. When you take it down a gear or two on your rep movements, you will increase the amount of time your muscle is under tension, giving you the prime opportunity to focus on those pump-inducing squeezes.
Stretch those muscles
During workouts, give your muscles a quick stretch between sets. This can encourage more blood to flow towards them, boosting your pump. Make the stretches short and sweet, however, as your muscles can become fatigued if the stretches are too long.
Achieving a muscle pump to be proud of isn’t just about what you do during your workouts; it’s about how you look after yourself outside of the gym, too. In particular, having an adequate amount of sleep each night can contribute to the quality of your pump, as a good night’s kip can give you the strength and energy you need to get your muscles in top gear. Aim for 7-9 hours shuteye each night.
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