The “pump”: it’s probably the single best feeling you can get from a workout.
Pump training involves higher-rep work with lighter loads and shorter rest periods, which causes your muscles to fill with blood, water, and nutrients. Your muscles feel like they're about to explode through your skin and you look your absolute best.
That’s why bodybuilders use this style of training right before photo shoots and competing on stage. The pump temporarily enhances aesthetics by increasing your muscle size and vascularity.
For the average person, pump training is the key to getting shredded, especially if you only have 3-5 kilograms of stubborn body fat to lose.
It’ll also do the following 4 things:
- Deplete muscle glycogen (sugar) stores to enhance fat burn during rest periods and between your workouts
- Create a metabolic stress and occlusion effect that stimulates muscle gain and the natural release of growth hormone
- Increase cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular endurance
- Promote joint health and muscle recovery
How to Get a Good Muscle Pump
After your heavier work, add a couple sets of higher reps with lighter loads. Typically this will be in the 8-15 rep range, but don’t limit yourself to that. You can grow from sets of 20-plus reps, too, so experiment and see what your body responds to best.
You can also make one of your weekly workouts a pump day. In fact, studies show that using a mix of heavy, medium and light loads throughout the week is highly effective for maximising strength and muscle gains. The fitness nerds call this undulating periodisation.
The Bodybuilder Burnout
Do the following exercises in a row. Perform each move for 50 seconds, resting 10 seconds after each one.
Complete all five movements to finish a round. Do five total rounds.
1. Crunch fly
2. Side plank with lateral raise (switch sides at 25 seconds)
3. Kneeling kickback
4. Zottman curl
5. Heels-elevated squat