What is “the Pump?”

Can non-bodybuilders experience muscle excitement in the gym? 

Maybe you’ve heard the lingo at the gym and wondered what the hype was about. Remember the expression, “bigger, better, faster, more?” The pump is the bodybuilders way of achieving that. In other words, muscles look bigger, sometimes even half an inch bigger, with the pump. Can others get in on the action? Yes.

 

How to get the pump

Pumped muscles look plump from exertion. You can get the look by performing at the top end of your capacity until muscle failure. As you work, blood vessels expand and blood flow increases, making muscles look bigger. At least temporarily. Be sure you are fully hydrated, take in adequate carbs and have a good night’s sleep before getting started with your workout for best results.

 

What about non-bodybuilders?

You don’t have to lift weights to experience muscle excitement. Mere mortals in the gym can reach new heights with a combination of cardio and body weight exercises.

 

HIIT – High intensity interval training alternates period of high intensity exercise with periods of rest or lower intensity. Think of the contract between sprinting and walking. Add some HIIT to your regular training plan to encourage muscle excitement and yield greater fitness gains.

 

Body-weight exercise – Two big benefits of body weight exercise are cost and convenience. No need to buy anything with these anytime, anywhere exercises. Your body is all you need to achieve good results. Add planks, squats, push-ups, lunges, triceps dips and crunches to your regular work out.

 

Keep challenging yourself

Like bodybuilders, you’ll want to work at the upper limit of your capacity. Track your progress and set targets to beat. You may even want to work with a trainer or get a fitness buddy. The goal here is to avoid complacency or lazy work outs. When you have specific targets, a trainer or a bit of friendly competition you are more likely to push yourself to greater gains.

 

You can look cut and strong, even if you aren’t into body building. The same keys apply – stay hydrated, take in plenty of carbs, get adequate sleep and give it your all during exercise. As the vessels dilate and blood flows, muscles look plump. The look lasts just a few hours but that is long enough to get “pumped” for whatever your day brings.