T Nation

Tips for Getting a Pump?

So I have gotten a pump before, its rare though as I don’t train for it. However, I have been reading the articles and livespills lately and I want to learn how to get a pump. I’m not going to start training for a pump, I just want to know how to get one whenever I want.

I have tried some techniques but I must be doing it wrong cause I usually get more of a burn. Any tips or pointers you guys can share with me? Haha and no I’m not gonna start turning every workout into an attempt to get a pump.

anything higher reps. At least 10+. Also doing that with short rest periods will get you a pump

Yeah I have tried it with pushdown for 12 reps and I have gotten both a burn and also a feeling of almost numbness in my arms. Not that amazing full feeling that comes with a great pump though. Im gonna try again today on my last set of cable curls before I leave the gym.

short rest periods then. There are only a few exercises I can get a good pump on using regular rset periods (about 90 secs)

Try doing a lighter weight, higher rep work on something (like pushdowns or overhead rope extensions) and have your rest periods around 30 seconds and do 5 sets instead of 3. Focus on feeling the muscle throughout the movement, as for amount of weight pick a weight where you shouldn’t hit failure or be close on any of the sets except maybe the last one. That’s how I usually get a pump in my triceps if thats my main goal for an exercise.

Pushdowns are an easy exercise to cheat on by using delts or not keeping your arms locked at your side. Try and exercise that prohibits you from breaking proper form. Isolation and high rep will usually get it done. Instead of pushdowns try dips. Also, try to truly focus on the muscle you are intending to work. That “mind-muscle” connection is what elite bodybuilders always attribute to helping with their hypertrophy.

Edit: Also squeezing the muscle at the top of the movement. This is made much easier with the mind-muscle connection. The added blood trapped in the muscles is what helps give you that pump.

Yeah I tried the squeeze on my curls today and didn’t really get anything. I also did my 3 work sets of cable curls then without rest dropped the weight and did one last set of 15. No pump. Im really trying to work on that mind muscle connection. Im starting with my arms and eventually want to be able to establish it with every muscle group. Sounds weird but I bet a back pump would feel amazing. I may use some deltoid while I do pushdowns, not too much but some. Thats def one of my goals though. I want to gain a lot of mass, get much stronger, and be able to establish a mind muscle connection with all the muscle groups I can. I also want to be able to get a pump whenever I want. Thanks for the input guys I’ll keep working on it.

I was just wondering if the feeling of the pump might be a form of compartment syndrome, where the muscle swells and is pushing against the fascia? Lots of people get that in their calves- I got a mild version of it for years but not any more (I have very muscular calves).

I am now getting the pumped feeling in my thighs very easily- for me just lots and lots of difficult reps are doing it, but I also think my thighs are increasing in size so it makes sense that the muscles are swelling against the fascia and that is what I am feeling?

For the back, which is where I really want to feel the pump, I wonder if the amount of starting muscles mass is just so small that any sort of swelling is not enough to do this. Like, maybe the muscles need to reach a certain critical size before feeling the pump?

just curious

Your back is a pretty large muscle group though. I mean its not like your arms where you want to get a pump in your biceps or triceps. Its your lats, traps, lower back and some others that I don’t know haha. Anyways for me it is so hard to get that mind muscle connection with any back muscles at all. I’ve tried it on my lats when doing higher rep dumbbell rows and didn’t feel anything. I felt a good stretch, no pump though. Actually on my upper traps I can get that connection, especially during barbell shrugs with a pause at the top. I’m a beginner though so take this post with a grain of salt. Someone who has more experience will prlly pop in here again anyways haha

I can get a pump working in any muscle group. I can get a sick lat pump going that makes my bat wings feel like I’m ready to take flight.

short rest, high reps, drop sets, forced reps all work as long as your MMC is on point.

For your lats do you use barbell rows?

Multiple sets of about 8 reps. Alternating between left & right, zero to no rest in between.

I find this type of approach works well on db curls & db extensions & ‘Tate presses’ etc.

Of course, you can also try strip-sets & various super-sets etc.

[quote]fr0IVIan wrote:
… I can get a sick lat pump going that makes my bat wings feel like I’m ready to take flight.
.[/quote]

LOL, sounds awesome

I’ve got a pump from doing low rep/ high set training numerous times

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
For your lats do you use barbell rows? [/quote]

as my primary heavy movement, I prefer V-bar rows.

for isolation/finisher/pump work, I prefer straight arm rope pullovers with a full stretch at the top and a strong squeeze of the lats at the bottom, 3 sets at my working weight with descending reps, then two lighter sets for a better feel, immediately dropped to two lighter sets of kayak rows. lats are fire and acid at that point and ready for takeoff.

I got a killer tricep burn & pump this morning doing low weight/low rep super slow eccentric skull crushers, but I know I’m going to regret it tomorrow.

I wouldn’t advise anyone to do this though.

10 work sets of an exercise just about any rep range.

5 second negatives.

fst-7.

100 rep finisher.

Partial reps under constant tension from mid to full contraction to create a hypoxic state followed immediately by as many full range constant tension reps as you can manage, works every time without fail.

Okay yeah I had read CT’s stuff about the partials and I think I’ll try those. Seems like it would diminish my work capacity on the full range reps but I will give it a shot. Thanks for all the replies