I’ll never forget the phrase “We want to pump – you up” from a funny Saturday Night Live skit many years back making fun of Arnold Schwarzenegger. So why did I want to write about pumping you up?
Well what’s being referenced here is the pumped up feeling you get of your muscles after a great workout. This is one of the most gratifying feelings you can ever have as your muscles feel bigger and your body has released a rush of endorphins giving you that “exercise high”.
I trust all of you, if not most of you have had this feeling?! If not, then you are really missing out, the feeling is extremely euphoric and is enhanced with an incredible feeling of accomplishment!
So what is the muscle pump?
As we exercise your heat’s rate & strength of contraction increases pumping blood into the arteries (vessels taking oxygen rich blood from your lungs and through your heart to the muscles) and causing a steady rise in your systolic blood pressure as your exercise intensity increases.
In turn, the veins in your muscles narrow to force the blood back to your heart and lungs to get more oxygen.
You might be asking how the pump occurs if the vessels in our muscles are actually narrowing?
Well the answer for this is that when your body has a rise in arterial pressure during exercise the plasma fluid that is otherwise resting is forced out through the thin vessel walls and into the compartments surrounding the muscles.
This causes a swelling and hardening of the muscles – also known as the muscle pump!
What kind of exercises give you the muscle pump?
Almost all exercise will give you a muscle pump but you will find that resistance training with weights will give you the greatest pump especially when done in a manner which involves little rest and is high intensity.
One killer technique…try doing dumbbell bicep curls starting at your heaviest weight doing as many reps a possible and then without rest dropping to the next weight below that. This drop-weight technique can be done non-stop all the way until you get to an incredibly light weight. Trust me on this one, you will get a Pump!
When it comes to cardio you will find high intensity cardio such as sprinting or HIIT will also provide you with pretty good muscle pump especially with your lower body muscles.
Creatine Monohydrate is definitely one of them but the method in which it does this is quite different (you can reference my article on creatine monohydrate for more info).
The key supplement which can really help with the muscle pump is Arginine (an essential amino acid). Arginine helps maximize muscle vascularity through the production of the gas known as Nitric Oxide or NO. Nitric Oxide acts as a vasodilator and increases blood flow which in turn helps deliver more nutrients and energy molecules to muscles helping them become larger when subject to stress.
The leading and best selling supplement in the industry for Arginine is hands down BSN’s NO-Xplode. It has a combination of ingredients including Creatine to maximize the supply and use of Arginine in our bodies…
Note: If you are susceptible to migraine headaches (which are caused by vasodilation) it is a good idea to start with a much smaller amount of Arginine supplementation such as BSN’s NO-Xplode.
Other top selling Arginine Supplements:
Do you have any techniques that get your muscles feeling pumped? Leave a comment below: