How to Keep Muscles Pumped
Whether you're a bodybuilder or just want to look more toned, keeping your muscles pumped after you finish a strength training workout can add to your self-confidence and make you feel proud of the way you look. As you engage your muscles in a weight training session, the blood flow increases and causes temporary muscle enlargement. Known as "the pump," this process helps you build muscles mass as you continue to workout. If you want to prolong a pumped look for as long as possible, there are a few techniques you can incorporate into your strength training plan.
Eat potassium- and magnesium-rich foods, such as a brown potatoes, legumes, a banana or a a handful of peanuts, about half an hour before you begin your strength training workout.
Bring a water bottle with you when you weight train. Drink plenty of water throughout the day -- 8 to 10 cups. Drink before, during and after your workout. Stay hydrated to help keep your muscles pumped.
Maximize blood flow potential during your strength training workout by performing a higher repetition count with less weight, instead of the other way around.
Follow your workout with a protein shake and a complex carbohydrate such as long-grain rice, whole wheat pasta or a baked brown potato. Consume this about 30 minutes after you finish training.
Maintain a relaxed state following your workout to prevent your body from being flooded with cortisol -- the hormone released when you feel stressed out or anxious. Avoiding stress and anxiety can help you keep your muscles pumped because cortisol can cause you to lose the pump.
Take time to speak with your physician before you start a new workout program. Muscle-building drugs, such as steroids, can be very harmful to your health. Talk to your doctor about any supplements or drugs you're thinking about taking before you begin.
- Bodybuilding.com: The Importance of the Pump
- Men's Fitness: 5 Ways to Look Bigger Than You Really Are
- Muscle and Strength: No Pump Chump--Tips for a Better Muscle Pump
- National Council on Strength and Fitness: Hydration Levels and Resistance Training
- MayoClinic.com: Performance-Enhancing Drugs--Know the Risks
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.