Getting a great pump during Contest Preparation
So what is so special about getting a good pump, other than it feels good? A good pump can shuttle extra nutrients into the muscles and is usually accompanied with a build-up in lactic acid. The lactic acid does something really cool to the IGF-1 in your muscles, it actually up-regulates this powerful growth peptide to make it about ten times more anabolic than before. For those of you not familiar with IGF-1, it is the peptide responsible for the fat burning and repairing qualities attributed to Growth hormone. Bottom line is that pumps are also about performance and growth, not just looking bigger in the mirrors for about an hour.
During contest preparation it is often difficult to obtain a satisfying pump during a workout. While lower calories and higher cardio load can contribute to the lack of pump the main culprit is reduced carbohydrate consumption. Obviously, we may have to reduce carbohydrate consumption when dieting, but how do we continue to chase that skin splitting pump? Here are a few of the tricks I use to get good blood flow to the muscles leading into a contest.
Carbs around training: Unless you are following a Keto diet then you should have some carbohydrates you can divert from the rest of the day to your pre-workout and intra-workout drinks. If you are the type of person who needs to lower carbohydrates noticeably for fat loss, then be sure to keep the carbs you do consume for around training. If you are on a Keto diet you could have some MCT oil or coconut butter before training. While it may not contribute to the pump much, it should provide some extra energy to power you through your workout. Bioflex Carb Fusion provides a great blend of very fast, fast, medium and slow release carbs to power you through an intense session.
L-Citruline: We have a few options here with Arginine, Arginine AAKG, Agmatine and Citruline all contributing to Nitric Oxide production. L-Citruline seems to be the best “bang for buck” out of these 4, with dosages ranging from 2 to 8 grams per workout. Personally 3-4 grams is plenty to notice an improved pump. Wild Bull Citruline
Blueberries: the antioxidants in all berries will also contribute to an improved pump. You get the added bonus of other vitamins and they taste great.
Performax MASS MAX: While most people take Epicatechin products to reduce the activation of the Myostatin gene and accrue extra muscle mass, one of the main side effects is that pump can be greatly enhanced. 1 serve 30 minutes before exercise provides a much-improved pump. I have taken the dosage up to 2 serves before a workout to produce an even better effect. Your budget will most likely be a factor when double dosing, but I suggest you try it at least once, then you can decide for yourself.
Try these supplements and nutritional tricks out to get you through the dieting period. As soon as the carbs go back into your eating plan your pump will return to normal.