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Have you ever noticed how female fitness models look slim, athletic and feminine, but still have a crazy muscle pump?
You train hard and you want to look your best. But you don’t want an aggressive, vascular body when we get the kids from kindergarten – only in the gym where it matters. When you’re in that weights room it’s time to rip off the lid on muscle pump and swell up like a strong, feminine animal.
While the guys would be happy to walk around with a 24-hour pump, you don’t.
You want a pump in the gym, but silky smooth skin when we decide to ditch the gym wear and dress up for a night out.
The bottom line is that getting a muscle pump as a female isn’t easy.
But it’s definitely achievable.
Here’s our guide to getting a great muscle pump but still remaining womanly, sexy and feminine.
What is a muscle pump?
When it comes to the best feeling from exercise, sportswomen have winning, cardio bunnies have their runner’s high and us lifters have our muscle pump.
But how exactly does it happen? And why?
A ‘muscle pump’ is really just short-term cell swelling.
It’s a completely normal reaction to increased blood flow from exercise.
When muscles start contracting because of exercise they increase blood flow dramatically. This is achieved through various process such as vascular compression and increased perfusion (delivery of oxygen and nutrients).
The main reason is that for your muscle to keep contracting and working against the resistance of the barbell or dumbbells you’re holding it needs oxygen, glycogen and a range of important metabolites and enzymes.
Without them, the muscle just couldn’t contract properly.
How does muscle contraction cause a pump?
In order to increase the amount of blood that travels to your muscle, the blood vessels that attach to it have to dilate. The wider your vessels are, the more blood can travel to it in any one go.
On top of that, you also get fluid drawn into your muscle cells during contractions because of changes in fluid pressure outside of the cell.
In other words, lifting weights changes what happen inside and outside cells.
Exercise also increases production of a compound called nitric oxide. This is important, as ‘NO’ has a direct effect on the inside cells of blood vessels, telling them to expand through a process called ‘vasodilation’.
This is one of the reasons why exercise is good for helping lower blood pressure.
When you lift weights your muscles literally start ‘filling’ up with blood. They become engorged, just like a water balloon full of water would be.
The more reps and the longer you repeatedly contract the muscle for, the more intense the ‘pumping’ effect of blood gets.
It really is a thing of beauty.
And the feeling is immense!
How to get a female muscle pump 101
If you’re serious about chasing the pump you’ll need a physiology cheat sheet to hack.
These simple to follow tips will help to maximize muscle pump and swell your muscles to the point where they’ll feel like they’re ready to blow.
Lift moderate weights with high volume reps
For years and years, female bodybuilders have used light weights to ‘pump up’ before competition.
This way their muscles look fuller because of vascular cell swelling.
Heavy weights force your nervous system to fatigue before much of the cell swelling effects have taken place. In other words, your brain tells your muscles to stop firing before they’re engorged with blood.
And that’s no good for a great muscle pump.
But lighter weights bypass nervous system fatigue and allow the gradual increase in blood flow to take place. Every rep leads to more blood, more fluid changes and the build up of more and more fatigue-induced by-products.
The result is a huge pump that’ll leave you feeling like your muscles will split right through your skin.
You’ll get a far better pump using a rep range of 8-15 than you will with a heavier 3-6 range. And the more sets you throw in, with limited rest time, the better.
Drop body fat
This is an easy one to fix.
Even the most intense pumps can be masked by body fat. If you’re currently storing just that little bit of extra puppy fat, you might be hiding your gains.
If that’s the case, make fat loss your priority.
- Drop your calorie intake and make sure you’re in an energy deficit
- Increase protein intake to 0.7-1 gram per pound of body weight
- Increase daily exercise levels and unstructured activity (NEAT)
- Lift weights 3-4 times per week
As your body fat comes down you’ll find that there’s less tissue masking what’s happening under your skin.
Result = better muscle pumps.
Use a pre workout with nitric oxide nutrients
Pre workouts are fantastic for boosting muscle pump effects.
They use specialized nutrients to trigger the release of nitric oxide – remember, this compound directly dilates your blood vessels and lets the surge in blood flow take place.
Here are the best nitric oxide stimulation you’ll find in your pre workout…
Found in foods such as watermelon and garlic, this amino acid converts to L-arginine in your body, and then to nitric oxide after that.
It has a high absorption rate, meaning it works more effectively for muscle pumps than other nutrients.
Not only does citrulline malate increase blood flow, nutrient delivery and muscle pumps; it also reduces fatigue and enhances muscle recovery too. As pre workout nutrients go, this is a great one if your gym focus is on muscle building or endurance.
Bottom line: Citrulline enhances muscle pumps, improves stamina and optimizes recovery between sets.
It’s unlikely that you’ll fancy chewing on raw beets before a workout. But a red beet powder gives you all of the pre workout benefits, without the food bulk.
High in vitamins and minerals, beets are also a great source of inorganic nitrates. These are compounds that regulate vascular health, blood pressure and also nitric oxide production.
Bottom line: Red beet reduces fatigue from exercise and significantly improves endurance at high-intensities.
Boost female muscle pump with the best pre workout around
When it comes to awesome female muscle pump, intense blood flow and off-the-chart energy levels, we recommend 4 gauge by Roar Ambition.
Not only is it formulated using completely natural ingredients, it’s also one of the smoothest, effective pre workouts we’ve tried.
Containing expertly dosed nutrients such as citrulline malate, red beet, L-theanine and acetyl L-carnitine, 4 Gauge is a sure fire bet for great female muscle pumps and gym-smashing results.
- Boost energy, stamina and endurance
- Use biofeedback nutrition to optimize female muscle pump
- Enhance motivation, resolve and carve out a ‘never quit’ attitude
- Clean formula that delivers results with no side effects