Anyone who's ever lifted weights has most likely achieved a pump to some degree. For many regular weight lifters, it's what made them fall in love with working out. Being able to enter the gym looking one way and then leaving with your muscles engorged with blood thus creating a larger fuller-looking body part is satisfying even if it's only temporary. If you have a hard time achieving a pump it's most likely due to either your training style or your diet and supplementation. Below I'll outline several ways that'll help you achieve those skin tearing pumps your seeking!
Achieving a pump isn't always necessary since it depends on what one is looking to achieve. If you are purely after strength gains alone then getting a pump isn't all that important. For strength gains your primarily focusing on lower rep ranges with heavyweights which just aren't all that conducive to a pump. Now if you're going more the bodybuilding route then getting a pump should be at the top of your list. By achieving a pump you're driving all the nutrient-rich oxygenated blood into the working muscle supplying it with what is needed and also removing the waste products. You'll also be stretching out the fascia which will help make more room for future muscular growth. Focus on your rep ranges, tempo along with the tension applied to the muscle. For instance, let's say you're doing cable curls, you'll want to select a weight that you can do 15 reps. Now instead of doing a full stretch at the bottom, you'll stop 3/4th's the way down to keep more tension on the muscle which will help "trap" more blood. You can also slow down the tempo of the rep and really focus on the contraction at the top to help drive more blood into the muscle. This is really something you just learn over time and can change between training sessions. Once you get in tune with your body you'll know what needs to be done to achieve an effective pump. If you're still unable to achieve a pump then there are most likely some other things you need to correct which I'll outline below.
Serge Nubret - One of my favorite physiques
Sprinkle some salt on there
Salt is a bodybuilder's best friend or really anyone who is performing demanding athletic tasks. Afterall salt is essential to life. Now salt gets a bad rep at times since we're told it increases blood pressure etc. However research shows that lowering or even eliminating salt has no more than a 1 point reduction in blood pressure. That said there are select individuals who are hypersensitive to salt and can see an increase in blood pressure so if your one of those or have a medical condition then you should consult your doctor first. Also, if you consume a bunch of processed foods then you may already be getting adequate salt intake. However, if you're following a cleaner diet and engage in highly demanding exercise then there's a good chance you may not be receiving enough since sweating causes us to lose a lot of sodium. So the next time you're headed to the gym try downing a 1/4th teaspoon of some pink Himalayan salt and see if it doesn't help out when it comes to the pump.
Ok so this really should have been listed first but hydration is absolutely essential to achieving a pump. After sleeping for 8 hours it's safe to say that your body needs to get rehydrated. This is how I lay out my water intake for the day. Shoot for a gallon a day minimum
32 Ounces upon waking/ First meal
16 ounces during training
16 ounces during every meal (4 meals a day for me so 80 ounces total there if you include the extra 16 with my first meal)
So if I train that day and have all 4 of my meals then I'm sitting at 96 ounces. Then you just throw some more in between meals for the day and you reach an easy gallon or more depending on your personal needs.
Carbohydrates are yet another important requirement for getting and maintaining a pump. Always try and consume carbohydrate-rich meals before training. Having your glycogen stores topped off will not only provide fuel for your workout but will also give your muscles a fuller look. Now if you're on a low carb diet this is a bit more tricky since your glycogen will already be bit depleted. So if you're on a moderate or low carb diet then I suggest trying to shuttle most of your carbs in before training. Additionally, if you fall into this low carb group you'll really need to focus on everything else I've already listed above.
These should be the very last thing you look at or spend your money on. Yes, pump focused supplements can really help to maximize your pump but without having other things in order first then you won't be making the best use of them. My personal favorite is MPA Supps CelluVol. It's stimulant-free and loaded with high-quality ingredients that are conducive to a sick pump. In my opinion, you should limit stimulant based pre-workouts since caffeine causes vasoconstriction which is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve when it comes to getting the best pump possible.
Now that you've got the tips for an optimal pump it's time to go put it all to use and hit the gym!!