Training your muscles is one of the most amazing things you can do, with each press, crunch, and flex straining you to do more than you thought possible. Eventually, you will feel your muscles becoming pumped, showing their definition, and looking larger, but wondering how long does this last.
Your muscles should stay pumped for two to three hours, showing clear definition and a proper size increase. If you are stressing or not hydrating correctly, the time can be much less, closer to one hour of being pumped up, while relaxing will increase the total time they stay pumped.
Understanding what happens to your muscles and why they are pumped, to begin with, should help you keep the effect for much longer. Many bodybuilders will naturally know from experience how to keep their muscle pump for longer, which can be an excellent start to you keeping yours for longer.
As you exercise and become more fit, your muscles develop blood vessels that are called capillaries throughout them. Usually your muscles will have these muscles, but as you are exercising, they drastically start to increase, allowing your muscles to receive blood much faster.
While you are exercising, these capillaries fill the muscles with blood, providing nutrients and proteins at a fast rate. However, once you have stopped exercising, the blood starts to drain away, and the muscles will begin to deflate, almost feeling like they are becoming squishy muscles.
There will be an immediate difference between being fully pumped within 15 to 30 minutes after exercising. With the full effect taking a few hours to disperse, this is also assuming that you are not using the muscles in any way after the exercise, something like sitting at a desk or just watching TV.
While you may not care about the feeling of being pumped when you are just starting your training, it may soon change when you find your muscles to be more defined. People will often begin chasing the feeling of being pumped once they are comfortable with their body and its shape.
Further, if you are a bodybuilder, you will want to have your muscles as defined as possible when competing against others. This is usually why they do some exercise before a competition, to get their muscles as pumped as possible before they have to show them off to a large crowd.
Recommended Read: >>> Biceps and Triceps On the Same Day <<<
While you should be doing this anyway, if the only thing you want is for the muscle pump to last as long as possible, you should focus on the number of reps you are doing. Going with a lower weight in total but doing more reps during your workout will naturally increase the intensity of your muscle pump.
Further, if all you want is to get the muscle pump to showcase the full range of your muscles, then doing repeated reps that stress the muscles is the best way to go about it. The increase in overall blood pressure throughout your muscles will comfortably have you bulging as needed.
The science is not entirely clear as to why but eating a load of complex carbs after your exercise will increase the longevity of your muscle pump slightly. We know that complex carbs can significantly help build your muscles usually, but we have also seen that it helps to keep the muscle pump.
There could be many reasons that the complex carbs are helping your muscles stay pumped, and from what we have researched, there is no clear answer. Almost every website and research article we have found finds something else to accredit it to, but we do know that it does indeed help.
You should always hydrate, but when working to have your muscles pumped, you should ensure that you are comfortably filled with water. This will quickly and comfortably ensure that your body does not have to compensate or struggle to get fluid, properly keeping your muscles pumped and blood pumping.
Hydration is one of the best tools you have in your arsenal for anything, with many of the best bodybuilders actively downing water whenever given a chance. The only time they may not be hydrating is when they need to show their absolute best, which often heavily damages their internal organs.
Recommended Read: >>> Should You Take A Pre-workout Before Cardio? <<<
Your body is moving proteins and other things to the muscles in your body through the blood that is now pumping you up. If you drank a pre-workout protein mix and an after-work-out protein mix, your muscles would naturally be fed a lot better, with your heart rate staying high to process everything.
Many pre-workout mixes specifically amp up your blood pressure to get you ready and energetic for the session. If you drink a protein shake afterwards, your muscle pump will be maintained for longer as your blood can keep pumping, and your physique keeps looking amazing.
When we say relax, we don’t mean go and sit still and do absolutely nothing; we imply that you should not be stressing yourself. When you start worrying about life, events, or work, your body releases a chemical called cortisol that causes loss of muscle pump.
You can happily still be working and doing everything you would naturally do, but once you start stressing, the cortisol in your blood becomes a problem. In fact, when you are exercising, your body releases hormones that counteract the cortisol in your blood to help you be more effective.
The muscle pump itself will not help with your muscle growth, with many first-time and early exercisers not experiencing it at all. However, the muscle pump is a good sign of several things you will only experience if you have stayed consistent and practised your exercises correctly.
Usually, you are much more likely to have the muscle pump when you are doing many reps that are all at a lower weight level. However, if you are doing a full workout at the limit of what you are capable of, you may not experience the pump at all, but your muscles will grow.
The muscle pump is much more a sign that your internal blood vessels are exceptionally well developed and that you are gaining proper strength. The better your muscle pumps are and the longer they last, the healthier you are overall without having to stress about your muscles reacting strangely.
Recommended Read: >>> Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight? <<<
The term muscle pump and the basic understanding and focus on it were started by Arnold Schwarzenegger. From the research we had done, he coined the term in the 1970s and 1980s when he started winning competitions as a bodybuilder.
He has used the term in most of his training guides and has a heavy focus on it whenever he does talk about exercising properly. As he has won 7 Mr Olympia trophies, it is only natural that the term and the focus of having your muscle pump last longer be adopted by others in the world of the ultimate physique.
As he has continued to teach others and write books, guides, and training programs, he has helped much focus on the technique of muscle pump. This is why you will find that many of the exercises provided by Arnold Schwarzenegger will have you focus on increasing your reps and blood flow.
Your muscle pump may not even be achievable when you start exercising, while fit people may experience the sensation for just under an hour. However, bodybuilders focusing on muscle pumps and have their bodies perfectly trained can experience it for hours.
Whatever you do, always remember that deflating after the muscle pump is both healthy and entirely expected!
(oh, and do keep in touch and check in with us regularly for more fantastic content. For a complete list of our previous blog posts, please go here)
Subscribe to our private newsletter to receive the latest news, views and offers!