I have been training my first bodybuilder for the past six months, and he told me today that I’ll be going with him backstage to pump him up before he goes on stage. I have never been to a competition before and really have no idea what exercises are the best to get that real “pumped” look. Can I take weights with me? Should I use towels? Any direction would be appreciated.
The best thing you can do is to make sure you come to the contest prepared. This has to start with a solid nutrition plan that might include ingesting the right complex carbohydrates at the right time and end with the pumping up and posing right before going on stage.
The nutrition plan is beyond the scope of this article so we will address the pumping and posing routines.
Unless you are at a national level contest, the pump up room will probably not look like a fully equipped gym. Most likely, there will be several to many people in your weight class, and there will probably not be enough equipment available to go around, so many people bring their own DBs and resistance bands. This will save you valuable time looking for the proper equipment needed for pumping up.
The process of pumping up will involve many of the same variables used in a workout. Special considerations should be made to your specific weaknesses and strengths in regard to muscle balance. For example, most competitors have more muscular imbalances and weaker body parts than they would like to admit, so I always recommend paying extra attention to those areas when pumping up. Conversely, if you are lacking muscle mass or adequate symmetry in a certain body part, pumping up to fill the muscle with blood would help in on stage appearance.
So which exercise is the best? There really isn’t a better exercise than others when pumping up before the contest. What is important is that you completely get into each contraction and focus on each repetition. Warm up by going through your mandatory poses. There are many good movements for pumping up but some favorites are the following (Note: Combine exercises with posing. Reps will usually be 12 to 15):
- Legs (Note: Sometimes just flexing your legs and holding the poses might be sufficient.)