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Making the Back Muscles Pump without Sacrificing Gains in Strength and Muscle Growth

  Feb 19th, 2012

Developed Back Muscles




When training my back, I do not get the kind of muscle pumps I experience when training other muscle groups. Can you tell me how to start getting good muscle pumps when training my back?


Also, I have a significant amount of fat in my lower abdominal region, which makes my physique look odd. On top of that my biceps are severely lacking in definition.


Do you have any advice on how I can attack my lower abdominal fat and increase the definition in my biceps?





My Answer:



Thank you for your questions! I will start by addressing your question regarding how to get muscle pumps while training the back…


How to Get Your Back Muscles to “Pump”

The muscles in the back typically do not swell (or pump) like other muscles. However, there are some techniques you can use to get better muscle pumps in your back:


  • Decrease your weights so you can perform a higher number of reps on your back lifts – you want to reach failure in the 12-15 rep range


  • Make sure you’re using proper form so your targeted back muscles are receiving the bulk of the stimulation while you’re training (using lighter weights can also help with this as well if you are using weights that are so heavy that your form is being compromised)


In my experience, most bodybuilders try to lift too heavy when performing lifts that target the back muscles, which leads to the focus of the movement spreading to the ancillary muscles (like the biceps). When training your back, make sure you’re not using too much weight.


This will to ensure you are able to maintain proper form and target the intended muscles. Also, always train to failure.


These tips will enable you to experience greater muscle pumps when training your back.


But, I have to ask… Why are you concerned with achieving a good muscle pump? Muscle pumps do not lead to faster muscle growth and are only an indication of blood rushing to the muscles being trained. Muscle growth comes from overload – not muscle pumps.


Also, muscle growth is permanent, while muscle pumps are only temporary, and usually dissipate within an hour or so.


If you want to build an impressive back you need to force your back muscles to grow by continually lifting heavier weights. Never sacrifice proper form, but the goal should always be to lift heavier, whenever possible. More weight equals more muscle!


You can do this while getting muscle pumps in your back by using the 2 tips I provided above, as long as you are intentional about increasing your weights and continually overloading your muscles.


If you are unfamiliar with the concept of training for increasing strength, read this article.


Moving on to your question pertaining to your unsightly lower abdominal fat…


Getting Rid of Lower Abdominal Fat

Your abdominal fat can only be reduced by the combination of proper fat loss nutrition and regular cardiovascular exercise. Unfortunately, the lower abdominal fat is always the last to go, but if you continue to reduce your body fat, your lower abdominal fat will eventually disappear.


Use the diet and training instructions in my book, Ripped Out. This will get you to where you want to go as fast as you can reasonably expect if you are consistent in applying my instructions.


Excess body fat is also behind your biceps being less than defined. However, the problem could also stem from your bicep muscles being under-developed. I normally don’t recommend training the biceps more often than any other muscle group, except when they are severely lagging behind in development.


If this describes you, start training your biceps 4 or 5 days a week with 3 sets to failure in whatever rep range you choose. Don’t do more than 3 sets each day because you don’t want to over-train your bicep muscles. The goal is for high frequency, low volume, as the biceps tend to respond well under this condition.


I would also alternate between preacher curls and standing barbell curls to ensure you are evenly developing your biceps. As with any other muscle group, make sure you are using a weight that is challenging, yet doesn’t compromise your ability to use proper form.


As you reduce your body fat, while developing your biceps, you will gradually notice your biceps definition improving.


For some more tips on building your biceps, read my article on building the bicep muscles.


Remember to be patient and remain consistent in your commitment to training and nutrition. It can be easy to become discouraged when we don’t see immediate results after a few days, but significant change takes months of consistent action.


It may take 2 or 3 months to get ripped abs and well-defined biceps, but if you focus on continually reducing your body fat, and developing your muscles, you will eventually get there.


If you would like a step-by-step explanation of how to get the results you are looking for, I have detailed the exact blueprint that I used to achieve goals similar to yours in my book, Ripped Out – The Ultimate Guide for Simultaneously Building Muscle and Shedding Fat.


My book would be perfect for someone like you…


If you have any other questions, please let me know as I am here to help.


To Your Muscle Building and Fat Loss Success,

Craig –



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