Muscle Pump of the Gods
In my last workout article, I talked about pump training vs. strength training and why the key to building a phenomenal physique is to focus on getting stronger on key movements. Let me just say, the importance of training for progressive strength gains cannot be over-emphasized. It is the very reason why so few people have the physique they truly desire; they don’t lift for strength!
Now when you’ve been focusing on proper strength training for several months, you can maximize your physique development with some strategic pump work. This should be thought of as the icing on top of the cake. When you properly implement pump training into your routine your muscles will quickly begin to fill out over the next 4-6 weeks.
In fact, the muscle growth will be so rapid that people will take bets on whether you’re natural or not. Unfortunately, after about 4-6 weeks, this rate of muscle growth will start to slow down. There’s only so much fluid and glycogen you can stuff into your muscles before you’re maxed out.
That said, this extra bit of muscle will work wonders to your physique, especially when you add it to the right places! It is mandatory that all of my muscle building clients incorporate this type of lifting onto their shoulders. For the most part, guys are obsessed with building a huge chest and huge arms! But if you want to look like a Greek God, you must strive for incredible delts, above all else.
Triggering This Pump Based Muscle Growth
There are many different approaches to fatiguing, pumping up and burning out your muscles. You have drop sets, supersets, german volume training… among many others! That said, I have had the best results with standard pyramid training and rest pause training.
Standard pyramid training involves using a weight that you can do for 12 reps. Your first set you perform 12 reps, then 10 reps, then 8 reps and finally 6 reps. All sets are to be performed with the same weight and the goal is to limit rest between sets to 45-60 seconds.
This type of training creates cumulative fatigue, each set you are slightly weaker than the previous set. You’re taking your muscles to the brink of exhaustion with a weight that is still heavy enough to trigger muscle growth. This is why I’m not fond of drop sets, the weight becomes so light that there’s not enough tension to trigger muscle growth to any meaningful degree.
Now in the last year I’ve been utilizing a highly effective pump training technique known as Rest Pause Training (RPT). I find it to be even more effective than standard pyramid training, which is why I consider Rest Pause Training to be the muscle pump of the gods.
The Muscle Pump of The Gods – Rest Pause Lateral Raises
In this video I explain the power of rest pause training and how to perform it for incredible shoulder development. The concept is that you’re striving to get as much volume as possible with maximum muscular stimulation.
This requires you to perform an all out activation set for 12-15 reps. The last few really tough reps on this activation set force you to use as many muscle fibers as possible.
This is the ideal state to promote maximum muscle gains. The more muscle fibers you’re recruiting, the more muscle gains you can trigger.
When you cap your rest period at 10-20 seconds after your activation set, you maintain that heightened state of maximal muscle fiber activation. This lets you get in many mini sets of highly stimulating reps. In fact, 4 of these mini sets is about all you need to trigger this pump based muscle growth.
Here’s how it looks: 10-15 reps (activation set) + 3-5 reps + 3-5 reps + 3-5 reps + 3-5 reps (10-20 seconds rest between sets). This should only take about 5 minutes and then you’re done with that exercise. It’s fast, efficient and downright effective. Each workout focus on cutting down the rest time and getting more reps on your mini sets before increasing the weight.
Strategically Incorporating Rest Pause Training
Remember that pump training is and always will be secondary to heavy, strength training. This means that focusing on consistent incremental improvements in weight lifted is the foundation of physique training. The last thing you want is to cut into strength gains by over-emphasizing fatigue/pump work.
As a result, I encourage strictly using this training on the muscle groups that need it most. This will depend on your current physique development and genetic dispositions. That said, almost every one I know should be incorporating this training onto their lateral and rear delts. This is also because the lateral and rear delts don’t respond well to low reps and their development is so crucial to your physique.
You can perform Rest Pause on other muscle groups too, but do so with caution. If you start to make plateau’s in strength because of all of the pump lifting then you need to cut back on the pump work. I’ve found that with certain muscle groups, doing too much pump work can interfere with strength gains.
RPT & Rest Pause Workout for a Godlike Physique
Monday – Shoulders, Back & Triceps
Weighted Pull ups*: 2-3 sets Reverse Pyramid Training
Standing Press: 2-3 sets Reverse Pyramid Training
Cable Rows: 2-3 sets Reverse Pyramid Training
Skull Crushers: 2-3 sets Reverse Pyramid Training
Lateral Raises: Rest Pause
*When adding weight on pull-ups, make sure you’re using a high-quality weight belt that won’t distract you from your training or cause discomfort during your sets.
Wednesday – Legs, Core
Weighted Pistol Squats: 2 sets of 2-5 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
Front Foot Elevated Split Squats: 2 sets x 8-10 reps (2 minutes rest)
Romanian Deadlifts: 2 sets x 8-10 reps (2 minutes rest)
Calf Raises: Rest Pause
Hanging Leg Raises: Rest Pause
Abs Wheel Roll outs: Rest Pause
Friday – Chest, Biceps & Rear Delts
Incline Bench Press: 2-3 sets Reverse Pyramid Training
Flat Bench Press: 2-3 sets Reverse Pyramid Training
Barbell Curls: 2-3 sets Reverse Pyramid Training
Cable Rope Curls: Rest Pause
Cable Face Pulls: Rest Pause
This is a highly effective workout routine to build a highly muscular physique that is strong and powerful. Most of your training is dedicated to Reverse Pyramid Training, the most effective protocol for strength and muscle gains. To maximize muscle growth we’re implementing rest pause training on the lateral delts, rear delts, calves, abs and biceps. This will fill out your physique very nicely.
Taking things further
My new course dedicated to building the superhero physique is finished and you can learn about it going here – Superhero Bulking Program. This program is not for beginners. If you have yet to put on a good amount of strength and muscle then you’ll make your best gains with my Greek God Program. The Greek God Program is set up for fast rates of strength gains that are best suited for beginners and intermediates.
If you already have a solid amount of training and strength under your belt, and you want to take your physique to the next level and achieve superhero status then check out my Superhero Bulking Program.