It sure does look good! Feels good, too.
But is a muscular “pump” just a cosmetic bonus, or can it actually contribute to the growth process?
The answer may surprise you…
Do You Need To Get A Pump?
The answer is yes and no. You can certainly get a pump and not have stimulated any growth e.g. cycling, swimming etc. However, if you have your other factors nailed down, then yes a muscular pump can contribute to muscle growth stimulation.
Here’s the reason: Muscle growth is a defense mechanism. If the body isn’t perceiving a thread coming from the environment, it isn’t going to add any new muscle. The way to do this is heavy resistance training. This is where factors like:
- The correct rep range
- The correct cadence of lifting and lowering
- Slower, more controlled negatives.
- Creating muscle damage
- Creating metabolic stress
…come into play. This is how you create that threatening environment.
Therefore low rep range workouts like 5×5 or 3×3 are examples of terrible workouts when hypertrophy is the goal (I’m constantly receiving emails from guys saying how they tried 5×5 and didn’t put on any size.)
Now, in addition to the above, one other “threatening” factor is the pump itself. The pump occurs when liquid rushes into the muscle cells in order to transport fuel and oxygen.
Muscle cells SWELL in size, which is seen by the body as a THREAT i.e. a threat to the actual integrity of the cell. So to compensate, the body increases protein synthesis levels (muscle growth). Here’s a short video of me explaining this fact…
Guys and girls can meet all the above criteria, including getting a pump, best with an 8-12 rep-per-set protocol. Of course, this is the very basis of THT training and explains why it works so damn well. Get THT training here…
Your take home message: If you’ve all your other factors in check, the pump can and should be taken as 1 sign out of many that the workout was effective in terms of stimulating growth. If you haven’t got the other factors correct, all the pumping in the world isn’t going to achieve anything.
Plus…enjoy that 15 minutes or so of pumped up awesomeness 😀
Train With Intensity!
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