Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
January 28, 2023
Why Your Muscle Pumps Don't Build Muscle
by Marc David

Which is better, the pump or the feeling of totally exhausting your muscles to the point of failure when it is nearly impossible to pick up a pencil? Good question because I can promise that one is asked a lot. People love the feeling of being pumped and the blood flowing thru their muscles. In fact, Arnold has quite a few 'interesting' quotes on this subject.

But really, what is better? The pump or the taxed feeling?

Let's get down to brass tacks...

A pump does not build muscle. But overloading and giving your body a reason to grow does.

By the way...

There is some evidence to suggest that pumping the muscle full of blood will help get more nutrients to the area and therefore, help to build muscle. That is a weak argument that a pump builds muscle but nonetheless, I have run across that bit of debate.

While you might leave the gym feeling weak but not pumped, that certainly doesn't mean you are not making some serious progress. And in fact, some programs I've tried, I leave the gym feeling completely weak but I'm not pumped at all and I even have the feeling I could do more work but that's not part of the program.

My strong hunch is...

Why Muscle Pumps Don't Build Muscle

That you love the pumps! I mean honestly who doesn't? I know I do and that's why I found a little way to get the best of both worlds. Sort of like having my cake and eating it to.

It's called super setting. Itís not a new concept at all. In fact itís an old bodybuilding method but is foundational and can give you a great pump but at the same time, leaves you feeling weak and not wanting more.

Really think about...

A pump is just the blood flowing to the area. You can get a good pump without working all that hard. Giving your body no reason to grow. But you can get a great pump.

Overloading your muscles doesn't have to give you a pump either. If you engage in training that has you lift heavy weights but only in the 4-6 rep range, you may not feel a pump at all. But you will be weaker and you will get stronger. Yet you'll lose the feeling of pumps entirely because lifting heavy and resting simply doesn't give your body a chance to get all that blood to the area like a typical pump will do.

Needless to say...

Many just get frustrated and go between trying to get the best pumps and actually working hard.

What they don't know is that super setting is the ultimate way to work your muscle to a state of exhausting (increasing the intensity) and yet get that massive pump you've been looking to get.

Sample Pump Routine:

Incline Smith Bench Press (12 reps; slow, controlled reps, 70-75% of max)

IMMEDIATELY followed by

Incline Dumbbell Flyes (12 reps; 70-75% of max)

Keep in mind, this is just a sample but you are using weights that are challenging, in a higher rep range and following it up with another exercise that works the same area.

All this means is that you are going to bump up the intensity (forcing your body to grow) AND push blood to the area to get a great pump.

You can even experiment with rest intervals so that it's even more intense and the area you are focusing on is totally pumped.

Please understand that a pump itself does not build muscle. Overloading it, challenging it and giving it a reason to grow does.

Why Muscle Pumps Don't Build Muscle

You can use various techniques to bump up the intensity of any exercise, making it challenging without stacking on super heavy weights and having long rest periods. You'll not only get stronger and build muscle but you will get that pump feeling back.

Don't think that one or the other is better or worse, it's just different. But you can use techniques as I've shown above to build muscle and get them pumped up as well.

Certainly there are other ways in which to raise the intensity of an exercise and make it more difficult and still get the pumped feeling. Supersets were but one example. Drop sets are another variation that not only can overload the muscle and force it to grow thru intensity and progressive overload but you'll get a fantastic pump from that method as well. There's several other techniques you can use that I will detail in another article.

Copyright 2006 Marc David


About The Author:

Beginner Bodybuilding Marc David is an innovative fitness enthusiast and the creator of the "The Beginner's Guide to Fitness And Bodybuilding" method on www.Beginning-Bodybuilding.com. He can show you how to reduce your body fat thru diet, how to gain weight or create more muscle thru an abundance of workout tips by training LESS! Not more. He dispels many "bodybuilding myths", tells you what most people never realize about nutrition, and what the drug companies DON'T WANT YOU to know. Go to: http://www.Beginning-Bodybuilding.com to find out more about The Beginner's Guide to Fitness And Bodybuilding.


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