Although not essential for muscle hypertrophy, understanding the pump can play a synergistic role in enhancing muscle mass when lifting weights. You can harness the pump's power to achieve the best possible muscle growth by incorporating effective training and nutritional strategies.
- A muscle pump is more than a great feeling; current research indicates that increased pump training can increase blood flow, enhance nutrient delivery (i.e., amino acids into the cells), increase capillaries, and enhance satellite cell activation, which promotes hypertrophy.
- A 12-week study found that post-exercise swelling was associated with increased muscle mass.
- Adequate calories, carbohydrates, hydration, and amino acid consumption can enhance blood flow and nutrient delivery, improving the pump effect.
Arnold Schwarzenegger performed biceps curls in the movie pumping Iron and said, “The greatest feeling you can get in a gym or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is the pump. Let’s say you train your biceps, blood is rushing into your muscles, and that’s what we call the pump.”
Tension and training volume are key factors in increasing muscle size, but an overlooked factor for bigger muscles is “the pump.” All lifters love having their heart rate increase during an intense workout and having their muscle fill up with blood (i.e., may lifters feel a pump is like a flood of water going to their muscles), but what exactly is the pump, and how long does a pump last?
In this article on Evidence Based Muscle, we will discuss the science behind pumps, how to make them last longer, and their importance for hypertrophy. By understanding the connection between getting a pump and hypertrophy, you can incorporate the workouts that result in the best pumps and experience optimal results.