Connection Between a Pump and Growth?

Agree or disagree with this statement:
While a pump produced by exercise is not a guarantee of resultant growth, growth never results from exercise that doesn’t produce a pump.

Disagree. I rarely ever get a pump during leg training, but they still grow. So personal experience would shipped this incorrect, at least for legs. Mechanical tension is more important for growth for naturals than metabolic factors.

Edit: this is definitely a question for Bigger, Stronger, Leaner


Disagree. The pump is the temporary result of repeated vascular occlusion causing the muscle to fill with blood. An extreme example? We see people using bands around their arms to create action (foolishly) and see a small, short-lived increase in size. Muscular hypertrophy is a mechanical response (fibers being torn and healing, more fiber being generated to compensate to the overload) and other minor changes (eg additional intracellular fluid, etc.).

Disagree. Your central nervous system responds to intramuscular damage created by working out. It repairs itself while making it (the muscle) stronger so that it can endure the same stressor again without injury.

Pump is for the bros, progressive overload is for the cultured folk :ok_hand:


The CNS doesn’t cause muscles to grow:

When muscles undergo intense exercise, as from a resistance training bout, there is trauma to the muscle fibers that is referred to as muscle injury or damage in scientific investigations. This disruption to muscle cell organelles activates satellite cells, which are located on the outside of the muscle fibers between the basal lamina (basement membrane) and the plasma membrane (sarcolemma) of muscles fibers to proliferate to the injury site (Charge and Rudnicki 2004). In essence, a biological effort to repair or replace damaged muscle fibers begins with the satellite cells fusing together and to the muscles fibers, often leading to increases in muscle fiber cross-sectional area or hypertrophy. The satellite cells have only one nucleus and can replicate by dividing. As the satellite cells multiply, some remain as organelles on the muscle fiber where as the majority differentiate (the process cells undergo as they mature into normal cells) and fuse to muscle fibers to form new muscle protein stands (or myofibrils) and/or repair damaged fibers. Thus, the muscle cells’ myofibrils will increase in thickness and number. After fusion with the muscle fiber, some satellite cells serve as a source of new nuclei to supplement the growing muscle fiber. With these additional nuclei, the muscle fiber can synthesize more proteins and create more contractile myofilaments, known as actin and myosin, in skeletal muscle cells. It is interesting to note that high numbers of satellite cells are found associated within slow-twitch muscle fibers as compared to fast-twitch muscle fibers within the same muscle, as they are regularly going through cell maintenance repair from daily activities.

Growth factors are hormones or hormone-like compounds that stimulate satellite cells to produce the gains in the muscle fiber size. These growth factors have been shown to affect muscle growth by regulating satellite cell activity. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a key regulator of satellite cell activity. It has been shown to be the active factor in damaged muscle and may also be responsible for causing satellite cells to migrate to the damaged muscle area (Charge and Rudnicki 2004).
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) is another important growth factor in muscle repair following exercise. The role of FGF may be in the revascularization (forming new blood capillaries) process during muscle regeneration (Charge and Rudnicki 2004).
A great deal of research has been focused on the role of insulin-like growth factor-I and –II (IGFs) in muscle growth. The IGFs play a primary role in regulating the amount of muscle mass growth, promoting changes occurring in the DNA for protein synthesis, and promoting muscle cell repair.
Insulin also stimulates muscle growth by enhancing protein synthesis and facilitating the entry of glucose into cells. The satellite cells use glucose as a fuel substrate, thus enabling their cell growth activities. And, glucose is also used for intramuscular energy needs.

Growth hormone is also highly recognized for its role in muscle growth. Resistance exercise stimulates the release of growth hormone from the anterior pituitary gland, with released levels being very dependent on exercise intensity. Growth hormone helps to trigger fat metabolism for energy use in the muscle growth process. As well, growth hormone stimulates the uptake and incorporation of amino acids into protein in skeletal muscle.
Lastly, testosterone also affects muscle hypertrophy. This hormone can stimulate growth hormone responses in the pituitary, which enhances cellular amino acid uptake and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. In addition, testosterone can increase the presence of neurotransmitters at the fiber site, which can help to activate tissue growth. As a steroid hormone, testosterone can interact with nuclear receptors on the DNA, resulting in protein synthesis. Testosterone may also have some type of regulatory effect on satellite cells.

However, the time course for this hypertrophy is relatively slow, generally taking several weeks or months to be apparent (Rasmussen and Phillips, 2003).

Source: How Do Muscles Grow?


Bro i woke up 10 mins before posting and you come at me with multiple sources… if you wanted to get into a scholarly debate then at least let me get dressed first. Jeez

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…and? :wink: That doesn’t change the facts. :slight_smile:

And actually, that’s a bit inaccurate, damage isn’t required for hypertrophic stimulation, and research shows it might even hamper growth. Satellite cells can perform one of two actions, they can fuse to the fiber to repair damage, or they can donate their nuclei to that cell for hypertrophy. The latter is what we seek for muscle growth.

Maybe a good time to Pump is in an “light” workout following the more damaging High Tension workout.?

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Disagree as strongly as possible

Disagree. Pump is only one of many stimuli in ways of growing muscle. In my perspective you need to learn what stimuli you respond to, which in many cases mean diversity and constant change of stimulus.

I learned much to late I am not a responder to (too much) high volume, which has presented itself repeatedly in my training career. Another interesting realization is I don’t need to vary excercises that much - which some people can have lengthy arguments about. But this is just me getting to know myself.

Figured this would be a good add for this topic

^it’s like a 4 minute video

Fully agree. For a concise rationale, read Brian D. Johnston’s “Advanced Bodybuilding Methods & Strategies”, particularly, “Mistake #67: Ignoring the value of pump”. Those who focus on achieving a good pump in the muscles look different than those who simply lift heavy for fewer repetitions, sets and exercises – bodybuilding training will give fuller and rounder muscles.


pump is simple more blood flowing to the working muscle .it’s all about muscle under optimal weight load resistance
i can “pump” my muscle only from one slow strict,hard rep …and the otherside try to pump your finger do 100 reps contract with no resistance

I genuinely don’t know how we’re still having a discussion on this



So you think that supply of oxygen, nutrients and discharge of waste products is not important for a muscle to function, to contract and to grow? Why taking an extreme case of limiting “pump” to high-rep/low weight scenario? Do you think one can’t get a decent pump working with moderate or high weight and low-to-moderate rep range (whatever is the number)?

For those of you who de-value the pump, I suggest you re-read the Chapter I “Nautilus Builds Muscle Fast” of Dr. Darden’s “The Nautilus Advanced Bodybuilding Book” describing AJ training Ray Mentzer. Apparently, we are talking about different concept of pump. I now better understand Arthur Jones when he said that “meaningful communication is just damned near impossible with most people”.

what i want to say is : i can do everyday “pump” workout wit Zero grow…
and i can do 2 times per week-workout with Zero Pump and amazing grow.thats want to say

This debate seems akin to saying, ‘The only way to get to Spain is by plane.’ Clearly it’s not. The question is whether it’s the optimum way.

When it comes to growth, the overwhelming body of literature suggests mechanical tension is the optimum way. A better hypothetical question would be ‘Can you get jacked using pump training alone?’ I would say the answer MUST be ‘yes’, because the same literature has shown a very strong link between methods such as Kaatsu (I’m glad I checked the spelling of this as I had the curry version down first) and hypertrophy.

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Probably I don’t understand the meaning of “pump” workout. Any method which I used, except for Super Slow, produces pump to some degree: some methods more, some less. Because this is the nature of muscle contractions. If you say that you do calisthenics or some light exercises with no or light resistance only, may be that’s the reason why you don’t see any results in muscle growth? There could be some other reasons as well.
On a side note: irrespective of the PEDs usage, bodybuilders have been training with pump in mind, utilizing from moderate to high loads simultaneously, for 100 years. So all of them were mistaken, were literally idiots who could not understand that pump is not necessary and there are better ways to train? Even those who trained hard and brief utilizing high loads experienced pump.