T Nation

To Pump or Not to Pump? Clearing the Air


is achieving 'the pump' really the whole objective for a hypertrophy-based workout? or is it really just a so-called 'ego boost'? does it really have any anabolic affect at all? please, id like to hear different perspectives on this subject since it's hotly debated among the BB comunity.


IF you can get it by beating a dead horse, sure.






It's not bad in and of itself, only that progressively getting stronger on everything regardless of the pump you get is a surer way of gaining mass


definitely pump...


Srs post?


"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 in to your muscles and that's what we call the pump. Your muscles get a really tight feeling like your skin is going to explode any minute and its really tight and its like someone is blowing air into your muscle and it just blows up and it feels different, it feels fantastic.

It's as satisfying to me as cumming is, you know, as in having sex with a woman and cumming. So can you believe how much I am in heaven? I am like getting the feeling of cumming in the gym; I'm getting the feeling of cumming at home; I'm getting the feeling of cumming backstage; when I pump up, when I pose out in front of 5000 people I get the same feeling, so I am cumming day and night. It's terrific, right? So you know, I am in heaven."
- Arnold Schwarzenegger

...seems reasonable.


love this quote!! might have to watch pumping iron again tonight just to hear that...


On a more serious note, there's speculation that the pump effect promotes hypertrophy in a number of ways. note: i dont necessarily beleive these...

  1. the build up of lactic acid in the muscle actually signals the release of HGH and thus results in hypertophy

  2. the pump effect fills the muscle with blood and water, stretching the fascia, epimysium, permisium and endomysium, meaning the muscle fibres have more room to grow.

cant think of any others at the moment but i'm sure there are many other theory's out there...


For me, the pump is a love/hate thing. For a bodypart like pecs, very little in the way of volume brings on a full pump that feels and looks great, but it hinders my performance on subsequent sets. Same with triceps.

It would be cool if the pump knew that it had to wait until all my sets were accomplished before appearing.



Getting a good pump on an exercise means you have a strong mind muscle connection with that movement and IMO means that exercise has the greatest potential for you to grow. Getting stronger on exercises that you "feel" the most in the muscle is a sure fire way of growing.


And also the pump will engorge the muscle with blood, and who doesn't want nutrients in the muscle they just worked out? It will also help the skin stretch so it's easier for the muscle to grow.....


Yah, I find that if I get a pump on the money exercises (heavy) in the right muscles
then I definitely get some growth there in the following weeks.

For example, I started doing hammer curls as the first exercise for my biceps, started getting huge pumps from it and as a result I earned a couple new stretch marks in about a month.


stretching the skin doesn't matter, it's stretching the fascia that does. Nutrients will also reach your muscles without getting a pump, it's not like they are starved until a pump occurs.

Stretching the fascia is incredibly difficult though. Really the only sure fire way is site injecting oil consistently but DC extreme stretching claims to have some fascia stretching effects.


Should also check out the wonders of pre-exhausting a muscle before a "money" exercise or a compound lift.


i never want to pre-exaust anything before deadlift or squats.


I would do it for a squat, as long as your not trying to hit a PR.
I would never do it for a deadlift, haha.
I would do it for a bench because my triceps get involved to much.

@waylanderxx " Nutrients will also reach your muscles without getting a pump, it's not like they are starved until a pump occurs. "

This is ofcourse true..... I never stated that it wasn't gonna receive nutrients, you guys act like lawyers.....

Am i wrong by saying if you "pump" a muscle you will drive/engorge that muscle with More blood? Am i also wrong by saying, if there is more blood present in a muscle (chest for example, both minor and major) that there isn't gonna be an increase in nutrient uptake? or at least nutrients present?


to a degree of any significance? I doubt it.


To me, it's fine if it happens, but I never do a lift for the purpose of getting a pump, especially not at the expense of a lift that actually causes my muscles to grow.


Could be right, i dont really pump myself, lol.
I just like stating facts, and knowledge. I find the statement true, but to the degree of effect? Not to sure