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Why Can't My Arms Always Have a Pump?


So without a pump my shoulders,chest and back really dwarf my arms, and it's taking a toll mentally.
My training is powerlifting based but with accessory movements for aesthetics. So my arms gain a lot of size and vascularity(obviously) after a pump but so much so that when I walk in the door my friends will tell me "man you really need to catch up with your arms to the rest of your upper body" to when I leave random people are asking what I do to have such impressive arms. I understand pumps change you to some extent but I get serious changes after.

Anyways I guess I'm just wondering if my arms will ever be a comparable size without me having to do movements first? I guess I'm just looking to increase the actual muscle size and stop just filling them up with blood. Iv been training 2 years religiously and maybe I just need another 2 before I get the results I want... Thanks


What do you do for your arms?


Remember that your tris are 2/3 of your arm, so if big arms is your goal you should be exhausting those bad boys on any chest and shoulder day and not just relying on the pump they get from the "big" lifts.


So, something like?

  1. pre-exhaust the chest using flyes, etc
  2. bench press
  3. heavier tricep work
  4. tricep pump work


I do biceps with shoulders on mon. Bicep training being 5x10-15 of some sort of curl then 2-3 sets of hammer curls. Triceps after chest il do anything from 2-3 movements, always a push down movements and always do dips that day too. Sometimes I will superset tris and bis this day as well. I don't really think training is the issue I think it may just be time


I'm doing Wendlers 531 if anyone's familiar


It could be time, It could be that if you want to make more growth you need to change something.

BB Curls 4x6
Hammer Curls 3x10
Lying Hi Cable Curls to Forehead 3x15ish

Skullcrushers 4x6
Pushdowns 3x10
Overhead DB extensions 3x10

I never really did anything to pump my triceps because they get much more additional work from other gym movements. Also if you aren't doing chin-ups on your back day, start.

I will say however that this whole thing does not really fit nicely into 5/3/1 but I have always worked arms on a separate day than the four main days so that they wouldn't interfere with one another.


I'm doing 5x10 of pull ups on back day I could switch to chins I guess. I just find pulls to be more functional and hit my back a little better


So does getting a really good pump translate to gains in muscle? Iv always put volume before weight, should I think about lower volume and higher reps? I'm just looking for whatever will translate to the biggest difference in arm size when outside the gym. My arms are far from any means tiny, I'm just trying to stay proportionate and mix powerlifting with bodybuilding


This would probably be more effective if 3 and 4 were supersetted with bicep work.