Last Update  On April 27, 2012
Pump Vs. Size

by Rusi
The wannabe bodybuilders in most gyms like to talk about the pump and how amazing it is. Arnold said the pump is even better than sex although later he said it was just a commercial trick to get more attention to his movie - Pumping Iron.

Truth be told the pump does not matter one bit as far as strength and muscle mass gains are concerned. The pump is nothing more than an increased blood circulation around a certain area. You can get a pump worth 5 lbs dumbbell. Hell, you can probably get a pump with 0.5 lbs dumbbell as well. You will probably feel the burn too. You may even feel bigger....for the next 10 minutes. The pump does not translate into muscle growth when the weight is so light your grandmother can lift it all day everyday.

Why? There isn't sufficient stress on the body and there is no need for muscle adaption in any way.

How do we fix this?

First, forget about pumping and focus on progressive overload on basic exercises such as squats, incline press...etc. Focus on getting stronger and adding more weight to the bar. If you goal is mainly muscle size try to perform 20-30 quality reps per compound exercise. You can do 3x6-8, 5x5, 8x3, 10x3, 4x6....etc. Just get 20-30 quality reps per compound exercise and don't go over 8 reps. Perform each exercise with strict form - no bouncing, no uneven lifting....just pure muscle.  You may get a pump, you may not. In the long run it doesn't matter. What matter is that you focus on the exercises you feel are doing the job for your body type. Get stronger at them. Don't waste time on variety. One to two exercises per muscle group will get the job done.

If you like incline for chest make it your main exercise, if you like flat bench make that your main focus, if you like dips make it your main move...etc. It doesn't matter. Just pick 1-2 compound exercises per muscle group and get super strong at them.

Start getting calories equivalent to about18 times your bodyweight in pounds, couple that with 200-300 grams of protein and mother nature promises growth if you do this.

“Q: Bro, Jay Cutler says you got to pump it up. He bigger, you mad smaller. U mad now, brah?”

A: Not really mad, brah.  Jay Cutler's routine sucks for normal people and the proofs are all the chickens flying around every gym in the world. Besides I'm not a fan of most new school bodybuilding routines. In my opinion they will over-train and frustrate a regular person.

The results on similar programs are highly dependent on steroids. Flex Wheeler is a good example. The guy was the shit when he was taking the stuff. His training was the most retarded ever - 4 hours every day. Once he went “natural” (read less steroids) he was wondering how people make progress naturally. He is still wondering.

Don't repeat rookie mistake number one - following the training regimen of a professional bodybuilder.

Happy training !!!

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