How Important Is Getting a Pump for Building Muscle?

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By Mike Matthews. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

If you’ve read anything about bodybuilding, you’ve probably heard about something called “the pump.”

In a nutshell, this refers to the temporary increase in muscle size that occurs when you lift weights.

Bodybuilders have been strangely obsessed with this phenomenon since people started lifting weights, and according to many, it’s the cheat code for unlocking rapid muscle growth.

George Butler and Charles Gaines, authors of Pumping Iron: The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding, claimed getting a muscle pump, “feels like one of those fast-frame films of flowers blooming or seeds ripening; the muscles seem actually to go from pod to blossom in seconds under the skin.”

This explanation reveals one of the main reasons weightlifters like getting a pump: it’s a visible sign your efforts in the gym are paying off. Your muscles are getting bigger before your eyes!

This preoccupation with the pump hasn’t waned, either.

You’ll still find articles touting the benefits of “chasing the pump”—bodybuilder lingo for doing lots of reps with short rest periods until your muscles are swollen and sore.

Others counter that chasing the pump is a fool’s errand. Temporary muscle swelling has nothing to do with muscle growth, and your time is better spent getting as strong as possible, they say.

So, who’s right?

In this podcast, you’re going to learn what the pump is, what causes it, why people think it’s important, why it isn’t essential for muscle growth, and why it’s still worth doing some “pump” training in your workouts to get the best results.

Let’s get started!

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6:20 - What is the pump?

8:23 - What is pump training and is it good for building muscle and strength?

17:31 - How can I program pump training?

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Mentioned on The Show:
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