The Pump In Bodybuilding – Does It Equal Progress

Getting a pump has been a very important part of the bodybuilding game since the very beginning.

Arnold Schwarzenegger himself compared getting a pump to the pleasure of ejaculating. If we put aside the joy of getting a pump, what else does it have to offer?

Perhaps more size?

What is ‘the pump’?

The pump is caused by blood rushing through the muscle as a result of physical activity. The goal is to provide the needed oxygen and nutrients to the parts of the body that are working hard.

How do you get a pump?

You can get a pump by training with a 10 lbs dumbbell. You don’t need to lift a lot of weight in order join the pump club. That’s why you see bodybuilders warm-up with super light weights before getting on stage. That’s all you need to make the blood push against your skin.

So, is the pump a sign of making progress and proper workouts?


Definitely not. Increase of size and strength is the only sign of progress. You don’t need to get insane pumps in order for that to happen.

Getting a pump should not be your main priority at all.

It may feel good and seem attractive to have your veins popping all over your body like a road map but besides vanity there’s not much else.

What about the burn, bro?

Getting a burn in a muscle is a sign that the particular group is working hard. So, the burn can be used as an indication of whether the right muscle is being targeted with a particular exercise.

However, the burn is also achievable with very light weights. In the ‘gif’ below you see Tom Platz getting a serious pump + burn from leg extensions. However, what do you think has contributed more to his leg development – pumping exercises or the ability to squat heavy weights for a lot of repetitions?


Is getting a burn that bad?

Getting a burn is not bad, the same way warming-up is not bad. In fact, if you have injuries it’s advisable to get some pump through light warm-up exercises in order to drive nutrients to the troubled area.

Super recommended read:  Without A Pump Natural Bodybuilders Disappear Into The Shadows

That’s why many people include pumping exercises after their main lifts or on the so-called light days. For example, bench press specialists may add some light chest flies on their recovery days to increase the recovery rate of the chest muscles. However, it would usually be a very light workout because losing strength on sissy exercises is counter-productive.

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