The Pump In Bodybuilding – Does It Equal Progress?

The pump has been an integral of bodybuilding since the very beginning. Arnold Schwarzenegger compared the pump to the pleasure of ejaculating. However, if we put aside the sensation, what else does the pump offer?

How do you get a pump?

You can get a pump by doing high reps with a 10lbs dumbbell. That’s why you see bodybuilders warm-up with pink weights before getting on stage. That’s all you need to make the blood push against the skin.

So, is the pump a sign progress?

Definitely not. Increase of size and/or strength is the only sign of progress. Ironically, you don’t need insane pumps for that to happen. Getting a pump should not be your main priority.


In the gif below, you see Tom Platz getting a serious pump + burn from leg extensions.

What do you think contributed more to his leg development – pumping exercises or the ability to squat heavy weights?

topm-platz-pumped-legs

What about the burn, bro?

Getting a burn is a sign that a particular muscle group is under tension. The burn and the pump could serve as an indication that the right muscle is doing the work.

Is getting a pump that bad?

No. In fact, if you have injuries it’s advisable to get a pump and supply the hurt area with nutrients. 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 light chest flies on their recovery days.

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