Once we are honest with ourselves, then there is hardly a better feeling in training than to feel that the muscles are really pumped up and make the sleeves of our shirt to tension. However circulating around the muscle pump numerous myths that the pump for example, equate directly with muscle growth. This article should therefore bring a little light into the dark show you what the muscle pump is really, what effects he has and how you can promote him targeted.

What is the muscle pump and how does it originate?

Basically, the pump is nothing more than a temporary accumulation of blood in the muscles. This mechanism is triggered by the movement or contraction of the target musculature that you are currently training. This blood is drawn from other body regions such as the digestive tract or other muscle groups and pressed into the active muscle. Many athletes assume that the muscle pumping is a sign that the training for muscle building was particularly effective due to the swelling of the muscles. However, this is not the case, because there is no direct link between the presence and intensity of the pump and muscle building. The whole thing does not just happen, but has a physiological meaning.

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Why is the pump good?

The increased blood flow of the muscles leads to the fact that oxygen and nutrients get into the muscle cells faster. Thus, the pump ensures that the working muscles can work longer and harder due to the increased energy supply and the availability of oxygen. Although the muscle pump has no direct connection to the muscle, there are still some points of contact, which certify an indirect and thus supportive effect. Thus, both Hamil and Knutzen (2003) and researchers in the context of some studies in the 1970s already prove that the muscle pump slightly increases the power output during exercise. This effect is due to the so-called myostatic effect, which creates a certain rebound effect during training when a weight is lowered. However, this effect can only be produced when an exercise is carried out jerkily, as is the case, for example, in the case of speed training. The bottom line is that this extra amount of force can set a greater stress stimulus, which in turn has a positive effect on muscle growth. It is also interesting to note that studies from 1993, 2000 and 2003 have shown that the muscle pump stimulates the secretion of growth hormones and thus also provides for an indirect stimulation of the muscle structure. A third no less interesting component concerns the stabilizing effect that the inflated musculature can develop. For example, if the biceps and brachialis are already inflated before the training of the triceps, these stabilize the elbow joint and thus reduce the susceptibility to injury on the one hand and increase the potential development of power on the other hand. Those who struggle with very strong fascial tissue benefit from another type of muscle pumping. It expands the connective tissue surrounding the musculature, making it easier for the muscle to grow in width. Frequently a very tight connective tissue is partly responsible for the fact that the muscles visually lag behind their strength level.

How long does the muscle pump last?

The pump is a temporary effect, which basically decreases shortly after the end of muscle activity. How long it takes until the muscle pump has completely disappeared, and the blood has spread throughout the body, is individually very different. In general, it takes between 10 and 30 minutes, until the increased blood flow is no longer felt. However, the effect lasts particularly long, for example, after a high-intensity HIIT training or classic volume training.

How can I improve the pump?

Although the muscle pump does not immediately result in increased muscle growth, there are nevertheless, as already mentioned, a number of reasons why it is worthwhile to deliberately force the muscle pump.

This works best with the following measures:

1. Pay attention to your fluid supply The basic prerequisite for your musculature to gain significant volume is sufficient hydrogenation. If you drink too little, your body does not have sufficient resources to bring enough fluid into the muscles. Make sure that you consume about one liter of water per 20 kilograms of body weight per day.

2. Eat enough carbohydrates The intake of a sufficient amount of carbohydrates is just as important for maximum muscle pumping as the ideal hydration of the body. This is because the carbohydrates stored in the muscle as glycogen per gram can each bind about 2.7 milliliters of water per se. However, if you eat low carbohydrate, the muscle glycogen stores are not properly filled, so you can not make the most of the pumping effect.

3. Use supersets To properly pump blood into the muscles at the end of the workout, you can use intensity techniques such as supersets. Due to the short breaks between the phrases as well as the relatively high repetition rate in the range of 12-15 passes per set, the blood flow in the muscles increases enormously.

4. Complete your training with Drop Sets You can achieve a similar effect by using drop sets, also called reduction sentences. With this technique, you will do so many repetitions with a weight until you can not do another repetition. Then you reduce the weight and do as many repetitions as possible. You can repeat this process two to three times at the end of the workout to optimize muscle pumping.

5. Maintain tension in the muscles In order to achieve the maximum muscle pumping, the muscle tension must be optimal over the entire course of the movement. So do not wind up your workout like a machine, but watch out for a slow and technically clean run, so that the muscles contract as well as possible.


The bottom line is that the Pump is not just a side effect of muscle training, but an effect that you should take advantage of by taking targeted measures to improve the nutrition of the muscles and increase your performance.

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