The Art and Science of the Ultimate Muscle Pump

Getting the perfect pump every workout will provide you with every ounce of motivation you need to continually drive your ass back into the gym and push it with the kind of intensity gym legends have made famous.

Art and Science of the Muscle PumpBodybuilders call it the greatest feeling you can achieve. Some have even compared it to an orgasm. In fact, seven-time Mr Olympia winner Arnold Schwarzenegger was quoted in the movie Pumping Iron as stating just that.

The Pump – It is a thick swollen muscle, freakish vascularity and a feeling that you are leaving the gym with a set of larger muscles than you walked in with. It is physical and visual proof that you just annihilated another workout. It is a feeling of conquest that lends to an overdose of endorphins and a boost in pride. It is motivating, inspiring and comes complete with its own set of bragging rights. This kind of workout makes every inch of your body burn and has you coming back for more.

Some have compared it to an orgasm!

The pump, in its entirety, is just as much plateau-busting, as it is ego-boosting. The list of physiological benefits is endless and over time, these benefits can provide you with some massive gains in the gym, on the court, or out on the field. But if your training is simply falling short of the “pump,” it may be time for help.

To start, you must take both the psychological and physiological effects of the pump into consideration with a brief look at the science.

The Psychological Rocket Science

Okay, so this part is not so much rocket science, as it is a snowball effect. A good pump means you had an intense workout. Any intense workout is going to leave you feeling phenomenal and more motivated to come back and try harder. The harder you try, the better your gains. The more gains you see, the more you want to push it even harder. See what I mean? You cannot lose with a good pump. But behind all these released endorphins and increased motivation lies a network of capillaries, nutrients and oxygen that do add up to some scientific proof that you should be working towards a pump.

So, let’s get started.

The Physical Rocket Science

In the world of science the Pump is commonly referred to as Hyperemia. It is essentially the act of saturating working muscle tissue with oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood during rigorous physical activity. These contractions stimulate the release of increased Nitric Oxide (N.O.) into the blood stream, which causes local capillaries (blood vessels) to dilate, allowing more blood to flow into the muscle.

The Pump is essentially the act of saturating contracting muscle tissue with oxygenated and nutrient rich blood.

Increased N.O. plays many important roles within muscle tissue. Firstly, by increasing the blood flow to contracting muscle tissue, increased N.O. is able to play a preventative role in the formation of dangerous clots by keeping blood vessels smooth. Additionally, N.O. is released in response to increased acidity (lactic acid) in the muscle and actually helps to detoxify the muscle during intense training. Over time, intense training that leads to increased N.O. helps to expand the body’s capillary network. A larger capillary network improves blood circulation, athletic performance, body composition, and stimulates the growth of new muscle by releasing natural growth hormones.

Many products on the market today offer some assistance in increasing blood flow in your body. For example, phyto extracts, polyphenols and flavanols all contain properties that affect the body’s ability to increase delivery of oxygen-rich blood to muscle tissue. Moreover, these potent antioxidants also play a role in reducing the oxidation throughout the vascular system.

Octacosanol, a plant-based extract, has illustrated an ability to create a battery-like reserve of energy.

The oxidative capacity of muscle tissue is important during intense training. Your body’s ability to keep blood oxygenated can help spare glycogen stores. Octacosanol, a plant-based extract, has illustrated an ability to create a battery-like reserve of energy by improving the oxidative capacity of muscle tissue. It does this by accelerating the oxygenation of the blood, and provides your body with the energy it needs for bursts of power and speed. Studies have also found that Octacosanol can improve reaction time and grip strength, as it exhibits properties affecting the central nervous system.

B vitamins, specifically B3 and B9, also play a role in N.O. production. These vitamins serve as vasodilators and help to open up the capillary network, allowing for an increased flow of nutrients and oxygen. Additionally, B3 (niacin) will also help to deliver nutrients while removing toxic muscular waste.

ALLMAX Nutrition has simplified the science of the pump with HemaNOvol. This scientifically formulated N.O. stimulator includes Argi-N.O.-Nine, a complex blend of ingredients proven to act as precursors to bioavailable N.O. in the body. HemaNOvol is complete with phyto-nutrients such as Theobroma Cacao, an extract with similar antioxidant properties to that of green tea, but with almost six times the potency. It acts as a mild stimulant and diuretic and can also help suppress the appetite.

Theobroma cacao extract has almost 6X the potency of Green Tea!

Octacosanol helps to spare muscle glycogen and increase the muscles oxidative capacity.  Finally, B vitamins 3 and 9 are matched with a Gamma-NOS complex. Both these complexes help to protect muscles against reactive free radicals created during physical activity by carrying away toxic muscular waste.

To achieve a true pump with HemaNOvol, take 5 pills on an empty stomach 30 minutes prior to your workout, and then incorporate the following tips:

TRAINING FOR THE PUMP

1. Dynamic Warm-Up

Get your blood pumping and your body sweating. The American College of Sports Medicine Journal reported that active hyperemia following a warm-up improved blood flow at the onset of high intensity exercise. Additionally, it contributed to an increased aerobic contribution to muscle energy metabolism. Try doing 10 minutes of high intensity intervals before you even hit the weights. This is a surefire way to get your heart rate up, your blood moving and your mind focused.

2. Warm-Up Sets

Begin your weight training by performing at least two warm-up sets on a compound exercise such as squats, deadlifts, lat pulldowns, or bench press. The warm-up sets should be typically light with higher reps to initiate muscle contraction.

3. Feel the Burn

Find the rep range that works for you. Do not work to failure but lift heavy enough to feel a burn. For me, four sets 10 to 12 reps (with proper form) gives my body a decent pump.

4. Stay Focused

Focus on form, range of motion, and time under tension with each rep. By fully extending and contracting the muscle, more blood will flow to the muscle.

5. Reduce your Rest Times

Keep your rest in between sets to a minimum, or superset muscle groups. Keeping your heart rate up will help keep the blood moving in your body.

KEY POINT

Make sure you complete your last exercise of a specific body part with at least one drop set. That is, do the set with a given weight, once you begin to reach muscular failure, drop the weight to a lower amount and immediately restart until you reach muscular failure and repeat. This will really pool blood in the target muscle and provide a high level of muscle stimulation.

Your body doesn’t stop working when you put the weights down, and neither does HemaNOvol. Its sustained-release technology ensures that your pump lasts long after you have left the gym, to ensure your muscles receive the oxygen and nutrients it requires to recover.

Don’t let your gains fall short of the pump. Do yourself a favor and get the pump you want and need every time you enter the gym with HemaNOvol.

 

Sources:

  • Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements. Avery: New York,  2010.
  • Kim H, Park S, Park T, Han DS. Octacosanol supplementation increases running endurance time and improves biochemical parameters after exhaustion in trained rats, Department of Food and Nutrition, Yonsei University, Seoul Korea.
  • Lerman, Amir. John C. Bennett, Stuart T Higano. Linda J. McKinley. David R. Holmes. Long-term L-Arginine Supplementation Improves Small-Vessel Coronary Endothelial Function in Humans, The American Heart Association, 1998, 97: 2123-2128.
  • Taylor, Johanna C., Lisa Rapport, G. Brian Lockwood. Octacosanol in Human Health, Journal of Nutrition, 2003,19,2: 192-195.
  • Triarco Industries. Metabromine.
  • Thorne Research. L-Arginine, Alternative Medicine Review. 2005,10,2: 140-147.
  • West, Sheila G. Effect of Diet on Vascular Reactivity: An Emerging Marker for Vascular Risk, Current Atherosclerosis Reports 2001, 3: 446-455.
Valeria Fazio

Valeria Fazio holds a B.A. Honors degree in history from Carleton University and a diploma in professional writing from Algonquin College. She has been competing in amateur fitness and figure competitions for three years, and has recently qualified for the 2011 Ontario Provincial Figure Championships. As a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach, Valeria helps others in her free time to achieve their fitness goals.

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