Creating a Pump with IMPACT PUMP – Part 1
Achieving a full, skin-busting muscle pump remains one of the more enjoyable and productive aspects of training for muscular growth. Providing a psychological feeling of invincibility and wellbeing while also directly contributing to lean muscle growth, a solid pump usually means that a workout was successful in stimulating maximum size and strength. Its absence is often a sign that, for whatever reason, we could not give a session our best shot.
Falling flat when seeking to pump up usually comes down to three interrelated factors: poor nutrition, low energy levels, and the wrong mental approach. Combined they will almost certainly leave the lifter feeling flat – both mentally and physically. As a serious bodybuilder, you’ll want to avoid this worst-case training scenario, whatever the cost.
The good news is that the cost of avoiding another wasted workout brought about by a subpar pump and the conditions responsible for it can be minimal.
In fact, within seconds you can instantly enhance the flow of blood and nutrients to the working muscles – a key factor in bolstering the pump and achieving workout success.
In addition, a fully focused mindset that’ll enable the toughest reps of a workout to be completed with full intensity can also be achieved with minimum fuss and a modicum of effort. This, too, will result in more blood being shuttled into muscle tissue – the result being a pump to rival all pumps.
In part two of this two-part article series we’ll learn how a unique blend of the very best pump-inducing ingredients in clinical doses can significantly enhance vasodilation (blood vessel expansion), blood flow and the focus and mental stimulation needed to power through multiple sets and reps with great intensity of effort.
In installment two you’ll also be encouraged to put this superior combination of ingredients to work with an arm workout guaranteed to shock your guns into new levels of growth.
But first, let’s take a look at how the pump happens and why it remains arguably the most critical muscle-building determinant of them all.
As a results-focused bodybuilder, you know the feeling all too well. When the muscles become inflated with blood via intensive training, there is no better feeling in the world. Right away you know that a workout is having its desired effect. This gives you a psychological advantage over the weights. A pump-induced feeling of power and invincibility gives you all the incentive you need to push further in your quest for even greater gains.
Besides feeling great and having the motivation to lift heavier for longer, a pump’s benefits extend to the gaining of more muscle in a more direct and linear fashion.
Under the right conditions, blood flow to the working muscles is greatly enhanced through the systematic tensing and contracting of muscle tissue. To counter the contractile force of heavyweights through an extended rep range, the muscles, via the pump, are delivered a continuous supply of nutrients – notably key aminos, and carbohydrates in the form of glycogen.
To promote full blood engorgement, continuous muscular contractions encourage vascular constriction, thus preventing blood, nutrients and metabolic byproducts from leaving the muscles.2 But this is just the beginning. With further pumping, more blood plasma continues to accumulate, leaving the interstitial spaces surrounding the muscles saturated with blood.
At this point, the working muscles’ extracellular pressure gradient is dramatically increased, which, in turn, causes more blood to be shuttled into the muscle cells. As this cycle is repeated, more and more blood accumulates in the muscles. Trapped and unable to disperse, this incremental engorgement of blood produces the killer pumps us bodybuilders strive to replicate with each workout.
So, besides looking swole and feeling great, what does all this pumping business mean to the bodybuilder? In a word: everything.
Without the pump, muscle growth is severely restricted. When a muscle is fully stretched, its cellular membrane is forced to expand. As such, its integrity is placed under threat and its very survival and existence are compromised. Whenever this happens (in other words, whenever a killer pump has been achieved) the cell’s structure must be reinforced and associated anabolic pathways, such as mTOR, are thereby activated to counter any damage that may have occurred. The result: more muscle growth.
Additionally, the pump facilitates a combination of potentially anabolic factors – hormonal changes, cell swelling, free-radical production and the increased activity of growth-oriented transcription factors – each of which may contribute to a pronounced hypertrophic response (more muscle).3, 4, 6
The pronounced cell swelling (hydration) associated with the pump is of particular importance when seeking impressive muscle gains. A major physiological regulator of cellular functioning, cell swelling is extremely anabolic in that it increases muscle protein synthesis while correspondingly reducing proteolysis (muscle degradation).1, 5
Finally, training for a maximum pump also results in a greater acidic environment, which increases muscle fiber degradation while up-regulating sympathetic nervous system activity, both believed to enhance muscle growth beyond that of less pump-friendly training protocols.
So, on the balance of evidence, it’s clear that the key determinant of muscle growth is a solid muscle pump.
But as most trainees know, the pump can be fleeting at best. Some days it may not even make an appearance.
The question then is: how do we achieve, and sustain, a killer pumps each and every workout? Read part two of this series to find out.
- Millar, I. D., et al Mammary protein synthesis is acutely regulated by the cellular hydration state. Biochem Biophys Res Comm 230: 351–355, 1997.
- Stoll, B. et al. Liver cell volume and protein synthesis. Biochem J 287: 217–222, 1992.
- Sjøgaard, G. Water and ion shifts in skeletal muscle of humans with intense dynamic knee extension. Am J Physiol 248: R190–R196, 1985.
- Schoenfeld, B. et al. The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Oct; 24(10):2857-72
- Sjøgaard, G. Water and electrolyte fluxes during exercise and their relation to muscle fatigue. Acta Physiol Scan Suppl 556: 129–136, 1986.
- Tesch, P.A., et al. Muscle metabolism during intense, heavy-resistance exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 55: 362–366, 1986.