Pumping is a subjective feeling of bursting and compaction of muscles after performing physical exercises, with frequent repetitions of monotonous movement. Pumping is associated with an increase in muscle volume due to increased blood filling and swelling of tissues. An increase in the volume of muscle cells occurs as a result of a massive influx of sugar and other osmotic substances that pull water with them, while the cell membrane becomes more permeable.

There are various variations in the concept of pumping:

Cosmetic pumping is a pumping that is achieved before a performance or photoshoot, in order to give large volumes and relief. With this technique, you can increase the volume of muscles by 10 – 20%.

One of the ways of cosmetic pumping is carbohydrate loading.

Productive pumping is achieved in the process of training, in order to stimulate muscle growth.

Pumping with the help of sports nutrition is achieved through the use of special sports nutrition.

Productive pumping

Today there is no unambiguous opinion about the benefits of pumping for bodybuilding. There are no exact data supported by research. Nevertheless, there are facts in favor and against pumping in bodybuilding.

As a rule, pumping is achieved due to a large number of repetitions, the number of which exceeds 15. Currently, sports medicine is firmly convinced that multi-repeat sets are ineffective if the goal is to increase muscle mass. The fact is that this approach involves the use of small weights, which stimulate the muscles to grow much weaker. And this has been proven by dozens of experiments.

Training with a large number of repetitions has, as a rule, one pronounced effect – muscle pain, which occurs as a result of the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles, acidification of the intercellular medium, and the formation of other metabolic products. Lactic acid is the result of anaerobic glycolysis in the muscles, in other words, slag. It is believed that the breakdown products of nutrients, or slags (including lactic acid), have a growth-stimulating effect on muscles and cause increased testosterone secretion.

Gunther’s words obviously explain the biochemical meaning of the saying “There is no progress in bodybuilding without pain”; lactic acid is also at the head of strength training aimed at gaining muscle mass. However, keep in mind that muscle pain can be pathological in nature

In addition, increased blood filling is in favor of pumping. Blood supplies oxygen and various nutrients to the muscle, muscle tissues become more resistant to stress and recover faster. The increased blood flow eliminates excess lactic acid from the muscle and restores the level of acidity of the intercellular space, and this also contributes to recovery.

Pumping exercises are especially recommended for those who have started bodybuilding relatively recently.

Pumping exercises

– Drop sets,

– Supersets Pre-fatigue,

– Burning Partial repetitions,

– Negatives,

– Peak reduction,

– Forced repetitions

Especially useful are the foot-pumping exercises. It is well known that the leg muscles respond with particular success to a large number of repetitions. Here, the exercises for pumping will come in handy. The best option for quadriceps and calf muscles: exercises with pre-fatigue, burns, and forced reps.

Biceps pumping:

bending arms with dumbbells while sitting or standing with a barbell,

bending arms with dumbbells while sitting on an inclined bench,

bending arms with a barbell on Scott’s bench from the 90° position,

Triceps pumping: arm

extensions with an EZ-barbell reverse grip arm,

extensions with an EZ-barbell conventional grip arm,

extensions with dumbbells “hammer”.

Pumping with sports nutrition

Modern sports nutrition offers a wide range of supplements for pumping. The most popular are:

Arginine and other nitrogen donors,

Pre-workout complexes (most often with arginine and creatine),


Fat burners

Arginine is generally recognized as the main additive for pumping. This amino acid is a source of NO, which dilates blood vessels and causes pumping. Creatine acts as an osmotic agent, entering the cell it pulls water with it. Many fat burners contain vasodilators, which also provide pumping.

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