March 20, 2013 18:00
Get Swole: Understanding and Achieving the Pump
A common term used in weight training is the “pump”: a collection of blood in the muscle as a product of intense exercise, such as heavy lifting. The pump can be esthetically pleasing, but is there any anabolic benefit? Research seems to suggest so.
The scientific term for a pump is “hyperemia” – or an excess of blood in the vessels supplying an organ or other part of the body. It is thought that putting the muscle in this state promotes muscle growth or “hypertrophy.” This is achieved from stretching of the facial layer that occurs from the muscle expanding larger than its regular size, which in turn allows for more muscle growth to occur.
The process involves oxygenated blood increasing and rushing to the muscle, expanding it, and causing micro tears which promote muscle growth. During training a muscle can receive up to 4 times the amount of blood it would under normal circumstances. Lactic acid is produced when the muscle is under strenuous work, causing a release nitric oxide (NO) in response to the high acidity. This allows for local capillaries to dilate, thus promoting increased blood flow. This excess blood flow also helps remove the lactic acid.
There is also believed to be a euphoric feeling associated with a muscle pump. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former professional body builder and ambassador to the sport claims, “The greatest feeling you can get in the gym is the pump.”
So how does one attain the pump?
The first step in achieving a pump and overall quality training is to be sure to breathe properly with each rep and attain a full range of motion. Without proper oxygen intake the muscle cannot receive the oxygenated blood it needs. Exhale on the extension of your rep while inhaling on the negative. Be sure to put your “mind in the muscle,” focusing on a full squeeze at the peak of your rep. Some training techniques to acquire a great pump include drop sets, partials, negatives, extended sets and forced reps. Consult a qualified personal trainer to learn more about these techniques.
A full muscle is a pumped muscle. Having adequate glycogen through a proper carbohydrate intake will promote a greater muscle pump. Electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and sodium will also support the nervous system’s functions required to attain a pump. It’s beneficial to consult a qualified nutrition coach to ensure you’re timing your nutrients properly for your training goals.
There are a few “tried and tested” supplement ingredients that assist in achieving the best pump possible. Citrulline Malate is sometimes referred to as the “creatine of cardio” due to its adverse effects on increased oxygenation to the muscles, assisting in stamina and endurance. With increased oxygen comes a better pump. Arginine is an amino acid that assists in the production of nitric oxide (NO). NO relaxes the tissue walls of blood vessels, allowing for more blood flow and increased blood circulation. This also gives greater, longer lasting pumps. Arginine is arguably the best substance for attaining great pumps. Creatine helps our muscles absorb water better which is used in the formation of glycogen. Glycogen is composed of one part carbohydrates to three parts water. Greater absorption of water helps the formation of glycogen and in turn creates a fuller muscle. Nutrient Transporters such as R-ALA and AstraGin™ assist in delivering glucose, creatine and other important nutrients to the muscles. A supplement that contains the above ingredients will assist in better nutrient uptake and absorption - ultimately a better pump.
NUTRABOLICS® SWOLLEN™: The Muscle Busting, Pre Workout Intensifier
Be it during an intense workout, a professional photo shoot or simply for esthetic purposes, an effective pump supplement should contain some of the above ingredients, and NUTRABOLICS® SWOLLEN™ has just that. With a powerful mixture of Arginine Ethyl Ester, Arginine AKG and L-Citrulline Malate, you’re sure to have vein popping, sleeve stretching pumps shortly after consumption. To top it off they’ve added the effective nutrient transporter AstraGin™ to further increase absorption as well as an Extreme Energy Matrix of B vitamin, Niacin, L-Tyrosine, Guarana and L-Carnitine precursor Gamma-Butyrobetaine. Enjoy this pre-workout formula in drinkable powder or even pill form and combine it with NUTRABOLICS® other anabolic power punchers; CREATINE 2XC™ and CARNIBOLIC™ for a workout you won’t soon forget.
Article by Nutrabolics Ricky Goodall