Pamping training
It is useful to know

What is pamping? Pamping training

The term “pump” has been used in varied ways for a long time. This term is also largely used in sports and fitness.  Today our article will discuss in detail what pumping is in bodybuilding.

what is pamping

Article contents:


What is pumping?

The term “pumping”, “pumping up”, or “muscle pump” refers to a certain technique of performing physical exercises that increase the blood flow (i.e. “pumping”) into the muscles thereby enhancing their visible size. Undoubtedly, anyone who trains or works out experiences this visual “inflation” or bulging of the muscles.

However, such an effect is short-term. When the blood flow returns to normal, the muscles gradually return to its stable state and size, which is a natural tendency for the body.

It is possible to achieve the effects of pumping only in cases of active physical training targeted at specific muscle groups. For example, after 10-20 reps of exercises focused on the biceps will result in a massive appearance for the arms.

Pumping in bodybuilding

Professional bodybuilders take advantage of the effects of pumping often. It allows the muscles to bulk up for a short time.

Three types:

  1. Cosmetic pump – performed behind the scenes before a presentation or competition to make the muscles look more massive.
  2. Productive pump – performed during workouts or training to stimulate the fibers of the muscles for growth.
  3. Pharmacological pump – increase in muscle size is achieved by means of pharmacological or chemical products.

Unfortunately, not everyone correctly understands the value of this exercise. Beginners have the mistaken notion that they just need to lift excessively heavy weights daily to increase their blood flow and then immediately result in a massive increase in their muscles. The key to a good muscle pump training is to have a higher number of sets reps with short rests in between.

Muscle pumping is especially done by bodybuilders before performances to increase the push of blood into the muscles to create swelled-up and heavier-looking muscles.

Many experts and scientists have already proven that keeping just one particular type of exercise daily without the addition of other training activities will not result in significant bulking up. Why is that so? Let’s find out.

pamping in bodybuilding

Any serious bodybuilder or fitness practitioner knows that to increase muscle mass, it is necessary to lift heavy weights (dumbbells, barbells, etc.) and progressively raise the weight. If the exercises are carried out accordingly, then remarkable results will be attained. Of course, all this would only be possible if you put in a hundred percent effort and determination.

Many times, “big guys” who don’t regularly work out in the gym just come in and do only one of the main exercises once. They feel this is enough to pump up their muscles and then go home satisfied, expecting great increases in muscle size and form because of the enhanced blood circulation. Professionals do it differently and competently. After performing pumps, they understand that it is not enough and therefore do other exercises for a couple or so sets.

However, don’t be intimidated! Including pump training in your regular work-out definitely brings remarkable results. One particular method bodybuilders use is called the “light and heavy training weeks.”

Effects of muscle pumping on the body

The value of “chasing the pump”, as it is also called, lies on the multiple reps performed. This exercise provides a powerful inflow that makes more blood and fluid travel into the muscles causing the muscles to swell up, causing the pump. This is what is technically called cellular swelling.

To help you visualize this, imagine attaching a balloon to a faucet and turning the flow to high. It fills up with more and more water at a fast rate making it bigger and bigger. It’s the same effect on the muscles with the blood. Because of the muscular contractions, the blood is restricted and does not flow out soon enough causing the cellular swelling.

Now, cellular swelling initiates protein synthesis and decreases protein breakdown within a cell. This then promotes muscle growth. Muscle cells adapt and respond to the drastic changes by strengthening its structure to manage. This growth or increase in the size of muscle cells is called muscle hypertrophy.

Also, pumping exercises do not only build up the biceps, but it also helps trainings become more productive. Again, what is important is diligence and the focus to achieve effective pumps. And remember, pumping also serves as complementary training to a proper bodybuilding regime.


  • Promotes the flow of nutrients into the muscles and in the entire body
  • Improves the work of veins and capillaries
  • Helps increase weight
  • Increases endurance
  • “Burns” subcutaneous fat
  • Enhances muscular sensation particularly during a workout
  • Stretches the muscle fascia, thereby making room for more muscle growth


  • Cardiovascular exhaustion
  • Increased burn of muscle tissue especially for bodybuilders who have trouble gaining weight


Alternate “light” and “heavy” training weeks

There are key principles followed in muscle pump training. For the first week, begin training with small or light loads. They are carried out with a minimal number of sets, perhaps 4-6 would be optimal. While this may not seem much, full effort and concentration are still necessary.

The muscles will first get stressed and impacted, but later on, recover and even get stronger. In fitness training, this is all part of bulking up.

It is not necessary to endure punishment with heavy training every week.  It will not help achieve your objectives. Muscles need a certain amount of time to recover and go back to its stable condition, especially to be ready to proceed in the training regime.

It is not necessary to endure punishment with heavy training every week.  It will not help achieve your objectives. Muscles need a certain amount of time to recover and go back to its stable condition, especially to be ready to proceed in the training regime.

For this reason, professional athletes choose to do a sort of alternating or interval training: one week of light loads, the next – heavy. As a result, muscles are not fatigued daily and have enough time for recovery. That means, after doing the easy set for a week, you’ll be starting the heavy training with refreshed and more active muscles already.

See also: How to choose the best sports nutrition for weight loss?

If you continue heavy training without rest days, then it is possible to suffer muscular and full-body exhaustion. This may negate any gains in muscle bulking and strengthening.

Remember this simple rule: for muscles to increase in weight, it is necessary to give time for rest and recovery. Only by following this recommendation will you be able to achieve significant and desirable results.

Professionals recommend doing pump training during light training periods. It is necessary, however, to ensure appropriate timing so as to avoid overloading the muscles. It is advisable to perform the minimal and simplest exercises for a good number of sets and reps.

Muscle pump training

When starting training for the light week, give the muscles enough load to allow a significant increase in blood flow without causing too much damage or fatigue.

For example, say you will be doing biceps lifting weighing 40 kg (88 lbs.) for several sets during the “heavy” week. For that, it is necessary to clean weights and keep lifting up to 70% of the weight for as many reps possible. The number of sets can be increased by two to three. This exercise will be enough for bodybuilding training programs that would safely pump significant amounts of blood into the biceps. It also gives them a chance to recover and heal after a week of heavy loading.

Remember: Pumping that does not follow a proper power training is useless. It has to be done together with a proper training program. It has been recommended that 75% of the time and effort should be on heavy training, and 25% on pump training. Only then will there be significant muscle bulk growth.

Pump training is very easy if you think about it. All that needs to be changed periodically is the load given to particular muscle groups. You do a heavy workout one full week, then followed by an easy one with lighter loads but with more reps.

The main goal for the “light” week is to promote the maximum blood flow to the muscles without causing injury or excessive stress.

Without a doubt, muscle pump training is truly effective and beneficial. However, results can only be achieved if the principles and correct approach are followed. Oh, it need not be said anymore but still, proper nutrition is also necessary! So, now you understand what pumping is and its value to bodybuilders. Perhaps it is also clearer for you now why Arnold Schwarzenegger once compared pumping up to a form of peaking pleasure.

Thanks for your attention! I hope you found this discussion useful. Please share your views and ideas in the comments section. I am sure your friends who are also keen on fitness and bodybuilding will appreciate this too so share it with them on social media.



muscle pump

pump training

body pumping

cellular training



Questions and Answers:

Q: So, is there a special diet necessary for going through a pump training?

A:  Carbs, naturally, are important for sustaining this kind of training, as well as potassium. So, bananas, potatoes, and orange juice would be good. Amino acids help produce nitric acid which greatly helps in promoting increased blood flow. For this, of course, you have your protein-rich sources like meat, fish, soy, and others.

Q: Can you give an example of a good number of sets, reps, and rest periods I can start with?

A: Naturally you first have to be clear about the muscle you are going to focus on. In any case, you can start with 2-3 sets of 20 reps with a 1-minute rest.

Q: How do I know if I have achieved the pump? What’s it like?

A: Well, first you will definitely feel your heart pounding, especially your blood rushing.  You will also feel your muscles will feel tight and full. It’s hard to fully describe it, you’ve got to experience it. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.

Q: Which muscles should I prioritize for pumping up before a competition?

A: As I have always said, it is important to train as many muscles as possible to achieve balance, proportion, and general strength. However, in preparation for a competition, pump up all the muscles that will be seen and judged. So that would mostly be the upper body. Don’t pump the legs too much or else you might cramp up when doing poses.