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Old 06-30-2012, 05:35 AM   #1
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Default Does a pump = a good workout?

Does getting a pump or not have much if any correlation at all to how effective you work out has been or how good a certain exercise is ?

A few guys have told me at my gym that they prefer dumbbell upper body work because it gives them more of a pump than barbells do

I am just about the only person at my gym that performs a standing overhead barbell press instead of a seated dumbbell press which gives a much better pump
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by abett07 View Post
Does getting a pump or not have much if any correlation at all to how effective you work out has been or how good a certain exercise is ?

A few guys have told me at my gym that they prefer dumbbell upper body work because it gives them more of a pump than barbells do

I am just about the only person at my gym that performs a standing overhead barbell press instead of a seated dumbbell press which gives a much better pump
For my money, there's not much of a correlation.

I can get an excellent pump in the chest and lats from swimming, but I'm not sure how much development this would equate to. Conversely, there are plenty of massively built powerlifters and olympic lifters who seem to acquire muscle without ever doing sufficient reps to get pumped.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:48 AM   #3
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I've interviewed close to 100 top natural bodybuilders over the last 3 years, some that chase the pump for gains, and some that don't. For the average pro who is not top 20 in the world, I see no difference in their physiques whatsoever.

As far as the top 20 guys, Doug Miller is a strength and volume guy, and Layne Norton trains for both strength in a lower rep range, and strength in more conventional rep ranges. I could also add Cleveland Thomas and Shaun Clarida. Shaun recently squatted 500x4 reps, or something ridiculous like that - at a bodyweight under 160 I believe.

I can't name any pump-centric bodybuilders that are bigger than these guys.

I was mentioning the other day (I forgot to whom) that all of the Elite level bodybuilders I know have near-Elite/Elite levels of strength. On the other hand, the pros I know who are more around the 3-4-5 level of strength have nice physiques and plenty of size, but my best guess is that they are at least 5-10 pounds of muscle behind guys like Doug Miller, etc.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:55 AM   #4
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If (when?) I eventually move over to a more fitness/bodybuilder approach I'll use the pump in combination with weight progression in my workouts. For example if I know I did 90lbs x 8 in the curl last week and I'm aiming for 95lbs x 8 this week, that's progression. BUT after I've done the 95lbs x 8 my biceps feel fine and my front delts are tired and pumped then I know I did something wrong.

In that sense the pump isn't necessarily the most important part of the workout, but it's certainly a decent indicator that what you're doing isn't just moving a weight from A to B.

But hey, what do I know.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:01 AM   #5
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Well, for what it's worth a lot of the intermediate split-style bodybuilding programs I put together feature either direct rest-pause sets, or a 40 rep rest-pause burn set. Both bring the pump, but are progression-focused.

I'm a bigger fan of rest-pause work for most exercises, or limiting rest, than I am of chasing the pump. Rest-pause always allowed me to build muscle while also focusing on progression, without turning sessions into volume and time marathons. Sessions were brief and brutal. Usually creates a nice pump too.

But...

Unless you plan on being Doug Miller I don't think using or not using the pump, etc., really matters much as long as progression is there somewhere.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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So basically I assume one could train for the pump while progressing without no ill effects?

A question I just thought of: What muscles CAN you pump? All of them? Have you ever had a hamstring or upper back pump?
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:58 AM   #7
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I've definitely had upper back pumps! Most sessions in fact.

Never really looked out for hamstring pumps, but I assume so. Why wouldn't you?
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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To my knowledge, I've never had a muscle "pump" ever...I've had rock solid muscles and extreme DOMS, the day after a gruelling workout but have never experienced a pump...interesting.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:11 PM   #9
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does a good pump= a good workout?
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:57 AM   #10
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getting a pump is helpful but not the only way to get it done. I lift heavy, my rep ranges are all over, but i also try to get a pump with at least one exercise. Fillin your muscle so full of blood with a combination of stretching will assist with growth, but again, its just another tool in the arsenal.
Like most things, it has its place.
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