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Bodybuilding and The Pump - Pumping Up Muscle

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The "Pump"

When we all first started training, and we learned how to really do the exercises right, we noticed what bodybuilders affectionately call, "the pump". The "Pump" is when your muscles swell up well beyond their normal size. Your veins stand out, you feel huge, powerful, and full of energy. Most of you know this feeling. The "pump" is usually felt after four or five sets. Often you can keep this sensation throughout your workout, and then go on to experience an even better pump as more and more blood is forced into the area being exercised, bringing in fresh oxygen and nutrients for continued muscular contraction.

What causes the pump? Well it is blood rushing to the area faster than your circulatory system can carry it away. So the area becomes engorged with blood and swells up to a noticeably larger size. Bodybuilders traditionally associate the sensation of the pump with having a good workout. The feeling is marvelous, so much that it can enhance a workout tremendously and make you feel like training that much harder.

The psychological aspect of the pump is very important. When you are pumped up, you feel better and stronger, thus making it easier to motivate you to train hard, to achieve a high level of intensity. Of course, this feeling may differ day to day. Sometimes you will walk into the gym feeling tired and lazy but you will get a fantastic pump after a few minutes of work and suddenly feel strong and energetic; other days, nothing you do will bring this feeling.

Therefore, pay attention to the circumstances that give you the best pump--how often you are training, at what time of day, what combinations of exercise, what you eat before you go to the gym, and so on. These are all variables that can affect your training, and can affect your training, and can affect you differently than somebody else. You still have to train correctly and with all the energy you can muster, but learning to be in touch with your instincts can give you that extra edge you need to achieve your goals.

One of the most common reasons for not being able to get a pump is lack of concentration. Keeping up interest in your training can be very difficult. Too many bodybuilders come into the gym and just go through the motions, doing their 20 sets for back or 30 sets for chest, but not putting any real effort and concentration into it. "Be here now" is an important factor in bodybuilding. It means pay attention to what you are doing, link your mind with your muscles so that you are aware of every rep of every set. In this way, you can achieve the kind of quality training that will give your the satisfaction of a full pump.

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