There is nothing that feels as incredible as the muscle pump generated by a workout. Yet, it is very disappointing to know that the muscle you achieve immediately after a set of weight exercises has totally nothing relevant to do with, or any direct indication of muscle gains. Sample this.
You lie on the bench at the beginning of the chest raining workout. You raise your feeble hands and rap them around the steel bar, feeling its cold and its threatening weight. The spotter or training partner comes to your back and helps you to un-rack the barbell. Then begins the reps, powering the bar up and then down in repetitive movements. Strength feels absent at some time, as you squeeze the chest muscles alongside the triceps, rep after each grueling rep. after six reps, the partner comes in again and helps you re-rack the weight. You then stand up, the chest and biceps feel as tight as they never have. The whole of the chest regions and arms, are tight, engorged with hot blood.
You can’t help but glance at the full length mirror besides you. What you see is as amazing as what you feel. You are simply thrilled by the sight of the full and totally vascular pecs on your physique. At this point, you really feel strong and all powerful. You are motivated and energetic like nobody’s business. You jut want to blast through the remaining workout, psyched as you are by this newly achieved strength and muscle bulk. The only problem is, you are as big as you were, as weaker even than before you took on the weight. What you feel and what you can see is what we call muscle pump.
A muscle pump is simply that exotic feeling you get when hot blood is successfully and voluminously entrapped in the target muscle tissues after an intense resistance training exercise. The blood is pumped into that target muscle for amplified circulation needs like provision of nutrients and the removal of toxins; as a result, your muscles swell up and greatly increase in their size, besides becoming vascular and tight.
But when you enter the gym having been docile and inactive the whole day and you approach a weight, what you feel and what you see is what your muscles are. The growth is achieved long after you leave the gym, mostly in moments of complete relaxation like sleep. You should therefore differentiate between a pump and muscle mass, in that, the muscle mass is at the natural, inactivated form and size. After you loose the pump, that is after you spend some minutes after putting the weight on the rack, the body slowly reverts to the original muscle size. Don’t them ask why you look masculine wile in the gym and feeble when in your bedroom.
If you take the pump for muscle mass, you will end up overtraining since you feel stronger than you really are, or look muscular than you really are. Training intensity should be established independent of the pump, and maintained at that level even when the pump makes you feel a million times stronger.