Arnold was right: there’s nothing wrong with getting a pump

by Ross Curtis

In today’s world of fitness, everyone is talking about the primal movement patterns, core stability, breathing, energy systems, and functional movement. All of this is fantastic. We are making great strides in fine-tuning the human organism through improving movement patterns, enhancing stability, and reconditioning after injury. For starters, I am all for the above. I think everyone should be hitting the primal patterns, training anti-movements for stability, and stimulating all the mechanisms for energy system development; however, I think there is a time and a place for a good, old fashion pump session.

And yes, I am talking about hitting a gun show every once in a while.

I haven’t met one person, male or female, who doesn’t want great looking arms whether they are lean or massive. Unfortunately, just hitting the complex movement patterns won’t get you the aesthetic you’re looking for by itself. Compound lifts and multi-joint movement patterns will help and definitely are necessary for the huge stressor signaling dramatic body composition changes, but sneaking in an “arm farm” here and there is just the little extra stimulus you need to push you towards that specific look you want.

(And science backs this up: physiologically to get hypertrophy (muscle growth) you need to create localized mechanical tension (contraction) and metabolic stress (the pump) for optimal growth and gains. In turn, this arm session will do exactly what you are looking for. The study on The Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy and Their Application to Resistance Training [] proved this.)

For some reason doing things like curls, triceps extensions, skull crushers, and anything arm-related have become a sort of taboo existence. I don’t know why, but I hate it. There’s nothing that I love doing more than hitting a good arm sesh at the end of my workouts. It feels good, makes you look good, and will definitely help you achieve your goals.

Sure it’s a little egotistical, but you gotta feed that thing sometimes.

What I’m trying to say is… hit a gun show every once in a while. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Add supersets of bicep curls and triceps extensions at the end of your workouts. Use basic progressions each week by adding a set here and there, slowly increasing the weight, or varying the tempo and pace of reps. Go heavy or go light and for some more volume. All of the above will give you the tension and stress you are looking for to disrupt homeostasis within the cellular environment. Mix it up and make it fun, but make sure you feel that pump.

Also, you get better results if you look in the mirror while doing them ☺. It works for me anyways.

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