You work out. You lift heavy things and you put them down. But, do you achieve THE PUMP?!?!?!
As our fearless leader Arnold once said, "the best activities for your health are pumping and humping".
So we all take about the pump and we all say we have it when we work out, but what is it? And what does it do?
To demonstrate, I took my thigh measurements last night before my leg workout. That's the picture on the left. 2 hours later, I took my thigh measurement again- that's the picture on the right. Almost a 2 inch difference. No, you freaks, I didn't gain 2 inches of permanent leg size in 2 hours. It's from blood flow. Lots and lots of blood flow that says bye bye to other places in my body and goes right to the body part that you are isolating.
A good pump is something all bodybuilders should aim for- it signals effectiveness of training and muscle growth. Proper weight training is the stimulus for an effective pump. Inability to achieve a pump also means the conditions necessary for muscle growth are not in place. The pump = barometer of future growth.
Working muscles need blood to supply them with oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products (mainly lactic acid and carbon dioxide). When a muscle is properly trained, blood flow is diverted from many other bodily processes to supply this muscle with what it needs to perform at its max.
Over time, the pump will also create a greater number of capillaries, which will, in turn, provide the muscles with more nutrients and oxygen and allow for larger pumps and more growth in the long term.
So.... if you are working out shoulders and triceps on the same day- to be most effective- you should not go back and forth with shoulder and tricep exercises. The blood will be beep bopping all over the place, which results in an ineffective pump and overall ineffective muscle growth.
Adding in supplements (such as a preworkout with nitric oxide) will aid in the overall pump and added blood to the muscles.
Adequate weight + proper form + supplementation = great pump.