Sleeve splitting pumps and why you aren't getting them.
Everyone from the high school weight room to professional bodybuilders understands the concept of the "pump". Your muscles fill with blood, veins start to pop, and no matter what your size, you feel huge and spend a little extra time in front of a mirror. Many people chase that feeling in every single workout just for the confidence boost and rush of endorphins alone, but what if it has been a while since you have gotten a good pump?
What if, despite all the different training styles you try, or how well you warm up, you still aren't seeing vascularity or a pump? This problem is becoming more and more frequent and the answer is much simpler than you would expect. It's in the pre-workout.
It is common practice to take pre-workout before every workout and as the body becomes adapted to it, to add more and more. As someone who used to work in a supplement shop, "what's your best/most intense pre-workout right now?" was a daily question I heard. Naturally, this led to companies competing for the most intense pre-workout by combining more and more ingredients with minimal testing. While this doesn't often lead to any serious medical issues at the dosage of one or two scoops, it can definitely lead to performance issues if the wrong products are combined.
According to Bob, owner of Cutting Edge Nutrition in Indianapolis, one of the current issue with the combinations is stimulants with vasodilators.
"The problem doesn't lie in the vasodilators which a lot of them have in them; you have citrulline, arginine, beta-alanine, nitrosigine which is a form of arginine. The problem lies with the [vaso]constrictor. The more stimulants you add, the more vasoconstriction you have and they will counteract the benefits of a dilator. Not just caffeine either, DMHA and DMAA as well. And they will keep you from getting any kind of pump, there's no way you'll get a pump."
So chasing higher and higher stimulants will decrease your results more and more. So ideally, what exactly SHOULD we be doing as far as pre-workouts are concerned?
"The key is to make sure that you have very low stimulant and a lot of vasodilators."
Looking for pump focused, low stimulant products will yield you fantastic results, just be sure to taper off the caffeine. Not sure what products will work best for you? Go talk to Bob at Cutting Edge Nutrition, he would be more than happy to talk you through it.
Have questions about training? Reach out to us, we would love to help!