The workout pump. Do you go heavy duty or moderate? Think about all the different training methods you have used during your time in the gym and then think about what has worked for you and what has not. Can you single out one exact approach that has consistently yielded tremendous results for you year after year or, do you have multiple answers to that thought and have found that variation has been the key to your success?
Determining your style of training and the principles you will follow is certainly an important aspect of building a great physique but doing so by allowing very little time to elapse on either side of the spectrum, may prove to be a fault of yours. And this is an opportunity to find a resolution to these potential faults.
There are many different ways to train but the two that seem to take precedence and have the most popularity is the heavy-duty approach and the moderate for best workout pumps possible approach. Both have their pros and cons so it may be beneficial for you to consider both prior to settling in on one method versus the other.
Heavy Duty Style Training
A simplistic way of viewing the heavy-duty style of training is to look at it as a progressive overload approach whereby your training volume is on the lower side while maximizing strength and recovery. You typically complete a few feeders sets for each exercise which is then followed by one or two top sets where you use the maximum amount of weight you can possibly use for a set rep range of perhaps 4-8.
The goal is to employ perfect execution with exact form, never allowing it to break, getting help with forced reps when form does break down while leaving no intensity stone unturned. This by all accounts, is about as hardcore as it can get in our training world, and it is not for everyone.
You will be sore; you will need longer rest times in between sets and also in between workout sessions for the same target muscle group. The goal is to get as much done and to stimulate as much growth as possible in as little time as possible so you can focus on recovery and subsequent growth.
Moderate for Workout Pumps
The other very popular way to train involves much more frequency, more volume and the focus with each training session is to maximize blood flow to the target muscle group with every training session completed. Skin bursting workout pumps are the goal and time under tension takes precedence over moving as much weight as possible.
These types of workouts typically involve strategies that incorporate drop sets, supersets, giant sets and anything else that helps drive as much blood into the muscle as possible. The weight being used is important as increased resistance is essential for stimulating hypertrophy, but it is not the be all end all here. Instead, the application of force and tension for an extended period of time becomes the priority.
Rest times during the workout are very limited as you will always seem to be moving and total annihilation of the target muscle is not necessary at all. You will find that you’re able to train certain muscle groups with more frequency using this approach and the idea is the more times you can train something, the more gains you’ll get.
Which Way and Why?
So, which way is going to be best for you and why will it play out that way? Well, the best guess is that a combination of the two styles will most likely provide you with the most return on effort for all that you do. Try incorporating both strategies along the way to get the best of both worlds. See what works and what does not. From there you can further tweak this and find that sweet spot that you are looking for.
You can set it up so that you cycle the different training styles over the course of your year or simply utilize both styles interchangeably within each workout. You could start off with a workout pump to prime the muscle for the heavy-duty style so as to limit your chances of injury or you can start off heavy when you’re fresh and feel like moving mountains and then top it off with a sweet workout pump.
It really can be applied any way you prefer so experiment until you find what’s right for now and then change it up when necessary. That is the beauty of trial and error and how we warriors fight for our goals.
It’s important to realize that what your body needs will change over time and your workout pump may too. What works for you now in your twenties, probably won’t work for you when you’re in your forties and so forth. As long as you are willing to accept that and work with the cues and signs your body gives you along the way, you’ll be just fine.
When you’re young and fearless of injury, go hard and heavy as much as you can. You’ll build an awesome base to work with moving forward. When you become a seasoned and cagey vet of the sport, you’ll have your days when you can grip it and rip it but most will be focused on maximizing the workout pump.
The good news is that it can all work and the less you concern yourself with what your style actually is, the better off you will be. And that’s when you’ll find whether you’re a heavy duty or moderate workout pump type of warrior.
So get in the gym, try out the above and see what works for you. Only you can set the goals and achieve them. Get to the gym, set your priorities right and find out if you are a heavy duty or moderate workout pump athlete.
Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member