Volume Training

Pump training has been described variously as volume training, depletion training, or even sissy training (since the weights used are typically not as heavy). Poliquin's German Volume Training (10 sets of 10) as well as German Body Composition training also fits this description, as do many other systems. Let's just call it pump training.

Pump training tends to describe a majority of "traditional" bodybuilding training routines which is a high number of sets per bodypart (anywhere from 5 up to 20 or even more) with high reps (10-15 per set or even more) and short rest periods (30-60 seconds or thereabouts). It was definitely the most popular method of training back in the 80's. Modern pro bodybuilders probably tend more towards tension/intensity training (discussed next) although they revert to pump training for contest dieting.

As many will gleefully point out, most successful professional bodybuilders train this way (or at least they claim to, if you believe what the muscle comic books tell you). What is frequently ignored is that most successful professional bodybuilders are on a wide array of drugs that hasten recovery and help to make this type of training productive for them. Most natural bodybuilders, with the occasional exception, don't get much growth out of this type of training without the same drug support as the pros. But that's not to say that it can't be productive or useful under certain situations.

Pump training stresses the sarcoplasmic/energetic elements of the muscle more so than

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the contractile elements because of the lighter loads and shorter rest periods used. It not only depletes muscle glycogen significantly (due to the large number of sets, high reps, and short rest periods) but also stresses the creatine phosphate stores. It may even deplete intramuscular triglycerides. This results in supercompensation (storage above normal levels) when carbs, calories, creatine (and dietary fat) are made available again. By the end of a pump-training session, in addition to the marginal tension stimulus, there is a major depletion of muscle glycogen and other energy stores.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned in a previous chapter, most people's bodies aren't very good at doing two things at once. Refilling muscle glycogen and growing new muscle tissue counts as two things, and most people can't do both effectively. Since refilling energy stores takes priority (and protein synthesis is energetically costly), most people will refill muscle glycogen first, which may not leave time, energy or fuel for much muscle growth. The people who grow well with pump training are the folks who can do both efficiently; the folks who can't don't. Most folks can't. Trainers who have either naturally high testosterone levels (testosterone improves glycogen storage, yet another advantage of steroid use), high insulin sensitivity (meaning they better push nutrients into muscle cells) or use various drugs grow best on pump training. This doesn't describe your average trainee.

Despite its shortcomings for natural athletes, pump training has a role in this UD2. Although we're not using it primarily for growth, we are going to use it to achieve several specific goals. First and foremost is glycogen depletion which is the first step in setting up for glycogen supercompensation. This occurs for a number of reasons including an increase in insulin sensitivity, glucose uptake, and glycogen synthesis. Under those conditions, when carbs are made available, they are stored at a faster than normal rate. This allows us to overfill the muscles with glycogen.

Glycogen depletion also increases fat utilization by the muscle, which increases how well your body can use fat for fuel. This is important both from the standpoint of fat loss and protein sparing because, the better your body can use fat for fuel, the less it will need to break down protein for energy.

Second, pump training generates a lot of lactic acid (this is what makes your muscles burn but it does not cause soreness, despite what you have read) because of the anaerobic breakdown of glycogen. High levels of lactate are correlated with increase growth hormone (GH) secretion. Whether this GH release is really that relevant or important is debatable, but GH is involved in fat mobilization and raising GH certainly can't hurt.

Third, studies have shown that the hormonal response (mainly the catecholamines) to pump training stimulate fat mobilization. As discussed two chapters back, mobilizing fatty acids is the first step to oxidizing them and getting them the hell off of your gut (or ass).

Fourth, pump training burns quite a few calories, both during the workout and afterwards. Most of the calories burned after the workout come from fat oxidation, an additional benefit.

Finally, constant high-tension training can take its toll on joints and connective tissue. As big as he was, Dorian Yates was also one of the most injured bodybuilders out there; always trying to push heavier loads was probably a contributor. Pump training provides those tissues with a respite from heavy pounding and the higher reps, blood flow, and high lactic acid levels have nothing but a beneficial effect on joint health.

Although it might seem at first glance that pump training would go best with a high-carbohydrate intake, we're going to use pump training during the initial low-carb/low-calorie phase of the diet. This will deplete glycogen, set up for glycogen supercompensation, and enhance fat burning during the diet phase of the UD2. I'll tell you right now that doing pump training on low-carbs is one of the most miserable activities you will ever do.

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