Keep the pump in mind

A hard workout gets your circulation going. It gets your blood pumping and increases oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your muscles, especially after a hard and heavy set of squats, bench press or deadlifts. Blood flow to your muscles is critical for growth, and the pump is a surefire sign that your work is paying off. But what about your brain? It turns out bodybuilding isn’t just about blood flow for your muscles – it’s also about blood for your brain.

It used to be thought that your brain received a steady and constant volume of blood delivery whether you were working out or not. Not so. A new study shows that your brain gets more blood during exercise, and study participants reported a weakening of the mind-muscle connection near the end of their workouts – the point at which blood delivery to the brain began to decline, as measured by scientists.


Bodybuilding is all about the pump – for both your muscles and your mind. To get your brain in the game, work for the pump. Your muscles will work better and you’ll be stronger, and you’ll also get your mind into every last repetition.


Querido JS, et al. Regulation of cerebral blood flow during exercise. Sports Med. 2007:37(9):765-782.

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