It's probably happened to you before: you hit the gym on your high-rep, low weight day. You pump and lift and pump some more. Then you turn and catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. You can't believe how big your muscles are bulging. It's one of the most beautiful things you've ever seen. Then you go home and, a few hours later, you look as puny as you did when you walked into the gym for your morning (or afternoon, or evening) workout. Our condolences, friend, because you've just fallen victim to Muscle Deflation Syndrome.
Muscle Deflation Syndrome is actually a very common problem. But it doesn't have to be a problem for you. If you understand the fundamentals of Muscle Deflation Syndrome, then keeping that post-workout pump will be easier than you think. Below, we'll explain specifically how MDS works, what you can do in order to stave it off, and how to stay swol all day long.
We've touched on the subject before, but now is the time to go into more detail. MDS has everything to do with your Glucose Economy. Your Glucose Economy is the energy currency of your entire metabolic system. Your body prefers to burn glucose for energy, and it takes a lot of hard work to change this default setting in your metabolism. So when you work out hard and also cut carbs (which is an all-too-common practice for most bodybuilders) you deplete your glucose levels. Once this happens, you can kiss that pump goodbye.
Working out too hard and cutting carbs can put your body in a serious glucose deficit. Most bodies will combat this any way they can. Sometimes it can actually make your body turn catabolic and start eating away at its own muscle to get more glucose. But before it does this, it sucks that energy right out of your pump first.
When you have a good pump going, your muscles become engorged with blood, water, and glycogen. But if your diet doesn't provide enough glucose to keep your metabolism happy, then your body will take that glycogen right out of your muscles and convert it back into glucose for much-needed energy. And it takes a lot of water for all of this molecular transportation to happen, which deflates your pump even more.
So, to recap: pumping iron pumps blood, water, and glycogen into your muscles. But if your glucose levels drop too low, your body is going to make a huge withdrawal from the First Pump National Bank. This depletes your muscles of the stuff that makes your pump look sexy and large. For some athletes, this process can happen in a matter of days or a matter of hours after a good workout. It all depends on how you treat your body between workouts.
Rest and proper hydration are an important part of maintaining a good pump. But maintaining a healthy level of glucose in your body is the key to keeping your muscles large and in charge. This, unfortunately for many, means eating more carbs. But if you eat too many carbs, you get fat, right? Well, not necessarily. You just have to keep a very close eye on your carbohydrate intake. With the proper ratio of carbs to protein, and just the right amount of fat, you can give your body all the glucose it needs to keep that epic pump.
You also have to make sure you're eating the right carbs. Most of the time, these include foods like sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, and other nutritional whole grains. It'll be much easier to maintain a good pump with whole foods than it will with cheeseburger buns and wonder bread.
If you really want to give your pump a boost, then you'll need to incorporate Growth Factor into your workout stack. No matter how hard you lift, no matter what you eat, your body can't produce more nitric oxide (NO) without taking a good supplement. And NO is very important for your pump. It's a vasodilator that helps rush blood and nutrients deep into every fiber of your muscles. Not only does this help them heal and grow bigger faster, but it's the main reason you see a sick pump when you work out. In reality, it's just common sense: get Growth Factor if you want to get pumped.