Whether you are training to participate in the next bodybuilding championships or just want to get in shape for a perfect holiday at the beach, vascularity holds key importance for physique development.
We get it, ripped biceps with veins popping out looks pretty impressive. Vascularity has great importance in bodybuilding because what all those veiny guys have in common is that they are in tremendous shape.
Table of Contents
- 1. Why Do Your Veins Pop?
- 2. Getting Lean and Building Muscle
- 3. Training Tips to Increase Vascularity
- 3.1. Using High Rep Ranges
- 3.2. Blood Flow Restriction Training
- 3.3. Minimizing Your Cardio
- 3.4. Eat a Nitrate Enriched Diet
- 3.5. Decrease Water Retention
- 3.6. Raise Body Temperature
- 4. Bonus Tip: Achieve a Pump Right Before Photos or Trips
Vascularity is a clear sign that you are super strong or at least possess remarkably low body fat, as these are some variables that determine the visibility of your veins.
If you are facing a problem making your veins visible just like your gym fellows then we bring you the most effective ways to increase your vascularity in less time.
Why Do Your Veins Pop?
Before you practice techniques to make your veins pop, you should know why your veins pop in the first place.
The function of arteries in your body is to take blood away from your heart and deliver it to tissues throughout your body.
On the other hand, your veins function to the blood back toward your heart. Your veins have thin walls due to which they dilate easily while carrying blood back to the heart.
While you are exercising, your heart rate increases as a result of blood flow in veins which causes them to pop up.
But your muscle pump also plays a role in increasing the visibility of your veins. Your muscles swell while working out and push the veins closer to the surface of your skin.
That’s the reason you notice your veins popping out during weight lifting because your muscles are pumped, veins are closer to the surface which makes them more prominent.
Relationship Between Vascularity and Fitness
How veiny you are is an important perimeter to determine your overall body fitness. The leaner you are, the less fat you have covering your muscles. That’s the reason to make your veins more prominent.
But increased vascularity is sometimes also a result of excess stress and hypertension. So, we cannot take vascularity as the only marker for fitness.
Role of Genetics in Vascularity
Some people naturally have translucent skin, it makes their veins more visible than others. Translucent skin means that their skin is see-through.
You can see different colors of veins i.e blue or purple through this type of skin. In some people, it also occurs as a disease.
Getting Lean and Building Muscle
Your veins start to show when your body is at around 10 percent body fat. But, to maximize vein expulsion, your body fat should be below 8 percent.
At such a lower body fat percentage, there is practically nothing between your muscles and skin that helps in putting those veins on display.
Diet holds prime importance in decreasing your body fat levels. If you are struggling to lose body fat then subtract around 300-500 calories from your maintenance calories and stick to this diet for a minimum of 10 weeks.
Keep in mind that when you follow a calorie deficit diet, you might lose some muscle mass so keep the pace steady. Don’t try to dramatically decrease your calorie intake.
This brings us to the next important step that is building muscle. Losing fat is not enough, if you want to put your veins on display then you should develop muscle mass.
The bigger your muscles are, the more they will demand blood. Through strength training, your body adapts to expand its blood-vessel network to fulfill the demand for blood supply, this results in increased vascularity.
So, the first thing you would want to do for increasing your vascularity is to lose fat and build muscle.
Training Tips to Increase Vascularity
As we learned some lifestyle changes to increased vascularity, the next thing is to make some changes in your training methods.
1. Using High Rep Ranges
When you stick to higher reps ranges during training, you cause an increased amount of energy to be used by the working muscle. Due to this accumulation of metabolites occur which results in metabolic stress.
An increase in metabolic stress is directly related to increasing Nitric Oxide (NO). This chemical causes blood vessels to dilate.
The increasing workload helps achieve vascularity. If you aim to put those veins on display then you should be performing multiple sets with a higher repetition range.
Read More: The Best Dumbbell Exercises for Hamstrings
2. Blood Flow Restriction Training
As discussed before, increasing metabolic stress is a necessary element for increasing your vascularity. Blood Flow Restricted Training (BFRT) is one of the best ways to promote metabolite buildup.
Through BFRT, you restrict the blood flow in your veins while still allowing the blood to flow through your arteries to keep the muscle working.
You strategically allow all of that blood to enter the working muscle without allowing it to leave. This results in the greatest pump of your life.
This crazy pump allows your veins to pop up like filling a water balloon to its maximum capacity.
BFRT has benefits for increased muscle growth as well. It’s because your muscles are deprived of oxygen due to which the slow-twitch fibers are fatigued faster and your fast-twitch fibers are engaged which has more potential for growth.
How to Wrap For BFRT
You can use different types of bands to wrap your limbs for BFRT. All types of wraps can work to restrict the blood flow, some common types of wraps are as follow:
- Ace bandages
- Knee and elbow wraps
- Voodoo floss bands
For the upper body, you need to wrap it just below your shoulder.
And, for the lower body wrap below your gluteal fold from the back, it will rest just below the hip flexor from the front.
Make sure that you are not only sticking with the BFR method for training. Alternate between traditional resistance training and BFR, it will prevent training plateaus and allow greater blood vessel development.
3. Minimizing Your Cardio
As we know that NO is directly related to promoting vascularity. So, cardio is inferior for promoting vascularity when compared to strength training.
However, cardio is beneficial for getting rid of those fat cells that sabotage the development of your veins.
So, the question of whether you should do cardio or not depends on the level of your fitness. If you have a lower body fat percentage then you should stick to weight training for physique development.
4. Eat a Nitrate Enriched Diet
Eating a nitrate-rich diet helps increase NO circulation in the blood that causes veins to pop out.
Taking the right food can have a significant benefit for improving your vascularity. The nitrates are not only helpful for making you veiny, but they also boost your gym performance which makes them an ideal pre-workout.
Some highly nitrate enriched foods are as follow:
- Leafy greens
5. Decrease Water Retention
Once you can lower your body fat levels and increase muscle mass, the next step is to decrease the water weight in your body to make your skin thinner and blood vessels more visible.
Some tips to decrease water retention are as follow:
- Eat less salt.
- Take electrolytes.
- Drink more water as your body tries to retain water when you are in a dehydrated state.
- Eat potassium-rich foods.
- Avoid eating refined carbs.
- Exercise regularly.
6. Raise Body Temperature
By increasing your body temperature, you cause the dilation of your blood vessels.
Heat increases blood flow throughout your body due to which the vessels expand to ease the blood flow. This process is known as vasodilation.
Increasing body heat offers an effective method of decreasing water. This method is not effective in the long term, it’s used right before you want to show your new figure for instance before a bodybuilding competition.
Bonus Tip: Achieve a Pump Right Before Photos or Trips
If you want to display your veiny body in pictures or at the beach then performing short and intense resistance exercises can help you with that.
It will help you to achieve a pump that will improve your vascularity and physique for up to 2-3 hours afterward.
You can also achieve this pump through minimal equipment such as dumbbells or even through simple bodyweight exercises.
To maximize the pump, practice posing at the end of your workout. It restricts blood flow to the flexed areas and increases the flow of Nitric Oxide.
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