Are you really hitting the gym if you don’t have veins surging down your arms? Well yeah. Although they do look cool right? Although vascularity isn’t a definite sign of fitness, it is a sign than you’re putting in the work when it comes to working out. The truth is that it comes easier to some people than others, however if you’re someone who struggles to get those veins poppin, then here’s what you need to do:
First things first, I’m not talking about going to extreme lengths to achieve an insane amount of veins showing on your body. However what I am talking about is a mere few veins here and there to project that lean and fit image. Still interested? Read on.
1. Get Lean
The chances are you’ve seen a lot of guys rocking vascular arms with a couple of veins here and there. The chances are equally high that you have NEVER seen a guy with a high body fat percentage showing vascularity. (Or at least it’s very rare, and mostly falls down to genetics)
Why? It’s simple. Just like if you want your abs to show we need to reduce that layer of fat in order for our veins to be more visible. This can be done through increased cardio, a change in workout routine, and/or diet. if you’re looking to get lean for whatever reason I recommend you check out my top 6 exercises that burn MORE calories than running alone.
2. Increase Your Muscle Mass
If you actually think about it, it’s pretty simple. The bigger our muscles the more blood they require, for both oxygen and nutrients. And that means more blood passing through the veins at one time. In conclusion, bigger muscles equal bigger veins!
If you’re looking to increase your muscle mass to achieve greater vascularity, there are a number of ways you can go about it. Firstly you’ll want a solid diet, followed by some determination and some solid workouts.
3. Get your cardio in
Linking back to my first point, in order to allow those veins to surface we need to reduce our body fat. (Roughly around 10-15%) A lot of this falls down to diet, although you’ll struggle to achieve anything with the absence of cardio. Whether that’s though sports, walking, running, or whatever. I recommend that you aim for at least 3-4 hours of intense cardio sessions a week. (That’s a mere 30 mins a day, not including Sunday)
However, with that being said it really does depend. If you feel that you’re getting too lean for comfort, then feel free to knock back the cardio and/or increase your calorie intake. It’s completely up to you.
4. Target the pump where you want to see the veins
‘The pump’ is widely used across the fitness world to describe the increased blood flow, and swelling of the cells in a certain area. This happens because that muscle group is expanding due to an increased blood flow, in an attempt to keep up with the increasing demand of our body. This is known to increase muscle growth.
Put simply: By constantly chasing the pump (Through a variety of heavy lifting and high intensity movements) our muscles grow bigger, and stronger. In order to supply our bigger muscles, our veins increase in size and are constantly filled with blood., therefore increasing our vascularity!
Additional factors affecting your vascularity:
- The heat: Warmer weather has a tendency to increase our blood flow, and therefore temporarily increases our vascularity.
- Hydration levels: It’s a well-known trick that bodybuilders will reduce their hydration levels in the coming days before they compete. They do this to increase the thickness of their blood. This ultimately increases their vascularity. (This is NOT a long-term solution)
In conclusion veins are cool; and just like anything they’re achievable. The truth is that it all comes down to lowering your body fat percentage. In my opinion, the golden number is around 10-15% body fat. Every percent that your achieve below that, the more vascular you will become. Simple right? The idea is to reduce your body fat, whilst at the same time maintaining your muscle mass, which can obviously be done through compound lifts, heavy lifting, and high intensity exercise.
Finally if you’re a thin guy already, then the chances are you’re hardly struggling with vascularity. And the more you increase your muscle mass, the more vascular you will become.