Vascularity is a critical factor in bodybuilding especially for those who compete.
The judges eyes will always wander to the person onstage with the higher degree of visible vascularity.
So whether you like it or not, it is a factor to strive for when you enter the bodybuilding arena.
About the role genetics play:
It is perfectly possible for a person who rarely see veins, to then have worm-like veins bulging a regular basis, if they are diligent with their diet/supplementation and training. By genetics playing a role, this refers to how naturally thick/thin your skin is and that can be hugely manipulated.
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There are 8 ways to increase the vascular look:
- Low body fat increases the vascular look dramatically. The lower the body fat the more pronounced the veins will be, it is as simple as that. Anything below 7% and you enter crazy territory. The 3 and 4%’s have roadmaps of veins crossing their body.
- Vascularity will increase as you age. You will see that the older bodybuilders have far superior vascularity, simply because the skin becomes thinner as we age.
- Creatine acts as a vasodilator and increase blood flow to the muscles. Consuming it in foods rather than supplementing is always best. But keep in mind that creating will only be available in a cooked steak while it is hot. The moment it is cold almost no creatine is available. The water retention that creatine is causing is inside the muscle cells and not under the skin. This actually makes the muscles look fuller and increase the vascularity.
- Adding electrolytes to the water you drink can help increase the vascularity.
- Water Retention is a big culprit in hiding your veins. The solution to this can be obtained 2 ways. Drastically increases your water intake (min 4L per day). This will “flush-out” the water retention and your body will start acting like a fountain releasing all water it takes in without holding water back under the skin. Alternatively you can use diuretics. However this can harm your kidneys and is not considered the best approach. Also note the following: Drink enough water throughout the day. Dehydration decreases your vascularity by filling the skin with water. Aim for at least 1/2-oz. of water per pound of bodyweight each day.
- Increase your body temperature. When the temperature of the body is raised the veins will be more pronounced as blood is pushed to the surface of the skin. This can be done by adding (heat raising) foods like capsicum to your diet. Cayenne Pepper also a great choice. Some bodybuilders even use a hair dryer to heat the skin before going onto stage – it can bring out the veins bigtime.
- Tip Two: Boost Your Nitric Oxide Levels. Spinach has a high amount of nitrates in it in fact spinach is able to increase nitric oxide levels by a whopping two hundred percent. Overall if you want to be more vascular you must boost your oxide levels in with two options only. These two options are taking steroids or eating food rich in nitrates that will give you the amazing blood flow that will give your veins that popping out appearance.
- Lee Labrada is a big supporter of increasing vascularity via cardio. His view:
“First of all, cardio increases blood flow and blood velocity throughout the body. As you heart hits a rapid rate and blood pressure increases, it helps to increase capillarization, or the dilation and proliferation of capillaries. Cardio promotes the dilation of arteries, veins and capillaries throughout the body, while improving the health of the heart and lungs.
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The second manner in which cardio improves vascularity is by reducing water retention. Unwanted fluid can be held in interstitial and subcutaneous spaces throughout the body and can mar the look of the physique. Nothing is worse than “holding water,” i.e., having a thin film of subcutaneous water pooled right underneath your skin. Cardio moves your blood and body fluids around including unwanted water so your kidneys can excrete it, and your sweat glands can sweat it out. That gives you the appearance of thinner, tighter skin.
Finally, the third way in which cardio improves vascularity is by burning fat including subcutaneous fat that can hide muscularity and vascularity.
Remember however that cardio will not help you unless you have the right training and diet plan.”
This is my tips for getting the vascular look.
Keep growing! Cheers