Most people train because they want to lose weight or build muscle, but what do you aim for when you’ve hit your initial goals?
For many long term lifters the goal becomes perfecting their physique, getting ripped, and becoming incredibly vascular.
What does this mean? Basically it means getting to the point where your veins start showing through your skin.
You might be thinking of some people who have never lifted a weight in their life, but have very thin skin (or large veins) naturally.
There is definitely a genetic component to this, but anyone can achieve vascularity if they want it hard enough.
In this article we are going to discuss some tips for increasing your level of vascularity.
Tip #1. Train for high reps
One of the best ways to increase your vascularity is to increase the amount of blood flowing to your muscles.
A good way to do this is to train in a very high rep range, this will force more blood to your muscles and therefore increase the size of your veins.
Performing drop sets, and training to failure are other ways to achieve this.
Tip #2. Use Blood Flow Restriction
Blood Flow restriction has become very popular recently with lifters who are training for hypertrophy.
Studies have shown it to be very effective.
It is also, obviously a great way to increase vascularity as it massively increases blood pressure through the veins.
You need to use specially designed cuffs to perform blood flow restriction, and you really don’t want to overdo this.
Tip #3. Train for Hypertrophy
This tip goes hand in hand with the other two, train in high rep ranges, aim to build bigger muscles, and create more muscle damage.
The bigger the muscles you have the more blood needs to be delivered to them both while training and at rest.
Tip #4. Increase Nitrous Oxide
One of the reasons we train high reps is to increase nitric oxide, this chemical is designed to increase the size of blood vessels.
It is for this reason that a lot of pre workouts and intra workouts contain large doses of ingredients that increase nitric oxide production.
Taking these pre workouts and then combining them with high rep sets, will lead to a more vascular body.
Tip #5. Concentrate on your diet
All of the tips above will mean absolutely nothing if your diet is not functioning properly.
You need to be lean, very lean.
If you are a high body fat percentage then all of the high rep sets and blood flow restriction in the world won’t lead to vascularity.
To get to this level you need to slowly create a calorie deficit so that you can lose weight in a controlled and sustainable rate.
If you are currently very overweight or obese then this process might take months or even years to yield the results that you want.
Of course dropping lots of body fat as many more benefits than just being vascular so this should not be a problem for you at all.
Tip #6. Be realistic in your goals
Unless you are a naturally veiny person, then dieting down to a very low body fat percentage is not sustainable.
This means that you probably won’t be able to stay vascular 365 days a year.
Remember that even professional bodybuilders do not stay in competition shape all year round. They peak in time for competitions, and this is how you should live too.
If you have a competition, or even a holiday aim to be at your lightest (and therefore most vascular) for that.
After the event you can begin to reverse diet, slowly building muscle and losing vascularity until you are back to a decent weight.
This is where you can be increasing strength and hypertrophy. Once you have reached your target you can begin to drop down again, with the idea being that you will be even more muscular, and even more vascular for the next event.
If your idea of being vascular is having some veins popping on your biceps and shoulders after a tough workout, then you should be very happy with your results after following these six tips.
If you have ideas of walking around with <5% body fat at all times with veins visible EVERYWHERE on your body, then you need to become more realistic in your aims.
Being that low body fat is not actually healthy. Testosterone production drops, your immune system suffers, and sleep quality will be affected. You will have less energy and be more prone to injury.
Looking that good for a photo shoot is fun, but living like that 24/7 is pretty dangerous.
Remember to increase your rest and recovery throughout training, as you will need it more than ever when your body fat has dropped so much. Good luck!