After months of training hard in the gym, that moment has finally arrived. No, not eclipsing your former max on the bench press, but rather a subtle message being given off by your reflection in the mirror.
That vein in your forearm has finally ‘shed its skin.’
Let’s face it, banging out set after set in the gym and either seeing shitty or no results can get to you. But once everything begins falling into place, that gives you newfound energy and makes it an obsession rather than a chore.
Vascularity is something that comes easy to some (if they have the right genetics, those cocksuckers) or – if you’re in the majority – understanding that it takes this trifecta to accomplish it:
1. LOWER YOUR BODY FAT PERCENTAGE
There are times in the gym when you are feeling an insane pump but still not seeing any garden hose-thick veins. First and foremost, you need to get that body fat percentage down to an even respectable number before vein shyness begins to fade.
To make your superficial veins (the ones close to the skin) visible, the amount of fat that is covering them needs to be shed. (Yes, they are there…even when there is no visible proof.)
Once you’re down to around 10 percent body fat, you should be able to maintain some vascularity, even after the pump goes away. If you can walk around in the five percent neighborhood, you’ll be a vein machine.
2. WATER RETENTION AND WHY
Competitive bodybuilders need to learn their body’s timing and that can only happen through trial and error. When you read that a certain guy looked “too smooth” on stage, that means he retained too much water.
The same thing happens to all of us and that’s when the veins that you saw yesterday are now playing hide and seek. And one of the main culprits of this is sodium, which increases water weight. Carbohydrates are another source of water retention in the body.
Potassium acts as a counter agent to sodium and helps pump out some of that retained water. And believe it or not, cutting back on drinking water is not a factor. As a matter of fact, you should be sure to drink at least a gallon per day and that will flush out some of that retained water.
3. BLOOD VESSELS
The thicker your blood vessels are, the better chance that they will be visible. But you can’t train them, right? Wrong! And they are like a secondary ‘muscle,’ if you will, when you are working out.
Exercise causes the heart to beat faster and that in turn will increase your arterial blood pressure and expanding the vessels, albeit temporarily. But when this is happening on a consistent basis, your blood vessels will begin to widen more and more and begin to stay as such.
Turn up the intensity and this actually results in new blood vessels growing. And if you have already experienced this, you’re nodding your head and totally getting it because you are seeing thinner veins that you never noticed sprouting off the others.