Part of the aesthetic of a bodybuilder is those pumped up veins that go through your entire arms and body. However, getting to that vascular state is easier said than done in most cases. A lot of people say that in order to have veins showing the only thing you can do is to starve yourself. We’d like to preface this by saying if you need to starve yourself to reach any goal, then you’re doing bodybuilding the wrong way.
First of all, you need to take a look at how you exercise, because the first way to be more vascular has to do with the adaptation process itself. Adaptation is when you force your muscles to get more oxygen in order to clear more metabolites out, such as lactic acid, which we know is anabolic.
1. Do Powerbomb Sets
Powerbomb sets are one of the most effective, yet brutal training techniques that you can do in order to increase your vascularity. To start the adaptation process in your muscle in order to increase vascularity, you need to strain it with an endurance-type technique.
The number one way to do that is through powerbomb sets: start off by selecting a weight you can do 10 reps easily with. Say you’re doing lat pulldowns; start at the bottom of the stack, which is incredibly easy. After you’ve finished your 10 reps, immediately go up one plate and do another 10 reps, then repeat the process until you’re as high as you can go in the stack and can no longer get 10 reps.
It’s not over yet–powerbomb sets wouldn’t have such an infamous reputation if it was that simple. After you’re no longer able to get 10 steps in a plate, it’s time to go all the way down to that easy weight you started with. Do 10 reps again and repeat the process by ascending all the way back up until you can’t do 10 reps. Keep repeating this until you can’t do 10 reps on the first stack or you just burnout with the very first stack.
This will force blood into your muscle and give you very little recovery, which drives up capillarization, increasing your capillaries and making you more vascular. Keep in mind that this is one of the most brutal training methods you can do.
2. Extend Your Sets After Failure
The second tip we’ll give you to increase your vascularity is to extend the duration of your sets by doing partial reps training after failure.
When we say failure, we mean that you are unable to do another full repetition with proper form. Say you’re doing bicep curls and you go to failure at 10 reps–your muscles can still work, right? They might be unable to do full steps, but they’re definitely able to do more repetitions.
If you can’t do full repetitions, you can do half repetitions, extending your set further and helping you become more vascular. What if you’re unable to do half-reps? Then you can do quarter repetitions until you’ve truly gone to failure.
Doing this might mean you do 10 normal reps, then 10 partial reps, meaning you’ve extended your set by at least 50% more. You might even increase your set by doubling the reps, which will force you to get more vascular.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you can increase your vascularity by doing half or quarter reps from the get-go. This technique doesn’t work unless you do full repetition until you’ve gone to failure.
3. Dial in Your Diet
Just like when you’re training your abs, you can do as much conditioning as you want and train every day of the year until you can’t even get up, but you’re still not going to show veins unless you’re lean with low body fat.
That’s why the third tip we’re going to give you is to reduce your body fat by dialing in your diet. This doesn’t mean you should starve yourself–on the contrary. Read our article “What Should My Macronutrients Be to Get Shredded?” to find out just what you need to get vascular.
Essentially, you need to consume a higher percentage of proteins in your diet than carbs in order to burn more fat and maintain your muscles. You also need to lower your carbs in a cyclic fashion.
We hope you enjoyed learning all about the top three ways to become more vascular!