Increase Your Vascularity
There are five ways to increase your vascularity, two of them relatively straightforward and safe, one is not feasible, and two are very dangerous.
- Lower your bodyfat, down to 5% if you ate male or 15% if you are female.
- Lower fluid retention by cutting back on sodium
- Get older
- Valsalva maneuver or holding your breath
The purpose of 1 and 2 is the same, to reduce the soft, squishy stuff between your skin and your muscles. Salt makes you retain water and it makes you puffy which hides your vascularity. Most people consume FAR too much salt because salt is everywhere. Unless you cook everything yourself, chances are you are eating way too much salt. Virtually all prepared foods contain lots of salt – restaurants, fast food, and snack foods use salt to make them taste better. Fat deposits under the skin obscure the vascularity even more. Reduce the water retention and get rid of that layer of fat and you get vascular! As you might guess, this is exactly the same thing that you need to do to increase your muscular definition. Many people erroneously suggest “toning exercises” or high reps for vascularity and definition, it won’t help. The time you waste doing “toning exercises” would be much better spent jogging to lose that bodyfat!
Now number 3 you may find a bit odd, ” get older”. In my experience I have found that older people are more vascular at a given bodyfat percentage than young people. If an 17 year old is at 6% bodyfat, most often they are not that vascular. On the other hand, a 50 year old at 6% can be scary- vascular. Not sure why this is true but it is in my experience. One of the benefits of aging I guess.
Number 4 is something that is quite dangerous but it does cause insta-vascularity. When you close your nose and mouth and push hard, it increases your blood pressure – up to 300%. Its like plugging the end of a hose and turning the water on, the hose swells up bigger. People often hold their breath and push hard when posing to make their veins “pop”. Trouble is, increasing the pressure in any piping makes it more likely to spring a leak – in a hose or in your veins. If a vein ruptures at the wrong place in an eye, you can go blind. Bodybuilders who hold their breath while doing big exercises like squats, deadlifts, or bench press often get red eye – the whites of their eyes turn blood red. This is caused by small blood vessles rupturing in their eye and should be a warning to them that they need to change their ways. If a vein ruptures in the brain, its far serious and can cause death. The higher the pressure, the more likely a blood vessel will burst. Please don’t hold your breath! (Read about the Valsalva Maneuver)
Number 5 is also dangerous and there is a reason that diuretics and illegal, its because that when not used properly they can kill you. When pro bodybuilders collapse on stage and have to be rushed to the hospital, its usually diuretics that are the cause. When you artificially force your body to shed more water than it wants, it can do deadly things to your body chemistry. If you want to give a safe, mild diuretic a try for a photo shoot then do a double- espresso!