3 Tips on How to Get Veiny Arms
Appearing more vascular in stills and on the big screen in his last portrayal as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman has probably piqued many men’s interest in how to get veiny arms. While none can also sprout adamantium claws, getting the same ripped superhero arms is highly possible for most of us mortals.
But before learning how to make your veins pop out in your arms, let us look at some basic facts about them. With the exception of pulmonary and umbilical veins that carry oxygenated blood, all veins transport deoxygenated blood from the organs, muscles, and tissues back to the heart.
Arteries, on the other hand, do the opposite. They deliver oxygenated blood from the heart to various parts of our body. There lies the main difference between veins and arteries - the direction of blood flowing inside them.
Around 60% of the total volume of blood in your body resides within your veins. While there are actually several types of veins, we will only focus on the ones that matter most to our discussion: the superficial veins.
They are the ones that lie closest to the surface of your skin, thus having the tendency to pop out and give your arms, shoulders, core, and legs a ripped appearance.
In order to have arms that make you look like a lumberjack who topple great oaks with an axe on a regular basis, these conditions must be met:
- Have well-developed muscles, at least in your upper body.
- The layer of subcutaneous fat in your upper body (at least) is thin enough to make veins in your arms and shoulders highly discernible through your skin.
- Have a copious and healthy blood circulation in your extremities.
Although aging increases the likelihood of making veins pop up in your arms and other parts of your body due to decreasing collagen in your skin, we will be staying away from this subject.
Instead, we will concentrate on ways for getting veiny arms even before approaching middle age, and in the interest of making our upper limbs exude the image of vigor and toughness, as well as youthful exuberance.
Based on the said premise, here are some practical tips on how to get veiny arms:
#1. Do ample to intense resistance training
It is safe to assume that you are already in some fitness program that involves strengthening and enlarging your muscles and that aspiring for the veiny look is just the finishing touch you are looking for.
If you have a professional trainer, it is best to consult said person to customize a workout for you that will help you attain your goal. In case you are managing your own training, make it a point to include upper body blasters that draw a copious amount of blood to your forearms.
Among the basic exercises, some you can do outside the gym are push-ups and triceps dips. These movements put your arms in a position wherein the force of gravity can intensify the flow of blood to your forearms.
Actually, even a simple forearm flexing or any other kind of exercises that repeatedly contract and tense your arm muscles will increase vasodilation of veins in your upper limbs, thus engorging them with blood. More so if you use weights or other equipment that increase the forces of resistance against your arm movements.
One thing you should remember is that every muscle group in your arms get a good workout, your biceps, triceps, and even your forearms. So, your arms training schedule should include every basic movement deemed effective such as curls, rows, presses, etc.
Sample Training Sets for a Week:
Days 1 & 3
- Close-grip Barbell Bench Presses (5-6 reps, 2-3 sets)
- Triceps Push Down (15 reps, 2-3 sets)
- Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extension (6-8 reps, 2-3 sets)
- Standing Biceps Cable Curls (15 reps, 2-3 sets)
- Preacher Curls (15 reps, 2-3 sets)
- Alternate Incline Dumbbell Press (6-8 reps per arm, 2-3 sets)
- Wrist Curl Over a Bench, Palms Down (25 reps, 4-5 sets)
Days 2 & 4
- EZ Bar Biceps Curls (15 reps, 2-3 sets)
- Cable Hammer Curls (15 reps, 3 sets)
- Concentration Curls (15 reps, 3 sets per arm)
- Decline Dumbbells Triceps Extension (15 reps, 3 sets)
- Dips Machine (15 reps, 3 sets)
- Low Cable Triceps Extension (15 reps, 3 sets)
- Cable Wrist Curls (25 reps, 4-5 sets)
#2. Attain and maintain a low percentage of body fat
Your veins will not pop out if they are covered in thick insulation. Even though your arms would only account for a small part of the total subcutaneous fat that covers your body, you should work your way to bringing down your total body fat percentage to 10% or less, and keep it there.
The good news is that at this level, your abs will also be terrific looking. After all, isn’t the underlying reason for your desire to have veiny arms is to complete the appearance of a well-chiseled physique?
A nutritious and well-balanced diet is absolutely essential in managing one’s weight and body mass index (BMI). Besides counting and tracking your daily calorie intake, make it a point also to be mindful of the specific sources of such calories and their corresponding nutritive value.
It is not just about the number but how much can be converted to clean energy and lean muscle instead of stored fat. Let’s take for example a simple slice of bread. While the calorie count between a multigrain or whole wheat bread is really close to a white bread, the former contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals that your body can really utilize. I hope you get the idea.
Eat more protein-rich foods such as lean meat, eggs, and legumes, as well as fiber and antioxidant-rich sustenance such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to limit your sugar, salt and carbohydrate intake, which is more likely to end up engorging and multiplying your adipocytes or fat cells.
Incorporate Cardio Into Your Training Program
One of the best ways for shedding excess weight and promoting vascular health is a good cardio workout. It likewise strengthens your heart and lungs and improves your blood circulation.
You may opt for the traditional method wherein you will do 30-45 minutes of cardio exercises at constant speed at least 3 times a week. Your choices for this one are running, treadmill, elliptical trainer, spinning, swimming, aerobic dancing, and such.
A better method for doing cardio is HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training. It has been proven time and time again to produce better results for a shorter amount of time. It is basically the same as fartlek training or Speedplay that was developed by a Swedish coach in 1937 for cross-country athletes.
You can actually apply the principle to the same traditional cardio workouts like running, swimming, biking, spinning, etc. Except, instead of going through it at a constant speed, you will alternate segments of short all-out sprints with longer slow-paced efforts.
Here are some examples of HIIT method cardio:
- Running - After doing the necessary warm-up or stretching exercises, do alternating 10-sec sprints and 20-sec jogging pace run. Do at least 10 - 12 complete sets of said exercise.
- Swimming - After a 3-5 minutes slow pace warm-up swim, do an alternating 25-m sprint and 50-m moderate pace swim for at least 4 complete sets. Do more as your stamina and strength increases.
I hope you got the idea from the examples given above. You can apply the same principle in spinning, treadmill, and other cardio exercises. As your subcutaneous fat layer decreases, the more prominent your arm veins would become.
#3. Raise your core body temperature
Have you ever noticed that your superficial veins show more during the summer than in cooler months? It is because one of your body’s protective mechanism involves your blood. During cold days, your bloodstream is more internally drawn to keep your organs warm.
When it is hot, on the other hand, your blood tends to flow a bit farther from your innards and in a more external direction, thus making the veins near your skin more engorged.
In case you didn’t know, most participants in bodybuilding competitions direct a hair dryer set on high heat to their bodies before taking the stage. This is one of the most known tricks for making veins pop out in their arms, legs, and torso while flexing their muscles and doing their poses.
Some things you can do to elevate body temperature to make your arm veins show are push ups, eating spices such as turmeric, onion, cayenne, black pepper etc., and getting exposed to safe heat sources such as the sun or warm air.
Knowing the basics on how to get veiny arms actually opens great possibilities for many to get into a better shape. Since developing lean muscle mass and reducing body fat percentage are the most basic prerequisite for attaining superhero arms, it follows that you will be more active and strong en route to your ultimate goal.
Thanks for reading!