Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How do you get those veins in yours arms to pop?

Many people who i know always ask me how i got those veins in my arm to stand out. I never really knew what to say at first and so i couldn't really recommend any particular exercise for it. My usual advice was advising them to reduce their body fat %. As far as i know, if you can successfully reduce your body fat%, then you will almost immediately see your veins popping out. I didn't know that it was a particular workout routine that i had that was giving me the results i wanted. But recently, due to some mishaps, i discovered what it was which made the difference. And now, you will be able to do the same and enjoy the same results.

Some months ago, i injured my left arm (actually it was more like a year ago). Anyway to cut the long story short, i had this aching pain in my elbow when i did certain exercises... especially my favourite "modified one arm preacher curl". So i swapped it with concentration curls, and surprise surprise it didn't hurt. So yes, i could continue to work out. Why do i call it modified one arm preacher curl? Well i do it a bit differently than you would imagine. I extend my arm all the way down, then pull the dumbbell up about 1/4 of the way. Then I lower it down all the again and after that pull it up all the way. This counts as one rep. I usually aim to get about 7 to 8 reps this way. It usually burns like hell as i do it. how did i find out about this? Funnily enough, i was reading Men's Health in the US many many years ago (circa 2000)... and the author recommended doing this to help you break your plateau in preacher curls. Well i didn't really have a plateau or any kind, but it sounded interesting so i tried it. And i liked the way it felt, so i stuck with it.

Anyway i continued doing concentration curls for a good 6 months until i was 100% sure that whatever i had in my elbow was gone. It finally was gone. So i slowly reverted back to my modified one arm preacher curl. i just started it about 2 months back. Now before you start wondering where i am going with this useless banter... let me explain. During the 6 months when i was doing concentration curls, i noticed that my arms lost quite a bit in size as well as form. No matter how much i tried to lift, i just couldn't get it to grow or look pumped. Also, i noticed that the veins that were usually very prominent in my arms were now almost all gone. In fact, my arms started looking like i wasn't lifting. Most of my friends who saw me kept asking me what happen? Are you losing weight? your arms don't look so pumped anymore. Have you stopped going to the gym. It was frustrating to hear this when i WAS going to the gym 5 times a week as usual. The plain fact is, i was doing everything the same. The only thing i did was swap my one arm bicep curls with concentration curls. All else remained the same. Including the weights i was using.

But now that i am back to my modified one arm preacher curls again, voila... i am back in business. Arms look more pumped, and the veins... yup... they are popping out again as usual. I get strangers asking me for fitness advice again (yes, this all stopped for about 6 months when i was going through "hell")... and i get the usual "do you work out?" from strangers. My arms are bigger (a whole 1 inch more, i measured and saw) and my veins... well lets just say it pops out from the sleeves of my t-shirt again... i sure missed them.

Now i know all you fitness scientists out there are saying "This does not make scientific sense". And i agree. It doesn't. I can't seem to find a logical explanation. But you can't deny the results. As ridiculous as the modified one arm preacher curl sounds, it does work. Can anyone explain this? I really want to know. Unfortunately i don't have any before pics to share.

But back to our question on the post... how do you make the veins in your arms pop out. Well here are some tips that will help you.
1) Try reducing your body fat%. If you can get your body fat% to below 20% and you lift a lot, your veins will naturally start popping out
2) Do the modified preacher curls i mentioned in the post. It really works. Also, i feel it really helps to boost your arms from skinny twigs to mighty tree trunks.
3) I also find that training your biceps twice a week helps tremendously. I usually train once heavy, and then another maintenance work out (usually very light and i aim for more reps till it burns) about 3 days later. So one heavy and one light workout per week.

Those are just some of the tips that will help to make those veins in your arms pop out. You don't need to pump steroids to see those kind of results.

So what do you guys think? Anyone have an explanation for the query above? Also i do hope you try out the modified one arm preacher curl i mentioned above. Its one of my favourite exercises because it really delivers results. If you have been training your arms for awhile and now want to take it to the next level, try it and see. You will absolutely love it. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.


KevL said...

That's called vascularity.


From the link:

"Vascularity is enhanced by extremely low body fat (Usually below 5%), low retained water, high blood pressure and muscle engorgement. Genetics will affect vascularity as well as ambient temperature. Some bodybuilders use topical vasodilators to increase blood flow to the surface skin as well."

Topical vasolidators are mostly pre-workout supplements that almost always contain L-Arganine as a main ingredient, a NEAA that helps to increase blood flow. So yeah, you might get more eye popping veins from pre-workout supplements.

Rajan said...

KevL: Thanks for the link.

However i kinda disagree with the article when it says you need to go below 5%. 5% body fat is bodybuilding competition levels. I have a body fat% of 16% and my veins are pretty visible. So you don't have to go so low to make them visible.

Do you have any explanation as to why my modified one arm preacher curl works so well. Am still curious to know.

KevL said...

I don't do curls, so I wouldn't know. It could be the high reps (if you do so), the increased TUT, or simply just genetics.

Well, yeah, I agree with you on the bf% part. But some people are the skinny-fat kind, where the bf at their limbs are not proportionate to the bf at their torso.

As I've mentioned above, another thing about vascularity is genetics. I know this because ever since I was as young as 7, I already have some eye-popping veins which I still do today, you know, the thick and huge kind of visible veins that labor workers have. But just not as thick and obvious. I got this from my mom. Oh and my blood pressure's normal by the way.

mata coklatbiru said...

hey bro,

guess what, im about to do the arm exercise, so i take a minute to surf the net on what should i do to add some inches for my arms.
and yeah, after i read your blog and i got the clearer vision on what to do with the arms.
for the modified one arm preacher curl, i would like to try it out.
if its ok with me, it will be added that as one of my work out routine.
thanks for sharing about this.

p/s: if you still remember the difference about the wholemeal bread and the white bread, i got to agree with you about the wholemeal bread. i eat breads a lot, definitely im going to switch the white bread with wholemeal, not the butterscotch bread. haha..

have a good day

feelgoodagain said...

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Rajan said...

KevL: Agreed on the genetics part. i am stating to guess that its also the high reps, plus the fact that this modified method prolongs the time that your muscle is under tension, hence creating more impact.

Matacoklat biru: Yes, the butterscotch bread maybe in brown, but its not the same as other brown breads. Good luck on the arm thing bro. Let me know how it goes

Feelgoodagain: Thank you

Z Musa said...

Just found out this blogging. Pretty interesting. I am not very much a fitness enthusiast, but having lost more than 10kgs recently, I do appreciate the wealth of information, health related.

I read from a numb3er of sources that when we do the same regularly, the body stop responding the same way it did as it gets better. New improvised methods (that include change in speed, weights or technique) will 'shock' the muscles, and force it to respond better, resulting a more explosive muscle growth.

EvanDouglas said...

You have three kinds of veins in the legs, the superficial veins, which are closer to your skin, deep veins that are in groups of muscles and perforating veins.