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How to Improve Vascularity in Bodybuilding

Training for a bodybuilding competition requires a systematic training program that includes daily strength training workouts and a strict nutrition plan. Each element of the training program plays a vital role in your overall appearance and success at the competition. A major component to your overall score is vascularity -- the visibility of your blood vessels underneath the skin. While the best bodybuilders have superior vascularity, you can also improve your vascularity through proper training, nutrition and hydration.

  1. Follow a strict nutrition plan for four to six weeks before the bodybuilding competition to burn excess body fat while maximizing muscle mass. Daily protein intake should be about 1.5 g of protein per pound of bodyweight with carbohydrate intake around 2 to 3 g per pound of bodyweight.

  2. Drink enough water throughout the day. Dehydration decreases your vascularity by filling the skin with water. Aim for at least 1/2-oz. of water per pound of bodyweight each day.

  3. Perform cardiovascular exercise three to four times per week, 30 to 45 minutes of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise per workout to maximize fat burn without losing any muscle mass. Sample exercises include running, cycling, rowing or swimming as these act to increase blood vessel capacity while decreasing body fat.

  4. Use a combination of supersets, drop sets and a high number of repetitions to achieve bigger muscular pumps in weight training. For supersets, perform two to three exercises in sequence with little to no rest in between. Drop sets are characterized by decreasing the number of repetitions per set while increasing the amount of weight. For high repetition sets, perform 10 to 20 repetitions per set. The pumps result in an increased blood flow to the muscles for improved vascularity.


    Genetics also plays an important role in your vascularity. Some people have blood vessels that are deep in the muscles preventing superior vascularity. Others may have superficial blood vessels that improves the ability for vascularity. Consume lean protein sources such as fish and chicken along with healthy fat sources from olive oils, fish oil and flaxseeds. Your carbohydrate source comes from complex carbohydrates such as vegetables and whole grains.

    Consult with your physician on whether you need to add nutritional supplements to your regimen.


    Consult your doctor before making any significant changes to your workout or nutrition plan.

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About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

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