I understand that vascularity is more prominent in individuals that have a low body fat; however, i 'm around 11-13% - relatively lean and nothing shows - they are just thin... Will increasing body mass make them thicker and show more?
...but let's not downplay the significance of muscle size as far as vascularity. I have a pretty big vein running across my left shoulder that was nowhere to be found when I was much smaller and even leaner.
Veins grow in size to accommodate larger muscles that need the greater blood supply. You won't see any garden hose sized veins on people who weigh all of 150lbs...unless they are very short.
If you are a beginner or "skinny fat" the number of your body fat percentage isn't what is keeping you from seeing veins in and of itself. The lack of muscles that need it may be as well.
Genetics are a small factor though. I've seen some pretty ripped dudes that will never sport any real vascularity, as well as some pretty offseason guys (who were never even previously lean) with some major veinage, although usually only in limited areas where I would assume their skin in just naturally less dense.
I have always been quite vascular and even though my body fat is higher my veins are more prominant now than when I was smaller. I even have visible veins in my shoulders and legs which I could never see before. So pretty much all three things mentioned play a role
ProF X and David are right on the money, and i have to agree 100%. I started working out about 2 years ago - couldn't find a vein in my arm to save my life. Now 2 years down the road 3" increase in arms and I got new veins all over the place - the vascularity (bulging veins) has to have something to work with. As the muscles grow - the veins increase in proportion to the demanded blood supply. Get bigger muscles and those veins will grow too - THEN a reduction in BF% will cause them to pop.
as far as the gist of this claim, you both are right on, but technically, the arteries supply the blood to the muscle, and that is NOT what you are seeing in the mirror, it is your veins.
the veins grow in response to all the stress heavy and hard work do to the muscle, in that the veins mobilize(carry away) all the anabolic waste products(garbage) produced when you work that muscle hard.
Ive been dropping weight and vascularity has blown up. Looking at everyones reponse it seems to be going either way and very dependant on the individual. I got most veins in the upper body, shoulder, pec region. Just now getting it in the arms not just the main Bicep vein but also the ones that split from that one off towards the inside of the body. Never had it in the legs.
From what I remember peeps from Gym Jones said you earn pipes from good diet and a lot of hard ass training. Ive also heard that as the muscle becomes tighter and larger the viens are pushed out and more to the surface of the muscle belly. I know that some products promise more pipes. ANyone have any luck with that. Also I think its grapeseed oil, but there is something I have heard that some BB will down before a show because it momentarily causes veins to pop out. Not 100% on that so dont qoute me.
I'm fairly lean, but not super lean and I have veins that pop out all over. My forearms have tons, my shoulders, down my biceps, I even have a few large ones in my calves and a couple just below my abs. I think for me its a genetic thing. Also I have pretty light skin, so I'm sure that helps make them more visible too. I'm by no means "huge" either.