Talking about muscle mountain The Rock and a fitness workout in the same sentence is as common as night and day. The American-Canadian former wrestler turned Hollywood megastar and entrepreneur can be found in the confines of the gym walls day in, day out, in the pursuit of a stronger, fitter version of himself.
Always one to continue pushing himself and his body, his latest workout posted to Instagram is not for the faint-hearted. Throwing a couple of 50lbs chains around his neck (45kg total), The Rock can be seen performing drop set lunges along the length of the gym floor. Drop set meaning that along the way, he drops the weight down but continues pushing on.
The last time we saw The Rock use heavy chains as a workout aid, he needed stitches, but such is his determined state of mind that he never lets something as insignificant as a cut to the head put him out of action. Besides, when he claims his blood tastes like his own Teremana tequila, he probably doesn’t mind one bit.Despite increasing the size of his muscles and improving his strength to unbelievable levels, another by-product of his intense workouts is insane vascularity; the condition of having highly-visible veins. In a separate image related to training he’s currently undergoing in preparation for his role in Black Adam – a DC Comics movie that has been in development for over a decade and focuses on the titular character, an antihero and one of the most powerful characters in the DC universe – The Rock can be seen with eye-popping veins.
Previously claiming a diet of cheat meals (read: high-carbs and fats) is a contributor to his vascularity, we wanted to find out what causes it, whether it’s actually a good thing or not, and what you can do to achieve it.
Ben Lucas, the founder of Flow Athletic, told DMARGE that vascularity “happens due to an excessive reduction in fat which allows for maximum muscle definition.”
“It also makes your skin appear to be very thin, genetics will also be a factor in this.”
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But is vascularity something we should really be aiming for when we enter the gym, and can it be used as an indicator of your fitness level? According to Ben, the answer is no.
“Not really, as you often achieve this by getting below 10% in body fat and dehydrating yourself. It’s not a good indicator of health and to be honest, in most cases, I would say your strength and endurance may be diminished.”
“This look is more for bodybuilding as it helps to highlight symmetry, but not drinking much water or eating much food usually happens in the days leading up to an event.”
But, what if you want to go against Ben’s advice and want to try your hands at achieving insane veins, what steps can you take to gain them?
“Firstly, you’ll want to increase your muscle mass with intense weight lifting to cause your muscles to grow and you’ll want to bring your body fat down to less than 10% so you have less body fat under your skin.”
“This means going on a strict diet and eating muscle building foods like lean meats for protein, legume and dairy.”
“You should also put your body through lots of cardio and you can even put bands on while weight lifting to restrict your blood flow and put more pressure on your arteries, but I wouldn’t recommend it.”
And, once you start seeing your veins bursting through your skin, can you expect to see them all the time or will they retreat?
“This will really depend on your genetics but generally it’s something you would work towards, then taper off, then work towards it again to give your body a break.”
Ultimately, then, vascularity is a byproduct of serious commitment to the gym to both pile on muscle and drop body fat at the same time. No easy task. The Rock is clearly in a physical position to be able to experiment with increasing his vascularity, but if you want to have a go for yourself, we’d strongly recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional or a personal trainer.