Why Do Bodybuilders Tan Their Bodies?

Bodybuilding is becoming increasingly popular as a hobby. And like any other sport, it needs a level of commitment if you want to succeed at a higher level.

When it comes to bodybuilding, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. To achieve the appearance of a typical bodybuilder, you must work for it, and you must work hard.

You’ve probably noticed how darkly tanned the contestants are if you’ve ever watched a bodybuilding competition. They’re so tanned that they resemble bronze statues! So you’re probably wondering what kind of tan they have and why bodybuilders have to be so dark.

It isn’t simply the heavyweight male bodybuilders who are going at it. Tanning is ubiquitous in bodybuilding competitions at every level and in every category – both men and women.

Their tan isn’t from sunbathing on the beach; rather, it’s from a spray tan. That’s how they get their skin to look so even and tanned.

Bodybuilders tan for several reasons. Is there a reason why tanned skin is considered a must-have by all bodybuilders, or is it simply a personal preference?

In this article, we will go through all of that, continue reading this post to learn more about why bodybuilders tan.

So Why Do Bodybuilders Tan?

Why Do Bodybuilders Tan Their Bodies?

Bodybuilding is frequently referred to as an “illusion sport.” Bodybuilders try to give the impression of being more muscular, slim, and attractive as much as possible.

Bodybuilders typically have to put in a lot of effort prior to a competition.

Aside from putting in a lot of work and following a strict diet, there are a number of other factors that contribute to bodybuilders looking as amazing as they do. Bodybuilders, for example, spend at least half an hour each day posing. Why?

Because posing is nearly an art form, posing practice prepares bodybuilders for competitions and helps them disguise flaws in their bodies.

Coaches even assist bodybuilders in learning how to pose! As a result, it’s an essential aspect of any bodybuilder’s routine.

Every participant – men and women – has layers of fake tan, especially during bikini body competitions. The following are some of the reasons why bodybuilders desire to be tanned:

Muscles Are Outlined With Fake Tan/ Fake Tan Enhances Muscle Definition

With all the lights shining on it, light and pale skin appears washed out. The body appears less muscular, and the imperfections are highlighted by the lighting.

Bodybuilders tan their bodies to help their muscles stand out against the rest of their bodies. This is due to the fact that tanning can make muscles appear to stand out more than they would otherwise.

That is the primary reason a bodybuilder’s body appears great for competition thanks to a dark tan and a lot of baby oil. On a dark tan, the sheen of oil makes the muscles appear larger and more pronounced!

As a result of the contrasting darkness achieved in some areas, muscles become incredibly delineated and defined, making them appear larger than they are, leaving the body toned and outlined. Bodybuilders appear more athletic and muscular as a result of this.

Fake Tan Makes Bodybuilders Appear Leaner

Just like wearing dark clothes at the gym makes you appear leaner than you actually are, a tan has a similar effect on bodybuilders. Bodybuilders who tan appear thinner than those who do not. Because tanning allows them to conceal creases and furrows in their bodies and on their skin surfaces where they don’t want them to show.

Although it may seem counterintuitive for a bodybuilder to be slim, it actually aids in muscle definition.

Bodybuilders can also use different tan hues on different sections of the body, depending on where they want to stand out and where they want to blend in.

Fake Tan Helps Even Out Skin Tone

Unless you’re using a tanning booth, most people have slight skin tone differences between exposed and protected areas. You may even develop pronounced tan lines in some circumstances.

Another advantage of a spray tan is that it gives you a consistent skin tone all over your body. This is more inviting to the eye and good for showing the body.

Fake Tan Covers Up Pale Skin

Even if the contrary is true, pale complexion can make a bodybuilder appear weak and unfit. It also causes the body’s tone to be undefined. Bodybuilders tan for a variety of reasons, one of which is to make their physique appear more prominent, especially under bright lights.

Tanning Covers Skin Imperfections And Blemishes

Weight lifting and other strenuous exercises can cause acne, pimples, skin patches, and blemishes as a side effect. Steroid allergies or reactions can also play a role in those skin issues.

People, especially bodybuilders, are concerned about their overall appearance, as we all know. Professional bodybuilders are self-conscious about their appearance because they are judged only on their physical appearance.

Although imperfections have no bearing on muscle development or how bulky or lean a bodybuilder appears, their skin issues make them appear less athletic and have a detrimental impact on their overall brand image.

This is where tanning comes in, as it helps people cover those skin flaws, even if it doesn’t treat them, it still makes them less noticeable.

How Do Bodybuilders Get So Tan?

Professional bodybuilders who are training for competition do not usually tan in the sun since it takes time and they risk getting sunburned. Instead, they spend that time at the gym doing weights, which makes you wonder how bodybuilders obtain such a tan. As you know by now. bodybuilders, employ a spray tan after a workout to achieve the toned bronze effect required to make their physique appear better when needed.

Despite the fact that spray tanning is a fake tan, it is a quick and safe technique to achieve tanned skin without having to sit or lie in the sun. While spray tan is faster than the sun, there are some procedures that bodybuilders follow when being tanned with it.

The Tanning Process

Bodybuilder getting fake tan on

Bodybuilders have a somewhat strange routine in the days leading up to the competition. This isn’t your typical spray tan from the salon. It’s a procedure that can change the color of your skin from white to bronze.


Exfoliation, or the removal of dead skin cells from all over the body, is the first stage. This smoothes the skin and prepares it to accept the tanning product. While showering, a natural exfoliator mixture such as olive oil and sugar is advised.


The next step is to shave off all of your body hair — and I mean ALL of it. Another technique to assist the tan stick is to remove hair. Shaving also gives men with thick body hair more definition on stage.


Finally, it’s time to start tanning the day before the show. The tanning product is usually a liquid that is sprayed or rolled on. The contest organizers put up a special location where contestants could get their tans.

bodybuilder getting fake tan before a competetion

Competitors strip down in the tanning area and enter a small booth where a staff member sprays their entire body with the spray. It simply takes a few minutes to do this, plus a few more minutes to dry.

Competitors can dress and go about their business for the rest of the evening after the initial coat is removed. They must, however, return early the morning of the competition for a second coat.

After tanning, contestants are covered in a little sticky film that tends to rub off or stain if they become wet. Backstage, there are touch-up staff members in case the tan is smeared or smudged.

What Kind Of Tan Bodybuilders Use?

Because of how quickly it develops and how black it seems, many people ask what tan bodybuilders use. Bodybuilders employ a sort of tan known as “sunless tan,” and the main variety of this type of tan is known as a spray tan. Spray tans are frequently referred to as “fake tans.”

Spray tans contain a unique ingredient known as dihydroxyacetone, or DHA for short. These chemicals function by penetrating the top layer of skin cells and triggering a chemical response that causes the cells to darken. This DHA colouring procedure is fully safe and has been certified for external use by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

The dark tones of the DHA dyeing process aid in achieving more visible details of muscle outlines and creases in a bodybuilder’s body, giving them a more muscular appearance.

Take Away

To summarize, bodybuilders tan for a purpose, and it’s a good one. In a competition where the judges evaluate your appearance, placing might be determined by the tiniest details.

They must be tanned for competitions in order to look better and increase their chances of winning! A dark uniform tan provides you a modest definition and muscularity boost, which could help you place better.
The reason for this is that the lighting at competitions is too bright and can wipe out pale complexion. A pale competitor will not appear as lean, whereas a tanned competitor will!

You’re probably not in any hurry to try spray tanning after reading about it. Commercial spray tans, on the other hand, are not as elaborate. You may achieve some of the same results with a more natural tan as well.

If you want to tan in the sun or in a tanning bed, be mindful to minimize your exposure to damaging UV radiation.

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