Why Do Bodybuilders Tan Their Bodies? All You Need To Know

Why Do Bodybuilders Tan Their Bodies? All You Need To Know

Bodybuilding is growing more and more popular as a recreational activity. If you want to succeed at a higher level, it, like any other sport, requires dedication.

There are numerous aspects to consider when it comes to bodybuilding. You must work for, and work hard, to obtain the appearance of a typical bodybuilder.

If you’ve ever watched a bodybuilding competition, you’ve probably noticed how darkly tanned the athletes are. They’ve been browned to the point of resembling bronze statues! So you’re undoubtedly asking what kind of tan they have and why bodybuilders are required to have such a dark tan.

It’s not just heavyweight male bodybuilders that are competing. Tanning is prevalent in men’s and women’s bodybuilding competitions at all levels and in all categories.

Their tan is the result of a spray tan, not sunbathing on the beach. That’s how their skin appears to be so even and tanned.

Tans are used by bodybuilders for a variety of reasons. Is there a reason why all bodybuilders regard tanned skin to be a must-have or is it just a matter of personal preference?

We’ll go over all of it in this article, so keep reading to understand more about why bodybuilders tan.

So Why Do Bodybuilders Tan?

The term “illusion sport” is commonly used to describe bodybuilding. Bodybuilders strive to appear as muscular, sleek, and handsome as possible.

Prior to a competition, bodybuilders usually have to put in a lot of work.

Aside from putting in a lot of effort and sticking to a strict diet, there are a few more elements that contribute to bodybuilders looking so good. Bodybuilders, for example, practice posing for at least half an hour each day. Why?

Why Do Bodybuilders Tan Their Bodies? All You Need To Know

Posing practice helps bodybuilders prepare for competitions and hide imperfections in their bodies because it is almost an art form.

Bodybuilders can even get help from coaches to learn how to posture! As a result, it’s an important part of any bodybuilder’s training regimen.

During bikini body competitions, every competitor – men and women – has layers of fake tan. Some of the reasons why bodybuilders want to get tanned are as follows:

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

Light and pale skin appear washed out with all the lights shining on it. The lighting highlights the flaws in the body, making it appear less muscular.

Bodybuilders use tanning to make their muscles stand out against their backgrounds. This is because tanning can make muscles appear more prominent than they would be otherwise.

That’s why owing to a dark tan and a lot of baby oil, a bodybuilder’s body looks excellent for competition. The sheen of oil on a dark tan makes the muscles appear larger and more prominent!

Muscles become extraordinarily demarcated and defined as a result of the contrasting blackness attained in some regions, making them appear larger than they are and leaving the body toned and contoured. As a result, bodybuilders appear more athletic and muscular.

Also read: How To Follow A Cutting Diet: Your Complete Guide To Losing Weight While Maintaining Muscle

Fake Tan Makes Bodybuilders Appear Leaner

A tan has the same impact on bodybuilders that dark clothing does at the gym in making you appear leaner than you are. Tanned bodybuilders appear slimmer than those who do not. Because tanning allows them to hide creases and furrows in their bodies and on their skin surfaces that they don’t want to be seen.

Although being slender may seem paradoxical for a bodybuilder, it actually helps define muscles.

Bodybuilders can also use different tan shades on different parts of their bodies, depending on where they want to draw attention and where they want to blend in.

Why Do Bodybuilders Tan Their Bodies? All You Need To Know

Fake Tan Helps Even Out Skin Tone

Most persons have small skin tone variances between exposed and shielded areas unless they use a tanning booth. In rare cases, you may even get significant tan lines.

Another benefit of a spray tan is that it creates a uniform skin tone over your body. This is more appealing to the eye and allows you to show off your figure.

Tanning Covers Skin Imperfections And Blemishes

Acne, pimples, skin spots, and blemishes can be a side effect of weight lifting and other intense exercises. Skin problems can also be caused by steroid sensitivities or reactions.

As we all know, people, particularly bodybuilders, are concerned about their entire appearance. Because they are judged only on their physical appearance, professional bodybuilders are self-conscious about their appearance.

Although a bodybuilder’s skin blemishes have little influence on muscle development or how bulky or lean they appear, they make them appear less athletic and harm their overall brand image.

This is where tanning comes in, as it helps people hide their skin defects, even if it doesn’t treat them.

How Do Bodybuilders Get So Tan?

Professional bodybuilders who are competing rarely tan in the sun since it takes time and they risk getting scorched. Instead, they spend that time lifting weights at the gym, which begs the question of how bodybuilders get such a tan. Bodybuilders use a spray tan after a workout to obtain the toned bronze look needed to make their physique appear better when needed, as you may know.

Spray tanning, despite being a false tan, is a quick and safe way to acquire tanned skin without having to sit or lie in the sun. While spray tanning is faster than the sun, bodybuilders follow certain protocols when getting tanned with it.

Why Do Bodybuilders Tan Their Bodies? All You Need To Know

The Tanning Process

In the days leading up to the competition, bodybuilders follow an unusual routine. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill salon spray tan. It’s a treatment that can turn your skin from white to bronze in tone.


The first stage is exfoliation, which involves removing dead skin cells from all over the body. This softens the skin and makes it more receptive to the tanning solution. A natural exfoliant, such as olive oil and sugar, should be used while showering.


Next, shave off all of your body hair – and I mean ALL of it. Hair removal is another method for assisting the tan stick. Shaving also adds dimension to males with dense body hair on stage.


Finally, the day before the show, it’s time to begin tanning. In most cases, the tanning product is a liquid that is sprayed or rolled on. The organizers of the competition set up a separate spot for candidates to obtain their tans.

In the tanning section, competitors strip down and enter a small booth where a staff member sprays their entire body with the spray. This takes only a few minutes to do, plus a few minutes to dry.

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

Contestants are covered with a thin sticky film after tanning that tends to wipe off or stain if they get wet. Backstage, touch-up crew members are on hand in case the tan gets smeared or smudged.

Why Do Bodybuilders Tan Their Bodies? All You Need To Know

What Kind Of Tan Bodybuilders Use?

Many people wonder what tan bodybuilders use because of how rapidly it develops and how black it seems. Bodybuilders use a type of tan called “sunless tan,” and the most common variation of this type of tan is called a spray tan. Spray tanning is commonly referred to as “fake tanning.”

Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA for short, is a unique chemical found in spray tans. These substances penetrate the top layer of skin cells and create a chemical reaction that causes the cells to darken. This DHA coloring technique is completely safe, and the FDA has approved it for external use (Food and Drug Administration).

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

Also read: What Are Ketone Drinks – Benefits, Risks & Efficacy

Take Away

To summarize, bodybuilders tan for a reason, and that reason is good. The simplest things could affect your place in a competition where the judges analyze your appearance.

For competitions, they must be tanned in order to look better and boost their chances of winning! A dark uniform tan adds definition and muscularity to your body, which may help you place better.
The reason for this is that competition lighting is overly bright, which can wash out a pale skin. A pale competitor will not look to be as lean as a tanned competitor!

After reading this, you’re probably not in any rush to try spray tanning. Spray tans sold in stores, on the other hand, aren’t nearly as elaborate. You might be able to get some of the same benefits with a more natural tan.

If you wish to get a tan in the sun or in a tanning bed, keep in mind that UV radiation might be harmful.


Rahul aims to cover the latest trends in the entertainment industry with his own unique perspective thrown in for a good measure. He loves dogs and reading about topics ranging from sports to science and technology. Rahul has a master's degree in exercise science and holds NSCA CSCS and CISSN certification

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