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Do Bodybuilders Really Require a Tan?

Written by Jake Welford (@jakecutz) ( with a link to his google+) :


Tanning products and oils are used by many bodybuilders before a competition to make themselves look good and make their veins look as if they are popping out. And while tanning has often been used in professional bodybuilding comps, non-pros  are also using these techniques too. Why though?

Portrait of strongman Eugen Sandow (1867-1925)
Portrait of strongman Eugen Sandow (1867-1925) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because the demand has become such that the non pros feel that they will not be able to turn pro without their skin looking tanned Now most bodybuilders have started to believe without having then tanned look they will not be able to win comps. In addition many non pros get tanned to make their bodies look  (to what they believe to be) better and to help boost their self esteem. Some bodybuilders even go to the lengths of using melanotan tanning products– which has been known to cause short term and long term health damage.

Let’s take a moment to look at bodybuilders who have not bothered to use tanning techniques. Eugene Sandow who many consider to be the father of modern bodybuilding did not have a tan. He had a great body and massive amounts of power, but he didn’t use the tanning stuff- and he didnt need to. Also many professional wrestlers including Anderson Silva and Fedor are prominent names who did not advocate the use of tanning.

Tanning, as you may know can cause countless health risks. Even tanning sprays and lotions people use have been known to have side effects.

We have to question the idea that tanning is needed in the bodybuilding world. If so, why? It doesn’t make someone stronger so I question the need for tanning in general, within our industry.

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