Will Working Out Affect My Tattoos?

August 23, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

The answer to that question is yes! See you in the comments… Tattoos on muscles, Tattoos on Fat

Ok, now that would have been pretty boring. Let’s look deeper into it.

I have always thought that tattoos look great when done well, and when it is on the body of a toned or muscular person. I am yet to get a tattoo as of now, although I had always planned to get one. It could be that I just love my natural skin too much? Well… probably not.

The main reason I haven’t yet got one is because of this ridiculous fear that I’ll one day get loads of free time, eat tones of great food, get a dedicated personal trainer and start to develop monster size muscles! :|

All of which will affect my tattoo if i get it before that happens.

In some way I do plan and hope that will actually happen (To an extent), but it probably won’t, as I’m more of a ‘maintain muscle’ type of guy.

Either way, If you decide to get a tattoo and you are certain that most of your life will evolve around fitness and exercise, then it would be a good idea to plan before hand what it is you want to do with your body in the long run. Yes, life can be unpredictable and plans will probably change due to issues regarding,

  • Change in metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetics

But you still need to have an initial plan. One good thing to do would be to analyze the last 5-10 years of your life and note any natural changes your body had faced. That will give you a rough idea of what to plan for and when to get a tattoo.

Will my tattoo stretch?

Stretchmarks from Tattoos

A general rule of tattooing is that if the underlying muscle gets bigger, the skin has to stretch to cover it. The tattoo is in the skin, therefore, it has to stretch as well. So yes, it will stretch. But lets look at some body types and the way it affects both.

Low metabolism types

If you have a tattoo and you are one those who come into this category, then overtime your tattoo is more likely to stretch as it is very likely that your body weight will fluctuate over the next 5-10 years. Realistically you cannot state a 5-10 year plan when you first get your tattoo, life just doesn’t work that way. But if you do notice it starting to look bad, all you need to do is get a ‘touch-up’ and it will be fine.

High metabolism types

If you decide that you are going to develop a body builder body within 1-2 years and know that you will follow through with that, then it’s a good idea to wait and see how your body develops. If you get impatient and get your tattoo before you do, your tattoo will stretch.  If so, again you can just get a ‘touch-up’. But that’s not too cool after a while.

Where not to get a tattoo?

stretch marks on shoulders

Area’s to avoid would be,

  • Lower back (for ladies)
  • Stretch mark areas

The reason why ladies should avoid getting a tattoo here is because of issues to do with pregnancy. The weight around this area is likely to change and when it does, so will your tattoo, so it’s a no go tattoo area.

If you’ve ever seen those guys that get tattoos early on in life, around the front shoulder areas and then start to workout, you will know that those lovely tattoos they once had don’t look so lovely any more!

Get a tattoo in a low affected area

If you are like me, have a ridiculous fear of getting a tattoo before becoming magically muscular, but want to get one, get one in a good tattoo area that is less likely to be affected by body weight changes. Key areas would be,

  • Upper back
  • Hands
  • Feet

If you do get one in these places, be warned, once you have one tattoo you will become an addict and want more. And if you have a plan outlined like I stated that you should, then you’ll probably change your plan and build your tattoo filled body regardless.

Consult with the artist

tattoo_artist drawing on muscle

Consult with a professional tattoo artist on the design and placement.

(There will be expectations of the ink spreading with age and changes in body size that will have to be accounted for to keep the tattoo distinguishable for life).

Design and placement is actually a big part of getting a good tattoo… something that flows with your muscles. Avoid designs that require white or yellow colours, as they are quick to fade and could require touch ups every five years or so.

To sum it up, if you want to get a tattoo, get one! Unless you have a drastic change in body weight and size, most of you won’t get big enough or loose enough weight for it to affect a tattoo.

Have your body weight changes affected your tattoos?

See you in the comments.

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