T Nation

Are Tattoos An Issue?

Is there a point where being too tattooed would be counted against you? Full sleeves?

So long as it’s not distracting, it shouldn’t be counted against you. I’ve actually seen plenty of competitors over the years using cosmetic products to cover up their InK.

Just remember that they need to judge your conditioning as well as the general size of your muscles. If they are able to, you should be OK.


seems every physique guy on Earth these days has a sleeve, so it can’t be that big of a deal

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Guy that just won the Arnold open 2018 has ink.



Thats not a lot of ink and he is black, you can hardly see it.


Every bodybuilder is black by the time the fake tan is applied. It’s a non issue. If you can get into contest winning condition, covering tattoos with fake tan is the easiest part.


Is adding shading and the like to male muscles pop a thing? I seem to remember fitness models rubbing their abs with charcoal lol

I think tat’s are more of an issue off the stage. With full sleeves,its kind of like wearing clothing, it obscures what is going on from being shown to its best advantage. Yes you can see the guys got big muscles but from a distance you can’t see the definition, and conditioning.

lol, well, I don;'t know about rubbing abs with charcoal, but I do remember buying an old Lee Labrada contest book where he mentions doing an extra coat of fake tanner just to outline his muscles and hopefully get an extra little bit of shadow in the area when he’s onstage… and yes, I did try it for my very first show :slight_smile:


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You can’t donate blood if you have Tatoos on your body.

Yes, you can.

They tell you that you can’t if you got one in the last year. It’s basically a judgement call at the blood bank but believe me they want your blood.

It depends on the state you live in but, here in California there is no waiting period.