T Nation

Tattoos and Hypertrophy


I really didn't know where to post this but i guess here will suffice.

Iv been thinking of FINALLY getting a tattoo, specifically on my upper back. Just wanted to know(especially from people here that DO have them) how they respond when your growing bigger and in my case have a barbell there frequently. Can your tat's get morphed or something if your continually growing bigger?
For most of you advanced lifters i know the growth isn't THAAAAT fast, but for me who is still relatively new to lifting, im kinda moving quick...

I aint quite an expert on tattoos so any help will be appreciated.


I have several, and in some cases I've gained over 30 lbs of muscle, and then dropped about 10 and there isn't any difference that I can see. Maybe if the specific area were to suddenly grow 3" you'd have a problem, but otherwise you're fine.


My trainer has stretchmarks all through his shoulder tattoo



nah I didnt notice a difference


Weighed about 220 when I first got mine. Have been as heavy as near 300 since. They still look the same just more faded now.

It would take some massive obesity and loose skin to warp a tattoo. I have never seen someone gain so much muscle their tat warps. That goes for pro bodybuilders also.


Nope nothing thru the years.


I had one of my friend tell me if its detailed (this could be relative) and is in color is when it'll change. Bullshit or not??

Also, will the bar being there regularly from squatting affect It?? Not that i squat without a t-shirt or anything....


Nope your safe


Several people just posted in this thread already about this. I was a lot smaller when I first got mine. It would take skin damage (like stretching it out due to obesity) to notice a change like that.


My arm shrunk since I first got my half sleeve. The tattoo looks the same, but I can feel the outline on part of the tattoo more. Like it raised up a little.


^THIS and

I have a crease right under my traps from squating thru the years, some weeks I even get a nice bruise on my upper back, but it always heals and my back tat looks the same and thats from a 20 year old tat.

So your body will age, and your skin may get softer when you reach 60 or 80 but then you will die soon after so just get over it and enjoy your tat and don't worry about death until it happens.


So what will happen if I become a zombie will my color fade on my half sleeve?


That can all be taken care of.....


The only thing that I thought would alter one of my tats was a fairly deep scrape that scabbed pretty gnarley over the actual tat, but when it healed it looked fine. Maybe if it had been deeper it woulda fucked with it, but any deeper and I'da chipped bone so a jacked up tat woulda been the least of my worries.

Op, quit worrying about silly shit and get the work done of you want it. Make sure it's something you really want though, 'cause it's gonna be there awhile.


try to get the tatoo on a friday/saturday/sunday, take 7 days off from lifting while it heals. it will warp if the area is getting pumped up while it is initially healing. use Aquaphor by Ceptaphil to help it heal, its the best stuff you can use, period. good luck sleeping on your stomach for the first couple days haha.

in terms of squats i have a bruise/dark spot on my upper neck all the time, i think its permanent, from doing squats, but i have sensitive skin and you might have bad ass skin and it wont affect it. atleast chicks know youre not some douche that doesnt do legs haha.



How do you guys train just after getting your tattoo. Do take a 1, 2, 5 day break and then train that muscle or change the type of exercise? I realise the skin is still forming fresh after a tattoo but curious to hear how you guys have trained around it?

I have two, the most recent one was on my quad and I didn't train it for almost a week, then leg press, then eventually squats again, I was just wondering if fear was unwarranted. Will probably get torso or arm ones next year.


A week seems a little excessive. I would say the first couple of days since you are stilling putting ointment on it while it heals. I've worked out the day after and it seemed fine. As long as the area that was tattooed isn't being rubbed against a machine or bench or something.


A whole week off because of a tattoo?

Hell, I didn't take a full week off after the accident.


Lol @ time off after getting ink. The day after getting my first torso ink, I was doing BB Rows with a belt. Yeah it hurt, but it didn't affect the tattoo, and who gives a shit. I could understand taking a couple days off from anything that might mess with the area hard, like back squats with an upper back tat in your case, but you're seriously worrying WAYYY too much man.


You know, I've had a question about something close to this for a while but since its already a thread right here it doesn't seem like a reason I should make another.

Lets say a guy wants a inner bicep tattoo but his inner bicep is bottom fat and when he loses weight he doesn't want the tattoo to, per-say, go on the other side of his arm.

Should he get the entire bicep done or should he just focus on the top area and avoid the bottom fat?

P.S. Thats totally not my arm, just showing the pic so you guys can see the "bottom fat" as I call it.