T Nation

Upper Back Tattoo


I was to get a tribute (not tribal) tat on my upper traps. It's a TON of line work, the flower of life, and I'm wondering how everyone else's tattoo has held up on that area. I'm mainly worried about the normal wear time, but also the fact that I squat at least 2x a week and my competition bar position is where the tat would be.

How often would something like this need to be touched up, and how fast would it start to look shitty if it's mostly line work instead of solid areas of ink?
It's a meaningful tattoo to me, and also expensive ($500ish) so I want to get some ideas going into it


I've got a tattoo on my upper back/traps and it's held up fine (9 years about). It's covered most of the time, you just have to get someone else to put sun screen on it. If you don't it will fade without a doubt. I would try and make sure the whole tat is covered by your everyday attire. You don't want the top to fade and the rest look good because of how you t-shirts fit, or whatever.


It will be fine. I have about 35 hours of work done so far(arms and back mostly). Most tattoos won't need a touch up for at least 15 years or more, but I really think people worrying about touch ups is a bit over exaggerated. Yes color will fade(personally avoid color), but it's not like the tattoo will be a blob.

Plus do you understand what will be done with a touch up? its not so much brighting areas, this doesn't work because fresh ink looks much different then older ink. They will need to recolor/shade every area, more or less redoing the whole tattoo.

As for the area you want. The upper back is a pretty solid choice for longevity. It doesn't see the sun a lot and even with squats it gets relatively little wear. There are some areas to avoid if you a worried about this but the back isn't one of them.

Biggest thing I can suggest for getting a tattoo that will stand the test of time, is make sure the tattoo isn't full of small detail. Small detail doesn't last. Take a look at whatever you want, and either avoid small detail or make it large enough that the smallest detail isn't tiny.

It will look good for a few years but as time goes on that minute detail will fall apart. There is no way to touch up this fine detail that will make it pop again.


Upper back tattoo is the male tramp stamp


Shoulder star tattoos, on the other hand, are the male ankle/foot tattoo.

i.e. equally fucking dumb.


I think I would vote for the tribal arm band, but that's just me.


you'd look like a male Pamela Anderson


I think most of those have died out. They were pretty popular in the 90's.


Lol I have an upper back tattoo that says Never Quit, don't know much about maintenance though since mine is relatively small and more recent.


Someone must have an upper back tattoo...


Take care of your skin and the tat will be fine. Squatting won't hurt it. Maybe if you were carrying a yoke of water jugs up a mountain every day...

puts the lotions on it. maybe wear a tshirt when you squat instead of a 1980 spagetti strap sideboob tank top.

I've got upper back tats (and yeah, before you say i'm just a chick, i do squat - when I was powerlifting, over 400lb.) and its never needed touch up and no fading. Having a good artist makes a dif.


I knew a dude in college who actually had a tribal lower back tat.....


Squatting over 400?
Damn that's impressive.
This thread is no longer about male tramp stamps (sorry legendaryblaze) and is now about your squatting.
How much did you weigh?


Thanks! I weighed between 160 and 165, I think I came in at 162 for my last competition squat of 405. Tore my ACL in that one. Left my best lifts in the gym though. dammit


Sorry to hear that.
Are you still powerlifting now or have you changed things up?


i dunno...i kinda like this guys tramp stamp.


I don't even want to think about where the 7th one is.


I moved on to training in MMA then strongman. Lost interest in training that goddamn much just to blow my load on 9 lifts. Just doing my own thing right now because I'm too busy to commit to competing.


Commitment issues huh?
Isn't that usually a guy thing.


How did you know I am a manwhore?