What Happens to Tattoos When You Gain Muscle?

Tattoos are for life. Once you get one on your body, it will last for as long as you live, unless, of course, you resort to laser removal. The only variations that do occur are when your muscles change in size. As humans, the expansion and contraction of muscles is a natural part of our growth process.

A good looking tattoo, a dream that you accomplish with great effort, is not only about a good design. It is also important to apply it well and place the design with great precision and accuracy for a flawless look to accomplish an amazing tattoo. In addition to all the other challenges of getting a good tattoo, you also need to pay great attention to tattoo stretching’s likeliness.

Hence, it is important to consider how a change in your muscle’s size and tone will impact the design and placement of your tattoo in the future. However, the likeliness of a muscle stretch soiling your tattoo’s design and placement depends on the extent of muscle growth.

Moderate growth will generally not have a significant or noticeable impact on the tattoo. On the other hand, major muscle growth will surely damage the ink and design of the image. Stretch marks are further enemies of tattoo ink because the additional gain of muscle weight and mass destroys it.

How much do Tattoos stretch with Muscle Growth?

As we mentioned above, the growth rate truly determines whether or not the muscle growth stretches your tattoo. If your muscles grow slow and steadily, then it is highly possible your tattoo will not stretch, but things change when the growth happens suddenly and rapidly.

When your muscles expand or gain weight quickly, such as lifting weights or eating too much, the tattoo will inevitably stretch. It is best to take things steadily and avoid activities that could lead to significant muscle growth in a short time. This way, you will preserve the tattoo from shape damage and also be able to control your physique.

Even when the tattoos do stretch with muscle change, the effect is not as dramatic as many believe. You will only note a slight distortion in most cases, and others who look at your tattoo may never even note the change.

What many don’t realize is the importance of proper tattoo placement. Several designs only suit specific body areas, depending on their shape and size. Many tattoo wearers tend to get anxious about stretching that you misplace a piece. For instance, what needs to go on a back piece goes on the arm just because a tattoo wearer feared muscle stretch in the future.

In truth, such misplacement is even more disastrous than a tattoo stretch because it looks awful visually. Hence, the ideal solution for this is to go to a tattoo artist only after acquiring all possible information and knowledge, including stretching risks and choosing a design.

Should You Stop Working Out When You Get a New Tattoo?

If you have had a tattoo experience already, you must be aware of how tattoo artists warn their clients against strenuous workouts, at least till they have healed completely. However, such a recommended constraint is rarely possible for gym enthusiasts, and often they turn negligent in this regard.

However, this topic is still debatable. The renowned tattoo artists around the world recommend not working out for at least two days post the tattoo process. If it is absolutely imperative for someone, they may work out a few hours before their tattooing session so that it is easy for them to go forty-eight hours without it.

We agree with that opinion, noting how the gym is the lifeblood for many people and how they cannot abstain for such a long period without feeling an uncontrollable eagerness. If you’re a typical gym enthusiast, then you must note how exercising too soon after the tattooing session will contaminate and dirty your tattoo, among other things.

Besides, it never really works to remove your bandages before forty-eight hours are over. You will give rise to a number of complications, including the risk of infection by such an act. Truly speaking, though, we cannot say that one rule fits all in this regard. You see, several other factors impact the decision to return to your normal exercising routine.

Let’s take a look at them below:

1) Tattoo placement

You may also refer to this as a tattoo location. In case you decide to get a tattoo in an area where you will pull, move, and stretch while exercising, you must wait to workout until you have fully healed. This may take a couple of weeks or even a month or more, but it is important to let your body recover completely from the tattooing session before stretching it on the equipment.

For instance, if you tattoo your elbow, the idea of pushups and running is completely out of the question until complete healing of your elbow joint. However, if you tattoo your forearm, you may exercise your legs from the very next day.

Apart from prolonging your healing process, you will also discolor and disfigure your tattoo by exercising before healing.

2) Exercise conditions

Your workout environments’ hygienic conditions also determine how soon it is safe for you to resume the workout. If you have a personal gym, you may get back to exercising sooner than one who exercises at a public gym.

If you’re a member of a posh gym, then it is safe for you to resume workout earlier than those who go to high-traffic, dirty, and germ-infested gyms. The hygiene conditions are monumental to safeguarding your tender tattooed-skin from germs and infections.

3) Intensity Requirement

Some exercises require more intensity than others. For example, weight lifting, pushups, and others literally cause every muscle to move in the body. With such a rigorous routine, chances are high for your ink to suffer damage, regardless of your tattoo’s position.

Then take more fun activities like aerobics, for example. While physically, they are not as taxing on your muscles, they can, however, cause you to sweat excessively. With all the fun and pumped-up energy aerobics can fill your body with, and it is often easy to overdo. As a result, you may likely forget about protecting your tattoo from the free-flowing sweat that is extremely harmful.

At the very least, your sweat is going to cause the tender skin to burn like hell. Hence, with so many factors that could worsen the healing process, you must be very wise and precise when deciding to resume a workout post your tattooing session.

Do Forearm and Bicep Tattoos Stretch?

Forearm tattoos of both men and women tend to stretch as the individuals advance in age. Deterioration and strengthening of muscles are inevitable with time, and so is the impact such changes have on the tattoos.

The good news here is that in most cases, such changes are not directly evident or even noticeable, as people may think. Even in the case of bicep tattoos, you will not encounter any significant stretching during life unless an exceptional circumstance takes shape.

The only time bicep tattoos are in danger of stretching was when you gained drastic muscle weight and mass with a rigorous workout and then abandoned the routine. With no more exercising, the muscle mass will shrink soon enough, and in this event, the image will surely distort.

Hence, the wisest course of action is to wait for your muscle to reach your preferred size before getting a tattoo or selecting another body area.

Final Thoughts

Tattoos are an attractive body adornment and a powerful means of self-expression. For years people have looked at tattoos as one of the finest forms of body art, and you can trace successful stories back in history.

Today, tattoos face no restraints of gender discrimination, professions, or socioeconomic classes. Hence, with such wild popularity, many people love to tattoo parts of their body but are often anxious about how well their tattoos will fare with muscle tone and size changes.

Experienced professionals tell us that accumulation of body and muscle mass does not stretch a tattoo, at least not significantly. The only exceptions in this regard remain body areas where stretch marks can appear, such as the armpit. From bodybuilding to exercising routines, no unusual or uncommon activity would cause perceptible changes to your tattoo.


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