why bodybuilders wear fake tan

7 Real Good Reasons Why Do Bodybuilders Wear Fake Tan

Have been to a bodybuilding competition? Or you may have seen in photos that bodybuilders are frequently incredibly tanned. Not really a natural tan, either, but an odd-looking, bronze tan. You probably are wondering why bodybuilders wear fake tan?

History of Bodybuilding

Many people think bodybuilding started in the modern era. But the origins of bodybuilding go back to primitive people seeking a strong and toned physique. Bodybuilding has a lengthy history, as seen by images of Spartans, gladiators, and Prussian power. From the dawn of civilization until today’s pinnacle achievement in this sport, strength feats varied tremendously.

But first, let’s define the term bodybuilding before we walk you through all the eras of bodybuilding. Likewise, towards the end, we’ll get back to the topic of why bodybuilders wear fake tan.

The word “bodybuilding” today has a completely different meaning than it did in the past.

Sports historians refer to bodybuilding as a broad term. Though, they claim a unified definition of bodybuilding that spans the sport’s history. Bodybuilding is a sport that involves judging a group of competitors. The judges rate the contenders’ looks.

The following section covers the history of bodybuilding.

The Evolution of Bodybuilding Through the Years

This list covers all key eras in bodybuilding, from early history to the sport’s foundation and evolution.

The Classical Period (From Greek times to the 1800s)

Long before it became a sport, the Greeks recorded bodybuilding. Originally, bodybuilding is regarded as a way for athletes to improve their physique. It is also a way to establish new records in so-called gymnasiums. Thus, it is considered the start of bodybuilding.

Athletes relied on a bombardment of physical activities to improve their talents and establish new records in their sports. This is despite not using weight training to shape their bodies.

Later (6 B.C.), a primitive form of resistance training was invented and encouraged as a way to build muscles.

With time, a vision of the ideal figure arose. Indian society had embraced the Greek ideal by the 11th century. Around this period, an ancient form of current resistance training emerged. Dumbbells and weights were used to build bigger and stronger muscles.

The Pre-Competition Period (1800s-1930s)

To modern eyes, weightlifting practices are archaic. Men would pull carts and lift animals. They had a big belly and chubby limbs.

For the next century, the public could see traveling strongmen compete. In spite of the fact that it wasn’t a physique contest, these strongmen competed for official records. Until the 1930s, steroid use was common.

The Pre-Steroid Era (1930s-1960s)

In the 1930s, Western modern bodybuilding was in its infancy. People want a balanced physique. In the 1930s, various gyms and training centers sprung up. This was also the era of mirror posing.

The AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) noted this trend in 1939 during Mr. America. Official bodybuilding competitions began after this event.

This era’s celebrities had better bodies than the previous era’s stars. Steve Reeves and Clancy Ross (both Mr. America winners) became sports legends. Physique contests evolved into large-scale bodybuilding contests in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Weider-Hoffman Dispute (1950s-1960s)

Bob Hoffman and Joe Weider were icons of the twentieth century in bodybuilding. These two bodybuilding legends had a difficult history due to their conflicting viewpoints and approaches.

Joe Weider created the IFBB (International Federation of Body Builders) and Muscle and Fitness magazine. On the other hand, Bob Hoffman began training in the 1920s. Hoffman posed as an endorser for York Barbell, a fitness equipment brand.

The Arrival of The Olympia (1960s-1970s)

Joe Weider envisioned a major tournament that would revolutionize bodybuilding. The top competition with the most prestigious reward. Professional bodybuilders had to complete certain requirements to compete in Mr. Olympia.

These conditions, however, were not as simple. Lifters must have won previous events or competed in the final rounds to qualify. On September 18, 1965, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Larry Scott won the first Mr. (after previously winning Mr. America, Mr. World, and Mr. Universe).

The Mr. Olympia pageant continues until this day. Over the years, it launched renowned names like Sergio Oliva and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is still the most well-known bodybuilding competition.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Era (Golden Era, Pumping Iron)

The 1969 Mr. Olympia began with an epic struggle between unbeaten Sergio Oliva and a young Austrian named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold challenged Oliva for the title. Despite Oliva’s third Mr. Olympia win in a row this year, Arnold triumphed in 1970 and 1971, becoming an idol and inspiration to all.

The 1980s were termed the “Golden Era” of bodybuilding due to the strong competition for the Olympia title. The famous drama “Pumping Iron” depicted it.

The Haney Period (1980s-1990s)

Lee Haney is another well-known Mr. Olympia competitor. He was a popular bodybuilder in the 1980s, winning eight Mr. Olympia championships in a row. This streak broke Arnold Schwarzenegger’s record.

The key reason Haney shaped this age was his body. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, and other famous professional bodybuilders inspired his posing technique.

Even though Haney lived during the Golden Age, many consider his achievements ushered forth a new era. He was the first to achieve a very high degree of mass. This set him apart from other rivals at the time (1990s).

The Yates Period (1990s)

Dorian Yates, a youthful bodybuilder, influenced the next generation. He was one of the few Olympians to win six consecutive titles, making the 1990s his dynasty decade.

Yates broke new ground in magnitude. This made him the first Mr. Olympia to weigh 250 lbs. with low body fat and high muscle density. He was also the biggest professional bodybuilder, earning him the moniker The Shadow.

Dorian Yates was sent to jail before a contest. His six-month prison sentence won him the distinction of England’s fittest and strongest convict almost immediately.

With each new high-intensity program he produced, Yates cemented his dominance in the bodybuilding industry.

Coleman’s Era (1990s-2000s)

In the late 1990s, a new name emerged: Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie was a professional bodybuilder who won the Canada Pro Cup in 1995. He went on to win Mr. Olympia eight times in a row. This broke Haney’s previous record.

Coleman’s workout was unique. He liked free weights over machines. He claims he has a more flexible body and a wider range of motion. On average, he lifted weights four days a week, only reducing back when traveling or competing (fewer tournaments) (2006).

Coleman opened the way for modern bodybuilding in a new century and millennium full of new victories.

Bodybuilding in the Modern Age

Bodybuilding has recently risen in popularity, a record shows that people are exercising and getting ripped. This not only in professional bodybuilding but also in general.

Amazingly talented modern bodybuilding influences exist nowadays. Among them are Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler and Phil Heath. Six-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath will defend his title later this year.

There are several new bodybuilding magazines, workouts, and weightlifting exercises. Information is now more accessible than ever. YouTube and social media are great places to learn about appropriate activities, nutrition, and diet.

The internet has rejuvenated bodybuilding, making it one of the most popular global sports and recreational pursuits.

Bodybuilders Use Fake Tan: 7 Reasons Why

We’ve arrived at the section where we’ll explore the reasons why modern-day bodybuilders use fake tan.

1. Bodybuilders apply fake tan to have a more defined muscles

A tan causes your muscles to appear bulge more than they would otherwise. This acquired darkness provides different illumination to one’s body, making your muscles appear larger and your physique more toned. Exactly, this is what most bodybuilders are looking for in order to improve their competition score.

However, the main objective is not to appear dark. The goal of appearing darker is to make the muscles look more muscular or attractive.

2. Bodybuilders wear fake tan to appear thinner

Fake tans, like dark clothing, can make you look skinnier than you actually are. This is because it conceals wrinkles and folds in your body and skin that you may not want to see. Slimming down may appear to be counterproductive for bodybuilders, but this is not always the case.

However, be cautious because tanning guidelines vary between bodybuilding associations and competitions. You don’t want to be disqualified from a competition because you used too much fake tan.

 3. Bodybuilders tend to gain confidence when they use fake tan to conceal skin blemishes.

Everyone, whether a competitive bodybuilder or not, maybe concerned about their appearance. Although skin blemishes do not immediately reduce your chances of winning a competition, they do make you appear less attractive. When it comes to bodybuilding, it is all about looking your best. This may not be a beauty or modeling competition, that you should dress your best. But covering acne or blemishes with fake or spray tan can give you the competitive advantage you need.

4. To complement stage lights.

If you’ve never competed before, you might be surprised at how bright the lights on stage are. It may be difficult for judges, audience members, and cameras to see you if you are pale or even light-skinned.

Having too pale skin or being at the wrong angle might get you to disappear in images. Just as it’s difficult to photograph something light-colored under bright lights. While bronzing or tanning will not help with bad angles. But it will greatly improve your chances of standing out in front of the judges in photographs.

5. Bodybuilders are judged based on their tan.

Unlike today’s coffee bean color, most bodybuilders back in Arnold’s day had a golden, naturally tanned tint. Sometime between now and then, an increasing number of people started using dark tans

When enough people began to do it, the judges began to base their scoring on how the competitor’s tan appeared. Many more bodybuilders began tanning as a result of this. 

6. Bodybuilders wear fake tan to reverse steroids side effects

Tanning helps to conceal any flaws in the skin. Similarly, many people who use steroids in the bodybuilding world develop acne.

I’m not going to get into the ethics of steroids in this post because it happens, right or wrong. Blemishes caused by steroid use can be a dead giveaway in some cases.

Covering them with a fake tan may allow you to fly under the radar and avoid detection. I will say it again: I do not condone this.

7. Bodybuilders who wear fake tan look better.

This is a personal choice. Everyone, tanned or not, has a different idea of what is attractive. Having said that, most bodybuilding judges and the public believe that tanned people are more attractive. This is not true for everyone, but in bodybuilding, you are not trying to please everyone.

You are attempting to present yourself in a certain way that appeals to the judges. Whether you think bronze tans are attractive, the people judging you at a competition certainly do. Even if they don’t think it looks good, you’ll be graded on your tan. One of the most important goals for bodybuilders and weightlifters, in general, is to look better.

Bodybuilders wear a fake tan and get judged according to t, what factors are taken into account during judging?

If you’ve never competed in a bodybuilding competition before, you may find it frightening and baffling. However, after you’ve learned the foundations, they will become second nature. The following are some criteria used to evaluate bodybuilders:


First and foremost, your weight. Let me put it this way: if you’re small, you have no chance in a competition. Being large, on the other hand, isn’t everything, which is where the rest of these bullet points come into play. Large muscles are not the be-all and end-all, but they are vital. When was the last time you saw a bodybuilder that was skinny?


This is equally crucial as the last one, but a little more intricate. Being defined means you’re skinny and have less fat on top of your muscles. You appear more attractive and alluring because you have less body fat. Powerlifters, for example, are always substantially stronger than bodybuilders, but at the expense of carrying more fat. If you want to compete in your next bodybuilding competition, you must be skinny.


It might be challenging to achieve good proportion. Proportion, rather than mere size, is concerned with the even development of muscles across your body. Leg day skippers are a perfect illustration of this. Their upper bodies are powerful, but their legs are diminutive, giving them a top-heavy, out-of-proportion appearance.


Symmetry is similar to proportion, yet there are a few distinctions. A good proportion may imply that your biceps are larger than your pectoral muscles. Symmetry indicates that your biceps are the same size. This is important for competition scoring since it guarantees that your physique is symmetrical and appealing.

Stage Presence:

How you hold yourself on stage determines your stage presence. This could be referring to how you move, how confident you are, or how attractive your positions appear. Your tan may also come in helpful here. To increase your stage presence, practice in front of a mirror or enter a competition.


Bodybuilding dates back to ancient people desiring a fit physique. The phrase “bodybuilding” now has a completely different meaning than it used to. Powerful feats of strength have evolved considerably since the dawn of society. The use of fake tan has become popular when bodybuilders observed judges favored it. By using fake tan, it makes their muscles look more defined, hides skin blemishes, and makes them look better.

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