To begin with, let’s see when tattoos most often appear on the body of a bodybuilder. It would seem that this should happen at the top of a career. Everyone’s attention, the desire to ignite, etc. But not. There are a number of points that during this period athletes are limited. What are we talking about?
First of all, there is an unspoken rule of the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) – points are removed for a large number of drawings on the body. The fact is that with a large number of tattoos, it is difficult for judges to objectively assess the fruits of an athlete’s labor.
Ruslan Khaletsky – bodybuilder, trainer, world champion – 2021
Photo: personal archive of Ruslan Khaletsky
In second place, a novice bodybuilder usually does not have outstanding shapes and reliefs. In short, the canvas for future drawings is being formed.
Third, an athlete can be convicted of immodest conduct and excessive boasting. The logic here works like this: first achieve something, and then do similar “special effects”. A bodybuilder who has received titles and gained prestige is something else. Now you can afford such a treat as a tattoo.
Of course, drawings are a great opportunity to emphasize the beauty and relief of muscles.
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Why are breasts often chosen?
Back, shoulders, arms, legs – bodybuilders love to decorate different areas. Often tattoos are filled all over the body. But, yes, it is the pectoral muscles that are selected with enviable regularity. Because? This is a great option to show your personal style. It is here that tattoos look most impressive, they attract attention.
tattoo artist, owner of Egor Zverev’s Tattoo Studio
Due to the wide and almost equal space in the pectoral muscles, you can depict a large-scale image with a large number of patterns. It will be possible to draw almost any idea in the smallest detail. Not all areas of the body allow such freedom of creativity. In addition, it is here that you can very successfully emphasize the shape of the muscles.
Sylvester Stallone – actor, director
Photo: Sylvester Stallone’s personal archive
It is also possible to combine a chest tattoo with a previously drawn pattern on the shoulder. From this, the effect and opportunities to surprise the public are greatly increased.
This scheme was used, for example, Silvestre Stallone. The drawing, which was on her back and shoulders, extended to her chest.
How painful is the procedure in this area?
All experts without embellishment say that tattooing on the chest is a rather unpleasant process. It will be much more painful than drawing on the legs and arms. But, if you don’t have a low pain threshold, it’s real to suffer.
Zach Smith – physical trainer
Photo: Zack Smith’s personal archive
When the tattoo begins to appear on the clavicle or ribs, the procedure will be as noticeable as possible and anesthesia may be needed. These areas of the skin are considered the most sensitive, because they do not have a large layer of muscle and fat. With severe pain, you can divide the drawing into several sessions.
A similar moment should be taken into account for girls who want to decorate their breasts with drawings. Your pain threshold is usually lowered. A tattoo on the chest of a girl is a beautiful way to emphasize individuality, but it is worth preparing for the application and remembering the nuances.
Evgeny Safonov – fitness trainer
Photo: personal archive of Evgeny Safonov
How to care for a tattoo on the chest?
The recovery process after drawing the pectoral muscles can take more than a week. Immediately after the filling procedure, it is worth using a healing ointment and covering the tattoo with a diaper. For two weeks you need to limit yourself to visiting baths, saunas and physical activity.
Marco Sarcone – bodybuilder
Photo: Marco Sarcone’s personal archive
During intense sports loads, a new tattoo will release a lot of ichor, so you should limit yourself to activities for a while after applying the drawing. Also, sweat will flow into your pores, which will start to remove the pigment, and more importantly, a new tattoo will be a breeding ground for bacteria. All this will make the healing period much longer.
How does sport affect the safety of a tattoo?
On a taut body, inscriptions, drawings and patterns look more spectacular and more aesthetic. Therefore, athletes often resort to this form of self-expression. But it is worth knowing about the nuances that may arise if you want to get a tattoo on the muscles for those who are professional athletes or regularly visit the gym. One of them is the deformation of the pattern due to active blood circulation.
Mikhail Sidorychev – weightlifter, fitness trainer
Photo: personal archive of Mikhail Sidorychev
Egor Zverev: The safety of a tattoo in athletes depends on many factors: the state of the skin, weight. However, these conditions are not the most important.
Roman Bednar – bodybuilder, fitness trainer
Photo: Roman Bednar’s personal archive
During active training, the skin can change along with the tattoo. In this case, the pigment inside is crushed into small fractions, the lymphatic system will remove them from the body – blood circulation during sports is more active. If the skin is severely damaged, the pigment in this place may also disappear.
Fredi Nadal – “Mr. Olympia 2015”, bodybuilder, fitness trainer
Photo: Fredi Nadal’s personal archive
When a professional athlete decides to have a drawing on his chest, he must be aware of these nuances and take them into account. Perhaps he will have to somehow adjust the training regimen, take a break.
What tattoos are most often struck on the chest?
You can read or hear a lot of stories about the fact that the drawings on the body have a special meaning for the owner, they give them a special meaning. Some even believe that they affect success and later life. But these are more legends. Perhaps the desire to surround yourself with an aura of mystery, to attract attention.
Dwayne Johnson is an American film actor and former wrestler.
Photo: Dwayne Johnson personal file
Athletes often choose images of animals that evoke certain associations: strength, power, energy. Therefore, you can usually see the heads of tigers, lions, bears, snakes on their bodies.
Often patterns, ornaments, abstract images, drawings of totems of ancient tribes, quotes from mentors, portraits of loved ones are used as images on the pectoral muscle.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the images and the hidden meanings for which they are chosen. Often the drawings can be combined or stylized in different ways. Tattoos are all about personality. Let’s not forget!
Pavel Chukhnov – physical trainer
Photo: personal archive of Pavel Chukhnov
Five popular options
Many athletes were once inspired, taught willpower, hard work, and stamina by high-level mentors. In memory of the teachers, the athletes fill in the words that the coaches tell them. In addition, extracts and sayings of the great sages are chosen as inscriptions.
Martin Ford – bodybuilder, actor
Photo: Martin Ford’s personal archive
The proud bird is a symbol of freedom and courage. It also motivates many athletes to overcome the dangers and difficulties that are found on the path of life. There is also the possibility of combining. A bird always has wings. We talk about this below.
Tomi Holland – bodybuilder, fitness trainer
Photo: Tommy Holland personal archive
The chest muscles are the perfect place to show off the bird’s large wingspan. The composition is airy, light and inspiring. The drawing also leaves room for continuation and a flight of fantasy. Other details fit perfectly into the image.
MK Pandit – fitness trainer
Photo: MK Pandit’s personal archive
Power, strength, confidence – all this is associated with a predatory animal. But not only for power, athletes choose the image of a tiger. As the representative of the cat, the lion also has gentleness and grace. And of course royal status matters too.
In many cultures, the reptile is a symbol of fertility and vitality. Also, the image of a snake personifies restraint and composure. An important point – the drawing itself looks great. There are a variety of styling options. For example, under the oriental style.
Conor McGregor – mixed martial artist
Photo: Conor McGregor’s personal archive
Of course, there are many variations of images. Each athlete chooses what is closest to him. Often these are some kind of personal associations, ideas. But there is a pattern: after starting to get tattoos, athletes rarely stop at one. The image on the chest is an excellent example of this. As a rule, drawing on the muscles is a continuation of those that have already been done earlier: on the shoulders, arms. Some cannot stop until the tattoo literally covers the entire body. Sometimes the drawing occupies up to 90% of the area of all reliefs.
Denis Orlov – physical trainer
Photo: Denis Orlov’s personal archive
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