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How to Tan for a Bodybuilding Competition

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Q: Can you give some advice on tanning for a bodybuilding show?

A: When tanning before a show, tan for at least 20 minutes at least two weeks prior to the show 2-3 times that week, and the final week each day for 20-25 minutes. Be sure to flip sides each time you tan - be careful not to burn. People with darker skin can stand a little more tanning that people with fair skin because of the darker pigmentation in the skin. Do not tan over 8-10 times over a three week period. Also, begin applying tanning solutions the morning before the show. Do not shower after you apply the first coat. Try to apply at least 3 coats before stage time. Assess your color after each coat. If you are too light the lights on stage will wash you out and make you look flat. if you are to dark you will hide separation and striations. Try to get some sun after the first or second coat to sort of bake the solution in. This will help blend your color in, dry your skin out (pulling out excess water) and keep the tan from running on stage.

Tanning and solutions applies to both black and white competitors, so black athletes: don't worry about stares or surprised faces when you go to a tanning bed. Be complete in your prep - including tanning and paint.

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