Should You Tan Before or After Your Workout? A Detailed Look

Getting a perfect tan is a dream for many bodybuilders. It is a great way to make your muscles and contours look even more toned and developed. There are also many health benefits to tanning, including improved blood circulation.

The dark-bronze texture of a perfect tan also sheds light on the intricate details of your body and makes it look more attractive.

That’s why most competitive bodybuilders have vigorous and stringent tanning routines to ensure that they stand out from the rest of the competition.

But getting the perfect tan is not easy. You have to make sure that there are no spots or uneven patches. You have to make it look as natural as possible.

There are many factors that determine the overall appearance of your tan. Among them, the most important consideration is whether you should tan before or after workouts.

Whether you want to go for a tanning session before or after a workout depends on your specific requirements and fitness goals.

A lot also depends on your method of tanning. So, let’s find out – is it better to go for tanning before your workout or after it?

Should You Tan Before or After Your Workout
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Self-Tanning Methods

If you’re going to use a self-tanning spray or lotion, then it’s absolutely recommended to do so after completing your workout session.

That is because working out can result in excessive sweating. If there is sweat or moisture on your skin immediately after tanning, it might prevent the spray or lotion to adhere evenly to your skin.

Moreover, the sweat might also wash off the spray, resulting in patchy areas where the skin is not tanned properly.

On the other hand, there are no side effects of using self-tanning tools after training. In fact, below is a list of reasons why you should only self-tan after completing your workouts:

  • Self-tanning sprays and lotions don’t require you to spend a lot of time in a single area. You can just apply the lotion or spray to your skin and go about your business, resulting in productive hours following workouts.
  • You can use the tanning spray or lotion right after working out without having to go to a specific wellness center or spa.
  • Working out will improve blood circulation and widen the pores, making your skin more receptive to the spray or lotion.

Thus, it’s quite evident that self-tanning methods should never be used before working out.

Sun Tanning

Most people, including many bodybuilders, prefer to enjoy a nice, relaxing sun tanning session after completing their workouts.

So, is there any upside to doing this?

Here are the benefits of going for sun tanning after training:

  • Sun tanning after a workout can help you get the coveted Vitamin D. As per a study, Vitamin D can help individuals enhance their exercise capacity.
  • You can enjoy a nice, relaxing session of sun tanning immediately after a workout without worrying about having to regain energy for any upcoming tasks.
  • Sweating will cause the pores on your skin to widen in order to expel water. This will allow your body to absorb the rays of sunlight well and improve tanning results.
  • You will get better workout recovery outcomes if you expose your body to sun rays.

Sun tanning before workouts, on the other hand, is not recommended due to various reasons.

The first reason is that tanning outdoors in the sunlight can lead to fluid loss through sweating, resulting in dehydration. In such a situation, your body will not be able to perform to its maximum capabilities. Dehydration during workouts can also hamper recovery and increase the risk of injuries.

Moreover, being outdoors in the sun can get your muscles to relax. This would be a good thing if you didn’t have to use your muscles to perform heavy lifting immediately after completing your tanning session.

As such, you would need to do a lot of warm up exercises before you get your body ready for heavy lifting.

So, if you’re looking to achieve your fitness goals and train well, you should only get sun tanned after finishing your workouts.

Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are safe to use before or after your workouts. The decision depends on your particular requirements and the intensity of your workouts.

Here are the benefits of experiencing a tanning bed session after your workouts:

  • Training beds are available in fitness centers like Planet Fitness, allowing members to push in a tanning session immediately after their workout routines.
  • Tanning beds are quicker as the UV rays from the bed lamps are more focused. Therefore, bodybuilders won’t have to spend hours after their workouts to achieve the desired results.
  • Using a tanning bed after workouts can improve results as the pores on your skin will be more receptive to the UV rays.

Despite these benefits, you also have the option to go for a tanning bed session before your workouts.

Tanning beds offer a great alternative to sun tanning and spray tans or lotions. They hasten the process of developing the tan completely. As such, you don’t have to worry about your tan being uneven or your skin being blotchy if you sweat during workouts immediately after tanning.

These are the benefits of using tanning beds before a workout:

  • Many people use tanning beds prior to their workouts to warm their muscles up and increase mobility.
  • Using a tanning bed immediately before a workout can speed up the tanning process. That’s why a lot of competitive bodybuilders do so.

The downside is the same as in the case of sun tanning. Doing so before training can relax your muscles and de-energize you, making your workouts a little more difficult.

The benefits of using a tanning bed before and after your workouts are balanced. As such, it’s recommended that you decide the order of your routine based on your personal goals and requirements.

Should You Tan Before or After a Workout?

The answer depends on your method of tanning. If you’re using self-tanning methods, you should only do so after completing your workout sessions.

Using tanning sprays or lotions can lead to inconsistent tanning and blotchy skin due to the excessive sweat released while training.

Similarly, sun tanning should also be done only after completing your training sessions. That’s because outdoor tanning will result in dehydration and also relax your muscles to the extent that they won’t be able to lift heavy weights as per their potential. Both of these factors will negatively impact the quality of your workouts.

Lastly, if you’re going for tanning beds, the order of your routine should depend on your requirements. If your workouts are intense, get the tanning done after completing your workouts. Otherwise, your muscles will be too relaxed to perform well.

Similarly, the usage of tanning beds before workouts can speed up the process of tanning. So, if your main objective is to get tanned evenly and quickly, consider using the tanning bed before hitting the gym.

But if you prioritize pushing in quality workouts at the gym, then you should always save the tanning sessions as post-workout treats.

Don’t miss:

Planet Fitness Tanning (Beginner’s Guide)
What To Wear In A Tanning Bed
What Kind Of Tanning Beds Are At Planet Fitness
What Level Are Planet Fitness Tanning Beds

Final Words

With the availability of indoor tanning facilities, achieving that perfect gold-bronze complexion has become easier. Major gym chains like Planet Fitness have made Tanning Beds even more accessible by offering unlimited usage to their Black Card members.

In such a case, many people make the mistake of getting tanned in the wrong order with respect to their workout schedules. Depending on your requirements, the decision to get a tan before or after workouts can largely influence results and benefits or downsides.