Don't you hate it when your muscles are growing so freakin' fast that your skin can't even keep up the pace?! This is a problem for most bodybuilders... especially during the bulking up season. The result? Ghastly stretch marks!
Stretch Marks & Bodybuilding
First of all, let me compliment and congratulate you on making it this far! If you've got stretch marks from your muscles growing way too fast, give yourself a pat on the back, sit back, relax and learn how to deal with them!
Stretch marks are a common side effect of growing fast. They can result from packing on pounds of muscle (a happy problem), or just plain packing on pounds of fat.
However, if you're rapidly packing on pounds of fat then you've got worse problems than just stretch marks. Check out our Quick Fat Loss section!
Most likely we're talking about the resulting marks under your arms, particularly the pec/delt tie-in region where the upper chest and front shoulder muscles connect. This region is most susceptible, due to the rapid muscle growth there.
So, what exactly are stretch marks (straie)? They are the purplish streaks and scars that form when the underlying tissue grows so fast that the skin eventually tears along the growth site. You're probably thinking, "Yeah right, that can't happen to me." Well, just try Creatine or 4-Andro. You'll grow so fast with your workouts that you'll have them all over...!
Okay, so you've got stretch marks... how do you take care of them? First of all, prevention is the best medicine. A diet deficient in minerals and Vitamin E can contribute to their growth. So, make sure you're supplementing your diet with a good multi-vitamin/mineral.
Complex 24 by Eclipse 2000 is a good one. Max Muscle's Super Complete is a good one too. You see, healthy skin is stretchier and more elastic.
A good multi-vitamin will ensure that your skin is healthy, not to mention the rest of your body. Poor nutrition, on the other hand (i.e., not taking your multi-vitamin and mineral supplement), will result in skin that tears and develops stretch marks rather than stretching to accommodate the growth.
The simple fact is this: whether you have perfect skin or not, if you're a serious hard-training bodybuilder you will develop some stretch marks. So don't feel bad! The two go together like... Dennis Rodman and multi-colored hair - they're just unavoidable!
Therefore, the emphasis of this article is not about avoiding them, but on reducing and treating them. So, how the h*ll are you going to fix 'em? Try the following tips!
Tips & Tricks
Eat a well-balanced diet and take a multi-vitamin and mineral to ensure healthy skin.
Avoid heavy bulking during the off-season, since stretch marks are associated with growing too fast. Bulking-up usually means you're packing on pounds of adipose tissue, anyway.
Every ounce of fat you put on you'll just have to lose again anyway once you want to compete and look ripped. So, bulking up a little will probably be okay, just don't overdo it.
Don't feel bad - we've never seen a serious bodybuilder that doesn't have them, so if you don't have them you're definitely doing something wrong. Then again, if you didn't have them you probably wouldn't be reading this article...
Rub lotion that is high in vitamin E into the troubled areas. This will help speed up the healing process.
Hey, you can't forget about the best way to get rid of them... hide them! A dark tan will make them totally vanish (not to mention make you look better)! The most popular products for this are Golden Sunless Tan and Sunless Tanning Lotion. Fast Tan and Show Tan are also good choices. Unless the marks are viewed at ultra-close range, they will be invisible and you will be tanner.
One more thing: make sure to wear clean workout clothes... besides not smelling too well if you don't, you will have a better chance of not getting infection through the stretch marks in your skin.