“It helped me change my life for the better, gain more confidence”
Tattoo removal is often motivated by self-development. As people change internally, they want their appearance to match who they are within.
Ron Hoover’s life is an excellent example of this point. Ron has spent the better part of the past five years working to change his appearance, one body part at a time. An accomplished bodybuilder, he also poses as a tattoo model for Inked and is training as a wrestler. Using laser removal to fade his old tattoos for cover-ups has played a key role in that process.
Who is Ron Hoover?
Ron Hoover lives in Philadelphia, but he’s always been a Dallas Cowboys fan. Why? He grew up in a family of Eagles fans, and he loves confrontation, he laughs. As a child, he loved sports, WWF action figures, and animals. He took part in football, basketball, and wrestling. He was a healthy, active kid who didn’t even have to think about body image.
As a young adult, his habits started slipping. He ate lots of junk food and gained weight. Seeing a picture his brother had taken of him on a beach gave him a big wake-up call—all that pizza and soda had left him looking flabby and completely out of shape. He decided to get serious about getting fit.
Ron’s efforts paid off more than he ever expected. But as his fitness increased, he became painfully aware of something else: the quality of the tattoos that covered his entire body.
Let’s take a look at Ron’s bodybuilding transformation—and how he then became an avid tattoo collector who finally had the body art he’d always wanted.
Ron’s bodybuilding transformation
Once Ron began looking like his normal self again, he kept going to the gym. He explains, “I just stayed with it because I fell in love with the gym until I got to be this humongous 260-pound 6-foot-5 burly tattooed guy.”
Ron loved how bodybuilding transformed his physique, and he sought advice from accomplished bodybuilders. He doesn’t have one role model per se, but he takes inspiration from Yahi Boy, whose dedication he admires.
What is bodybuilding?
Bodybuilders lift weights in order to grow their muscles. Through a process called hypertrophy, lifting causes tiny tears in the muscle, which expands as it heals.
Your Transformation Starts Here: 7-Step Beginner’s GuideThis article from BodyBuilding.com starts with the fundamentals, lifestyle. Goal setting, eating habits, and lite exercise are featured as the first steps in beginning to bodybuild.
Body Building How To
The Complete Guide to BodybuildingThis article from Men’s Health details the process of building muscle mass from how many hours of training a day it takes (training splits) to the best bodybuilding workouts and bodybuilding diets this article has it all.
Learn about building muscle mass
A Beginner’s Guide to Bodybuilding for WomenThis article from Shape goes over detailed workout training and precise nutrition for women who want to start bodybuilding.
Learn about bodybuilding for women
Supersize Your Workout with SupersetsThis article from Men’s Journal goes over a functional exercise plan on how to maximize your time in the gym.
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The role of diet in bodybuilding
Ron eats mainly chicken, eggs, and carbs, which is best for building lean muscle. He also eats a lot of fruit on “leg day” and takes superfood supplements. He consumes anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 calories a day. He has a coach just for nutrition, as well as one for workouts and wrestling.
Greg Isha, a world-renowned nutrition coach, checks in with Ron multiple times a day about diet. On Sundays, Ron sends him pictures, and Greg then tweaks his diet for the start of the new week, sometimes adding a different type of snack. Ron’s weight ranges from 255 to 265, but he wants to be at 305 so he can wrestle competitively. He’s at 8.5 or 9% body fat now. “I’m trying to stay there and continue to grow,” he says.
Ron spends two and a half hours in the gym in the morning, then wrestles for three to four hours at night. Ron prefers not to do a lot of cardio. Instead, he focuses on doing supersets to stay lean. He aims to increase in weight with every single set, so he’s trying to max out every time, doing sets of 8 to 12.
His workout varies by day of the week. Here’s the breakdown:
Sat: Core, arms, cardio
Ron takes Sundays off to recharge and eat whatever he wants.
What workout is best for you depends on your goals and current body state. Like Ron, consider what you aim to accomplish. Do you want to run a marathon, enter bodybuilding competitions, or look toned for the beach?
How Ron became a tattoo collector
Though Ron was growing more buff and gaining more attention, he stopped doing photo shoots because he didn’t want to show off his old tattoos.
His whole body had been covered by the same person from head to toe. Then, an artist from Greece, Chris Kalodimas, tattooed his forearm, and it blew him away. He thought to himself, “Wow, there are people that exist like this and do artwork like this, and I covered my whole entire body already.” That’s when he ran into Phil.
Removery told him that they could help with laser removal. “My whole journey has been with them,” says Ron. “I had a full-body suit that I took off . . . decades of tattoos.”
He connected with artists whose work he truly loved, undergoing a step-by-step process of laser removal and new tattoo work. “Laser really helped with building confidence and realizing how much more stuff was out there, how many more talented artists were around the world,” he explains.
Instagram helped Ron make connections with the right artists. Before Instagram, he didn’t even know they existed. He learned it was best to give artists a lot of freedom, sharing an idea and asking them to do what they wanted with it, then saying yes or no to the concept.
He started collecting work from some of the best tattoo artists in the world—drastically better work. “I went out of this country, across the country; I went everywhere for tattoos,” Ron says.
Rons Tattoo Style
Ron is now a tattoo collector, meaning he has decorated his body with art by some of the industry’s most accomplished tattoo artists. In fact, his body is almost completely covered.
All his pieces have a similar style—they’re all black and gray and very realistic to the point that it’s startling. There are hands that look like they’re coming out of his body. He went for black and gray because it will age well, rather than looking noticeably faded over time, he says. The only color piece he has is by Joe Metista. It’s an incredibly realistic portrait of his dog that passed away. He had to laser off an old piece that he compares to “chicken-scratch” to have that one done.
Ron has large scalp pieces as well. “Once I started lasering, I took everything really seriously and only went to the people who fit my style,” he says.
Now, he’s tattooed his whole body except for his butt cheeks, and his body art includes huge pieces from heavy hitters. He’s had work done by Brian Berg, Luke Pallan, TeeJ Poole, Robby Latos, Josh Russ, Sean Foy, Joe Matisa, Jesse Levitt, and Jackie Jennings, as well as Chris Naki, George Kalodimas, and Segusti Si from Greece.
What subject matter does he choose? Lots of faces morphing into other things. He has around 15 girls’ faces on his body, along with some sacred geometry. In fact, his whole back is one big face. His piece by Robby Latos, his favorite artist, has been in 15 books.
Ron fully removed most of the tattoos he lasered off, so the artist didn’t have to hide anything. That was important for the style of his new tattoos since his artwork has a lot of negative space. It looks a lot like a charcoal sketch, with shading in the darker areas and brighter areas with minimal or no ink.
“Never once did a tattoo artist say they couldn’t work on me because it wasn’t light enough,” he says.
He’s lasered tattoos off of his armpits, rib cage, his whole back, and just about everywhere else. “It’s so worth it,” Ron says. He also appreciates that Removery has a machine that blows cold air to soothe his skin during treatment, as he was lasering some large areas.
“It helped me change my life for the better, gain more confidence,” he says. And he couldn’t be more satisfied with the results!
The transformations project showcases Removery’s most inspirational transformations. Physical appearance often accompanies internal personal growth and empowerment. Through 2020/2021, we have seen clients take ownership of their goals.
If you want to showcase your story of empowerment or know someone who does, drop us a line.