Contestants at the Danish Bodybuilding Championships in Roskilde, May 5, 2001. The world of bodybuilding is, for some, a surreal vaudeville sideshow. For its participants it is a passionate way of life. Through the months and years of training there have been many sacrifices; no alcohol, no sweets, and no fatty foods. At the championships, image is the only thing that counts. Many of the bodybuilders have not eaten any salt for the past week. Salt attracts water, and it is vital that the muscles contain no water what-so-ever. A day before the judging the competitors eat rice cookies and take energy drinks laced with vodka. The cookies suck the last drops of water from our muscles, the alcohol makes the blood run faster and the veins look bigger. To look good on stage they wear a tanning cream, in order for the shadows to be seen more clearly. This has to be done five times to achieve the correct colour. As each coat takes thirty minutes to apply, many of the competitors sleep with the fake sun tan. In the final hours before the judging begins, the bodybuilders gather in the basement. The atmosphere is tense and the air is thick with sweat and the musty smell of cocoa oil used to add shine to naked flesh.