Photos: Amid MLB Steroid Crackdown, Natural Bodybuilding Championship Hits St. Louis

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The tale behind the tanning lotion is that a layer of dark bronzer shows off muscle definition in all its veiny detail, especially once under the bright stage lights. Many bodybuilders allow themselves to be shellacked with tanning lotion and bronzer over almost the entire body, leaving only some skin around the eyes and the little left covered by a bikini-brief. (But in most cases, not really that little. Try not to stare.)

While simple cosmetics can help a competitor get a bit more oomph from his or her physique, the real work happens in the previous months of weight training and dieting. No steroids, just good old-fashioned work; but that's not to say there aren't are a few things you can do to help yourself out.

Photos: Amid MLB Steroid Crackdown, Natural Bodybuilding Championship Hits St. Louis
Danny Wicentowski

"If you take the right supplements, amino acids, your glutamine, your whey protein, you watch your diet, your carbohydrates, your fats, your macro nutrients -- then you can actually develop a really nice physique," Dexter Taylor, 51, said before taking another bite of a rice cake covered in peanut butter and honey. (It's a popular snack among bodybuilders that causes blood vessels to widen, thus giving muscles that coveted "bulging out" look.)

He added, "You're not, of course, going to get as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jay Cutler or Ronnie Coleman."

Those names -- Cuter and Coleman especially -- get tossed around once the steroid issue is brought up, and they are the most visible and lucrative faces of a sport that DFAC's co-founder Rich Fitter is trying to reclaim under the banner of natural bodybuilding. His vision for the DFAC is for it become the face of the strictest drug testing in the sport.

Competitors in the Figure class strike their best poses. Kahlia Brookins (far left) won first place. - Danny Wicentowski
Danny Wicentowski
Competitors in the Figure class strike their best poses. Kahlia Brookins (far left) won first place.

"I support drug testing throughout sports," said Fitter, himself an ex-bodybuilder. "I try to set an example for my son."

Let's get this down: As the biggest steroid crackdown in Major League Baseball history unfolds and Lance Armstrong detaches further from reality, could it really be that the only succeeding model for repairing and reclaiming a sport damaged by the thrall of steroids is...bodybuilding? Huh.

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