I was a real-life Hulk with oil-injected ‘double muscle’ biceps full to bursting – I was unrecognisable as a scrawny lad | The Sun

BODYBUILDER Romario Dos Santos Alves was insecure about his small arms as a teen, so he turned to an unconventional and deadly way to get toned.

Alves struggled for years to gain muscle naturally, so the Brazilian bodybuilder turned to a solution which would almost cost him his life: mineral oil.

He began injecting himself with synthol, a dangerous mix of alcohol and mineral oil, when he was 15.

The effects of the injections were immediate, and Alves soon got the "Incredible Hulk" arms he longed for.

Misuse of the substance can lead to life-long health issues – including muscle tissue turning into a "rock".

At one point, Alves was injecting 4ml of mineral oil twice a week, leading to his arms bulking up by 20% in the nine months he was using the oil.


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Alves became addicted to the injections, and his wife Marisangela Marinho threatened to leave him if he didn't stop the worrying practice.

The bodybuilder's addiction soon caught up with him, and he began to have breathing issues and incredibly low energy levels.

After using the injections for a period, a doctor told Alves he needed a double arm amputation to save his life.

On the morning of the scheduled amputation, however, Alves was given a second chance.

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The amputation wasn't necessary, and his arms were saved.

“I wanted to get big, I didn’t want only to have a nice defined body, I wanted to be a big guy. I wanted to be a monster," Alves said, reflecting on his addiction.

“I’m thankful to God for putting my family in my life so I could see life isn’t just about big muscles. There are more important things."

A Russian man had surgery on both his arms to remove his "clogged" triceps and save his life after using synthol.

Synthol injections expand muscle tissue and are popular amongst bodybuilders due to its almost immediate results.

As well as the dangers involved with injecting, the substance can cause irreversible muscle damage and potentially life-threatening complications.

Despite the clear risks, the substance is widely available online and relatively easy to purchase.

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