Romario Dos Santos is a 25-year old bodybuilder who dreamed of being the real-life Incredible Hulk. Unfortunately, this dream almost cost him both of his arms. The bodybuilder risked his life by injecting what is known as synthol – a combination of alcohol, oil, and painkillers – into his biceps.

What is Synthol?

The Hulk was Romario's inspiration / Hulk image by Marvel
The Hulk was Romario’s inspiration / Hulk image by Marvel

Synthol is a type of site enhancement oil that many bodybuilders actually use to hide a part of the body that appears to lag or an area that does not respond well during training. Synthol contains a combination of lidocaine, alcohol, and a cocktail of oil. There are also street versions of the injection and they often contain several more other ingredients.

Injecting with synthol, although common, is not recommended by professionals as it can lead to different health problems. These include nerve damage and pulmonary embolisms. However, in Romario’s case, he experienced oil-filled muscles, which made them very hard. While for some bodybuilders, this is a blessing, Romario’s biceps actually felt like stone.

The Result

Romario was rushed to the hospital because he couldn’t move his arms and the doctors feared they had to amputate both. Thankfully, it was decided that it was possible to simply remove the synthol rocks in his arms.

A simple lesson was learned here. There are no shortcuts to bodybuilding and this hobby shouldn’t involve muscle enhancing drugs.

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