More and more people are swapping protein, steroids and intense exercise for injecting synthol into their arms, in order to stimulate muscle growth. Doctors are warning that this is a dangerous practice that should be avoided.
It takes time to build muscle, and the amount of time it takes depends on the person’s metabolism. But some people are impatient. Not long ago, a 21 year old Russian ex-soldier, Kirill Tereshin, made waves by resorting to an unconventional and dangerous practice: he injected synthol directly into his arms. The product in question is a liquid which is similar to but which should be distinguished from analgesic treatments. It is made up of 85% oil, 7.5% lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and 7.5% alcohol. As you can see below, these injections have a dramatic effect, swelling up the affected muscles to alarming proportions.
And the images published on his Instagram account appear to have inspired many others. Bad idea…
Generally, synthol is used before a competition. The injection aims to swell up a muscle that is developing a little more slowly than the others. The effect is rapid, temporary, and purely aesthetic – it does not create additional muscle mass. But there are risks, and not small ones. According to medical opinion, synthol can lead to pulmonary embolism, nerve lesions, infections, sclerosis, stroke, oil-filled cysts or ulcers in the muscle.
For professional weighlifter Kirill Sarychev, who lives in St. Petersburg, the problem could also be psychological. “You can see it in his face, there is something unhealthy about it”, he explained to the Daily Mail, in relation to the young Russian who has been nicknamed “Popeye”. “This is a person, who needs complex medical help. Not just to drain his arms and detox his blood, but also psychiatric help.”
So yes, “inflating” your muscles with synthol is a bad idea. For healthy muscles, you need to exercise, rest and eat a healthy diet.