You know the look; guys with muscles that look like they’re hiding water-balloons flexing, their faces locked in a half-smile, half-grimace that seems to communicate their knowledge that they’re destroying their bodies.

Synthol is a blend of oil, lidocaine and alcohol that some guys inject into their bodies to fake the extremely muscled look.  It’s not restricted so the temptation to inject is huge. For somebody that wants a quick route to muscle it seems too good be true.

Let’s be clear: It is.  The laundry list of problems that synthol can cause is huge: pulmonary embolisms, nerve damage, infections, sclerosing lipogranuloma,  stroke, and the formation of oil-filled granulomas, cysts or ulcers in the muscle.

This is not scare-mongering.  People have completely destroyed themselves using it. The most recent case is the Brazilian guy who almost had to have his arms amputated.

Then there’s the former Mr. New Zealand who so damaged himself from the abuse of multiple substances, including synthol and steroids, that he can barely walk or speak.

This obsession with size is a form of body dysmorphia, a psychological disorder where somebody believes that their physical appearance is defective and needs to be fixed.  Similar to someone suffering from anorexia, a synthol user will continue obviously self-destructive behaviour always believing that their body is never good enough.

The Lesson? Train clean and let your training enhance your life rather than detract from it. Great health, self-esteem, wellbeing, and a positive approach to life should be your goals. Not sheer size.