The New Paper
9 May 2015
He modelled himself on the Incredible Hulk and dreamed of a body like the comic character.
But Mr Romario Dos Santos Alves, a 25-year-old Brazilian, went to such extremes that his arms almost had to be amputated, the Mail Online reported.
The bodybuilder injected oil and alcohol into his arms to pump up his biceps to 63cm.
His arms became so swollen that they terrified children in his town of Caldas Novas in the state of Goias.
They began calling him "monster" and "beast", the report said.
The former bodyguard, who has one child, said that using the synthetic filler synthol cost him his sanity and nearly his life.
The filler began causing him constant pain and he almost suffered kidney failure due to the toxins in the oil.
A doctor told him that the only course of action was to have his arms amputated.
He told the Mail Online: "They said everything in there, all my muscles, were rock. It was either that or cut all of my muscles out."
Luckily for him, his arms were not amputated.
Doctors instead decided to remove the "rocks" which formed in his arms.
Mr Alves became obsessed with the drug after moving from his hometown to Goiania in Brazil three years ago.
He said: "I saw some really big guys in the gym with huge arms and I made friends with them.
"They introduced me to synthol and I got excited about the results - I lost control."
His muscles began to solidify and he found it hard to inject his arms.
So he decided to use the kind of needles used on bulls.
But when his wife Marisangela Marinho, 22, came to know of his addiction she gave him an ultimatum: her, or his fix.
He has not used the substance for two years, but other muscle-enhancing drugs still tempt him, he said.
Mr Alves still has ambitions to be a professional bodybuilder, but is committed to staying clean.
He said: "I still feel like taking synthol, but I won't take it again. If you take it once there will definitely be a second time - it's addictive."
Dr Alan Matarasso, a plastic surgeon in New York, in the US, told ABC News that such chemicals can cause dangerous or even deadly consequences.
He said that by injecting the vascular smooth muscle area (composing the majority of the wall of blood vessels), bodybuilders or others using synthol are at risk for serious complications, including stroke and gangrene.
See more pictures of the man in the gallery below.