WHEN WILL THE MADNESS STOP?
Am I outraged? Do I want to shout obscenities at every competitive bodybuilder? Do I feel the whole essence of what
bodybuilding is about is lost? Am I totally disgusted with the level to which our sport has sunk in recent years?
All of the above. Yet my biggest emotion is simply... sadness. Why sadness? Because our beautiful sport of yesteryear
has now dealt itself the final straw to break the camel's back. The following featured fitFLEX article tells how the
cheats among us have gone from taking oral anabolic steroids (in the 1950s) to injecting them (in the '60s) to
taking them intravenously (in the '70s) to relying on implants (in the '80s) and now to injectable oils (in the
'90s). Yes, top bodybuilders are injecting oil into their muscles to impress the judges with instant size. Forget
bench presses and curls, the buzz word is Synthol. Read on. Are we stupid or what? Don't answer that. It's all too
obvious. And jeez, it sad!
I try to keep an ear to the ground so I can keep up with the latest in pro bodybuilding and I must say that I've
nearly been leveled by the extent to which some of these guys will go in order to win a title. Similar to other risk
takers such as stunt artists, race drivers and daredevils, I guess some bodybuilders take an extreme route to that
elite level of competition. Big-money endorsements and a heap of fame, admiration and worldwide recognition come with
the territory of winning a major title. A well-known fact is that nearly 98 percent of all Olympic athletes would
agree to take some "magic pill" if it enabled them to win gold. The trade-off would be that they would have five years
taken off their lives. Nevertheless, they'd do it in a heartbeat. Whether or not they would come to regret the decision
on their deathbeds is questionable. But that's the way it is. Elite athletes definitely are in a class of their own.
My place is not to say whether that mentality is good or bad. To each his own. And I don't care how much the IFBB
tests for drugs, no one could've saved Andreas Munzer or Momo Benaziza from themselves. They would have done it
regardless. Even if the Mr. Olympia scoring standard's changed to reward a smoother, softer, smaller physique (the
most effective way to help bodybuilding save itself because drug tests can be beaten- easily), the guys who think
that more is better no matter what will do as many drugs as they can anyway. Maybe they want to look like freaks. I
don't know for sure. Not all top pro bodybuilders have that daredevil mentality, but those without it are outnumbered
That being said, the newest trend in elite bodybuilding is the use/abuse of a substance called Synthol. This stuff's
popularity is spreading like wildfire. My estimation is that over 90 percent of the top pros and amateurs are currently
If you ask a black-market steroid dealer what Synthol is, he'll tell you it is an injectable fat. That may not sound
like much, but the results users are getting are next to miraculous. Synthol is injected into a muscle. Then the oil
encapsulates (inside the muscle), making it bigger in appearance. This description may sound similar to that of a
compound Called Esiclene (formebolone), which is used by bodybuilders precontest. The difference between Esiclene
and Synthol is that Esiclene, once injected into a muscle, makes that muscle swell for a few days and then deflates
back to normal. Technically, what's happening here is, the muscle belly is being radically inflamed. The swelling is
what bodybuilders go forto help give their biceps "peak" or to bring out a smaller muscle group like the abdominals.
The drawbacks of Esiclene are: It will last only a few days, it can cause bad scarring, and its results are very
unpredictable. I have spoken to more than a few bodybuilders who say that they actually flattened out a few days earlier
than expected after their injection of Esiclene. You can consider Synthol to be a "permanent Esiclene," since the
effects seem to last around five years or so before the muscle goes back to normal size. Many pro bodybuilders who
have stubborn calves that never seem to grow welcome Synthol with open arms.
Synthol has an interesting history. In the '70s guys were taking regular silicone and injecting it straight into their
calves and biceps. (By the way, one box-office mega superstar still has his massive arms and calves, but has lost
considerable amounts of size everywhere else. He was rumored to have injected this "home brew" of silicone right into
the muscles.) The difference between that particular method and Synthol is that the Synthol contains a fatty- acid
substance as well as some ladocane to help numb the pain at the injection site. It's kind of like a poor man's alternative
to an implant.
A bottle of Synthol was recently tested at a laboratory and the results turned out to be that the fatty-acid substance
was, indeed, a medical-grade MCT oil. Now before you go injecting some regular MCT oil from ONC into your arms, let
me tell you that the medical-grade MCT is slightly different than the one that's sold over the counter in health-food
Synthol comes in a small, brown- tinted bottle with a bronze-colored cap. It has one black-and-white label that says
"Pump and Pose," and another colorful label with Synthol and ladocane printed on it. The reason for the two labels is
that Synthol is coming from Germany and will not get past US customs with the word ladocane on it. That's why it
comes with the standard black-and-white label. The more colorful labels (printed with the words Synthol and ladocane)
are put on by dealers in the US. I do not know the labeling procedures in other countries.
A bottle usually runs anywhere from $400 to as high as One bottle is usually enough for one person, since the
results will last nearly five years. I have heard there are some counterfeits floating around, but to be honest,
I do not know how extensive that problem is. The legal status of Synthol is similar to that of a cable descrambler -
basically that depends on how it is sold. If someone sells it as a rub-on "posing oil;' to the best of my knowledge
it is legal. If they say to inject it, it's illegal for sure.
As to the purity of Synthol, I do not know what to tell you. I do not think it is made by a legitimate pharmaceutical
company, so it may have impurities. A few bodybuilders have reported to me that some bottles have something
accumulated on the bottom. This substance is believed to be the ladocane, which has a tendency to precipitate to the
bottom. I have not, however, heard of anyone getting ill from using Synthol yet, but only time will tell. The main
side effect reported is the incredible pain the day following injection. "My calves were so pumped and sore that I
couldn't friggin' walk!" is the usual response. Users commonly report another side effect. They say that the muscle
becomes so pumped when being exercised and trained with weights that it is extremely painful.
With Synthol you not only get a permanent and instant size increase, but you can add what you want, where you want,
when you want. One black IFBB pro added two inches to each of his calves - and he was known for not having calves.
Another top pro bodybuilder uses a ton of it. He puts it into his deltoids, biceps, lats, calves - you name it. If
any of you see new huge, goose- egg-sized lumps on your favorite physique star; well, now you know what it is. He
over did it, to say the least.
All in all, I think it is way too early to tell whether or not this stuff is safe to use. Even if it were safe I
wouldn't recommend it. (I'd rather use plain old anabolic steroids.) Elite bodybuilders can chalk up another one to
their ever-growing list of pharmacopia. And that list, with the "get as big a physique as possible even if it's not
muscle" crowd can only get bigger and bigger and bigger as time goes on. One of these days a top pro is going to
burst onstage. Yet another oil slick to contend with. When will the madness stop?