Kirill Tereshin’s quest for enormous biceps and loads of Instagram followers is likely to cost him both arms.


As the Daily Mail reports, the former soldier from Russia was determined to increase the size of his arms to Popeye-like proportions. That’s when he turned to a homemade cocktail of oil, painkillers, and alcohol to pump up his muscles.

According to Men’s Health, synthol is a “site enhancement” solution sometimes used by bodybuilders to increase muscle size. The commercial versions are generally made up of 85 percent oil, 7.5 percent lidocaine, and 7.5 percent alcohol.

Though it doesn’t increase strength, injecting synthol into a muscle causes it to “balloon.” The cosmetic effects are temporary, but the long-term effects are not. Synthol can cause muscle fibrosis, ulcers, wounds, and permanent disfigurement, the publication added.


In contrast to steroids, synthol does not add muscle mass. Dr. Mauro DiPasquale told ABC News:

“It makes the muscle appear larger, but it actually weakens it.”

Unable to afford commercial synthol, Tereshin concocted his own, using olive oil, lidocaine, and benzyl alcohol. He then began regularly injecting the mixture into his biceps.

In a video on his Instagram account, he explained:

“For about a month I was making up to ten injections into each arm every day, using a 20 ml syringe. If I had used real Synthol, it would have cost me about [$6,795], but as I made it myself, I spent only about [$70].

I did not feel any discomfort in my arms when I was doing it … my body got used to it.”

For Tereshin, the payoff was in the 106,000 social media subscribers he says followed his homemade synthol regimen. But the gains come at a huge cost to his health.


Tereshin recently posted on Instagram that his “bazooka arms are about to fall off.”

Doctors have warned the bodybuilder that his constant injections of homemade synthol have put him at risk of paralysis and made it very likely that his arms will need to be amputated.

Professor Evgeny Lilin says the homemade synthol will remain in Tereshin’s muscles for at least five years, even if he were to stop immediately. And there will be more complications in the future:

“One day abscesses will develop, then inflammation and he (will be at risk of) a stroke.”

Another doctor compared the tissue in Tereshin’s bicep to “jelly.” He added:

“They are aseptic or inflammatory so far but these are abscesses. ‘They consist either of oil or blood from the damaged vessels. ‘They can’t be removed.”

Tereshin, who often tags his Instagram posts with “#freak,” is aware the synthol is doing permanent harm to his arms, but he has no intention of stopping the injections.


After adding more than 1.5 gallons of homemade synthol to his biceps, they now measure 23 inches. But he says he won’t stop until they get to 27 inches. Then it’s on to “improving” other parts of his body, like his chest and shoulders, according to the Daily Mail.

Though he may end up losing the arms he’s so proud of, Tereshin’s motivation comes from his desire to be “recognizable,” the Daily Mail reported. As he said via Instagram:

“I would like to get more than one million subscribers on Instagram and to stop working.”

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