Professional muscle man Valdir Segato from Brazil has biceps that measure a huge 23 inches – and a gigantic chest span of 47 inches.
But the bodybuilder has gone to extreme lengths to achieve his muscular physique.
Valdir injects his muscles with an oil made up from a blend of fatty acids, painkillers and alcohol. When used it gives the impression of muscle growth, but if used incorrectly it can cause infections and has even been known to be fatal.
‘Well, Synthol, you can buy it easily at the pharmacy, without a prescription. It’s not forbidden but it’s a product for animals.’
‘You start injecting in the biceps, which measures 40cm. Then in a month, you’ll see it grow 5 or 6cm. You look at your body and see that it’s growing, you’re going to want more.’
This obsession with his muscles is not a recent phase for Valdir, and he has been interested in bodybuilding since he was a child.
‘So, I lived in a low-income neighbourhood with my family. I lost my father. When I was 16, my brother he killed himself. And after that my mother also died because of an illness. I got involved with drugs. I started losing weight, people started giving me nicknames like Skinny Dog, Little Skull, so I decided to change my life.’
But now it’s not Valdir’s skinny physique that’s turning heads everywhere he goes, it’s his muscles!
‘The best thing is people stop me in the street. “Wow!”, “How did you get that body?”, “What did you do?”. They call me Hulk, Schwarzenegger. They also call me He-Man, all the time in the street. And I like that, you know.’
But not all of the attention that he gets is positive.
‘In the street, I get a lot of looks when I walk by. There’s times I hear, in my head, people mocking me.’
‘They say you did a pact with the devil. I don’t care what people say, if I like myself that’s enough.’
Although Valdir might be more than happy with his appearance, his friend Fernando is honest about his concerns that the injections may be damaging Valdir’s health.
‘I think the oil thing is stupidity. The guy wants to kill himself too quickly. That’s what I think. He thinks it’s good and so I stay quiet. But deep down I want to tell him to stop but he doesn’t want to.’
And he’s right to be concerned, as Valdir has had bad experiences with muscle enhancing substances in the past.
‘There was a time that I injected a larger dosage of anabolic steroids and I ended up in the hospital. The doctors tell me to stop it.’
Despite all this – Valdir refuses to stop injecting, and hopes that his giant muscles will one day bring him fame and fortune.
‘My dream is that with my musculature, with my body, I try to achieve something, a career, who knows, and something will jump start.’
‘I don’t have any regrets, no. I look at myself in the mirror and I feel good.’