A Brazilian bodybuilder is being compared to the Incredible Hulk after taking desperate measures to transform his once-skinny body.

Instead of building muscle mass via protein shakes and lengthy weights sessions, Valdir Segato is addicted to injecting himself with cosmetic filler to reach his desired goals.

The 48-year-old from Sao Paulo injects a substance called synthol – a mix of oil, alcohol and painkillers – directly into muscles in his chest, shoulders and arms to make them swell to abnormal shapes and sizes.

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He then posts regular updates to his social media followers, 26,000 on Instagram alone, to chronicle his dangerous transformation.

Valdir Segato has injected himself with artificial substances to shape his muscles. Photo / YouTube
Valdir Segato has injected himself with artificial substances to shape his muscles. Photo / YouTube

Synthol, a substance freely available on the internet, has been known to cause pulmonary embolisms, nerve damage, infections, stroke and cysts or ulcers in muscles.

Segato has, according to TN International, gone from being described by friends as a "Skinny Dog" to now boasting of muscles comparable to Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime.

Segato as a 13-year-old, left, compared to 2019's version. Photo / Facebook, YouTube
Segato as a 13-year-old, left, compared to 2019's version. Photo / Facebook, YouTube

"They call me Hulk, Schwarzenegger and He-Man all the time, and I love it. I already doubled the size of my biceps, but I still want them to be bigger," Segato told TN International.

His followers frequently encourage Segato to continue his fake muscle-building regime, telling him "well done" for his "absolute beast of a transformation".

Valdir Segato. Photo / YouTube
Valdir Segato. Photo / YouTube

A Russian counterpart of Segato's recently almost died after his own series of synthol injections.

Kirill Tereshin, 23, is recovering from surgery where he had 1.4kg of Synthol oil and "dead" muscle tissue removed from his arms.

The social media influencer, with 442,000 followers on Instagram, was warned by doctors that without the surgery he could have died, or required amputation.

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Surgeon Dmitry Melnikov of Sechenov Moscow State Medical University, who performed Tereshin's first operation, estimated that Tereshin had injected approximately three litres into each arm.

"It saturated the muscle tissues, blocked blood flow," said Melnikov. "As a result, the tissue dies and gets replaced with a scar which is as tough as a tree.

"But we are warning that it is extremely dangerous."