The man with exploding arms…

I was lying half-unconscious on the couch tonight and ended up watching some programs on Discovery channel. One was about strange things removed from humans (E.G.: the cop who had a 6′ long section of a mobile home stuck in his chest), then there was a show with the provocative title “The Man With Exploding Arms“.

The program was about bodybuilders and steroid use, and used Gregg Valentino as sort of the poster child for everything that can go wrong. Gregg, despite his lengthy use of steroids and (I’m sorry to say) comically over-developed biceps, seems like a nice guy. Very honest about his problems and the stupid things he’s done, maybe to the point of almost being proud. The video tape of him trying to drain a pus-filled haematoma in his bicep while talking to his buddy on the phone really seems like a low point to me, something I’d be embarrassed by, but he didn’t seem to mind talking about it.

One thing that hadn’t really occurred to me was the psychologist (Harrison Pope) in the program who described something the body-builder’s themselves called “biggorexia“. A body dysmorphic disorder like anorexia, it causes body builders to look in the mirror and, regardless of how much muscle they have, see themselves as “underdeveloped”. Add that to the incredible competitive strain of body building in general, and you end up with folks using drugs and ruining their bodies.

It makes me wonder whether a nudge in the right or wrong direction in life can result in people seeing themselves in ways that lead to self destructive behavior. Or if its purely something you are born with. Whatever, I feel fortunate that I’ve managed to avoid thinking of myself daily as in desperate need of extreme improvement. I could imagine how easily it could become all-consuming.

3 thoughts on “The man with exploding arms…”

  1. I saw that show as well, a little while ago.

    One thing that “The learning channel”(TLC) did not even bother to mention (and I emailed them about it), which bothered me, since it was supposed to be a “documentary””, is that TLC left out the biggest component of Gregg Valentino’s arm size, synthol.

    There is no doubt, that Gregg Valentino has used hormones, diuretics, and quite possibly steroids, but his main claim to faim (and what also makes him a huge joke) is “Synthol”.

    Synthol a synthetic lubricant which a few morons over the last 20 years or so have used to temporarily increase their body mass.

    Any bodybuilder that uses it, will be spotted immediately.
    It (synthol) creates an incredibly obvious look to the body, that to anyone who lifts weights on a regular basis, will be able to spot.

    Gregg Valentino’s arm growth was not just from steroids, as steroids will promote muscle growth everwhere. When you look at Gregg Valentino, his forearms are ridiculously small, even when not compared to his upper arms.

    If he was using steroids exclusively, his forearms would be as large in comparison to his upper arms. If all of his size was attributed just to weight training, proper diet, and quite possibly steroids, his forearms for certain would be the appropriate size (over 18″ at the least).

    When you work your biceps and triceps (your upper arm) you inevitably give your forearms a portion of the workload, they have no choice but to grow as well, unless of course you decide to just inject a bunch of oil into your muscle bellies to inflate them.


    I first saw a bodybuilder using this back in 1988 at a show I went to, he had this incredibly strange “bump” on his shoulder. After talking to him for a bit, he finally told me that was where he put some synthol, and it didn’t “settle” the right way under his skin.

    The effect that synthol creates, usually only lasts for a few weeks, so it has to be done on a regular basis. And since fluid moves, you can never predict how it will act once injected.

    This is a very old trick and has pretty much fallen by the wayside by “real” bodybuilders, for one, because it is so easy for judges at competitions to tell the difference between “bulbs of oil” and true muscle. (and competitors are banned when caught).

    Of course this didn’t matter to Gregg Valentino, since he was about as far removed from being a competitive bodybuilder as possible.

    Most bodybuilders that lift weights, want the holy grail of arm size (over 20″) and will do most anything to get there, as evidenced by Mr. Gregg Valentino.

    Some links below, about synthol and other morons out there who use it :). The first link is pretty incredible, look at those idiots! The second link has some pretty good information, and the third link is the synthol homepage.

  2. Also, a few pictures of the guy. He still denies, to this day that he uses synthol…har har, its comical.

    The first picture, of him from about 20 years ago, with relatively “normal” arms and shoulders for a steroid taking bodybuilder.

    Even though he denies that he used steroids until much later in his life, in the picture, it is very obvious that he was on drugs. Hardness and definition like that is unachievalble without diueretics and steroids, regardless of what some liars will try and have you believe.

    Second picture, is just a picture of him looking completely ridiculous.

    Third, an obvious picture of synthol use/abuse. Two huge “bulbs” of oil sitting near, not even on his posterior deltoids. šŸ™‚ If I didn’t feel so sorry for him and his mental condition, It would be even more hilarious.

  3. Hehe šŸ˜‰ Yeah, he’s a pretty funny looking guy. If you follow the link in my original post to his site (“Gregg Valentino“) or to the one to the article about him (“Very honest about his problems…“) you’ll see references to the cocktail of crap he used to use (excerpt here)

    GV: What it is this: everyone accuses me of Synthol. I don’t take Synthol. I was taking propionate and Equipoise into the muscle itself. Synthol just works one way: it stretches the fascia. With Equipoise and propionate you get the double whammy. You get the stretch from the oil plus you get the localized growth from the drugs themselves.

    So, if you believe him, he was taking even nastier (?) stuff- injected directly into the muscle.ƂĀ  He was eventually arrested for trafficking in steroids.ƂĀ  Definitely not an “untroubled” man šŸ™‚

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