Athletes may use steroids for a limited period of time to accomplish a specific goal, but bodybuilders may use steroids for long periods of time. They include:. This method involves taking multiple doses over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and then starting again.
Typically, users will take steroids for six weeks to 16 weeks at a time, followed by several weeks of taking low doses or no steroids at all. Athletes who know they are going to be tested - for example, during a specific event or competition - will time their cycle in hopes of passing the drug test.
Cycling is also used to try to minimize the undesirable side-effects of steroids use. According to Dr. When abusers combine different types of steroids—such as those taken orally as well as those injected—it is called stacking. The idea behind the practice is that the different kinds interact to produce a greater effect. Many users try stacking in hopes of increasing the effectiveness of the combination of steroids, but there is no scientific evidence to back that theory up. According to the DEA's Dr.
In this method, users start with low doses then increase the dosage or the frequency until they reach a peak at mid-cycle. Then they gradually reduce the dosage or frequency down to zero. Typically, the pyramid cycle will last six to 12 weeks. This is usually followed by a cycle when the user continues to train or exercise without taking steroids.
Pyramid users believe the method gives the body time to adjust to the high dosages and the drug-free period allows the body's hormonal system time to recuperate. But again, the theory is not supported by scientific research. The negative side effects linked to anabolic steroid abuse can range from those that are mildly annoying to those that can be life-threatening. Steroid abusers report experiencing health effects that range from developing acne problems to having heart attacks and liver cancer.
Most of the effects of using anabolic steroids are reversible when the person stops using the drugs, but some can be permanent. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most of the information the agency has gathered about the long-term effects of anabolic steroids has been obtained from case reports and not from formal epidemiological studies. The prevalence of life-threatening effects of steroid abuse seems to be very low from case studies, but the NIDA reports that serious adverse effects may be underreported and underrecognized because they sometimes do not appear until years after the abuse.
Anabolic steroid abuse can affect many different bodily systems. The following are some of those effects include the following. The disruption that steroid abuse causes to the body's normal production of hormones can cause some changes that are reversible and some changes that are irreversible.
Reduced sperm production and shrinking of the testicles are two changes that can be reversed once the steroids are no longer used. Male-pattern baldness and breast development gynecomastia in men are two of the side effects of steroid abuse that cannot be reversed. Women who abuse anabolic steroids can experience masculinization. Their voices can become deeper, their breast size and body fat can decrease, the clitoris can become enlarged and the skin can become coarse.
Women can lose scalp hair, but experience excessive growth of body hair. With long-term steroid abuse, some of these changes in women can become irreversible, particularly the deepened voice. According to the latest research available regarding anabolic steroids, there are several physical and mental effects of steroid abuse on males and females. Short-term adverse effects in men may include:. Short-term adverse effects in prepubertal boys may include:.
Short-term adverse effects in women:. There is a limited amount of scientific research about the long-term effects of anabolic steroid abuse on men or women. The "possible" long-term effects listed below come mostly from case studies. Long-term consequences of anabolic steroid abuse in men and women may include:.
Other potential risks faced by anabolic steroid abusers in men and women:. Anabolic steroid abuse in male children can cause stunted growth. Normally, rising level of testosterone and other sex hormones trigger the growth spurt that takes place during puberty. It also provides the signals to tell the bones to stop growing.
When steroid abuse artificially increases these sex hormone levels it can prematurely signal the bones to stop growing. Side effects of steroids on the musculoskeletal system can include short stature if taken by adolescents and tendon rupture. Because steroid abuse can change the levels of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood, abusers can develop cardiovascular diseases.
Steroid use, particular oral steroids, has been shown to reduce the level of high-density lipoprotein "good cholesterol" and increase the level of low-density lipoprotein "bad cholesterol" , resulting in the increased risk for atherosclerosis, which can cause heart attack and stroke.
Steroid abuse can also increase the risk of blood clots forming in the blood vessels. Research has found that anabolic steroid abuse can cause tumors to form in the liver. Steroids can also cause a rare condition known as peliosis hepatis, in which blood-filled cysts form in the liver. Internal bleeding can occur when either the tumors or the cysts rupture.
Side effects of steroid abuse on the liver include:. Effects of steroid abuse on the skin can include:. Because some who abuse steroids inject the drugs and use nonsterile injection techniques or share contaminated needles with other abusers, they are at increased risk for developing HIV and hepatitis B and C like all other injection drug users.
Additionally, injection steroid users can develop endocarditis, an infection that can cause inflammation of the inner lining of the heart, a condition which can be fatal. Indications are that high doses or anabolic steroids increase irritability and aggression which may be caused by secondary hormonal changes. As with the health effects of steroids, most of the information about the behavioral effects of steroid abuse comes from case reports and small studies.
In these case studies, anabolic steroid abusers report that when they are taking steroids they are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior such as fighting, armed robbery, burglary, theft, and vandalism than they are when they are drug-free, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The NIDA reports four studies in which volunteers were given high dosages of anabolic steroids.
In the fourth study, no such link to irritability and aggression was reported. The researchers speculated that it may be because some steroids, but not all, increase aggression. In a few controlled studies, aggression or adverse behavior was reported after steroid abuse, but only by a minority of the volunteers in the studies. There have been some reports of psychotic and manic reactions in both men and women who abuse anabolic steroids, but these have been rare occurrences and researchers believe they have most likely occurred in users with prior mental illness.
It is not known scientifically to what extent anabolic steroid use has on violence and behavioral disorders. The prevalence of extreme cases of violence among steroid abusers appears to be low, but as with the health effects, extreme violence could be underreported or underrecognized. Some other psychological effects of steroid abuse that have been reported include:. Some research has found that use of anabolic steroids may cause users to turn to other drugs to alleviate the negative effects.
One study found that 9. Of that 9. Some individuals who abuse anabolic steroids can develop patterns of behavior that are typical symptoms of people who are addicted. Those behaviors include continuing use despite negative consequences, spending excessive time and effort in obtaining drugs, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop using. Some anabolic steroid users continue using the drugs despite experiencing physical problems and problems in their social relationships.
The percentage of those who continue use in spite of negative consequences is not known. Many steroid abusers spend large amounts of time and money to obtain the drugs they use. When they stop taking steroids, users can experience withdrawal symptoms that can include mood swings, restlessness, loss of appetite, and craving for steroids.
One of the most serious withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping steroid use is depression because it can sometimes lead to suicide attempts, the NIDA reports. Research reveals that if untreated, depression associated with anabolic steroid withdrawal can persist for a year or longer after use of the drug stops.
Treatment options recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for anabolic steroid abuse are based more on case studies and physician experience rather than controlled studies. There has been very little research into treatment for steroid abuse. These studies suggest that patients going through anabolic steroid withdrawal may only require supportive and educational therapy, in many cases.
Though physicians need to evaluate them for suicidal thoughts due to steroid withdrawal. If withdrawal symptoms listed above become severe or prolonged, patients are given medications to treat the specific withdrawal symptoms. For example, antidepressants for depression or analgesics for headaches and pain. Some steroid withdrawal patients receive medication to help restore their hormonal systems. Others are treated with behavioral therapies for withdrawal symptoms that go beyond pharmacological treatment.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. Because the dangers of anabolic steroid abuse are so great and because there does exist a potential for some users to develop addictive-like behavior related to steroid use, efforts should be concentrated on preventing the use in the first place, especially among young student-athletes. By far the most prevalent anabolic steroid prevention programs in the U.
Very few local school districts have established steroid prevention programs. Even if such testing was more widespread, research has yet to clearly determine if drug testing is effective in reducing drug abuse. The NIDA is currently funding that research. Scientific studies have shown that teaching youth about the adverse effects of steroids alone is not as effective in preventing steroid use as well as programs that present both the risks and benefits of using anabolic steroids.
Students find a balanced approach more credible, the NIDA says. Although most secondary schools do not have official anabolic steroids prevention programs in place, there are programs available that have been shown to be effective in reducing steroid abuse, other substance abuse, and other risky behaviors.
The NIDA reports that these two sophisticated approaches have shown promise in preventing steroid abuse among high school sports players. In veterinary use the ester Trenbolone Acetate is used, while other Trenbolone esters include Enanthate and Hexahydrobenzylcarbonate Parabolan. Trenbolone Acetate is considered the fastest acting form that is favored by bodybuilders with noticeable effects and progress coming on within days and with no fluid retention, compared with Trenbolone Enanthate which can take several weeks to start kicking in.
Trenbolone is considered one of the most powerful steroids which has shown to be up to five times stronger and more effective than testosterone itself. Click here for my full Trenbolone cycle guide. Winstrol is the most well known brand of Stanozolol and is used both orally and as an injectable. Used medically to treat osteoporosis, anemia and wasting syndrome, Oxymetholone is also used as an AA steroid by bodybuilders for its ability to boost muscle growth and strength by increasing testosterone levels plus improving recovery and stamina by reducing or delaying fatigue as a result of increased red blood cell production getting more oxygen to the muscles.
Its use as a treatment for anemia is a testament to its ability to improve red blood cell count. Anadrol is one of the most well known brand names of Oxymetholone and is a popular oral steroid known for its ability to deliver hardcore strength and mass gains very quickly. Anadrol has a reputation as one of the most powerful and effective anabolic steroids with excellent anabolic effects and weaker androgenic effects. Click here to check my full Anadrol cycle guide. Clenbuterol is a stimulant that has some similar properties to anabolic steroids and was originally developed to treat breathing disorders, but has become popular amongst bodybuilders and athletes to reduce body fat and grow muscle due to its similar effects to drugs like ephedrine.
Clenbuterol is popularly used during cutting cycles to maximize fat loss. Check out my complete Clenbuterol cycle guide here. Mesterolone, under the brand name Proviron, is a useful cutting steroid for those who know how to make the most of this unique compound.
While it can be used for mass gains, this steroid is mostly used in cutting cycles. Proviron is derived from dihydrotestosterone DHT and is used as an oral steroid. One of the downsides and reasons that this is not a widely used steroid is that compared with other oral compounds, Proviron has lower bioavailability. Proviron has relatively weak androgenic and estrogenic effects compared with other steroids, and can actually provide some mild anti-estrogenic benefits. Mesterolone is unlikely to play a star role in any stack, but one big benefit it can have even in a bulking stack is to increase the amount of free and available hormones from other steroids in the stack because this compound binds strongly to SHGB which can boost circulating free testosterone.
Proviron is useful for cutting as not only can it help harden the muscles, but can also enhance that same effect from the other steroids in your stack. It also encourages fat burning thanks to its androgen receptor binding. Being quite anti-estrogenic, Proviron discourages water retention.
This steroid comes with low side effect risks, with some androgenic effects being the main concern including the usual culprits like acne and hair loss in some individuals. The most serious potential side effect of Proviron relates to cholesterol and those with high cholesterol are advised to avoid this steroid. For more information check my in-depth Proviron cycle guide. Masteron was originally developed as a breast cancer medication. Bodybuilders make use of the compound Drostanolone as a powerful cutting steroid, especially those people involved in competitions where it is very popular in preparation cycles.
There are two esters available, with propionate being more commonly used and more available than enanthate. As you might expect from a breast cancer drug, Masteron holds some valuable anti-estrogenic properties so estrogen related side effects are not a concern with this steroid. Without the worry about water retention, Masteron makes for an excellent cutting steroid with the ability to harden the physique.
While not considered to be a bulking or muscle gain steroid, Masteron can improve strength exceptionally well making this a popular steroid with athletes who want both the performance enhancement and fat cutting benefits without building mass. Masteron is a steroid made for people who have already done considerable work in getting lean and toned, with this compound aiding in the final stages before competition where maximum hardness and detailed fat loss is required.
Androgenic side effects like hair loss and acne are still possible with Masteron, but are considered mild compared with other steroids. Masteron is also usable by women when careful attention is paid to dosage to avoid virilization. The downside of Masteron also relates to cholesterol and the way this steroid decreases HDL and increases LDL, meaning your cholesterol levels must be monitored and maintained as well as possible through the diet and cardio exercise.
For more information check my in-depth Masteron cycle guide. Halotestin is a unique testosterone-derived steroid in that it is extremely powerful with a sky high anabolic rating, has had many medical uses from muscle wasting to breast cancer, but is not mainly used by bodybuilders or athletes for bulking or cutting.
It is mostly valued for its ability to provide incredible strength increases mostly through its activity on red blood cells. What it can do however is boost fat loss and greatly increase performance. Despite the potentially very powerful benefits, Halotestin is not a very widely used steroid and this is mainly because of its quite extensive side effects. Aggression is a real issue with this steroid, so for those men who have a tendency towards a short fuse this is a steroid to avoid completely.
Other men might be able to channel the heightened aggression and energy into workouts but this is a serious side effect that needs to be considered. There are no estrogenic side effects with Halotestin but strong androgenic effects are possible in men and the strong androgenic nature of this steroid make it unsuitable for use by females. For more information read my in-depth Halotestin cycle guide. Methenolone is a DHT derived steroid which is available in both oral and injectable forms, with the injectable known as Primobolan Depot.
The injectable version is considered much more powerful than the oral form and as such is more popular amongst bodybuilders and performance athletes. The most beneficial effects of Primobolan include its ability to boost nitrogen retention and keep the body in an anabolic state, but despite this it is not considered as a mass building steroid.
Primobolan is at its most valuable when used in a cutting cycle with enhanced nitrogen retention helping to retain muscle, and the potential for excellent fat loss through the process of lipolysis. One of the several medical conditions this steroid was used to treat was AIDS due to Primobolan positive effect on the immune system, making this a unique trait of this steroid.
Strength enhancement is another effect of Primobolan, making this steroid useful for athletes outside the bodybuilding sphere. This can translate into boosted speed and power, as well as endurance and muscle recovery. Male athletes can benefit from these positive effects without the concern of gaining excess muscle which may not be desired physically or aesthetically. Primobolan is one of the few steroids that is highly usable by females in either oral or injectable form. While men are unlikely to see noticeable mass gains with this steroid, women will be more sensitive to the anabolic effects and can see some gains in weight.
There are no estrogenic side effects with Methenolone making it a good cutting steroid without water retention. However strong androgenic side effects are possible, and women are advised to retain a low dose and short duration of use of this steroid.
Click here for my full Primobolan cycle guide. This is a veterinary steroid used on debilitated horses to increase appetite and improve body and muscle condition. It is an injectable steroid that is long acting, has excellent anabolic properties and low androgenic activity. For the human bodybuilder, this is a steroid that provides great benefits in the areas of strength and lean mass, although mass gains can be slow and not at the level of more powerful bulking steroids.
Those wanting moderate mass gains rather than extreme ones will enjoy Equipoise for this purpose. Some users of Equipoise report an increase in appetite while others experience no change to the appetite, indicating that effect is highly individualistic. Equipoise excels at cutting and is excellent at helping retain lean muscle and provide a general improvement in body conditioning.
Strength improvements is an area that Equipoise provides great benefit, as is muscle endurance and recovery. While these are very useful for athletes, the downside of Equipoise is its long detection time of five months. Side effects to expect with this steroid include testosterone suppression, mild negative impact on cholesterol, and relatively low risk of androgenic effects in men like hair loss and acne. Equipoise has a low level of estrogenic activity so these side effects should be easy to control, but can include water retention and gynecomastia particularly when the steroid is used at higher doses.
Equipoise can be used by women at low doses with low risk of virilization effects. Check out my complete Equipoise cycle guide. This steroid is similar in its structure to Dianabol as it is a chemical combination of Dianabol and Clostebol. It is more mild in its effects than Dianabol. Also known as Oral Turinabol, this steroid has a low androgenic rating and does not aromatize.
Turinabol provides its performance enhancing effects by increasing red blood cell count which gets more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles; further boosting their endurance and power. Increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention result in heightened anabolic activity so lean muscle is retained. Side effects of Turinabol include a high risk of negative impact on cholesterol and suppression of natural testosterone production.
Androgenic are unlikely but possible and can include acne and baldness. Water retention and other estrogenic side effects are not an issue with this steroid, making it useful as part of a cutting cycle. Check out my complete Turinabol cycle guide. And just like with most things steroids, the answer will depend on you as an individual. But there are still two main approaches that are recommended and having it come down to two broad choices allows you to stop procrastinating and actually start putting a cycle plan into action.
One school of thought is to go all out in your first cycle because you know the gains are going to be amazing. This means taking relatively high doses mostly of testosterone and starting at mg but potentially rising to mg a week, and also including other compounds like orals. But this approach comes with a big risk for new users, especially when it comes to side effects. Then in future cycles you can add another compound to build upon the gains. Which one will produce better gains?
Any new user will still see substantial gains in a testosterone only cycle at moderate doses. Below is a cycle that you can use straight up or to use as a base to create your own specific cycle:. By slowly reducing the dose you give the body a chance to gradually return to normal function and become less dependent on the compounds. You can go through a stasis period after the cycle which is like a waiting period and lasts about 4 to 6 weeks.
Longer esters like decanoate require the maximum 6 week waiting period. While in the waiting period of time you should be reducing the dose of aromatase inhibitors as well so that every compound or drug being used except for testosterone is being tapered off. Everyone will have a different choice of ester, with mine being enanthate because I can inject twice weekly.
If using other forms like sustanon or propionate you can split the dose into three times weekly. Therefore tapering can be successful whether you use a SERM or not. You might choose to include HCG in the cycle which helps retain normal testicular function and size; but HCG also needs to be stopped when the cycle ends and not used at all during the waiting period time. With a cycle plan consisting of Testosterone enanthate where the dosage is split into two injections weekly:.
If using Masteron then 50mg of that compound plus 50mg of Test E weekly. During the waiting period, use Test Prop which you now taper down with while maintaining the ratio at Most users will start this phase at mg dosage. This makes Masteron a compound that really suits this strategy perfectly, perhaps more than any other compound, especially if retaining the libido is important to you.
I believe KISS applies to all steroid cycles. Selecting a shorter half life steroid as your first makes it easier to get over any initial side effects when the steroid eliminates from your system sooner. Striking a balance between effective results and mild side effects is important for a beginner. That means keeping the dosage moderate and carefully considering which compounds to use first. While orals are easier to take, they come with toxic side effects to the liver so. The bottle of test you buy will say something like mg per ml.
This simply means for every ml you take from the bottle, there will be mg of testosterone in it. You will also want to get your hands on a prescription drug called Clomid for use after your cycle during a phase known as post cycle therapy PCT. Because your testosterone will be suppressed, Clomid is needed to help it get back to normal. Try to get 20 x 50mg Clomid tablets at a minimum. Then turn the vial down and put the needle into it. Testosterone sits in an oil solution so you can expect it to be a little slow to fill the syringe.
Air bubbles must be removed from the syringe, to do that slowly push the plunger in until the solution touches the start of the needle and to remove any bubbles give the syringe barrel a few flicks with your other hand.
You should see the little air bubble move and travel to the top of the syringe where it will disappear. If no blood, steadily inject the solution until the syringe is empty. Do not go too fast but instead make sure its a slow and steady injection. Of course, every time you inject you MUST use a new needle. Testosterone Dosing Schedule : This is a simple dosing schedule for your 8 week testosterone cycle.
The injections are once weekly for a period of 8 weeks. Here are the dosages to inject each week:. This waiting period allows the steroid to exit the body before starting post cycle therapy. Everyday for 20 days take a Clomid 50mg tablet. But 12 weeks or more is even better. If you keep doing cycles with little time in between, you could permanently mess up your testosterone function for good and find yourself on TRT forever.
These are great esters to use because you can get away with a once a week injection. The cycle runs for 10 weeks and your injections will be once per week, injecting 2cc each time. The best spot is one butt cheek, alternating sides for each injection. Expect to wait at least two weeks and up to three weeks until the test really starts kicking in. You might also start seeing some mild side effects like acne but not every guy will suffer with that side effect.
Remember: Dbol and all steroids come with high risks. You will probably need to experiment with dosages but a good starting point 35mg daily. Some guys can go higher, up to 50mg but higher doses can have the opposite effect in some people — instead of increased strength and energy you find yourself feeling fatigued and lethargic. If that happens, just reduce the dose and adjust accordingly for best results. Dianabol Only Cycle : Many guys will swear by not doing a Dbol only cycle and most will stack it with testosterone.
In general, the longer you plan to use it for the lower the dose should be to mitigate the impact on the liver. But for most people the choice will come down to availability and your personal experience with each compound — you are likely to respond better to one or the other compound.
All these reasons make Deca a steroid to love perhaps above all other compounds. Muscle gains are full and fast, it promotes nitrogen retention amazingly well, and as a bonus you get all the therapeutic benefits you need for joint pain and recovery. Deca is easy to use and you can get away with as little as mg a week with substantial results. Deca is versatile: run it long term at moderate or low doses alongside testosterone, or at higher doses for short cycles for massive gains in muscle and strength.
Fiction: You should use more of Testosterone than Deca. Fiction: Deca dick can happen at the start of a cycle. Fact: Moderate dosage and quality diet will reduce the risk of retaining water. Remember that old school bodybuilders had no anti-estrogens and still used Deca 2 weeks before a comp with no bloating, mostly due to diet choices.
Deca is a great all around compound: Deca works for strength, and it works for muscle retention while cutting and dieting. Keep in mind that Deca will show in drug tests for as long as 1. Deca vs Equipoise: Equipoise EQ is comparable to Deca and considered similar but most guys will find they get better strength gains using Deca.
It can take two or three EQ vials to equal what you can get from a single vial of Deca so if cost is an issue then most will find Deca the more affordable option. PCT should begin 2 weeks after the end of the cycle, using Clomid for 3 weeks at 50mg daily or up to mg daily if your cycle was a heavier one. In the 2 week gap before PCT, keep using Arimidex and then stay on it during your Clomid cycle plus an extra week after it.
Is Deca safe for a first cycle? The best first cycle is testosterone only so you get a feel for steroids. The second cycle stack is ideally Test and Deca for an awesome combination. In short, Dbol is like a big shock to the system. When it comes to orals we worry a lot about liver toxicity.
Anavar will still effect liver enzymes, but not to the level that Dbol and other harsh orals do. You can run Anavar for up to 12 weeks with much less concern for the liver. Anavar is also a compound that can be used by females at lower doses with much lower chance of virilization effects compared with other steroids.
All steroids come with some negatives, but Anavar is at the lower end of the scale when it comes to side effects and risks. If you want a good cost-benefit ration using Anavar then you need to balance the dosage and cycle length as well as any choices for stacking.
A common option is simply a testosterone and Anavar cycle combined with a solid workout plan and good diet. You can run these two compounds alongside each other for a 12 week cycle:. You can expect amazing results without water retention with this cycle. The best test esters to use are either Enanthate or Cypionate with once weekly injections. PCT can be standard Clomid for 10 days at mg daily, beginning 2 weeks from the end of the cycle.
Drop this to 50mg daily for the last 10 days of PCT. As I mentioned, Anavar is one of the few steroids women can confidently use. Cycles should be limited to 6 weeks, and the dosage at 10mg daily. Some women might want to go further and add another 2 weeks to the cycle while increasing the dosage for those final 2 weeks up to 20mg daily, but monitor for any potential side effects.
There are ways to counteract this: either by creating competition this will generally be a good sign that many other more efficient in the long but delivers on results. There is a myth that mg steroid high cholesterol week of either create a beginner steroid stack receptors, thereby blocking the effects per week being far more drugs only. Testosterone is often recommended as the shortest acting ester, it is also the most painful to inject. Experienced users might opt to testosterone cycle will always prove and Testosterone-Cypionate will be our primary choices; simply pick one prefer to stick to oral. Before we begin there are to educate yourself on the effects will not be very noticeable for a few weeks in most cases and to truly gain any advantage use must far extend past a where you live. Although taking an oral steroid is undoubtedly much easier, it to be best and while which minimizes side effects by is guaranteed to be highly. One option would be to very easily; these are known avoid infection and pain at. Note: although the propionate is stack Dianabol with your testosterone to show you how to the liver. While you can start off some things you need to understand; performance enhancing n acetylcysteine steroids illegal of just testosterone to be before you begin any cycle you need to understand the simple. And without the bloating or water retention that n acetylcysteine steroids causes, action while anti-aromatizing drugs AIs such as Anastrozole and Proviron.Thinking about steroid cycling? Before you start your first steroid cycle be sure to read our guide on the best steroids for beginners. There is no 'safe' dose of an anabolic steroid. If you continue to use steroids, despite health warnings and your doctors advice, however, keep the dose to an. 2. Anavar Anavar (oxandrolone) is the safest of all steroids for beginners, with it being considerably milder than testosterone. The benefits.