Are you looking to use Dianabol? We’ve compiled a detailed guide that includes everything you need to know about this popular oral bulking steroid – from gains and side effects to cycle length, dosages and stacking. Don’t start your cycle until you’ve fully educated yourself on this potent muscle-building anabolic.
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What is Dianabol and when was it first introduced?
Affectionately known as the ‘Breakfast of Champions’, Dianabol was initially developed in the mid-60’s by an American company called CIBA, in an effort to allow athletes from the USA to catch up with and be able to compete with Russian athletes (who, as it was well known at the time, were using testosterone to boost their performance).
CIBA used testosterone as base and made two alterations to its chemical makeup: 1) it was methylated to allow it to pass through the liver without being broken down and 2) it had a double carbon bond added, which decreases the conversion rate to estrogen. Despite the latter, estrogenic side-effects may manifest when using it because not only does it aromatise to some degree, it also forms a more potent form of estrogen called methyl-estradiol (the side-effects of which will be discussed later on in this article). In terms of its potency as an anabolic and androgenic agent, we can see that it has an anabolic rating of between 90-210 and an androgenic rating of between 40-60 when compared to testosterone, meaning, on paper, it should be a little more anabolic and about as half androgenic. The question is: how does this translate over to real-world results?
What are the common side effects?
Both estrogenic and androgenic side-effects can expected from dianabol usage, the former probably more apparent and potent than the latter. As mentioned in the second paragraph, the form of estrogen dianabol can aromatise to (methyl-estradiol) is much more potent than normal estrogen and therefore can cause serious side-effects such a gynecomastia, in addition to lesser side-effects such as heavy water retention. Luckily, these can usually be treated by the use of a SERM such as nolvadex or an AI in the form of arimidex. Although it is less androgenic than testosterone, the effects of which can still rear their ugly head. Those prone to male pattern baldness (MPB) may suffer shedding and those prone to increased body hair growth and/or acne may also experience these . As with any androgen, expect it to have a negative impact upon your cholesterol levels. Being methylated, it will have some impact upon your liver and liver enzymes, and although this will differ from individual to individual, it is wise to take some form of liver protectant and have your blood tested pre, during and post cycle. Luckily for users it is not massively liver toxic.
Women should certainly not cycle it, as a dose of just 5mg can have virilization effects, which may be permanent – this was discovered when it was used a ‘tonic’ on women, some of whom experienced hair growth, deepening of the voice and hair loss on their head. Even though it doesn’t have a massively high androgenic rating it will still be an extremely powerful androgen, particularly in females. Even Anavar has androgenic effects, so something stronger like the breakfast of champions certainly will.
Does it shut you down hard? In short, yes. The estrogenic components(s) mean it will seriously affect your HPTA – in a study conducted in the mid-80’s, a dose of 100mg (yes, that is extreme!) for 6 weeks resulted in a 40% decrease in testosterone levels, a 35% reduction in FSH levels and a decrease in LH levels of 80%. It certainly isn’t as bad on the HPTA as some anabolics (Deca Durabolin and Trenbolone for example), but a strong PCT will still be required, as is the case with all steroids.
How can it be stacked with other steroids?
Dianabol dosing, stacking and cycle length is fairly straight forward – if used as a standalone (I know many people advocate against this, but there is nothing wrong with it in my opinion) then 30-50mg per day for six weeks will be a very solid cycle. If used as a kick-starter for a longer injectable cycle (testosterone or test + deca durabolin for example), then 20-40mg per days for the first four weeks will suffice. Advanced users may opt for a higher dosage and this is totally fine, but having your blood tested is essential (it should be done regardless in my opinion). Although a contentious issue, it can actually be stacked with other orals, more information about which you can find out about in our ‘Stacking Orals’ article.
For a first-time steroid user the common advice is a testosterone only course, which I feel is sound advice and extremely good gains can be made from this provided that training and diet is on point. However, injecting anabolics isn’t something that some people can or will do, due to them either not wanting to (fear of needles for example) or not being able to (as needles and the use of them does come with a stigma attached), therefore alternative options are needed for those in this situation. In these instances an oral only cycle is something that can be utilised well (although most would certainly advise against it). For those wondering what orals can be taken by themselves, well, any of them really, so long as the dosage and duration is sufficient enough and a correct and calorie high PCT is performed then permanent gains can be made.
What is the best way for beginners to use it?
This, alongside testosterone, is the most popular first time or ‘beginner’ anabolic steroid. This is not surprising as it is both cheap and very effective at adding both mass, muscle and strength. But should new users actually use it and if so, how is it best to do so?
Firstly, yes, they can use it by itself. There is a lot of rubbish on the internet that states using it along is a waste of time. Yes, you will put on a lot of water weight, but it has been shown in scientific studies to add lean muscle mass in as little as four week. Most oral only cycle are 4-6 weeks, therefore so long as your diet, training and rest are spot on then you’ll definitely make muscle gains provided your product is of course legitimate.
But how should it be dosed and how long for? The best advice here is to start low and build up. I would suggest 15mg for the first few days (either split into two doses or all at once) and then up the dose to between 20-30mg per day if you tolerate it wel.. For a first cycle, there is no need to go above 35mg per day. In terms of cycle length 4-6 weeks is the most common due to liver toxicity concerns and side effects.
What is the optimum way to use it in a steroid cycle?
When it comes to including Dynaball in your steroid cycle then you have two main options: 1) Stack it with other steroids or 2) take it as a standalone. The former is the most popular way to utilise it within a cycle and the while the latter is much maligned by most bodybuilders, gym goers and so called ‘steroid experts, there is actually nothing wrong with taking this anabolic compound by itself, provided you know what you’re doing and how to keep your gains after your cycle has finished. In this article we shall discuss both methods of using it in your course as well as the best way to preserve your gains during and after PCT.
It is usually stacked with injectable steroids such as testosterone, deca durabolin, trenbolone, masteron and equipoise, although contrary to popular belief (and so called ‘bro science’) it can also be stacked with other orals, provided you do it safely and with caution. It is also often used at the beginning of a longer injectable-based cycle as what it is known as a ‘kickstarter’. This allows the user to increase their mass and strength within the first 3-4 weeks of the cycle before the injectable element kicks in (that is, of course, unless you are using short acting esters, which will kick in straight away). A standard dose would be 30-50mg (depending on body size and cycle experience) for the first four weeks, although sometimes people do use it for a week or two at the end whilst the long acting esters are slowly removed from the system.
What do people look like before and after using it?
When someone is researching (with the intention of beginning a cycle) they will often search for before and after photos. Whilst these types of photo comparison shots provide a useful visual medium by which to assess gains, the important information comes from online journals and logs which describe every aspect of the cycle. Of course, it is always nice to see the weight difference fro beginning to end as nothing exemplifies its potency more than a start weight to end weight comparison, but is the detail within these journals that the potential user must absorb and pay attention to. Within this article I will detail my experience with the aforementioned compound, as well as providing information that others have given me regarding their cycle(s).
As most will know, it is vastly powerful oral bulking anabolic. It is probably the fourth strongest (behind Anadrol, Superdrol and Methyl-1-Testosterone), however it is far more popular due the the fact it has less sides effects and is cheaper than the previously mentioned other bulking orals. It is always difficult to be objective about ‘gains’ (both in terms of weight/muscle and strength) as individual results will always vary and people react differently to different compounds, but it is safe to say that after you have finished standard cycle (30-40mg a day for 4-6 weeks) you can expect to be at least 12-15lbs up, with a minimum of 10-12.5% added to your major lifts (bench, squat, deadlift, military press).
My own experience has been brief, but thoroughly worth it. My very first cycle was a standalone cycle of 35mg a day for 6 weeks. Before the cycle began I was 176lbs and after the cycle has finished I was 193lb, so a mass gain of 17lbs. Of course, this wasn’t all muscle (it will induce a lot of intracellular water retention), but after I had completed PCT I weighed in at 184lbs so I gained 8lbs of lean muscle mass. This seems a lot but if you train extremely hard and consume enough calories you will make substantial gains when taking anabolics. My second course involving it was as a kickstart at the beginning of a long 12 weeks testosterone cypionate cycle (400mg per week). I used it for the first four weeks and put on 12lbs which I deemed very good in such a short space of time. In both courses my strength went up massively – I recall adding 20kg to my bench, which I could hardly believe myself!
Other I have spoken to have had similarly positive experiences and all of them made substantial muscle and strength gains. Whilst, I don’t have any before and after photos at hand (I will source some and post them in this article), I hope the above insight into my own experience will be beneficial to those seeking to take this powerful anabolic compound for the first time – you certainly will not regret it (just ensure you training, diet and rest is absolutely dialled in!).
What effects can be expected when taking it?
As you would expect with any anabolic steroid, there are both positive and negative effects when taking Dinabol. Although most users (or potential users) will look actively at the benefits of taking this potent oral bulking anabolic, it is absolutely vital that you research and are fully aware of the side effects and are therefore ready and prepared to deal with them should they manifest themselves. Although it does have some serious side effects, for a lot of users they aren’t all that prominent, although it is always the effects you can’t see that are the ones you should worry about (I shall go into detail about these further in this article).
Methandrostenolone is not known as the ‘Breakfast of Champions’ for no reason – it will put some serious size and strength on you in a relatively short period of time. Whilst it is not quite up their with the heaviest of anabolic artillery (such as Anadrol, superdrol and M1T), it still packs a serious punch. So what effects can you expect? A rapid and vast increase in overall bodyweight; it has been known to put on 15-20lbs of mass in a 4-6 week cycle. An increase in lean muscle mass; contrary to popular belief that all gains made are water (and fat), it has been shown in studies to induce lean muscle gains as high as 3kg in as little as 6 weeks. Huge strength increases – it has been shown to dramatically improve overall strength and users can expect to add at the very least 10-15% to their compound lifts (bench press, squat and deadlift) in a matter of week.
There are several side effects and we will concentrate on the most important ones first of all. Sadly the most dangerous effects of steroid usage is often put to once side as they are visible to the naked eye; I am, of course, talking about cholesterol and blood pressure – two things that if left unchecked could cause serious damage to your health. Steroids, particularly orals and strong androgen, wreak havoc with cholesterol, usually sending LDL through the roof and causing HDL to plummet. It is highly advisable to eat a diet high in veg and omega-3’s when on dbol or any other anabolics. Blood pressure too can cause issues, so again a healthy diet and even giving blood will help to address any BP issues you face. In addition to these two, users can expect: hair loss (if prone to Male Pattern Baldness), hair growth (body and face), water retention, gynaecomastia (nolvadex should be kept on hand to deal with this) acne and shin and/or back pumps, which can quite painful by all accounts. The key to dealing with these side effects it to eat as healthily as possible, have the necessary ancillaries on hand and be sensible about your dosages – more is never better (particularly when taking orals like dianabol) and always make sure your pyramid up your dose to stop negative effects kicking in or kicking in to too great a degree.
How do strength gains compare to other steroids?
Dianbol is known as one of the best strength increasing oral anabolics available on the market, with only the likes of anadrol, superdrol, M1t and halotestin being better in this regard. But what strength gains can someone expect to make whilst on cycle? Of course dose and training type/structure will have some impact, but it is not uncommon for someone to add 10% to their major compound lifts (bench, deadlift, squat and military press) in just a few short weeks, and as much as 20% over the course of a six week cycle. My personal experience is dramatic strength increases! I add 10kg to my bench in a week and add 15% to all my lifts over the course of a five week 35mg per day course. Sometimes it hard not to push too hard and cause yourself an injury as you really do feel god-like and as though you could rep the entire gym. If you are looking for strength gains only or strength gains without any additional mass then it will not be the best option for you (you’d be better off with anavar or the extremely potent halotestin), but as mass and strength builder there are not many better than the ‘Breakfast of Champions’!
What results can be expected?
Although the above question is a very subjective one, it is actually possible to give a brief overview of what results can be expected due to the sheer number of people that have used it, either as a standalone or as part of a cycle that includes other anabolics. For the purposes of this article we shall focus on the use of by itself as it is impossible to quantify the gains from a single compound when many are being used at once. Although many advise against taking this potent oral bulking drug on its own, it is actually a great cycle (providing everything is in place – training, diet, rest etc..) and gains can be permanent.
As stated above, there are many variables that will influence the results gained – but what are these? Firstly, your experience. A newcomer to weight training and/or steroids will make much more rapid (and larger) gains than an experienced trainer who has pushed past his natural limit. Secondly, your diet – are you eating enough calories and protein to gain weight and lean muscle mass? Always up your calories and protein on cycle to ensure you make the most of the super-anabolic environment. Thirdly, your training – have you discovered which style of training is best suited to your body/genetics? Lastly, dose – to a degree more will mean bigger gains, but even on steroids there’s only so much lean muscle mass you can build, plus, higher doses mean more side effects. For a stand alone cycle, there is no need to go above 50mg per day unless you’re big and have lots of anabolic cycles under your belt and even then 80mg is going to be the highest you’d want to go.
So what results can be expected? I hate giving answers to this, but you can certainly expect to gain 15lbs+ over the course of 6 weeks cycle taking an ‘average’ dose of between 25-40mg per day. Lean muscle mass gains (providing protein is high and excess calories are consumed) can be expected to be in the region of 1/4 to 1/3 of your total mass gain, for example if you gained 20lbs of mass you will have gained in the region of 5-7lbs actual muscle tissue. Will you gain fat? Yes – how much you gain will depend in your diet. You will hold a substantial amount of water also, but there will be lean muscle mass gains to show at the end of it.
Strength results are probably a little more easy to predict as all in all most people will experience the same strength increases when taking it by itself. It is not uncommon to boost your main compound lifts (bench, deadlift and squat) by 15%, with some users adding even more weight onto the bar and having increases of near 20% – and remember this is over the course of weeks not months! This just shows how powerful an anabolic it is and that exceptional results can be expected.
To read about Dianabol on Wikipedia click here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metandienone
To view all the studies done on Dianabol click here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=dianabol
Chemical name: Methandrostenolone/Methandienone
Chemical Formula: 17a-methyl-17b-hydroxy-1,4-androstadiene-3-one
Year first developed: 1960’s
Effective dose: 20mg – 80mg daily
Half-life: Detection time: up to 6 weeks
A:A Ratio: 90-210:40-60