5 Best Steroids for Mass (Used by Pros)

Dr George TouliatosDisclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and NOT to promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultations.

The primary reason people take anabolic steroids is to build muscle size and strength. In this article, we reveal the best steroids for mass and the dosages/cycles utilized by bodybuilders today.

These steroids will be ranked in order of potency from 1 to 5, with 1 producing the best results.

Note: Some of the following steroids build significant amounts of lean muscle, but not overall weight/mass gain and thus are ranked lower on the list.

1. Dianabol

Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) first became popular in the 70s, when bodybuilders from the golden era heavily relied on this steroid to bulk up.

Consequently, Arnold, Franco, Zane and others produced some of the greatest physiques of all time; still leaving fans in awe today.

Thus, it is of no surprise that Dianabol’s popularity has only increased over the last 50 years, maintaining its unofficial title of being the most popular bulking steroid on the market.

Beginners can experience 25-30lbs of weight gain during their first cycle, with roughly two-thirds of this being lean muscle and the remaining being water retention.

Exceptional increases in muscular strength are also to be expected, with users commonly adding 50lbs to their compounds lifts.

Dianabol Side Effects


Dianabol can cause gynecomastia in users due to its estrogenic nature (1), with the aromatase enzyme being present. Thus, users may want to keep a SERM (selective estrogen receptor modulator) close by, in case their nipples start to become puffy. SERMs, such as Nolvadex, will effectively inhibit estrogenic activity in the mammary glands; without affecting estrogen levels. This is advantageous, as estrogen contributes to some of the gains experienced on-cycle (2), thus blocking it is not optimal.

Liver Toxicity

Dianabol is a c-17 alpha-alkylated steroid and thus liver toxicity is certain, essentially increasing the workload on the organ. Users can take TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) during Dianabol cycles to minimize hepatic stress, keeping ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase) enzymes as low as possible.

Testosterone Suppression

Testosterone suppression with Dianabol is significant, with endogenous levels taking several months to restore back to normal levels. A PCT, including a SERM such as clomiphene, can help to shorten this recovery period.

High Blood Pressure

Dianabol has a significant effect on cholesterol and blood pressure, due to it being exogenous testosterone, an oral and causing water retention.

Oral steroids stimulate hepatic lipase in the liver, further reducing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and thus exacerbating blood pressure. The aromatizing nature of Dianabol also causes water retention, which increases blood viscosity — reducing circulation to the heart.

Dianabol Cycle

Note: The above Dianabol cycle is dosed for beginners; however, more experienced steroid users can increase the dosage up to 30mg/day and extend the cycle to 6 weeks.

Complementary steroids that can be stacked with Dianabol are Deca Durabolin and Testosterone.

Legal Dianabol Alternative

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D-Bal is our #1 rated legal Dianabol product. It replicates the muscle-building and strength-enhancing effects of Dianabol, but without the unwanted side effects.

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D-Bal is best suited for men wanting to build significant amounts of muscle; without shutting down their testosterone, straining their liver or elevating blood pressure levels.

2. Anadrol

Anadrol (Oxymetholone) is potentially equal to Dianabol in terms of muscle mass and weight gain; however, Anadrol does have a tendency to cause harsher side effects, hence how it’s ranked number 2 on this list.

Anadrol is very similar to Dianabol; causing impressive strength and muscle gains (3). The main difference between the two is that Anadrol is more androgenic, due to it being a DHT derivative and thus users can expect greater hypertrophy in the trapezius and deltoid muscles on Anadrol; as well as enhanced fat loss.

Such reductions in fat mass are one of the reasons why Anadrol can sometimes be used as a cutting steroid, especially when users are following low sodium diets to keep extracellular water retention at bay — but increasing intracellular muscle volume.

Anadrol Side Effects

Blood Pressure

When Anadrol is taken in today’s dosages of 50-100mg/day, Anadrol is possibly the worst steroid for cholesterol and blood pressure.

Anadrol’s high toxicity is perhaps why it remains considerably less popular than Dianabol (despite offering much of the same benefits).

Liver Toxicity

Anadrol is nicknamed ‘A-Bombs’, which is a fitting name considering its physiological effects can be described as dropping a bomb on the liver. Extensive cycles or high dosages surely will cause hepatic damage and potentially cause cirrhosis.

Testosterone Suppression

Anadrol is very suppressive, taking several months for endogenous testosterone levels to correct back to a normal range. PCT’s are designed specifically for potent steroids like this.

Acne and Hair Loss

Androgenic side effects like acne vulgaris and male pattern baldness are possible on Anadrol, due to it being a DHT-derived compound.

Anadrol Cycle

anadrol only cycle

Note: Anadrol isn’t suitable for beginners; however, intermediate users can adopt the above dosages. Experienced steroid users who are competing and want to run aggressive cycles may even increase the dosage to 100mg/day; however, this isn’t advised.

Complementary steroids that can be stacked with Anadrol are Testosterone and Deca Durabolin. Bodybuilders also stack Trenbolone with Anadrol — however, this should be viewed as hardcore and an unnecessary stack for most users.

3. Testosterone

The first anabolic steroid ever created comes in at third on the list. However, if we were strictly weighing up the pros and cons of each steroid — Testosterone would be first.

It may not be the best steroid for mass, but it’s not far behind Dianabol or Anadrol on the anabolic scale. Also, Testosterone is far superior to Dianabol and Anadrol in terms of damage limitation, producing only mild side effects in moderate dosages. This is why doctors are comfortable prescribing it to men worldwide who naturally have low testosterone.

Testosterone is commonly used as a first steroid cycle, which typically produces 20-25lbs in mass.

Testosterone also has potent fat-burning properties, with users experiencing a notable reduction in subcutaneous fat. Thus, despite Testosterone’s powerful anabolic nature, it can also be used as a cutting steroid.

Side Effects

Blood Pressure

A modest rise in blood pressure is to be expected on Testosterone; however out of all anabolic steroids — Testosterone is the most cardiovascular-friendly.

Testosterone Suppression

Testosterone will decrease endogenous testosterone production and thus if a person wants to maintain normal testicular function — they should only utilize Testosterone in cycles; as opposed to taking it all year round (blasting and cruising).

Hair Loss/Acne

Testosterone is particularly androgenic, thus bodybuilders susceptible to acne vulgaris and hair loss/recession may experience such side effects.

Testosterone Cycle

testosterone first cycle

Note: The above cycle is tailored for beginners and can be taken as a first cycle.

Complementary steroids that can be stacked with Testosterone are Dianabol, Deca Durabolin, Anadrol and Trenbolone.

Also, several cutting steroids work well in conjunction with Testosterone, being Anavar and Winstrol.

Testosterone’s versatility makes it an optimal compound for virtually any stack.

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4. Trenbolone

If this wasn’t a list of the best steroids for mass, but instead the best steroids for lean muscle — Trenbolone would be number one.

In terms of pure muscle tissue being built, Trenbolone can rival any bulking steroid. However, because it doesn’t cause excessive weight gain, due to water loss and fat loss — it takes the 4th spot.

Trenbolone is arguably the most powerful steroid a person could take for transforming their body as quickly as possible. Users pack on muscle fast and burn fat at a rapid rate (with the acetate ester), thus it could be classed as the best bulking and cutting steroid respectively.

The downside to Trenbolone undoubtedly is the harsh side effects it produces, making it only suitable for experienced steroid users.


Trenbolone Side Effects

Blood Pressure

Trenbolone will cause a hefty rise in blood pressure, due to it being a potent compound — and due to its stimulative effects on the central nervous system; increasing adrenaline production. Also, a lack of aromatization can exacerbate HDL cholesterol, as estrogen is cardioprotective.

Testosterone Suppression

Endogenous shut down can be severe on Trenbolone, and thus users will need to wait several months before their testosterone levels recover, before utilizing further cycles. Failure to leave gaps like this in-between cycles can lead to permanent damage to the HPT (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular) axis.

Acne and Hair Loss

Trenbolone has an androgenic rating of 500, indicating its potent nature in this regard. Thus, some level of hair thinning/recession/loss is to be expected; with acne probable in users genetically susceptible to overstimulated sebaceous glands.

Note: This is a sample Trenbolone-only cycle, utilized by intermediate steroid users.

Two complimentary steroids that are commonly stacked with Trenbolone for more mass are Testosterone and Anadrol. However, users should be comfortable running Trenbolone-only cycles first, before thinking about stacking it with other compounds; due to high cardiotoxicity.

5. Deca Durabolin

Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone) was a bulking steroid commonly used in the Golden Era, alongside Dianabol.

Deca Durabolin certainly isn’t the most powerful steroid on this list; however, its effects on mass aren’t to be underestimated (especially when stacked with other bulking AAS).

Deca Durabolin doesn’t just produce impressive gains in mass, but also drastically increases intracellular fluid — resulting in exceptional muscle fullness/thickness.

Furthermore, Deca Durabolin isn’t androgenic; thus it offers unique protection to hair follicles on the scalp and helps to reduce acne.

Deca Durabolin Side Effects


Impotence or ‘Deca dick’ is a common side effect, due to a lack of nitric oxide production (4); as well as excessive prolactin in the bloodstream on Deca Durabolin.

Some bodybuilders have successfully overcome this side effect by taking Cabergoline, which reduces prolactin levels. Or, by stacking Deca Durabolin with an androgenic steroid, such as Testosterone, increasing nitric oxide and thus blood flow to the penis.

Testosterone Suppression

Deca Durabolin is very suppressive and thus many users will administer a PCT as soon as a cycle ends.


Deca Durabolin will have a mild adverse effect on cholesterol levels. Although this is a negative, the severity is much less than other anabolic steroids — making it somewhat cardiovascular friendly in comparison.

Deca Durabolin Cycle

testosterone deca cycle

Note: The above cycle is suitable for steroid users who have run Testosterone before at moderate dosages, and want to take their mass gains to the next level, with the addition of Deca.

Anabolic steroids that complement Deca Durabolin are Testosterone, Anadrol and Dianabol.


What is the Best Steroid Stack for Mass?

The best steroid stack for mass, in terms of sheer potency, would be:

  • Dianabol and Testosterone

Below is a sample steroid cycle of Dianabol and Testosterone when taken together:

testosterone dianabol stack

Note: This stack should only be taken if a user has taken Testosterone or Dianabol already in solo cycles, and is comfortable with the side effects.

Considering that the above stack is the best stack for mass, it is not overly harsh in terms of side effects. Equally though, it is not suitable for beginners — but intermediate and advanced steroid users.

What is the Safest Steroid Stack for Mass?

The safest steroid stack for mass would be Testosterone and Deca Durabolin.

Testosterone is the safest anabolic steroid available, with it having only mild effects on cholesterol and posing little to no liver toxicity.

Deca Durabolin also only impacts HDL/LDL cholesterol to a mild degree, and poses no hepatotoxicity, being an injectable steroid like Testosterone

The main drawbacks with Deca Durabolin are the sexual side effects, being impotence, and lack of libido. However, this stack is a complementary duo as Testosterone can greatly reduce such side effects; due to additional androgenicity.

Below is a sample stack of Testosterone and Deca Durabolin:

testosterone deca cycle

Do Steroids Result in Permanent Mass Gain?

Yes, anabolic steroids permanently affect the number of myonuclei in the muscle cell; thus through the concept of muscle memory, hypertrophy can be restored at any point in time.

Therefore, not only will users retain the muscle they’ve gained from steroids, if continuing to lift weights and train, but if they stopped lifting weights and experience muscle atrophy; should they resume training in the future — the body will restore the previous muscle size in a matter of weeks.

This is why certain sporting federations are looking to ban athletes if they have ever taken steroids during their lifetime, as it has a long-term/permanent effect.


The best steroid for mass will largely depend on what the user wants to achieve.

If a person wants to strictly gain lean mass, with no water retention, Trenbolone is the best compound.

Similarly, if users want to gain as much mass as possible, and are happy to accumulate 10lbs of water retention in the process — Dianabol or Anadrol are popular options.

Testosterone however ticks most of the boxes in what people want in a bulking steroid; building significant amounts of muscle, burning fat and producing few side effects.