If you’re lean, but don’t have muscle — you’re “skinny”.
If you’re big, but don’t have abs — you’re “fat“.
However, if you’re jacked and have a sliced midsection — you’re officially “ripped”.
Getting ripped is the pinnacle of bodybuilding, with gym rats salivating over the thought of dry, grainy muscles with veins exploding everywhere.
Everyone is secretly peeking at the most ripped guy on the beach, whilst the most shredded bodybuilder onstage usually takes home the 1st place trophy.
Although it’s possible to get ripped naturally through diligent dieting, this is a slower process.
This article will reveal what steroids pro bodybuilders take to get shredded. .
There are many steroids powerful for bulking up and packing on size. However, only few compounds are capable of burning fat and building muscle at the same time.
In this article we’ll be revealing the top 7 steroids to get ripped — and the pros and cons of each.
- 1 7 Best Steroids to Get Ripped
- 2 Trenbolone
- 3 Winstrol
- 4 Anavar
- 5 Testosterone
- 6 Equipoise
- 7 Primobolan
- 8 Proviron
- 9 Best Steroid Cycles to Get Ripped
- 10 Oral-Only Cycles
- 11 Maximum Gains Cycle
- 12 Minimal Side Effects Cycle
- 13 Female friendly cycle
- 14 Summary
7 Best Steroids to Get Ripped
Trenbolone is an powerful injectable steroid and arguably the best steroid you can take to get ripped.
Its anabolic rating is 500, showing a glimpse of its ability to add large amounts of lean muscle.
Users can experience muscle gains of up to 20lbs following their first trenbolone cycle.
Trenbolone’s androgenic rating is also 500, making it a powerful fat burner; as androgen receptors assist in stimulating lipolysis and reducing fat mass.
Trenbolone also kicks in fast, dramatically transforming a person’s body in a short space of time. It can be used as a bulking or cutting steroid.
Trenbolone also has diuretic properties, causing extracellular water to be flushed out. This is the water that collects outside of the muscles, causing a smooth and puffy look. Thus, with this fluid being removed, trenbolone-users soon take on a dry and ripped appearance.
When someone comes off trenbolone, they will regain this water weight; however the muscle gains and fat loss is permanent (assuming the person continues training hard and eating well).
Trenbolone Side Effects
Trenbolone is NOT a suitable steroid for beginners.
Steroid-users will tell you — if a compound gives you incredible gains; it’ll also have devastating effects on your health.
Trenbolone isn’t the exception to this rule, causing significant cardiovascular strain, due to an increase in cholesterol levels (LDL).
Trenbolone isn’t particularly liver toxic (being an injectable steroid), which is one advantage.
However, testosterone suppression will be severe post-cycle, meaning it can take several months for natural testosterone levels to come back to normal. However, a smart PCT can reduce this lengthy process, whilst also softening the blow of coming off tren, which many users will describe as a hefty ‘crash’.
Gynecomastia isn’t too much of a concern on trenbolone, as it doesn’t aromatize and thus cause high estrogen levels (unlike some other bulking steroids). However, gyno is still possible, due to tren raising progesterone levels.
Acne and hair loss are also probable outcomes, due to its high androgenic rating. Prostate issues are also common.
Winstrol is an oral steroid that simultaneously builds lean muscle, whilst reducing body fat.
Winstrol won’t build as much muscle as trenbolone, however its fat loss results will be similar.
Thus, if you prefer pills to injections, and you’re more interested in fat loss (rather than huge muscle gains) — winstrol may be for you.
In terms of results, a typical winstrol cycle would look something like Zac Efron’s transformation for Baywatch in 2017.
Zac went from lean to ripped to shreds, gaining noticeable amounts of muscle; whilst significantly getting leaner and more vascular.
Winstrol can be used for a lean bulk, or a cutting cycle. Users can generally expect to gain 10lbs of muscle winstrol, whilst dropping a few percentages of body fat.
Other than winstrol being an oral and not being as anabolic as trenbolone — the main other difference is that winstrol doesn’t fill out the muscles out as much. Sometimes users on winstrol can look a little depleted, despite building muscle; which is due to intracellular water depletion.
Winstrol Side Effects
Winstrol can be classed as a toxic steroid, like trenbolone, and isn’t suitable for beginners.
Winstrol will raise LDL cholesterol levels and spike blood pressure.
Orals are generally worse for the heart, as they stimulate hepatic lipase; due to them being processed through the liver. This has a negative effect on cholesterol, impeding blood flow.
Winstrol will also raise liver enzymes significantly, thus cycles should be kept as short as possible (not beyond 6-8 weeks).
Androgenic side effects are also likely on winstrol, thus some hair thinning/recession on the scalp is possible; plus acne in genetically predisposed individuals.
Winstrol is also known to occasionally cause joint pain. This can be attributed to winstrol drying out the body, and there being less cushion for the joints. Therefore, if you are an older bodybuilder and already have achy joints — winstrol is not the best choice.
Anavar (oxandrolone) is a very similar steroid to winstrol, in regards to its effects on muscle gains and fat loss.
The muscle gains on anavar will be slightly less compared to winstrol — with fat loss being roughly equal.
Anavar is more popular than winstrol, which can be attributed to the fact it’s such a mild compound and used by both sexes.
Women can also take anavar and experience minimal side effects, including a very low risk of masculinization (in many cases).
Many men who are afraid of taking steroids, due to the potentially dangerous side effects, actually end up running an anavar-only cycle (because of its mild nature compared to other steroids).
One advantage of taking anavar over winstrol (other than fewer side effects), is increased glycogen storage inside the muscle cells. This creates a full and pumped look, rather than users looking depleted.
Anavar simultaneously has diuretic effects too, removing fluid situated on the outside of muscles — and instead shuttling it inside the muscle cells.
Anavar despite being a cutting agent, is very effective at increasing muscular strength. Thus, its image as a ‘girl steroid’ isn’t 100% accurate — with many men and even elite strongmen cycling anavar before a meet.
Its strength attributes may be due to its unique ability to shuttle ATP (en essential molecule for energy) inside the muscle cells.
Although anavar is considered by many steroid-users to be a ‘safe’ choice — it doesn’t come without side effects.
The two main adverse effects associated with anavar is testosterone suppression and raised cholesterol.
Anavar-users won’t notice their testicles shrinking to tiny peas, however a moderate decline in testosterone levels is to be expected.
This decline can be reversed in a matter of several weeks, once coming off anavar.
Cholesterol levels will also shift, with LDL levels rising. This can cause a very subtle increase in blood pressure, albeit nothing excessive or comparable to other orals — such as dianabol or anadrol.
Acne and hair loss are also possible, however not common. Women may notice their menstrual cycles become irregular, especially on higher doses and towards the end of their cycle.
A subtle decrease in well-being can be expected among both sexes, which is an indication of lower endogenous testosterone levels. Although test levels will recover naturally, a PCT can help reverse any negative emotions experienced.
Many people assume the best steroids for getting ripped are cutting compounds. However, testosterone is the exception to this rule.
Testosterone is the first anabolic steroid to ever be produced. This injectable steroid is mainly used during bulking cycles, due to its ability to add exceptional amounts of muscle size and strength.
However, testosterone is also an effective fat burner, which may not be obvious to some, as it causes water retention due to it aromatizing (combined with users typically eating in a calorie surplus).
Bodybuilders who take testosterone during a cut, will notice that fat loss accelerates even faster; whilst still adding muscle size on lower calories.
This makes it one of the best steroids to get ripped, whilst simultaneously adding bulk.
Testosterone burns fat in the same way as trenbolone — with its androgenic properties stimulating lipolysis. Although it’s not as powerful as tren for burning fat, it is roughly equal in regards to muscle gains — and is a much safer compound.
Testosterone Side Effects
Testosterone is believed to be the safest steroid on the planet, hence why TRT prescriptions are so readily available today for the general public. 2.9% of men over the age of 40 currently take testosterone (1), to help with low test symptoms; such as low libido, weak erections, lack of energy and decreased well-being etc.
Testosterone has the ability to raise cholesterol levels, however its affect on cholesterol and blood pressure is mild compared to other anabolic steroids — making it the most ‘heart friendly’.
However, the higher the dose, the higher the risk of experiencing high blood pressure.
Testosterone also doesn’t affect the liver, with it being injected straight into the bloodstream.
As testosterone isn’t particularly damaging to the heart or liver, its side effects can be considered ‘secondary’ and less worrisome.
Gynecomastia is a concern due to high aromatization, meaning a significant amount of exogenous testosterone will convert into estrogen. Although not dangerous, man boobs can have a negative psychological impact, as well as physically being undesirable.
To prevent gyno occurring on testosterone, a SERM can be taken — such as nolvadex.
Hair loss is also possible due to a substantial rise in DHT levels, which can lead to shrinkage and damage to hair follicles on the scalp. Bodybuilders generally do not want to block DHT as it’s a powerful anabolic hormone, thus doing so may produce less gains.
Regular steroid cycles may result in premature hair recession/loss, however individuals with strong genetics may be able to take androgenic steroids and remain unscathed.
Acne, oily skin and prostate issues are also possible on testosterone.
Endogenous testosterone will take a hit post-cycle, thus a PCT is recommended.
One of the downsides to being on TRT over the long-term is — endogenous testosterone levels suffer, causing testosterone dependence.
Clomid, hCG, Nolvadex and anastrozole have proven to be successful PCT’s, when taken post-testosterone cycle (3).
Equipoise, aka the ‘horse steroid’, is used in veterinary to stimulate appetite and bulk up horses after weight loss (4).
Equipoise is a slightly stronger version of deca durabolin (and cheaper).
Equipoise is also more androgenic than deca; resulting in moderate lean muscle gains and some fat loss.
Thus, EQ can be used as part of a ‘lean bulking cycle’ or a ‘cutting cycle’, as it rarely causes water retention (unless taken in very high doses).
Like deca, equipoise causes slow and steady gains; thus cycles can be lengthy (lasting 8+ weeks).
Equipoise generally makes for a great addition to any stack, with it enhancing gains; albeit someone looking for dramatic results would rarely take it by itself.
When trying to get ripped, equipoise can be stacked with a non-aromatizable steroids such as trenbolone. Anavar and winstrol.
Equipoise Side Effects
Equipoise (boldenone) is one of the better steroids for health, with it only causing minimal strain on the heart.
EQ aromatizes, albeit not to a high level, thus offering some protection to HDL cholesterol levels, keeping them relatively high.
It also poses virtually no risk to the liver, being an injectable.
However, testosterone suppression is certain post-cycle and some androgenic side effects may also occur; such as enlarged prostate, oily skin and hair thinning/loss (on the scalp). However, it’s not exceptionally androgenic, thus these side effects won’t be to the extent of testosterone for example.
Equipoise can be counted as one of the safest steroids to get ripped, alongside anavar and testosterone.
Primobolan was known to be used by Arnold Schwarzenegger when cutting; to help him get ripped for a competition.
Primo is available in oral or injectable form, and is usually stacked with other dry steroids; such as trenbolone to enhance its effects.
Primo is not exceptionally anabolic, thus muscle gains are likely to be modest (up t0 10lbs).
Primo by itself will not get someone ripped, however it’s a good addition to any cutting stack, due to its safety profile.
Primobolan is not overly androgenic, so fat loss isn’t going to be extreme. Thus, primo is better implemented to accelerate fat burning a little more; whilst trying to hang on to muscle and strength on lower calories.
Primo Side Effects
Primo is the safest injectable steroid on the market.
Primobolan is very similar to anavar in regards to side effects (in which there are few).
In both injectable and oral form, Primo presents very little liver toxicity, as it’s not c-17 alpha alkylated; thus its oral pharmacology is unique.
Primobolan is somewhat androgenic (roughly half of testosterone), thus oily skin/acne/hair loss are possible — albeit unlikely to be troublesome.
Primo does not aromatize, thus gynecomastia or water retention won’t be an issue.
Primo will raise LDL cholesterol levels (like all steroids), however this is a relatively mild increase and notably less than other steroids. Typically, primo will cause cholesterol changes a little more than testosterone and deca durabolin.
Primo is arguably the most testosterone-friendly compound, in terms of it not shutting down users post-cycle. However, it IS suppressive, thus bodybuilders may still want to keep a PCT close by.
Proviron (mesterolone) is a powerful oral steroid that is often an underrated weapon when trying to get ripped, for three main reasons:
- It’s highly androgenic
- It doesn’t convert to estrogen
- It enhances the ‘power’ of other steroids
Its potent androgenic properties will stimulate fat loss when cutting, whilst also creating a dry/ripped appearance within hours (due to it antagonizing the aromatase enzyme).
Proviron has a very high affinity for binding to SHBG, meaning it can effectively free up more active testosterone (4); thus when it’s stacked with other anabolic steroids — their effects are enhanced.
This effect is why proviron is nicknamed the ‘wingman‘ steroid. It was very popular during the golden era of bodybuilding, helping to create some of the legendary physiques we still remember today.
Proviron Side Effects
Many anabolic steroids are associated with an increased risk of infertility — however proviron is the exception, with it having positive effects on sperm quantity and quality.
Research has shown that although proviron may suppress total testosterone levels (5) in moderate doses (70mg+/day), this decline is more acute compared to other steroidal compounds.
Proviron, due to it being an oral steroid and failing to convert into estrogen, results in significant increases in total cholesterol (with HDL levels decreasing and LDL levels spiking). Thus, proviron is likely to produce a notable increase in blood pressure, thus caution is needed when stacking it with oral steroids (which typically pose more issues for the heart).
Best Steroid Cycles to Get Ripped
The steroid-cycles below are used today to help bodybuilders get ripped — we have tailored them based on different preferences of users. They are divided into 4 groups:
- Oral-Only Cycle
- Maximum Gains Cycle
- Minimal Side Effects Cycle
- Female Friendly Cycle
These cycles are suitable for someone who wants to get ripped — but doesn’t want to inject.
There are 4 oral steroids on our list being: anavar, winstrol, primobolan and proviron.
Anavar and winstrol will create a dry, peeled and vascular physique.
However, on the flip side winstrol will cause elevated LDL cholesterol levels, a surge in blood pressure; whilst also taxing the liver and shutting down testosterone.
This cycle essentially is a mild and harsh oral stacked together — but nonetheless will produce impressive results.
A mild oral cycle, that will result in moderate fat loss and muscle gains (but with few side effects).
This is by far the safest cutting stack when trying to get ripped.
It will still cause moderate testosterone suppression and an increase in cholesterol; however the side effects are typically very tolerable (hence how these steroids are given to women and children in medicine).
The downside to this cycle is — primobolan and anavar are very expensive compounds.
Proviron & Winstrol Cycle
This is comfortably the most powerful oral cycle for getting ripped. Proviron will enhance winstrol’s strong, anabolic effects; whilst adding even more androgenicity — aiding fat loss.
Both of these steroids kick in fast, thus lean users will become noticeably more dry and vascular in the first few days.
The downside to this cycle is that it’s harsh on the heart, with blood pressure inevitably spiking significantly. Thus, users should incorporate regular cardio into their training, to combat this spike in BP.
4g/day of fish oil may also be taken, with a diet high in unsaturated fat/low in saturated fat for optimal cholesterol levels.
Maximum Gains Cycle
These cycles are only for experienced steroid-users, who can handle heavier compounds and are itching to drop their body fat and get ripped ASAP.
Winstrol & Trenbolone
Harsh side effects are almost certain, with cholesterol levels raising through the roof — and so too blood pressure.
Prostate enlargement is common, with increased difficulty urinating; and testosterone suppression is going to be extreme (requiring a well-thought out PCT).
Note: You could also add proviron to the above cycle, at 50mg/day, which will increase the anabolic nature of this cycle, whilst accelerating fat loss. However, proviron will exacerbate blood pressure, and thus winstrol/tren/proviron should be considered an extreme cycle (and particularly taxing on the heart).
Minimal Side Effects Cycle
This cycle is suitable for a beginner, starting with a conservative 15mg/day dose and it only lasting 6 weeks. More experienced steroid-users may take 20mg/day for 8 weeks.
The only notable side effect is likely to be testosterone suppression, making anavar one of the best steroids to get ripped — based on its gains vs side effects profile.
Note: The dose in the above cycle is based on oral primobolan (methenolone acetate).
Altenratively, injectable primobolan (enanthate) can be used, and is typically dosed at around 300mg/per week.
Female friendly cycle
Lower doses of anavar are used for females, compared to men; to reduce the risk of virilization. For more experienced women, anavar cycles may start at 10mg/day and extend to 6 weeks.
This cycle will result in significant fat loss, and noticeable lean muscle/strength gains.
Primobolan-Only (For Women)
The above dose for women is tailored for oral primobolan.
A primobolan-only cycle will produce similar results to an anavar-only cycle. Moderate muscle gains, and notable fat loss gains can be expected. Some women may be tempted to go above 75mg per day, however this isn’t recommended due to increased chances of virilization.
This is considered a very safe cycle among women, for preventing masculinization effects.
Women shouldn’t stack primobolan with winstrol or trenbolone for further gains, if they want to keep their femininity intact. Primo and anavar may be stacked together, however in this case lower doses should be utilized.
The best steroids to get ripped are the ones that can build muscle and shred fat simultaneously.
There are various steroids that can do this, however each have their own pros and cons.
Thus, if you wanted to get ripped and didn’t care about the consequences, trenbolone and winstrol would be your go-to compounds.
However, if you wanted to keep side effects at bay — anavar and primobolan are safer, yet more expensive options.
Which is your favourite steroid to get ripped? Share your preference/experience below.