7 Best Steroids to Get Ripped

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

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, while the most shredded bodybuilder on stage usually takes home the first-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 that are powerful for bulking up and packing on size. However, only a 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.

7 Best Steroids to Get Ripped


Anavar (Oxandrolone) is an oral anabolic steroid often used in cutting cycles to shred fat and build muscle.

In comparison to other potent steroids, Anavar’s muscle gains will be slightly less than Winstrol, with fat loss being roughly equal.

Anavar is more popular than Winstrol, which can be attributed to the fact that it’s such a mild compound and is used by both sexes.

Women can also take Anavar and experience minimal side effects, including a very low risk of masculinization under our care.

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. We have known several elite strongmen who cycle Anavar before a meet.

Its strength attributes may be due to its unique ability to shuttle ATP (an essential molecule for energy) inside the muscle cells.

Disclosure: We do not accept any form of advertising on Inside Bodybuilding. We monetize our practice via doctor consultations and carefully chosen pharmaceutical recommendations, which have given our patients excellent results.

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Anavar is legal to purchase in some countries and not in others; thus, it is the responsibility of users to act within the confines of their native law.

Inside Bodybuilding does not condone the use of AAS via illegal means or for cosmetic use.

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Anavar Side Effects

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 we have found with Anavar are:

  1. Testosterone suppression
  2. 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 a person comes off Anavar.

Our lipid profiles also show cholesterol levels shifting on Anavar, with LDL levels rising. This can cause a very subtle increase in blood pressure, albeit rarely excessive or comparable to other orals such as:

Acne and hair loss are also possible, but not common. A few of our female patients have noticed their menstrual cycles becoming 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, we find a PCT can nullify any negative emotions experienced.


Trenbolone is a powerful injectable steroid and arguably the best steroid you can take to get ripped (purely in terms of results).

Its anabolic rating is 500, showing a glimpse of its ability to add large amounts of lean muscle.

We have seen users gain up to 20 pounds 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 removed, Trenbolone users soon take on a dry and ripped appearance.

We find that when someone cycles off Trenbolone, they typically regain this water weight; however, the muscle gains and fat loss are permanent (assuming the person continues training hard and eating diligently).

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).

In our testing, Trenbolone is not 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, our patients often reduce this lengthy process with a smart PCT, softening the blow of coming off Trenbolone, which many describe as a hefty ‘crash’.

Gynecomastia isn’t too much of a concern with Trenbolone, as it doesn’t aromatize and thus causes high estrogen levels (unlike some other bulking steroids). However, gyno is still possible due to Trenbolone raising progesterone levels.

Acne and hair loss are milder side effects we see due to Trenbolone’s high androgenic rating. Prostate issues are also common.


zac efron steroids

Winstrol is an oral steroid that simultaneously builds lean muscle while reducing body fat.

Winstrol won’t build as much muscle as Trenbolone; however, its fat-loss results are similar in our experience.

Thus, if you prefer pills to injections and you’re more interested in fat loss (rather than huge muscle gains), Winstrol may be more optimal.

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 while significantly getting leaner and more vascular.

Winstrol can be used for a lean bulk or a cutting cycle. We typically see users gain 10 pounds of muscle on Winstrol while dropping a few percentages of body fat.

Other than Winstrol being an oral steroid and not being as anabolic as Trenbolone, the main other difference is that Winstrol doesn’t fill out the muscles as much. We find that users on Winstrol can sometimes look a little flat (despite building muscle), which is due to intracellular water depletion.

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Winstrol Side Effects

Winstrol is a toxic steroid, like Trenbolone, and thus it is not suitable for beginners.

Winstrol will raise LDL cholesterol levels and spike blood pressure.

We find that orals are generally worse for the heart, as they stimulate hepatic lipase, with them being processed through the liver. This has a negative effect on cholesterol, consequently impeding blood flow.

Winstrol will also raise liver enzymes significantly, so cycles should be kept as short as possible (not beyond 6–8 weeks).

We do see androgenic side effects occur on Winstrol; thus, some hair thinning or reduction 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, resulting in less cushion for the joints. Therefore, if you are an older bodybuilder with existing achy joints, Winstrol may not be the best choice.


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 aromatization (combined with users typically eating in a calorie surplus).

Bodybuilders who take testosterone during a cut will notice that fat loss accelerates even faster while still adding muscle size on lower calories.

This makes it one of the best steroids to get ripped while simultaneously adding bulk.

Testosterone burns fat in the same way as trenbolone, with its androgenic properties stimulating lipolysis. Although Test is not as powerful as Tren for burning fat, it is roughly equal in regards to muscle gains and 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
  • Decreased well-being

Testosterone has the ability to raise cholesterol levels. However, its effect on cholesterol and blood pressure is mild compared to other anabolic steroids, making it the most ‘heart-friendly’ anabolic in our experience.

However, the higher the dose, the higher the risk of experiencing high blood pressure.

Testosterone also doesn’t notably affect the liver, with it being injected straight into the bloodstream.

As testosterone isn’t particularly damaging to the heart or liver, we consider its side effects to be secondary or less worrisome than those of other AAS.

Gynecomastia is a concern for testosterone due to its high aromatization, meaning a significant amount of exogenous testosterone will convert into estrogen. Although not dangerous, manboobs can have a negative psychological impact as well as being physically undesirable.

To prevent gyno from occurring on testosterone, our patients take a SERM (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. Anecdotally, we have seen reduced DHT levels inhibiting gains.

Regular steroid cycles may result in premature hair recession or loss. However, individuals with strong genetics can take androgenic steroids and remain unscathed.

Some other issues we see with testosterone are:

  1. Acne
  2. Oily skin
  3. Prostate enlargement

Endogenous testosterone will take a hit post-cycle, so a PCT is recommended.

One of the downsides to being on TRT over the long term is that endogenous testosterone levels suffer, causing testosterone dependence.

Clomid, hCG, Nolvadex, and Anastrozole have proven to be successful PCT’s when taken post-testosterone cycle (2), to kickstart the HPTA.


Equipoise, aka the ‘horse steroid’, is used among veterinarians to stimulate appetite and bulk up horses after weight loss (3).

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 non-aromatizing steroids, such as:

  • Trenbolone
  • Anavar
  • Winstrol

Best Steroid Stack to Get Ripped

bulking stack

This stack is tailored for users wanting to build significant amounts of muscle, whilst simultaneously shredding fat (without any harsh side effects).

The 4 legal steroids in this stack are:

1. Anvarol (Anavar)

2. Testo-Max (Sustanon 250)

3. Clenbutrol (Clenbuterol)

4. Winsol (Winstrol)

With this stack, users can expect enhanced muscle definition, improved vascularity and more chiseled abs.

Equipoise Side Effects

We have found Equipoise (Boldenone) to be one of the better steroids for health, with it only causing minimal cardiovascular strain.

EQ aromatizes, albeit not to a high level, thus offering some protection to HDL cholesterol levels, keeping them relatively high.

EQ 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
  • Hair thinning or loss (on the scalp)

However, we have not found EQ to be exceptionally androgenic, so these side effects won’t be to the extent of testosterone, for example.

We rate Equipoise as one of the safest steroids to get ripped, alongside Anavar and Testosterone.


arnold primo ripped

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, so muscle gains are likely to be modest (up to 10 lbs).

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 while 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 (of which there are few).

In both injectable and oral form, Primo presents very little liver toxicity (based on our LFTs) as it’s not c-17 alpha-alkylated. Thus, its oral pharmacology is unique.

Primobolan is somewhat androgenic (roughly half of Testosterone), so oily skin, acne, and hair loss are possible, albeit unlikely to be troublesome.

Primo does not aromatize, so gynecomastia or water retention won’t be an issue.

Primo will raise LDL cholesterol levels (like all steroids). However, we typically record mild increases, thus being notably less than other steroids. In our experience, Primo causes cholesterol changes a little more than Testosterone and Deca Durabolin.

Primo is arguably the most testosterone-friendly compound in terms of not shutting down users post-cycle. However, it is suppressive, so 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 while also creating a dry or ripped appearance within hours (due to it antagonizing the aromatase enzyme).

We find Proviron to have 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 its positive effects on sperm quantity and quality.

Research has shown that although Proviron may suppress total testosterone levels (5) in moderate doses (70 mg+/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, we see Proviron causing notable increases in blood pressure (6), thus, caution is needed when stacking it with oral steroids, which typically pose 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 the different preferences of users and are divided into 4 groups:

  1. Oral-Only Cycle
  2. Maximum Gains Cycle
  3. Minimal Side Effects Cycle
  4. Female-Friendly Cycle

Oral-Only Cycles

These cycles are suitable for someone who wants to get ripped but doesn’t want to inject.

There are four oral steroids on our list:

  1. Anavar
  2. Winstrol
  3. Primobolan
  4. Proviron.

Anavar and Winstrol Cycle

winstrol anavar cycle

Anavar and Winstrol will create a dry, peeled, and vascular physique.

However, on the flip side, Winstrol will cause elevated LDL cholesterol levels (7), a surge in blood pressure, while also taxing the liver and shutting down testosterone.

This cycle is essentially a mild and harsh oral stacked together, but nonetheless, it will produce impressive results.

Primobolan and Anavar Cycle

primobolan anavar cycle

This is 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 (8) and an increase in cholesterol. However, the side effects are typically very tolerable (hence why these steroids are given to women and children in medicine).

The downside to this cycle is that Primobolan and Anavar are very expensive compounds.

Proviron and Winstrol Cycle

proviron winstrol cycle

This is comfortably the most powerful oral cycle for getting ripped. Proviron will enhance Winstrol’s strong anabolic effects while adding even more androgenicity, aiding fat loss.

Both of these steroids kick in fast, so 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.

We have found that 4 g/day of fish oil and a diet high in unsaturated fat or low in saturated fat are optimal for improved 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 and Trenbolone

winstrol trenbolone cycle

Harsh side effects are almost certain, with cholesterol levels rising 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 50 mg/day, which will increase the anabolic nature of this cycle while accelerating fat loss. However, Proviron will exacerbate blood pressure, and thus Winstrol/Trenbolone/Proviron should be considered an extreme cycle (and particularly taxing on the heart).

Minimal Side Effects Cycle

Anavar-Only Cycle

anavar only cycle

This cycle is suitable for a beginner, starting with a conservative 15 mg/day dose and lasting only 6 weeks. We see more experienced steroid users take 20 mg/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.

Primobolan-Only Cycle

primobolan only cycle

Note: The dose in the above cycle is based on oral Primobolan (Methenolone Acetate).

Alternatively, injectable Primobolan (Enanthate) can be used and is typically dosed at around 300 mg/week.

Female-friendly cycle

Anavar-Only (For Women)

female anavar only 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 10 mg/day and extend to 6 weeks.

This cycle will result in significant fat loss, noticeable lean muscle, and strength gains.

Primobolan-Only (For Women)

primobolan cycle 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, we find that going beyond this dose increases the risk 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 results if they want to keep their femininity intact. Primo and Anavar may be stacked together; however, cautious 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 has its 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 want to keep side effects at bay, Anavar and Primobolan are safer yet more expensive options.

Co Authors :

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4379711/

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854084/

(3) https://www.drugs.com/vet/equipoise.html

(4) https://jpma.org.pk/article-details/7099

(5) https://jpma.org.pk/article-details/7099

(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2613982/

(7) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/bcpt.13143

(8) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8319371/