Best Steroids for Bulking, Cutting & Strength
Disclaimer: 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.
Anabolic steroids are more popular than ever before, with today’s generation increasingly eager to build muscle; compared to former eras.
But which are the best steroids? Which ones will give you the best results, so you don’t waste your time/money on the wrong compounds?
Answer: This all depends on your goals.
For example, one person who wants to gain 30lbs of muscle will prefer a drastically different cycle, to someone who wants to burn 5lbs of fat and get a six-pack.
The person wanting to build huge amounts of muscle can achieve his goal by taking various powerful bulking steroids.
The person who wants to burn some fat and get ripped may achieve his goal by simply taking Anavar.
In this article we will reveal the best steroids a person can take, tailored for their specific goals.
- 1 Best Steroids for Bulking
- 2 Best Steroids for Cutting
- 3 Best Steroids for Strength
- 4 Summary
Best Steroids for Bulking
Bulking steroids essentially are steroids that help to build significant amounts of muscle. They do this by increasing free testosterone, protein synthesis and nitrogen retention.
They’re also very effective for increasing strength, because of the weight and muscle gains.
We find bulking steroids are best taken in conjunction with a high-calorie diet, which complements a user’s gains, via an increased anabolic environment in the body.
Best steroids for bulking:
- Deca Durabolin
Legal Dianabol Alternative
Dianabol, or methandrostenolone, is the most popular bulking steroid on the market.
Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s an oral (tablet)
- It’s one of, if not the best steroid, for bulking
- Its side effects aren’t overly harsh
Although injectable Dianabol is available, Dianabol primarily comes in pill form. This is perfect for bodybuilders who don’t want to mess with needles, due to pain or the consequences of a misplaced injection.
Many bodybuilders hail Dianabol as the best steroid for building muscle. Others may say Anadrol works better for them; however, this often depends on how well a person responds to certain compounds.
Arnold Schwarzenegger may know just how effective Dianabol is, with him and other bodybuilders (believed to be) using Dbol in the ’70s, helping him to secure 7x Mr. Olympia titles.
Dianabol is still the number 1 steroid in many pro bodybuilders stacks today – 5 decades later.
A first cycle of Dianabol commonly produces 30lbs of mass and 70+ lb increases in strength in our experience.
However, these stats are applicable to newbies and thus experienced users will gain less than this.
Beginners sometimes take a mild to moderate dose of Dianabol as a first cycle, as it is more tolerable than other bulking compounds, such as Trenbolone or Anadrol.
Testosterone is a staple bulking steroid, used as a base in virtually every steroid stack.
It is similar to Dianabol; however, testosterone is predominantly an injectable steroid — being less anabolic and more androgenic.
Therefore, for everything Dianabol does, testosterone will do too, but to a lesser degree. In terms of gains, the difference between the two compounds, in regard to anabolism, is small. We see users commonly gain 25lbs from their first testosterone cycle.
A testosterone-only cycle is a very popular beginner cycle, due to its relatively mild nature, yet powerful muscle-building properties (1).
Note: Beginners should only take low doses of testosterone (200-300mg per week) to start with.
We find that testosterone generally does not cause as much water retention or bloating, compared to Dianabol or Anadrol. However, some fluid gain is normal.
Anadrol (Oxymetholone) is a very powerful bulking steroid, and arguably the best, in terms of pure mass and muscle gains.
So, why isn’t Anadrol number 1 on this list?
This is because we have rated steroids in order of pros vs cons. Although Anadrol is slightly more powerful than Dianabol, we observe its side effects to be more severe. This is why it’s less popular and a more risky steroid to take.
Out of all the bulking steroids, Anadrol will cause the most weight gain, being 30+ pounds in a single cycle. Such weight gain is likely to be slightly more than Dianabol, due to Anadrol causing more water retention (which will be lost post-cycle).
We see testosterone levels skyrocket on Anadrol, strength levels going through the roof and pumps becoming very intense (or even painful).
Arguably the harshest side effect of Anadrol is an upwards surge in blood pressure. This is due to the steroid having a drastic lowering effect on HDL levels (the good type of cholesterol). Our LFTs (liver function tests) also show Anadrol to be hepatotoxic, and thus damaging to the liver (4).
Trenbolone is a very powerful anabolic steroid, which can be used for bulking or cutting. In bulking terms, trenbolone is one of the best steroids for building lean muscle mass.
In our experience, weight gain on Trenbolone won’t be as much as Anadrol or Dianabol (because it doesn’t cause fluid retention). Also because Trenbolone is a potent fat burner (5), the scales may not reflect the amount of size that you actually put on. However, because Tren only causes lean gains, the increased muscle size is more comfortably retained post-cycle.
If a bodybuilder measured the success of his bulk purely by weight gain, Trenbolone would not be the best steroid to take. However, if a bodybuilder measured the success of a bulk, based on how he looks in the mirror – Trenbolone would come out on top.
If there is one steroid that can dramatically transform someone’s physique in one cycle, Tren would be it.
The downside with Trenbolone is that it’s a very harsh compound, and is only well-tolerated by a few bodybuilders. Mental side effects, such as anxiety, paranoia and depression have been reported by our patients; as well as shut-down testosterone levels and high blood pressure. Trenbolone is not for the lighthearted (and strictly not for beginners).
Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone) is a mild injectable steroid. It does not produce huge muscle gains, however, it’s commonly used in bodybuilding and makes our top 5 list because its pros largely outweigh its cons.
As far as steroids go, Deca Durabolin is one of the safest, with it still being FDA-approved (6) for the treatment of osteoporosis and anemia.
Thus, side effects on Deca Durabolin are minimal compared to other heavy bulking compounds.
The main side effect associated with Deca Durabolin is low endogenous testosterone levels and sexual function. However, we see such side effects typically reverse post-cycle in a matter of weeks or months. Depending on how effective a bodybuilder’s PCT is, will determine how quickly hormone levels regulate back to normal.
We notice that when Deca Durabolin is added to a stack with other bulking steroids, it slowly adds good amounts of size and mass. It won’t blow up a person’s muscles in the first week, as it has long esters, and thus takes several weeks to kick in. However, with an extended cycle and a moderate dose, Deca is very effective at adding moderate amounts of muscle and is very much an underrated bulking steroid.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and other bodybuilders back in the 70s commonly stacked Deca Durabolin with compounds such as Dianabol, helping to create a huge, full look; that looked fairly natural and very aesthetic.
Turinabol (known as Tbol), is a derivative of Dianabol. However, we find it to be a very contrasting compound.
Tbol does not aromatize, and thus it causes no water retention and decreases the risk of gynecomastia forming; which is the opposite of Dianabol.
Thus, the mass users pack on with Tbol are lean and dry gains, with their weight fluctuating less compared to a Dianabol cycle, where more water weight will be gained; resulting in puffy and smooth muscles.
With an 8-week cycle of Turinabol, we have seen users gain 16 lbs (7kg), which can be retained post-cycle, with an effective PCT.
Turinabol is a light steroid, and thus most users don’t notice much in terms of side effects. With Tbol being an oral, liver toxicity is to be expected; however, our tests do not show hepatic inflammation to be excessive.
Turinabol is less androgenic than Dianabol, thus we record fewer cases of acne and hair loss (although it is still possible).
Best Steroids for Cutting
Cutting is a very important phase for a bodybuilder, where the goal is to burn fat, whilst retaining muscle mass gained from the previous bulk.
Consequently, a bodybuilder can look more muscular as tone increases and waist size dramatically decreases.
Our bodybuilding patients’ main concern when cutting is muscle loss, which can be prevented by taking the following cutting steroids:
Anavar (oxandrolone) is arguably the best cutting steroid if you can afford it.
It is anabolic, therefore users will build muscle during their cut, but Anavar’s also a potent fat burner (7).
Thus, lipolysis will increase and a user will begin to lose subcutaneous and visceral fat.
A common complaint of bodybuilders cutting is depleted glycogen levels, resulting in muscle shrinkage and a decrease in strength. Anavar increases glycogen storage, causing exceptionally full muscles and huge pumps during their workouts.
Anavar also dramatically increases strength levels in our patients (8), which may surprise a few people, as it’s usually potent bulking steroids that produce the greatest strength gains.
Anavar also has mild side effects, therefore we do not notice any significant negative reactions when cycling this steroid by itself. Testosterone suppression is not extreme, with levels recovering back to normal in a matter of weeks (for most users).
Despite being an oral, Anavar also does not pose great risks to the liver, as the kidneys help to process Anavar, taking the strain and workload off.
The only real downside with Anavar as a cutting steroid is the price and the reality that it’s often counterfeited on the black market. If you are diligent you may be able to obtain a cycle of Anavar for a couple of hundred dollars. However, for pharmaceutical-grade Anavar, the price is likely to be several hundreds of dollars.
Therefore, Anavar isn’t the best choice for a low-budget steroid cycle.
Legal Anavar Alternative
Winstrol (stanozolol) is a steroid that works similarly to Anavar, with it building muscle and burning fat in almost equal amounts. Winstrol also does not aromatize (9), leaving the muscles dry and grainy.
We have found that Winstrol is slightly more effective for adding muscle for novice users than Anavar; however, it poses a lot more side effects.
On Winstrol, bodybuilders will experience heightened blood pressure, more notable testosterone suppression, acne, hair loss and liver toxicity (compared to Anavar).
Winstrol also doesn’t produce the muscle fullness of Anavar, with it often making the muscles look flat or depleted.
However, Winstrol is cheaper than Anavar, and thus if a bodybuilder cannot afford Anavar, Winstrol is the next go-to compound. Winstrol is sometimes labeled as a ‘poor man’s Anavar because of this.
Nonetheless, Winstrol is one of the best steroids for cutting.
Injectable Primobolan (methenolone) is a very mild steroid in terms of side effects; first becoming popular in the ’70s during the golden era. It was rumored to be Arnold’s favourite cutting steroid.
We have found the benefits vs side effects ratio with Primobolan to be very positive, hence why users often cycle it for sustained periods of time (up to 10 weeks).
Primobolan doesn’t produce water weight, making it good for leaning out and achieving a dry-looking physique.
We do not see it produce significant muscle gains; however, a subtle increase in muscle size is common when taking this compound and dieting hard. Fat burning will also increase, helping you to get to your desired body fat percentage quicker.
Primobolan is often stacked with other compounds for enhanced results, commonly being trenbolone or Halotestin (when cutting).
Note: The cost of Primobolan is very high, similar to Anavar. Both of these compounds are the most expensive steroids on the market.
Masteron (drostanolone) is an injectable steroid that’s been around since the ’50s, with it first coming on the scene in bodybuilding during the ’70s.
It wasn’t actually designed to build muscle, but to help women with breast cancer. However, due to its strong anti-estrogen effects (10), it was found that it had a profound ability to increase lean muscle mass, without water retention; making it a great cutting steroid.
We rate Masteron as a more powerful version of Proviron (which is listed below).
Proviron (Mesterolone) is an oral steroid that produces a dry, shredded, vascular look.
It elevates your metabolism, causing increased fat loss, whilst simultaneously producing marginal muscle gains.
Its effects, in regards to drying a person out, can be instantaneous; with Proviron kicking in within a matter of hours.
Several of our patients enjoy its sudden impact on vascularity, and thus take Proviron on the day of a photoshoot/competition to look increasingly ripped.
Proviron also works as a synergistic agent, helping to enhance the effects of other steroids when stacked with them. Proviron is often stacked with injectable steroids for enhanced gains, such as trenbolone or testosterone.
In terms of side effects, we generally record mild interactions, with it being relatively safe compared to other steroids. However, it will skew cholesterol, increasing LDL levels.
However, Proviron is unlikely to affect blood pressure significantly (at least in a negative way), due to its diuretic properties.
Other Cutting Steroids
There are other drugs that bodybuilders use for cutting and burning fat (which aren’t officially steroids), such as Clenbuterol and Cytomel (T3). Our patients typically utilize these before a competition to help them burn as much fat as possible. They do not have any significant anabolic effects, therefore users won’t gain muscle.
However, on Clenbuterol users’ metabolisms will be revved up dramatically, causing a spike in calorie expenditure. Whilst on Cytomel, t3 levels will increase, which is the powerful thyroid hormone, directly targeting fat stores; causing significant weight loss.
Best Steroids for Strength
In our experience, here are the best steroids for raw power and increasing PRs on compound lifts.
These are often used by strongmen and powerlifters (as well as bodybuilders).
- Testosterone Suspension
- All Bulking Steroids
Superdrol is an oral steroid, which is a DHT derivative (similar to Anadrol). It was once wrongly marketed as a prohormone (in the early 2000s), with many people getting blown away by its sheer power. Later on, it was revealed that Superdrol was in fact an anabolic steroid.
Superdrol is the perfect name for this steroid when it comes to strength gains; as they are well and truly super. We see strength gains on Superdrol being so monstrous at times, that it can actually be dangerous (increasing the risk of injury).
Note: It is advised that users do not lift as heavy as possible when taking Superdrol.
We have known first-time users gaining over 60lbs to their lifts on Superdrol, yet experienced steroid users who’ve used this steroid before gain less.
Superdrol is a very versatile steroid that can be used for bulking or cutting. Superdrol is very anabolic, often adding 12-15lbs of lean muscle to users in a single cycle. We could describe its effects as being the oral equivalent of trenbolone, but with even better strength gains. Superdrol would also be worthy of ranking fairly high on our ‘best steroids for bulking’ list.
Superdrol can also be used for cutting, as it’s a dry compound, with it greatly increasing energy levels and motivation during a cut.
Superdrol may well be the best steroid for strength on the market; however, its side effects are also harsh. Therefore, our patients often use a liver support supplement, SERM, and a strong PCT.
There is a reason why they nickname Anadrol – ‘A-Bombs‘.
We have already covered Anadrol’s anabolic effects in the ‘best steroids for bulking’ section; however, its ability to increase strength is particularly impressive (11).
It’s not uncommon for bodybuilders to increase their squat/deadlift/bench press by 60 lbs from an Anadrol cycle.
The same precautions should be applied as when taking Superdrol, in regards to increasing the weight slowly and not lifting as heavy as possible; to reduce the chances of injury. However, if the person taking Anadrol is a strongman competitor, they may not be able to adhere to this.
Dianabol is also one of the best steroids for strength, due to the increased muscle mass and hefty weight gain it causes (with some of it being water retention).
Dianabol, in our experience, is slightly less effective than Anadrol for increasing strength — although certainly in the same league.
Some people may even find Dianabol works better for hitting new PRs than Anadrol; however, this is usually down to the person genetically responding better to Dbol. Nonetheless, it is a steroid that produces raw power.
Halotestin (otherwise known as Halo) is a popular steroid used among bodybuilders and other athletes, including; powerlifters, strongmen, boxers, fighters and sprinters.
Halotestin does not produce any noticeable muscle gains, making it less commonly used among bodybuilders for bulking. Thus, we find Halotestin is more often utilized during a cut, enhancing strength, energy and aggression as a result of Halo’s high androgenic rating.
Halo will also harden the muscles, as it doesn’t convert to estrogen; making it a visually-pleasing steroid for cutting.
Some of our patients report feeling like the Hulk on Halotestin, with increased levels of irritability and anger. This may be beneficial for workouts, however, users should be cautious about this steroid negatively affecting their personality and close relationships. If someone is susceptible to angry outbursts, they should avoid using halo, as it may cause ‘roid rage’.
As a result of this constant amped-up feeling, Halotestin is possibly the best steroid to take pre-workout. The downside to this is users may have more difficulty sleeping at night, thus it is best taken earlier in the day.
Based on our SHBG testing, Halotestin shuts down endogenous testosterone production hard, thus it is important not to cycle it for long periods of time and to implement a PCT.
We also see it having a negative effect on blood pressure, combined with strong androgenic effects — thus is not suitable for women.
Cycles are usually kept very short, due to their sheer power and no additional benefit of performing long cycles (it does not cause any further size or strength gains after 4 weeks).
With Trenbolone being 3x more androgenic than Testosterone (12), its exceptional strength gains come as no surprise to bodybuilders.
Trenbolone Acetate is not only powerful for dramatically transforming a person’s body, but it’ll also take their strength to a whole new level; especially when stacked with testosterone or Anadrol.
Despite users experiencing only a moderate amount of weight gain on Trenbolone, we find it can compete against the wetter steroids on this list.
However, it causes a lot of suppression in regards to endogenous testosterone (13), thus it’s a steroid that should be used with great caution (especially when stacked with other toxic steroids like Anadrol).
All forms of Testosterone will be very effective for increasing strength. However, Testosterone Suspension is a superior form in our experience.
This is because Testosterone Suspension is pure testosterone in water. Other forms of Testosterone are various esters, which the body has to process before the steroid becomes active in the body.
Thus, Testosterone Suspension is the purest and fastest-acting form of testosterone, which requires two daily injections to keep concentrations high.
One of the downsides to Testosterone Suspension, other than the standard side effects of testosterone, is that it requires a larger needle for the injection. This is because the suspension is not micronized and thus is more susceptible to clogging syringes due to larger crystals.
We find that Mibolerone (Dimethylnortestosterone), also known as Cheque Drops, is very popular in strength events (but not so much in bodybuilding).
This is because it works tremendously for strength, but fails to impact a user’s body composition.
It is often used pre-contest by powerlifters, enabling them to go full-Hulk mode and believe they can lift any weight humanly possible.
Mibolerone is also popular among fighters due to the steroid clearing out of the body fast, helping them remain undetected in drug tests. This steroid also causes heightened levels of aggression, helping those competing in combat sports.
A major downside we see with Mibolerone is that it’s super hepatotoxic, causing excessive strain on your liver. Although the liver is capable of restoring damage quickly, this compound will take its toll on the organ.
Therefore, if you are going to use Mibolerone only do so for a very short period of time (i.e. a few days before a special fighting event), and refrain from drinking alcohol during your cycle.
Although Anavar won’t help you build a ton of muscle, it does have the ability to significantly increase your strength (despite it being a cutting steroid).
Ironically one of its nicknames is the ‘girl steroid’, with it being used by a lot of women, due to its lack of masculinizing effects (14).
However, Anavar-use is not exclusive to women, as we have treated elite male powerlifters, who also regularly cycle Anavar.
Anavar’s ability to increase strength can be attributed to its unique level of creatine uptake inside the muscle cells (15), increasing ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production.
All Bulking Steroids
Any effective bulking steroid will increase strength significantly; as increased muscle, testosterone levels and water weight will cause big strength gains.
Examples of such bulking compounds can be found in the ‘best steroids for bulking’ list.
The best steroids to take will depend on an individual’s personal goals. If they want to bulk up: Dianabol, Anadrol, Testosterone and Trenbolone are all effective compounds.
If users want to burn fat and get ripped: Anavar and Winstrol can make this a reality.
If users want to get as strong as an ox: Superdrol, Anadrol and Dianabol are the kings of anabolics.