Dianabol Cycle – How to Maximize Gains & FAQ’s

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.

A Dianabol cycle is one of the most popular protocols in bodybuilding, ideal for those looking to pack on muscle.

Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) has established itself as the most popular bulking steroid in the world, the result of being a favorite compound in the golden era, where certain ‘Austrian’ bodybuilders would cycle it in the offseason.

Dianabol was first created in 1955 by Dr. John Ziegler to help the American Olympic team defeat the Soviets. Although the Americans didn’t quite get the upper hand on their Russian archenemies, Dr. Ziegler did create a steroid that would change athletics and bodybuilding forever.

Dbol is so popular now that various people at your local bodybuilding gym are probably taking it, or at least have experimented with it before.

When it comes to building significant amounts of muscle and strength, few steroids can rival Dianabol in our experience (possibly with the exception of Anadrol).

Dianabol is an oral steroid, making it a favorite compound among those less excited to administer regular injections.

In this article, we’ll reveal the exact doses, cycle length, stacking options, and PCT recommendations for Dianabol. This will help to enhance gains while minimizing the harmful effects of Dbol.

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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If you suffer from cachexia or osteoporosis and require Dianabol for medicinal purposes, we recommend Prestige Pharmaceuticals due to their product efficacy and fast worldwide shipping (2–6 days).

Dianabol 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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Dianabol-Only Cycle

A Dianabol-only cycle is typically run after someone’s already taken Testosterone or Anavar. The latter are milder compounds and better tolerated by novices.

Users wanting exceptional gains during their first cycle may run Dianabol by itself; however, testosterone is a better choice for beginners looking for big muscle gains. This is because testosterone won’t strain the liver or increase cholesterol levels as much as Dbol.

We have seen first-time users of Dianabol experience up to 30 lbs in weight gain, combined with huge strength gains (50+ lbs on compound lifts).

Dbol-Only Cycle (For Beginners)

dianabol cycle

This cycle is perfect for first-time steroid users who are eager to experience rapid muscle gains but don’t want to inject (thus opting for Dbol over testosterone).

These are very conservative dosages to minimize side effects; however, as Dbol is a powerful steroid, beginners can still pack on plenty of size.

Dbol-Only Cycle (For Intermediates)

dianabol cycle

This is the perfect follow-up cycle to the beginner protocol, i.e., ideal for bodybuilders who’ve already taken Dianabol before.

In this cycle, slightly higher dosages are utilized. Consequently, we will see muscle and strength gains being greater, with side effects also being more pronounced.

After these two first cycles, if well tolerated, users may start with 30mg per day to continue making gains.

Advanced users who’ve taken Dianabol and other powerful steroids may opt for higher dosages (going up to 50 mg/day) while increasing the cycle length to 8 weeks. Such cycles are performed by bodybuilders looking to pack on as much mass as possible, no matter what the cost.

Liver Support

  • TUDCA: 500mg/day

Due to Dianabol being a c-17 alpha-alkylated steroid and thus being metabolized by the liver, it causes significant strain on the organ. For most users, this isn’t dangerous, considering the liver’s exceptional self-healing properties. Thus, most users will notice liver enzymes regulating back to normal levels post-cycle, even without taking a liver support supplement.

However, some bodybuilders are wary about Dianabol’s hepatotoxic effects and try to reduce as much short-term damage as possible.

We have found TUDCA to be an effective liver support supplement to minimize liver strain when taking Dianabol.

TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) is a natural bile salt that aids liver function by improving bile flow. Natural TUDCA present in the liver exists only in small quantities, hence the need for additional supplementation.

In research, patients who took 500mg of TUDCA per day for 3 months experienced a 44% and 49% reduction in AST and ALT enzymes, markers of liver stress (1). Our patients have experienced similar drops in their LFTs (liver function tests).

Milk thistle is another liver support supplement we have utilized with some success. Milk thistle is a plant that contains silymarin, a potent antioxidant that reduces free radicals in the body while detoxifying the liver.

Although milk thistle has demonstrated hepatoprotective effects in rats (2), more research is needed to establish similar success in humans.

Anecdotally, we find TUDCA to be the superior supplement, with milk thistle being a backup (or an additional option).


  • HCG: 2000 IU administered every other day for 20 days

Dianabol will cause low endogenous testosterone levels (3). This is due to the presence of exceptionally high levels of exogenous testosterone, and thus the testes will signal to cease natural production.

Consequently, when a person stops taking Dianabol, their testosterone levels shut down. This can result in decreased:

  1. Immunity
  2. Energy
  3. Libido
  4. Mood
  5. Sexual performance.

Also, low testosterone levels create a more catabolic environment, meaning you may retain less of the gains made from your cycle.

We find that an effective PCT can help to alleviate these issues and speed up the recovery of your natural testosterone production.

HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone medication we regularly utilize to treat hypogonadism (4), helping to restore a male’s testosterone levels and sperm count while reducing the risk of infertility.

A PCT should begin when Dianabol has fully left the body. You can work this out by taking Dianabol’s maximum half-life of 6 and multiplying this by 5.5.

Thus, a PCT for Dianabol should begin 33 hours after the last dose.

Estrogen Control

  • Nolvadex: 10–30 mg/day


  • Clomid: 50–100 mg/day

Dianabol is a ‘wet’ steroid, meaning it can cause water retention and bloating. Thus, many bodybuilders will choose to cycle it in the off-season, where they can hide under a t-shirt instead of having their torso exposed on the beach.

Dianabol causes fluid retention due to aromatization (the conversion of testosterone into estrogen). Another side effect of high estrogen levels is gynecomastia, i.e., the accumulation of breast tissue, otherwise known as manboobs (5).

To prevent the risk of gyno, our patients take an AI (aromatase inhibitor) or a SERM (selective estrogen receptor modulator).

An aromatase inhibitor works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, thus reducing estrogenic side effects. However, aromatase-inhibitors can increase cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and thus aren’t optimal to take during a cycle where blood pressure levels are likely to be already high.

SERMs work by blocking estrogen levels directly in the breast tissue (6), rather than blocking the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. This way, estrogen levels won’t plummet, keeping a healthier cholesterol score while significantly reducing the risk of gynecomastia. Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and Clomiphene (Clomid) are the two main medications we use to prevent Dianabol-induced gyno.

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Blood Pressure Control

  • Fish oil: 3 g/day

Those taking Dianabol can expect a rise in LDL cholesterol, a reduction in HDL cholesterol, and significant water retention. These three factors, combined, will spike blood pressure.

Research shows that 3g of omega-3 fatty acids, taken each day for 8 weeks, can significantly reduce blood pressure (7), compared to a placebo group.

However, fish oil shouldn’t be taken by individuals prone to low blood pressure, as it can worsen this condition.

Dianabol and Deca Durabolin Cycle

This was thought to be Arnold’s trademark cycle, producing huge mass gains and enabling him to dominate the Mr. Olympia stage.

Since the 1970’s, countless bodybuilders have replicated this cycle, due to the Austrian Oak sculpting possibly the greatest physique in bodybuilding history.

Deca Durabolin is the perfect steroid to compliment Dianabol, being a relatively mild injectable that doesn’t pose any additional liver toxicity.

We find the addition of Deca Durabolin increases strength and size gains even further, at the expense of:

  • Lower testosterone levels post-cycle
  • Additional water retention
  • Increased risk of gynecomastia

This cycle is one of the best we have seen for hair follicle retention, with Dianabol and Deca producing only mild androgenic effects (thus DHT levels will not rise excessively).

Dianabol and Deca Cycle (For Intermediates)

intermediate cycle

This cycle is structured for someone who has taken steroids before, including Dianabol, and tolerates them well. The inclusion of Deca will not make side effects dramatically worse; however, a more aggressive PCT may be needed in order to restore sexual function and testosterone levels.

Prolactin Control

  • Dostinex: 0.5–1 mg per week

‘Deca dick’ may be an issue during this cycle. This is referring to the impotence that our patients can experience in the early stages of a Deca cycle. This is due to Deca Durabolin significantly increasing prolactin, a protein hormone.

Unfortunately, high levels of prolactin in the bloodstream (hyperprolactinemia) can cause erectile dysfunction, low libido, and gynecomastia (8).

To combat these adverse side effects in a Dbol and Deca cycle, users may want to supplement with Dostinex (Cabergoline), a dopamine agonist medication used in the treatment of hyperprolactinemia.

Some bodybuilders will choose to buy Dostinex via the black market before their prolactin levels rise (and take it at the beginning of their Deca cycle).

We typically prescribe Dostinex with dosage instructions of 2 x 0.25–0.5 mg per week.

Estrogen Control

  • Nolvadex: 10–30 mg/day

Liver Support

  • TUDCA: 500 mg/day

Blood Pressure Control

  • Fish oil: 3 g/day


  • hCG: 2000 IU administered every other day for 20 days
  • Clomid (Clomiphene): 2 x 50 mg for 30 days

A more aggressive PCT is adopted here, compared to the Dianabol-only cycle.

Dianabol and Testosterone Cycle

Note: This cycle is not for beginners. 

test dbol cycle

Dianabol and Testosterone are similar compounds, with Dr. Ziegler being given the task of developing a new, superior steroid to Testosterone; so the American Olympic team could defeat the USSR (who were known to be taking Testosterone).

Dr. Ziegler created Dbol, a compound that is more anabolic than testosterone and less androgenic. Thus, prostate issues were less of a concern, as were hair loss and acne on Dbol.

Dianabol also proved more potent for building muscle due to its higher anabolic rating.

However, testosterone remains a very powerful muscle builder, adding almost equal amounts of lean muscle and strength as Dianabol. Thus, when these two steroids are stacked together, users can expect to build incredible amounts of size.

We have found the addition of testosterone to exacerbate low testosterone levels post-cycle while increasing the risk of gynecomastia and water retention.

Thus, estrogen control and an aggressive PCT are essential post-cycle to ensure an optimal hormonal profile.

We typically see blood pressure levels rise significantly via this cycle due to a large spike in LDL cholesterol levels. To combat this, it is a good idea to limit sodium in your diet while performing regular cardio (for optimal blood flow). Also, fish oil supplementation is recommended (as usual).

Any ester of Testosterone can be used; however, the two most popular forms of Testosterone are Cypionate and Enanthate. This is because these two esters are relatively cheap and do not require overly frequent injections.

Additional Supplements:

  1. TUDCA: 500 mg/day (liver)
  2. Fish oil: 3 g/day (blood pressure)
  3. Nolvadex: 30 mg/day (estrogen control)
  4. HCG: 2000 IU administered every other day for 20 days; and Clomid: 2 x 50 mg for 30 days (PCT).

Dianabol and Anadrol Cycle

dianabol anadrol cycle

Warning: Only for advanced steroid users.

Dianabol and Anadrol are two of the most powerful steroids you can take to gain mass.

Strength gains will be exceptional when taking this potent duo.

Anadrol is oral, like Dianabol, so no injections are needed.

So, what’s the catch?

The side effects are going to leave you feeling like death. Thus, we don’t recommend this cycle from a health standpoint. We have seen liver values go out of whack and blood pressure reach hypertensive levels.

Unless you are in perfect health, stay away from this cycle.

Additional Supplements:

  1. TUDCA: 500 mg/day (liver)
  2. Fish oil: 3 g/day (blood pressure)
  3. Nolvadex: 30 mg/day (estrogen control)
  4. HCG: 2000 IU administered every other day for 20 days; and clomid: 2 x 50 mg for 30 days (PCT).


Is Dianabol safe?

There are risks when taking any anabolic steroid, particularly to the heart.

Oral anabolic steroids pose additional risks to the liver, and thus precautions should always be taken in terms of cautious dosing and protective supplements.

Dianabol should be considered a risky steroid to take for novices due to its potency.

However, we have seen intermediate and seasoned users take moderate dosages with ample time off in between cycles and remain in relatively good health. However, the more cycles a person completes and the more years they remain on steroids, the greater the risk of cardiac and hepatic complications.


dbol tablets
Running an effective Dianabol cycle is a science; combine it with the right steroids, and you’ll experience incredible muscle and strength gains.

But if you stack it with the wrong steroids or take too high a dose, you may end up with liver damage or an enlarged heart.

The three best dianabol cycles are:

  1. Dbol-Only
  2. Dbol/Deca
  3. Dbol/Test

There is no reason to take harsher combinations than this, as the gains may not be worth the side effects in our experience. However, everyone responds differently to steroids; thus, Dianabol may be a harsh cycle for one person, yet to a seasoned bodybuilder, 50 mg/day may feel like eating a candy bar.

Please use caution if you are going to utilize the cycles mentioned in this article, taking relevant supplements to protect your heart, liver, and long-term testosterone function.

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