Dianabol (Dbol): The Ultimate Guide

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.

What is Dianabol?

Dianabol is the famous brand name for the world’s first oral anabolic steroid, methandrostenolone.

Dianabol is arguably the most popular steroid in bodybuilding and has been for the past 40 years. Dbol is typically used in bulking cycles to help users build tremendous amounts of muscle size and strength.

Dianabol was created in 1955 by John Bosley Ziegler, an American doctor. One year prior to the creation of Dianabol, Ziegler was working with the US Olympic team in Vienna.

He bumped into a Russian physicist in a bar, who spilled the beans on the Soviets’ success after “a few drinks,” revealing that the Russian athletes were taking exogenous testosterone.

Previously, at the 1952 Olympics, the Soviet Union dominated the weightlifting events, winning three gold medals and setting two new world records.

Ziegler went back to the US with the objective of creating a compound that was even more powerful than testosterone to help defeat the Russians. He would often be the guinea pig of his experiments, taking the steroids himself.

In 1958, Ziegler, with the help of CIBA (a Swiss pharmaceutical firm), released Dianabol in the US after successfully filing a patent for their new wonder drug.

Ziegler had created a steroid with more than double the anabolic rating of testosterone (210 vs. 100).

Dianabol is also considerably less androgenic than testosterone. Dr. Ziegler noted that the Russian athletes were experiencing androgenic side effects during the 1956 Olympics (in Australia) when he found out they were experiencing difficulty urinating. This was due to their suffering from enlarged prostates due to the high conversion from testosterone to DHT.

Thus, Dr. Ziegler’s intention wasn’t just to create a compound that was more anabolic than testosterone, but one that would also be less androgenic. He accomplished this with Dianabol’s androgenic rating of 60, compared to testosterone’s 100.

As Dianabol was now widely available in the US, doctors were prescribing it to successfully treat patients suffering from hypogonadism (when a man’s testes fail to function adequately, resulting in testosterone deficiency).

Thus, by correcting this hormone imbalance, Dianabol helped men (who were infertile) have children due to an improved sperm count. Furthermore, a significant increase in testosterone also resulted in improvements in their sexual and mental well-being.

Ziegler discovered that Dianabol’s effectiveness was due to its binding to the AR (androgen receptor), causing remarkable rises in glycogenolysis and protein synthesis, contributing to large increases in muscular hypertrophy and strength (in a short space of time).

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Approved Dianabol Source


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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In medicine, Dianabol was also prescribed to treat the elderly and those suffering from severe burns, with both of these people susceptible to considerable reductions in muscle mass.

It was in the late ’60s when Dianabol’s phenomenal muscle-building effects became publicly known to the world of bodybuilding, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, and other classic bodybuilders (thought to be) using Dbol.

This enabled bodybuilding to transition into the golden era, where physiques became huge in size but remained equally aesthetic-looking. This look is still much-coveted today, with Arnold remaining the number-one idol for bodybuilders all over the world, some 50 years later.

During this ’60s/70s era, bodybuilders could simply go to their doctors and ask for Dianabol (and other steroids) to get bigger and stronger, and their request would be granted. It really was that simple; hardly anyone knew about the adverse effects, and they were 100% legal, so bodybuilders thought nothing of it.

Below is Arnold Schwarzenegger explaining how openly they spoke about the topic of steroids back then and how it wasn’t taboo like it is today. He also hints in the video that he and other bodybuilders took Dianabol.

Is Dianabol Legal?

As previously mentioned, back in Arnold’s era (the ’60s and ’70s), Dianabol was 100% legal and easy to obtain from your local doctor (for medicinal or recreational purposes).

However, in 1990, 32 years after it came to market, Dianabol was banned by the FDA following the Anabolic Steroids Control Act. It became illegal in the US for non-medicinal reasons, due to a new understanding of the steroid’s potential to cause severe side effects.

Today, it remains banned in the US and almost every other country in the world.

jason statham

However, it is legal to obtain Dianabol (and other steroids) today in countries such as Mexico, where they can be bought over the counter at a nearby Walmart store or local pharmacy.

Also, Dianabol and other anabolic steroids can be bought easily in Thailand, where they’re technically illegal to purchase without a prescription (being a class S controlled drug). However, tourists report that pharmacists don’t abide by the laws or will issue a prescription on the spot in exchange for the equivalent of a few dollars.

Furthermore, people report that anabolic steroids (like Dianabol) can be bought in Thailand for a fraction of the price compared to the US and UK, causing many bodybuilders to take steroid holidays to this popular part of Asia.

In the US, the maximum penalty for being caught with Dianabol is 1 year in prison. That person can also incur a fine of $1,000 or more. This is applicable for a first offense.

If a person is found selling steroids, the maximum punishment is 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. This is also applicable for a first offense. Prison sentences and fines can be doubled if this is a second offense.

The above punishments aren’t just applicable to Dianabol but to anabolic steroids in general, according to the Controlled Substances Act.

Dianabol Benefits

dianabol body

We have found people take Dianabol for any of the following reasons:

  • Increased strength
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Enhanced recovery
  • Free testosterone spike
  • More nitrogen retention
  • Increased protein synthesis
  • Higher red blood cell count

Dianabol will cause a dramatic increase in muscular strength and size. This is due to the compound causing an initial surge in free testosterone levels, protein synthesis, and glycogenesis. Dbol also increases intracellular water retention, which is proven to increase muscular strength and functional performance (1).

How much strength or muscle will you gain?

Note: Results may vary depending on your dose, training, diet, and how well your body responds to Dianabol. However, assuming you take a moderate dose and your diet, training, and genetics are normal, you can expect the following from your Dianabol cycle:

We have had users report strength gains of 25–30 lbs on their bench press (and other compound exercises) during the first week of administration (2). Strength gains on Dianabol are truly remarkable and can be experienced in the very early stages of a cycle.

In terms of weight gain, it’s common for users to gain 20 pounds in the first 30 days on Dianabol (3). Most of this will be in the form of muscle mass (plus some water retention).

During longer cycles, users can typically gain more muscle. A 6-week cycle can yield up to 30 lbs+ in weight gain.

Increase in Free Testosterone Levels

testosterone benefits

All anabolic steroids (including Dianabol) are chemical derivatives of testosterone. Thus, when you administer Dbol, your testosterone levels will rise to unnaturally high levels.

Testosterone is the male hormone, which men need for the following:

  • Hair growth (on the body)
  • Muscle mass
  • Strength
  • Sexual health (high libido or firm erections)
  • Full testicles
  • Confidence
  • Aggression
  • Overall well-being
  • Fertility
  • Mental clarity
  • High levels of energy
  • Faster recovery

When testosterone levels are low, we see all of the above suppressed. Equally, when testosterone levels are high, they increase.

Free testosterone is the most important testosterone score for a bodybuilder, as this is the testosterone that’s unbound or free for the body to synthesize new muscle tissue from.

In comparison, total testosterone by itself has no impact on body composition; however, both of these readings will rise significantly when taking Dianabol.

This dramatic elevation in testosterone explains why Dianabol users often experience euphoria during a cycle (due to T having a powerful positive effect on well-being).

When a user comes off Dianabol, testosterone levels will become suppressed. We’ll explain this further in the side effects section. 

Nitrogen Retention

In order for new muscle tissue to synthesize, the body must be in an anabolic environment.

A positive nitrogen balance is critical for keeping the body ‘anabolic‘.

In short, the more nitrogen your muscles can retain, the more muscle your body can build. Equally, a negative nitrogen balance is catabolic and present in those suffering from muscle-wasting diseases.

This is why bodybuilders eat copious amounts of protein in an attempt to shift this nitrogen balance into a positive state for as long as possible. However, this effect from eating protein is very mild compared to Dianabol’s effect on nitrogen retention, which is profound (4).

We find that a positive nitrogen balance also enables the body to utilize more of the protein consumed by an individual, contributing to further muscle and strength gains.

Protein Synthesis

Dianabol turbocharges protein synthesis to unnaturally high levels. Consequently, damaged muscle cells from weight training are able to grow much bigger and stronger than before.

Not only do we see users’ muscle fibers increase in size, but they also repair quicker than before due to enhanced recovery levels. This can allow bodybuilders to train for longer periods of time without fatiguing or overtraining from strenuous workouts.

This superior ability to recover is how Arnold Schwarzenegger and other classic bodybuilders could get away with training for several hours each day (intensely) without overexerting themselves.

Enhanced recovery is why some of our patients report sleeping less when on Dianabol. A person who sleeps for 8 hours may naturally wake up after 6 hours, feeling just as vigorous. This is a sign that the body needs less rest than usual and is recovering faster.

Red Blood Cell Count

Dianabol also increases red blood cell production, enabling more blood flow to the muscles. Oxygen is transported to the muscles via the bloodstream; thus, with more oxygen supply, muscular endurance improves.

For this reason, Dianabol was also prescribed to patients suffering from anemia when it was first released.

For a bodybuilder, a higher red blood cell count can result in more reps being completed during sets, thus being able to train for longer periods of time.

As a result of this additional blood flow, pumps become noticeably bigger during workouts due to increased N.O. (nitric oxide) production (5).

muscle pump

We have found that bodybuilders on Dianabol also experience an increase in vascularity. This is when the veins become more visible, often seen spiraling through a person’s muscles, resembling a human roadmap.

This spike in vascularity is due to Dianabol’s vasodilation effect, where blood vessels dilate and become larger in size, thus being positioned closer to the surface of the skin.

However, due to Dianabol causing some extracellular fluid retention (water collecting outside the muscle cell), we do not rate it as the best steroid for enhancing vascularity. Other steroids, such as Trenbolone or Anavar, are superior in this regard because they don’t cause extracellular water retention.

Legal Dianabol Alternative

dianabol rating

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.

It is FDA-approved and can be purchased online without a prescription.

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.

Dianabol Side Effects

“What goes up must come down.”.

In our experience, any anabolic steroid that causes a powerful positive reaction will also cause a negative one (typically in equal measure).

Dianabol is banned for good reason. We have found it to be a potentially dangerous compound, especially when used irresponsibly or not under a doctor’s supervision.

It’s worth noting that Dr. Ziegler later condemned steroids (Dianabol), calling it a “disgrace” that healthy athletes were destroying their health, and likening them to drug addicts. He later regretted giving Dianabol to athletes, who were carelessly overdosing and abusing the steroid he created.

Here are some of the side effects we have seen from bodybuilders cycling Dianabol:

  • High blood pressure
  • Water retention
  • Gynecomastia
  • Liver damage
  • Suppressed testosterone
  • Hair thinning (balding)
  • Acne
  • Roid rage
  • Virilization in women

Some side effects are severe and potentially life-threatening, while others are mild and more tolerable. The severity of these side effects will depend on the dose, duration of the cycle, genetics, and other steroids stacked with Dianabol.

High Blood Pressure

Dianabol will raise blood pressure significantly, and it does this mainly in two different ways.

Firstly, it raises testosterone levels to incredible heights. When testosterone levels rise, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels also shoot up. LDL is the bad kind of cholesterol that can clog arteries, resulting in a spike in blood pressure.

LDL cholesterol is a fatty, oily-like substance that clings to the walls of the arteries, making it increasingly difficult for blood to flow to vital organs. Consequently, this can increase the chances of a heart attack or an ischemic stroke.

Studies have found that prolonged use of AAS (anabolic-androgenic steroids) can cause a 100% increase in LDL cholesterol and a 90% reduction in HDL cholesterol (6).

Here’s a guide to knowing whether your LDL cholesterol levels are normal or dangerously high:

  • Okay: 100-129 mg/DL
  • Quite high: 130-159 mg/DL
  • High: 160-189 mg/DL
  • Very high: 189 mg/DL+

Bodybuilders often supplement with fish oil to try and negate this side effect; however, this methodology is not proven to be effective. Fish oil, even without the presence of anabolic steroids, has been found ineffective in reducing systolic blood pressure in normal middle-aged men (7, 8).

Secondly, Dianabol can raise blood pressure due to an increase in water retention. As your body retains more fluid and your weight increases, so does your BP (9).

This is why diuretics are effective when treating patients with hypertension (10), as they expel water from the body, helping the blood flow more efficiently to the heart as it becomes less viscous due to less H2O in the bloodstream.

Coincidentally, Dr. Ziegler, in his later days, suffered from heart disease, eventually dying from a heart attack in 1983. He attributed the damage to his heart as the result of his own experimental steroid use (when creating Dianabol).

We have found regular cardiovascular exercise to be the most beneficial protocol for lowering high blood pressure in patients.

Water Retention and Gynecomastia

Due to Dianabol’s aromatization effects and being highly estrogenic, it’s a compound that causes significant amounts of water retention. This can leave users looking puffy, bloated, and smooth-looking; hence, it’s typically used in the off-season.

dbol bloat

Dianabol (methandrostenolone) doesn’t just aromatize; it also converts to 17-a-methylestradiol, which is essentially a form of estrogen significantly more potent than estradiol. This conversion, combined with its already strong aromatizing attributes, creates a moderately estrogenic compound.

Some bodybuilders who see us take powerful diuretics, such as Lasix (furosemide) or anti-estrogens/aromatase inhibitors, such as Nolvadex or Arimidex (anastrozole), to combat fluid retention on Dianabol.

However, we have seen such protocols decrease strength gains due to the removal of intracellular fluid (inside the muscle cell).

Furthermore, we find drugs that treat high estrogen levels can have a negative effect on blood lipids (with the exception of Nolvadex).

If bloating or water retention become excessive, users should lower the dose or discontinue use. Alternatively, Trenbolone may be the preferred option for experienced users as it doesn’t aromatize. 

This leads us to the next side effect, gynecomastia, otherwise known as gyno or man boobs.

Gynecomastia is when breast tissue in men begins to enlarge, resulting in swollen nipples or the pectorals starting to form the shape of female breasts.

A mild case of gynecomastia (on the left)

Gyno occurs when a man’s hormones become imbalanced and estrogen levels (the female sex hormone) rise excessively.

This is common in AAS use (anabolic-androgenic steroids), particularly Dianabol, due to its estrogenic nature. In general, 37% of steroid users will experience some form of gynecomastia (11).

Severe gynecomastia from steroid use can be treated in several ways. If you begin treatment relatively early (in the first 2 years), it’s possible to reverse it using AIs (aromatase inhibitors), which essentially reduce estrogen levels and increase testosterone.

Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) appears to be the most effective drug, according to research (12) and our experience. However, anti-estrogens are generally considered a mild treatment for gynecomastia.

More aggressive gynecomastia usually requires surgery to correct. According to 2018 statistics, the average cost of gynecomastia surgery is $3,824 (13).

Thus, a common approach is for bodybuilders to run anti-estrogens during a Dianabol cycle to prevent gynecomastia from developing, rather than paying to correct it later on.

Gynecomastia isn’t to be confused with other types of ‘man boobs’. Common incidents of moobs in men are just excessive chest fat, which can be corrected via fat loss and muscle-building exercises targeting the pectoral region.

Note: If you take AIs during a cycle, this may have a negative effect on blood lipids, further increasing blood pressure due to a lack of estrogen. Research has found estrogen to have a positive effect on HDL cholesterol levels (14).

This is why we utilize Nolvadex (tamoxifen), which reduces estrogen levels while simultaneously having a positive effect on cholesterol levels (15). Nolvadex is a prescription-only drug.

Best Dianabol Stack

bulking stack

This bulking stack combines 4 legal steroid alternatives for maximum muscle and strength gains.

It consists of D-Bal (Dianabol), Testo-Max (Testosterone), Decaduro (Deca Durabolin) and Trenorol (Trenbolone).

Stacking in this way can significantly enhance a user's results, compared to D-Bal-only cycles.

Liver Damage

Being an oral steroid, Dianabol will cause C17-alpha alkylation, which is a modification to the 17th carbon position. This structural change enables Dianabol to survive liver metabolization. As a result, Dianabol is able to become bioavailable and fully active. Without this C17-aa element, users wouldn’t be able to experience such exceptional results from Dianabol.

However, the downside to Dianabol being resistant to such hepatic breakdown is increased hepatotoxicity.

Thus, we often find ALT and AST liver enzymes rising during a Dianabol cycle. These abbreviations stand for alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Acute damage to the liver can be detected by a rise in the ALT enzyme; however, if damage to the liver leads to further deterioration of other organs, this can be highlighted by a spike in AST.

Thus, the liver will almost certainly become damaged during a cycle of Dianabol.

Our patients sometimes comment that Dianabol takes their appetite away, which is due to the strain on the liver. Every time you eat food, the liver has to digest it; thus, when taking hepatotoxic steroids and eating large quantities of food, the liver’s becoming increasingly taxed. The body’s way of dealing with this is to suppress the person’s appetite (as a self-defense mechanism), reducing food consumption.

We have had patients develop cholestatic syndrome, which is when bile flow becomes impaired, resulting in a buildup and causing inflammatory damage to the liver.

If a user continuously takes oral Dianabol for several months without cycling off, they’ll be at risk of developing peliosis hepatis. This is a very rare vascular condition where blood-filled cysts appear throughout the liver. This can cause: pain in the upper right of the abdomen; jaundice; anemia; bleeding; or it can result in the person collapsing.

We have also seen hepatic adenomas (although exceptionally rare) develop from Dianabol use. These are essentially hormone-induced liver tumors, which can be benign or cancerous in nature.

The good news is that the liver is a very resilient organ with strong self-healing properties (often successfully regenerating itself post-cycle). Thus, after discontinuing Dianabol, liver enzyme values are likely to drop back down to normal. However, liver failure remains a possibility with Dianabol and other hepatotoxic steroids.

Thus, it’d be wise to keep Dianabol cycles short (4-6 weeks), minimizing damage to this vital organ.

Note: If you have any gall bladder issues or hepatitis C, taking Dianabol will exacerbate such conditions.

Milk Thistle (Liver Support)

To combat hepatotoxicity, our patients often take liver support supplements, such as milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Anecdotally, we have found that such supplementation stabilizes rising ALT and AST levels.

Milk thistle is part of the daisy family and has been used in medicine by ancient herbalists and physicians to treat those with liver disease.

Some studies have shown milk thistle to be effective at reducing inflammation and lowering liver enzymes, especially in those suffering from acute hepatitis. However, other studies have shown mixed results, with no significant benefit when supplementing with milk thistle, especially in individuals who have damaged livers from using hepatotoxic drugs.

However, some people have reported a drastic reduction in liver enzymes after 8 weeks when taking 2 x 1000 mg per day. Also, milk thistle is generally considered to be safe when taken orally (16), with only a small percentage of people experiencing any side effects.

Injectable Dianabol is an option for those who don’t want to experience liver issues when taking this steroid. Dianabol is typically an oral steroid; however, there are veterinary versions of it available that can be injected, immediately entering your bloodstream and bypassing the liver. However, we find injectable Dianabol to be less common on the black market, with orals being the more popular form of administration.

Low Testosterone

lost muscle

The body’s testosterone levels will rise exponentially when first taking Dianabol, due to it essentially being exogenous testosterone. However, the body will recognize that testosterone levels are excessively high, and thus, in a bid to maintain homeostasis, it’ll shut down natural testosterone production via the testes (17, 18).

It does this by inhibiting the HPT (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular) axis.

Consequently, when exogenous testosterone is removed, low testosterone levels can be experienced post-cycle, with the HPT axis being restored. However, we find it can take several months for a user’s testosterone levels to return to normal. Research shows natural endogenous test production is restored after 4–12 months upon discontinuation (19).

In our experience, how shut down a user’s testosterone levels will be is determined by the dose and duration of the cycle. High doses and longer cycles will cause a more severe suppressing effect.

Low testosterone levels can cause testicular atrophy due to reduced sperm production. AAS, including Dianabol, may also lead to infertility.

Dianabol users can also experience low libido, decreased well-being, depression, lower levels of energy, and erectile dysfunction when T levels plummet.

Psychological symptoms involving decreased well-being contribute to steroid addiction, with 30% of AAS users becoming dependent (20).

How to Restore Natural Testosterone Production From Dianabol-Use

Some users will simply wait for their natural testosterone production to recover after using Dianabol. Research has shown natural T levels recover back to normal levels in 67% of male steroid users after 6 months and 90% of males after 12 months (21).

100% of the males recovered after 24 months.

However, some would like to accelerate this process and thus will take some of the following:

TRT (testosterone replacement therapy), hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), AI’s (aromatase inhibitors), and SERMS (selective estrogen receptor modulators) have been shown to be effective in restoring normal HPT axis function and thus increasing endogenous (natural) testosterone back to normal levels.

HCG is a naturally occurring protein that’s extracted from a woman’s placenta. We have experienced success administering hCG 2-3 times per week in doses of 1500–5000 IU for 3-6 months. If natural testosterone production doesn’t return to normal via this protocol, FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) can be combined with hCG, with the FSH dosage being 75–400 IU, to be administered 2-3 times per week. This combination has proven to be successful in treating 44–100% of our male patients suffering from hypogonadism.

The longer this treatment persists, the higher the success rate. In research, this treatment also yielded pregnancy rates of 40–75%, thus increasing fertility.

Once endogenous testosterone has been restored, if a user wants to continue taking AAS, we have found hCG to be effective at maintaining fertility in doses of 500 IU every other day.

SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators) are capable of restoring testosterone levels post-steroids, with tamoxifen and clomiphene being the most effective options in our experience.

SERMs are medications that interfere with estrogen receptors via the hypothalamus in the brain, decreasing the production of the female sex hormone and thus increasing testosterone.

Research shows that taking 25–50 mg of clomiphene per day, or every other day, is effective at restoring natural testosterone production (21). Doses as high as 100 mg can also be taken daily and have been shown to be effective in recovering testosterone levels in young men after 2–3 months.

SERMs can be used over the long term, being deemed “acceptable” in regard to side effects (22). Adverse effects are less common in men compared to women, with hot flashes being the most common drawback. After using SERMS for 8 years, side effects are more likely to be experienced (or severe) from this point onward.

Research has shown AIs to be effective at restoring the HPT axis, with anastrozole and letrozole significantly improving testosterone-estrogen ratios in doses of 1 mg (anastrozole) and 2.5 mg (letrozole) daily (21). AIs have also been shown to be beneficial when combined with SERMs for restoring testosterone production.

Note: AIs shouldn’t be taken by individuals who have a history of liver damage or disease, as raised liver enzymes have been observed in 17% of users (22).

Hair Loss (Male Pattern Baldness)

Dianabol slightly increases levels of the major androgen in men, DHT (dihydrotestosterone).

This happens via the 5-AR (5-alpha-reductase) enzyme, which is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT.

Despite this 5-AR enzyme being present, Dianabol has a low affinity to convert to DHT. Thus, hair loss from taking Dianabol alone is not a common issue in our experience.

This is possibly why bodybuilders from the classic era were able to keep full heads of hair with the use of substances like Dianabol and Deca, compared to IFBB pros today, who are virtually all bald from using more androgenic compounds.

DHT is responsible for the development of body hair, prostate, penis size (during puberty), and libido. However, DHT is also the culprit for hair loss on the scalp. Although other anabolic steroids are more likely to cause androgenetic alopecia, which is the shrinking of hair follicles, causing significant thinning and hair loss (on the scalp). So, if you’re genetically prone to losing your hair, Dianabol may cause some thinning in susceptible individuals.

This is why some bodybuilders take DHT blockers when taking steroids to keep their hair thick and their follicles intact. However, this may not be such a good idea in regards to body composition.

DHT is a significantly more powerful androgen than testosterone, with it binding 3-5x more effectively to androgen receptors.

Also, some research suggests DHT may be the better muscle-building hormone when compared to testosterone (23).

This would make sense considering some of our bodybuilders report less muscle and strength gains when stacking Dianabol with Proscar (Finasteride), a DHT inhibitor.

Research also confirms this, with 51.9% of men experiencing muscle loss or muscle tone when taking finasteride (24).

Thus, if you want to get the best results from Dianabol, it’s best to avoid DHT-blocker medications.

Not only does Dianabol have a low affinity when converting to DHT, but hair loss is also determined by genetics, so taking steroids doesn’t necessarily guarantee balding. We see people with blessed genetics take highly androgenic steroids for years and still keep their hair. A famous example of this is Jay Cutler, a four-time Mr. Olympia winner.

jay cutler bodybuilder

Jay Cutler proves that not everyone who takes steroids for years goes bald.

Dianabol’s androgenic rating is 40–60.

Other compounds, such as testosterone (androgenic rating: 100) or trenbolone (500), are particularly androgenic and thus will spike DHT to much higher levels, causing more inflammation in the scalp.


steroid acne

Another androgenic side effect we see with Dianabol is oily skin, or acne vulgaris.

Acne is a common side effect that approximately 50% of bodybuilders experience as a result of using anabolic steroids (25).

This most commonly appears on the back, face, chest, and shoulders.

This is caused by stimulation of the sebaceous glands, causing an increase in sebum production. Sebum is an oily substance that’s light yellow in color. Its function is to naturally moisturize your skin, making it soft and smooth. However, too much sebum results in oily skin and can block your pores, leading to acne breakouts.

If you are prone to acne, taking steroids may produce cystic acne, which can be very severe. The pores become extremely blocked, leading to large swelling and infection. In some cases, cystic acne can appear to resemble the size of a golf ball underneath the skin (although this is uncommon).

How do I prevent acne when taking Dianabol?

If a user suffers from mild acne, we have found topical therapies (gels, creams, lotions) to be an effective treatment, including retinoids.

Research has shown retinoids to be potent in reducing follicular blockage and decreasing acne lesions by 40–70% (26).

The common retanoids applied are adapalene, tretinoin, and tazarotene. These can be bought online or over the counter, without a prescription.

Note: We have seen retinoids cause irritation to the skin in some cases, so it’s important to only apply small amounts of the treatment initially. Gels, solutions, and washes are particularly effective for oily skin. Creams and lotions are suitable for dry skin to avoid irritation.

Topical antibiotics are also an effective treatment for acne, reducing inflamed lesions by 46-70% (27). Clindamycin and erythromycin are two antibiotics shown to be effective; however, they shouldn’t be administered long-term (more than 30 days) to reduce the chance of the acne becoming resistant to the treatment. To avoid such resistance, antibiotics should contain benzoyl peroxide, which will also further reduce inflammation.

Note: Clindamycin and erythromycin are not available over the counter in the US, and thus a prescription will need to be issued by your doctor.

We have experienced the best results when combining a topical retinoid with a topical antibiotic. You should use the antibiotic (containing benzoyl peroxide) in the morning and the retinoid at night.

Salicylic acid is another common acne treatment; however, this is less effective in comparison to retinoids.

If a user is particularly susceptible to androgenic side effects, such as hair loss or acne, Deca Durabolin (nandrolone) may be a better option, with an even lower androgenic rating of 37.

Roid Rage

Some people in bodybuilding believe that ‘roid rage’ is a myth; however, research shows that 60% of steroid users experience an increase in aggressive behavior (28).

This can be attributed to the excessive rise in testosterone levels that AAS can cause.

However, as with other side effects, this increased aggression will affect users to different degrees. Full-blown, Hulk-like roid rage, leading to assault or murder, is uncommon yet possible.

This may depend on a person’s genetics and behavior before taking AAS. Thus, if a person is prone to violent acts or murder is present in their family history, steroids such as Dianabol may exacerbate this.

The most famous incident linked to roid rage is perhaps Chris Benoit, the former WWE champion wrestler, who hung himself after strangling his wife and suffocating his son in 2007.

It’s unknown exactly why Chris did this; however, his wife Nancy filed for divorce in 2003 after suspected domestic abuse left her fearing for her life (29). She later withdrew this request.

Chris was known to have used anabolic steroids, with his body containing 10 times more testosterone than the normal level at the scene of the crime (30). However, other theories suggest brain damage or excessive alcohol consumption may have also contributed to this tragedy.

Virilization in Women

women on dianabol

Dianabol is somewhat androgenic; thus, it’s not a common steroid taken among women, mainly due to virilization symptoms occurring.

Virilization is when a woman starts to develop masculine characteristics. We have seen women experience the following from Dianabol use:

  • Deeper voice
  • Reduction in breast size
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Increased body hair
  • Hair loss (on the scalp)

Thus, women who aren’t competing and want to keep their femininity intact will opt for steroids such as Anavar (oxandrolone), which is much less likely to cause the above side effects.

Dianabol Before and After Results

dianabol before after

Arnold’s physique before and after Dianabol.

Dianabol has an incredible effect on muscular strength and size, with gains happening in the very early stages of a cycle.

Such fast results can be attributed to methandrostenolone being made up of short esters with a half-life of just 3–6 hours. Thus, it’s a very fast-acting compound.

The amount of muscle and strength users will experience will depend on the dose, length of cycle, and how experienced they are; i.e., a beginner’s first-time cycle of Dianabol will produce better results than someone who’s been running it for years.

We have had Dianabol users report 25–30 lb strength gains on big compound lifts (such as the bench press) in just the first week on 50 mg per day (31). Note: This is a significant dose.

Thus, increases in strength of 70–100 lbs are possible during a 4-6 week cycle with such a dose. Or you may achieve this in 2 cycles if a lower dose is taken (recommended for beginners).

Users have reported 30 lbs of weight gain on a dose of 50 mg per day over 30 days. Thus, with a longer cycle of 6 weeks, users may gain up to 40 lbs, especially when combined with other AAS such as Testosterone, Deca Durabolin, or Anadrol.

We find that most of this weight will be in the form of muscle mass; however, some temporary water retention will occur, making up roughly 10-15% of the total weight.

In terms of arm gains, users have reported gaining 1.5 inches from a 30-day dianabol cycle (32).


For Men

Upon its release in 1958, Dr. Ziegler recommended an original dosage of 5–15 mg per day. This was enough to see significant improvements in athletic performance. However, users today seeking bigger improvements in muscle hypertrophy often take a higher dose.

Today, a dose of 15–30 mg per day is standard for bodybuilders wanting to experience significant changes in muscular strength and size.

In our experience, dosages higher than this amplify side effects.

Gym-goers and bodybuilders coveting even bigger muscle gains commonly take higher doses, ranging from 30 to 50 mg per day. This is considered a high dose. Elite bodybuilders (IFBB pros) may take up to 100 mg; however, the risk of developing side effects is almost certain with such mega doses.

Depending on the brand, the dose of Dianabol per tablet can be 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, or 50 mg.

Dosage tip: Dianabol has a short half-life; thus, users should aim to take a dose every 2–4 hours. This may require cutting bigger pills in half (or into quarters, etc.).

Knowing how much to cut the pills will be determined by the mg value of the tablet.

For example, if you want to take a dose of 25 mg per day and you only have 10 mg per pill, you could cut each pill in half (giving you 5 mg) and take 5 doses throughout the day. This will enable a dose every 3 hours, keeping a high concentration of Dianabol constantly in your body, thus producing better results.

You can use a pill cutter to split the dose, or you can opt for smaller doses (5 mg) when buying methandrostenolone.

For Women

Women can experience significant muscle growth on just 2.5–5 mg of Dianabol per day. At this dose, we have had women avoid virilization side effects, which are commonly experienced at doses of 10 mg or more per day.

Elite female bodybuilders can take high doses of 10–20 mg; however, such users can expect to experience masculinization effects.

Should You Take Dianabol With or Without Food?

Research has shown that taking Dianabol (or any oral steroid) with food makes it less bioavailable.

Thus, for maximum effectiveness, Dianabol should be taken on an empty stomach, without food.

The reason why oral steroids become less active when taken in conjunction with food is that they’re fat-soluble compounds. Thus, when you take them with food containing any dietary fat, they may dissolve, decreasing absorption via the gastrointestinal tract.

Dianabol Cycles

The dosages in the cycles below are for men. Women can adjust the dosage to their needs, as outlined in the dosage section.

Dianabol-Only Cycles

Beginner Cycle

dianabol cycle

This is a common cycle for beginners, taking a smart approach by starting their dose low. This will minimize potential side effects and yield up to 10 pounds in weight gain.

It will also prepare the body for future cycles, increasing the body’s ability to adapt to side effects from higher dosages.

Second Cycle

dianabol cycle

This can be used as a follow-up to the first cycle. For those eager to experience big muscle gains during their first cycle, these dosages can be used (but at the expense of more potential side effects).

After this cycle, dosages of 30 mg or more are sometimes used by bodybuilders for further results, with cycles being extended up to 8 weeks. We have seen dosages as high as 50 mg used by elite bodybuilders. 

Dianabol and Deca Durabolin Cycle

Dianabol and Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone) is a classic combination, with this steroid stack thought to have initially been popular among iconic bodybuilders in the 1970s (including Arnold). This bulking steroid duo is still being used today with great results.

Deca is a powerful injectable steroid used in bulking cycles due to its ability to cause significant increases in muscular hypertrophy and strength (33). Deca has a very low androgenic rating plus weak estrogenic properties; thus, we have found it to be a mild steroid in terms of side effects (compared to other AAS such as Anadrol or Trenbolone).

Also, Deca poses no risk of liver damage because it’s an injectable steroid that’s not c-17 alpha-alkylated. Thus, it’s a popular steroid for beginners to stack with Dianabol.

Not only do we see users gain more muscle and strength with the addition of nandrolone, but muscle thickness will also reach a whole new level. On Deca Durabolin, a user’s muscles typically become incredibly full and pumped due to significant intracellular fluid retention.

Beginner Dbol/Deca Cycle

dianabol deca cycle

The above is a suitable cycle for beginners, starting with cautious doses. Dianabol is added during week 3, which is typically the time when deca-users experience an increase in sexual side effects such as low libido and erectile dysfunction. The latter side effect is notorious with Deca Durabolin, hence it being nicknamed ‘Deca dick’.

Thus, we find that introducing Dianabol at this time reduces such side effects, keeping testosterone levels high. Such doses are enough to see a significant increase in size and mass.

Intermediate Dbol/Deca Cycle

intermediate cycle

The Deca Durabolin dose has doubled to 400 mg per week, Dianabol has increased to 20 mg per day, and the cycle has extended to 10 weeks.

This is a cycle common among users who have already completed a few cycles and want further strength and muscle gains. With these higher doses, side effects are more likely to occur.

Experienced bodybuilders can take dosages up to 600 mg per week (with Deca). Better results will usually correlate with a higher dose—up to 600 mg. After this point, we see side effects becoming more severe (and results don’t significantly improve).

Experienced users commonly increase the Dianabol dose in this cycle up to 30–50 mg per day, going as high as 100 mg for elite bodybuilders.

Dianabol and Anadrol Cycle

Dianabol stacked with Anadrol will almost certainly result in amazing muscle and strength gains. However, Anadrol 50 is another oral steroid, being very hepatotoxic (34) like Dianabol.

Thus, this duo is not generally recommended due to excessive damage to the liver.

However, if stacking these two steroids together, users should keep their cycle short and take as many precautions with their liver as possible, supplementing with milk thistle and completely abstaining from alcohol or liver-toxic medications.

We often have patients run Nolvadex alongside Anadrol/Dianabol, as estrogen levels will rise to exceptionally high levels, significantly increasing the risk of gynecomastia.

Such estrogenic properties will also cause high levels of water retention (bloating). However, research has shown Nolvadex to exacerbate liver damage, so caution should be taken with this SERM (35), either by avoiding this combination of steroids or by taking injectable Dianabol/Anadrol instead.

Anadrol is typically run anywhere from 4–8 weeks, at 50–100 mg per day.

Note: The following is used only by experienced steroid users:

  • Dianabol: 30–50 mg per day for 4–8 weeks
  • Anadrol: 50–100 mg per day for 4–8 weeks.

Which dose you’ll opt for will depend on your experience. Thus, if you’ve taken Dianabol and Anadrol many times before and your side effects are tolerable, you may opt for higher dosages for a longer duration of time. (Note: This isn’t recommended.)

However, if you’ve run a few steroid cycles previously but you’ve never taken Anadrol before, it’d be wise to take a lower dose and run a shorter cycle.

Dianabol and Testosterone Cycle

Dianabol stacked with Testosterone is another effective combination that’ll produce great muscle and strength gains. Both of these compounds are suitable for beginners when used alone or together, with neither of them producing overly severe side effects (less toxic than Anadrol, less androgenic than Trenbolone).

Testosterone enanthate or cypionate are popular choices for beginners, with both AAS containing longer esters, thus requiring fewer injections per week.

A popular Dbol and test cycle is:

  • 30 mg of Dianabol per day for 4 weeks.
  • 500 mg of Testosterone Enanthate x 2 injections per week for 8 weeks

This can be utilized as a beginner cycle; however, more conservative dosages can be used for novices, being: 15-20 mg for Dianabol and 250 mg of testosterone enanthate. We find such dosages help prevent estrogen levels from rising excessively and natural testosterone production from being excessively shut down.

Testosterone enanthate can also be run for up to 16 weeks, which more experienced users may prefer.

Cycle Notes

The following should be the absolute minimum amount of rest taken off steroids in-between cycles.

The duration of your cycle plus the duration of PCT = time off steroids.

Milk thistle (liver support) is commonly taken orally during and after cycles as a measure to reduce liver damage. The effectiveness of milk thistle is not fully known. However, anecdotally, we have found it to be effective in managing ALT and AST levels. 

Dianabol PCT (Post-Cycle Therapy)

PCT (or post-cycle therapy) is a critical period where bodybuilders will try to recover their natural testosterone production while trying to retain as much muscle and strength from their cycle as possible.

Several drugs can be taken following Dianabol cycles to help restore natural testosterone production. The following is an aggressive PCT protocol designed by Dr. Michael Scally, a leading expert in hormone replacement. This was used in a clinical setting on 19 men, in which 100% of them recovered their natural testosterone production 45 days after taking steroids.

  • hCG: 2000 IU administered every other day for 20 days
  • Tamoxifen (nolvadex): 2 x 20 mg for 45 days
  • Clomiphene (clomid): 2 x 50 mg for 30 days

Dr. Scally has successfully treated 100 men for hypogonadism with effective PCT protocols such as this one. We have also had success in accelerating HPTA recovery with this trio.

We start these medications as soon as Dianabol has fully left the body. You can work out when a drug will leave your body by: 5.5 x the half-life.

The half-life of Dianabol is roughly 3-6 hours; thus, using the highest value (being 6), we can calculate that all of the methandrostenolone will have left the body after 33 hours. This is when the PCT protocol should begin.

Tamoxifen and clomiphene can also be taken during cycles to prevent excessive estrogen levels, resulting in gynecomastia. Clomiphene, also known as Clomid, also doesn’t negatively affect cholesterol levels (36).

Pills or injections?

dianabol tablets

Dianabol (methandrostenolone) is typically an oral steroid; however, injections are sometimes used, although less commonly seen on the black market.

Injectable Dianabol is available due to its use in veterinary medicine.

Injectable Dbol is considerably less hepatotoxic in our testing, as liver enzymes won’t rise as much, thus the risk of liver damage is significantly decreased. This is due to the injection enabling Dianabol to enter the bloodstream immediately instead of having to bypass the liver.

Another benefit of injectable Dianabol is that when taken orally, the liver will break down some of the compound, making it less bioavailable. Thus, although a significant amount of the steroid will be active due to c17-Alpha alkylation, if you’re taking 30 mg of Dianabol, the true dose may only be 26 mg.

In contrast, users who inject 30 mg of Dianabol will experience the full dose.

Injectable Dianabol is thus the smarter option due to its lower liver toxicity. However, we understand some users prefer the convenience of swallowing a pill rather than learning how to inject (which can also be painful and dangerous if done incorrectly). Also, there is a risk of users contracting HIV or hepatitis via intramuscular injections due to the sharing of needles.

We find injectable Dianabol to have a considerably longer half-life than oral Dbol, so the results may not be as fast. However, users can experience more muscle and strength gains during the latter stages of a cycle. As injectable Dianabol can take longer to have an effect, users may want to increase the duration of their cycles.

The half-life of the injectable version is approximately 39 hours, which should be considered when planning or timing your PCT.

The reason why oral Dianabol has a much shorter half-life (3-6 hours) is because of liver metabolization, which speeds up the removal of the compound out of your body.

Dianabol injections are commonly administered into the glutes, outer leg, and deltoids. Hitting a nerve or blood vessel is a risk with injectables due to improper technique.

Where Do Bodybuilders Buy Dianabol?

Bodybuilders not lucky enough to live in Mexico or Thailand (where methandrostenolone is legal) will buy Dianabol on the black market (illegally).

There are two different grades when buying steroids: UGL (underground labs) and pharmaceutical.

Most bodybuilders buy Dianabol from underground labs. Such labs are uncertified and unregulated. Thus, it’s no surprise that a study found most UGL steroids to be counterfeit and underdosed. Furthermore, 25% of UGL products contained no trace of steroids whatsoever (37). This means some dealers could simply be selling a sugar pill but labeling it as real Dianabol.

Over 3,000,000 Americans are thought to have used AAS for non-medicinal purposes (38).

Pharmaceutical-grade Dianabol is produced by certified labs for medicinal purposes. These have very tight regulations in place, guaranteeing the effectiveness and safety of their products.

The drawback to pharmaceutical Dianabol is that it’s more expensive than UGL grade, and we see it less frequently on the black market.

Both grades of Dianabol can be purchased online; however, people may also find a dealer by asking around at their local bodybuilding gym.

Buying online should be considered risky, with no guarantee that the products will arrive. Also, if a website is not fully secure with a https connection, your card details may be vulnerable.

When buying in person, if you find a dealer selling pharmaceutical-grade Dianabol, you’re still not guaranteed to get 100% real Dianabol (as pharma-grade Dianabol can also be counterfeited).

Different Dianabol Brands (Pharmaceutical Grade)

Below are the legitimate pharmaceutical grades of Dianabol, used by diligent bodybuilders who don’t want to take the risks associated with UGL products.

This is methandrostenolone that’s produced in real, certified labs by scientists to be used in medicine. In order for bodybuilders to obtain such products, someone will have to get them illegally imported. This is usually from Thailand, as Dianabol is still used there for medicinal purposes (it’s not currently utilized in medicine in other countries, such as the US, anymore).

Thus, as Dianabol can be picked up easily in Thailand, importing it to other countries is how bodybuilders in the US and the UK can get pharmaceutical-grade Dianabol.

  • Anabol (British Dispensary)
  • Danabol DS (March Pharmaceuticals)
  • Dronabol DS (Bangkok Lab & Cosmetic)
  • Methandon (Acdhon)
  • Metanabol (Jelfa)
  • The Generic (Formula Magistral)
  • Generic (Landerlan)
  • Danabol (Balkan Pharmaceuticals)


Anabol is manufactured by British Dispensary in Thailand.

These pills come in 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg doses. Bottles can contain 100, 200, 500, or 1000 pills (with lower doses containing more tablets).

The 5 mg pills are pink, 10 mg are yellow, and 15 mg are blue.

To prevent counterfeiting of their products, we see British Dispensary including a holographic sticker on their bottles. However, suppliers have been able to duplicate such holograms with a high level of accuracy.

Danabol DS

Danabol DS is produced by March Pharmaceuticals in Thailand. These are known as ‘Dianabol blue hearts’, due to the pills resembling such color and shape.

These bottles are comprised of 500 x 10 mg pills.

We have found that counterfeit products often have various different shades of blue pills, whereas the real product contains the same shade of blue.

Danabol DS now has a holographic sticker. Also, the March Pharmaceuticals logo can be found on the label, embedded in metal foil.

Dronabol DS

Dronabol DS is produced by Bangkok Lab & Cosmetic. These are 10 mg pills, with bottles containing 500–1,000 tablets.


Methandon is also produced in Thailand by Acdhon. These are 5mg tablets, with bottles containing 1,000 tablets.


Naposim was originally manufactured by Terapia in Romania. Following Terapia’s merger with fellow pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy, the producer is now known as Teraphia Ranbaxy.

This product is also known as ‘naps’ among steroid users.

Naposim Dianabol has been counterfeited on a mass scale during recent years. 


Metanabol is produced by Jelfa in Poland. This product contains 5 mg tablets.

The Generic

The generic is manufactured by Formula Magistral in Argentina. This brand of Dianabol also contains a holographic sticker to prevent counterfeiting and is popular in South and North America.


Landerlan is a pharmaceutical company in Paraguay that also manufactures generic methandrostenolone. Bottles contain 100 x 10 mg tablets.


Danabol is produced by Balkan Pharmaceuticals in Moldova and contains 20 pink tablets in 10 and 50 mg doses. On the Balkan Pharmaceuticals website, you can enter the verification code (seen on the bar code of the box) to verify if it’s authentic or counterfeit.

How Do You Not Get Scammed When Buying Dianabol?

The best way not to get scammed when buying Dianabol on the black market is to find a reliable source from a friend (or someone you know) by asking around.

Buying from unverified sources should be avoided due to the increased risk.

Ideally, the person who recommends a source to you should have purchased from the supplier several times before and used a testing kit to establish that the product is real and in the correct dosages.

The safest protocol is to only use pharmaceutical products, as we have heard horror stories of patients’ UGL Dianabol being contaminated or containing unknown or dangerous substances.

How Much Does Dianabol Cost?

The price of Dianabol will vary depending on what country you buy it from and what grade you opt for.

Thailand is known to be the cheapest country to buy Dianabol and other steroids from.

As previously mentioned, pharmaceutical grade will cost considerably more.

Thanks to 3 anonymous suppliers (2 from the UK and 1 from the US), we’ve compiled a list of typical prices for Dianabol on the black market. These are reasonable prices and what you can expect to pay in the UK and US.

The prices below are for common UGL grades. 

UK Dianabol price:

  • 100 x 10 mg tablets = £30
  • 1000 x 5 mg tablets = £190

US dianabol price:

  • 100 x 10 mg tablets = $30-$40

What is D-Bal?

DBALDue to millions of people coveting the positive effects of Dianabol without the harsh side effects, retailers have started manufacturing steroid alternatives.

The leading steroid alternative for Dianabol is D-Bal.

D-Bal is formulated to mimic the powerful effects of Dianabol but without causing liver toxicity, high blood pressure, gynecomastia, water retention, high estrogen, hair loss, or suppressed testosterone post-cycle.

D-Bal’s benefits:

  • 100% legal
  • Approved by the FDA
  • No prescription is needed.
  • No side effects
  • Can be bought online (via crazybulk.com).

D-Bal Drawbacks:

  • No scientific studies were done on the product.
  • More expensive than UGL Dianabol ($59.99 vs. $40).

There haven’t been any studies done on D-Bal due to it being a relatively new steroid alternative. However, some of our patients have responded very well to this compound (in regards to anabolism).

D-Bal is manufactured by Crazy Bulk, and 2,385 people have rated the company 4.4/5 on the trusted review website Feefo.

positive reviews

Recommended by Pro Bodybuilders

Furthermore, bodybuilding pros recommend Crazy Bulk’s products, including Ramsford Smith (former Mr. Britain, Mr. Europe, and ex-Mr. Universe finalist).

ramsford smith

Ramsford Smith

Tom Coleman, WBFF fitness world champion, also recommends Crazy Bulk and has spoken positively about the company via his Instagram account.

tom coleman

Tom Coleman

D-Bal Reviews

We have extracted the following reviews from social media, where customers are mentioning D-Bal. 

dbal review

dbal review



review 5


Are The Results From Dianabol Permanent?

We have found that when a user comes off Dianabol, they will typically lose anywhere from 20–50% of their muscle size. Some of this will be water, and some of it will be muscle loss. Thus, a significant proportion of the results are permanent.

A solid post-cycle therapy protocol, as outlined in the PCT section, will help minimize your catabolic state post-cycle and help you retain more of your gains.

There’s also evidence to suggest that steroids have a permanent effect on the myonuclei inside your muscle cells (39). In one study, mice were briefly exposed to anabolic steroids, which led to significant muscle growth that returned to normal levels when steroid use was discontinued.

However, 6 months later, when the mice were subjected to strength training (this time without steroids), they grew by a whopping 30%, compared to a control group that didn’t grow significantly. Thus, taking steroids is thought to have a permanent effect on a user’s muscle myonuclei, helping them to grow significantly bigger later in life (naturally).

The full loss of gains after the mice stopped taking steroids doesn’t correlate with what we commonly see in humans (who often retain a significant proportion of their gains from steroids). However, this study could imply that briefly taking steroids may help someone maximize their natural potential, with permanent results.

You can see that some of the old bodybuilders who’ve come off steroids often shrink dramatically. However, a large proportion of this muscle loss can be attributed to them having stopped lifting weights.

No weight training plus discontinuation of steroids can result in 50 lbs or more of weight loss.

However, when these older bodybuilders resume lifting weights again, they often show exceptional muscularity (even without the presence of steroids).

Arnold young before and after steroids

Arnie is possibly demonstrating the permanent effects of steroids during old age (via the process of muscle memory).

Will I Gain Fat on Dianabol?

Firstly, Dianabol causes noticeable water retention due to aromatization. We see this cause a puffy and bloated look, which can appear like someone has gained fat (when actually they haven’t).

This look is only temporary, and you’ll lose this excess fluid retention when you cycle off Dianabol.

Dianabol will spike testosterone levels (initially) drastically, which is a powerful fat-burning hormone. Thus, it is possible to burn fat on Dbol.

However, much of this testosterone will be converted into estrogen. 

When a user’s estrogen-testosterone ratio becomes unbalanced and estrogen levels rise excessively in men, we see increases in visceral fat (40).

One study showed that ex-steroid users had less fat mass, possibly due to the fat-burning effects of steroids. However, those same users had an increase in visceral fat (41). This is also what we observe anecdotally.

Visceral fat is a dangerous type of fat that collects around the vital organs, such as the stomach, liver, and intestines.

Visceral fat is positioned deep in the abdomen, unlike subcutaneous fat, which can be visually seen (in the form of belly fat). Excessive visceral fat is considered dangerous because it can increase the risk of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

visceral fat from steroids

IFBB bodybuilders, when competing, are often seen to possess very low levels of subcutaneous fat but high levels of visceral fat (due to excessive steroid use).

This is why they often have a fat look to their physiques, despite being under 4% body fat on stage.

Thus, a Dianabol cycle is likely to cause an increase in visceral fat and a decrease in subcutaneous fat. 

The only other factor that might lead to subcutaneous fat gain is if Dbol users adopt a calorie surplus diet, to maximize results when bulking.

Why is my Dianabol Not Working?

If a beginner administers Dianabol in a reasonable dose, being 10–20 mg+ per day (for men), they will experience rapid increases in muscle size and strength.

Dianabol is such a powerful fast-acting steroid that we have seen users abstain from lifting weights and still see noticeable improvements in body composition (being sedentary).

Thus, if it’s not working, it’s almost certain the person has been scammed. The best way to check its authenticity is by purchasing a testing kit, which confirms whether the Dianabol is real or fake.

Equally, for maximum results, make sure frequent doses are taken throughout the day (every 2–4 hours). Also, ensure absorption isn’t decreased by taking the pills with food.

Can You Use Dianabol For Cutting?

Dianabol is typically used in bulking cycles due to its profound effect on muscle and strength.

However, we have had some bodybuilders use Dianabol during cutting cycles to help them maintain strength and muscle size when in a calorie deficit. Also due to Dianabol’s ability to burn subcutaneous fat. However, using Dianabol during cutting cycles is an uncommon practice.

Generally, Dianabol is not recommended for cutting, as the body will be in a calorie deficit (catabolic). Thus, we find the anabolism of Dianabol is somewhat inhibited by the reduction in calories. So, for maximum results on Dianabol, users will want to adopt a calorie surplus diet, known as a bulking phase.

Furthermore, Dianabol causes significant extracellular water retention, causing bloating and a loss in muscle definition. A bodybuilder’s goal when cutting is often to achieve maximum muscle definition and a small waist to look more aesthetic; thus, Dianabol will counteract this.

With a small calorie deficit diet and regular workouts, bodybuilders can typically retain their muscle size and strength when cutting without the addition of Dianabol.

Thus, we do not see many compelling reasons to use methandrostenolone when cutting.

Can You Take Dianabol With Creatine?

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that is naturally synthesized in the kidneys, liver, and pancreas. Bodybuilders can supplement with exogenous forms of creatine, usually in monohydrate form.

Creatine causes considerable water retention (42, 43), therefore, the combination of creatine and dianabol will cause the body to hold even more fluid.

This isn’t ideal, as more fluid will cause even more bloating and viscous blood, potentially exacerbating blood pressure.

Also, we find creatine is mainly used by natural bodybuilders to build strength and muscle size. The anabolic effect of creatine pales in comparison to Dianabol, with the latter being far superior.

Thus, there is not much benefit in adding creatine to your Dianabol cycle. However, there are considerable drawbacks, as it can amplify some of the side effects experienced with Dbol.

Dianabol vs. Anadrol

Anadrol (oxymetholone) is another powerful bulking steroid used by bodybuilders.

These two steroids are perhaps the best compounds we have come across for bulking and gaining weight.

They can be taken together, which will surely result in amazing muscle and strength gains. However, both of these are extremely hepatotoxic compounds in our testing, so they are not recommended.

Anabolic Rating:

  • Dianabol: 210
  • Anadrol: 320

Androgenic Rating:

  • Dianabol: 60
  • Anadrol: 45

Estrogenic Activity:

  • Dianabol: moderate
  • Anadrol: high

As you can see from Anadrol’s superior anabolic rating, users can expect to gain more mass on Anadrol. Despite Anadrol often being the superior steroid in terms of weight gain, Dianabol is the more popular steroid due to its fewer side effects.

Anadrol is a very estrogenic compound, and thus gynecomastia and water retention are increasingly common on this steroid compared to Dianabol.

Science suggests that Anadrol’s anadrogenicity is low; however, in practical settings, we see users experience androgenic side effects like Dianabol.

Thus, we find that Anadrol is typically the superior steroid when it comes to building mass. However, in regards to gains vs. side effects, Dianabol wins.

The general consensus among our patients is that Dianabol is less harsh on the body, and its positive effects are virtually equal to Anadrol’s.

Dianabol vs. Trenbolone

Dianabol and Trenbolone are two very different compounds, yet both are used during bulking cycles to great effect. Trenbolone is a very powerful steroid, producing extreme gains in muscularity and strength.

Trenbolone also has strong fat-burning properties (44), thus, we have seen it effectively used in cutting cycles.

Anabolic rating

  • Dianabol: 210
  • Trenbolone: 500

Androgenic rating

  • Dianabol: 60
  • Trenbolone: 500

Trenbolone is a dry steroid that doesn’t aromatize or convert to estrogen; thus, the risk of water retention is eliminated. For this reason, Trenbolone’s considered the superior steroid in regards to aesthetics.

In contrast, water retention is almost certain with Dianabol, due to its moderate estrogen attributes.

However, we have still seen gynecomastia experienced on Trenbolone (like Dianabol), albeit via a different physiological process. The risk of gyno from Dianabol is due to aromatization, i.e., the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. However, Trenbolone-induced gyno is thought to be the result of the compound binding to progesterone receptors. Progesterone, like estrogen, has the ability to stimulate breast tissue in males.

Trenbolone isn’t c-17 alpha-alkylated, so it’s not considered a hepatotoxic steroid in moderate doses, unlike Dianabol. Thus, if users are anxious about liver damage, Trenbolone is the safer option.

Trenbolone is significantly more androgenic than Dianabol; thus, oily skin, acne, and hair loss are more common with Trenbolone.

We have seen women avoid virilization side effects when taking Dianabol in low doses; however, with Trenbolone, masculinization is more likely to occur.

We consider Dianabol the better steroid for building pure mass; however, aesthetically, Trenbolone produces “higher quality” muscle gains with no water retention.

Note: Trenbolone is not suitable for beginners, as we see it often causing harsh cardiovascular side effects (45).

Dianabol vs. Deca Durabolin

Anabolic rating:

  • Deca Durabolin, 125
  • Dianabol: 210

Androgenic rating:

  • Deca Durabolin: 37
  • Dianabol: 60

Dianabol and Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone) are a popular combination to stack together when bulking.

As accurately reflected by their anabolic and androgenic scores, Dianabol is the superior steroid for building mass.

However, Deca Durabolin is an effective compound that will maximize muscle and strength gains when combined with Dianabol (or other mass-building steroids).

Deca Durabolin is an injectable steroid, so if you’re a beginner and not 100% comfortable or confident injecting, Dianabol may be preferred.

Deca Durabolin also has a significantly longer half-life than Dianabol (6–12 days vs. 3-6 hours). Thus, we find results on Deca are slower, hence why longer cycles are utilized, giving nandrolone sufficient time to build up and peak in the bloodstream.

One benefit of taking Deca vs. Dianabol is that its estrogenic activity is low, with less aromatization occurring. Thus, the risk of gynecomastia is considerably less on Deca compared to Dianabol, albeit still possible due to moderate progesterone activity.

Another benefit of Deca Durabolin is that it’s much healthier for the liver. Nandrolone isn’t c-17 alpha-alkylated (Dianabol is), so ALT and AST levels often remain stable in our testing.

Deca Durabolin is also considerably less androgenic compared to Dianabol, meaning women are less likely to experience virilization side effects on Deca in low doses compared to Dianabol.

Due to less androgenicity, male pattern baldness and acne are less often reported on Deca due to DHT levels failing to rise to excessive levels.

In short, we find Dianabol to be the stronger compound for building muscle and strength; however, Deca Durabolin will induce milder estrogenic and androgenic side effects. 

Dianabol vs. Testosterone

Dianabol and Testosterone are both powerful bulking compounds. As previously mentioned in this guide, Dianabol is more anabolic than Testosterone, but with less androgenic effects. Thus, muscle gains will be more noticeable on Dianabol, with greater weight gain.

Dianabol and Testosterone can be stacked together for better results than taking either compound alone; however, the degree of estrogen and androgen-related side effects will be more severe.

Dianabol will also kick in faster than some testosterone esters (such as cypionate and enanthate), which have considerably longer half-lives. Thus, we find Dbol produces better results in the early stages of a cycle.

Dianabol With Proviron?

Proviron (mesterolone) is a weak anabolic steroid that was commonly used in bodybuilding’s golden era of the ’70s, often stacked with Dianabol.

We saw this old-school combination produce better gains during a cycle, with Proviron working as a synergistic agent (increasing Dianabol’s anabolic effects).

Proviron does this by increasing the metabolites of other steroids, such as Dianabol. It also binds to SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) with a high affinity, further increasing free testosterone levels.

We have also seen Proviron reduce the estrogenic side effects of Dianabol due to its working as a systemic anti-estrogenic agent (46). Thus, gynecomastia and water retention (bloating) are less likely to occur with the addition of Proviron.

We have had success utilizing Proviron as a PCT too, with research showing it to increase sperm count and fertility (47), which is dissimilar to other anabolic steroids.

Equally, Proviron doesn’t shut down testosterone production via the down-regulation of HPTA, unlike other AAS (48).

Proviron arguably is most effectively used during a Dianabol cycle, acting as a ‘wingman’ to enhance Dianabol’s anabolic properties while decreasing aromatization.

Two drawbacks to Proviron are that it’s a DHT-derived steroid (49), thus, we have seen cases of acne and hair recession or loss. Furthermore, research shows Proviron to have a negative effect on cholesterol levels, elevating blood pressure. However, we have found regular cardio can correct this imbalance with Proviron (50, 51).

Note: Thank you for reading. We would be grateful if you could share this guide on social media, helping to spread awareness about the effects of Dianabol so others can be more informed.

Co Authors :

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