Best Steroids for Mass Gain and Safe Alternatives

How Anabolic Steroids Increase Muscle Growth

Steroids are compounds that share a common chemical structure. Anabolic steroids are just one of the many types of steroids that play a role in how our body functions and performs. When you consume anabolic steroids, your body breaks it down into molecules, which are then passed on into the cells. Here, the molecules of the steroids chemically bind with androgen receptors, which are structures whose actual purpose is to bind with the testosterone that’s naturally produced by the body.

In other words, synthetic steroids essentially trick your body into thinking that they’re testosterone. Once the steroid molecules are in place, they activate the androgen receptors. Depending upon the type of cells the steroids have reacted with, this activation can bring about a change in the behavior of certain genes – particularly the ones that are responsible for the changes that occur during puberty.

Steroids impact the normal metabolism of the body in two main ways, the combination of which leads to greater muscle mass. The activation of the androgen receptors leads to some cells increasing the amount of proteins they produce, which the body uses to create more cells. This phase of the metabolic cycle is called ‘anabolism’, where energy is stored and small molecules transform into more complex ones.

Anabolism is also the phase where muscles are built up by your body, which explains why these steroids are known as ‘anabolic steroids’. During anabolism, the cells of your skeletal muscles (the strong muscles that are attached to the bone), begin to grow and replicate, which results in the quick buildup of mass and strength.

However, not all androgen receptors cause this reaction when they’re activated. Some androgen receptors inhibit hormones known as glucocorticoids, which are another steroid type. These inhibiting hormones accelerate the breaking down of complex molecules, such as proteins, into more compact units, such as energy-providing amino acids.

This whole breakdown process is known as ‘catabolism’, and it represents the other half of the metabolic cycle.

Anabolic steroids impede glucocorticoids which shorten the metabolic cycle’s catabolic phase, thereby reducing muscle recovery time, allowing you to reduce the rest periods between workouts. Now you know how anabolic steroids enhance muscle growth and athletic performance.

A sports medicine study conducted in 2004 revealed that using steroids for mass gain over a 10 week period resulted in an increase of 2-5 kg of lean body mass (muscle) among men. In addition to a 5 to 20% increase in strength, the participants of the study reported they gained more muscle mass in their neck, chest, upper arms and shoulders compared to other areas of the body. This wasn’t because the other muscles of the body weren’t exercised as much. The actual reason is that the chest, upper arm, shoulder and neck muscles have a higher number of androgen receptors. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that the participants identified bench-pressing as the exercise that brought about the most improvements in terms of mass gain.

The 5 Best Steroids for Mass Gain

Now that we’ve gone over how anabolic steroids increase muscle growth, it’s time to look at the 5 best mass building steroids. Here’s a complete roundup of all the benefits and side-effects of each one of them.


If you’re looking for quick results, this is perhaps the most effective option there is. An orally administered steroid, Dianabol is one of the absolute best in terms of muscle mass and raw strength gains. The best thing about Dianabol is that it doesn’t make you wait. The gains you make will be rapid.

The Benefits

By promoting glycogenolysis, Dianabol significantly improves the efficacy of your carb intake. Your input of raw energy becomes concentrated, which results in increased power. Furthermore, Dianabol increases the nitrogen retention in your muscles, which is essential for making those rapid size and strength gains. This anabolic steroid also promotes protein synthesis, which improves the body’s ability to create and preserve mass.

The Side-Effects

As it’s an oral steroid, Dianabol is damaging to the liver. Another significant drawback is that it can cause severe hypertension, resulting in the blood pressure reaching alarming heights.

Want to know more about the side effects of Dianabol? Have a look at our Dianabol side effects post!


In general, the dosage of Dianabol cycle consists of 30-50 mg per day, and a single cycle typically lasts for 4 to 6 weeks. For individuals who’re starting their first Dianabol cycle, a dosage of 30 to 40 mg per day is an effective one. It will allow them to make great gains in strength and muscle mass while restricting the risk of potential side-effects.

Users who have more experience with the drug can opt for a slightly higher dosage. However, it should be remembered that there comes a point in the dosage levels where the side-effects start to heighten and the muscle gains plateau off. Most seasoned users rarely go past the 70-80 mg per day mark.


When it comes to sheer gains and raw strength, no other steroids can compete with Anadrol. Having an anabolic rating of being 3 times as powerful as testosterone, Anadrol is comfortably the most potent oral steroid there is. So if bulking is your main bodybuilding motive, this is the steroid to go for.

The Benefits

Anadrol amplifies the secretion of the hormone that creates red blood cells, which translates to a higher multiplication rate than other steroids. To put the effects of Anadrol in a nutshell, it turns up your power and stamina up to eleven. It also has exceptional protein synthesis and nitrogen retention rates, which is why it’s widely heralded by experts as one of the most powerful muscle building steroids.

The Side Effects

The primary drawback of Anadrol is the liver damage it causes, which is why it’s recommended to keep dosage cycles short. It also has high amounts of estrogen, which means that users can expect significant water retention and gynecomastia (man breasts).

Want to know more about the side effects of Anadrol? Have a look at our Anadrol side effects post!


For most users, a 6 week long cycle with a dosage of 50 mg per day is more than sufficient to see significant mass and strength gains. A single cycle of Anadrol typically results in mass gains between 1 to 2 stones; however, a substantial portion of the weight gain will be water.

Advanced bodybuilder may opt for an increased dosage of around 100 mg per day. But, a high dosage is not advisable because of the drug’s high hepatotoxicity.


Trenbolone is an effective steroid for both bulking and cutting. Although there are three variations of Trenbolone, in terms of strength, they’re all the same. Then potency of Trenbolone is five times greater than testosterone.

The Benefits

Trenbolone amplifies the secretion of IGF-1, a highly anabolic hormone which plays a major role in the preservation and recovery of muscles. This anabolic steroid also speeds up metabolism, which leads to rapid reductions in body fat (great for cutting). Another positive with Trenbolone is that it causes zero water retention. In fact, it dries you out, making for lean gains.

The Drawbacks

While it’s surely a potent muscle-building drug, Trenbolone does come with some severe side-effects. Along with the androgenic drawbacks that are common with anabolics, the extra side-effects of Trenbolone include aggression, night sweats and insomnia.

Want to know more about the side effects of Trenbolone? Have a look at our Trenbolone side effects post!


While Trenbolone can be purchased in the form of capsules and pills, its most commonly administered through injections. Because of its high potency and strong side-effects, Trenbolone is highly unsuitable for beginners. So if you’re an advanced juicer, an appropriate cycle for you would be 8 weeks long and would consist of a 50 mg daily dosage.

Nandrolone (Deca Durabolin)

Another ultra-effective mass building steroid, Nandrolone has been popular in the bodybuilding community for a while now. In addition to bulking, Nandrolone is also a highly effective steroid for building up strength. Nandrolone is also known as Deca Durabolin, or simply ‘Deca’.

The Benefits

Nandrolone significantly improves collagen synthesis and enhances the density of bone minerals, making your joints stronger and more durable. This extra durability allows you to lift heavier weights, while improving recovery times and reducing the risk of injuries.
Nandrolone also offers superb nitrogen retention, which is essential for keeping the muscles in an anabolic state.

The Side Effects

Compared to the other steroids on this list, the side-effects of Nandrolone are quite mild. Erectile dysfunction is perhaps the most serious one there is. However, Nandrolone usage has also been associated with suppressed natural testosterone production.

Want to know more about the side effects of Nandrolone? Have a look at our Deca Durabolin side effects post!


Because of the high water retention it induces, Nandrolone isn’t typically used by bodybuilders during the cutting phase. Commonly, it’s used in combination with other steroids during the bulking phase. However, Nandrolone-only cycles, although rare, are not unheard of. Typically, a Nandrolone-only cycle is 8 weeks long, and consists of a 400 mg weekly dose.


If you really can’t make up your mind regarding which steroid to go for, testosterone is always a good bet.It’s the one steroid that should be included as a part of any and all stacks. Testosterone is highly anabolic in nature, which makes it superb for building strength and bulking phases. Moreover, its versatility also allows it to be a great component in cutting stacks.

The Benefits

The primary benefit of testosterone is that it blocks the secretion of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. This prevents the buildup of fat inside the body. It also augments the production of red blood cells, which improves your endurance levels significantly. Furthermore, testosterone elevates protein synthesis rates, which reduces recovery times and prevents catabolism.

The drawbacks

Excessive testosterone levels in the body can lead to a hairy situation, and we mean that in the literal sense. Testosterone can result in a receding hairline and can cause hair growth in unusual places. Furthermore, synthetic testosterone can cause testicular atrophy and gynecomastia.


Most juicing experts regard testosterone cycles as the perfect option for individuals who are starting their first ever cycle of anabolic steroids. Orally administering testosterone is pretty harsh on the liver which is why most users consume it through injections. When it comes to testosterone, the best steroid cycle for size is typically 10 to 12 weeks long, and consists of a weekly dosage of 500 mg.


What Are Androgens And Androgenic Steroids

What are Androgens and Androgenic Steroids?
Androgenic vs. Anabolic: Is There a Difference?
How People Use Androgenic Steroids
Different Types of Steroids
Why are Steroids Used in Sport?
Popular Androgenic Anabolic Steroids
Side Effects and Risks of Androgenic Anabolic Steroids
Safer and Natural Alternatives are Available
In the quest for insane size and muscle growth, many men and women turn toward androgens such as androgenic steroids. While you might know them as anabolic steroids, the benefits these compounds provide are focused on increasing muscle size and recovery time. Despite the anecdotal reports and proven results, androgenic steroids side effects are nothing to mess around with.

Let’s take a look at what is androgen, what androgenic steroids are used for, their side effects, and safer alternatives.

What are Androgens and Androgenic Steroids?
Androgens are a type of hormone that have a direct impact on sexual organ development, metabolic rate, and mood stability, to name a few things. The most famous is testosterone.

While androgens are typically associated with male characteristics such as bigger muscles and a deeper voice, both men and women produce and require androgens for healthy development. The only difference is that men produce more androgens, which promotes more masculine features.

Androgenic steroids are a synthetic version of androgens such as testosterone that trigger many of the same functions as the actual hormone, most notably muscle growth, which is why anabolic androgenic steroids are so popular amongst bodybuilders.

Androgenic vs. Anabolic: Is There a Difference?
Let’s clear up some confusion about androgenic vs. anabolic steroids. These are not two different types of steroid. They are the same thing, but the difference in the names comes from the physical traits they promote.

Androgenic: This refers to physical characteristics that pertain to growth during puberty. When an extremely androgenic hormone like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is released in large amounts during puberty, it triggers deepening of the voice, facial hair growth, and muscle mass development.

A boost in androgenic effects from a steroid leads to a number of side effects including heart issues and testosterone dependency. For women, this can mean the development of masculine features such as facial hair and a deeper voice.

Anabolic: On the other hand, anabolic refers strictly to its impact on lean muscle tissue. Steroids have the anabolic effect on muscle mass of promoting growth in size and shape.

The goal of most steroid users is to find one that promotes anabolic benefits without the androgenic side effects.

How People Use Androgenic Steroids

Androgenic or anabolic steroids can be taken as an oral-based capsule or tablet, skin implant, cream, gel, or injection. The two most common ways to use steroids would be a tablet or injection.

All steroids are recommended to be taken as a cycle, unless otherwise noted by a doctor. A standard anabolic steroid cycle – the on-cycle – lasts for as little as four weeks and can last as long as 12 weeks. Typically, more experienced steroid users will extend their cycle.

This is followed by an off-cycle where the user stops taking the steroid. This can last for as little as four weeks and as long as a few months before the next on-cycle begins. In an attempt to minimize the androgenic steroids side effects, the user will immediately use what is known as a post-cycle therapy supplement.

Steroids can also be stacked, which is when you combine two or more different yet complementary steroids together. This is done to minimize the estrogenic side effects while maximizing the beneficial effects of all compounds. While it may be effective during a cycle, the more steroids you use, the greater the risk for severe side effects.

One method of using steroids, which has been anecdotally reported to help the body adjust to the steroid dosage while avoiding the worst of the side effects is called pyramiding. This is when you start with a low dosage of the steroid and gradually increase the dosage day by day. Once you reach the midpoint of your cycle, you peak the dosage, then slowly decrease it until you reach your off-cycle.

Different Types of Steroids
Did you know that there are almost three dozen anabolic steroids that are available for purchase? According to a study published in Andrology, designer steroids have not been legally cleared for medicinal or recreational use, but they are still available through means of the black market.

As we mentioned above, there are four ways that steroids are commonly used, but the two most popular ways are through oral medication and injections. Let’s review how to use a steroid along with some examples of androgenic steroids:

Oral Steroids: This type of steroid usually comes in the form of a tablet or capsule. The user has to take the oral steroid at least twice a day, depending on the dosage. Popular examples of oral-based steroids include Winstrol, Anadrol, and Anavar.

Injectable Steroids: The steroid is injected into the body through a hypodermic needle. Unlike oral medication, injections are only needed a few times per week. But this will vary depending on the steroid and the dosage. Deca Durabolin, Depotest, and Finajet are popular examples of injectable hormones.

Why are Steroids Used in Sport?
Androgenic steroids are used in sports for three primary reasons:

Performance Enhancement: Studies show that one of the primary reasons that athletes use steroids is to increase performance in their chosen sport. Steroids have a direct effect on increasing strength and endurance, which makes them universally effective in the sports world, especially when it comes to physique-based sports such as bodybuilding.

Muscle Growth: Arguably, androgenic steroids are most commonly associated with increases in muscle tissue, hence its connection with the bodybuilding world. Studies show that anabolic steroids are incredibly effective at increasing hypertrophic growth through increases in androgens.

Post-Training Recovery: It’s no surprise that a steroid user’s normal workout routine will increase once he starts taking the compound. If you’re wondering how someone could maintain a crazy workout schedule using an insane amount of weight, anabolic steroids are behind that as well. Studies show that they can increase recovery time, promoting faster muscle healing.

Popular Androgenic Anabolic Steroids
While there are almost a few dozen anabolic steroids available on the black market, there are 10 that are commonly cited as the most reliable for muscle growth and sports performance:

Deca Durabolin
Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Side Effects and Risks of Androgenic Anabolic Steroids
If you use steroids, there’s no way around the side effects. The only difference is the severity. Whether legally prescribed or illegally used, here are the most common side effects that don’t seem to impact your health long term or require serious prescription medication:

Bloating (looking puffy)
Skin issues (primarily an increase in acne)
Hair loss
Changes in your libido (could increase then decrease)
Here’s the next level of severity that could require medical intervention in the form of prescription medication:

Gynecomastia (male breasts)
Difficulty when urinating
Changes in cholesterol levels
Low sperm count
Finally, whether through steroid abuse or misuse, here are severe side effects that you can expect when using anabolic steroids:

Cardiovascular issues such as rapid heart rate or myocardial infarction
Live damage that may result in tumors
Bone loss and cartilage breakdown
Low testosterone levels
Severe mood swings (rage to depression)
Women are especially susceptible to the side effects of androgenic steroids and they have their own category to worry about:

Shrinking breasts
Menstrual cycle irregularity
Deeper voice
Large clitoris
Facial hair growth
Check also: Masteron (Drostanolone) Review >>

Safer and Natural Alternatives are Available
If you want to promote muscle growth and strength building without the side effects of androgenic steroids, there are plenty of safer and natural alternatives available to you. In fact, there are direct equivalents to the most popular steroids. Let’s review the steroid and its natural, legal, and safer equivalent:

D-Bal: One of the most popular mass building supplements, D-Bal was created to mimic the bulking effects of Dianabol.

Trenorol: Interested in stacking? Trenorol goes perfect with D-Bal as both boost muscle growth while Trenorol helps to skyrocket strength. As you may have guessed Trenorol was designed to mimic the effects of Trenbolone.

Testo-Max: If you want to naturally boost your testosterone levels, Testo-Max is the way to go. Modelled after the test-booster steroid known as Sustanon, Testo-Max is effective without the side effects.

Clenbutrol: Great for anyone looking to build cut and lean muscle mass, Clenbutrol captures the same benefits as the steroid Clenbuterol.

Anvarol: Few steroids are more synonymous with recovery and getting lean as Anavar. If you’re looking to boost your results in the gym and in front of the mirror, Anvarol is for you.

Androgenic steroids and the androgens they provide can be a tempting way to boost muscle mass and improve sports performance, but at what cost?

Androgenic steroids come with a laundry list of side effects that cancel out all potential benefits. Combined with a well-planned lifting program and dietary routine, natural supplements are the safer way to go. They provide comparable benefits with none of the androgenic steroids side effects.

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