Winstrol is one of the most popular and well-known anabolic steroids around. Developed by Winthrop Laboratories in the late 1950’s, this is an anabolic steroid that has received a lot of media attention over the years. In fact, those who have never used anabolic steroids, if they can name a steroid it’s usually Winstrol or Stanozolol. The name Winstrol is actually the most commonly associated brand name of the Stanozolol hormone. This is an anabolic steroid that has garnered worldwide attention due to numerous athletic scandals over the years. When various athletes have been caught using anabolic steroids, Winstrol has been at the forefront of the scandal countless times. In fact, it is associated with the most important athletic steroid scandal in history.
In 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for the steroid after taking the gold at that year’s Summer Olympics. Not only did Johnson destroy his competition, he handedly defeated the highly favored Carl Lewis with relative ease. This would lead to Stanozolol making countless news headlines for a very long time and more importantly truly usher in the U.S. government’s war on steroids. The Johnson scenario is not the largest athletic based steroid scandal to ever occur, which would probably belong to the decades long East German doping machine; however, the Johnson scandal would have the largest impact. When Ben Johnson destroyed the U.S. golden boy, many point to this as being the final nail in the coffin that the U.S. congress needed to justify classifying anabolic steroids as Schedule III controlled substances.
While one of the more well-known anabolic steroids, Winstrol is very popular among most in the steroid using population. It is in many ways a fairly mild anabolic steroid that can be safely used by men and women. Equally important, it has proven highly effective for numerous performance enhancement endeavors. It is a long standing favorite among competitive bodybuilders and physique based athletes during cutting or contest prep phases. It is also a top steroid of choice for numerous performance athletes due to its ability to promote strength and endurance without unwanted mass.
Beyond performance enhancement, Winstrol has had a lot of success in modern medicine. It has been successfully used to combat lean tissue wasting and has had a lot of success in preserving bone mass in cases of osteoporosis. Winstrol has also been used to combat prolonged exposure to corticosteroid treatment, given to burn victims and even used to aid in the healing of severe bone fractures. The steroid has also enjoyed a little success in treating obesity when hormonal assistance is needed, as well as treating delayed growth in some children. As the years have passed, Winstrol has remained available for treatment for most of these conditions as well as being proven highly successful in treating angioedema among a few other treatment plans such as specific forms of breast cancer. The steroid has never lost FDA approval and unlike many anabolic steroids has maintained approval for numerous therapeutic treatment plans.
Stanozolol is a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derived anabolic androgenic steroid, or more specifically a structurally altered form. Stanozolol is the DHT hormone with two structural changes that give us the Winstrol compound. The first alteration is the introduction of an attached pyrazol group at the A-ring of the hormone replacing the 3-keto group. This modification officially classifies Stanozolol as a heterocyclic steroid. The hormone also carries an added methyl group in order to protect hormone after administration. This structural change takes place at the 17th carbon position officially classifying Stanozolol as a C17-alpha alkylated (C17-aa) anabolic steroid.
Due the combination of structural changes, this reduces the hormone’s androgenicity significantly and greatly increases its anabolic power. Officially Winstrol carries an anabolic rating of 320 and an androgenic rating of 20. More importantly, its ratings translate perfectly in real life effects giving us an extremely beneficial anabolic steroid.
Winstrol carries many positive steroidal traits, one of which is its ability to lower Sex-Hormone-Binding-Globulin (SHBG) significantly. This allows for more of the steroids being supplied to rest in an unbound state, as well as provides an increase in free testosterone. While many anabolic steroids lower SHBG Winstrol appears to have a much stronger affinity than most. In fact, studies have demonstrated nearly 50% reductions in SHBG in mere days of use and even at relatively low doses.
Beyond a reduction in SHBG, which is one of its primary traits, Winstrol will enhance protein synthesis and greatly increase nitrogen retention in the muscles. The steroid will also do a fairly decent job at increasing red blood cell count and inhibiting glucocorticoid hormones but not to the degree of many other steroids. In many ways, we have a mild yet evenly possession of some basic steroidal traits coupled with the dramatic SHBG reduction that gives us a controllable and unique compound. This really is one of the easiest anabolic steroids to understand.
When looking at the direct functions and traits of Winstrol there is one more issue we need to discuss. The Stanozolol hormone is both an injectable an oral anabolic steroid. Both forms are comprised of the same identical Stanozolol hormone. 1mg of one form is the same as 1mg of the other form. Some studies have suggested oral Winstrol may reduce SHBG a little more than its injectable counterpart, while others have said injectable forms may be slightly more potent on an overall milligram for milligram basis. However, overall these appear to be rather insignificant differences regardless of the direction they go. In fact, the individual should be able to receive the same identical benefits with either form.
Another important note often misunderstood about Winstrol forms is the C17-aa nature. Both oral and injectable Stanozolol are C17-aa anabolic steroids. Most oral steroids are C17-aa and while injectable steroids rarely are injectable Stanozolol is one of the exceptions. The injectable form is also commonly referred to as Winstrol Depot.
Although used to stave off lean tissue wasting, Winstrol is not what we’d call a bulking steroid. You will rarely find this steroid in an off-season mass gaining stack. However, it could be used in an effort to enhance the activity of the other steroids being used due to the strong SHBG reduction it will provide but this is generally not recommended. When we dive into the side effects of Winstrol, we will find it is very hepatotoxic and use should be limited to when it’s most valuable. For the male athlete, this will not be during the bulking phase.
When it comes to off-season bulking, we could make more of an exception with female use. Females are far more sensitive to the steroid and short burst plans could be very beneficial during this phase. But again, there are probably better options.
The effects of Winstrol are undoubtedly most beneficial to direct performance enhancement of an athletic nature. We’re talking about functional competitive athletes, not bodybuilders or physique athletes. This steroid has the ability to greatly increase strength and this can translate into both power and speed. Further, it will accomplish this without adding a lot of additional weight that could hinder some depending on the sport, as well as cause unwanted attention from prying eyes. There have been those who have said Winstrol isn’t good for competitive athletes, especially those athletes in explosive sports due to potential weakening of the tendons but this is more or less message board anecdotal hysteria that supports this claim. In fact, many studies have shown it can have a positive impact on strengthening tendons and we already know it’s good for the bones. If not, it wouldn’t be used to treat osteoporosis.
There are also some who complain of joint pain when using Winstrol. As a steroid that does not aromatize there will be no water retention but the “dry feeling” may not be what many think it is. Most who use the steroid will be physique athletes or gym rats during a cutting phase. They will also typically add it into a plan late in the diet once they’re already lean. Typically, when you become very lean, bodybuilding lean, this makes the joints a little uncomfortable. With or without Winstrol this discomfort could potentially exist. As for pro athletes who have nearly every last steroid at their disposal, remember, if Winstrol weren’t effective in competitive sports so many athletes wouldn’t make it a primary and favorite choice. In fact, the combo of Winstrol with low doses of Nandrolone is a very common stack among many athletes, and this stack will greatly eliminate any potential joint discomfort should it exist.
Beyond athletics, the gym rat or bodybuilding effects of Winstrol will be best displayed once you’re already somewhat lean. The steroid will help produce a dryer, harder look but only if you’re relatively lean. It will also aid in lean tissue preservation but not to a very strong degree that’s often needed in such a phase. It’s typically recommended that Winstrol only be used in this capacity as a secondary steroid, not a base or foundational steroid.
Both men and women can greatly benefit from Winstrol during the cutting phase. While it won’t be the best lean tissue preserver, many report maintaining more of their strength that is often lost when dieting when Winstrol is in play. Vascularity should also become more pronounced and overall the individual should enjoy an overall enhancement in definition.
The side effects of Winstrol most certainly exist, but they largely fall into the category of possible rather than guaranteed. The side effects of Winstrol can be controlled but it will take some effort on your part. There is also always the issue of individual response. We all respond to different things differently. This not only holds true with various anabolic steroids but all things we put into our body. Most of use can take Aspirin, but there are others who will experience horrible side effects if they touch the first pill. Most of us can tolerate dairy products, but there are others who become very sick if they even look at a glass of milk. Individual response dictates quite a lot. With that in mind, in order to help you understand the possible side effects of Winstrol we have broken them down into their separate categories along with all you’ll need to know.
Winstrol is not estrogenic. This anabolic steroid does not aromatize at all making estrogenic side effects of Winstrol use an impossibility. This steroid cannot cause gynecomastia or excess water retention. Water retention is normally the primary cause of steroid related high blood pressure. High blood pressure is still possible but the odds are highly in your favor when healthy lifestyle choices are made. This also assumes no underlying issues exist.
Androgenic side effects of Winstrol are possible. However, while possible this steroid does not produce a lot of androgenic activity. Acne and accelerated hair loss in those predisposed to male pattern baldness are all possible. While possible, they are strongly linked to genetic predispositions. If you are not predisposed to male pattern baldness you will not lose any hair. Acne is similar as those who are genetically sensitive to acne will be the first to have a problem. Keeping your skin clean and dry at all times will offer a lot of protection.
In order to combat androgenic side effects of any anabolic steroid, many often turn to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like Finasteride. However, this will not work with all steroids and it will not work with Winstrol at all. Such inhibitors work by inhibiting the reduction of testosterone to DHT, which occurs due to the testosterone hormone being metabolized by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme does not metabolize the Stanozolol hormone; after all, it’s already DHT.
The androgenic side effects of Winstrol can also include virilization in women. Virilization symptoms include body hair growth, a deepening of the vocal chords and clitoral enlargement. Many women can supplement with the Stanozolol hormone without such effects occurring but they will need to keep the dose rather low. If the dose is kept low, due to the low androgenicity of the hormone many women will avoid virilization. However, the issue of individual response always comes into play. If for any reason virilization symptoms begin to show, if use is discontinued at their onset they will fade away rapidly. If the symptoms are ignored and use continues, the symptoms may very well become irreversible.
Of all the potential side effects of Winstrol those surrounding cardiovascular strain, particularly cholesterol carry the greatest probability. The Stanozolol hormone is well known for reducing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and increasing LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
Oral C17-aa anabolic steroids are all well known for having a much stronger, negative effect on cholesterol management and oral Winstrol is no different. As for injectable Winstrol Depot, it can potentially have the same effect as it too is a C17-aa anabolic steroid. Regardless of the form of Winstrol you choose, the issue of cholesterol will be a concern.
Although Winstrol can be very harsh on cholesterol, it is possible to supplement without any significant strain but it will take some effort on your part. If you already suffer from high cholesterol you should not touch this steroid. If you are healthy enough for use, it will be imperative that you keep an eye on your cholesterol. In order to promote healthy levels it is also recommended that your diet be rich in omega fatty acids. Supplementing daily with fish oils is recommended, as is limiting saturated fats and simple sugars. You may also want to consider a cholesterol antioxidant formula and always ensure you perform plenty of cardiovascular training in your routine.
Winstrol is significantly suppressive to natural testosterone production. It will not completely suppress production but it will put the individual into a low testosterone state if exogenous testosterone is not applied. All men who supplement with the Stanozolol hormone can easily avoid a low testosterone condition if they simultaneously supplement with some form of exogenous testosterone. Women will not need exogenous testosterone therapy.
Once all steroid use comes to an end, natural testosterone production will begin again on its own. However, it will take quite some time for your levels to return to normal. For this reason, most men are encouraged to implement a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) plan post anabolic steroid use. A PCT plan will stimulate natural production and enable your levels to climb up faster than they would otherwise. It will not bring your levels back to normal on its own, there is no PCT plan on earth that can do this. However, it will ensure you have enough testosterone for proper bodily function while your levels continue to naturally rise.
Important notes on natural testosterone recovery; natural recovery assumes no prior low testosterone condition existed. It also assumes the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis (HPTA) was not severely damaged due to improper supplementation practices.
Winstrol is a hepatotoxic anabolic steroid as are all C17-aa anabolic steroids. However, the stress a C17-aa steroid can cause the liver will vary greatly depending on the C17-aa steroid in question. Winstrol is far more hepatotoxic than Anavar (Oxandrolone) on a per milligram basis, but it appears to be less hepatotoxic on a per milligram basis than steroids like Dianabol (Methandrostenolone).
When using this steroid liver enzyme values will go up. Low doses do not appear to produce a lot of strain, but keep in mind as the dose goes up more strain exist. It’s also important to remember elevated enzyme levels does not equate to damage but is rather an indicator of stress. However, damage can occur and it will take proper action and proper steps to avoid any damage. If your liver is not healthy, for no reason should you use this steroid.
If you are healthy enough for use, total use should be limited to 6-8 weeks and no other C17-aa steroids should be used for at least 6-8 weeks after discontinuing use. An even longer gap between periods of use would be better. During use, it is also important that you avoid all excess alcohol consumption. Excess consumption alone is very stressful to the liver and when combined with a C17-aa steroid it only enhances the stress. Many will find avoiding all alcohol to be best as alcohol is one of the most anti-performance substances we can put into our body. Beyond alcohol, avoiding all over the counter medications where possible is advised. Many over the counter medications are very stressful to the liver. In fact, some are more hepatotoxic than many anabolic steroids. Use of over the counter medications should be limited to when only absolutely necessary. It is also recommended that you supplement with a liver detoxification supplement during the use of Winstrol or any C17-aa steroid. If you follow these rules, while enzyme values will increase, if there is no underlying issue values should return to normal shortly after use is discontinued and no damage will be done.
Final note on hepatotoxicity, both oral and injectable Winstrol are hepatotoxic. If you want to avoid all liver stress you should avoid all C17-aa steroids regardless of them being oral or injectable.
In a therapeutic setting, standard male oral Winstrol doses normally fall in the 2mg range around three times per day. Females are normally given 4mg per day or two 2mg doses and if virilization symptoms do not occur it is often increased to 6mg per day. When injectable Winstrol is prescribed, it is normally given at a dose of 50mg every 2-3 weeks for both male and female patients.
In performance circles, standard male Winstrol doses will normally fall in the 25-50mg range. 25mg per day of oral Winstrol or 50mg every other day of injectable Winstrol is very commonplace. Such doses are enough to produce solid results in any man and should be very controllable in terms of side effects. For those who are more bodybuilding minded, 50mg per day of either form is very common with some taking the dose as high as 100mg per day. These high end doses are normally not recommended outside of competitive bodybuilding circles, there’s no need for them. However, if truly lean, contest lean a 7-10 day run at a high end dose leading up to the show could produce some nice finishing touches. However, due to the hepatotoxic nature and potential cholesterol issues, high end doses should for no reason last more than 7-10 days. Total use should fall in the 6-8 week range.
For the female performance athlete, oral Winstrol is normally the way to go as they will be using low doses. 5mg per day is normally all any women will need, but some women may be able to tolerate 10mg per day. You should not attempt 10mg per day unless you have successfully used 5mg prior in another cycle, even then most will find 5mg per day is enough. If injectable Winstrol is used, 20mg every 4 days is plenty but you will find oral forms are truly the way to go in this case. It will simply be more controllable. As for total use, use should fall within the 4-6 week range.
Overall Winstrol is a highly effective anabolic steroid when used for the right purpose. If used to promote raw mass you’re going to be very disappointed in the results but as a cutting agent as part of a cutting plan it’s a great steroid. When it comes to promoting athletic enhancement, it’s one of the greatest anabolic steroids of all time. And while it has some concerns that surround it, specifically revolving around cholesterol and the liver, these factors can be controlled if a healthy adult follows all the safety guidelines. We by no means would call this the safest anabolic steroid of all time, but it is far from one of the harshest. In the end, used for the right purpose and with an understanding of the hormone and understanding mass gains are not the end all be all of steroid use, you will find Winstrol is a fantastic steroid.