Winstrol, it is not only a popular anabolic steroid, it may be the most well-known anabolic steroid of all time. Officially known as Stanozolol, Winthrop Laboratories first brought the hormone to the market in the 1950’s under the Winstrol name. Since its inception, Winstrol has been front and center in many high profile steroid scandals and has garnered massive amounts of media attention. Athletes who are caught using anabolic steroids, Winstrol or Stanozolol are commonly the steroids we hear about. In fact, Winstrol was part of one of the most important steroid scandals of all time when Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for the hormone during the 1988 Summer Olympics. Many point to this event as being the final nail in the coffin that would lead the U.S. congress to classifying anabolic steroids as Schedule III controlled substances through the Steroid Control Act of 1990.
Beyond media recognition, Winstrol is a very popular steroid among performance athletes. It’s not the most popular, but it remains high atop the list. The steroid is well appreciated in cutting plans such as those implemented by competitive bodybuilders or gym rats looking for a leaner harder look. The steroid is of course well appreciated by athletes who are looking for strength gains without unwanted mass, and it is highly effective.
Outside of performance enhancement, Winstrol has enjoyed a high level of success as a therapeutic agent. The steroid is well-known for preserving bone mass in the fight against osteoporosis and has had some success in combating muscle wasting. The hormone is also an excellent tool for combating long-term or overexposure to corticosteroids, it has had success in burn victims as well as in healing severe bone fractures. Surprising to many, Winstrol is also used in specific weight loss plans where severe hormone imbalances sometimes exist and has been highly successful in treating angioedema. The steroid has also been used for specific breast cancer treatment plans and continues to be used for all of the aforementioned cases today.
Winstrol or Stanozolol is a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derived anabolic androgenic steroid. Directly, this is a structurally altered form of the DHT hormone possessing two specific structural changes. For Winstrol to exist, the DHT hormone has a pyrazol group attached at the A-ring in place of the 3-keto group. This alteration officially classifies Stanozolol as a heterocyclic anabolic steroid. The hormone then possesses an added methyl group that protects it post-administration officially classifying it as a C17-alpha alkylated (C17-aa) anabolic steroid. This refers to the methyl group creating a structural change at the 17th carbon position.
By its structural nature induced by the aforementioned changes, this significantly increases its anabolic power and dramatically reduces its androgenicity. Officially, Winstrol carries an anabolic rating of 320 and an androgenic rating of 20. The individual will also find these ratings translate perfectly in real life results, which isn’t always the case with all anabolic steroids.
Winstrol carries with it numerous traits and functions, one of its most important being in its ability to reduce Sex-Hormone-Binding-Globulin (SHBG). By reducing SHBG, this allows the steroids being administered to rest in a free rather than bound state. It further increases the amount of circulating free testosterone as SHBG is precisely what binds testosterone. This reduction in SHBG is not unique to Winstrol, it is a trait shared by many anabolic steroids, but it appears to be much stronger with Winstrol than most steroids. In fact, a low dose of the Stanozolol hormone has the ability to reduce SHBG by as much as 50% or at least close to it.
Winstrol also carries a few traits similar to many anabolic steroids in its ability to promote protein synthesis, nitrogen retention, increases red blood cell count and reducing glucocorticoid hormones in the body. These traits are not as strong as with some anabolic steroids, but when we consider the dramatic reduction in SHBG along with such traits this is what makes Winstrol not only unique but highly beneficial.
Winstrol is a very popular steroid in cutting cycles; in fact, many often refer to it as a cutting steroid. While it is useful for this purpose, we cannot officially label it as a cutting steroid as it carries other purposes of use. This steroid has the ability to preserve lean tissue and strength in a calorie deficit. Its ability in this arena is not what we’d call strong, but it does carry this benefit. In a cutting phase, Winstrol should typically be viewed as a secondary steroid added to a well-planned stack and not a foundational steroid. Foundational steroids will represent compounds like Testosterone and Trenbolone. However, once lean this steroid will prove very useful as it will promote a much harder, dryer and overall greater defined look. Vascularity should also be enhanced, and this can be very welcomed by competitive bodybuilders.
Without question, the enhancement of athletic performance is one of this steroid’s greatest benefits. If that wasn’t the case, with countless steroids available numerous athletes would not continue to choose Winstrol. This steroid can greatly increase strength, which is the most important aspect of athletic performance. This can mean both a faster and stronger athlete. As the steroid is not well-known for promoting mass, this also makes it appealing to many athletes. Added mass could be a hindrance for some athletes, while others may simply not want the attention added mass may bring.
Unfortunately, while a fantastic athletic enhancement tool, there are those that argue Winstrol is a poor choice for this purpose. This is evident by the mass misinformation spread around the internet, especially on steroid message boards. The primary claim states that Winstrol will weaken tendon strength and lead to injury. Others say it will cause extreme joint pain by drying out the joints. As it pertains to tendons, studies have shown Winstrol will actually strengthen tendons and when we consider things like bone and joint health, remember this is a leading steroid in the fight against osteoporosis. However, many athletes report joint pain with or without Winstrol, especially those who participate in explosive sports. This makes Winstrol with low doses of Nandrolone very common among many athletes as this will eliminate any joint discomfort.
Winstrol is not a good bulking steroid, there’s really no way around that. It won’t produce a lot of mass and there are simply numerous better options. However, one could argue that the decrease in SHBG it can provide will make the other steroids more powerful thereby producing greater off-season results. This is true and makes sense, but we still cannot recommend this phase of use. Because it is a C17-aa anabolic steroid it is hepatotoxic. Use should be limited to when it will prove most beneficial if liver health is to be maintained. In short, Winstrol has no place in well-planned bulking cycles.
There are several possible side effects of Winstrol but we wouldn’t place this steroid in the category of dangerous in an overall sense. The side effects of Winstrol will not include any of an estrogenic nature. The Stanozolol hormone does not aromatize making water retention and gynecomastia impossible. Of the possible side effects of Winstrol, the most concerning will be cholesterol. This is not a cholesterol friendly steroid as it will significantly increase LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and dramatically reduce HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). This can present a strong cardiovascular strain, and it must be addressed if supplementation is to take place. If you have high cholesterol you must not use this steroid for any reason. If you are healthy enough for use, you should do all you can to promote the continuation of healthy cholesterol and keep a close eye on your levels. Large amounts of omega fatty acids are recommended; daily fish oil supplementation, at least 4g per day is advised. The individual should also strictly limit his intake of simple sugars and saturated fats as well as supplement with a cholesterol antioxidant supplement. Cardiovascular training should also be a part of your regular routine; some type of daily cardiovascular activity is recommended.
As a C17-aa anabolic steroid, Winstrol is hepatotoxic and will present stress to the liver. A common misconception many make is assuming only the oral version of this steroid is hepatotoxic. Winstrol can be found as an oral tablet or as an injectable solution but both forms are C17-aa and both stressful to the liver. In fact, injectable Winstrol is one of the only C17-aa injectable steroids. Many also inaccurately assume this is one of the most hepatotoxic anabolic steroids on the market; again this is false. Stanozolol will carry a greater hepatotoxicity than steroids like Anavar (Oxandrolone) but on a per milligram basis less hepatotoxic than steroids like Dianabol (Methandrostenolone).
When supplementing with Winstrol, liver enzyme values will increase. This does not mean damage has occurred, but it is an indicator of stress. If your liver is not healthy you should not supplement. If you are healthy enough for use you should hold to the following rules in order to protect your liver:
If you are healthy enough for use and follow these rules, while enzyme values will increase with use they will return to normal shortly after use is discontinued and no damage will be done.
The possible side effects of Winstrol can also include those of an androgenic nature, primarily hair loss in those predisposed to male pattern baldness, acne in sensitive individuals and body hair growth. Such effects are highly dependent on genetics. Many men will not have a problem but response will dictate the total outcome. Remember, if you are not predisposed to male pattern baldness hair loss is impossible, and if you’re not acne sensitive acne is highly unlikely. If you are predisposed to hair loss, you’re going to lose your hair no matter what you do but the use of Stanozolol may speed it up. An important note – the Stanozolol hormone is not metabolized by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme and related inhibitors like Finasteride will not have an effect.
The androgenic nature of Winstrol can also promote virilization symptoms in women. Virilization symptoms can include clitoral enlargement, a deepening of the vocal chords and body hair growth. While possible, this steroid carries a much lower virilization rating than most anabolic steroids. We cannot call it the safest steroid for females, that would belong to Anavar, but Winstrol is high atop the list. Most women can supplement with low doses without symptoms, but genetic response will dictate the final outcome. If for any reason virilization symptoms begin to show, discontinue use immediately and they will dissipate rapidly. If the symptoms are ignored they may become permanent.
The final side effect of Winstrol is natural testosterone suppression. This is not the strongest testosterone suppressant but much stronger than many tend to believe. The use of exogenous testosterone is imperative for most men if a low testosterone condition is to be avoided. The form of testosterone you choose is inconsequential. All that matters is the body gets the testosterone it needs to meet its needs.
Standard male performance Winstrol doses will normally fall in the 25-50mg range; 25mg per day for oral Winstrol and 50mg every other day with injectable Winstrol. Such Winstrol doses should produce great results and should be very controllable in terms of side effects. For those who are strongly bodybuilding minded, 50mg per day of either oral or injectable Winstrol is very common. Some may increase it to 100mg per day but such doses should be very short lived due to hepatotoxicity. High doses of this nature should not be used for more than 7-10 days such as the final week leading up to competition.
Standard female performance Winstrol doses will normally be very low with 5mg per day being all most women need. Some may be able to tolerate 10mg per day but this will increase the risk of virilization in most women. If injectable Winstrol is used, one injection every 4 days at 20mg is the way to go, but you will find oral tablets to be much easier to use in this case and far more controllable. Total use for females should also be slightly less than males falling in the 4-6 week range.