Anyone serious about stepping on stage and showcasing their muscles, has probably considered adding Clenbuterol pills to their arsenal. Believed to increase your metabolic rate, burn fat and reduce muscle loss whilst dieting; it can help you to retain lean muscle tissues and achieve the definition you crave.
But what is Clenbuterol? Is it really the go-to fat burner that everyone claims it to be, or is it simply another product that is riddled with side effects?
We have managed to get the inside scoop from an ex Clen user, who was willing to dish the dirt on their experience with Clenbuterol cycles; its side effects and its ability to assist men AND women in the gym.
Summary – the pros and cons of Clenbuterol
Legal alternatives to Clenbuterol
What is Clenbuterol?
First things first, Clenbuterol is NOT a steroid. Nope. Not at all.
In fact, Clen was first created in the 1970s to act as a bronchodilator to treat respiratory disorders in horses and other animals. Not long after, it was marketed as a nasal decongestant and asthma medication (for people) as it can relax the muscles surrounding your airways and help you to breathe easier.
This didn’t last long though – probably because it isn’t approved by the FDA – so in most countries it is banned and no longer used to treat asthma. Yet, it hasn’t disappeared from the market.
In fact, you could say that its role has evolved, as these days this powerful stimulant is harnessed by bodybuilders – either as a drinkable liquid, injection or pill – to help increase their metabolic rate, fat burn and lean muscle tissue retention.
Clenbuterol pills work by binding to the same receptors in your body that respond to epinephrine and amphetamines, before producing better results e.g. increased fat burn. Clen also binds to your muscle cells and stimulates protein synthesis. In doing so, it can protect your muscles during the cutting phase, and ensure that your lean muscle tissue definition remains safe.
Clen is also a beta-2 agonist (the opposite of a beta-blocker) which can increase adrenaline production e.g. epinephrine and noradrenaline. When this happens, your body temperature begins to rise triggering thermogenesis (sweating).
And this is a good thing. Sure, sweating is pretty unattractive. But thermogenesis can boost your basal metabolic rate by up to 10% and will help you to burn calories faster. At the same time, you will benefit from rapid fat loss; more energy; improved stamina and endurance; a reduced appetite, and better yet – preserved muscle.
That’s right! You will be able to retain all of the muscle mass you gained during your bulking cycle PLUS you’ll be able to increase the amount of lean muscle tissue you’ve got.
But what about its decongestant and bronchodilator capabilities? Well, in theory these can help your workouts too. As a decongestant it can help to thin blood and reduce your blood pressure. Whilst as a bronchodilator, it can widen your blood vessels and increase the volume of blood transported around your body – and the more oxygen that goes to your muscles, the better your endurance, recovery and growth will be! Perfect!
Now, like many of its other friends, Clenbuterol comes under many guises. You’ve probably heard of some of them – Dilaterol, Spiropent and Ventipulmin, but the most popular one has to be Clen.
Of course, knowing the science bit about a product is really important, but it’s difficult to actually know what it all means. You want to hear experiences of real people and what using the product meant for them.
That’s why we spoke to a clenbuterol user to get the inside scoop on what it all comes down to. We met up with Madison, a 29 year old bodybuildster living in Denver, Colorado, together with her boyfriend Matt and their dog Rosco. To assure her privacy, we have not included her face in this article. Let’s have a look at what she has to say about Clenbuterol.
How long have you been bodybuilding?
I’ve always loved sports. In high school, I was on the track team. However, I never gave bodybuilding a second thought until I started going to the gym with my bf. I was surprised by how many women were there lifting weights.
I know it sounds sexist, but I’ve always thought of weightlifting as something that guys do, but these ladies proved me wrong. And I got envious of their physiques. They looked ridiculously hot, and not at all masculine. So I started doing it too, and you could say I got addicted.
I have been bodybuilding and competing for nearly 7 years, and I love the way it makes me feel.
What does your average week of workouts look like?
It varies depending on whether I am cutting or bulking, but my average workout cycle looks like this:
Workout 1: Lower Body/Booty
- Wide-Stance Barbell Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps (dropset on final set)
- Single Leg Deadlift – 4 sets, 12 reps #
- One-Legged Cable Kickback – 4 sets, 12 reps per leg (dropset on final set)
- Plie Dumbbell Squat – 4 sets, 20 reps
- Dumbbell Rear Lunge – 4 sets, 12 reps
- Dumbbell Step Ups – 4 sets, 12 reps per leg
- Bodyweight Walking Lunge (with kick-back between lunges) – 4 sets, 30 lunges
- Side Lunge – 4 sets, 12 reps per leg
Workout 2: Back/Triceps/Abs
- Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown – 4 sets, 12 reps
- Triceps Overhead Extension with Rope – 4 sets, 12 reps
- Plank – 4 sets, 30 sec
- Seated Cable Rows – 4 sets, 15 reps (with handlebar-grip cable attachment)
- Tricep Dumbbell Kickback – 4 sets, 15 reps
- Overhead Slam – 4 sets, 15 reps
- Bent Over Barbell Row – 4 sets, 15 reps
- Seated Leg Tucks (Perform on Stability ball) – 4 sets, 25 reps
- Side Bridge (with hip dip) – 4 sets, 15 reps per side
- Triceps Pushdown – 3 sets, 20 reps (straight-bar)
- Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown – 3 sets, 15 reps (straight-bar)
- Triceps Pushdown – 3 sets, 15 reps
- Plank – 3 sets, 30 sec. elevated, 30 sec. plank on your forearms/elbows
Workout 3: Lower Body
- Warm-up Circuit: Repeat 3 times
- Walking, Treadmill (On incline. – 5 min)
- Side to Side Box Shuffle – 30 sec. right, 30 sec. left
- Walking, Treadmill – 1 min.
- Hack Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps (dropset on final set)
- Dumbbell Lunges – 4 sets, 12 reps per leg
- Curtsy Lunge – 4 sets, 12-15 reps per leg
- Barbell Deadlift – 4 sets, 12 reps (dropset on final set)
- Sumo Deadlift – 4 sets, 12-15 reps
- Leg Extensions – 4 sets, 12 reps (dropset on final set)
- Seated Leg Curl – 4 sets, 12-15 reps (dropset on final set)
- Barbell Hip Thrust – 4 sets, 12-15 reps
Workout 4: Shoulders/Biceps
- One-Arm Side Laterals – 4 sets, 10-12 reps per arm (dropset on final set)
- Hammer Curls – 4 sets, 12-15 reps
- Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise – 4 sets, 10-12 reps (dropset on final set)
- Plank (Up/Down) – 4 sets, 30 sec.
- Standing Military Press – 4 sets, 10-12 reps (dropset on final set)
- Barbell Curls Lying Against An Incline – 4 sets, 15 reps
- Front Dumbbell Raise – 4 sets, 10-12 reps per arm (dropset on final set)
- One-Arm Kettlebell Swings – 4 sets, 15 reps
Workout 5: Chest/Biceps
- Spiderman Plank Jack – 3 sets, 12-15 reps
- Hammer Curls – 3 sets, 12 reps (dropset on final set)
- Burpee – 3 sets, 12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 sets, 10-12 reps (dropset on final set)
- Barbell Curls Lying Against An Incline – 3 sets, 12 reps
- Rope Jumping – 3 sets, 30 sec.
- Flat Bench Cable Flyes – 4 sets, 15 reps
- Standing One-Arm Cable Curl – 4 sets, 15 reps per arm
- Jack-knife Sit-Up (On exercise ball, perform Pike and Knee Tuck) – 4 sets, 20 reps
Whilst I would love to take the credit for this workout, I can’t. I did a lot of research online and found this one on a popular bodybuilding forum. And it works (well for me it does anyway)! It has done wonders for my physique and is perfect for women looking to get into the bodybuilding industry. My only suggestion is to mix it up a little and be careful with the dropsets.
When did you decide to first take Clenbuterol?
I have experimented with a few products over the years, including Anavar, but I’ve never liked the way anabolic steroids make me feel. I’ve been lucky that I’ve never experienced anything too nasty, but all the horror stories made me reluctant to use them.
Then there’s the fact that none of them are great fat burners. Many make out that they are, but truthfully, they are only good for bulking.
I discovered Clen 2 years ago after looking around for alternatives. I loved the idea that it wasn’t a steroid like the rest, but could be safely used by men and women to boost metabolism, lose weight and retain muscle. It was ideal for cutting cycles. I used it for about 4 cycles, before discovering something better.
Why do women prefer Clenbuterol for cutting?
The best part about Clen is that it isn’t a steroid. There are so many out there that are harmful to women’s bodies – as excess testosterone can trigger facial hair, fertility problems and voice drops – but Clen doesn’t do that. All it does trigger is thermogenesis, which can help to speed up your metabolism and encourage weight loss.
And this is great for women like me, as Clenbuterol for women can offer the same cutting benefits of anabolic steroids, but with fewer nasty side effects (if used correctly).
Did you stack it with anything else?
I did use Cytomel (T3) for one Clenbuterol cycle, but it didn’t agree with me. Cytomel contains high levels of T3 (thyroid hormone) which can speed up your metabolic rate and weight loss even further.
Whilst this sounds great, not only is it better suited for experienced users, it is also better for men as it is a lower risk to them.
For us ladies – as I sadly found out – it can disrupt your natural T3 production when you stop using it. This meant I struggled to shift weight afterwards, as my thyroid hormone levels were too low. It messed me up for a few months, and even prevented me from entering a few comps, so I never used it again. Instead, I adjusted my diet and stuck to Clen on its own.
Can you tell me about your Clenbuterol cycle and dosage?
There are a lot of Clenbuterol cycles around: the Pyramid cycle, the 6 week cycle and the 12 week cycle. Clenbuterol for women works better on the 6 week cycle, but my bf did try the 12 week cycle of Clenbuterol for men and found it worked out well.
Here is what I did during my 6 week cycle (bear in mind these dosages are for women; men can take a lot more but they usually increase their dosages more steadily):
|1||10mg per day||15mg per day||20mg per day|
|2||20mg per day||30mg per day||40mg per day|
|3||30mg per day||45mg per day||60mg per day|
|4||40mg per day||60mg per day||80mg per day|
|5||50mg per day||75mg per day||100mg per day|
|6||50mg per day||75mg per day||100mg per day|
I did all 4 cycles at intermediate level. Yeah, I know I’m more of an ‘advanced’ gym user, but I’ve always been wary of going at things full flog, so I only ever take intermediate dosages of stuff.
Similarly, I could have tried the 12 week cycle, but Clen is one of those products where your body easily adapts to it. This means, you have to keep on upping your dosage in order to see any benefits. As a woman, this is a bad idea as the risks go up the more you take it.
That is why I never do a cycle longer than 6 weeks and always take a 2 week break, to keep my body safe.
Others might not agree with my methods, but I personally feel better for being cautious.
I do know of some other ways to take Clen, where the Clenbuterol dosage consists of taking Clen for 2 days, then having 2 days without, or using it for one week and then having a week off. I never tried it whilst on Clenbuterol but I believe it’s quite common.
Is Clenbuterol being a pill rather than injection part of why you took it?
God yes. Injections are just plain nasty and can cause some nasty scarring. Plus I’ve always hated the idea of injecting myself in case there was an air bubble in it or something. What a horrible way to go.
No, I’d much rather take a pill any day, as it is easier to manage your dosage – and carry around – and it’s a lot less messy.
How much did it cost you?
One bottle of 90 Clenbuterol pills cost me $48, so I probably spent $72 per cycle (give or take) as I roughly took 3 pills a day, and used a bottle and a half during my 6 week cycle.
This is not too bad compared to some products. I know my bf spends a hell of a lot more when he is bulking and cutting as he is able to have more than me.
Did you find cutting difficult after taking Clen?
Ummm… no if anything it made cutting on my first cycle easier as I stressed less about losing weight and maintaining my muscle. That is always the hard part about cutting – preserving your muscle – and Clenbuterol did the trick. I was able to go on a calorie deficient; maintain the muscle I’d built up during my bulk, and lose excess body fat.
In all honesty, it really did help me to burn fat.
The only downside was the dosage – and this is the main reason why I stopped using it. During my first cycle Clenbuterol made a real different to my metabolism, fat loss and lean muscle density. I could see the Clenbuterol results at the end of my cycle.
Yet, every time I used Clen, I found it to be less and less effective. This is when I learnt about how our bodies adapt to it. The only way to beat it, is to up your dosage and I wasn’t comfortable with doing that, so by cycle 4 I switched to something better.
And I’m kind of glad I did stop, as it was only afterwards that I learnt that you shouldn’t take it longer for than 6 weeks. Luckily I never did, but I know so many people who use it for 12 weeks when they actually shouldn’t.
What about your results at the end of your cycle?
Don’t get me wrong – Clenbuterol can burn fat, and does come in handy during cutting, but in terms of weight loss, it is less than you think.
I lost 1-2lbs of fat per week on average, so during my first cycle – which was the best one of the bunch – I lost 9lbs.
I’ve had some friends lose more fat than this per week (3lbs per week when they were 100% sticking to their diet); but like me, they only did the recommended (and safer) 6 week cycle and not the more dangerous 12 week.
My losses got smaller with every cycle because like I mentioned before, my body started adapting to it. So by cycle 4 I lost only ½lb per week, which isn’t anything. I probably could have lose more – without a pill – if I was stricter with my diet.
Did you see any side effects from using Clenbuterol?
The biggest side effects I had with Clenbuterol was nausea, headaches, insomnia and dizziness. These weren’t too bad, but I know Clenbuterol can do a lot worse.
I’ve heard that it can also cause drowsiness, anxiety, dry mouth, facial flushing, heart abnormalities, jitters/shaking, heart palpitations, heartburn, increased sweating (but I guess that’s normal given how Clen works), light-headedness, muscle cramps, chest pain and vomiting.
It’s especially bad for your heart if you abuse it as it can decrease the size, weight, strength and activity of your heart. It can also cause spikes in blood pressure; keep your heart elevated for long periods of time, and can increase your chances of heart disease.
Then there’s the fact that it is highly addictive – yeah but no thanks.
Did you have to make any other diet or workout changes to get results?
I like to think that I eat well whether I am taking a pill or not, but with Clenbuterol I did make a couple of changes to my diet. When I was researching I heard that it can decrease the amount of potassium that naturally occurs in your body, so I tried adding bananas to my diet to prevent this loss.
I also ate a diet that was high in protein, moderate in carbohydrates and low in fat. This enabled me to keep my body in a calorie deficient and retain my muscle. I made sure I had 1-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight and consumed most of it – roughly 25g of protein – after a workout, before spreading the rest of it out across my other meals. In terms of carbs I had 30-50g after every workout, and before a workout I kept my fat intake low and only ate easy to digest carbs.
Do you still use it and would you recommend it?
I don’t still use it and I don’t imagine that I would ever try it again. The problem is, its effectiveness drops with every cycle. Hell, by my 4th cycle I lost only ½ lb of fat per week and this is nothing really when you think about it.
Sure I maintained my muscle, but the fat loss was barely any different to not using Clenbuterol.
And then there is the side effects…
I suffered from no heart problems, but I think I was lucky as it is an easy pill to abuse when you’re forced to gradually up your dose to experience its benefits. With every increase, you’re endangering your heart more. It’s just not worth it for so few gains.
Take for instance, its claim that it can raise your basal metabolic rate by 10%. You can easily do that by going for an hours walk. It’s ridiculous.
Summary – the pros and cons of Clenbuterol
- It is not a steroid.
- It can boost your metabolic rate by 10-20%.
- Increases energy.
- Encourages protein synthesis.
- Suppresses your appetite.
- Can help you to burn 1-3lbs of fat per week (depending on your gender and how strict you are with your diet).
- Improves cardio and breathing.
- Helps you retain muscle during a calorie deficient.
- Improves circulation and transportation of oxygen to your muscles.
- Has got a low androgenic rating making it safe for women to use without experiencing virilization (facial hair and a deeper voice).
- Taken in high dosages it can cause heart damage, heart palpitations, heart abnormalities (in size, strength, weight and activity), heart disease and strokes.
- Can cause potassium deficiency (you can remedy this by eating bananas).
- Can cause insomnia, anxiety and fatigue.
- Most people experience at least one side effect including: dizziness, insomnia, muscle cramps, dry mouth, heart burn, shaking, abnormal sweating, chest pain and vomiting.
- Can increase blood pressure.
- It is highly addictive (releases feel good hormones).
- Doesn’t actually help you to burn that much fat.
- Loses effectiveness as our bodies can easily adapts to it, leading to overdoses and heart damage.
- It is illegal and has been banned in most countries.
- Market is full of fakes.
- 12 week cycles may exist, but Clen is safer if only used for 4-6 weeks per cycle AND with a 2 week break in-between.
Star Rating: 3.6 out of 5
So, what’s the verdict?
Let’s be blunt for a moment: Clenbuterol is just another supplement that looks great on paper, but is far from perfect when you delve beneath the surface.
Can it help you to burn fat and retain muscle mass? Yes. By raising your metabolic rate through thermogenesis, you can lose on average 1-3lbs of body fat per week (during a 6 week cycle).
Can it improve the transportation of blood to your muscles? Yes. By dilating your blood vessels, this makes it easy to transport oxygen around your body.
Can it help you to cut? Yes. By raising your energy levels, protecting your muscles and encouraging protein synthesis, you can achieve the definition you crave.
But what about the rest?
What about the fact that your body can easily adapt to this pill, meaning you have to up your dosage in order to get any results? And this isn’t a good thing! As the higher your dose, the more at risk you are of experiencing one of its many nasty side effects.
What about the fact that it is illegal, highly addictive and can cause lasting damage to your heart? For FS it can change the weight, size, shape and activity of your heart if taken for too long and in too high a dosage.
What about the fact it can trigger at least one side effect in every user? There is no escaping them, you will experience at least one with Clenbuterol pills.
Seriously, when you take a step back and have a proper look at Clenbuterol pills – is ½lb of fat loss per week – at best – worth it for a product that will happily throw a tonne of side effects at you BEFORE asking you to keep on upping your dosage just to make this small amount of weight loss happen? No! No, it isn’t.
The truth is – Clen may look great on paper, but when you strip away all the glitz, glam and flowers, it is no better than following a strict diet of high protein, moderate carbs and low fat (with a strong cutting workout).
This statement is even truer, when you add into the equation the fact that there are safer, legal and more promising alternatives out there that can offer you stronger results.
Why expose yourself to all of this, when you have got better options?
Legal alternatives to Clenbuterol
If like us you don’t fancy the idea of dealing with nasty side effects every cycle, then it is good to know that there are legal – and more importantly – safer alternatives to choose from.
CrazyBulk’s Clenbutrol is a powerful thermogenic that can increase your body’s internal temp, resulting in a faster basal metabolic rate and increased fat loss. It can also improve your cardiovascular performance by dilating your blood vessels and increasing the amount of oxygen transported to your muscles.
The end result is a body that is equipped to protect muscle (during a calorie deficient), cut fat and benefit from a ripped, lean physique.
No prescriptions or injections are involved! You can simply take 3 capsules a day over a 4 week cycle and witness 1-3lb fat losses.
More importantly, it is 100% legal, safe and suitable for cutting cycles. Perfect!
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