Friday, December 18, 2009

Dianabol in Detail

Pharmaceutical Name: Methandrostenolone / Methandienone
Common Brand/Trade/Slang Names: Dianabol, D-Bol, Anabol (Pinks), Naposim, Methanabol, Danabol, Reforvit B
Chemical Structure: 17a-methyl-17b-hydroxy-1,4-androstadien-3-one
Delivery Method: Normally Orally
Half Life: Approx 4hrs
Typical Vial/Tablet doses: 5mg/10mg/50mg

Dianabol. No other steroid conjures up more nostalgia in the bodybuilding community. For decades this has been the mainstay of both novice and experienced users. Other steroids may fall out of favour, or indeed appear to be the new Holy Grail, but Dianabol is probably the most used steroid of them all, and is often heralded 'The Breakfast of Champions'.

Dianabol (often shortened to D-Bol), was actually a brand name given to the steroid compound Methandrostenolone by the Swiss pharmaceutical and chemical company Ciba. Though production ceased many years ago, the brand name lives on and is still the name by which the steroid is most commonly referred. Nowadays, there are a host of 'underground laboratories' that manufacture this steroid.

Even today, despite steroid users becoming more accustomed to, and have the finance to fund exotic cycles with many different compounds, Dianabol is as popular as ever, owing to the fact that it is not only very cheap and relatively widespread, but results are nothing short of breathtaking, both in terms of mass gained and increases in strength.

Suggested Cycles/Uses
Prospective steroid users will typically look toward D-Bol as their first steroid experience. This is understandable given the unease that they may possess in respect of using inject able steroids. A 4-6 week course of 25mg-30mg per day should yield a pleasing outcome for novice users, whilst minimising side effects. As you would expect, more advanced users will benefit from higher dosages, though the dose/result ratio is not uniformly linear, and will see benefits tapering off strongly above 60mg-70mg per day, a situation also compounded with perhaps unacceptable side effects. However, given the nature of Dianabol, this situation is rarely encountered, as more experienced users will prefer to stack it with an injectable 'base' steroid such as Testosterone or Nandrolone (Deca) in order that the D-Bol dosages are kept modest.

Due to the relatively short half life, the daily dose is usually spread throughout the day, typically three or four times, with meals. Alternatively, some users prefer to take the full daily dose in one sitting, around 30 minutes before their workout. Dosing in this way can give rise to incredible 'pumps' during the workout, providing the user with a very real sense of vigour and increased performance. There is an additional perceived benefit in that a single dosage will result in a slightly greater uptake of the drug. Whilst this is true, it is somewhat of a fallacy due to the fact that any benefit is countered by an increased in liver stress associated with an increased load borne by the liver from a single dosing schedule. Additionally, it will create a spike in blood concentrations, swiftly followed by a crash; a situation which is normally desired to be avoided by users.

Dianabol is particularly suited to mass gaining goals, where the primary aim is to gain as much muscle as possible, with the user typically adjusting their diets to accommodate possibly 5000 calories or more. Testosterone/Deca/Dianabol is a superb combination with this goal in mind, two examples of which are shown below:

Testosterone (Enanthate/Cypionate/Sustanon) 500mg pw, weeks 1-11
Deca 400mg pw, weeks 1-10
Dianabol 25mg ed, weeks 1-4

Testosterone (Enanthate/Cypionate/Sustanon) 750mg pw, weeks 1-11
Deca 600mg pw, weeks 1-10
Dianabol 35mg ed, weeks 1-4

Due to the sometimes excessive water retentive properties of Dianabol, it makes it a poor choice of compound in cycles where the user is looking to shed fat. Cardiovascular activity will feature heavily during periods of cutting and these endeavours will be greatly hampered by the water retention and the painful 'pumps' that often ensue.

Possible Side Effects
Dianabol is a strong anabolic, with moderate to high androgenic qualities. Acne, oily skin and body hair growth cannot be ruled out and they are often encountered from a dose of just 20mg or 25mg per day. Increases in the rate of male pattern baldness in those susceptible to the condition is also a concern, with many users reporting that it is perhaps as harsh to the hairline as Testosterone. However, unlike testosterone which is readily converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by the 5-α reductase enzyme, Dianabol, although liable and capable of reduction to the androgenically stronger dihydromethandrostenolone, does not have a strong affinity to do so, therefore this metabolite is of little concern.

Dianabol is also capable of interaction with the enzyme aromatase resulting in the possibility of estrogenic side effects. Gynecomastia may become apparent even very early into a cycle, so the user must always ensure that they have the necessary drugs to treat the condition at the earliest possible opportunity. A Selective Estrogen Modulator (SERM) such as Tamoxifen (brand name Nolvadex) is usually used in these instances, perhaps with the addition of an anti-estrogen such as Proviron or Arimidex which will help hinder further estrogenic conversion. (For more information see the article Combating Oestrogens & Progesterone).

Significant water retention is also a feature of dianabol use. Large initial weight gains are largely attributable to the user holding water, giving the appearance of bloatedness in the body, neck and face (moon face). Such mass gains must not be assumed to be solely muscular, and users should expect that post cycle weight losses will be significant.

As mentioned above, dianabol is hepatotoxic i.e. stressful to the liver. This is due to the alkylation which is added to the steroid molecule to enable it to survive the first pass hepatic metabolism and thus greatly increase the drugs bioavailability. Unfortunately, this alkylation may affect clinical liver values, (markers of liver function obtainable from a blood test) so use of such oral steroids are usually limited both in dose and duration, in an attempt to minimise potential liver damaging issues.

Lots of reviews from guys currently using Dianabol in the UK on the bodybuilding forums at

Dianabol Reviewing

After testosterone suspension, and various forms of testosterone, this was second Anabolic Steroid ever produced. It’s simply testosterone with a minor alteration (an added 1-2 double carbon bond), and an added 17a-methyl group. This does two things. The added 17a-methyl group serves to allow it to pass through the liver without being totally destroyed, and the 1-2 double bond slows the rate of conversion to estrogen (aromatization). Although conversion to estrogen is going to be less than with testosterone, it’s actually still going to be enough to cause potential side-effects because it converts to a very potent type of estrogen. Dianabol (often just called Dbol for short) is typically only seen in bulking cycles- and then only for the first 4-6 weeks. Common doses are between 20mgs/day for a beginner and double to triple that for an advanced user.

Although Dbol is usually found in pill form it can also be found as an injectable. As with Winstrol, both versions are exactly the same, just suspended in water or oil versus a pill, capsule or as a paper anabolic. Regardless of the form it takes, it is still a 17aa steroid; which means two things, for our purposes. The first is that it has been altered at the 17th Carbon position, in order to resist being inactivated by your liver, and the second is that as a result, your liver enzymes will be elevated as a result of this resistance to inactivation. This is good because it means that the active chemical will make its way into your blood stream- and it’s bad because these elevated enzymes can stress your liver. In reasonable doses, which I believe to be up to 50mgs/day, the main “side effect” is going to be rapid weight gain. Its watery weight sometimes and not typically considered “clean” gains, but it’s definitely going to make you stronger. I’ve seen studies using some pretty high doses of Dianabol, and the subjects didn’t really suffer any intolerable side effects (1).

Often, Dbol is compared to Anadrol 50 and in many ways that comparison is apt. Although Anadrol is derived from Dihydrotestosterone and Dianabol is derived from testosterone, they still share a couple of similarities when we take a look at them from an effects & side effects point of view. Both of them cause a rapid buildup of both strength and weight at equal doses, both produce a bit of a bloated look, both are going to stress your liver to an extent as well as raise your blood pressure. Interestingly, both also bind very weakly to the Androgen Receptor, so many of their effects are thought to be non-receptor mediated, and are attributable to other mechanisms. Although Dbol has only modest aromatase activity (2), I really have to stress that it metabolizes to a very potent estrogen.

The use of Dianabol is currently popular for jumpstarting a bulking cycle, and thus seeing immediate results from the outset of the cycle. For this reason it’s often stacked with longer acting injectables such as Testosterone Cypionate or Enanthate, and Deca-Durabolin. The rationale here with this is that the Dbol will give the user a rapid buildup of weight and strength, and those gains can be compounded when the injectables begin to produce results. This is typically done for the first 2-6 weeks of a cycle, with 4 weeks being the most typical time span.

My own experience with Dianabol was pretty impressive, in retrospect. I used a Bulgarian version of it for my first cycle, alone, and at a dose of 25mgs/day. I was training very heavy, and eating like a horse- and in six weeks I gained 28lbs. Granted, it was very watery weight, and did not particularly improve my athletic performance until I dieted off a lot of the water, but I was left weighing roughly 10-15lbs heavier, after several months of being off, and was able to keep those fifteen lbs for good. This isn’t to be construed as my saying D-bol produces permanent gains, but in my case, after I had lost nearly half of what I gained, I was able to hold on to a nice amount of that weight.

Several years later, I worked my way up to just over 100kgs, while using roughly four grams of anabolics every week. I was able to maintain this weight by using Dianabol at a dose of 10mgs/day, and could have probably done this indefinitely, if that dose were continued- or if I actually wanted to stay at that weight, which I didn’t after a few weeks.

You can get more information on dianabol and some great reviews on the suppsint communitybodybuilding forums.