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5 Best Steroids for Beginners (Recommended by Athletes)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 15, 2023
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As a personal trainer, I promote hard work, proper diet, and all-natural supplements as a successful fitness trifecta and will never throw my support behind illegal substances.

That said, education plays a vital role in being a good fitness trainer.

I constantly hear conversations about anabolics, so I decided to research the common steroids used by athletes so that when I cannot discourage my clients from using these substances, I can at least help them make informed decisions.

I took several weeks to research this topic carefully and discussed the literature with a physician.

Quick Summary

  • Dianabol, anavar, testosterone, turinabol, and deca-durabolin are some of the best steroids for beginners.
  • Beginners should avoid the following steroids; anadrol, trenbolone, and winstrol.
  • Some side effects of long-term of steroids include; nausea, high cholesterol, and severe acne.

5 Best Steroids for Beginners

Man holding out a supplement bottle focused on camera

From testosterone enanthate to Anadrol and Deca-Durabolin, countless anabolic steroid (AAS) options are available.

Though I don’t consider any safe, knowing which ones are safer than others who have never used steroids is vital.

Steroids have legitimate medical uses for increasing the production of red blood cells, counteracting tissue loss from certain diseases, treating erectile dysfunction, and as TRT for low testosterone [1].

If your intent is to try a steroid cycle, some are better options right out of the gate.

Let’s take a closer look at some that seem better for beginners.

1. Dianabol

Dianabol, also known as methandrostenolone or DBol, is one of the original anabolic steroids which saw a massive gain in popularity in the 1970s with use by classic bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Even with the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990, people continue to use Dianabol tablets to quickly and significantly increase lean muscle mass and strength [1].

Dianabol isn’t the mildest or the harshest, which is why it makes the list of best steroids for beginners. It may appeal to new users who do not want to deal with needles as it is an oral anabolic steroid.

A test steroid cycle or “warm-up” is best for beginners who are completely new to steroids. A first-time Dianabol cycle may look like the following.

  • Week one: 10mg/day
  • Week two: 10mg/day
  • Week three: 15mg/day
  • Week four: 15mg/day
  • Week five: 20mg/day

For the next cycle, following the previous Dianabol cycle and a post-cycle therapy (PCT) protocol, a beginner could follow up with the following, maximizing muscle building.

  • Week one: 20mg/day
  • Week two: 20mg/day
  • Week three: 25mg/day
  • Week four: 25mg/day
  • Week five: 25mg/day

2. Testosterone

Close up image of a pill

Using testosterone alone is a popular first steroid cycle protocol for beginning users because they are cost-effective, with injections only needing to happen every 4-5 days, unlike some steroids that require daily injections.

While several injectable steroid options are available, testosterone enanthate and testosterone cypionate are the most popular.

Testosterone enanthate is mild compared to other steroids and is a standard prescription for TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) [2].

Other forms of testosterone found in bodybuilding include:

  • Testosterone suspension (pure testosterone in water, not recommended for beginners)
  • Testosterone acetate (fast acting with daily injections)
  • Testosterone propionate (fast-acting injections done every other day)
  • Testosterone undecanoate (very-slow acting, injections every week or two)
  • Sustanon 250 (a blend of fast-acting and slow-acting, kicks in fast but stays in the system for a lengthy time)

The body absorbs testosterone enanthate and cypionate similarly.

These testosterones are not as fast-acting as suspension, acetate, or propionate, so users may need to wait a bit longer before seeing results. However, users report injections are less painful.

The following is a good beginner testosterone cycle (testosterone enanthate)—cycles like this offer a conservative approach that may minimize side effects.

  • Week 1: 200mg per week
  • Week 2: 200mg per week
  • Week 3: 300mg per week
  • Week 4: 300mg per week
  • Week 5: 300mg per week
  • Week 6: 350mg per week
  • Week 7: 350mg per week

“Testosterone enanthate and testosterone cypionate are similar forms of testosterone. Both drugs are types of testosterone injections. And they’re both androgens (male† sex hormones) used for replacement therapy.”

- Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA

3. Anavar

Top view spilled blue pills

Anavar or oxandrolone is among other popular oral anabolic steroids for beginners. Anavar is a somewhat lighter steroid than the previously talked about Dianabol and Testosterone.

If needles aren’t your thing or if steroid side effects are a concern, many consider an Anavar cycle a great place to start.

Because it is milder, you may not get the massive gains you get with other steroids. Still, Anavar users usually experience enhanced fat burning and increased muscle growth [3].

Beginners can stack Anavar with Testosterone to achieve faster muscle development and body fat loss.

A beginning Anavar steroid cycle may look like this:

  • Week one: 15mg/day
  • Week two: 15mg/day
  • Week three: 15mg/day
  • Week four: 20mg/day
  • Week five: 20mg/day
  • Week six: 20mg/day

4. Turinabol

Close up image of white pills

Turinabol is in between Anavar and Dianabol in terms of harshness.

Turinabol comes in oral form, and a typical cycle for beginners would be 20mg/day for four weeks, followed by post-cycle therapy.

Though okay for newcomers, it usually isn’t a “go-to” for a first steroid cycle as it is not known for massive muscle tissue gains like other steroids.

5. Deca-Durabolin

In terms of potency, Deca-Durabolin is a relatively mild steroid making it suitable for beginners.

Users usually stack Deca with testosterone or Dianabol for optimal results, and as such, it may not be the best first option for a beginner steroid cycle.

  • Week one: 15mg/day
  • Week two: 15mg/day
  • Week three: 15mg/day
  • Week four: 20mg/day
  • Week five: 20mg/day
  • Week six: 20mg/day

Are There Some Beginners Should Avoid?

There are steroids that beginners should avoid, including Anadrol, Winstrol, and Trenbolone.

These three steroids are much harsher than the other ones we have discussed as they can put tremendous strain on the cardiovascular system, even for experienced steroid users. Hence, they are not at all recommended for beginners.

Anadrol is much more toxic than other steroids and not tolerated well by even the most advanced users. Anadrol can cause significant heart problems, so for beginners, in particular, the cardiovascular strain can be dangerous [4].

Winstrol provides similar gains as Anavar, but the side effects are more severe, so for beginners especially, the wiser choice would be Anavar.

Most people react very negatively to Trenbolone and report the post-cycle crash to be severe, including feeling significantly low mentally.

Anabolic Steroid Cycles for Beginners

Injecting syringe with steroids inside biceps

When thinking about using steroids, you must have fitness goals in mind, along with recognizing the risks if you want to continue keeping gains after a steroid cycle.

A beginner cycle will generally last for just a few weeks before stopping for a time and starting again. More advanced users may have an “on” cycle of a few months.

A 12-week bulking cycle for beginners could include testosterone enanthate weekly combined with Dianabol, receiving the effects of a slow-releasing injectable and quicker-acting oral steroid.

Though you may be eager to skip some recognized best beginner steroid cycles and jump right into more substantial doses or increased cycle length, this can be a grave mistake.

Even though different steroids and combinations vary in potency, they are still powerful, and you must respect the risk of serious complications.

If you have set the medical risk involved aside and are intent on using steroids, starting with conservative potency and a typical cycle length of no more than 12 weeks is vital.

The mindset of “slow and steady wins the race” is invaluable to any steroid newcomer.

What Is PCT, and Do You Need It?

A PCT or post-cycle therapy is a drug protocol you need to try and restore the body’s compromised testosterone production compromised caused by steroid intake.

The average post-cycle therapy lasts four to six weeks and begins when the body is completely free of steroids, though this can vary by individual.

Two drugs are standard in post-cycle therapy: Clomiphene (Clomid) and Tamoxifen (Nolvadex).

Some users try to use over-the-counter options such as testosterone boosters, but these are not generally strong enough to counteract steroids’ effects.

Side Effects and Warnings

A man with heart ache, and a man conscious about his hair loss

Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone and very strictly controlled substances; misuse dramatically impacts the body’s natural growth mechanisms and other processes.

Side effects of steroid use can include the following [5].

Some common ones are:

  • Severe acne
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of heart attack or stroke
  • High cholesterol
  • Fluid retention
  • Thinning or loss of hair
  • Excessive hair growth (women)
  • Increased male sex characteristics (women)
  • Menstrual irregularities (women)
  • Nausea
  • Breast swelling (men)
  • Decreased testosterone levels (men)
  • Sexual and reproductive disorders

Whether misusing the milder testosterone enanthate or a harsher Winstrol, the risk, including these psychological effects, does not outweigh body physique benefits [6].

They include:

  • Mood swings 
  • Mania
  • Impaired judgment
  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Extreme irritability
  • Delusions
  • Aggression
  • Hostility

“Long-term, non-medical uses are linked to heart problems, unwanted physical changes, and aggression. There is growing concern worldwide about the non-medical use of steroids and its effects.”

- Kathleen Davis, FNP


What Steroids Build Muscles the Fastest?

Dianabol is one of the steroids for building muscles the fastest.

Users commonly experience muscle gains in upwards of 15lbs within the first six weeks of use. Though not the harshest of anabolic steroids, Dianabol is highly effective but comes with a slew of potentially severe side effects.

Can Steroids Be Used Safely?

Steroids can be used safely under the supervision of a doctor at the prescribed dose.

Many anabolic steroids have legitimate uses in treating muscle-depleting diseases like cancer, loss of testicular function, delayed puberty, or low red blood cell count. The best way to ensure safety while using steroids is to use them as prescribed by your doctor, not as performance-enhancing drugs.

How Can You Tell if Someone Is Taking Steroids?

Several signs can tell you if someone is taking steroids, including severe acne, quick muscle mass gain, paranoia, hyperactivity, enlarged breasts (men), and facial hair growth (women).

These signs can be affected by what anabolic steroids the user takes, the dose, and the length of time used.

How Long Does It Take Steroids to Kick In?

Steroids can kick in in as little as three weeks to significantly boost exercise performance and muscle gains.

This boost to athletic performance does not require massive doses; smaller doses of anabolic steroids can also promote muscle mass development in relatively short periods for amateur athletes.

Final Thoughts on Steroids for Beginners

For me, there is no list of best anabolic steroids because they are dangerous and can cause long-term damage and no lean mass gain is worth it.

I throw my support behind much safer, all-natural, legal steroid alternatives that can boost muscle growth and burn fat without inhibiting your body’s natural testosterone production and causing significant health risks.

We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best legal steroid alternatives that we tried and tested ourselves, and with quite promising success, I might add. Check this out to discover our #1 pick:


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