5 Best Steroids for Beginners (Recommended by Athletes)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 17, 2024
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As a senior fitness coach, I promote hard work, proper diet, and all-natural supplements as a successful fitness trifecta and will never throw my support behind illegal substances.

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 10 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 most recommended and effective steroids for beginners.
  • Beginners should avoid the following steroids including Anadrol, Trenbolone, and Winstrol.
  • Beginners committed to steroid use should start with moderate potency steroids and limit their cycle to a maximum of 12 weeks, emphasizing a "slow and steady" approach.
  • In my personal opinion, starting with a conservative approach for beginners is crucial to minimize potential risks when considering steroid use, emphasizing safety as the top priority.

5 Best Steroids for Beginners

Steroid supplements on a table

Numerous anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), from testosterone enanthate to Anadrol and Deca-Durabolin, are available. While none are entirely safe, it's crucial to know the relatively safer options for first-time users.

Mayoclinic says steroids are medically used for boosting red blood cell production, combating tissue loss in diseases, treating erectile dysfunction, and as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) [1].

If you're considering a steroid cycle, some are more suitable for beginners. Let's explore those choices.

1. Dianabol

Dianabol, was a game-changer for classic bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I've seen its impact on muscle enhancement. As a personal trainer, I understand the role it plays, especially for those new to steroids.

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 [2].

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

Testosterone supplement capsules on a table

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) [3].

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)

Testosterone enanthate and cypionate are absorbed similarly but act slower than suspension, acetate, or propionate, leading to a longer wait for results but less painful injections.

A beginner-friendly cycle is testosterone enanthate, offering a conservative approach to 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

Anavar supplement tablets on a table

Anavar, a milder steroid, is ideal for beginners, especially those preferring oral options. It's a good start for those wary of needles or steroid side effects.

While it offers less dramatic gains, Anavar typically boosts fat burning and muscle growth [4]. Beginners can pair Anavar with testosterone for quicker muscle development and 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 shot of Turinabol supplement capsules

Turinabol, balancing between Anavar and Dianabol in potency, suits those seeking a moderate approach, making it a good beginner choice.

It's taken orally, with a typical beginner cycle being 20mg/day for four weeks, followed by post-cycle therapy. While suitable for newcomers, it's not a top choice for massive muscle gains.

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 Any Steroids Beginners Should Avoid?

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

These three steroids pose a high risk to the cardiovascular system, even for seasoned users, and are not suitable for beginners.

  • Anadrol, being particularly toxic, can lead to serious heart issues, making it dangerous for novices [5].
  • Winstrol, though offering gains like Anavar, has harsher side effects, making Anavar a safer choice for beginners.
  • Trenbolone often causes severe post-cycle crashes and significant mental lows.

Anabolic Steroid Cycles for Beginners

Anabolic Steroids supplements on a table

Beginner cycles usually last a few weeks, while advanced users may go for months. A 12-week beginner bulking cycle might combine weekly testosterone enanthate with dianabol for both slow-releasing and quick-acting effects.

Jumping into higher doses or longer cycles too soon can be risky. Steroids, regardless of type, are potent and carry serious complication risks.

For those committed to steroid use, starting with moderate potency and a maximum 12-week cycle is crucial. Adopting a "slow and steady" approach is essential for steroid beginners.

Oral vs Injectable Steroids for Beginners

Choosing between oral and injectable steroids is crucial for beginners. While they both have their differences, oral are far easier to use but may be more harmful to the liver.

Injectable steroids are generally less toxic to the liver but require safe injection knowledge. At the same time, they have longer-lasting effects than oral ones, which is important for cycle planning.

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.

According to the Better Health channel, side effects of steroid use can include the following [6].

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.

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

FAQs

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.

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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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