There probably isn’t a bodybuilder out there who hasn’t spent some time researching the range of anabolic steroids that exist. If they can help you to retain muscle whilst you’re cutting, you want to know about it.
Well Anavar (or its more commonly known name Oxandrolone) is one such anabolic steroid. One of the tamer steroids on the market, it is also one of the priciest. So what Anavar? Is it just another steroid pill immersed in nasty side effects? Or can Anavar pills offer real results to both men AND for once women?
We have managed to get the inside scoop from an ex Anavar user, who was willing to dish the dirt on their experience with Anavar cycles, dosage and yes, its side effects.
What is Anavar? What are Anavar pills?
What is funny about this mild oral anabolic steroid, is not the fact that most bodybuilders consider it to be weak. No, what is amusing is that Anavar pills technically no longer exist. They were actually taken off the market in 1989. It is its chemical name Oxandrolone – which was reintroduced in 1995 – that you are probably most familiar with.
So what is Anavar?
It is a synthetic androgen and anabolic steroid, whose strong anabolic effects (320-630 rating) have made it a popular performance enhancer for bodybuilders looking to improve their physique, stamina and performance.
Able to prevent metabolic breakdown; increase your testosterone ratio (by binding with SHBG); boost nitrogen retention (making it easier for you to build lean muscle mass and not lose it afterwards), and raise your anabolic activity; this can all help you to build muscle of 10-15lbs (over a 4 week cycle).
Looks, pretty good on the surface, right? Truth is, there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding this pill and the Anavar results it produces.
YES, it can help you to retain muscle whilst you’re cutting (in fact, it is one of the better steroids for this job due to its ability to decrease cortisol). YES, it can increase your red blood cell count, instantly maximizing your energy, stamina and performance (as you’ll be benefiting from increased oxygen levels). YES, its low androgenic rating means women can use it (yay). And YES, its ability to raise anabolism means it can help speed up protein synthesis and make you stronger.
However, despite these many written benefits – and the fact you don’t have to inject it into your butt, thank god for that – its low androgenic rating of 24 has earned it the reputation of being weak.
Guys in particular don’t like this rating as they think it is too low to produce results fast. But this interpretation of being weak is not necessarily true.
Think about it…
If you can prevent muscle loss when dieting hard i.e. cutting – how can this be a bad thing? If anything it is a perk you want. Similarly, this low androgenic rating means there is less chance of common steroid side effects from occurring (baldness, acne… you get the idea).
And the word here is LESS.
Yes, the chances of them happening may be lower, but they do still exist. So before you run off and buy it, remember – like all anabolic steroids with a 17-aa profile, it is toxic to your liver and can trigger many physical and often unpleasant side effects.
To really know the effects of Anavar, we had to look for somebody who used the product and who could give us an honest Anavar review; no bullshit, no placating, just cold hard facts!
So, meet Charlotte, a 31 year old gym enthusiast. Together with her boyfriend Scott she loves to hit the gym several times a week to stay fit and – if you ask me – to look hot as hell! We had a chat with her about Anavar to get an honest review of the product. She’ll give us loads of insider info, such as the pros and cons, or the “Anavar before and after” you can expect. Let’s go!
How long have you been bodybuilding?
I wouldn’t call what I do is ‘bodybuilding’ per say. As a woman, you’ve got to be careful as there is a fine line between toning up lean muscle, gaining definition and looking ripped, and basically losing all your femininity.
Now, I don’t mean this harshly. I respect all women who pursue bodybuilding professionally. But the one time I really went for it 4 years ago, and did the whole shebang of bulking and cutting – I dropped 3 cup sizes and lost my curves. It was a shock to the system, and for me was a deal breaker. So I instantly revamped regime and have since only stuck to cutting.
I still workout, lift weights and stuff, but I focus more on cutting to help build up lean muscle mass. Is this still bodybuilding? I like to think so. But I suppose I am not as regimented as some people who hit my local gym.
What does your average week of workouts look like?
This is a hard one as I like I said, I don’t do bulking as such, but when necessary will cut to get rid of excess fat/weight.
This means the only advice I can give is on cutting (sorry).
A typical week for me looks like this:
Day 1: Legs
- Dumbbell squat 3 set, 8 reps (heavy)
- Plie dumbbell squat 3 sets, 8 reps (heavy)
- Freehand jump squat 3 sets, 15 reps (heavy)
- Stiff-legged barbell deadlift 3 sets, 8 reps
- Leg press 3 sets, 15 reps
- Barbell walking lunge 3 sets, 30 steps
- Barbell lunge 3 sets, 15 reps (stationary)
- Lying leg curls 3 sets, 10 reps
- Seated leg curl 3 sets, 10 reps
- Leg extensions 3 sets, 10 reps
- Dumbbell squat 1 set, 100 reps
Day 2: My upper body
- Pullups 3 sets, 15 reps (take a short rest between sets)
- Bent over barbell row 3 sets, 15 reps (take a short rest between sets)
- Straight-arm pulldown 3 sets, 15 reps (again take a short rest between sets)
- Reverse grip triceps pushdown 3 sets, 15 reps
- One-arm dumbbell row 3 sets, 15 reps
- Seated cable row 3 sets, 15 reps
- Dumbbell shoulder press 3 sets, 15 reps
- Standing dumbbell upright row 3 sets, 15 reps
- Side lateral raise 3 sets, 10 reps
- Seated bent-over rear delt raise 3 sets, 15 reps
- Seated triceps press 3 sets, 15 reps
- Dumbbell bicep curl 3 sets, 15 reps
Day 3: Plyometric
- Dumbbell squat 3 sets, 30 reps (make sure to touch the floor with the dumbbells)
- Split squats 3 sets, 15 reps
- Barbell walking lunge 3 sets, 40 steps
- Freehand jump squat 3 sets, 15 reps
- Box jump 3 sets, 20 reps
- Bodyweight walking lunge 3 sets, 50 steps
Day 4: Upper Body
- Seated Cable rows 4 sets, 15 reps
- Bent over two-dumbbell row 4 sets, 15 reps
- Dumbbell shoulder press 4 sets, 15 reps
- Standing dumbbell upright row 4 sets, 15 reps
- Hyperextensions (back extensions) 3 sets, 15 reps
- Exercise ball crunch 3 sets, 20 reps
- Dumbbell alternate bicep curl 3 sets, 12 reps
- Preacher curl 3 sets, 12 reps
- Seated triceps press 3 sets, 15 reps
- Triceps pushdown 3 sets, 15 reps
Day 5: Lower body
- Smith machine squat 1 set, 100 reps
- Lying leg curls 3 sets, 30 steps
- Pile Dumbbell squat 3 sets, 8 reps (heavy)
- Stiff-legged barbell deadlift 3 sets, 10 reps
- Leg press 3 sets, 15 reps
- Barbell squat 3 sets, 15 reps
- Barbell walking lunge 3 sets, 12 steps
- Barbell squat 3 sets, 12 reps
- Leg press 1 set, 100 reps
Day 6: I either do 30 minutes of cardio or ‘active rest’
Day 7: I completely rest on day 7 (mostly because I am exhausted by this point lol)
I can’t take complete credit for this cutting workout though. I experimented a lot before I found this routine online, but it has really done the trick of helping me to cut the fat and get lean quick.
When did you decide to first take Anavar?
I completed my first Anavar cycle two years ago.
As a woman it is incredibly hard to find a product that can support us, as most steroids have an androgenic effect that is too risky for us ladies. I have been fortunate in that I have never experienced some of the negative side effects that can come with taking steroids with a high androgenic rating. But I do know a girl who tried Anabol and bless her, she got the beginnings of a moustache. As you can guess, she was pretty distraught and it took a while to get her testosterone levels back to normal.
But that is the problem though. The risk of virilization – facial hair and deeper voices – is really discouraging, and in a way can put you off bodybuilding.
This is why I took a risk with Anavar, as its reputation for having a low androgenic rate took the edge off this risk and made it feel safer to use.
Is Anavar being a pill rather than injection part of why you took it?
God yes!!! There are so many horror stories about how painful steroid injections are, and how they can irritate your muscle tissues – as well as leave them feeling itchy – that I knew from the off that I would never use an injection.
I have watched others use it, and their arms, upper thighs and bums would ache for days. Why do that to yourself?
I have only ever used oral options, so Anavar was instantly more attractive because of its Anavar pills.
Did you see any side effects from using Anavar?
I don’t know whether I was lucky the few times I used Anavar or if my low Anavar dosage helped me to minimize them, but its side effects were few and far between. The worst I had was acne and occasional bouts of nausea (although as soon as I felt this one I stopped using Anavar immediately in case it was my liver).
I know Anavar isn’t a saint though. So whilst I experienced little to no damaging side effects; I am fully aware of the impact Anavar can have on the body.
These are the ones I know about, but I’m sure there are others:
- Liver and kidney damage (otherwise known as hepatoxicity) – this is caused when Anavar – which is toxic – is taken in too high a dosage for more than 6 weeks. It forces your liver to go into overdrive releasing enzymes to help break it down. N2Guard can help by offering your liver support, but you need to avoid alcohol and other drugs whilst using it. You should also do PCT.
- Suppresses natural testosterone levels by up to 40% – SERM and HCG (during PCT) can help to limit this, but it’s not perfect.
- Hair loss/balding
- Suppresses production of HDL cholesterol whilst increasing bad cholesterol (this can cause heart problems).
- Change of voice – usually deeper.
- Increases DHT which can lead to enlarged prostates, hair loss and dry joints.
- Can cause muscle pumps – these are not the worst thing, but can be annoying if you’re doing cardio or anything highly repetitive. Back pumps are especially brutal. Supposedly, Taurine and N2Guard can help limit this.
So, what’s the verdict?
Okay, let’s step back and be honest for a moment. Given all the ‘amazing benefits’ this steroid can supposedly create – as well as its messy side effects – is Anavar actually worth it?
On surface, you could say it is.
1) It is one of the few anabolic steroids out there that is safe for women to use (which for many women would make it a ‘hell yes’) and 2) its low androgenic rating prevents aromatizing, meaning you don’t have to worry about moobs, water retention, high blood pressure or bloating, etc.
But here is the thing…
- You can only use it for 4-6 weeks. No more. Any longer and you risk damaging your liver – no thanks, I quite like my liver.
- Its results are mild at best. Sure the 10-15lb muscle gains you’ll experience during a 6 week cycle are free of water retention– so what you see is what you get – but this is small compared to many other popular anabolic steroids.
- It is better used for cutting. Like we just mentioned, any muscle gains will be minimal AND temporary if you don’t put in the effort to maintain it.
- It is only detectable in your bloodstream for 3 weeks. Others can last anywhere from 3 months to 18 months. And shorter the time, the more temporary the effects.
- It is not free from risk. Sure, its androgenic rating is lower than most. But it can STILL cause an array of messy side effects which you can’t ignore: hair loss, acne, liver damage – and the real kicker – testosterone suppression. It can suppress up to 40% of your natural testosterone production, meaning all those lovely gains you’ve just made will go poof! So unless you embark on some PCT, Anavar could end up doing the EXACT opposite of what you want – supporting lean muscle gain and fat loss.
More important than all of this is the fact it isn’t even legal! That’s right!
Unless you can get a prescription, what you’ll actually get is something concocted in an underground lab which you’ll have to test to verify its legitimacy. Yep, another unwanted cost for your basket. Brill!
And oh yes – for all its minimal gains, the cost is extortionate! On its own Anavar is expensive. However, in order to maximize your Anavar results (and minimize its side effects) you will need to do PCT AND you will need to stack it with other testosterones. Add all this together and what you have got is a massive bill. No. Thank. You.
Basically, when you scrape away all the glitz and glamour, Anavar is like every other anabolic steroid. Sure, it can build some muscle mass; speed up recovery and help you maintain lean muscle tissue – but is all that really worth the risk and the epic costs? Especially, when there are so many other legal and genuine alternatives you can choose from?
It doesn’t matter how you sell it: Anavar’s results are mild; its costs are too high, and the risks are too great (even if it is one of the few steroids around that is safe enough for women to use).
For that reason, we strongly recommend taking a step back; doing your research and remembering – no muscle gain is worth endangering your body.