Anavar is the original brand name of the androgen and anabolic steroid Oxandrolone. This is one of the most well known steroids in existence and has been a favorite amongst bodybuilders and athletes for decades.
There are many reasons for its popularity: it’s an oral steroid so it’s easy to administer, it can be used by both males and females, it has minimal side effects compared with many other steroids and most importantly: it has exceptional benefits for people who know exactly what they’re using it for; and almost all of the time this is for the purpose of improving the physique through fat loss while retaining muscle, and for enhancing performance.
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While Anavar is mildly toxic to the liver, as we would expect with an oral steroid, its hepatotoxicity level is minimal compared with many other steroids, making this an ideal choice for beginners.
When looking to purchase Anavar you are not likely to find it listed or labelled using that name on any current formulations; instead it goes by the chemical name Oxandrolone. Despite this, the name Anavar is still commonly used to describe this compound.
Anavar has a powerful anabolic rating, yet at the same time is not a steroid that is as effective for bulking for men as other steroids are. While it can contribute to bulking with high quality weight gain with no water retention, Anavar is most powerful for use a cutting steroid as well as for enhancing athletic performance.
Women who use Anavar will however find that it can add impressive muscle to the physique and this is the main anabolic steroid that is suitable for women to use for this purpose.
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Anavar is a steroid that is most frequently used in a cutting cycle because of its powerful effect on fat burning and metabolic activity, ultimately helping you obtain a lean, hard and ripped physique. Anavar is not a useful bulking steroid and as such, is rarely used for this purpose as there are countless other steroids with significantly more potent mass building ability than Anavar which would need to be consumed in very high and unsafe doses to achieve serious mass gains. The main active benefits of Anavar include:
Increase nitrogen retention in the muscle
This is a prime function of Anavar and it is critical in keeping the body in an optimal anabolic state. The outcome of this is what Anavar is so well known for: retaining muscle while you’re cutting fat by preventing the body from going into a catabolic state where muscle tissue is lost, as is the case when nitrogen balance becomes negative.
Decrease SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin)
SHBG naturally binds to estrogens and androgens, and with Anavar decreasing this protein it results in more free testosterone being available which gives a boost not only to your overall anabolic environment but also to any other steroids you’re using. While Anavar has mild natural testosterone suppression effects, it rarely fully suppresses or even suppresses half natural levels, so the decrease in SHBG is still highly beneficial regardless of what your testosterone levels are when using this steroid.
Inhibit muscle wasting hormones
This is the original medical purpose of Anavar in the area of preventing and reversing muscle wasting. For bodybuilders, Anavar’s ability to inhibit hormones like cortisol results in reduced tendency to gain fat and increased ability to retain lean muscle tissue.
Increases red blood cells
As a treatment for anemia, Anavar has a very useful effect on red blood cell count which brings about heightened endurance by transporting more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles during exercise. This not only has a performance enhancing effect, but a physically appealing one as well with more oxygen and blood being carried through the veins resulting in enhanced vascularity.
Enhances metabolic rate and lipolysis
This makes Anavar an extremely powerful fat burning steroid where calories and stored fat are efficiently utilized as energy.
Anavar is an oral steroid so there are no injections to concern yourself with. It is produced and sold under various brand names, but always with the chemical name Oxandrolone. When buying Anavar, it’s critical to be sure you are getting both the real thing, and that it is of safe and high quality; checking your sources before purchasing is essential.
Anavar is quite an expensive steroid and is usually priced from $1 to $2 per 10mg tablet. When prescribed medically, Anavar is advised to be taken with food or milk to avoid digestive issues. Depending on your dosage, it’s possible to take Anavar anywhere from one to four times daily; this steroid has a short half life so taking it at least once daily is a bare minimum to retain the effects.
The right Anavar dosage for you depends on two things: your gender and your goals. As we’ll see, females can use and tolerate Anavar very well with excellent results at a very low dose. Males obviously require a higher dosage, but you should not make the mistake of boosting your dose of Anavar to extreme levels. This is not a powerful bulking steroid and as such, there’s no benefit in taking very high doses; not only will it not improve results, but will come with increased risk of side effects and ultimately be a waste of money as this is not the lowest cost steroid around. Let’s take a look at the more common dosages Anavar is used at:
Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Anavar Dosage
In general, your experience level won’t greatly determine what dosage of Anavar you should use because it’s a well-tolerated steroid by most men. Beginners might consider starting at just 30mg daily, but be aware that this low of a dose may have little noticeable effect in some people. A better starting point for a beginner is 50mg daily for a cutting cycle.
Intermediate male Anavar users can increase dosage to 50mg to 80mg daily and expect excellent results when your diet and workouts are maintained to a high level for the goal of getting lean.
The most advanced users can push the Anavar dosage to 100mg daily but this is considered at the upper end with no benefit in higher amounts. Rather than increasing Anavar to higher doses for diminishing returns, almost all male users will greatly benefit from using Anavar in a stack with more powerful steroids and not as a sole steroid in a cycle.
Female Anavar Dosage
As you would expect, Anavar’s effects are going to be considerably more powerful to the female body in much lower dosages than those that men consume. A dosage of just 10mg daily for women will prove highly effective for both cutting and gaining mass. At this dose, body fat will be lost, muscle retained and gained, and a noticeable improvement in physique will be achieved with visible hardness and a highly toned body compared to before starting an Anavar cycle. Maintaining a 10mg daily dose minimizes risks of masculinization side effects occurring.
Anavar cycle length is usually set at about 8 weeks for males, and no more than 6 weeks for females. Men who are using Anavar in a cycle stack will usually run Anavar for the first 8 weeks while continuing on with other steroids for another 4 to 6 weeks, depending which compounds are used.
Even though it’s possible to use Anavar for 10 weeks or even longer and this is a common consideration due to Anavar’s relatively mild side effects on the body, extending to this length of time increases risks of liver damage therefore 8 weeks is advised as the maximum safe cycle length for Oxandrolone.
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Beginner Anavar Cycle
A beginner can safely run an 8 week cycle of Anavar (the maximum recommended length) at a dosage of 30-50mg daily. Even as a beginner it’s always beneficial and advisable to combine a testosterone compound (check our testosterone cycle guide) for the entire duration of the cycle, as well as for several weeks following the end of Anavar use to avoid the adverse effects of low testosterone.
Testosterone enanthate is a long lasting ester which can be used for a 12 week cycle alongside Anavar. Your testosterone dosage will depend on your personal goals, and how much muscle you’re looking to build; a 100mg minimum is suitable for testosterone maintenance purposes, and this can be extended right up to 500mg during an Anavar cycle if building some muscle is a goal.
Intermediate Anavar Cycle
More experienced users of Anavar often extend to the 50-70mg daily dose while sticking to an 8 week cycle. A testosterone ester should also be included in an intermediate cycle, and again the dosage will depend on what you’re trying to achieve and whether this is a hardcore cutting cycle. 100mg weekly for 12 weeks of testosterone enanthate is enough to support normal function of the hormone while natural levels are suppressed by Anavar. By limiting testosterone in this cycle, Anavar is left to take on the primary anabolic role, bringing about lean gains as well as incredible fat loss and toning throughout the cycle.
Advanced Anavar Cycle
80mg to 100mg daily for 8 weeks is an advanced Anavar cycle, but more so for the advanced user will be the addition of multiple other steroids in a powerful stack. A common addition to an Anavar cutting cycle is Trenbolone (read our Trenbolone cycle guide).
Just like Anavar, Trenbolone is a non-aromatizing and non estrogenic steroid so also does not cause any concern for water retention, making this a truly powerful combination for serious cutting needs and lean gains. 400mg weekly of Trenbolone acetate for 8 weeks will compound substantially on the results of Anavar.
Testosterone is advisable to be included in an advanced Anavar cycle even if at just a maintenance dosage of 100mg weekly with your chosen ester, with propionate or enanthate being common choices. A whole range of other steroids are commonly stacked with Anavar, including the powerful fat burner Winstrol, Equipoise, Masteron or Primobolan.
Advanced users who are determined to use Anavar at higher doses of 80mg to 100mg daily will usually be aware of the associated costs of this rather high priced steroid, and this needs to be seriously considered over the full length of the cycle where costs can easily exceed $100 per week for high quality Oxandrolone.
Anavar Only Cycle
Because of the relatively high testosterone suppression that Oxandrolone causes in dosages used for bodybuilding, it’s always recommended that at the very least Anavar is stacked with Testosterone when men are using this steroid. This is obviously not a concern for women who can proceed with an Anavar only cycle at the recommended 10mg daily dose. Most cycles will utilize testosterone past the 8-week Anavar cycle length, extending to 12 weeks with testosterone before beginning post cycle therapy.
The real power of Anavar exists in its ability to help you retain existing muscle tissue while you burn fat during a cutting phase. No risk of water retention is a major advantage with Anavar and a huge reason why it’s such a popular and potent cutting compound, including for competitive users. Anavar will boost the rate of fat burning, while bringing about a hard, lean and tight physique with increased vascularity.
Potential results you can expect to see during and by the end of an Anavar cycle include:
- Fat loss during diet phases without the loss of muscle tissue
- More defined, harder and tighter muscle definition
- Increased vascularity thanks to a tighter physique and decreased fat
- Less fat gains the off season thanks to Anavar’s powerful anabolic properties
- Some gain of lean muscle tissue in men with no water retention. Females can expect impressive but not over-the-top muscle gains.
- Some noticeable increases in strength, power and speed making Anavar appealing for athletes who want these benefits without the attention grabbing muscle gains of other steroids
Finding legitimate Anavar reviews online is often a case of trawling various bodybuilding and fitness forums where real people are posting about their experiences and results with this steroid, as well as delving into social media like specialized Facebook and Reddit groups.
Because Anavar is such a long used and respected steroid, there are no shortage of people talking about it; whether that’s asking questions as a first time user or sharing real world reviews of exactly how Anavar has (or hasn’t) worked for them. This gives us a good opportunity to gain an insight into the way different people are experiencing Anavar.
As we’d expect, the majority of reviews and experiences from real people using Anavar are positive. People report excellent results for cutting and preserving muscle tissue, which is where Anavar excels. Any negative reviews people might share about Anavar can often be related to extreme beginners who either expect far too much from a very low dose of Anavar, or those who have consumed too high of a dosage and are experiencing the associated negative effects, particularly low testosterone where an exogenous source of testosterone isn’t added to the cycle to offset this problem.
On the scale of severity of side effects that steroids can cause, Anavar is near the bottom. This is a side effect friendly compound compared with most others, but that doesn’t mean there are zero risks of adverse effects. Oxandrolone is not an estrogenic steroid so you don’t need to use aromatase inhibitors with it; however as most men will be using other steroids stacked with Anavar the use of AI’s might still be required depending which compounds are being used.
All anabolic steroids come with risks but with sensible dosage and cycle lengths, Anavar side effects can be well controlled by both male and female users. The main issues to watch out for include:
While Anavar is far from the most highly suppressive steroid we can use, it can still reduce your natural testosterone down by half or more. If you already have low testosterone levels, Anavar can be enough to push it well down where you’ll experience related side effects like low libido, mood changes and fatigue. This is a reason it’s always advised to add an exogenous source of testosterone to all Anavar cycles, so your Test levels are maintained and you can focus on your goals and not mitigating low testosterone side effects.
Anavar won’t cause you to start going bald if you weren’t going to go bald later in life thanks to your genetics; on other words, if you’re predisposed to hair loss then Anavar might make it happen earlier, but as with all other side effects with this steroid, it’s certainly not guaranteed to happen and especially when dosages are kept at moderate levels the chances are slimmer of any hair loss issues occurring.
Another possible effect of DHT steroids like Anavar is acne because of increased activity of the sebaceous glands, which can also bring about oily skin. Again, if you have had acne issues in the past you’re at higher risk of this side effect however sensible doses and assuring you only use high quality Oxandrolone can minimize the risk of acne and skin related side effects.
All oral steroids carry some toxicity to the liver but Anavar is at the lower end of the scale in this regard. However that doesn’t mean excessive use of Anavar should take place; make no mistake that Anavar still carries liver toxicity risks as a C17-aa steroid and it’s use will more than likely result in changes to liver enzymes which indicates liver stress. This is the reason an 8 week cycle is recommended as the maximum length, and it’s just as important to avoid the use of not only Anavar, but any other oral C17-aa steroid until the liver has returned to normal functionality. Additionally, alcohol should be avoided to avoid additional stress to the liver.
Virilization in females
Anavar is possible the most female friendly steroid in existence and it’s more than possible for women to experience no virilization side effects at all when dosages are maintained at a low level of no more than 20mg daily (however 10mg is advised as the best dose).
Typical masculinization effects that can occur for women are body hair growth, deepening of the voice and clitoral enlargement. While these reactions are an almost certainly when a woman uses any other steroid, they are considerably less likely to occur with Anavar at the recommended dosage and when a cycle is kept to no more than six weeks.
Even though Anavar is a comparatively mild steroid, post cycle therapy is always ideal following a cycle. Additionally, the majority of users will combine other steroids into the cycle, making PCT even more mandatory to recover hormone function and keep the gains you’ve made. Even an Anavar only cycle requires PCT otherwise you will be waiting many months for normal testosterone function to be restored; during which time you’re likely to suffer the effects of low testosterone.
The PCT protocol you follow will depend on what you can obtain and what other steroids you’re using, but when it comes to Anavar itself, most users will find a cycle of Nolvadex at 20mg daily for 6 weeks is enough. For additional strength, adding Clomid and HCG is an option. 2000IU of HCG every two days for the first three weeks of PCT, and Clomid at 50 mg daily for four weeks will greatly improve results post-PCT.
How long does it take for Anavar to work?
Being an oral steroid, Anavar starts taking action quickly in the body, but it also leaves the body quickly and that’s why you need to take Oxandrolone at least once a day. The results we see with Anavar aren’t comparable to steroids that help you build mass quickly, where it can be noticeable in a short period of time. Anavar’s effects of helping you sculpt a lean, hard physique can be more subtle. In an 8 week cycle you can expect to see noticeable positive changes within the first one to two weeks and of course, the better your workout and diet program, the better and faster results you will see.
Do you need PCT for Anavar?
Yes, all steroid cycles should be followed up with post cycle therapy to both retain your gains and restore your normal hormone function. The PCT you undertake after using Anavar, and the timing of it, will also be determined by any other steroids you’re using. A basic PCT cycle should consist of a SERM’s such as Nolvadex and Clomid, which can be made even more efficient when combined with HCG.
Is Anavar illegal?
Laws and regulations will vary across the world when it comes to buying and using anabolic steroids like Anavar. But in most countries it can only be purchased on the black market, and Anavar is generally priced higher than a lot of other steroids. In the United States Anavar is illegal to purchase or use without a prescription from a doctor.
Is Anavar hard on the liver?
Anavar is a liver toxic C17-aa oral anabolic steroid which causes stress to the liver. These changes in the liver do go back to normal once you stop using the steroid, but using it for too long or at very high doses can cause liver damage. To avoid permanent damage to the liver it is recommended to use Anavar for no longer than 8 weeks at a time.
Does Anavar make you bald?
Anavar can produce some mild androgenic effects in men and hair loss can be one of these issues for males who have a genetic predisposition to baldness. This is not a common side effect however, and it’s the androgenic effects on women which are more of a concern which results in the growing of body hair, however these can be largely controlled by maintaining a low dosage and short cycle.
Does Anavar shut your testosterone down?
When Anavar is used at dosages that meet the needs of bodybuilders it does result in suppression of the HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis), bringing about testosterone suppression. The level of this is considered quite high and, as expected, rises the higher your dosage of the steroid is. For this reason, stacking a testosterone steroid with Anavar is always ideal and post cycle therapy is critical to restore normal hormone function.
Does Anavar build muscle?
Anavar is not known as a powerful mass building steroid and even at high doses (which is not recommended), will do little to stimulate large growth in muscle when compared with other anabolic steroids. For this reason, Anavar is almost always used a cutting steroid which is the purpose it excels at.
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