Unlike most of the other powerful anabolic androgenic steroids out there, Dianabol (commonly called DBol) is mainly used in an oral tablet form rather than injections; although an injectable form also exists.
DBol is derived from testosterone and has the chemical name of Methandrostenolone, with Dianabol being the brand name the drug was released under in the late 1950s, initially to provide performance enhancing benefits to American athletes. It was soon taken up by bodybuilders but its production and legal sale in the US was halted in the 1980s and it is now only produced in other countries.
Dianabol has a reduced androgenic nature compared with testosterone due to a slight alteration to the chemical structure of the hormone, but still retains an extremely anabolic effect.
This Dianabol cycle guide has been broken down into the following sections:
Table of Contents
What is Dianabol?
Dianabol is a mainly oral form steroid and is one of the rare steroids out there which was created purely to enhance athletic performance in humans, rather than originally developed for other purposes such as to treat medical conditions or for use in animals.
Therefore Dianabol can be considered as a true performance enhancing androgen and anabolic steroid that has well known and studied benefits going back decades. Dianabol is considered to be much more powerful and effective than even the highly regarded steroid Anadrol.
The main benefits of this very powerful steroid relate to the core areas that influence muscle growth:
- Boosting protein synthesis – this rapidly increases the protein building process in the cells; the building blocks of muscular growth.
- Increasing nitrogen retention – keeping a positive nitrogen balance keeps the body in a prime anabolic state.
- Enhanced glycogenolysis – the conversion of the carbohydrate glycogen from the liver and muscle cells breaks down into glucose to be used as energy.
These basic yet most critical of body processes are what contributes to the overall extremely powerful anabolic effects of Dianabol.
Due to its ability to deliver enormous bulk and strength gains, Dianabol is mainly used for these purposes. It is rarely used for cutting besides by highly experienced or professional users who have a specific purpose, as there are better cutting steroids out there. Water retention is another reason that Dianabol is not a popular cutting steroid.
Editor’s Note: For real, NO-BS information on cycling steroids be sure to check out Straight From the Underground (my recommended underground steroid handbook). Everything in this book is based on first hand experience, not theory.
Dianabol Cycle Benefits (Dianabol Effects)
The primary areas where Dianabol excels is for mass and strength building. It’s also often used at the beginning of a bulking cycle to bring about fast results early on.
The important benefits and effects of Dianabol are:
- Increases mass rapidly
- Boosts power and strength
- Enhances and speeds up muscle recovery
- Reduces fatigue allowing for longer workouts
- Lower androgenic effects than other steroids
- Works well with many other steroids
- Doesn’t require painful injections
One of the most common uses of Dianabol is as a bulking steroid during the off-season, due to the fact it can deliver rapid and high quality mass building results.
How to Take Dianabol?
Dianabol is rarely the centerpiece of a steroid cycle, but instead added to a stack with one or more other powerful anabolic steroids. Dianabol works incredibly well when combined with other steroids, with the extra Dianabol added to any stack enhancing the results you can get considerably.
Dianabol is taken as an oral tablet. While then entire daily dosage can be consumed at one time, many people prefer to stagger the dose into two to three smaller doses throughout the day in order to maintain a consistent level. This strategy can have its advantages and disadvantages compared with a one-off daily dosage and the better option for you will depend on your workout routine and goals.
The recommended continuous use period of Dianabol is just four to six weeks due to its toxic effect on the liver. New users are advised to run a Dianabol cycle for just four weeks, while even advanced users are not recommended to exceed a six week cycle, followed by a minimum of a six week break to allow liver recovery.
Timing your Dianabol dosing around your food intake is also an important factor to consider. There is the potential for the bioavailability of oral steroids to be reduced when taken with food as some of the steroid compound dissolves with dietary fat. Taking Dianabol on an empty stomach provides the best method of absorbing the absolute maximum of the dosage you’re taking, with little going to waste.
Being such a powerful steroid, Dianabol is very effective even at low doses. Excellent results can be achieved with only 15mg daily. A more common dosage for most people is to increase it after the first two to three weeks up to 20mg to 30mg per day. As expected, the higher the dosage the more pronounced you can expect side effects to be. The most advanced users who are confident in controlling the side effects are known to go to 50mg daily.
If you want a big rise in Dianabol levels quickly ready for an upcoming workout, taking then whole dosage in one go makes sense. But if you have an extremely long workout or other athletic activity being prolonged throughout the day, a more staggered dosing of Dianabol makes sense – because this steroid has such a short half life of several hours, levels can drop quickly.
The trade off with multiple doses during the day is you will never reach the maximum blood level of Dianabol compared with a single full strength dosage. If you’re using a higher dosage of Dianabol daily, precautions are greatly required when considering taking it all at once – only the most experienced users should consider a single dosage of 50mg of Dianabol.
Most Dianabol tablets come in strengths of 5mg, 10mg and 15mg, making it simple to design a dosage schedule even of the smallest amounts. While Dianabol is available as an injection, this is not common or as easy to come by as the pill form and the vast majority of users prefer the tablet for its very fast acting effect.
Dosage amount is not the only factor to consider with Dianabol: timing is also critical.
As an oral steroid, Dianabol works fast but also leaves the body fast. It has a half life of just three to five hours, so most people choose to break up a daily dosage into multiple smaller doses throughout the day (such as two or three) to ensure blood levels of the steroid don’t drop. If you want to experience a peak in Dianabol levels however, taking the whole dose at once in timing with your training schedule, you can experience the maximum benefit right when you need it.
Dianabol Cycle Length
The maximum length of a Dianabol cycle should never exceed six weeks due to the high risk of liver toxicity that comes with oral anabolics. Dianabol is hepatotoxic so is damaging to the liver when used in high doses and/or for long periods of time. Therefore, six weeks is the standard maximum recommendation for using Dianabol, with at least a six weeks break in between cycles.
Typical Dianabol Cycles
As an oral anabolic, Dianabol is the perfect kick starter compound to get your gains going quickly at the start of a cycle, while also being highly useful to smash through plateaus. In fact, these are the two core reasons the majority of people use DBol and for good reasons:
- Kickstarting a cycle
- Breaking through a plateau
Kickstarting a cycle is often done in a mass building off season cycle. Dianabol provides the rapid gains you want, while your other injectable steroids are building up in the body. Dianabol will deliver dramatic gains in weight during this time which you can then compound upon during the rest of your cycle.
A mid-cycle plateau is something we all face at one point or another, and Dianabol has a powerful use in this situation as well. This is the point where gains slow or you feel like you’ve come up against a wall and can’t make further progress no matter how hard your workouts are getting. Rather than continuing the cycle with little to no gains, adding Dianabol provides a huge boost and can literally knock that plateau wall down and have your gains looking up again very quickly.
The reason that Dianabol is almost always used for these two specific purposes in a cycle is because of its hepatotoxicity where you certainly don’t want to be using Dianabol for an entire cycle that runs for 8 weeks, 12 weeks or longer.
DBol can be used with almost every other steroid besides other orals like Anadrol. This makes Dianabol a very versatile steroid that will fit right into any cycle, whether you’re teaming it up with just one other steroid or multiples in a more advanced stack. It is critical to note though that Dianabol is not recommended to be used along with another C17-aa steroid because of the increased load on the liver this combination would result in. This includes Anadrol, Anavar, and Stanozolol based steroids like Winstrol.
Most steroid cycles will only be able to fit in one of these uses for Dianabol due to the break required in between. However for the most advanced hardcore bodybuilding cycles that run well beyond twelve weeks, DBol can often be used for both a kick start and a plateau breaker while maintaining the required break.
It’s not recommended to run a cycle of Dianabol only. The suppression of testosterone makes it too high risk and this is why at a bare minimum Dbol should always be cycled with at least a testosterone compound like testosterone enanthate.
Dianabol is almost always used in a cycle with other steroids. One of its primary uses and benefits is as a kickstart compound in a cycle. Being an oral steroid, Dianabol starts taking effect very quickly compared with most injectables. Therefore, taking Dianabol at the beginning of the cycle for a few weeks, combined with your chosen injectable compound or compounds, gets results going almost immediately while the injectable compound’s anabolic effects start kicking in later.
Beginner Dianabol Cycle
A beginner cycle using Dianabol will rely on this steroid for gains and also include testosterone compound to provide the much needed testosterone support. A beginner Dianabol cycle can be as simple as the following, while then adding the desired amount of testosterone into the remaining weeks of the cycle.
- Week 1-12 – 500mg/week Testosterone Enanthate, 0,5mg/eod Arimidex
- Week 1-6 – 25mg/ed Dianabol
Intermediate Dianabol Cycle
Users of this level might run Dianabol for a longer period at the start of a steroid cycle and at a higher dosage, while combining it with testosterone and potentially other steroids as well.
- Week 1-16 – 750mg/week Sustanon 250, 0,5mg/eod Arimidex
- Week 1-14 – 400mg/week Deca-Durabolin
- Week 1-6 – 50mg/ed Dianabol
Advanced Dianabol Cycle
- Week 1-12 – 1000mg/week Testosterone Enanthate
- Week 1-10 – 600mg/week Deca-Durabolin
- Week 1-6 – 50mg/ed Dianabol
- Week 11-16 – 50mg/eod Trenbolone Acetate
- Week 13-16 – 200mg/eod Testosterone Propionate
- Week 1-16 – 4iu/ed HGH; 0,5mg/eod Arimidex
Hardcore Dianabol Cycle
The cycle below is not something I can recommend in the name of safety. Doses of this nature are extremely dangerous, as they severally open the door to adverse effects.
- Week 1-16 – 1000mg/week Testosterone Cypionate
- Week 1-8 – 600mg/week Deca-Durabolin
- Week 1-6 – 50mg/ed Dianabol
- Week 9-16 – 600mg/week Equipoise
- Week 13-18 – 50mg/ed Dianabol
- Week 17-24 – 200mg/eod Testosterone Propionate, 100mg/ed Trenbolone Acetate
- Week 1-24 – 5iu/ed HGH, 1mg/eod Arimidex
Dianabol Results: What Will I Gain?
Dianabol is capable of delivering quick and impressive results. Within just a few weeks it’s possible to gain up to 20 pounds of muscle mass. That level is thought to be at the highest end of the spectrum. With gains of between 10-15 pounds being very impressive during this relatively short period of time. Water retention needs to be taken into account here, with your true gains potentially not being seen until you’ve knocked out any water retention after the cycle or during PCT.
But your results will differ from the next guy based on many factors: diet, your workout regime, genetics and body type, and of course what if any other steroids you’re using along with Dianabol.
These are the big gains you can expect when using Dianabol:
- Fast and huge gains in muscle mass
- Immense strength gains
- Faster recovery
- Enhanced endurance
Along with increased muscle mass, a massive boost in strength can be expected. Although strength gains aren’t often the first thing we think about, Dianabol is still considered to be one of the best steroids for strength gains available and this contributes tremendously to your results thanks to the added ability to go harder in the gym.
Dianabol Post Cycle Therapy
The SERM’s Nolvadex and Clomid, plus HCG is a recommended post cycle therapy following a cycle containing Dianabol. Using these drugs help your body to restore natural testosterone function quicker than if no PCT was undertaken, so you can avoid the symptoms of low testosterone following a cycle. Since a Dianabol cycle also includes at least one other steroid, PCT protocol is not specific to Dianabol itself and will also depend on the other compounds you’re using and how powerful their androgenic effects are.
The goal of PCT is to boost natural testosterone production and although PCT alone does not raise your testosterone back to its normal level, it provides a base which then allows the body to slowly build back up to a normal production of this critical male hormone. All in all, it can take several months to get your testosterone back to its natural level after a Dianabol and other steroids cycle.
Side Effects from Dianabol Cycle
As with all steroids, being aware of the potential side effects of Dianabol, and how to mitigate them is a critical part of your cycle if you are to enjoy the most benefits with minimal negative effects. As with most anabolic steroids, we have estrogenic and androgenic side effects to consider.
While Dianabol does not have powerful androgenic effects, some can still occur in some users. On the other hand, Dianabol does come with quite strong estrogenic effects which are where you will have to focus your attention to combat these effects. Here are the main side effects to watch for when using Dianabol:
With a more powerful conversion effect to methylestradiol rather than estradiol, this can lead to issues like gyno coming about rather quickly but can be easily overlooked because of the rapid increase in weight gain that this steroid brings about. Sensitivity, tingling or itching are some of the first signs to be aware of with gyno. Aromatase Inhibitors or SERMs should be used to combat both water retention and gynecomastia along with other estrogenic symptoms.
High Blood Pressure
Consuming high doses of Dianabol, as with any other anabolic steroid, presents a risk for raised blood pressure. Additionally, increased water retention can also increase blood pressure. If high blood pressure is not addressed it can lead to heart failure or stroke.
Despite its lower androgenic potency, Dianabol can still cause water retention and due to the fast acting nature of the steroid this symptom can appear quickly but is not always noticeable by new users thanks to the incredible mass gaining that’s all taking place. This additional water retention can also lead to higher blood pressure.
Dianabol can increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduce good cholesterol (HDL). This brings about a cholesterol imbalance in favor of the type of cholesterol we aim to reduce, and heightens the risk of cardiovascular related conditions like arteriosclerosis. Combined with the increase in blood pressure that Dianabol can cause, risks of serious heart conditions like heart attack increase. Keeping cholesterol levels down through the diet while using Dianabol is therefore critical, while ensuring a good intake of heart-healthy fatty acids like omega-3 in foods like oily fish, avocado and nuts.
Suppression of Natural Testosterone
Dianabol has a particularly heavy effect on suppressing your body’s natural production of testosterone and this will take place within just a week or so of starting a cycle. Studies have shown that a drop in natural testosterone of close to 70% can occur in a Dianabol cycle on a dosage of just 15mg. Therefore, the effect can be considered to be remarkably more drastic on much higher doses. For this reason, Dianabol is virtually always used in a cycle along with an exogenous testosterone compound – and this will also amplify your gains.
Liver Damage in High Doses
Although not the most toxic steroid available, Dianabol if used at high dosages or very long cycles can pose a risk to the liver. This can be largely avoided by using sensible doses and limiting cycles to six weeks maximum. Avoiding all alcohol while using Dianabol is always recommended to minimize extra stress on the liver. Dianabol is revered for its power as an oral anabolic steroid, but the downside of orals is their negative impact on the liver. Avoiding prolonged use for more than six weeks is critical to avoid serious long term liver damage.
Most people will choose to use anti-estrogen drugs while using Dianabol. SERMs are considered the better option compared with aromatase inhibitors; not because SERMs mitigate estrogenic effects better (AIs actually do), but because AI’s can cause serious problems with cholesterol in addition to the known affect of Dianabol on cholesterol, which is a risk that does not come with using SERMs. However if you’re willing to address the potential cholesterol related issues, aromatase inhibitors are considered the more effective anti-estrogen option for use with Dianabol.
How long does it take for Dianabol to work?
This is fast acting, short half life steroid. With the right dedication to your training and diet it’s more than possible to achieve substantial size gains in the realm of 20 pounds within mere weeks. Since a Dianabol cycle should run for no longer than 6 weeks, you can expect to see serious changes and results within that short period of time.
Is Dianabol illegal?
Dianabol is classed as a Schedule III controlled substance in the US and is against the law to purchase or use in most countries. It is also, like all anabolic steroids, a banned substance by world sporting bodies. Despite this, Dianabol is widely available amongst steroid suppliers, but care must be taken to ensure counterfeits are not being purchased.
Due to high demand, Dianabol is a relatively low cost steroid and easily found, making it very affordable which makes it an attractive option to those who are new to using steroids. 5mg and 10mg strength tablets are the most common forms available, but some makers have created single capsules at 25mg or even 50mg in one dose, but it is considered that capsules are more likely to be of lower quality compared with regular tablets. Purchasing Dianabol in many countries comes with great legal risk and so should be carefully considered beforehand.
Can I take Dbol on its own?
I usually use Dbol as a kickstart to cycles with steroid compounds that take longer to take effect such as Test E. Don’t forget that Dbol is liver toxic so it’s a wise idea to limit Dbol cycles to 6-8 weeks maximum. I’d use Dbol at 25-50mg/day for 6-8 weeks.
Can you inject Dianabol?
The main method of administering Dianabol is through a simple pill. This is one of the very few anabolic steroids that is almost universally used orally. Dianabol is made in an injectable form for veterinary use but it is not sought after by human users, probably because the oral Dianabol is so quick acting, easy to take and has a core purpose in a cycle thanks to the way it works as an oral steroid.
Can women use Dianabol?
This is a steroid with lower androgenic qualities than many other steroids, but despite this the risks of women experiencing masculinization effects with Dianabol is high; growth of body hair and a deepening of the voice being two examples. It’s therefore not recommended for females to use Dianabol at all, as these serious side effects can occur even at the lowest dosages.
Can you drink alcohol when using Dianabol?
Dianabol puts a heavy strain on the liver, as does alcohol. Therefore it’s never advised to consume alcohol while using this steroid. Besides, alcohol will slow down your performance and set your results back, making the use of steroids a waste of time which is a good reason that serious bodybuilders and athletes avoid it.
When is the best time to take Dianabol?
The prime to use make use of the power of Dianabol is in the first few weeks of a mass building cycle where you want rapid gains while other steroids are building up in your system. It is also a powerful plateau breaker and when used in this phase of a cycle will help you push past barriers and slow or halted gains so you don’t succumb to a plateau.
Does Dianabol cause hair loss?
Even though Dianabol has relatively controlled and low androgenic effects compared with other steroids, androgenic side effects are still possible and this includes hair loss on the head, or male pattern baldness. If you are genetically predisposed to baldness then you are much more likely to experience this particular side effect.
Does Dianabol make you lose weight?
Dianabol is primarily a bulking and mass gaining steroid and it excels in these areas. Gaining bulk with Dianabol is naturally dependent on consuming more than enough calories to support the gains.
Dianabol does not make you lose weight unless you are severely under consuming the amount of calories and protein you need to gain mass – but this catabolism would occur whether or not you’re using Dianabol if there’s a calorie deficit. Diet is therefore a critical consideration in any Dianabol cycle.
What’s the best Test/Dbol cycle?
Here is my favorite 10 week Dianabol/Testosterone Enanthate cycle. I start with Dbol at 35 mg/day for the first 8 weeks (tabs taken throughout the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner). Testosterone enanthate at 500mg/week for 10 weeks.
I start PCT 2 weeks after last testosterone injection (usually week 12) with 20mg/day Nolvadex for weeks 1 & 2 then 10mg/day Nolva for weeks 3 & 4. 50mg/day Clomid for 20 days (Clomid to stop 1 week short of Nolvadex).
If you want to add Deca, I’ll go with 250-300mg/week Deca (100mg/week if you just need the joint healing properties of Deca) and 300mg/week Test E for week 1-12, 30mg/day Dbol week 1-8 and I’ll also add 0.5mg Arimidex twice a week.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
Dbol is the quickest way of building mass and strength fast. It is an oral steroid providing big muscle and strength gains which boosts nitrogen retention and works fast, making this a staple compound in most advanced stacks.
Stacking Dianabol with other steroid compounds help you increase your capacity for quick bulking and is an option for advanced users who are aware of the possible side effects and how to combat them.