Last Updated: Apr 30, 2022
SteroidCycle.org is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of professional medical advice.

Stanozolol is a household name in the world of anabolic steroids, and when I was starting out all those years ago it was “the one” that I wanted to try first.

At least, I thought I did. But like so many people I just assumed that Winstrol was the perfect steroid and the go-to compound that’ll do everything I want and more. I soon learned (well, not soon enough, but eventually) that Stanozolol is actually pretty over-used and even misunderstood.

Stanozolol (Winstrol)
Stanozolol (Winstrol)

In reality this is a steroid that only a true minority of people will ever get the full benefits from, and only for specific purposes. Winstrol has its uses, but be careful not to make the mistake of thinking that this is a steroid you should use just based on its reputation, and without knowing how it really works and what situations we should be using it for.

Winstrol History and Overview

Stanozolol might be the most notorious anabolic steroid ever known. It has seen more than its fair share of attention in the professional sporting world. Winstrol has been around for many decades and still remains a favorite steroid for different classes of athletes and for different purposes: performance enhancement and athletics, contest preparation and physique competitors, and bodybuilders.

Winstrol History and Effects
Winstrol History and Effects

When it comes to bodybuilding, Winstrol is definitely much more of a cutting steroid; in fact it will not be of use to men as a bulking steroid at all and those in the know won’t ever use it for that purpose.

Winstrol was created to mainly treat diseases and conditions that resulted in muscle waste, where it could promote lean muscle growth because of its excellent ability to promote protein synthesis. Although this doesn’t translate to being able to promote the extent of muscle growth bodybuilders desire, it is highly effective in medical circumstances.

Athletes, including those at the elite level, became much more interested in Winstrol’s performance enhancing properties rather than anything it could do to the physique. In fact, such athletes much prefer a steroid that doesn’t significantly alter the physique at moderate doses because it allows them to more easily “fly under the radar” – but of course this doesn’t extend to evading drug testing.

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More than any other steroids, Winstrol has a notorious history of use among some of the best elite athletes including champion Olympic sprinters like Ben Johnson who tested positive for this steroid at the 1988 Olympic Games. That some of the best athletes on the planet may have thought it desirable to use a steroid like Winstrol to boost performance tells us a lot about just how effective and powerful it is for the regular bodybuilder or non-professional athlete.

Chemical Characteristics and Properties

Winstrol is derived from DHT and this comes with some benefits, particularly that it is a steroid that doesn’t aromatize – so it does not cause estrogen conversion. It’s available in both oral and injectable forms, but unlike most steroid injections this one retains the same liver toxicity risk as oral Winstrol because Stanozolol is a C17-alpha alkylated (C17-aa) regardless of which form it comes in.

Stanozolol (Winstrol) Structure
Stanozolol (Winstrol) Structure

The minor modifications made to DHT to produce Winstrol has created a compound that has more muscle tissue activity than DHT. Winstrol has no estrogenic activity in the body, as well as no known progestogenic activity. And thanks to its strong binding to SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), a greater amount of Winstrol is able to circulate throughout the bloodstream.

Winstrol has a high anabolic rating and a low androgenic rating – 320 and 20 respectively. This gives us the impression that Stanozolol must be more than three times as powerful in anabolic strength than testosterone, and therefore a superpower at delivering muscle gains. However this anabolic rating doesn’t translate into such results due to the way this steroid works, and it is not considered to be a muscle gainer despite this high anabolic rating and its medical use for treating muscle wasting.

Winstrol is one of very few steroids which women can use (in its oral form), although they have to be a little more careful with this compound than with the more well tolerated Anavar when it comes to virilizing side effects.

Winstrol is also one of few steroids that comes as a choice of injectable or oral forms. The Winstrol injection has a half life of about 24 hours, while the oral Winstrol has a half life of just 8 to 9 hours. Unlike any other steroid that comes in oral and injection form, both have the exact same chemical structure in Winstrol. This means they are both equally toxic to the liver, with the injectable form only very slightly less hepaptoxic.

Oral Winstrol

Not many steroids come as an oral and injectable, but Winstrol is one of them and you must make the choice between them; most users will select oral for one main reason.

Oral Winstrol is an appealing option if you’re hesitant about injecting steroids, because Winstrol injections are known to be possibly the most painful of all steroids. Whether you use oral or injectable Winstrol, your end results will be the same. The only difference is the method of administration, and its speed of action and leaving the body. The oral form is also slightly more liver toxic.

With a short half life of 8-9 hours, Winstrol oral can either be taken once daily, or split into a twice daily dose. There might be only two other steroids that are as equally or more popular with serious athletes and bodybuilders than oral Winstrol, those being Dianabol and Deca-Durabolin.

Winstrol Depot

Injectable Stanozolol, known as Winstrol Depot, gives you exactly the same benefits as the oral version. It is just the mode of administration that differs, and that means a longer half life with the injection and very slightly less liver toxicity, but still a concerning amount.

The longer half life allows you to administer the steroid less frequently than you need to take oral Winstrol, which leaves the body much faster. Women will rarely if ever want to use injectable Winstrol, while men who are used to steroid injections may gravitate towards injecting Winstrol but should keep in mind that Winstrol is known as a rather painful steroid injection. It’s a water based suspension which means it contains tiny solid micro crystals (and requires good shaking before using), which also requires you use a larger needle. For many, this can be enough reason to choose oral Winstrol over injection, especially new steroid users.

Winstrol is a steroid that starts working quickly, including when injecting (though oral is even faster). The highly desirable drying effects that Winstrol is valued for can often start being seen within days for some Winstrol users, as can gains in strength start to be seen within the first week of your cycle. This isn’t a steroid that you’ll be waiting weeks to see results from, even in injectable form.

Effects of Winstrol (Winstrol Benefits)

Winstrol comes with some significant and extreme benefits that will suit a range of users, but mostly those who want a substantial boost to athletic performance, and those aiming for rapid physique enhancement.

Increased power, speed and strength

These attributes are what has made Winstrol so valued by professional athletes. This is arguable the area that Winstrol excels at – performance enhancement. Even when used for the primary purpose of cutting, you’re likely to notice a greater retaining of strength whereby people often notice a loss of strength on a serious cutting diet.

Winstrol is ideal for gaining power and strength, because it does so without adding considerable mass to the physique. This reduces any unwanted attention you might otherwise get when using a steroid, as Winstrol is certainly not going to add a lot of mass for men.

Fat loss

Winstrol is often used in cutting phases. It’s fat burning ability is generally considered to be equal or slightly better than Anavar, and it has the same benefit of not being an aromatizing steroid. So as you become more and more lean on Winstrol, there will be no water retention to deal with (at least not from this steroid, but you’ll likely be also using other compounds that might aromatize).

Body composition

With the fat loss comes increased tone, definition and hardness. Winstrol users will quickly notice the drying effects that will lead to even more enhanced muscle definition and vascularity.

Muscle maintenance

If you’re on a cutting diet, retaining your existing muscle is critical when you’re trying to burn fat. Winstrol certainly isn’t the best steroid at preserving lean muscle, but it does provide some anabolic benefit in this regard.

Most people using Winstrol while cutting are likely to want to add another steroid to aid in greater lean mass preservation than what Winstrol can provide. Winstrol does promote nitrogen retention and increased protein synthesis, but not to the point where it will noticeably promote lean gains – despite its high anabolic rating.

Bone health

Winstrol is known medically for its benefits to bone health and bone strength. Potentially Winstrol may also provide some strength improvements to the tendons as well, although many users do report joint and ligament pain, so its effects here do seem to be individualistic and its full impact (positive or negative) on ligaments and joints is not fully understood.

Winstrol Cycles and Stacks

Determining a suitable Winstrol based cycle for you doesn’t just include the dosage. It will take in multiple factors: yes, dose is important, but so is the length of cycle (and we are quite limited in that area with Winstrol), any other compounds you want to stack it with, what your goals are, and what your previous steroid use experience is.

Beginner Winstrol Cycle

Winstrol isn’t the most highly recommended steroid for a new user because of its potential serious side effects. But if you’ve got your heart set on it, you can give it a go at low doses and evaluate how your body responds. You could then consider slowly raising the dose if you’re tolerating Winstrol well. A short 6 week cycle can provide an excellent introduction to Winstrol:

  • Weeks 1-6: Winstrol 10mg daily (increase to 20mg at week 2-3 if it’s well tolerated)
  • Weeks 1-6: Testosterone 100mg weekly (to maintain adequate testosterone levels)

Intermediate Winstrol Cycle

An intermediate cycle will normally add an extra steroid. We can use something like Anadrol or Trenbolone at moderate doses to really boost results.

6 week Winstrol and Anadrol cycle:

  • Winstrol 25mg daily
  • Anadrol 50-75mg daily

Although Anadrol causes fluid retention, this stack is superb as a pre-competition combination because results will be full, dry and ripped with mass added. The key to reducing Anadrol’s fluid retention so you can still achieve a very dry look on this stack is to keep your sodium consumption very low during the cycle.

Advanced Winstrol Cycle

A seriously advanced Winstrol cycle adds in Trenbolone – one of the hardest steroids to use and only suited for the most experienced users. These two potent steroids combined together can create significant risks if you don’t know what you’re doing.

These steroids will provide rapid results that can bring about a very fast body transformation in a short and sharp 6 week cycle.

  • Winstrol: 20-25mg daily
  • Trenbolone: 150-200mg weekly

This could be a bulking or cutting stack, but most will use it to bulk up AND achieve a very dry look as body fat decreases. The big benefit of using Tren in a bulking type stack like this, rather than testosterone, is that you will be dealing with much less water weight.

Stacking Winstrol

Although females can and do use Winstrol on its own in a cycle, it would be virtually unheard of (and not recommended) for men to do the same. At the very least, male Winstrol users do need to stack Winstrol with a form of testosterone at the minimum dosage to act as a testosterone replacement during the cycle, to combat Winstrol’s suppressive effects. In this case, the testosterone doesn’t have the ability to produce any noticeable anabolic effects.

When we talk about stacking Winstrol, the intention is to use other steroids or compounds at doses that bring about additional benefits, or compound on those being provided by Winstrol. But it’s no good just stacking a bunch of random steroids together – you need a plan. This includes deciding what to stack Winstrol with, the dose of each compound, where to place each in the cycle, and how long your cycle will be. All of these decisions will be based on what your core goals are.

Bulking Winstrol stacks

Winstrol just isn’t an effective bulking or mass gaining steroid for men, so it’s not one that you would want to use in a bulking stack. For females however, Winstrol can promote lean gains and is often used off season. A simple stack for females combines Winstrol and Primobolan Depot:

  • Week 1-3 Primobolan Depot 100mg weekly (split into two doses taken twice a week)
  • Week 3-8 Winstrol 10mg daily

Cutting Winstrol stacks

Shredding and cutting for competitions or just personal interest is the main use the male bodybuilder will have for using Winstrol in a stack, and there are countless options for choosing what to stack it with. If you’re fairly new to steroids and don’t want to go too hardcore yet, a very simple Winstrol stack can be:

  • Winstrol 50mg daily (Weeks 7-12)
  • Equipoise 400mg weekly (Weeks 1-8)
  • Testosterone 500mg weekly (Weeks 1-12)

This stack places Winstrol in the final weeks only, allowing its powerful drying effects to kick in in preparation for competition.

Advanced Winstrol stacks can take in many more compounds like Equipoise and Trenbolone and even HGH. Trenbolone is considered possibly the most difficult steroid to handle, but with big benefits, so it’s suited to the most experienced users.

A simple yet very effective advanced Winstrol cutting stack like the one below will deliver a very hard and lean physique without water retention, as it keeps testosterone at a low dose to prevent estrogen conversion:

  • Trenbolone Acetate: 50mg every other day (total 200mg/week) for weeks 1-10
  • Winstrol injectable: 400mg weekly, or Winstrol oral 60mg daily for weeks 1-8
  • Testosterone Propionate: 100mg weekly for weeks 1-10

Performance Winstrol stacks

Winstrol is well known for its performance enhancement benefits, which is why it’s been used by some of the best athletes on the planet in the past. In these cases, athletes are not taking Winstrol to improve physical appearance – it is purely about getting the most power and speed. For this reason Winstrol will often be used on its own, and the cycle will be more moderate than those aimed at physique enhancement. A usual performance dose will be 25mg to 50mg daily of Winstrol.

It is strongly recommended that exogenous testosterone be used by men on this cycle to combat the effects of suppression. Athletes will commonly be concerned about drug testing, and therefore the best testosterone choice is Testosterone Suspension at 50mg daily, because this form of testosterone has a detection time of just three days. All athletes should be aware of the testing detection times for any steroids used. In the case of Winstrol, it is a three week detection time for the oral form.

Author’s Note: For real, NO-BS information on using 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.

Winstrol Dosages and Administration

When looking at Winstrol dosages you will need to decide whether you’re going with the oral or injectable form. It’s definitely not advised to use both or to mix them up. Choose one, and then refine your dosage and administration to suit your individual response to the steroid and to tailor its effects to the specific Winstrol results you want to achieve.

Medical Winstrol Dosage

The original dosage range of oral Winstrol when used medically was very low at about 6mg daily. Patients were generally advised to split the dose into three each day with the period of use rarely exceeding 8 weeks. Prescription doses for injectable Winstrol are usually administered just once every two to three weeks at 50mg per injection.

Bodybuilding Winstrol Dosage

Beginner bodybuilders using Winstrol can start at a low dose of just 50mg injected every two days, or 200mg per week. In most cases even a beginner is going to be stacking Winstrol with another anabolic steroid and this could influence your dosage. You will still need to stack Winstrol with testosterone, even at just a low hormone replacement dose to avoid low testosterone symptoms.

Confident beginners and intermediate users can often comfortably use 400mg weekly of injectable Winstrol. You might then think that advanced users will naturally increase the Winstrol dose, however this is rarely the case. Firstly, Winstrol is known as a pretty painful steroid to inject due to it being water based. But even more so, there is little benefit in raising Winstrol’s dosage compared to the potential side effects, and instead the strategy for advanced users is to stack it with more powerful steroids rather than constantly increasing the dose of Winstrol.

When it comes to oral Winstrol, it’s still possible to stick with 400mg per week, but keep in mind the potentially higher risk of liver stress. This maximum dose would equate to 60mg daily, which is substantially above the medical doses. Most users wanting Winstrol’s benefits for fat loss and cutting will prefer a lower dose, at about half this amount for 200mg weekly.

Female Winstrol Dosage

Winstrol’s relatively mild androgenic rating makes it usable by females at low doses and for short periods of time. Women will find that 4mg to 6mg daily of oral Winstrol provides excellent benefit with minimal side effect risks. Some women will increase to 10mg, but keep in mind this drastically increases the chances of developing masculine features.

And going way above, to 20mg daily, is a certainty that virilization will become a major issue. It’s not only the dosage that matters either, as the longer the cycle goes on, the more chance that virilizing side effects will start to develop. So for this reason a female should stick to a Winstrol cycle of between 4 and 6 weeks at the most. Females are only recommend to use the oral form of Winstrol due to the even higher risk of increased virilization from injections.

Proper Administration and Timing

Winstrol in its oral form has a very short half life as you would expect for an oral steroid, at around 9 hours. Due to this it’s generally more ideal to split your oral dose into a twice daily administration. The medical prescription administration is often three times per day, but this is not considered necessary for bodybuilding and performance purposes.

Injectable Winstrol comes with a much greater half life than oral, but still quite a short one at 24 hours. This makes it possible to inject everyday, or to do it every other day depending on your schedule.

Winstrol Risks and Side Effects

Like all steroids, Winstrol will come with its fair share of side effects and risks. On the scale of steroid compounds, it’s at the lower end of side effect severity in most people, but your individual response will be totally unique so you should always be prepared for any possible side effect.

These are the main categories of potential side effects to consider with Winstrol:

  • Androgenic: Winstrol comes with only low to moderate androgenic side effect risks, and these will be very individual dependent (as well as increased with dosage). Some guys won’t experience any androgenic effects at all, while those who are particularly sensitive might see trouble in this area. This can include acne and possible male pattern baldness if you’re genetically predisposed to them. However if you’re using a stronger androgenic steroid stacked with Winstrol, it is more likely to be a cause of adverse androgenic effects than Winstrol is.
  • Estrogenic: You can expect no estrogenic side effects at all from Winstrol at any dose, because this is a non-aromatizing steroid. This is what makes Winstrol such an excellent cutting and shredding steroid, as it does not cause any water retention or bloating, and you don’t have to worry about gyno either.
  • Testosterone suppression: One of the more severe side effects of Winstrol is testosterone suppression, even at very low doses. It is well known to be a steroid at the higher end of the range when it comes to its suppressive effects. It’s unlikely to cause a complete shutdown of testosterone production but it will certainly cause low testosterone in men which is why it’s essential to use exogenous testosterone on a Winstrol cycle and implement a PCT plan following the cycle.
  • Liver toxicity: Winstrol oral is particularly liver toxic, and the risk is also there with the injectable form due to the fact it’s one of very few steroid injections that is a C17-aa type. Regardless of which form of Winstrol you’re using, the risk to the liver should be taken very seriously and this is a main reason why we limit the cycle length of this steroid to 8 weeks maximum.
  • Cholesterol: Another serious area of concern with Winstrol is its effect on cardiovascular health, specifically cholesterol. This is potentially the most severe risk of using Winstrol, as it comes with strong negative impacts on cholesterol by lowering good cholesterol levels and raising bad cholesterol levels. This is known to happen at low doses, as is the risk of cardiac hypertrophy (thickening of the heart muscle), which can potentially lead to heart failure. Those with existing cholesterol or heart health issues should steer well clear of using Winstrol at all as the risk of complications is very high.
  • Joint pain: Some users complain of joint pain when using Winstrol and it’s thought to be due to Winstrol’s powerful drying effects. Users can make use of a joint supplement to help reduce the pain, or lower the dosage if it becomes unbearable as painful and aching joints can present a great barrier to undertaking proper workouts, inhibiting your movement and recovery, and therefore having a negative impact on results.

The higher your dose, the higher the risk of adverse effects. With that said, Winstrol is generally well tolerated and with a bit of effort, you likely won’t have a lot of trouble keeping any side effects under control.

How to Buy Winstrol?

Like all anabolic steroids, Winstrol is illegal to purchase and use in most countries, as well as in professional sports. Despite this, if you know where or how to find steroids you will find Winstrol is one of the more widely available compounds and one that isn’t too difficult to find. The main problem we face is that, due to its popularity, Winstrol is all too often counterfeited.

This results in low quality and potentially dangerous products – and is why it’s critical that any supplier you go through is trusted as much as possible. The main risk of counterfeits or fakes is when buying underground Winstrol. Instead, we should be sourcing human grade where possible and these are available i both oral and injectable forms from most black market suppliers. Stanozolol is often not sold under the Winstrol brand.

There are now many brands, including Azolol and Rexobol to name just two. You will generally find this is one of the pricier steroids to buy, although not as high as some others like Anavar. It’s possible to get a high quality Winstrol product as long as you do your research with suppliers and brands so you know exactly what you’ll be getting. The legal risks of purchasing and using Winstrol can not be understated and should be kept in mind at every step of the way if you choose to acquire this steroid.

What Alternatives Are Available?

Now you know exactly what Winstrol can and can’t do, and what the specific benefits and potential risks are. The benefits can be substantial when you use Winstrol for the right purpose, but it also has a dark side when it comes to the potential side effects.

We can look past the possible androgenic effects like acne and hair loss, which seem rather trivial when compared to some of the very serious risks that we face when using Winstrol. The possible effects on cholesterol and heart health can’t be looked past – in the worst cases this can be a life ruining steroid and you just never know what your individual response will be.

These side effects and risks make Winstrol a very risky proposition even for experienced steroid users. So what alternatives should you look at instead? By far the closest natural and legal alternative to Winstrol I’ve found to date is Winsol.

This over the counter formula covers all the main benefits of Winstrol: excellent for cutting, boosting strength, retaining lean muscle and supercharging power and performance. All of this comes without any side effects. You read that right: no side effects whatsoever.

There’s no need to worry about your cholesterol becoming dangerously high, or your liver being damaged, or your testosterone being shut down. You don’t need to do any PCT with Winsol either, so once you’re done with a cycle, that’s it. Winsol is developed from the ground up to mimic Stanozolol, and you can use it whether you’re female or male with results seen in less than 30 days.

It might take a tiny bit longer than Winstrol to give you noticeable results, but when it kicks in you can expect very similar levels of dryness and definition, explosive power, strength and endurance, and a hard, defined physique. If you decide to try Winsol I recommend buying it here.

Winstrol FAQs

How long does it take to see results from Winstrol?

Anywhere from the first few days, up to a couple of weeks, is the time frame that most users will start noticing the effects of Winstrol. This will often first show as noticeable drying effects as Winstrol removes water and gets you on the path to achieving a nice lean, dry, hard and defined physique. Users will normally notice great improvement to pumps within the first week or so as well. Oral Winstrol starts working quicker than injectable, but they are both considered fast acting steroid. Whichever form you take, you will achieve the same results by the end of the cycle.

How much Winstrol should I take a day?

Winstrol can be taken at anywhere from 10mg daily to 60mg daily, in either the oral or injectable forms. It is strongly discouraged for new users to use the higher doses to start with, until you can gauge Winstrol’s potential side effects at the lower doses. Women should take very low doses starting at 2.5mg daily and never exceeding 15mg or 20mg daily. Men will often use 25mg to 50mg daily and see excellent results.

Is Winstrol legal?

Winstrol is a banned substance and is not legal to purchase or use. Although it was once used medically in the USA, it is now mostly discontinued and no longer prescribed in all but a few countries. Stanozolol is now made under quite a few different brand names and it’s not particularly difficult to buy pharmaceutical grade products; however it is completely illegal to order and have these steroids shipped to you, and you face severe legal consequences if caught.

Can I use Winstrol alone?

While females will often use Winstrol on its own, males should always stack at least a form of testosterone at low doses of at least 100mg weekly with Winstrol to combat the suppression of natural testosterone

What do you stack with Winstrol?

Winstrol is regularly stacked with many other steroids, depending on your particular goals. Females often stack it with Primobolan, while males will utilize a whole range of other compounds from regular testosterone, to Trenbolone and Anadrol to name just a few. Since Winstrol doesn’t cause estrogenic side effects, some guys will aim to use other compounds that also don’t aromatize.

What are the side effects of taking Stanozolol?

Winstrol comes with many side effect risks ranging from mild to very serious. At the worst end, severe negative impacts on cholesterol are a well known effect of Winstrol. Additionally it will quite severely suppression natural testosterone, and comes with an above average risk of liver toxicity in both the oral and injection forms.

Is Winstrol good for bulking?

Winstrol is not considered a bulking steroid. It won’t contribute any significant lean gains for male users, but females will find that is can add quite substantial lean mass at low doses. Winstrol is much more of a performance enhancement steroid for athletes, and also very useful for cutting and contest prep.

My Conclusion and Recommendation

There’s no argument that Winstrol is a very effective steroid and when it’s used for the right goals, it works amazingly well. The pros are very well known and indisputable:

  • Incredible power, strength and speed
  • Retain muscle when on a cutting diet
  • Dry, hard, vascular, and defined physique thanks to no aromatization

The cons of Winstrol range from the annoying to the very serious:

  • Potentially extensive hair loss in genetically predisposed men
  • Sore and aching joints
  • Testosterone suppression
  • Severe risks to cholesterol and liver health
  • Strong virilization in women at anything above low doses

Despite its appealing benefits, in the end this is still a steroid and you simply can’t ignore the fact that Winstrol comes with some pretty serious risks to your health. Anyone who has any existing cholesterol issues should not be touching Winstrol at all, and the fact is that a lot of young people might not even know they have cholesterol problems.

Besides that, Winstrol’s impacts on the liver should be taken seriously by anyone and it’s well known that many guys have experienced considerable male pattern baldness – sometimes considered serious enough that some men will avoid Winstrol completely just for this reason alone.

In any case the risks of using Winstrol are simply too high for my liking. That’s why I switched to Winsol – the best natural, legal alternative to Winstrol that can provide VERY similar results but with ZERO side effects. The balance of pros and cons is favored so strongly towards Winsol that I couldn’t imagine going back to Winstrol and risking my health ever again.

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