Winstrol – Can you Build Muscle and What are the Side Effects

Last updated on January 8th, 2019

Man Bodybuilding

Winstrol Review – Anabolic Steroid for Cutting Cycles

This review of Winstrol will answer all the questions you may have with it’s connection to bodybuilding and building muscle.

We do not condone or recommend it’s use – we are giving you a full researched backed article, with clinical and scientific references that will answer such questions as:

  • Can I build muscle with Winstrol
  • What are the Winstrol side effects
  • Is Winny illegal to buy and use
  • Is Winny a controlled substance

Sometimes just referred to as “Winny” Winstrol is often said to be the best steroid to use during cutting cycles.

In fact, people who are using Winstrol during cutting cycles can reduce their calorie intake by 50 percent without loss of muscle mass.

It’s a fast-acting steroid that can deliver excellent results in as little as four weeks.

However, the results it gives can be very short-lived.

Despite it’s here today, gone tomorrow nature, Winstrol remains a popular steroid and, due to its low androgenic rating, women who use it are less likely to fall victim to virilization.

Some women choose to use Winstrol to help with bulking because it’s anabolic rating is three times higher than testosterone. That’s very good for a steroid that with such a low androgenic rating.

Meanwhile, runners and other athletes favour Winstrol for its performance boosting capabilities.

Unfortunately, although it has a reputation for being safer than most other steroids, it can still be damaging to the health.

Anabolic RatingAndrogenic Rating
Testosterone100100
Stanozolol (Winstrol)32030

What Is Winstrol?

Winstrol is a brand name used for the steroid Stanozolol. It’s an androgen and anabolic steroid (AAS) that can be injected directly into the muscle or taken in oral form.

Bodybuilding Winstrol

The drug is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and boasts a high oral bioavailability. This is due to a C17α alkylation that enables the steroid to survive first-pass liver metabolism after it has been digested.

Bodybuilders primarily use it during cutting cycles because it burns through fat quickly while also protecting muscle mass and providing a chiseled physique.

Other athletes use it as a performance enhancer, but its use is banned by most sporting organizations, including the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

In fact, Winstrol gained a lot of attention in 1988 after the Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson won a gold medal for the 100m final at the Summer Olympics in Seoul. It was an unexpected win.

The Olympic Doping Control Center tested a urine sample and discovered Johnson had been using Stanozolol. He was disqualified three days later.

Winstrol Benefits

  • Preserves muscle mass during cutting cycles
  • Enhances physical performance
  • Increases strength
  • Helps with bulking (for women)
  • Improves definition and vascularity

Winstrol History

Like a lot of steroids, Stanozolol has its roots back in the 1960s. It was first brought to market in 1962 by Winthrop-Stearns Inc and marketed in the US under the name Winstrol. It was available in Europe as “Stromba”.

Needless to say, the drug was not created with bodybuilders or other athletes in mind. It was intended as a treatment for people suffering from muscle wasting diseases.

Some of its other former therapeutic uses include the treatment of dwarfism and vascular disorders including aplastic anaemia.

However, the FDA has questioned Winstrol’s value in many areas throughout the years and rebuked its marketing authority a number of times. It’s pretty fair to say it’s a steroid with a checkered past.

To this day, Stanozolol is sometimes used as a prescription medication for certain ailments including hereditary angioedema. Vets use it too, usually in the injectable form, but it’s not intended for use as a bodybuilding aid.

When doctors prescribe it they can monitor their patient’s reactions to it—good and bad. Bodybuilders and athletes who use Winstrol do so without this important supervision. Furthermore, let’s repeat this again for those in the cheap seats, the drug is not intended to be used in this way. It never was.

Muscles and fat burning

How Winstrol Works

Winstrol works in a number of different ways.

One of the things it does is bind with the androgen receptor and it does so with extreme efficiency.

Other steroids, such as Anadrol and Dianabol lack this ability.

Furthermore, due to its low degree of progestogenic activity, Winstrol is less likely to cause the growth of man boobs.

More interestingly, the steroid also reduces sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This is an important feature because, by doing so, it helps keep circulating testosterone levels high.

This, of course, helps the body remain in a higher state of anabolism.

On top of its other abilities, the steroid is also exceptionally good at enhancing protein and collagen synthesis.

Protein synthesis is the process that takes amino acids from the blood and uses them to build muscle.

Improved protein synthesis results in superior muscle growth. It’s as simple as that.

By improving collagen synthesis, Winstrol also strengthens the connective tissues around the joints. This is no bad thing, but the steroid also has a reputation for causing joint pain. The problem is not collagen-related though.

However, any improvement to the connective tissues around the joints is best seen as a nice bonus. This is not what most users of this steroid will be looking for.

The important thing to know is Winstrol is a steroid that is so good at boosting protein synthesis and maintaining an enhanced anabolic state it can promote muscle growth on an incredibly low calorie diet.

Of course, it’s good that it can do these things, but let’s not forget there are risks involved.

How Winstrol Enhances Physical Performance

Winstrol increases red blood cell production. The red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the muscles and more oxygen leads to improved performance.

Agmatine for blood flow

Exercise and other physical activity require energy and this energy is not provided by glucose alone. Oxygen has a big role to play in the process and the name of the process is cellular respiration. [SOURCE]

When the muscles are worked hard, the demand for oxygen increases accordingly and the breathing becomes heavier.

This change in the respiration rate can be enough to permit prolonged light to moderate exercise. However, if the level of muscular strain becomes too great the lungs cannot keep up and things change.

Instead of producing energy in an oxygen-rich environment (aerobic respiration) the muscles are forced to produce energy without oxygen (anaerobic respiration). They cannot do this for long.

Anaerobic activity causes lactic acid to build up. This results in muscle pain, fatigue, and even feelings of nausea. The result is simple. You have to stop.

By boosting red blood cell production and thereby increasing oxygen supply, Winstrol supports an increased amount of physical activity.

Winstrol is also very good at providing increases in strength and endurance without creating excessive bulk. This is great for endurance athletes who want to get strong without being slowed down by excessive bulk.

Winstrol Delivery Method and Dosing

A typical Winstrol cycle is six to eight weeks. The timing and amount of the dose will vary depending on whether you take it orally or via an intramuscular injection.

The easiest way is to take it as a pill but doing so will present a greater risk to your liver.

The risk the liver decreases when the steroid is injected instead, but it does not go away.

If you use the pill, a dose of 40 mg to 80 mg is required each day. However, the steroid only remains active for nine hours. That means the dose will need to be split and taken two times per day.

When you take Winstrol via injection, it remains active for 24 hours. That means only one jab is required per day. The normal dose is 50 mg to 100 mg per day.

Stacking Considerations

Although plenty of people use Winstrol on its own, some people prefer to stack it with other steroids.

The companion steroids chosen largely depend on the results people are hoping to obtain.

Winstrol is popular during cutting cycles because it’s so good at supporting accelerated fat burning without loss of muscle mass.

It’s often combined with Trenbolone during cutting cycles because the combination can provide an ultra hard and defined appearance.

Those who are shooting for extra muscle gains often use Winstrol alongside testosterone. Other steroid combinations are popular as well.

Winstrol and Women

Woman Winstrol

Although a lot of “women who lift” are primarily interested in getting a nice, toned look, there are also those who wish to get big.

Women from both groups are often drawn towards steroids. The problem is, apart from all the normal health dangers steroids present they can be an especially bad choice for females.

Depending on their androgenic rating, some are worse than others, but all steroids present the risk of virilization.

“Virilization” is a term used to describe steroids’ abilities to make women more butch and man-like.

Signs of female virilization can include a deeper voice, increased body hair growth, and a squarer-looking more masculine jaw. Needless to say, the effects cannot be reversed.

Winstrol has a much lower androgenic rating than most other steroids, so many women consider it a less risky option.

The anabolic rating of a steroid measures its ability to support muscle growth. The androgenic rating measures its actions as a sex hormone.

Testosterone, for instance, has an anabolic rating of 100. Its androgenic rating is the same.

Testosterone is the male sex hormone. Women produce testosterone too, but not as much as men. It’s the abundance of testosterone that causes men to develop their distinctive masculine traits.

With an androgenic rating of 30, Winstrol has a pretty mild androgenic effect, but it’s still an androgen. Women thinking of using this steroid need to bear that in mind.

These days there are superior non-steroid options available. There is no need for any woman to risk becoming a she-man when all she really wants to do is grow a little stronger, accentuate her natural curves and look and feel good.

Different Perspectives (Why Men and Women Use Winstrol)

Although there are no real hard and fast rules, men and women seem to find Winstrol attractive for different reasons.

Most men tend to only favour using it during cutting cycles.

When you are cutting the whole idea is to torch the fat but leave the existing muscle in place. Winstrol is good for supporting this aim.

However, partly due to differences in genetics, and also because of the molecular structure of the steroid, women also often use this steroid for bulking.

They use it cutting as well, of course. It’s just Winstrol offers a greater versatility for women than it does for men.

Again, it’s important to point out we are not living in the 60s or 70s. Everything that Winstrol does can be achieved in other ways and without any of the risks to the health.

Weights at the gym

Winstrol Side Effects and Dangers

Winstrol is toxic to the liver and the risk increases when it’s taken orally. Be aware of this before considering using this steroid.

It’s also worth considering how the steroid is likely to affect your cholesterol levels. This should be an especially important consideration if you already have problems in this area.

There are two kinds of cholesterol. One is good (HDL cholesterol) and the other is bad (LDL cholesterol). The good type helps protect your heart by lowering levels of its bad counterpart.

Winstrol has the unfortunate ability of causing bad cholesterol levels to spike while also lowering good cholesterol.

Other potential Winstrol side effects include:

  • Acne
  • Greasy skin
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Low libido
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Premature balding
  • Joint pain
  • High cholesterol
  • Testicle shrinkage

Admittedly, Winstrol is not as harsh as some of the other steroids bodybuilders use, but there are still risks. Don’t doubt it.

It’s also worth remembering any results obtained thanks to this steroid disappear fast. Typically in eight weeks or less.

These days, there are ways to get the same benefits, without the risk of side effects, and hang on to the results longer.

How Winstrol Effects Normal Testosterone Production

Anabolic steroids can really screw up your body’s natural ability to produce testosterone. Winstrol is no exception.

Admittedly, it’s not as bad for this as certain other steroids, such as Deca Durabolin, but it still does it.

In fact, the results of one study, conducted on nine healthy men, showed using Winstrol caused a 55 percent reduction in serum testosterone.

The steroid caused a lot of other unfavourable changes as well, including a drop in vitamin D binding globulin. [SOURCE]

Winstrol may have a reputation for being one of the milder steroid options, but don’t let that fool you into thinking there will be no need for a post cycle therapy (PCT).

A PCT will be needed to provide your body with the necessary support until normal testosterone production rates are back on track.

A Look at the Winstrol Pros and Cons

Reasons to Use WinstrolReasons Not to Use Winstrol
Improves protein synthesisCauses aggression
Increases strengthCan damage the liver
Improves definition and vascularityWide range of side effects
Performance enhancementRequires a PCT
Strips body fat without muscle lossIllegal to use for bodybuilding
Significant results within 4 weeksResults don’t last long
Safer alternatives available

Winstrol: Is It Worth the Risks?

Even if you forget the fact that this steroid can present some nasty side effects, it’s not a sensible option.

If you use it, any benefits you experience won’t remain in evidence for long. After a month or two, you are likely to be back to square one.

Think about it. Is it really worth risking the side effects and having to do a PCT for such short-lived results?

Nobody is saying Winstrol doesn’t work, the problem is the benefits it provides are just a flash in the pan. These days, there are safer ways to go that offer better and longer-lasting results.

Winstrol FAQ

What is the Winstrol half life?

The half life will depend on whether you take the steroid via injection or orally.

When it’s injected, Winstrol has a half life of 24 hours. Taking it orally reduces the half life to nine hours.

Is it true that Winstrol can cause joint pain?

Although not all users report experiencing joint pain, some do. This is believed to be due to the steroid causing dehydration in the joints. However, this type of reaction is more likely to occur with higher doses.

Does Winstrol still work if you drink it?

Although the injectable versions of other steroids, such as testosterone and Deca Durabolin, only work when delivered via injection, the injectable version of Winstrol still works when consumed in this way. This is because the injectable and oral versions contain the same compound.

However, many people who have tried taking the injectable version as an oral steroid say doing so reduces its abilities.

Is it safe to use Winstrol while pregnant?

No. Absolutely not. Using Winstrol while pregnant can cause fetal harm. Nor should women use this or any other steroid while they are nursing a child with their breastmilk.

Can I just stop using Winstrol without a PCT?

No. The steroid suppresses normal testosterone production. A post cycle therapy is an absolute necessity. If you try to save money or cut corners by not doing a PCT you will start to lose muscle mass and are likely to experience other negative issues as well.

About Mark Taylor 6 Articles

Mark Taylor
I train hard, rest and eat well. These are 3 of the 4 pillars of bodybuilding and building muscle. The 4th pillar is supplementation - the additional extra that can give you the edge. I have a decade of experience and have written in depth about many of today's most popular commercial supplements. You can also read more About Me.

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