What are Steroids?

Miracle Healing

The word Steroid unfortunately brings with it a primarily negative stigma, derived from uneducated hearsay and the mainstream media’s coverage of a number of sports scandals that Steroids have been involved with over the last few decades.

An Anabolic-androgenic Steroid (AAS) is simply a man made variation of the hormone Testosterone naturally produced in the body.The term Steroids categorizes many synthesized hormones that are all chemically altered variations of the mother hormone Testosterone, all different, yet sharing qualities similar to that of Testosterone.

Testosterone is a naturally produced, essential hormone for both men and women, that plays a number of roles in the body relating to metabolism, anabolism, recovery,and general health. Testosterone is essential for everyone to have at an adequate level to live optimally. Having too little, or too much Testosterone can lead to a number of adverse side effects. 


Medicinal and Performance Enhancement use of Steroids

Synthetic Testosterone and other Steroid derivatives were originally developed for medical purposes to mitigate Testosterone deficiencies, treat muscle wasting diseases (like AIDS), expedite healing from injury, replace decreased Testosterone levels related to natural aging (Hormone Replacement Therapy), and aid with gender reassignment for those transitioning between sexes. Depending on what country you live in, Testosterone and a few select Steroids have been approved for medicinal use and are commonly prescribed by doctors. However, the majority of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS) have not passed the clinical approval process and remain gray/black market drugs that are still extremely in demand. Non pharmaceutical steroids are synthesized in underground labs (UGLs), and distributed to those willing to experiment with these drugs for either esthetic, sports enhancement, or medical purposes. Unfortunately as these labs are unregulated, the legitimacy and quality of these drugs is questionable to say the least.


The Anabolic Steroid Family Tree

As most AAS are chemically altered variations of the Testosterone molecule, all steroids share similar anabolic and androgenic qualities. Depending on the chemical structure of the hormone, the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics will vary from compound to compound, giving each steroid different attributes that can be desirable (or undesirable), for the individual user based on individual goals. Based on their individual chemical structure, all steroids can be categorized into one of three groups; Testosterone derivatives, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derivatives, or 19-Nortestosterone derivatives. Collectively, the three categories of hormones make up what’s known as the “Anabolic Steroid Family Tree”.


Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Derivatives: 

Dihydrogentestostereone (DHT) is the category often referred to as “dry” compounds, due to their inability to convert into Estrogen via Aromatase. Estrogen conversion brings water retention and other side effects that DHT derivatives will not induce. The reason for this is that DHT has been created from pure Testosterone via the conversion through 5α-reductase. This means that the DHT no longer possesses the ability to be converted into Estrogen. 

DHT Derivatives are generally known to be milder in side effects, but this does not apply to all of the Steroids on the list. Superdrol (originally marketed as a ProHormone) is an extremely potent oral DHT Steroid, that is highly hepatotoxic (liver toxic), where others such as Proviron/PROVIGEN and Primobolan/PRIMOGEN are far milder regarding adverse side effects. Even mild DHT derivatives, like all steroids/drugs, will still have adverse side effects of their own for some users which can include Hair Loss and hypertrophy of the Prostate. Some of these effects are superficial, and some can lead to serious conditions that will generally reverse after cessation of use, depending on the duration and extent of usage/abuse. 

DHT Derivatives are also known to dramatically increase specific strength output, making them one of the top choices for strength athletes. Studies have found that DHT increases force production more so in fast-twitch muscles when compared to Testosterone. DHTs effectiveness for enhancing strength is by its interaction with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). It has also been found that DHT will increase the uptake of isoleucine and α-methylamino isobutyric acid in fast-twitch muscle fiber bundles.

Due to these and other effects, DHT Derivatives are rather common in the latter stages of a bodybuilding prep or strength competition preparation. Not only will they dramatically increase force production, but they will also provide a great source of Nitrogen Efficiency without causing Estrogenic side effects. Different DHT compounds can have very unique properties, like Drostanolone (Masteron) which has anti-estrogenic properties that provide benefits beyond enhancing hypertrophy.

Most DHT Steroids are not often included in a mass gaining protocol, due to the fact that they do not possess the same anabolic capabilities when compared to other Steroids. They will still promote muscular hypertrophy, just less than some other Steroids and without the added water retention, making DHT Steroids a sharper and more specific tool. They won’t compare to the mass muscle gains that Testosterone and 19-Nor based steroids can bring, but water retention and the related weight gain is not gained muscle tissue, it is superficial water weight and brings with it increased blood pressure and potential cardiovascular damage. Still, when combined with a daily calorie surplus, sufficient resistance training and recovery, DHT derivatives can be effectively used to greatly enhance strength and the gradual accumulation of quality lean muscle tissue for both men and women.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derivative steroids include; Masteron, Primobolan, Anavar, Winstrol, Proviron, DHB (Dihyroboldenone), Superdrol and Anadrol.



Drostanolone, commonly known as Masteron is a DHT derived steroid that is popular for a number of reasons. It is quite anabolic, and when combined with a caloric surplus is good for adding quality lean muscle tissue. Because there is no Estrogen conversion, you can avoid the typical bloat and water retention that other non-DHT Steroids can bring – making it a perfect lean mass gaining steroid. Also, Drostanolone lowers Estrogen, acting as a mild Aromatase Inhibitor (AI). This means when in the later stages of a bodybuilding prep, the addition of Masteron can make your physique change dramatically without adding more ancillary anti-estrogen drugs to a protocol.

The reason for the Anabolic ratio increase compared to pure Testosterone is due to the fact that it is a poor substrate for 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3α-HSD). Drostanolone (like other  DHTs) will not convert into Estrogen. It does possess the ability to reduce Estrogenic and Prolactin effects around breast tissue.

If you are planning on running Drostanolone, make sure you have enough of a Testosterone base to ensure you still have adequate Estrogen in the body as Estrogen is essential for hypertrophy and optimal health and wellness for both men and women. Drostanolone/Masteron comes in both Propionate (short ester) and Enanthate (long ester), with no real difference between the effects they possess other than the half-life. Due to the Androgenicity of Drostanolone, the long ester form is not recommended for women, the short propionate ester can be used, and stopped if the onset of androgenic side effects manifest for female users.


Anabolic-Androgenic Ratio: 25-40:62-130

Possible Dosage:

  • Men: 300-600 mg/week for 12-16 weeks
  • Women: 50-100 mg/week (propionate) for 8-12 weeks

Anavar (VARAGEN)

Oxandrolone, commonly known as Anavar, was developed to treat patients suffering  from muscle wasting diseases and is considered a great success as it possesses great efficacy and minimal adverse side effects. Being a never drug, it was created as an alternative to older, less effective steroids that is well tolerated by most women and men, making it one of the most popular PEDs available, and one of the safest.


Anavar will enhance Anabolism, and Strength similarly to other Steroids. Interestingly, it uniquely promotes fat loss via lipolysis and its anti-glucocorticoid and insulin-regulating attributes. Due to the fact that it is a DHT derivative, it cannot interact with the Aromatase Enzyme and will not convert into Estrogen. This makes Anavar even more ideal for fat loss phases as it is known to give users a “dry” look when at a low enough body fat percentage. It is one of the most popular oral AAS used by both women and men due to its low level of androgenicity efficacy in enhancing muscular hypertrophy.


Anabolic-Androgenic Ratio: 24:322-630 

Possible Dosage:

  • Men: 20-80 mg/day for 12-16 weeks
  • Women: 5-20 mg/day for 8-12 weeks
  • Split total daily dosage into two doses (am and pm) due to the short half-life

Winstrol (STANOGEN)

Stanozol, commonly known as Winstrol, is probably the most commonly used oral DHT derivative Steroid other than Anavar. Winstrol is popular for its ability to help make you look extremely “dry” and “shredded” when at a low body fat percentage, hence this drug is almost exclusively used in the final weeks of a bodybuilding prep. It is primarily available in oral form, and less commonly as an injectable suspension. Suspension forms of a few steroids are available, as they can have the benefit of bypassing initial metabolism of the liver, but have adverse effects such as painful post injection site pain, that makes the oral form more desirable by most users.

Winstrol (Stanozolol)

The pharmacology of Winstrol brings with it unique qualities that warrant its popularity. Winstrol possesses the ability to lower Progesterone in the body. This is why Winstrol is known to make users appear “drier” compared to Anavar. This also makes Winstrol a good drug to take with a 19-Nor steroid to help decrease Prolactin side effects. It also has the ability to increase collagen synthesis rates within the body via upregulating transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). Winstrol can lower SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin). By doing this, it significantly increases Free Testosterone, indirectly amplifying the effectiveness of other Steroids being used. 

Anabolic-Androgenic Ratio: 30:320

Possible Dosage:

  • Men: 25-100 mg/day for 8-12 weeks
  • Women: 5-25 mg/day for 8-12 weeks
  • Split total daily dosage into two doses (am and pm) due to the short half-life 

Primobolan Depot (PRIMOGEN)

Methenolone, commonly known as Primobolan is probably the most beloved, desirable and hardest to source AAS on earth. Primo is one of the best multi functional steroids, whether you are trying to add quality lean muscle tissue, or retain muscle during a cutting phase, Primobolan can do it all. Primobolan (like Anavar) is very well tolerated by both men and women and has a relatively low amount of adverse side effects. The steroid is moderately dosed milligram for milligram compared to other injectable steroids (100 mg/ml vs 250+ mg/ml), so higher doses are regularly used, without the typical adverse effects most other steroids induce at higher dosages. Due to its popularity and the high cost of this compound, UGLs will negligently swap out a cheaper alternative (like Masteron) and label it as Primobolan making legitimate Primo hard to find.

Masterone (Drostanolone) is often referred to as “the poor man’s Primo”, and that should already give you an idea of the effects of Primobolan. Injectable Primo (Depot) was first rolled out in 1962 and is still used today by individuals suffering from muscle wasting diseases or other severe weight loss conditions. The wonderful thing about this Steroid is the fact that the side effects are extremely mild. So mild in fact, that it’s even been given to children in clinical settings. 

The reason this Steroid has such mild side effects is due to its very low Androgenic rating of 44 – 57. This is roughly half of Testosterones baseline androgenic rating of 100, therefore eliciting far fewer androgenic side effects. Another benefit it has over other Steroids, just like all the other DHTs, it cannot interact with the Aromatase enzyme to convert into Estrogen. 

Due to Primobolans relatively low Anabolic rating on paper, many wouldn’t consider Primo an ideal Steroid for adding muscle tissue. The reality is that most DHTs have phenomenal protein synthesis expression, and due to the relatively low adverse effects, you can use a significantly high dose before the onset of adverse side effects. This makes Primobolan great for a lean bulking cycle, the muscle gained will be quality lean muscle, not superficially inflated by water retention.


Anabolic-Androgenic Ratio: 44-57:88

Possible Dosage:

  • Men: 300-1,000 mg/week for 12-24 weeks
  • Women: 50-100 mg/week for 12-16 weeks

Testosterone Derivatives:

Testosterone is the parent hormone from which other anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) were derived and compared to via the Anabolic:Androgenic Ratio (testosterone having a ratio of 100:100). Unlike DHT derivatives, most Testosterone based steroids will Aromatize, converting into Estrogen via the Aromatase enzyme, located within fat cells throughout the body. The anabolic and androgenic rating of each steroid will vary and with it bring different effects on the body as a result of this. 

Testosterone will usually always form the base of most anabolic cycles, providing the foundation for anabolism, libido, and help regulate neurological and other bodily functions that can be affected adversely by other steroids. Testosterone derived compounds may not be as anabolic on paper when compared to other compounds in the “Steroid Family Tree” but are very popular and efficacious in gaining muscle mass. 

Side effects will still vary significantly between these similar compounds. Dianabol and Testosterone for example, will both convert into Estrogen at a normal rate, whereas Boldenone (Equipoise) will convert at around 50% of the rate of  the former two. How one responds to a certain steroid/drug is based on a number of factors, primarily relating to genetic differences. Still Testosterone should be the foundational Steroid for most all cycles, and other compounds added responsibly as needed based on individual goals.

Testosterone derivatives include: Testosterone, Dianabol, Equipoise (Boldenone), Halotestin, and Turinabol. 

Dianabol (DIANAGEN)

Methandrostenolone, commonly known as Dianabol is undoubtedly one of the most commonly used steroids on earth. It could be considered “oral Testosterone” (or more accurately oral Boldenone), as it shares many of the characteristics of injectable testosterone in oral pill form, which makes it a popular stand alone beginner steroid compound, and is also regularly used to kick start a more advanced cycle. 

Dbol (Dianabol)Made popular due to its usage by Arnold over his career, DBol was originally developed to be used in sports due to its performance enhancement qualities. It has been proposed in the past for medicinal use in the treatment of conditions such as osteoporosis and pituitary deficiency dwarfism. It still remains a favorite in performance enhancing circles as a highly effective mass gainer. 

If you’re planning on running Dianabol, there are some effects you need to know about before taking it. Considered a “wet” compound, Dianabol has the same Estrogenic Activity as Boldenone (Equipoise), however, it converts into a very powerful Estrogen, 17α-methylestradiol. This means you should keep an Aromatase Inhibitor on standby to mitigate the side effects. Just like Testosterone, Dianabol has the ability to interact with 5-Alpha Reductase and convert into 5-alpha-dihydroMethandrostenolone, doing so at a very low rate. 

Anabolic-Androgenic Ratio: 40-60:90-210

Possible Dosage:

  • Men: 20-80 mg/day for 4-12 weeks
  • Not recommended for women

Equipoise (EQUIGEN)

Boldenone, commonly known as Equipoise, is one of the few Steroids you can apply to certain training protocols. EQ is known to drastically increase Hematocrit in the blood, which greatly increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. This is highly beneficial for endurance athletes or those following a high training volume.

Dianabol is actually the C17-alpha-alkylated form of Equipoise. Being a derivative of Testosterone, Equipoise has two double bonds that were added to the 1st and 2nd Carbons respectively. In doing so, the Estrogenic properties of Boldenone drop dramatically compared to Testosterone, by about 50%. This is one of the benefits of this compound, as it has the same Anabolic value as Testosterone, however only possesses half the Androgenicity which brings half the adverse side effects, also making it safe for female use. 

Androgenic to Anabolic Ratio: 50:100

Possible Dosage:

  • Men: 200-600+ mg/week for 12-24 weeks
  • Women: 50-100 mg/week for 8-12 weeks


Fluoxymesterone, commonly known as Halotestin is a very interesting drug, as its function is almost singular: Aggression. Being one of the most Androgenic compounds on the planet, this steroid will not be exceptionally efficacious at building muscle. That being said, due to the Androgenicity of the drug, it is unmatched for acutely increasing strength and aggression, so is one of the most commonly used steroids by strength athletes.  

Halotestin is one of the most unique steroids. On paper it has incredibly high Androgenic and Anabolic ratings, but with human usage it is not remotely as Anabolic as the numbers would have you believe. A possible explanation for this is the fact that the addition of the hydroxyl group at carbon 11-beta makes it unable to convert into Estrogen. As Estrogen is a highly anabolic compound, perhaps this could be a limiting factor when it comes to anabolism and human use. 

It is understood that there is a direct correlation between Androgen levels and aggression. Since Halo is such an Androgenic compound, it can elicit a high level of aggression and anger. This quality makes it a very commonly used  drug amongst strength athletes and even bodybuilders pre contest when the toll of severe calorie restriction and intense training can leave an athlete physically and mentally drained. Halotestins high potency unfortunately makes it one of the most hepatotoxic oral steroids, so use is generally for very short periods of time.

Anabolic-Androgenic Ratio: 850:1900

Possible Dosage:

  • Men: 10-40 mg/day for 1-3 weeks
  • Not recommended for female use

19-Nortestosterone Derivatives: 

Nandrolones or 19-Nors are so-called since they lack the 19th Carbon found in Testosterone, making these Progestins, also giving them an affinity for the progesterone receptors. Most common in this group are Nandrolone Decanoate (Deca Durabolin) and Nandrolone PhenylPropionate (NPP). Used extensively for their anabolic properties by athletes, these are some of the most commonly used Steroids in the world. 

Nandrolones are renowned for being hard to understand when it comes to Estrogenic and Progestogenic activity. Typically, Nandrolones are not very Estrogenic, but Nandrolone itself does show conversion via the alpha-estrogen receptor. Some individuals will use a large dose of base Testosterone to block the Progestogenic side effects induced by Nandrolones, however, this can just raise Estrogen even further. Thus, Estrogen management whilst using a Nandrolone needs to be executed perfectly. 

Nandrolones also can convert into Dihydro Nandrolones, which is a much weaker agonist to the Androgen receptors than DHT. This could lead to the progestin side effects we associate with Nandrolone. Getting enough DHT into the system via a high dose of Testosterone or via a DHT derivative could mitigate this. Winstrol seems to be quite effective at this, as it is not only a DHT derivative but does lower Progesterone in the body as well. 

Trenbolone is the other popular 19-Nor Steroid, known as one of the strongest and least well tolerated steroids available. With the ability to be the antagonist to the glucocorticoid receptor, it is exceptionally good at ensuring muscle retention in a caloric deficit. Trenbolone is also known to have strong Progestogenic side effects, as well as neurological, hepatotoxic, and androgenic side effects. Trenbolone is a very advanced drug that is not meant for beginners.

Nandrolones include; Nandrolone Decanoate (Deca Durabolin), Nandrolone PhenylPropionate (NPP), Trenbolone (Acetate and Enanthate) and MENT. 


Nandrolone Decanoate (DECAGEN)

Nandrolone Decanoate, commonly known as Deca Durabolin (or Deca) is one of the most popular bulking compounds on the market. Renowned for its ability to upregulate muscle protein synthesis, combining Deca with an adequate Testosterone base (and Estrogen management via Aromasin or Arimidex) can lead to substantial lean muscle tissue gains. 

The main selling point of Deca is the fact that it is more Anabolic than Testosterone (only slightly) and quite less Androgenic. This makes it favorable not only for female usage but also for men who just want to avoid the Androgenic side effects. Deca is also less Estrogenic than Testosterone, although most people who have used Deca will report otherwise. This could be a misconception due to the fact that most people will run a lot of Testosterone with Deca, which obviously does convert into Estrogen. 

Additionally, Deca is also known to induce Prolactin side effects. Deca is a Progestin, meaning it does have an affinity to the Progesterone receptor. Combine high Estrogen with Progestenic compounds and you start seeing severe side effects, such as the infamous “Deca-Dick”. The easiest way to avoid this is to manage Estrogen or to manage Prolactin/Progesterone with Winstrol, Pramipexole/Evista, or a high dosage of Vitamin B6. 

Anabolic-Androgenic Ratio: 37:125

Possible Dosage:

  • Men: 300-900 mg/week for 3-6+ months
  • Women: 50-100 mg/week for 8-12 weeks

Nandrolone Phenylpropionate (NANOGEN)

NPP is literally Deca, but with a shorter ester attached, similar to how Testosterone Propionate differs from Testosterone Cypionate. This means that they will have the same characteristics as one another. NPP does allow for more acute management of your blood levels, meaning that upon the onset of any adverse side effects, you can mitigate and even cease them a lot quicker. That being said, most people manage Nandrolones quite well. Seeing as NPP is the shorter ester form, you’ll have to inject it more frequently compared to Deca. 

NPP falls into the Nandrolone category of steroids and therefore has similar effects. You can expect increased protein synthesis, but also increased Progesterone side effects. Since all 19-Nors are Progestins, they will interact with the Progesterone receptor and can cause Prolactin side effects if left unmanaged. You can do a few things to mitigate these effects, such as running a DHT derivative, running Winstrol along with your 19-Nor, using Pramipexole/Evista, or just using a lot of Testosterone with the 19-Nor. With the last option, you’ll have to manage increased Estrogen with an AI to avoid Estrogenic side effects. 

Anabolic-Androgenic Ratio: 37:125

Possible Dosage:

  • Men:50-100 mg/day, or every other day (EOD), for 8-12 weeks
  • Women: 50-100 mg/week for 8-12 weeks


Loved and hated by many, Trenbolone has grown into something of a social myth, with promises of changing your life from the moment you experience that first “Tren Cough”. Partly true, Trenbolone is one of the strongest steroids on the market, and should be used with great respect. Revolutionary in a fat loss phase due to its anti-catabolic qualities, it also has the potential to completely change your off-season into one of your best. There are multiple forms of Tren available with different esters, most commonly Trenbolone Enanthate, Trenbolone Acetate, and Trenbolone Hexahydrobenzylcarbonate.

Tren is five times as strong as pure Testosterone, having an Anabolic-Androgenic rating of 500:500. Trenbolone also has the ability to massively spike the production of IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1) in the body which can lead to an increase in muscle mass via hyperplasia (the synthesis of new muscle tissue). It is also famous for doing this without promoting any water retention, making it a very popular steroid for bodybuilders on the latter end of competition prep. This is due to Trenbolone having the inability to convert into Estrogen. 

Trenbolone also has an inability to convert into DHT, but by itself is very Androgenic, and can still cause Androgenic side effects. By being a 19-Nor, you are going to see some Prolactin side effects. This can be easily managed by taking Vitamin B6, Pramipexole/Evista, or even Winstrol as it will lower Progesterone in the body. Mg for mg, Tren  the strongest compound there is, and should not be abused. You can expect certain adverse side effects such as night sweats, insomnia, aggression, hypoglycemia (possibly while in a calorie deficit). Trenbolone is also neurotoxic, and prolonged use can have adverse effects on brain chemistry. This drug is not for beginners.  

Anabolic-Androgenic Ratio: 500:500

Possible Dosage:

  • Men: 25-50 mg/day, or every other day,  for Trenbolone Acetate
  • Men:100-400+ mg/week for Trenbolone Enanthate
  • Not recommended for Female use

Which Steroids are Right for You?

Steroids, like medication and other drugs will generally work similarly for most people by their mechanism of action. However, how one responds to an individual steroid (and dose) will vary from person to person. There are people who can’t handle the side effects of Trenbolone, and there are individuals who can run Trenbolone for months without any adverse effects. It comes down to your genetics and experience to dictate which compounds and dosages can be well tolerated. 

There is no cookie cutter Steroid protocol, there are dozens of PEDs available, and what works for someone, may cause havoc for the next person. When it comes to steroid use, you must be responsible, by doing your own research, setting appropriate attainable goals, and putting in the work to train, eat, recover, and supplement adequately, as there are multiple factors that are all equally essential for optimal results. Even a slight deficiency in any facet will hinder growth and limit your potential. 

All steroids basically do is allow you to recover significantly quicker than naturally possible. So you must train effectively to cause muscle tissue damage, consume the necessary micro and macronutrients to supply the fuel and building blocks for growth, sleep and recover adequately to allow your body to repair and rebuild itself, and lastly supplement with the appropriate drugs/steroids and supplements to enhance the natural processes of hypertrophy and homeostasis. 

Experimenting with different compounds responsibly over time will show you which PEDs work best for you and what dosages can be safely managed. Ideally you always want to use the least possible amount of a compound, allowing you to gain the desirable effects, with minimal adverse effects to maintain optimal health. Ensuring you have pharmaceutical grade Steroids from a reputable underground lab (UGL) such as Oxygen Pharm is essential as most UGLs in North America produce low quality compounds that are typically underdosed by 20-60% of the advertised potency, and/or are completely counterfeit compounds that can render nothing other than adverse side effects. Responsible PED use should allow one to achieve their goals and maintain their health and quality of life. 

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