If you’ve ever encountered locker-room chat about the steroid Anavar, then you’ve probably noticed that opinion is somewhat polarized.
On the one hand, phrases like “weak as water” and “only for wimps” are not uncommon—on the other, you’ll hear people extolling its powerful abilities to both gain muscle and lose fat.
It’s difficult to know what to believe, right? Surely, both opinions can’t be correct?
Or, can they?
The fact is, Anavar can be something of a misunderstood steroid. If it was, indeed, useless, then it wouldn’t have been around for so long and still used today by numerous bodybuilders. So, why are opinions split?
Well, you’re going to find out.
In this article, I have put together everything you need to know about this steroid. It includes the background on this synthetic, the results it provides and any negative side effects that may be encountered. In the process, you will discover why Anavar is often given a bad rep.
So, let’s get down to the detail and discover the insane truth about Anavar. After reading, you will be the one in the locker room who gives the guys the facts—not the fiction.
Table of contents:
- What is anavar?
- How does it work?
- Side effects
- Cycle and dosage
- Before after
- Legal Anavar
What Is Anavar?
The anabolic steroid, Anavar (or if you want to be scientific, oxandrolone), was first marketed in 1964. A couple of boffins called Chris Jung and Raphael Pappo came up with the drug while working at Searle Labs, which is now under the ownership of Pfizer.1
But back then it had nothing to do with bodybuilding.
This drug was designed to alleviate the symptoms of certain diseases which caused muscle wastage and loss—such as AIDS, muscular dystrophy and cancer. What made it particularly attractive was that it had an extremely low androgenic potency—meaning fewer side effects than other steroids available at the time. 2
This is when bodybuilders became interested.
A steroid that can build muscle, without shrinking the balls or causing hair loss? Sounds like a win win situation! More on the truth of that later—but first back to the history.
The boost in non-prescription use by gym-junkies continued through to the 1980s—until the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) caught on to this fact. Under pressure from these guys, and receiving increasingly bad publicity, Searle Labs discontinued producing Anavar in 1989. 3
Today, Anavar as a brand name has virtually disappeared on the medicinal market, being renamed Oxandrin and manufactured by the Bio Technology General Corporation.
But, get this.
This steroid is still available for purchase under the name Anavar, but only on the black market. Underground laboratories are still producing this synthetic for bodybuilding use.
How Does Anavar Work?
Anavar is a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derivative, with two important modifications. The second carbon atom has been replaced with an oxygen atom and a new methyl group has been added to the 17th carbon location.
So, what does that actually mean?
These alterations increase the anabolic properties of Anavar, making it between 300 and 600 percent more powerful than testosterone. However, don’t assume that this makes it a super drug for muscle growth—it doesn’t.
Anavar’s efficacy is elevated due to the fact it cannot be aromatized (turned into estrogen)—meaning there aren’t any female hormones offsetting the anabolic benefits. 7
This modification does help towards some muscle gain, but not to the extent as seen with other steroids, such as Anadrol or Deca-Durabolin. It is more useful as a muscle retainer, instead of a builder. Thus, making it ideal for use during a cutting cycle.
Additionally, this change means Anavar has low androgenic properties, reducing the chance of side effects in guys and making it one of the best steroids for women.
Furthermore, these modifications enable the steroid to be consumed orally, instead of via an injection.
But what does it do to the body?
In brief, this steroid has five main physiological effects:
- Increases nitrogen levels—improving muscle retention and slightly elevating muscle growth.8
- Inhibits sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)—freeing up more testosterone for the body to use.9
- Raises red blood cell count—improving oxygenation and increasing endurance.10
- Blocking glucocorticoid hormones—which can destroy muscle and promote fat gain.11
- Burns fat. 12
The final effect listed above, fat burning, is what separates this steroid from most of the other testosterone-based drugs.
While most synthetics have some weight loss properties, in that they increase the metabolism, Anavar actually boosts lipolysis (fat breakdown). It’s thought that this is due to its ability to easily bind to androgen receptors and inhibit thyroid-binding globulin.
Another reason why Anavar is considered a cutting steroid.
As mentioned, Anavar is not a serious bulking steroid—which has led to many guys considering it as a weak and ineffective drug. Yet, while not ideal for massive mass—with its muscle retaining and fat shedding effects it makes it a perfect cutting steroid.
But it doesn’t end there.
The low androgenic effect of Anavar (for a steroid) makes it one of the safer synthetics. Bear in mind, that’s a relative comparison—no steroids are safe.
However, for guys concerned about adverse health effects, or those who are more sensitive to steroids, this means it can function as a mild muscle builder.
As the androgenic power is fairly weak, Anavar is very attractive for women. Female users of this steroid are unlikely to develop masculine characteristics, such as body hair growth, loss of breasts, or clitoris swelling—typical side effects of stronger synthetics.
The muscle retention and fat burning abilities make this steroid an ideal choice for those seeking a more athletic physique, or indeed those taking part in an athletic competition. That being said, as Anavar is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), some caution is required.13
Generally speaking, the benefits provided by Anavar are:
- Enhanced ability to shed fat.
- Retention of muscle during a cutting phase.
- Increased endurance.
- Raised strength levels.
- Faster recovery times.
- Physiological improvements with few side effects.
- Low liver toxicity.
- Prevents water retention.
- Best steroid for women.
Anavar Side Effects
While Anavar doesn’t lead to as many side effects as many of the other steroids, it’s still not what you would consider “safe.” Firstly, remember that you are loading your body with a testosterone derivative—overwhelming every organ with more of this adapted hormone than it’s used to.
Secondly, the majority of Anavar manufactured for bodybuilding use is created in illegal laboratories—not under the jurisdiction of any approved drug association. This means that you can never be 100 percent sure of what your tablets contain—it’s no safer than buying a weekend “high” off the dodgy guy on the corner of the street.
While the androgenic effects are less than other steroids—they still occur. Here are the side effects that have been reported from Anavar use:
- Suppression of blood clotting.14
- Virilization in females (male characteristics)—deepening of voice, hair growth.
- Bladder irritability.
- Gynecomastia (man boobs).
- Hair loss.
- Oily skin.
- Loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.16
- Drastic reduction in bank balance—Anavar is the most expensive steroid.
Anavar Cycle and Dosage
As with all steroids, they should never be taken continually. Not only do they become less effective over time, but also constant use increases the side effects and long-term damage to the body.
Anavar is typically taken over a 6–8 week period. This is nearly twice as long as other steroids, such as Anadrol (taken usually for around 4 weeks). As the body can tolerate Anavar better than most synthetics, it’s a useful “beginner” steroid.
Depending on results required and whether you are male or female—the Anavar cycle dosage, and the other steroids it can be stacked with, varies.
What I’m trying to say is this:
An Anavar cutting cycle stack designed for a guy is different to that of a muscle building stack for a girl. I have therefore put together two example cycles to cover both of these targets.
Male Anavar Cutting Cycle
Weeks 1 to 6 Anavar 50 mg per day
Weeks 1 to 12 Testosterone Cypionate 500 mg per week
Weeks 1 to 12 Anastrozole 0.25 mg every other day
- If this is your first time using Anavar—testosterone, and Anastrozole (Arimidex) should be omitted. Instead, complete a six-week cycle of solely Anavar.
- Anastrozole functions to balance the elevated estrogen levels created by testosterone.
- Testosterone should be delivered in twice-weekly injections of 250 mg.
- If undergoing serious cutting, the Anavar dosage can be increased to 80 mg—but never exceed this amount.
Once the cycle has finished, post-cycle therapy (PCT) will be required, especially if testosterone has been used as part of the stack. Give your body a total break from any drugs in weeks 13 to 15. In weeks 16 and 17, use 40 mg of Nolvadex per day, reduced to 20 mg in weeks 18 and 19.
Female Muscle Building Cycle
Weeks 1 to 8 Anavar 10 mg per day
- If 10 mg causes no virilization, the dosage can be raised to 15 mg. Anything above this level, and the chances of male characteristics appearing are vastly increased.
- As PCT is designed to restore “normal” testosterone levels in guys, there’s no such requirement in females.
- If further muscle gains are sought for serious bulking, Anavar can be combined with 3 IUs of HGH per day.
Anavar Before After Results
Let me make this clear.
With Anavar, you’re not going to achieve massive bulk—if that’s your thing you should be looking at the more potent (and dangerous) Deca-Durabolin or Anadrol.
However, if you use it for cutting, and complete the cycle as described above, you will witness some incredible Anavar before and after differences.
Within just a few days, guys report that endurance and recovery times are vastly improved. The ability of Anavar to increase red blood cell production raises blood oxygenation—allowing the muscles to work both harder and longer and increase vascularity.
But, it’s in weeks 2 to 4 that the most dramatic visible Anavar results are witnessed. As Anavar boosts fat lipolysis, excess weight is dropped. This leads to pronounced muscle definition, creating a tight, toned and ripped physique.
Yet, it doesn’t end there.
One of the most beneficial results from Anavar is one that you may not notice. That is, your retention of lean muscle. These muscles aren’t building, so there’s little point in measuring the biceps.
However, despite losing weight, your hard-earned tissue is not wasting away—all due to the anabolic properties of this drug.
But, what about for the women?
Despite its low muscle-building potential in guys, the anabolic nature of Anavar has a more potent effect on women. This means that women using this steroid will witness impressive muscle gains in just a few short weeks.
As long as the dosage is kept around 10 mg per day, this will not result in hulk-like proportions.
However, it will create pronounced and defined musculature, with little to no masculine side effects. As the fat shedding powers work equally as well for women, this leaves the female body with an impressive muscle to fat ratio, leaving them defined and toned.
Let’s face the facts.
Anavar is a useful tool for a cutting cycle in guys and muscle gain in females. But that does not offset the negatives.
Although one of the least physically damaging steroids, there are still negatives, including:
- Numerous side effects.
- If taken in sufficient quantities can cause virilization in females.
- Difficult to obtain—unless you have very dodgy friends.
- Purity and quality cannot be guaranteed.
- One of the most expensive steroids—the Anavar price is often between $2 and $4 per pill.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could lose the downsides yet keep all the benefits?
Well, you can.
Anvarol from CrazyBulk is a legal steroid alternative that has been developed to mimic the effects of Anavar oxandrolone—but without damaging you or your bank balance.
The guys behind this awesome supplement looked at the key functions of Anavar—namely fat loss, muscle retention and raised endurance. From this basis, they developed a product that achieves the same results—but not from synthetic or modified compounds.
Anvarol is made from 100 percent natural ingredients. Yet, don’t let that lead you into thinking this is some “natural remedy” with no scientific backing. These ingredients have shown, through independent studies, to either achieve weight loss, retain muscle or boost stamina.
The key is this:
Anvarol will not damage your health like Anavar—instead, it will only provide the benefits of its steroid cousin. Furthermore, it’s easily obtainable from the official CrazyBulk website, is perfectly legal, and will not break the bank.
Additionally, this product can be stacked as part of a cycle with other legal steroids from the CrazyBulk line—providing the most extreme cutting stack possible.
Each bottle contains 90 capsules, sufficient for one month’s supply.
While not ideal for guys looking to obtain major muscle mass, Anavar is an effective steroid for losing fat and retaining tissue during a cutting phase — or for women looking to boost their muscle building results.
Yet, as with all steroids, it does have side effects.
It may be milder than the other synthetics but it can still cause serious adverse health reactions.
The bottom line.
To achieve the beneficial Anavar effects, but without the downsides, look to using a legal steroid such as Anvarol from CrazyBulk.
“Is Anavar Legal?”
Anavar is available as a legal drug under the brand name Oxandrin for prescription use. However, this steroid is illegal as a performance enhancer.
“What Is Anavar Stacked With?”
When used as part of a stacking cycle, Anavar is most frequently stacked with testosterone.
“Is Anavar Dangerous?”
Anavar is considered one of the least dangerous steroids—due to its low androgenic effects. However, it cannot be described as safe.
Many users still experience side effects such as nausea, headaches, hair loss, and acne. Furthermore, as it’s illegal, purity cannot be guaranteed. You never exactly know what you are consuming.
“Is Anavar Good for Women?”
Anavar is often referred to as the “female steroid.” As it promotes few masculine side effects, it’s the most commonly used synthetic by women.
Additionally, its mild muscle-building potential is perfectly suited for gains in the female body, while not so useful in this aspect for guys.
“How Long Does It Take for Anavar to Work?”
Within just a few days, users of Anavar have reported increased endurance and faster recovery times. Visible fat loss results are observed between two to three weeks of use.
“Is Anavar Good for Fat Loss?”
Anavar is one of the few steroids that actually encourages the breaking down of body fat—a fact supported by many of the positive Anavar reviews. Combined with its ability to retain lean muscle, this makes it one of the best cutting steroids.
“Where to Buy Anavar?”
As it’s illegal for non-prescription use, attempting to buy Anavar can prove tough. There are some online sites which purport to sell this synthetic—but receiving 100 percent pure Anavar is not guaranteed.
“What’s the Price of Anavar?”
Anavar is one of the most expensive steroids. Typically the price for one Anavar tablet is between $2 and $4. However, as you will be purchasing from an unlicensed seller, you may not be obtaining pure Anavar.
“Do Bodybuilders Use Anavar?”
Anavar bodybuilding use is very common. Most often, guys use this steroid to help to promote fat loss and retain lean muscle during a cutting phase. Women take this synthetic in order to build muscle mass.