Winstrol is one of the most popular and well-known anabolic steroids on earth. Developed by Winthrop Laboratories in the late 1950’s, this is an anabolic steroid that has gotten a lot of media attention over the years. In fact, those who have never used anabolic steroids, if they can name a steroid it’s usually Winstrol or Stanozolol. The name Winstrol is actually the most commonly associated brand name of the Stanozolol hormone. This is an anabolic steroid that has garnered worldwide attention due to numerous athletic scandals over the years. When various athletes have been caught using anabolic steroids, Winstrol has been at the forefront of the scandal countless times. In fact, it is associated with the most important athletic steroid scandal in history.
In 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for the steroid after taking the gold at that year’s Summer Olympics. Not only did Johnson destroy his competition, he handedly defeated the highly favored Carl Lewis with relative ease. This would lead to Stanozolol making countless news headlines for a very long time and more importantly truly usher in the U.S. government’s war on steroids. The Johnson scenario is not the largest athletic based steroid scandal to ever occur, which would probably belong to the decades long East German doping machine; however, the Johnson scandal would have the largest impact. When Ben Johnson destroyed the U.S. golden boy, many point to this as being the final nail in the coffin that the U.S. congress needed to justify classifying anabolic steroids as Schedule III controlled substances.
While one of the more well-known anabolic steroids, Winstrol is very popular among most in the steroid using population. It is in many ways a fairly mild anabolic steroid that can be safely used by men and women. Equally important, it has proven highly effective for numerous performance enhancement endeavors. It is a long standing favorite among competitive bodybuilders and physique based athletes during cutting or contest prep phases. It is also a top steroid of choice for numerous performance athletes due to its ability to promote strength and endurance without unwanted mass.
Beyond performance enhancement, Winstrol has had a lot of success in modern medicine. It has been successfully used to combat lean tissue wasting and has had a lot of success in preserving bone mass in cases of osteoporosis. Winstrol has also been used to combat prolonged exposure to corticosteroid treatment, given to burn victims and even used to aid in the healing of severe bone fractures. The steroid has also enjoyed a little success in treating obesity when hormonal assistance is needed, as well as treating delayed growth in some children. As the years have passed, Winstrol has remained available for treatment for most of these conditions as well as being proven highly successful in treating angioedema among a few other treatment plans such as specific forms of breast cancer. The steroid has never lost FDA approval and unlike many anabolic steroids has maintained approval for numerous therapeutic treatment plans.
Stanozolol is a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derived anabolic androgenic steroid, or more specifically a structurally altered form. Stanozolol is the DHT hormone with two structural changes that give us the Winstrol compound. The first alteration is the introduction of an attached pyrazol group at the A-ring of the hormone replacing the 3-keto group. This modification officially classifies Stanozolol as a heterocyclic steroid. The hormone also carries an added methyl group in order to protect hormone after administration. This structural change takes place at the 17th carbon position officially classifying Stanozolol as a C17-alpha alkylated (C17-aa) anabolic steroid.
Due the combination of structural changes, this reduces the hormone’s androgenicity significantly and greatly increases its anabolic power. Officially Winstrol carries an anabolic rating of 320 and an androgenic rating of 20. More importantly, its ratings translate perfectly in real life effects giving us an extremely beneficial anabolic steroid.
Winstrol carries many positive steroidal traits, one of which is its ability to lower Sex-Hormone-Binding-Globulin (SHBG) significantly. This allows for more of the steroids being supplied to rest in an unbound state, as well as provides an increase in free testosterone. While many anabolic steroids lower SHBG Winstrol appears to have a much stronger affinity than most. In fact, studies have demonstrated nearly 50% reductions in SHBG in mere days of use and even at relatively low doses.
Beyond a reduction in SHBG, which is one of its primary traits, Winstrol will enhance protein synthesis and greatly increase nitrogen retention in the muscles. The steroid will also do a fairly decent job at increasing red blood cell count and inhibiting glucocorticoid hormones but not to the degree of many other steroids. In many ways, we have a mild yet evenly possession of some basic steroidal traits coupled with the dramatic SHBG reduction that gives us a controllable and unique compound. This really is one of the easiest anabolic steroids to understand.
When looking at the direct functions and traits of Winstrol there is one more issue we need to discuss. The Stanozolol hormone is both an injectable an oral anabolic steroid. Both forms are comprised of the same identical Stanozolol hormone. 1mg of one form is the same as 1mg of the other form. Some studies have suggested oral Winstrol may reduce SHBG a little more than its injectable counterpart, while others have said injectable forms may be slightly more potent on an overall milligram for milligram basis. However, overall these appear to be rather insignificant differences regardless of the direction they go. In fact, the individual should be able to receive the same identical benefits with either form.
Another important note often misunderstood about Winstrol forms is the C17-aa nature. Both oral and injectable Stanozolol are C17-aa anabolic steroids. Most oral steroids are C17-aa and while injectable steroids rarely are injectable Stanozolol is one of the exceptions. The injectable form is also commonly referred to as Winstrol Depot.
Although used to stave off lean tissue wasting, Winstrol is not what we’d call a bulking steroid. You will rarely find this steroid in an off-season mass gaining stack. However, it could be used in an effort to enhance the activity of the other steroids being used due to the strong SHBG reduction it will provide but this is generally not recommended. When we dive into the side effects of Winstrol, we will find it is very hepatotoxic and use should be limited to when it’s most valuable. For the male athlete, this will not be during the bulking phase.
When it comes to off-season bulking, we could make more of an exception with female use. Females are far more sensitive to the steroid and short burst plans could be very beneficial during this phase. But again, there are probably better options.
The effects of Winstrol are undoubtedly most beneficial to direct performance enhancement of an athletic nature. We’re talking about functional competitive athletes, not bodybuilders or physique athletes. This steroid has the ability to greatly increase strength and this can translate into both power and speed. Further, it will accomplish this without adding a lot of additional weight that could hinder some depending on the sport, as well as cause unwanted attention from prying eyes. There have been those who have said Winstrol isn’t good for competitive athletes, especially those athletes in explosive sports due to potential weakening of the tendons but this is more or less message board anecdotal hysteria that supports this claim. In fact, many studies have shown it can have a positive impact on strengthening tendons and we already know it’s good for the bones. If not, it wouldn’t be used to treat osteoporosis.
There are also some who complain of joint pain when using Winstrol. As a steroid that does not aromatize there will be no water retention but the “dry feeling” may not be what many think it is. Most who use the steroid will be physique athletes or gym rats during a cutting phase. They will also typically add it into a plan late in the diet once they’re already lean. Typically, when you become very lean, bodybuilding lean, this makes the joints a little uncomfortable. With or without Winstrol this discomfort could potentially exist. As for pro athletes who have nearly every last steroid at their disposal, remember, if Winstrol weren’t effective in competitive sports so many athletes wouldn’t make it a primary and favorite choice. In fact, the combo of Winstrol with low doses of Nandrolone is a very common stack among many athletes, and this stack will greatly eliminate any potential joint discomfort should it exist.
Beyond athletics, the gym rat or bodybuilding effects of Winstrol will be best displayed once you’re already somewhat lean. The steroid will help produce a dryer, harder look but only if you’re relatively lean. It will also aid in lean tissue preservation but not to a very strong degree that’s often needed in such a phase. It’s typically recommended that Winstrol only be used in this capacity as a secondary steroid, not a base or foundational steroid.
Both men and women can greatly benefit from Winstrol during the cutting phase. While it won’t be the best lean tissue preserver, many report maintaining more of their strength that is often lost when dieting when Winstrol is in play. Vascularity should also become more pronounced and overall the individual should enjoy an overall enhancement in definition.