Steroids Before and After — The Ultimate No-BS Guide


Anabolic steroids can do wonders for your physique. Fat will magically turn into muscles, a round belly will transform into a shredded 6-pack, and your dick will get at least 6 inches longer. All of it, of course, without working out or dieting in a week or two. 

This is what some steroids before and after pictures and guides promise you. None of it, of course, is true. Yes, even though they probably have some inspiring transformation pictures. 

What can you REALLY expect from anabolic steroids before and after comparison, how to predict YOUR gains, and how to distinguish fake BS pictures from real ones — read in this guide. 

The Famous Anabolic Steroid Users 

To see how anabolic steroids can change one’s physique — let’s just take a look at some legends of bodybuilding that admitted taking steroids. 

PROs are actually a great example — this way, we can see what anabolic steroids are capable of at the very peak of one’s performance. 

An ordinary steroid user may blur the results by questionable dietary choices, not working hard enough in the gym, not getting enough rest, and so on. The PROs show what it looks like when one’s life is wholly dedicated to bodybuilding and making sure that every single pill or injection is being used to the maximum. 

Flex Wheeler

The legend, straight from Arnold Classic and Ironman Pro stage. Ronnie Coleman’s rival. He admitted taking anabolic steroids since the age of 18. Now, look at his physique in his teen years (probably 18) and in his prime — no words are needed here. 

flex wheeler steroids before and after

Dorian Yates 

Six times Mr. Olimpia, in the left pic — he is said to be training for just nine months. We should admit that this legend is incredibly gifted in terms of genetics. However, he’s also one of the few athletes that openly speak about anabolic steroid use. Lifetime dedication and numerous anabolic steroids cycle results are clear:

dorian yates steroids before and after

Rich Piana 

More of a modern legend — the absolute monster of the bodybuilding world, Rich Piana. He started his way to the PRO league at 11 years old, won Mr. Teen California, later winning NPC Mr. California. 

rich piana steroids before and after

His first cycle at 18 years old was good-old Test and Deca. Rich was open about his steroids use but didn’t recommend it to anyone because of the health risks that come from high doses and the risk of getting hooked on gear. Sadly, he passed in 2017 at 46 — but left an insane story of absolute muscle madness. The pics show him at a young age and in the last years — after numerous cycles, which, as he said, were necessary to compete in the PRO league. 

What Defines Your Gains on Anabolic Steroids

Will anabolic steroids guarantee you Flex Wheeler or Rich Piana look, though? No. No way they will. 

We’re pretty sure you’ve heard the phrase “it’s all individual” or “all people are different” at least once in your lifetime. There’s a huge chance you’ve heard it multiple times, and even so many times, that this phrase makes you sick. Well, sorry for the following passage. It is true. 

With anabolic steroids — everything’s individual, and all athletes are different. Really. 

Sometimes this argument comes up when someone is just too lazy to explain their point of view, but not this time. There’s a clear list of things that may affect your personal reaction to any anabolic steroid. 

These things can make your body more — or less — responsive to the anabolic steroids cycle: 

  • Age — younger guys get massive easily, older folks can barely see the effects; 
  • Height, weight, body fat — these factors alter the visual results drastically. Shorter and leaner guys get a well-toned shredded look much easier; 
  • Testosterone levels baseline — there’s a big difference between a suppressed, hypogonadal athlete that adds hormonal compounds to his natural low ones and an athlete that has a naturally high testosterone level, and boosts it even further with AAS; 
  • Aromatization capabilities — your body either has a lot of strong aromatase enzymes to turn Testosterone into Estrogen (it’s a natural process, but it bears side effects and strips you from potential gains), or you’re not a heavy aromatizer, and your muscles use every single molecule that you inject; 
  • Experience with anabolic steroids in the past — your first cycle is more powerful than the same cycle the second time, and if you have a decade of cycling experience under your belt — you won’t even notice some milder compounds that can transform a newbie; 
  • Genetics — yes, this is a HUGE one. Unfortunately, in some ways, your ability to grow muscles — the limits, speed, and effectiveness of each workout — is defined at birth. 

These factors are related to your body stats, but we didn’t even touch the other part — your lifestyle. Even subtle, seemingly irrelevant things can dramatically alter the outcome of your cycle. Including: 

  • Stress levels — constant exposure to stress can destroy a considerable portion of your natural, free Testosterone, while Cortisol — the anti-stress hormone — also acts as a catabolic agent, destroying your muscles directly; 
  • Sleep schedule — because a notable part of the whole muscle growth process happens in your sleep only; 
  • Your location — whether you’re in a big city or not. LIghts outside at night, bad ecology, stress levels from the neverending megapolis rush, and traffic fumes can cost you a portion of your hard-earned gains; 
  • Your diet — munch on McDonald’s fries and donuts, or get plenty of healthy amino acids and protein. There’s a big difference between the two. 

Of course, NONE of these factors alone can make a big difference so big that it would make the whole idea worthless. However, a combination of them can be crucial. 

Here’s a realistic example:

Imagine two guys, Joe and Sam. Joe is 22, he’s a wealthy farmer’s son, lives in the countryside, gets plenty of fresh air, works in the field but only when he wants to, sleeps well. His life is primarily stress-free. He eats fish, meat, and a shit ton of vegetables. Also, his grandpa was a traveling circus strongman who could bend nails with his bare hands. 

Sam is 48, and he lives in Chicago. He’s a manager at a car parts store. His job includes talking to dozens of clients daily, so basically — it’s a stressful mess. He lives in a tiny apartment with his wife, that’s always mad at him for no reason and cheats on him with his boss. His typical dinner is either a pizza or Chinese take-out noodles with deep-fried stuff. He lives right above a highway, so the noise, the fumes, and the lights never let him sleep enough. His parents (and grandparents) were all accountants. 

Now, both guys want to change their lives for the better. Joe and Sam order the same Testosterone Propionate and start a beginner’s 300mg/week cycle. On the same days, same time, same doses, even the same time before the workouts. 

Guess who’s going to be massive and lean by the end of the month and who’ll be telling his friends that steroids are a scam because he barely gained any weight? You probably know the answer. 

Anabolic Steroids Before and After Pictures — The Bullshit Problem

Why do people start taking anabolic steroids in the first place? Some see other guys in their gym, some learn about them from doping scandals, some even look specifically for performance enhancement options and just stumble on a page about Trenbolone. 

However, there’s one more kind of people here: those who saw the before and after steroids pictures on the Internet and instantly decided that they want to look like a typical “after” pic. 

And here comes a problem: the vast majority of those pictures are complete, fake ass bullshit. Here’s why: 

  1. MOST of them are posted without the consent of those in the picture, and therefore — it’s impossible to verify whether the said cycle took place; 
  2. SOME try to pass multiple years of hard work as a single cycle result; 
  3. ALMOST ALL of them are used on multiple websites as illustrations for different compounds. 

Sometimes the irony of the situation is overwhelming. Look at the picture: 

luke depron fake transformation 2
Source: Huffington Post/Luke DePron

This is Luke DePron, Huffington Post contributor. He posted these pictures in a huge article called «The Shocking Truth About Before and After Transformation Photos». 

The heading is clickbait by itself, but it doesn’t matter now. The key thing is: these pictures are 3,5 hours apart. 

Luke does a great explanation on how to fake before and after steroids pictures online (in case you need to), but that’s not the end of the story. 

If you look up this picture on Google — several DOZENS of websites still use it as a legit before and after steroids, diet, or specific exercise result picture:

anabolic steroids before and after fake cycle

The compounds which are supposed to be the reason behind this «transformation» vary from Turinabol and Testosterone to shady Chinese websites and something called «Diet for penis growth» (I don’t even want to know). 

One of the search results for Luke’s debunking leads you to a page with — it’s a quote — «Masturbation techniques for overweight people». Apparently, they need special ones. 

It’s just one of many examples, but it shows how the majority of these pictures work. 

Behind the Scenes

You might’ve noticed that nearly all our articles have before and after steroids pictures as well. What’s that? Hypocrisy? Fuck no. 

It’s actually pretty damn hard to find decent pictures that were not used a million times before. That was probably the biggest challenge to the whole No-BS approach we’ve had so far. 

There’s practically no way to make sure that pictures show precisely the result of a specific steroid being used: 

  1. If you take pictures from the forums, there are no guarantees that the original poster didn’t lie in the post (for likes, other useless Internet points, or just a lazy self-esteem boost); 
  2. If you take a picture from the websites that claim to show the actual result — there are no guarantees that they didn’t just take those pics from random forums (say, in 2011); 
  3. Even if you take pictures yourself, there’s still no guarantee that the result will look like it will because of the said steroid and not because of some preexisting personal stats or dietary habits. 

One of the worst things here is setting unrealistic expectations. We’d want to avoid it at all costs.  

The solution here? All the pictures you see in the articles (including this one) go with a little disclaimer, saying that the guy in the pic wasn’t a subject of any kind of a controlled experiment with the steroid-in-question cycle. 

We’re talking about TYPES of gains, the PROPERTIES of the compounds, and never — specific cycles in specific guys. 

You can’t be sure about a random dude’s genetics, but you can be sure about the anabolic-androgenic ratio, structure, and nature of a particular steroid. 

Most Popular Steroids Before and After Pictures 

With all that said — here are the most popular steroids before and after pictures. So that you know what to expect. 

Trenbolone Before and After 

We know that Trenbolone, whether it’s Enanthate or Acetate — aka tren Ace — is: 

  1. A massive bulker, one extremely potent substance; 
  2. A dry kind of gear, causing little to no water retention. 

Here’s a guy that looks like he just finished a perfect Trenbolone cycle:

trenbolone before and after example

Pay attention to the leanness, the quality gains, and the massive physique. Clearly not a beginner, but Tren is not a beginner’s steroid either. You also should know that this look is unachievable without a strict diet and hardcore workout routine. 

Check out our full Trenbolone Enanthate guide for more benefits and details. And if you want things to happen faster — here’s the Trenbolone Acetate review. 

Deca before and After 

Deca cycle results are a whole other deal. The famous steroid is also powerful AF, but it’s in no way a dry compound. It causes a thing called edema — aka water retention. Here’s how it looks: 

deca durabolin before and after example

It might be not actually Deca Durabolin cycle results, but this guy has all the things to highlight: 

  • Impressive mass growth; 
  • Watery, slightly bloated physique; 
  • No vascularity, striations, or other perks of a lean physique.

Deca + Test cycle is the absolute classic of bodybuilding on steroids. Another reason for it is the fact that Deca is mainly used along with Testosterone. Testosterone — being 100% anabolic and 100% androgenic — also causes significant water retention. 

Here’s our complete guide on Deca Durabolin with more stacks options, some tricks, and ways to avoid the infamous Deca Dick (aka troubled erection) on this fascinating compound. 

Dianabol Before and After 

Dianabol comes from a different class of steroids — it’s an oral gear. `However, while the majority of orals (like Winstrol or Anadrol) are relatively dry (or absolutely drying out in case of Anavar), Dianabol stands out on this one: it’s another wet substance. 

Dianabol — aka Methandienone — is an old-school fast-acting gear used mainly for a cycle kickstart nowadays or as a plateau breaker. You won’t run a 10-week Dianabol-only cycle, but the gains from a relatively short period (say, 4-6 weeks) will be sufficient. Look at the example: 

dianabol before and after example

Nothing exceptionally lean, but man — this guy still managed to get a 6-pack. Even though the pictures are definitely more than 4 weeks apart, it still looks like a good Dianabol cycle result. 

The crazy history of the compound and all the problems you may face are in our Dianabol guide — check it out. 

Winstrol Before and After 

Winstrol cycle results can look completely different from anything of the above: 

  1. Winstrol is not so powerful; 
  2. It’s an oral with all the benefits — it’s dry and fast; 
  3. You can go for a full-scale Winstrol cycle and keep it with other gear in the stack for the whole cycle duration. 

The other side of the medal is simple as well: it won’t give you any crazy gains (it will give you mass, for sure, just not as much as Dbol or Tren would), and it’s most popular among beginners since it’s easy to use and doesn’t have any severe side effects (aside from the liver damage, which is dose-dependent). 

A beginner who just hopped on Winstrol on a cutting cycle can expect anything like this, if not more: 

winstrol before and after cycle results example

Did the guy get leaner? Yes. Did he gain some muscles? Yes, some. But can we call it a complete transformation, from zero to a mass monster? Nope, we pretty much can’t.

This result is undoubtedly achievable naturally (which is possibly the reason behind the pic itself), but Winstrol will bring it to you faster. 

For all the side effects (and how to counter the joints issue) — check out our Winstrol guide, with all the protocols and dosages you may need to get the best out of it. 

Anadrol Before and After 

Dianabol’s biggest rival. The last one in the orals line we’ll take a look at here — Anadrol. To show you this type of compound from different sides — let’s take a lean, skinny AF guy instead of a slightly fat one. This is what Anadrol cycle results may look like in this case: 

anadrol before and after cycle example

This also could be an excellent example of the first steroid cycle before and after. The guy is generally looking more fit and well-toned, but you don’t see any monstrous gains or any outstanding dryness in these pics. Again, a naturally achievable result. It would just take way more time. 

Chances are — with a better diet, more protein, better sleep schedule, and more sweating in the gym, a single Anadrol cycle would give this dude way more than we see in the pics (which are — again — just an example). However, this is the baseline of the Anadrol before and after. 

We also have a guide on Anadrol — with protocols for athletes on all stages of getting to the top.

Anabolic Steroids Risks and Side Effects

There’s one more thing to clarify: you can take your “after” picture straight from the hospital if you cycle steroids wrong. There are 3 guys who had nothing to show off for every successful transformation and 2 guys who ended up with serious health issues. Let’s take a closer look at the risks. 

Health Issues and Side Effects 

Anabolic steroids cycle results may come out plain dangerous for your life. Among the risks you get: 

  • Heart health issues; 
  • Liver damage; 
  • Skin condition worsening; 
  • Cancer development (same goes for HGH if you have preexisting conditions); 
  • Balding; 
  • Chronic erection problems (aka hypogonadism due to natural Testosterone suppression); 
  • Mood swings due to CNS damage. 

Common side effects that rarely turn chronic but still can be a pain in the ass on cycle include: 

  • Aggression; 
  • Easier irritability; 
  • Extreme sweating; 
  • Elevated blood pressure; 
  • Sleepiness during the day or insomnia; 
  • Painful pumps; 
  • Pain in the injection site; 
  • Chest pain. 

And many, many other types of pain, disorders, and conditions. That’s far from being the full list.

Really, no one, ever, said that anabolic steroids are safe and healthy.

You’re playing a game of chance with your body. You can follow all the rules, like…

  1. Always do the PCT
  2. Never take high doses; 
  3. Never stack two powerful compounds, 2 orals, or run orals solo; 
  4. Never exceed your cycle over a normal range; 
  5. Don’t take drugs or drink alcohol on cycle…

…but still end up with bitch tits, aka moobs, aka male breasts enlargement, and nipples puffiness. Just because you’re genetically prone to it. 

There are no guarantees that you will look healthier in your “after” pic. Bigger and more muscular? yes. But healthier? Nobody ever promised it. 

Maybe you’ll be OK, and maybe your health is fucked — it’s all a Russian roulette play. The only thing you can do (if you still decide to go for it and dive into the world of bodybuilding on gear) is staying as cautious as you can and taking all the precaution measures. 

Here in our entry guide on steroids 101, you can check out more side effects and risks, along with supportive compounds and the ways to minimize the danger. 


Rich Piana said: “If you have the choice to do steroids or stay natural, stay natural. There’s no reason to do steroids”. While we understand that people will use anabolic steroids anyway (for the sake of getting bigger, stronger, and more shredded), one thing here should be crystal clear: no “steroids before and after” picture from the Internet is worth your health.

If you plan to (or already) use gear — make sure that your natural performance peak is passed and there are no other tools to get you to the desired physique. Otherwise — it’s just not worth it.