We all love a good derby, huh? Both Anavar and Winstrol are powerful oral steroids, each with a huge fanbase. So which one is better? Let’s find out.
- Anavar or Winstrol: Why We Compare Them
- Anavar Benefits
- Anavar Side Effects
- Winstrol Benefits
- Winstrol Side Effects
- Winstrol vs Anavar — Side by Side Comparison
- Winstrol vs Anavar Side Effects
- Other Ways to Compare Winstrol vs Anavar
- Roids101 verdict: Anavar vs Winstrol?
- Anavar for Bulking
- Anavar for Cutting
- Best Anavar Cycles
- Winstrol for Bulking
- Winstrol for Cutting
- Best Winstrol Cycles
- Winstrol and Anavar Cycle: Why is it a Bad Idea
- Injectable Winstrol
- Winstrol or Anavar for Female Athletes
- Winstrol for Female Athletes?
- Personal Opinion on Anavar vs Winstrol
Basics first. Oxandrolone (the real name of Anavar) and Stanozolol (the real name of Winstrol) are both anabolic-androgenic steroids, synthetic performance enhancement compounds. Different, but same, but different on so many levels. So what’s the deal with all the Anavar vs Winstrol shitstorms?
Anavar or Winstrol: Why We Compare Them
Several common things make the comparison justified:
- Both Winstrol and Anavar are oral – meaning that you don’t need to inject them to get the boost, and take them just like regular pills;
- Both have a relatively short half-life – about 10 hours for Anavar and about 12 hours for Winstrol. This short activity span means that both compounds are designed for daily administration;
- Both are MILDLY powerful – not monster steroids like Trenbolone or Superdrol, reserved for those who want to get in shape, not absolutely explode with muscles;
- Both are DRY compounds – Anavar and Winstrol don’t cause water retention, face puffiness, or any kind of a «swollen» look – just lean and shredded physique;
Now – a brief reminder on every compound’s profile. We should know, WHAT we compare, right?
Anavar – aka Oxandrolone – is a powerful anabolic steroi with some unique fetures:
- It doesn’t cause aromatization (doesn’t turn into Estrogen, the female sex hormone);
- Hardly can suppress you (just mildly reduces the natural Testosterone production);
- And it’s almost side effects-free (to some degree, of course, but it’s still as close as one can get to a free ride).
Among the benefits you get:
- Muscle mass growth (mild);
- Strength gains (powerful AF);
- Pumping effect;
- Vascularity (more visible veins);
- «Fat burning» (not all the actual fat burning, but drying all the water out to the point that it LOOKS like you’re on a hardcore cut).
Basically, Anavar is the finest grain sandpaper in your toolbox. You won’t achieve a lot with it – both in bulking and cutting – but no other compound will give you THIS level of detail.
Anavar Side Effects
You’ll get Anavar side effects ONLY and only if you will run it in high doses or will abuse it. 100mg of Anavar is overkill, but some athletes still go for it. That’s what you can get in this case:
- Liver damage;
- HDL/LDL (cholesterol) misbalance;
- Oily skin and acne;
- Sleep issues;
- Painful pumps;
- Mental changes (from depression to elevated irritability);
- Nosebleeds, headaches, and other high BP results.
Not a good list, but luckily – it’s really hard to get one of those. You have to be prone to the effect and take high doses of the compound.
That was Anavar simplified. If you want more info, details, and cycles – here’s our complete guide on Anavar and how to use it right.
Winstrol may resemble Anavar in effects but not in the core structure. It is a DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) derivative, which gives it several unique benefits:
- It can act as a mild aromatase inhibitor (AI) and destroy the aromatase enzymes that would otherwise turn Testosterone into Estrogen;
- It can suppress SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), which means SYNERGY. If SHBG (the thing that connects to Free Testosterone and deactivates it) is down, more Free Testosterone flows in your blood, and other steroids in the stack get more effective;
- It’s also resistant to aromatization, meaning that it will not turn into Estrogen itself.
As a practical result of a Winstrol cycle, you get:
- Dry (aka fat- and water-free) muscle mass growth;
- Overall leaner look, more fit physique;
- Striation, vascularity, increased visibility of details in your muscles;
- Strength gains (it’s personal, but in general – slightly less notable than on Anavar);
- Endurance and stamina boost.
In short, Winstrol is a natural-born body recomposition compound. Not a bulker, not a cutting compound, but the one to turn you from a swollen and bloated mess into a stage-ready sculpture.
Winstrol Side Effects
Unfortunately, the result doesn’t come free, and it’s not as easy as Anavar. Here are some of the most notorious Winstrol side effects:
- Dry joints (imagine the pain in your wrist every time you move it);
- Liver damage (it’s still 17-alpha-alkylated, duh);
- Mood swings;
- Pain in the injection site (anecdotally, Winstrol injections are the most painful among all steroids).
Definitely not the whole list, but you get the point. It’s a cheaper version of Anavar, as some say, but the price is not the only difference.
Enough with the lyrics – let’s finally compare them.
Winstrol vs Anavar — Side by Side Comparison
Here are 10 aspects (we tried to come up with something clear and objective, but the list is – of course – based on personal, anecdotal experience, and opinions from the Internet. Sweet Jesus, A LOT of content was studied to choose just 10. But here they are:
Anecdotally, Anavar is the winner here. Even though Winstrol will STILL give you notable strength gains, it’s not its only property. And with Anavar, strength boost is one of the few extremely pronounce benefits.
Winstrol is a clear winner here. Anavar will make you LEAN, but it won’t make you massive. While SOME muscle gains are still likely on Anavar, especially if it’s your first experience with anabolic steroids, Winstrol is way better for pure muscle growth. Maybe a bit dirtier, but still – more effective.
No clear winners on this one. Both compounds will give you a significant RBC production boost, so your endurance will be higher than usual.
Hands down, Anavar is the champion on this one. It’s often used as a stage-prep compound, beloved by PROs and beginners who just want to shine on the beach. Winstrol is another drying option, but anecdotally – Anavar is ready for the last part of stage-ready body polishing.
Pumps and Vascularity
Again, no clear winner. It’s a totally personal thing. Some athletes get the pumps that last for a day from Winny. Some get the same effect from Var. Most, however, get it from both compounds.
Winstrol vs Anavar Side Effects
Yup, it’s not all about benefits, where compounds are somewhat even. Side effects make the whole thing more clear.
A thing you’ll get only with Winstrol, while Anavar is less likely to cause it. Unfortunately, joint pain can stay with you after the cycle and last for months. It feels like literal sand inside your elbows, wrists, and knees. Not all athletes get it, but those who do… let’s say it’s a terrible thing. Sometimes milk thistle, magnesium, and drinking gallons of water won’t help.
By the way: Deca Durabolin causes the opposite effect on your joints. It makes every movement smooth and easy and sometimes is referred to as a life-saving compound for people with chronic joint pain. Here’s our Deca Durabolin guide if you’re one of the unlucky guys with this issue.
Male pattern baldness doesn’t come overnight – it starts as a hair or two on your hands in the shower. With both Winstrol and Anavar, you can get this nasty thing, but Winstrol is – anecdotally – more potent as a trigger for starting hair loss.
Other Ways to Compare Winstrol vs Anavar
Let’s say some other things put them into context:
Absolutely crucial with Winstrol and somewhat questionable with Anavar. Given that Winstrol is DHT-derived, it will suppress you, but it won’t fill the gap. You’ll have to fill it with injectable Testosterone in relatively small doses of 200-300mg/week. Anavar requires a Testosterone base as well, but you can skip it on low doses. Up to 30mg of Anavar Testosterone base is strongly recommended but not mandatory. It depends on a whole bunch of factors, but in general – Anavar is more forgiving.
Winstrol is more affordable. Depending on your location, source, and the desired pack size, Anavar can cost around $150-400, and Winstrol – from $90 to $150. No surprise, the market is full of fake Anavar, that is, in fact, Winstrol with a fake label on it.
Roids101 verdict: Anavar vs Winstrol?
In short, the answer is – Anavar.
It wins side-by-side comparison in selected aspects. Here’s a visual representation:
However, it wouldn’t be a long-standing argument if it was so simple, right?
Bodybuilding is a flexible term, a complicated process with numerous ways to achieve the perfect physique. Some need to gain pure muscle mass, some need to lose weight, some need a complete body recomposition. It’s all different processes, and the thing makes the comparison even harder.
Now — let’s dive into details.
Anavar for Bulking
It’s a good idea only if you’re a beginner, and Anavar is a part of your first-ever cycle.
Anavar was designed with polishing the gains in mind, not making them. If you don’t have a notable muscle mass – you’ve got nothing to polish.
It will give you the «is it a man or a stick» look if you’re just at the beginning of your bodybuilding journey.
Note that we’re talking about bodybuilding, not cycling steroids here! Why would you even need to run steroids without learning how to build muscle properly first?
By the way, we’ve got a guide on the perfect first steroid cycle – and it partly covers Anavar. If you’re a beginner, check it out first.
Anavar for Cutting
Here we finally tap into the real world. In a study on Metabolic and hormonal changes of severely burned children receiving long-term oxandrolone treatment, Anavar is proven to raise T3. Yes, no one is interested in studying anabolic steroids in terms of bodybuilding effects with THIS level of analysis, unfortunately, so studies like this are the best we have so far.
T3 (aka tri-iodothyronine) is a thyroid hormone responsible for several body functions, including metabolism, temperature, and so on. In an ungodly oversimplified way, the more T3 you have – the better your metabolism works, and the faster you lose fat tissue. And Anavar gives you more of it.
Don’t overestimate the effect, though! Anavar is still not the best cutting compound of all (here’s our Clenbuterol guide if you want to read about THE best one). The T3 effect is not enough to turn you from a fatty blob into a shredded 6-pack rocking male underwear model.
What Anavar definitely WILL do is stripping you from all the water you have. Yes, in the world of salty food and sodium- (and sugar-) dependent population, water retention is a big problem. Anavar dries you out, and nothing shines better than a dry, lean, vascular physique. That’s why we can say that it’s a cutting compound (while, of course, keeping in mind the imaginary quotes).
Best Anavar Cycles
AS easy as it gets – just run a baby dose of Anavar for a short period to feel the real MILD effect with zero to none consequences:
|7-8||20mg ED (if needed)|
A mild PCT is here because even on a baby dose – you need to keep Nolva on your hands. Always keep your Nolvadex around, in case something goes wrong. Luckily, with about 30mg of Anavar – you won’t need it unless you are extremely easy to suppress.
You won’t get many benefits from this cycle as well, though – just SOME strength gains, SOME body fat % decrease, and maybe a somewhat leaner look. But hey, it’s almost free in terms of side effects – what else would you expect?
To let Anavar shine TRULY at the peak of its glory – use it as a polishing compound after a classic body recomposition cycle. Say, with Testosterone 400 (and a calorie deficit!):
|Weeks||Testosterone 400||Anavar||Nolvadex PCT|
|Weeks 1-6||300-400mg EOD||–||–|
|Weeks 7-10||300-400mg EOD||50-70mg ED||–|
|Weeks 13-14||–||–||40mg ED|
A solid dose of Anavar won’t make you shredded overnight, but it will help you counter the T400 water retention. And again – with little to no side effects.
Winstrol for Bulking
This option is way closer to reality but still not there. Winstrol is not one of the monster steroids that will explode you in a week, but it’s an excellent addition to some of your Test-only cycles that don’t seem to work as you’d expect them. However, it’s a body recomposition compound, not a pure bulker.
Winstrol for Cutting
«Why not» is the best short answer here. Just keep in mind 2 things:
- Winstrol DOES NOT WORK without a Testosterone base. It’s a DHT-derived compound. You NEED a test base to fill the gap it creates and give your balls some time to restore their function. Testosterone is not a dry compound – it’s 100% anabolic and 100% androgenic. It will give you a little bloating, which kind of reduces the benefit of Winstrol.
- 90% of success is made in the kitchen, so the key to a successful cutting on Winstrol will be a strict calorie deficit. No extremes – just 200-300 below your natural level.
To lose fat on Winstrol, you’ll need to keep your Test base low, as low as possible. I wouldn’t recommend it as a first cycle – you need to learn what is low and what is high for you first. For those who have at least a couple of years of experience with gear, it’s a good option.
Best Winstrol Cycles
The golden rule of «Keep it simple, stupid» works with gear perfectly. The best cycle with Winstrol – the one that will let the compound truly shine – is the easiest one you can get. Just Winstrol with a mild Testosterone base:
|Week||Winstrol||Testosterone Propionate||Nolvadex PCT|
|Weeks 1-8||50-75mg ED||250-300mg EW||–|
|Weeks 9-10||–||–||40mg ED|
|Week 11-12||–||–||20mg ED|
Another attractive option would be countering the adverse joints effect of Winstrol with Deca Durabolin. It’s proven to soothe any kind of joint pain.
A mild, adjustable protocol would look like this:
|Weeks||Winstrol||Testosterone Enanthate||Deca Durabolin||Clomid PCT|
|Weeks 1-6||50-100mg ED||300mg EW||400mg EW||–|
|Weeks 7-10||–||300mg EW||400mg EW||–|
|Weeks 13-14||–||–||–||100mg ED|
|Weeks 15-16||–||–||–||50mg ED|
Clomid is recommended instead of Nolvadex because we have Deca – Nandrolone – in the stack. The pause for two weeks is there to let your body get rid of all the leftovers of your gear.
This pause between your last dose and the PCT should not necessarily be 2 weeks long; it can be just a week or 10 days. Adjust it to your comfort.
Note here: Deca is a hardcore water retention trigger. It will bloat you. Winny is here to work as a synergetic booster for your bulking cycle, to suppress SHBG and get away – you won’t get a lean look after a cycle like this. But you won’t get joint issues as well – which is a nice benefit.
Winstrol and Anavar Cycle: Why is it a Bad Idea
While researching the topic, you’ll definitely stumble upon «experts» on Quora, articles in steroid shops, fancy and good-looking websites that recommend abandoning all comparisons, and just go for a stack of Winny and Var.
Just 2 simple reasons why you’re not the most brilliant athlete of all if you plan – or suggest – running 2 orals, Winny and Anavar:
- Both are 17-alpha-alkylated. It damages your liver. Even one 17-alpha-alkylated compound can fuck you up badly on a prolonged cycle, let alone two of them combined;
- No Testosterone base with an oral is a bad idea. It’s somewhat OK when you’re baby-dosing Anavar on a short cycle or if you’re a girl, but with a full-scale stack of two orals… better buy your balls a ticket on an ocean cruise – you’re not gonna see them for a long time.
So, those «experts» recommend you literally killing your liver, and call it – quote – “safe and effective”. Unfortunately, it’s not even a joke – here’s a compilation of results from the first page of Google results:
Safe and effective, huh? Bloody liver cysts would disagree.
Interestingly enough, Winstrol can be used as an injectable instead of oral, and it kind of turns the whole thing upside down.
- Injectable Winstrol won’t be 17-alpha-alkylated, meaning that it won’t fuck with your liver health. It already puts it above Anavar in terms of side effects;
- It turns out to give you more nitrogen retention, and therefore – a more notable muscle growth in a shorter time. Thanks to enhanced bioavailability, more compound reaches the target and more compound;
- You keep the AI properties of the compound. It’s still a potent Anti-Estrogen, delivered right to your muscle tissue.
Wow, would you say it changes the game! Why is everyone not just injecting Winstrol? Why is the derby with Anavar still there?
Unfortunately, it has no sense for 2 clear reasons:
- People don’t like injecting. If there’s an injectable vs oral thing with somewhat similar properties, 90% of the athletes will opt for the latter. The remaining 10% would like to join them, but they just can’t – they probably have liver health issues and shouldn’t risk taking orals at all. Pinning is a pain in the ass – quite literally – and of course, the majority of athletes want to avoid it;
- Injectable Winstrol loses its synergetic properties. Orals are way better at countering SHBG, and the reason is simple: to deactivate SHBG, Winstrol molecules should FIND it somewhere in your body. Now, where can you find the majority of SHBG molecules? Surprise-surprise, right in the liver – where it’s produced. Injectable Winstrol hardly contacts the liver as much as oral since oral has to literally pass through it.
Basically, with injectable Winstrol, you sacrifice synergy for better nitrogen retention (and less liver damage), and in the end – everything evens out. It may work better for you personally, may work worse, but in general – injectable Winstrol will give an athlete the same results as oral Winstrol would. An easy graph to highlight the differences:
And anyway, if you still need to inject something, why would it be Winstrol? Injectable steroids family gives you way more options. Winny is reasonable only as an oral.
Winstrol or Anavar for Female Athletes
The short answer is – Anavar is 100% better. Just because virilization is a bitch.
It happens when a female has too many androgens in her body. It’s unnatural because androgens are responsible for the development of MALE characteristics. Among the nasty results are:
- Facial hair growth (not just a mustache, but a beard as well);
- Clitoris enlargement (yup, you have a mini-dick now);
- Voice changes (boom and you sound like Hulk Hogan);
- Facial bones structure changes (neanderthal brow ridges and manly jawline);
- Breasts size decrease (give your brat a guy with gyno – he needs it more now).
That’s not even the complete list! Along with these «special» benefits a female athlete, exposed to anabolic steroids, risks to get:
- Sex drive increase or decrease;
- Menstrual cycle changes;
- Severe mood swings.
And all of it – to look somewhat muscular. Worth it? If you ask me, totally not. That’s why Anavar is a better approach. It won’t give a female athlete a ton of muscles. Instead, it will form a shape:
- Body fat percentage decrease;
- Tiny muscular groups turn visible;
- 6-pack gets toned;
- Gluteal muscles get more pronounced;
- The overall look gets leaner.
Anavar – thanks to extremely low androgenic properties – is one of the few anabolic steroids that are SAFE for women. Of course, only in small doses of 5-20mg, not more.
Winstrol for Female Athletes?
No. No such thing exists and ever existed. Winstrol is NOT a good for female athletes. Not the WORST option, but far from good as well.
Even though it’s not Testosterone-derived but DHT-derived, it’s still dangerous. This study on steroids and virilization shows that DHT-derivatives trigger virilization just as «good» as Testosterone. Due to low (but not as low as Anavar’s) androgenic properties, a female athlete will likely get MILD virilization effects, but it’s important to know here that even mild effects of this kind can be irreversible.
Given that Anavar is often faked with Winstrol, many female athletes had an unpleasant experience running it until the bad side effects kicked in. Not a tragedy, not a catastrophe, but not a good thing as well. If shit is 50% shit and 50% ice cream, you still wouldn’t give it a lick, right?
Personal Opinion on Anavar vs Winstrol
The shortest possible way to answer this is «Anavar is better, but…», and this «but» is pretty much everywhere in bodybuilding.
We’re talking about two compounds, designed over half a century ago, that both – surprise-surprise – were NOT intended for bodybuilding. Somehow, both ended up on the top of the most popular steroids ever list.
Generations of athletes, each and every – with their own personal stats, genetics, prone to different things and triggered by different reactions, have their opinions on this question. How on Earth is it supposed to have a clear answer?
The good news is, you don’t need a clear answer here. Both compounds are rather forgiving, easy to get, and could be used in relatively short cycles. Try both and see which one is better for YOU. And of course, you can use the whole article to choose the one that suits YOUR needs better – that was the point all along.