Virtually everyone knows how well anabolic steroids work when it comes to building muscle and shredding fat.
…But how to guess if someone has used steroids or not?
In this article we’ll be posting some of the best ‘steroid before and after‘ photos, as well as listing the EXACT steroids people use to undergo such transformations.
This will help readers understand how dramatically the human body can change when taking steroids and how to spot a steroid user. This article is not an endorsement for steroids, but solely for educational and informational purposes.
Remember that using illegal steroids yourself can lead to serious side effects. If you are looking for legal alternatives to increase your testosterone, read our guide on the best testosterone boosters.
Disclaimer: There’s no solid proof that the people in this article are actually on steroids.
How much muscle will you gain after 1 month (on steroids?)
The above transformation is typical for a steroid-newbie, who’s likely to run a testosterone-only or Dianabol-only cycle for 1 month.
They’ll gain roughly 15-25lbs and will notice gains thick and fast.
How much muscle you’ll gain will also depend on the dose, how many weeks you cycle for, if you combine steroids together in a stack, your diet, workouts, and your genetics. However, these are standard gains for a first time cycle.
How much muscle can you build from many cycles (over 1 year)?
This depends on your experience, genetics, and cycles. If you haven’t lifted weights before, you can expect to add roughly 20lbs of natural muscle (newbie gains), even without juicing. In comparison, someone who’s an experienced bodybuilder won’t have as much potential for muscle-growth – as they’ve already been lifting weights.
However, how much muscle you’ll gain will depend on how well your body responds to lifting weights and steroid cycles. Although, as a general rule: A regular steroid-user can gain roughly 50lbs of lean mass after several cycles. After the first few cycles, muscle gains are harder to come by.
Steroids Before and After Pictures
Testosterone Before & After
Michael B Jordan’s transformation from skinny to JACKED in Black Panther is a typical transformation of someone taking the steroid, testosterone. You’ll gain significant amounts of muscle in just a few weeks and it’ll also help in leaning you out (increasing muscle definition).
This is one of the most-used steroids today because it works well for adding mass, whilst users don’t typically notice overly harsh side effects (unless taking high doses). Beginners often start by taking a testosterone-only cycle for these exact reasons.
Dianabol Before & After
Calum Von Moger has admitted to taking steroids. Thus it’s of no surprise that his gains and body composition resemble signs of Dianabol-use; the favorite steroid of his idol Arnold Schwarzenegger (back in the 60’s and 70’s).
As you can see, Calum is massive in the after photo, however, as a natty, it’s clear he had very good genetics before hopping on the juice. Thus Dianabol will help you pack on A LOT of muscle, but it won’t turn the average skinny guy into a Mr. Olympia contender.
Although these photos are 5 years apart, most of Calum’s gains on Dianabol (and other steroids) would’ve come in the first few months of cycling. Dianabol will make users look a lot more muscular, with smooth and full-looking muscles (legal D-Bal here).
Calum Von Moger went on to create Staunch Supplements. You can check out our critical review on the brand here.
Deca Durabolin Before & After
Bradley Martyn underwent an insane transformation, which has resulted in him accumulating a gigantic following on social media. The size he’s gained since 2011, plus the incredible fullness and thickness of his muscle bellies – is typical of what Deca Durabolin creates in users.
Deca Durabolin will allow you to pack on a lot of muscle hypertrophy and thickness. However, in order to see maximum muscle growth, it’s often stacked with other bulking steroids like Dianabol or Anadrol.
Deca will leave you looking THICK and SWOLE. Some water retention is also common when taking Deca, which actually contributes to the additional muscle thickness (intracellular water retention inside the muscle cells).
Legal Alternative to Deca
Trenbolone Before & After
Trenbolone is one of the most powerful steroids you can take, and it’s equally as obvious to detect a tren-user. Your muscles will blow up, especially androgenic locations, such as the traps/shoulders. You’ll also lose a lot of water, due to its diuretic attributes, giving you a dry and shredded look.
When you’re very lean on tren, it can often look like your photo-shopped with veins spiraling everywhere, and your muscles looking juicy and full.
Trenbolone is a steroid that can be used in the off-season AND when trying to diet down and get shredded for a competition. This is because it has to bulk and cutting properties. It’s one of the best steroids for adding size/mass but will simultaneously help you shred fat.
Not many people can comfortably take trenbolone, as it has a tendency to provoke harsh side effects in users (psychological and physiological). A users skin is also likely to temporarily turn pink or red, due to heightened blood pressure when cycling tren.
The more powerful the steroid, the better the transformation; and the harsher the side effects. Trenbolone is a prime example of this.
Legal Alternative to Trenbolone
Winstrol Before & After
Zac Efron’s before and after transformation for Baywatch got a lot of people eyeballing his physique.
His gains resemble those you’d experience from someone cycling Winstrol.
On Winny, you’ll gain some muscle (not a lot), whilst losing considerable amounts of fat. Winstrol is quite a harsh steroid in comparison to the (relatively mild) benefits you’ll experience. However, after taking Winstrol you’ll certainly notice a difference to your physique – looking more muscular, dry, and ripped than before.
The only downside to taking Winstrol is it will deflate your muscles somewhat, so instead of them constantly looking pumped, they’ll shrink a little from less water inside the muscle cells. This is due to Winstrol having diuretic properties, making you appear more shredded on-cycle.
Legal Winstrol Alternative
Anadrol Before & After
Anadrol is arguably the most powerful steroid in the world for gaining muscle size and strength. This before and after picture of Phil Heath shows a young boy with great genetics, and now a Mr. Olympia champion. We believe Phil is likely to have used many other steroids in conjunction to Anadrol, in order to attain the phenomenal muscle size he possesses now. However, anyone who uses Anadrol (even by itself) is going to experience some incredible muscle gains.
Anadrol is most commonly used in the offseason when trying to get as big as possible. This is due to the compound often causing a lot of water retention, due to its estrogenic nature. Thus it’s not wise to cycle Anadrol when cutting -aka trying to look lean and ripped.
You won’t be able to miss someone who’s cycling Anadrol. Their muscles will be unrecognizable in just a few weeks on this steroid. They’re also likely to become very bloated, especially when combining this steroid with a high-calorie bulking diet (containing plenty of sodium).
Legal Anadrol Alternative
Anavar Before and After
Anavar is a steroid that is known to help get people CUT. It reduces body fat quickly, whilst adding muscle size. It’s somewhat similar to Winstrol, however, Anavar is thought of as the better of the two. As you’re likely to lose more fat, gain more muscle and strength on var.
If you’re fairly lean to begin with (like in the example above) and you start cycling Var, you’ll almost certainly get shredded.
You’ll also lose water, helping to bring out your vascularity and muscle tone. Anavar is also a pretty side effect friendly compound, meaning you’re less likely to be complaining about adverse effects during or after your cycle.
You’ll also notice bigger pumps after you start cycling Anavar, due to fuller muscles, thanks to increased glycogen uptake.
Legal Anvarole Alternative
Clenbuterol Before & After
Clenbuterol won’t do much for muscle growth, but it will shred fat like no other compound.
Clen’s not a steroid, but it’s been added to this list because it’s often used in steroid stacks and alongside other AAS.
Ignore the dates on the above before and after photo, clenbuterol melts fat fast. You’ll notice a reduction on the scales in as little as 3 days, as you begin to lose water and fat. Clen spikes your metabolism significantly, resulting in the user’s under-eating, thanks to the process of thermogenesis.
This heating up of the body also causes the body to sweat more, which is why Clen can also have a diuretic effect. A user may look more muscular from cycling Clen, due to less fat hiding your muscles, but any noticeable increase in muscle size is unlikely (despite studies showing that horses do build mass on Clen).
HGH Before & After
Like clenbuterol, HGH isn’t officially asteroid, but it’s been added to this list, as many bodybuilders combine this in their steroid cycles. And its effects are very steroid-like, with it building muscle and burning fat.
Generally, HGH’s ability to build muscle is overrated. It will cause some increases in muscle size, but this is much less dramatic compared to bulking steroids. However, it is more adept at burning fat stores and leaning out users. When it’s combined with insulin, the gut can become distended, and the deltoids/traps will become larger (in comparison to the rest of the body).
This steroid gut can become quite unsightly, with many bodybuilding fans calling for contestants to get marked down if they possess this ‘pregnant belly look’ on stage. It’s thought the addition of HGH to steroid cocktails has contributed to larger waists seen on bodybuilders today, compared to the tiny waists of the 60’s; with Frank Zane and others regularly performing vacuums.
HGH is also likely to increase collagen in your skin, encouraging anti-ageing effects, as well as increasing tissue size throughout the body. This can lead to a larger nose with long-term use.
Legal HGH Alternative
Will You Lose Your Gains After You Stop Taking Steroids?
There is research to suggest steroids DO have a permanent effect, when tested in mice. After previously being exposed to testosterone, mice who began exercising again, experienced 5x more muscle growth naturally, compared to other mice. This is due to nuclei in the muscle cells increasing when on steroids, which is permanent, even once steroid-administration comes to a halt.
This seems to be a form of muscle memory. Thus, steroids do have a somewhat permanent effect. However, just how permanent is still unknown. Typically, people are able to retain a good amount of the muscle they gained from cycling steroids. Retaining roughly 60% of your size is typical in my experience, however this may vary from person to person.
Legal Steroid Transformations
If you want to undergo similar transformations to the guys in this article, but you don’t want to break the law or experience any unpleasant side effects – steroids alternatives may help.
Crazy Bulk are the #1 retailer online for steroids alternatives, aka ‘legal steroids’; and they’ve been helping men and women all over the world get ripped.
Here are some of their transformations below:
5 Weeks on Clenbutrol
Balwinder took clenbutrol for 5 weeks, a steroid alternative from Crazy Bulk, helping him get ripped.
Clenbutrol is the legal steroid that mimics the effects of clenbuterol, by enhancing a users metabolism; enabling them to burn significantly more calories throughout the day.
8 Weeks on Trenorol
Rory gained a significant amount of mass from taking trenorol, the legal alternative for trenbolone. He went from looking skinny to muscular in just 8 weeks.
8 Weeks on Anvarol, Clenbutrol, Testo-Max and Winsol
John Miller got shredded from taking Crazy Bulk’s cutting stack for 8 weeks. Anvarol, clenbutrol, testo-max and winsol make up the cutting stack, which is designed to shred fat and retain muscle mass when on lower calories.
- Anvarol instead of Anavar
- Clenbutrol instead of clenbutErol
- Testo-Max instead of testosterone
- Winsol instead of Winstrol
Cole Got Jacked After Using Anadrole, Testo-Max, Trenorol
Cole reveals that he used the following steroid alternatives for several months, enabling him to go from skinny to SWOLE:
Transformation From Using Winsol
Michael hailed his results as “amazing”, after using winsol (among other steroid alternatives) to help him shred body fat. Consequently, he is noticeably leaner and more muscular-looking post-cycle.
Review: Steroids Before and After 1 Cycle
Without getting into the specifics of each particular steroid cycle (we’ve already done that above), a single one month steroid cycle will be enough time to see some significant improvements in terms of strength, muscular size and energy levels. You should notice yourself getting stronger than you normally would on every exercise that you perform in the gym. Your workout recovery will also be significantly enhanced. You will notice a marked increase in your sex drive and your ability to get it up repeatedly. Another positive effect that you should experience during your first cycle is that you will experience a greater blood flow to the working muscle along with more muscle water retention. This will help you to achieve a greater pump while you are working out.
Be aware that during your first cycle you will also start to experience a lowered natural production of testosterone and human growth hormone. In order to prevent this from becoming permanent, you need to limit the length of your cycles to no more than eight weeks, followed by a similar period of time when you are off the steroid. This will allow your natural hormone production to come back up to normal levels.
Steroids Before and After 3 Months
If you are beginner steroid user you should limit your first few cycles to 4-6 weeks on, and the same time off. After few of these cycles however, you may wish to extend your cycle length to 8, 10 and then, at a maximum, 12 weeks. Be sure to give yourself the same length of off cycle time in order for your hormones to come back to normal production levels.
After a 12 week cycle, you will experience some pretty dramatic improvements in your muscle size. You can expect to put on 1-2 pounds of lean muscle mass per month on average. So, after a 3 month cycle, you may have an extra 3-6 pounds of muscle on your frame. If that doesn’t sound a lot, go and grab a pound of butter and then imagine a half dozen them, in the form of muscle, on your body!
Over that same 3 month period, you should also experience some quite significant strength gains. Your strength on your compound lifts like squats, deadlifts and the bench press should increase by about 10%. So, if you were benching 300 pounds at the beginning of your 12 week cycle, you should be up to around 330 at the end of it.
Steroids Before and After Face
The first thing you have to acknowledge before you start down the steroid route is that it is impossible to predict precisely how they will affect you because we are all individuals. In this section, we consider some typical effects that steroids can have on the face of the user. There are 5 main ways that steroids affect the face, none of which are particularly flattering. Of course, the effects will be more pronounced on females as they are introducing male growth hormones into their system.
Steroids can cause a significant increase in facial hair growth. The growth seems to be the most pronounced around the upper lip area. It has even been known to appear on the forehead of the steroid user.
Acne is one of the most common side effects of steroid use and it often occurs on the face. That’s because steroid intake leads to increased oil secretion from the skin. Most people associate acne with boys going through puberty which is, not surprisingly, when they have a huge spurt in testosterone and human growth hormone production. Sadly, the treatments that teens use to control their acne generally doesn’t work for adults because their skin is much more worn. The best acne treatment for adults will contain activated charcoal.
No, taking steroids will not make you more sensitive to criticism or insults – it will literally make your skin thinner! Steroid use leaves your capillaries more likely to bruise or rupture.
If you are taking a cutting stack, you will, hopefully, end up with a leaner face. Too much of a good thing, though, can have you ending up looking like a concentration camp inmate. On the other hand, if you are on a mass gain or bulking cycle, your face may become rounder, giving rise to the not so flattering ‘moon face’ look.
In some people steroid use causes flushing of their blood in certain areas of the face, including the cheeks, nose and forehead. As a result, you will have a permanent redness that makes people think you’ve just been running for your life.
Do Steroids Make You Permanently Bigger?
You have no doubt heard the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ bandied about with regard to muscles. There is a ring of truth to the statement because our muscles will get smaller if we stop working out. This applies to muscle gained through steroid use as well as that gained naturally. However, some recent research has found that the nuclei of your muscle cells – that’s the part that controls muscle fiber size – does not shrink like the rest of the cell. That means that you retain a muscle memory that will allow you to rebuild any lost muscle much faster when and if you resume training.
The answer to the question about steroids and muscle size, then, is that steroids will not make you bigger permanently. If you stop working out and/or eating for muscle gain, you will lose some size. But the nuclei will be retained so that you can gain that muscle back faster than someone who had never worked out before.
If you take steroids, and you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re still going to have great gains. Hopefully, this article has given you insight into how powerful different steroids are, and how to spot a steroid user more easily.
Top Legal Steroid Alternatives
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