Anavar is the second ‘A’ in our alphabetical work-through of the most important steroids that exist. Most of these steroids have been classed as illegal under various controlled substances acts, and Anavar – or Oxandrolone – is no different.
In 1964, Oxandrolone started to be used for medical applications. It was prescribed specifically to people who had disorders which caused them to lose weight involuntarily because Oxandrolone can promote the regrowth of muscle tissue. It was also successfully used in treatment courses for AIDS/HIV sufferers and those with Osteoporosis.
Due to its use by bodybuilders, production was ceased for a while before being started again in the ’90s after successful clinical trials for the treatment of similar muscle-wasting diseases as before plus anemia and other blood disorders.
Oxandrolone was originally branded as Anavar in the ’60s and it is by that name it will be forever known.
For many reasons, which we will discuss in more depth throughout this article, Anavar is the ‘darling’ of the steroid family. It is known for having milder secondary/side-effects when compared to most of the oral anabolic steroids (e.g. D-Bol, A50) while also exhibiting very long lasting muscle and strength retention.
Anavar is not, however, associated with bulk muscle mass gains. Instead, it helps retain strong, dense muscle. This quality is further enhanced because it is one of the rarer fat-burning steroids.
Regardless, Anavar remains an illegal substance unless it is prescribed by a Doctor.
What are the Beneficial Effects?
It may seem strange from this angle but one of Anavar’s major benefits is its minimal negatives.
Most of the oral steroids are called 17 alpha-alkylated which means they have been altered at the 17th carbon position to assist their survival through the liver. This alteration makes them particularly toxic to the liver. In Anavar’s case, the same alteration has been made but the toxicity levels are substantially less than its more potent brethren.
Its mildness makes it a frequent choice for female strength and bodybuilding athletes (though at much lower dosages than men).
Also, Anavar does not act on the testicular release of testosterone as many other steroids do and so the user’s levels of testosterone will rebound quicker after the cycle finishes.
With regards to its use for training gains (rather than milder negative effects) Anavar possesses some distinguishing characteristics:
- Long-lasting muscle and strength gains (muscles become denser and stronger but stay that way for longer after finishing cycle)
- Fat-burning (with nutrition controlled, fat loss is long-term without rebound post cycle)
- Does no aromatize (convert to estrogen)
- Low water retention
Athletes often use Anavar because they can cycle off the drug and maintain the fat loss/strength gain for a long period. Essentially, stop taking it for long enough and they can avoid detection but keep the benefits. If they are in competition sport, this would be a likely strategy.
What are the Negative Side effects?
From the above benefit section, it might sound as though there is a viable argument for Anavar use. This is assuredly not the case.
While it is safer than most anabolic steroids, Anavar is nonetheless a synthetic oral steroid and as such is prone to cause significant deleterious effects if misused.
It is also a controlled substance, and therefore illegal for purchase and/or use in most countries.
When Anavar is used for an extended period of time, it can cause a chain reaction in hormone balance which can lead to testicular atrophy (shrinking of the testicles).
Anavar is available on the black market, although it is one of the more expensive steroids. Also, as people are never sure of the source of the product, it could be a dangerous alternative or useless dud.
There are two main reasons an athlete will use Anavar:
- Strength and/or cutting cycles: Cutting and strength cycles might follow a bulking cycle for a bodybuilder. After bulking, the athlete will have gained a lot of mass – both muscle and a moderate percentage of fat. The goal of the cut cycle is to retain the muscle gain as much as possible, but reduce the fat. This leads to the ‘cut’ look of definition for competition purposes or, well, to look good.
- During the off-cycle of other anabolic steroids: similar to above but at a lower dose probably; again to retain strength and muscle but without the harsher side effects of other oral steroids like Dianabol (methandrostenolone) or Anadrol (Oxymetholone).
To provide an example, some bodybuilders stack Testosterone or Trenbolone in a cycle with Anavar. This would make up for the serum testosterone drop with the Anavar. A treatment cycle to stave off estrogen and build serum testosterone back post cycle would have to be followed strictly.
As mentioned previously, Anavar is a controlled substance and its use is illegal unless prescribed by a Doctor.
Anavar is one of the least dangerous anabolic steroids that has been developed. With its low liver toxicity and semi-permanent retention of lean fat mass, it’s not hard to see why this is a popular underground steroid.
However, it is just that – a black market drug, and an expensive on at that. There is also strict precautions to be taken to make sure testicular atrophy doesn’t kick in.
Alternative Legal Supplements
A supplement called Anvarol maybe the answer you are looking for if Anavar’s benefits sound like something you are trying to attain – i.e. strength and lean mass increases concomitant with fat reduction.
CrazyBulk have developed Anvarol as part of their legal steroid product line. All of their supplements are safe and their ingredients derived from natural sources.
Follow the link below and discover some of the highest quality alternatives to anabolic steroids.