What is Dianabol (Metandienone)? Everything You Need to Know

What is Dianabol (Metandienone)? Everything You Need to Know

Dianabol’s official name is Methandrostenolone and was first invented by Dr. Ziegler in 1958. Dbol was designed as a performance-enhancing drug that would help the American Olympics team experience more success. Previously in the 1940s/50s the Soviet Union were dominating the Olympics, due to many of their athletes taking the anabolic steroid – testosterone.

So Dr Ziegler’s goal was to create a steroid that would replicate the same anabolic effects of testosterone, but was faster-acting and had a more mild androgenic profile.

Anabolic = muscle-building

Androgenic = Increase in Male Hormones

Dianabol was hugely successful, giving the U.S Olympic team superiority over the Soviet Union. Since then, athletes have used dianabol in almost every sport in existence. In bodybuilding it’s been nicknamed the ‘granddaddy of steroids’ and is widely considered as the greatest bulking steroid in the world to this day.

Arnold Schwarzenegger & D-Bol-Use


Arnold Schwarzenegger, widely considered as the greatest bodybuilder of all time, admitted to taking steroids (1). And rumours suggest that Dianabol was one of the steroids used in his ‘magic mix’ (2), enabling him to build 22 inch arms and win 7 Mr Olympia competitions. Arnold was literally so good, even today (40 years later) he is still regarded as having ‘the perfect body’.

It is thought that the reason he didn’t experience bloating and water retention, associated with today’s bodybuilders taking D-Bol, is because he used lower doses.

Typical Gains & Side Effects

One things for sure – you’ll make rapid gains when taking Dianabol. Your strength will go through the roof and your muscles will blow up – fast.

This makes Methandrostenolone the ultimate bulking steroid.

It’s normal to gain 20lbs of mass in just a couple of weeks on Dianabol.

…Lets just say Dr. Ziegler succeeded in making Dianabol ‘fast-acting’.


With Dianabol being so powerful for sparking muscle growth, you’d be correct in thinking it should come with some side effects too. Dianabol has a decent amount of aromatase activity, meaning that estrogen (the female sex hormone) levels will spike. This means that sensitive individuals, taking higher doses of D-Bol can develop gynecomastia (gyno). AKA female breast tissue or bitch tits.

Although Dianabol isn’t as androgenic as Testosterone it still does have some androgenic effects. This means there’ll be less testosterone converting into DHT, compared to say – testosterone sustanon. However side effects such as: acne, hair thinning and hair growth (on the body) are all still possible.

Blood Pressure

Dianabol can also spike a users blood pressure in 2 different ways. Firstly your LDL cholesterol levels will increase (the bad kind), due to higher levels of testosterone. And secondly Dianabol will cause you to retain water. When the body retains water, whether from salt or creatine your blood pressure shoots up.

This blood pressure increase is usually manageable, however if your family is prone to heart disease or your blood pressure is currently high, Dianabol shouldn’t be administered.

Testosterone Suppression

Dianabol, like other steroids, will suppress your natural testosterone production post-cycle. This is because when testosterone levels are exceptionally high, your testicles stop producing testosterone in an attempt to regulate this male hormone. And dianabol will cause your T levels to take a bigger dive than most other steroids, due to a higher rise in testosterone when on cycle.

This seems to be the short-term sacrifice for making incredible size gains, however your T levels will return to a normal range within a few months. PCT (post cycle therapy) supplements can be incorporated to speed up the recovery of your natural testosterone production after taking D-Bol. Nolvadex, Clomid and HCG are often taken during this post-cycle phase.


Dianabol is hepatotoxic, meaning it can cause stress to the liver. It isn’t the most toxic steroid to the liver, however it’s effects certainly aren’t mild. Fortunately the liver is a very resilient organ and Dianabol use shouldn’t lead to liver damage. To minimise damage to the liver on D-Bol make sure you limit alcohol consumption as much as possible and only cycle the steroid for up to 6 weeks at a time.

Note: CrazyBulk’s legal steroid D-Bal does NOT come with these side effects.

dbal supplement

How Dianabol Works?

The huge size gains experienced on D-Bol is due to the steroid affecting nitrogen retention, protein synthesis and glycogen inside the muscle cell.

Muscle tissue consists of 16% nitrogen. So, the higher your level of nitrogen retention. the more anabolic you’ll become.

Protein synthesis refers to how efficient your body builds protein. This is essential, as protein is the building block for synthesizing new muscle tissue.

…Hence how bodybuilders chug down protein shakes and eat 6 servings of chicken and broccoli per day. So the higher your level of protein synthesis, the more muscle you’ll build.

Through the process of glycogenolysis, more glycogen (glucose) is stored inside the muscle cell. This gives your muscles that ‘full’ look and increases your strength and endurance during workouts.

Tip: For maximum gains stack dianabol with testosterone, deca or/and trenbolone.

Written by Ernst Peibst
Ernst Peibst
Erny Peibst is a bodybuilder with 6 years experience reading and writing about anabolic steroids. Erny has spent over 2,000 hours studying performance enhancing drugs; analysing countless studies, reading several books and consulting some the world's finest doctors. He uses Fitness on Steroids as a platform to share his expertise.

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This article has been fact-checked and medically reviewed by our certified doctor and nutritionist (Dr Sandra El Hajj). All medical information and statements made in this article can be verified by several credible academic references/sources, cited in this article.