What Is the Safest Steroid Cycle for Bodybuilding and Muscle Growth?

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The following information is for educational purposes only, and we do not promote, encourage or condone the use of anabolic steroids off prescription. 

Generally, the safest steroid cycle is a testosterone-only cycle. The next safest steroid cycling will consist of just one type of licensed anabolic steroid. Specific androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) are prescribed to treat medical conditions, but this does not mean they are safe steroids when used off prescription. During a cycle of steroids used for bodybuilding and muscle growth, doses will be significantly higher. Shorter cycles and a lower dose are likely to reduce the risk. You may argue that the dangers are significantly lower if you closely monitor your bloodwork and general health, but potential risks cannot be eliminated.

If you use any type of illicit anabolic steroids — no matter what type, how you use them, or the dose — there are serious associated health risks. The primary factor contributing to steroids’ inherent danger is the way they work:

  • Most steroids will increase the production of red blood cells, which, combined with a rise in body weight, can significantly raise blood pressure.  
  • Using anabolic steroids will also cause your total cholesterol to increase sharply, which ultimately can lead to heart failure and cardiovascular disease. 
  • Anabolic steroids cause nephrotoxicity and can seriously weaken the function of the kidneys, leading to kidney disease and kidney failure. 

When Dr Chia Tan founded Harley Street MD, he knew from his experience as a medical doctor that it was easy to buy steroids in the UK. The simple truth was that bodybuilders and men who wanted to increase their muscle mass would use anabolic steroids. He also knew that he wanted to openly provide steroid harm-reduction treatment.  Currently, Harley Street MD is one of the only clinics in London and the UK offering treatment for steroid use

Dr Tan is fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), and although he does advocate the use of anabolic steroids, he believes that as a doctor, he should assist people to be as healthy as possible, regardless of their personal choices. If you use anabolic steroids, human growth hormone (HGH), or any other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), it is vital to monitor your health with accurate medical tests to help reduce any potentially harmful effects associated with their use.

Steroid Cycles with Androgenic-Anabolic Steroids (AAS) 

The steroids we have focused on in this blog are the steroids that are available via prescription for various medical treatments. Various other types of veterinary and non-licensed steroids may be used during steroid cycling. However, the research is too limited to accurately assess the safety of their use.


Testosterone is considered the safest oral steroid and is available in both oral and injectable forms. Widely prescribed to treat low testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) delivers carefully measured doses of testosterone. When testosterone is used during androgenic-anabolic steroid (AAS) cycles for building muscle mass, the doses will be considerably higher than those administered for TRT. 

Additionally, the actual dose taken is extremely difficult to determine without regular blood tests due to the irregularity of counterfeit testosterone injections, which are often bought for steroid cycling. 

Anavar (Oxandrolone)

Anavar is an oral anabolic steroid and could be considered the second safest oral steroid next to testosterone. Often used to treat muscle wasting, research demonstrates oxandrolone therapy increases muscle strength and lean body mass. Counterfeit Anavar is easy to make as it is a tablet form. According to various bodybuilder forums, there is a high percentage of “fake” Anavar sold on the black market. Kidney damage is the main side effect of Anavar. 

Deca-Durabolin (Nandrolone)

Deca-Durabolin is an injectable anabolic steroid shown to significantly increase weight and lean body mass when prescribed to treat wasting in HIV patients. It’s also prescribed for the treatment of kidney disease and osteoporosis. A serious side effect of Deca-Durabolin is an increase in blood pressure, which could lead to heart disease and heart failure.

Veterinary Steroids

Veterinary steroids are some of the most dangerous and harmful types of illegal steroids sold on the black market. Two veterinary steroids that you may come across are:

Trenbolone — Considered to be among the most dangerous steroids is trenbolone. It can harm the brain, kidneys, joints, cardiovascular system, and kidneys. Trenbolone was only tested on cattle; it was never intended for use in humans.

Boldenone — Often referred to as the “horse steroid”, this steroid is also illegal for use in meat production animals in the EU and many other countries around the world. It is known to cause a rise in blood pressure and is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

The Safest Anabolic Steroid Cycle 

To make a steroid cycle even safer, it should be supervised by a doctor who can perform regular blood tests. These blood tests can detect potential problems as early as possible by monitoring liver and kidney function, tumour markers and prostate profile. Early detection of issues can prevent more serious health consequences and enable the type of steroids to be changed to prevent further harm. 

Post-cycle therapy and regular blood tests to check testosterone levels when resting between cycles is also vital to ensure the body is restoring normal testosterone production. 

A risk factor that you should not underestimate is the source that you buy steroids from. It is easy to buy steroids online, and these are almost always counterfeit. According to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report, counterfeit steroids do not contain the dose specified, can be contaminated with bacteria, and may include unknown and potentially dangerous substances. 

The use of counterfeit steroids subsequently increases the associated risks of anabolic steroids. Additionally, incorrect techniques when self-administering intramuscular steroid injections can cause various serious issues, such as infections, tissue damage, blood vessel breakage, and nerve damage.

We are here to help reduce harm for individuals using anabolic steroids. Book a consultation at Harley Street MD in London to discuss how we can assist you during AAS cycles or with fully monitored post-cycle therapy.

Founder at Harley St M.D.
Dr. Chia Tan is a UK trained medical doctor that specialises in cosmetic and aesthetic medicine and testosterone replacement therapy. He is qualified as a medical doctor since 2003 and has since trained extensively. He has been featured in several leading magazines as well as invited to appear on TV to discuss aesthetic medicine and the latest cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Chia Tan
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