Uncovering Illegal Steroids: A Guide to Recognizing the Most Popular Types of Anabolic Steroids Used in Bodybuilding and Performance Enhancement

List of Illegal Steroids People Commonly Use

Steroids Expected Results

Steroids Expected Results

Illegal steroids are otherwise known as anabolic steroids. These substances, which are commonly synthetic variations of testosterone, help build muscle and enhance performance. It is for these reasons they are commonly used by professional bodybuilders, albeit illegally.

The use of steroids is not exactly illegal. Doctors are permitted by law to use them for the treatment of medical disorders. They only become illegal when you use them without a prescription, for cosmetic or performance-enhancing purposes.



There are several dozens of illegal steroids, but many of them are not popular. We present in this article a list of some of the most common ones.


Synthetic variants of this principal male hormone are arguably the most popular. Testosterone and many of its esters are not just used for doping; they are commonly used in medicine.

Esters determine the rate at which the hormone is released into your system and how soon you notice its effects. The most common ones include enanthate, propionate, cypionate, and undecanoate.

Bodybuilders and athletes use it mainly to boost muscle growth and increase strength. Testosterone is arguably safer than most anabolic steroids.


Also known as methandrostenolone, this compound is notorious among steroid users. Many people know it under the brand name Dianabol. The oral drug is renowned for its efficacy in building muscle mass very fast.

The anabolic steroid is mostly used by those interested in bodybuilding and performance enhancement. It is no longer as popular for medical purposes due to associated side effects, including acne, fluid retention, and liver damage.


Deca Durabolin

Deca Durabolin

You probably know this anabolic steroid under the brand name Anadrol. It is used medically for the treatment of conditions such as anemia and osteoporosis. Bodybuilders also use the oral drug to improve muscle gain while other athletes use it to boost performance.

Oxymetholone is a controlled substance in many countries around the world. It is one of the steroids that doctors use more often for treatment in the U.S.


Regarded as one of the safer illegal steroids, nandrolone shares some structural similarities with testosterone. Its esters are used for treating osteoporosis, muscle wasting, and anemia, among other conditions. But the drug isn’t used often because of its potential for virilizing side effects.

The two most popular esters of the illegal steroid are nandrolone decanoate and nandrolone phenylpropionate. You probably know this under popular brand names such as Deca-Durabolin and Durabolin.




Most people know this as Anavar. This steroid also helps to prevent muscle wasting due to conditions such as HIV/AIDS. It is also used for the treatment of idiopathic short stature at low doses and for the treatment of severe burns. But bodybuilders clearly use this steroid for its ability to help preserve muscle mass.

It is also one of the safer illegal steroids. But misuse or excessive use can lead to hair loss and a drop in testosterone levels.


Popularly known as Winstrol, this oral steroid ranks among the better options for beginners. It has low estrogenic effects, compared to several other illegal steroids. The drug probably offers a better means of promoting steady muscle gain for newbies, compared to Dianabol.

While considered safer, stanozolol still produces side effects. They include masculinization, organ growth and liver toxicity.




Here is another very popular illegal steroid among bodybuilders. Many users know it as Equipoise. A major reason for its popularity is that it boosts muscle gains without putting the liver at great risk.

But that’s not to say that Boldenone doesn’t produce any side effects. The ones you may experience include acne and hair loss.


Fondly called Tren, this compound ranks among the most powerful illegal steroids. Trenbolone belongs to the nandrolone group. Its acetate ester prodrug (Finajet) is used to boost appetite, muscle mass, and mineral absorption in livestock.

Obviously, bodybuilders use this drug mainly for its potential to enhance muscle growth.


Perhaps, we may call this a pseudo-steroid. Many people regard it as an anabolic steroid, but it’s not. Clenbuterol is simply a substitute for such compounds which athletes in many sports use.

Intended for people with breathing disorders, the drug is used illegally by some individuals as a weight loss aid. It is also performance-enhancing, with many athletes already banned (some career-ending) for taking it.

Other Illegal Steroids

There are many other banned or illegal steroids that people take apart from the most common ones above. Among the other popular ones are:

Mesterolone – Sold under brand names such as Proviron, this anabolic steroid is principally for the treatment of low testosterone levels. Professional bodybuilders and athletes use it for physique-building and performance-enhancing purposes, although not commonly so.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – This steroid hormone is also known as stanolone or androstanolone. Its main medical use is to increase low testosterone levels in men. As a result of its potent androgenic properties, it is commonly used by powerlifters and athletes to boost performance.

Metenolone – Used as esters such as methenolone acetate and enanthate (Primobolan, Primobolan Depot), this androgen-anabolic steroid is medically used for treating anemia resulting from bone marrow failure. Some persons use its esters to also enhance performance and support muscle mass, albeit illicitly. Virilization is a major side effect of this illegal steroid.

Fluoxymesterone – Here is another oral steroid that is used to boost testosterone levels. Fluoxymesterone (Halotestin, Ultandren) is also useful for treating anemia and breast cancer, among other conditions. Powerlifters, bodybuilders, and athletes use it illegally to improve both physique and performance.

The list of many steroids controlled by law or banned by many sports bodies (including the NCAA) also features, among others:

  • Oxymesterone
  • Methyltestosterone
  • Dromostanolone
  • Methasterone
  • Tetrahydrogestrinone
  • Norethandrolone

Some people also consider human growth hormone among illegal steroids. Yes, it is banned like these other compounds because it exhibits certain similar effects. But the hormone is not really a steroid.


While some of these illegal steroids are safer than others, they all can cause you to experience side effects. You may even spend some time in jail if you are found in possession of these controlled substances without a prescription.

There is also the risk of career-ending suspension if you are a competitive athlete and tested positive to any of the compounds.

It may be more advisable for you to settle for the so-called “legal steroids”. These are natural supplements that seek to mimic the positive effects of synthetic compounds. They tend to be safer to use and are legal.


Testosterone — What It Does And Doesn’t Do – Harvard Health

A descriptive study of adverse events from clenbuterol misuse and abuse for weight loss and bodybuilding.


Stanozolol administration combined with exercise leads to decreased telomerase activity possibly associated with liver aging.

Short-term oxandrolone administration stimulates net muscle protein synthesis in young men





Deca-Durabolin Side Effects




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