Running oral only cycles has always been looked down upon in the enhanced bodybuilding community. Apart from very mild SARMs like Ostarine and S-4, it is always recommended to stack SARMs and oral AAS with a proper Testosterone Base.
However, what if I told you that Dianabol is an exception to this rule? Even though Dianabol-only cycles are far from ideal, they can work if done properly. Before you call me crazy, read this article to learn what makes Dianabol different from other oral AAS & how to run it on its own in a safe and responsible way.
Why Dianabol is an exception
The reason why oral only cycles are often frowned upon is that the vast majority of SARMs and oral AAS are very suppressive of natural Testosterone and do not aromatize.
This means that when one is using them estradiol (estrogen) levels tend to crash, resulting in low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depression and other symptoms commonly associated with suppression.
Dianabol is an exception because it does aromatize (into methylestradiol, which is slightly weaker than regular estradiol but still good enough), so people who run Dianabol only cycles don’t necessarily have to use Testosterone or any other test base with it.
How to run Dianabol-only cycles
The key to running a successful DBol only cycle is finding the perfect balance between your DBol dose and your AI dose.
10mg DBol / day: At this dose, you will get enough methylestradiol conversion to feel good without needing a Test base, but this dose is not strong enough to provide solid gains and will be more reminiscent of TRT than of a typical cycle.
20mg DBol / day: At this dose, most people will experience a noticeable increase in muscle mass and strength, and the methylestradiol conversion will be strong enough to provide the boost in confidence and sex drive that DBol is known for. The water retention will be there if one is bulking up, but it will not be excessive. A minority of users may need AI at this dose if their nipples get sensitive, so running 0.125mg Arimidex twice a week should be enough to keep methylestradiol under control. If you want to run a DBol only cycle, 20mg/day is the dose I suggest. High enough to provide solid gains, low enough to be easily manageable.
30mg DBol / day: This is where the serious increases in weight and strength due to water retention truly start to occur. The risk of estrogenic side-effects is also greater, so I recommend running 0.125 to 0.25mg of Arimidex twice a week depending on how sensitive one is to methylestradiol (start with 0.125mg twice a week and double that dose if you still experience excess water retention, low sex drive, gyno or other high estradiol symptoms).
40mg DBol / day or more: When you get to 40mg/day or above, you better use at least 0.25mg Arimidex twice a week (even 0.5mg twice a week if you are sensitive to methylestradiol). Not using an AI at this dose will turn you into a bloated mess with a dysfunctional penis, extreme moodiness and probably gyno as well. If you manage to get methylestradiol under control by dialing in your AI, you will experience some serious gains in muscle mass and strength with this dose.
As you can see, the higher the dose the greater the risk of excess aromatization and estrogenic side-effects is. In terms of cycle length, you want to keep it at 6 weeks max if running 10 to 20mg / day, and 4 weeks max if you take more than that. Split whatever dose you are taking into 2-3 servings per day.
Dealing with side-effects
DBol is very liver toxic and it will also cause dyslipidemia, so I would recommend using NAC to protect the liver (at least 1g a day) and Ezetimibe (10mg a day) to mitigate the negative impact of DBol on your lipid panel. Use these doses regardless of how much DBol you are using.
If you experience high blood pressure due to the water retention and dialing in the AI is not enough to solve the issue, I suggest using something like Nebivolol or Telmisartan to keep it in check.
In order to PCT properly, I would suggest using HCG at 500iu twice a week during the cycle (this will increase chances of high estrogen symptoms at doses over 30mg DBol / day, hence my AI dosing recommendations), and then running Clomiphene (25mg a day for 3 weeks then 12.5mg a day for a week) or Enclomiphene (12.5mg for 3 weeks and 6.25mg for a week) plus Tamoxifen (20mg for 3 weeks and 10mg for a week) starting the day after your last DBol / HCG dose.
In conclusion, while Dianabol-only cycles may not be the best way to achieve serious gains in a safe and sustainable way, they are theoretically possible to do with the right harm-mitigation and PCT protocols.