Unlike most oral steroids, which are Class II steroids giving most of their anabolic effect by means other than the androgen receptor (AR), it seems that oxandrolone probably does have good binding to the AR, and is therefore a Class I steroid, while having little other effect. By itself it is considered to be a weak anabolic.Partly this is due to its apparent lack of non-AR-mediated activity. This can be corrected of course by stacking with a Class II steroid such as dianabol, anadrol, 4-AD, or nor-4-AD: the latter two steroids require high blood levels which are not obtained by oral use of the powders.
The other part of the reason for this is that bodybuilders make unfortunate and unreasonable comparisons when judging anabolic steroids. If say 8 tablets per day does little, then the drug is pronounced useless or weak by the user. But that is only 20 mg/day, or 140 mg/week. Does 140 mg/week testosterone give much results? No. Few anabolic steroids give dramatic results at that dose. Per milligram the potency is reasonable, but each individual tablet is weak because the dosage is small.