If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably heard about SARMs somewhere before. But, like most people, you’ve probably read conflicting reports about SARMs as well and this can be a confusing experience. Firstly, SARMs are Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators and pharmaceutical companies develop them to treat conditions like muscle wasting, osteoporosis, and obesity.
In addition to their original purpose, SARMs have unique properties that make them particularly attractive to bodybuilders. Most of the compounds combined in popular SARMs have been around for a very long time, but have never received the attention and level of research they’re getting from medical institutions today. Nevertheless, bodybuilders and performance athletes prefer SARMs to other performance-enhancing substances because they’re safer and more effective than prohormones and steroids.
For a long time, steroids were the only type of effective treatment available for muscle wasting conditions. Unfortunately, steroids come with very undesirable side-effects like hair loss, reproductive difficulties, and acne.
In an effort to find safer alternatives, pharmaceutical companies came up with SARMs. Part of what makes SARMs so effective and attractive is the fact that they only bind to a select few androgen receptors. This is why SARMs don’t cause any side effects and can be safely used by athletes and bodybuilders.
Types of SARMs
Before we delve into all the different types of SARMs available out there, it’s important that we clear up a common misconception. Most people assume that the compounds SR-9009 (Stenabolic), MK-677 (Ibutamoren) and GW-501516 (Cardarine) belong to the SARM family when in fact they don’t. Let’s take a closer look at each one to explain.
SR-9009 is also referred to as Stenabolic and it works similarly to Cardarine. Stenabolic is a fat-burning Rev-Erba Agonist that also works to improve endurance levels. According to researchers and anecdotal evidence, the average dose for Stenabolic is 10 to 30 mg per day.
Ibutamoren or MK-677 is a growth hormone secretagogue. It works by increasing your levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and growth hormone (GH). Its ability to boost both of these levels at the same time makes this a very special compound. Most people take MK-677 to burn fat, build muscle mass and to improve their gym performance. The average dose is 10 to 20 mg per day.
Cardarine or GW-501516 is classified as a PPAR Agonist which means it’s particularly designed to increase performance and endurance. Cardarine stimulates fat loss by enhancing the user’s cardiovascular performance. This is a win-win formula for anyone that hits the gym regularly and it’s possible to achieve these results with a low dose of 10 to 20 mg per day.
The Actual SARMs
Now that we’ve clarified the misconceptions about compounds that are often confused for SARMs, it’s time to look at what real SARMs can do, starting with one of the most popular options on the market, Ligandrol or LGD-4033.
The SARM known as Ligandrol is very popular with bodybuilders and athletes that want to achieve a lean physique. It’s an efficient compound that works fast to deliver perfect results. Those who’ve tried it say it works for cutting and bulking cycles alike and can be very helpful with helping you protect strength and muscle while consuming very few calories. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the ideal dosage for this SARM is 5 to 10 mg per day.
MK-2866 is also known as Ostarine and reports say it’s great for bulking, cutting and recomping. That’s because it can build and maintain muscle mass no matter what stage of the cycle you’re in. Most people use it to fight a caloric deficit in preparation for a show, and this is all thanks to this compound’s appetite suppressing properties. Out of all the SARMs on this list, this one is by far the one with the most available research data. The recommended dose for Ostarine is 10 to 30 mg per day.
As the name implies, Testolone is very similar to steroids like testosterone. But, this is still a proper SARM that’s very effective at increasing muscle mass, aggression levels, and overall strength. For the best results, start with a low dose of 10 mg per day and take it from there if you don’t experience any results.
Although S23 is known as one of the most powerful SARMs on the market, it also comes with side-effects that you won’t get from its competitors. With that said, S23 is very effective at improving strength levels and muscle mass through high anabolic activity.
Andarine, or S4 for short, is another powerful SARM that should only be taken by someone who’s looking for a total body transformation. It works similarly to Ligandrol and Testolone which means it has a few parallels with regular steroids. You can take this SARM to gain muscle and strength in half the time it would take to do so naturally and all it takes is a dose of 50 mg per day to achieve the desired results.
YK-11 works similarly to RAD-140 but it can be overwhelming for most people so there’s not a lot of research available on it.
The Differences Between Steroidal and Non-Steroidal SARMs
During the 1990s, the scientific community went through an interesting period of experimentation and discovery. It is in this time period that scientists started developing protein-based SARMs that could work without steroids.
The difference between steroidal and non-steroidal SARMs is best described through the example of a lock and key system. Imagine the cells in your body are locks while the cell’s binding sites are keyholes.
- The mechanism of steroidal SARMs acts like a master key which has the ability to unlock pretty much any cell in your body. As a result, steroidal SARMs offer effective protein synthesis and growth, but the problem is they don’t discriminate when it comes to the type of cells they work on.
- Nonsteroidal SARMs, on the other hand, works like a regular key that’s designed to unlock one type of lock. That means they only bind themselves to receptors that regulate bone wastage and muscle growth.
- That’s why they work great for powerlifting, bodybuilding and any type of high-performance physical activity. Research shows that nonsteroidal SARMs don’t come with the side effects often associated with their steroidal counterparts. Due to their positive benefit-to-side effect ratio, nonsteroidal SARMs are seen as the future of Anabolics. Of course, this doesn’t make them a cure-all.
The downside of nonsteroidal SARMs is that they only start to show results after a long period of continued use. Otherwise, their protein base makes them 200x more effective than Testosterone cypionate at stimulating the muscles, and up to 800x more effective at muscle selection. Now, that’s impressive!
SARMs vs. Prohormones
For the longest time, pro bodybuilders, powerlifters and performance athletes have been using prohormones to improve their performance. Although testosterone supplements and steroids are very effective at increasing muscle size and strength, they also come with undesirable side effects.
- That’s why researchers have continued to look for more effective but safer alternatives, and this is where SARMs come into the picture. SARMs are orally administered and have been shown to reduce the levels and effects of testosterone on your system.
- Unlike prohormones, SARMs are considered safe for human consumption and they’re useful at treating a number of diseases more effectively than steroids and other drugs. Not only that but there’s research to indicate that SARMs offer an effective yet gentle alternative to androgen.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently released a study which indicates that over 10% of professional athletes use SARMs, with Ostarine being the most popular choice. That’s because SARMs are rightfully seen as a great way to safely and quickly increase performance and aesthetics.
How Do SARMs Work?
SARMs work by stimulating the androgen receptors found in the cells of your bones and muscles, which is why they’re so effective at increasing muscle and bone size in a relatively short period of time. Through their selective nature, SARMs only affect muscle and bone tissue, while completely excluding other organs like the brain, liver, and prostate. As such, they won’t cause any side effects to parts of the body they’re not supposed to affect and will only impact bone and muscle growth.
- Another reason why SARMs don’t result in unwanted side effects is that they don’t disintegrate into molecules once they enter your bloodstream. Although this makes SARMs slower and less powerful when compared to traditional steroids, they’re easier to recover from.
- You’ll also be glad to know that SARMs don’t usually require PCT because they don’t affect your body’s natural testosterone production.
- SARMs are way more effective because they work on the source of the problem instead of affecting parts of the body that they’re not supposed to affect. Plus, research shows that SARMs are even more effective in their performance than natural hormone supplements.
As with anything though, there is a downside to using SARMs. After all, they are designed to stimulate specific receptors in the human body thus disrupting its natural cycles.
Can SARMs Hurt You?
In short, yes, there is an element of danger that comes with using SARMs. The more important question you should be asking is, “how dangerous is it to use SARMs?” Unfortunately, there’s no conclusive answer to that question.
- Although SARMs have been on the market for well over a decade, there’s still very little human research data available on them. So far, there’s no way to tell what the long-term effects of using SARMs will be or how they even work.
- What we do know is that SARMs are so effective at suppressing natural testosterone production that researchers are looking into using them as a type of male contraceptive. That’s because SARMs have the unique ability to lower follicle-stimulating 9FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. This often leads to hair loss, lower sperm count and testosterone deficiency.
- While SARMs are often touted as side-effect free, this isn’t exactly true. The only difference between SARMs and regular hormone altering supplements is that the former is effective in small doses so the chances of experiencing side effects are minimized. However, when users take SARMs in higher than required doses (which is often the case), side effects do occur. Some of them include hair loss and acne, which is not uncommon with anabolic steroid use.
- However, these side-effects are mild when you consider that SARMs can potentially increase your risk of developing cancer in some cases. In fact, the pharmaceutical behind Cardarine had to cancel its research on the SARM due to evidence that the compound was causing cancerous growth in the research subjects (mice).
This is obviously a cause for concern and proves that everything, including SARMs, must be taken in moderation to avoid adverse side effects. And remember; always do your research before taking SARMs or any other performance-enhancing substance.
Is SARMs Illegal?
Currently, SARMs have been officially banned by the FDA. That’s why legit online vendors are only allowed to sell SARMs as a research chemical and must always include a warning that says, “Not for Human Consumption.”
- It’s also important to note that SARMs are also banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as well as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). This means professional athletes will do well to stay far away from SARMs or else risk losing their careers.
- Even in light of all this evidence, the supplement industry continues to label SARMs as dietary supplements. That’s why athletes must be vigilant when using performance-enhancing supplements of any kind because you never know what might be lurking in the ingredients list.
Main Benefits of SARMs
SARMs are sort of like the unicorns of the supplement world. They offer the benefits of anabolic supplements, but without any of the side effects that you’d expect.
Increase Muscle Size
According to available deductive evidence, SARMs can increase a user’s risk of developing muscle tissue hypertrophy. Inductive evidence shows that SARM users stand to gain anything from 3 pounds to 15 pounds of muscle tissue within 12 weeks of cycling with the compound.
The level of muscle hypertrophy experienced by the user will depend on the amount of training done, diet and the composition of the SARM itself. For instance, potent SARMs like LG4033 and RAD140 have higher hypertrophy than milder compounds like MK-2866.
Boost Muscle Strength
According to a report from the Asian Journal of Andrology, SARMs have the ability to increase muscle strength by up to 20x more through the placebo effect. The study reports that subjects continued to experience an increase in muscle size and strength even 5 months after taking the SARM.
Prevent Cancer Cells
The Public Library of Science (PLOS)’s Peer-Reviewed Open Access Journal released a study on muscle growth using non-steroidal SARMs. This study showed the relation between the use of non-steroidal SARMs and breast cancer.
- We know that androgen receptors are important when it comes to treating breast cancer. Now, non-steroidal SARMs don’t actually convert to estrogen which means they can lead to negative effects for breast cancer development. In fact, research shows that SARMs can actually reduce tumor cell size by up to 90% and even reduce breast cancer development.
Don’t Affect Body Tissues
The Oxford Academic Journal of Endocrinology published a study which shows that non-steroidal SARMs have the ability to bind to DNA that regulates protein synthesis in your bones and muscles. As such, they’re super different from anabolic agents that will actually impact other tissues in your body.
Recent studies indicate that men and women who take SARMs show increased levels of sexual libido. Most men who suffer from hypogonadism are often offered testosterone as a treatment. But, this often comes with several adverse side effects like blood clots that can lead to heart attacks and strokes; to gynecomastia (men growing breast tissues); an enlarged prostate size.
- In fact, the Asian Journal of Andrology published an article in 2014 which showed that SARMs have what is known as desirable pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, which make them an ideal remedy for late-onset hypogonadism. The best part is that patients need only take SARM therapy once a day orally and follow the provided safety margins, and SARMs are well on their way to becoming a viable alternative treatment for late-onset hypogonadism.
In yet another study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, researchers found that non-steroidal SARMs can actually increase libido and sexual desire in females too.
Side Effects of SARMs
SARMs rarely exhibit any side effects aside from mild hormone suppression. Even this gentle side effect is just temporary.
- Potent SARMs like RAD-140, MK-2866, LGD-4033 and YK-11 tend to exhibit higher levels of hormone expression, which can be corrected through an easy Post-Cycle Therapy (PCT).
- It’s important to note here that most people use these SARMs without experiencing any hormone suppression.
- The possibility of experiencing hormone suppression depends on factors like cycle length, dosage, and individual physicality. That said, experts do recommend a natural testosterone booster to go along with SARMs like Ostarine just to be on the safe side.
Another side effect worth mentioning is vision problems, which often happen when taking Andarine or S-4. That’s because S-4 not can bind itself to eye receptors, causing light sensitivity.
Top SARM Stacks
The following SARMs work well when stacked with similar compounds, but can also be used on their own.
For fast recovery after a grueling workout, try a stack of RAD140-Testolone (10 mg) with 25 mg of MK677-Nutrobal for back to back workouts.
For endurance, experts recommend a stack of MK677-Nutrobal (25 mg), with 20 mg of either SR9009-Stenabolic or GW501516 – Cardarine.
For Treating Injuries
Injuries are almost inevitable when pushing your body to its limits. One way to fight such injuries is by stacking 25 mg of MK2866-Ostarine-Ostabolic with 10 mg of LGD4033-Anabolicum plus 25 mg of MK677-Nutrobal. This leads to a speedy recovery of soft tissues, joints, and bones.
For Fat Loss
For fat loss, experts recommend a stack that includes 50 mg of S-4-Andarine and 20 mg of GW501516-Cardarine.
For Boosting Lean Muscle Gains
Stack the following if you want to increase muscle strength and size: 50 mg of MK-2866-Ostarine-Ostabolic, 50 mg of S-4-Andarine and 10 mg of RAD140-Testolone.
How to Stack SARMs with Anabolic Steroids?
You can stack and use SARMs in a number of different ways. For instance, a Trenbolone-Finaplix is not exactly ideal because it leads to PGF2A increase and corresponding inflammatory prostaglandin. For best results and better endurance, it’s best to stack something like 20 mg of SR9009-Stenabolic and GW501516-Cardarine every day.
- If you’re turning to SARMs in order to increase strength, then be sure to try out a 25mg stack of MK2866-Ostarine-Ostabolic per day. This will keep your body in top shape as you put yourself through the paces. The same results can be achieved with a 50 mg daily dose of S-4-Andarine. The great thing about this SARM is that it has the ability to increase strength with no corresponding side effects.
- For bulking purposes, it’s best to stack 25 mg of MK677-Nutrobal to stimulate appetite and fast-track your gains.
For those who want the effects of non-aromatizing compounds to get a testosterone base, 10 mg of RAD140 or Testolone works great. This small dose is enough to get the same effect you’d experience on 175 mg of Testosterone per week.
Where Should You Buy SARMs?
It’s important to note that there are a lot of counterfeit products out there posing as the real thing. That’s why you should purchase your SARMs from reliable and trustworthy suppliers.
Researchers recently did a study where they bought 44 SARMs from 21 different vendors. The result? Only 52% of the SARMs were actually genuine products, the rest were fake knock-offs. That’s why it’s important to always source your SARMs from reputable sellers only.
We highly recommend Boss Peptides because over the years we’ve found that they consistently offer genuine products. Plus, they only sell accurately dosed and tested SARMs which gives you a peace of mind knowing that you’re getting the real deal.