As a bodybuilder or lifter, you may be familiar with the term Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs).
Despite the popularity of these compounds, many people are confused about SARMs and how they differ from anabolic steroids.
The best SARMs can help you achieve incredible results, but it is crucial to understand how they work.
In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the best SARMs, how they can boost your performance, and the potential pitfalls of SARM use.
This guide will also help you choose a compound that fits your needs.
What are SARMs?
A Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator is a synthetic drug with a formula to have the same physiological effects as testosterone.
These drugs are still in the early stages of research, but they are readily available for the treatment of obesity and muscle wasting diseases [R].
SARMs are not steroids, and bodybuilders use them as appearance- and performance-enhancing substances.
How do SARMs Work?
SARMs target cells in the body’s muscle and fat tissue. Androgen receptors are DNA-binding transcription factors that regulate hormone expression, and they activated by binding to androgen hormones like testosterone. The best SARMs modulate the messages that make androgen receptors bind to testosterone in muscle or fat tissue.
By modulating these messages, muscles can grow faster than average, and the body can shed fat more quickly. Apart from a temporary lowering in testosterone levels, this process can happen without side-effects. By using quality, post cycle therapy supplements, you can return your testosterone levels to normal.
You have to use SARMS in combination with a training program and diet. If you are inactive, and if your diet is not healthy and balanced, SARMS will not help you achieve results.
Best SARMs for Bodybuilders
There are a lot of different SARMs available, and each one has unique characteristics. There is no one best drug for bodybuilding that has the same effect for everyone, and you have to do some experimenting to find a product with the attributes you need. Some of the best SARMs are better at reducing fat, and others are better at helping you gain muscle [R].
Other factors you have to take into account when selecting a product include your body’s susceptibility to steroids, the results you want to achieve, and the length of your cycle. You may also want to consider stacking to derive optimal value from the SARMs.
Andarine is one of the best SARMs from GTx Inc and a popular option for rapidly gaining lean muscle mass. This product has a modern formulation that allows for low dosages between 10mg and 25mg. Despite the small doses, you can still expect useful results that include fat loss and an increase in bone density.
Andarine S4 is ideal for retaining muscle mass during a cut, and it is especially useful as part of a stack. Stick to low doses and don’t use Andarine for longer than eight weeks at a time. After eight weeks, do a PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) to normalize your hormone levels.
Cardarine is not technically a SARM, because it has a different mechanism. This product does, however, meet the requirements of a PPAR-delta modulator that stimulates protein receptors of glucose, affecting how the body produces muscle tissue.
Cardarine also boosts energy levels by interacting with proteins, allowing you to do more reps and grow more resilient muscle tissue. You can stack Cardarine with SARMs for more effective muscle mass development as well.
Doses of this drug should be low – between 7mg and 20mg. Once you establish your baseline, you can dose up to 15mg. Cardarine doesn’t affect testosterone levels, so you don’t need a PCT supplement after the cycle.
Ibutamoren is a selective agonist of the secretagogue receptor or growth hormone receptor. The primary roles of this product are to raise IGF-1 levels and mimic hormones that regulate appetite and distribute energy. Ibutamoren doesn’t affect testosterone levels, so no PCT supplement is necessary after the cycle.
This product is ideal for preserving muscle mass during a cut, and you can also use it for bulking. Because Ibutamoren boosts muscle and bone density, you can stack it with a cutting SARM. Keep the dosage of this product between 10mg and 25mg per day.
LGD-4033 Ligandrol has excellent lean muscle mass development properties and little adverse side-effects. As a result, it is one of the most popular options for bodybuilders. Because LGD-4033 Ligandrol builds lean muscle mass, it is ideal for cutting, and its results resemble those of cycling with conventional steroids.
When starting with this product, there may be a degree of water retention. As you continue with your cycle and start building muscles, however, the water retention will subside. If you are looking for a product that neither mild nor harsh, LGD-4033 Ligandrol is a viable option.
MK-2866 Ostarine is one of the most commonly used and best SARMs and the product that most beginners prefer. Ostarine is not only readily available and affordable, but it is also mild and ideal for preserving muscles in a calorie deficit.
In addition to the development of muscles, MK-2866 Ostarine has mild fat-burning attributes, and you can stack it with similar molecules like Cardarine or SR9009.
This product can lower testosterone production, so you may need to take a PCT supplement after the cycle. You can prevent testosterone suppression by sticking to a dosage range between 10mg and 25mg or shortening your cycle.
Testolone is a new product with limited data from actual usage. This drug is one of the strongest available, so a dosage range from 4mg to 12mg is sufficient for building muscles, especially if you are in your first few cycles.
Testalone is one of the best SARMs for bulking and ideal for building muscle.
Testolone suppresses testosterone levels, so it is crucial to use a PCT supplement after your cycle and stick to low doses. This product has a shorter half-life than most other products, and you may be tempted to start dosing twice per day.
However, because of this product’s anabolic characteristics, we don’t recommend increasing the dosage.
In addition to modulating androgens, YK-11 is also a myostatin inhibitor to increase the production of follistatin, which stimulates the growth of muscles. YK-11 is one of the most potent SARMs available, so you can start with a low dose of 5mg and ramp it up to 10mg in subsequent cycles.
Even at low doses, YK-11 will suppress your testosterone levels so that you will need a PCT supplement or testosterone booster. The recommended cycle at 5mg is eight weeks with a long break of eight weeks. With your second cycle, you can start increasing the dose.
What is the Strongest SARM?
RAD-140, or Testolone, is one of the most potent SARMs you can find. This product’s strength is due to its high binding affinity to androgen receptors, and a low dose of 5mg per day will be sufficient to achieve significant lean muscle development and strength gains.
Because of the product’s anabolic characteristics, stick to short cycles of up to eight weeks and take long breaks of eight weeks or more. If you don’t take sufficient breaks with proper PCT, you may run the risk of permanent testosterone suppression.
Do You Need PCT for SARMs?
Most steroids will suppress natural hormone production, and the user has to restore this production after a usage cycle. There are two ways of restoring natural testosterone production. The first is to give your body time, and the second way is to use post cycle therapy (PCT) supplements.
SARMs don’t have the same anabolic characteristics, so the question is whether or not you need PCT for these products.
A lot of factors can affect your testosterone production. These factors include the strength of the product, the length of your cycle, and the dosage.
For example, if you used a potent compound like RAD140 for a cycle of ten weeks, you need PCT. With milder products and short cycles, however, PCT may not be necessary. The best way to find out if you need PCT is to do bloodwork and review the results.
Can You Stack RAD-140 and LGD-4033?
LGD-4033 is one of the most effective and popular SARMs in terms of strength building, building muscle, and anabolic activity. However, LGD-4033 doesn’t produce optimal results if the user has low testosterone levels. With a stack, you can enhance the benefits of the products, compared to using it alone.
If you are over the age of thirty or if your testosterone levels are low because of extensive anabolic steroid use, you may not see the results you want with LGD-4033. One solution is to stack LGD-4033 with RAD-140. This stack will maximize your muscle- and strength development.
Which SARMs are the Best for Cutting?
When you train to lose body fat, you run the risk of losing the muscles you worked so hard to develop. With the best SARMs, you can preserve muscle mass, even if you are on a caloric deficit. The ideal SARM for this purpose has a high anabolic ratio.
The products that meet these requirements include:
You can stack Ostarine with Andarine and Cardarine for enhanced fat burning and to preserve muscles. This SARMs stack is popular among users who don't have one specific training objective.
Which SARMs are the Best for Building Strength?
If your training objectives are strength building, performance improvement, and muscle gains, the best option is an LGD-4033 and RAD-140 stack. This stack is often called the Hardcore Muscle Mass Stack because of its efficiency in achieving results.
When using this stack, stick to short cycles of up to eight weeks and increase your dosages regularly. As we mentioned above, this stack is also suitable for lifters who have a low testosterone production level.
The Best SARMs for Lady Bodybuilders
Usually, women don’t want a masculine muscle bulk. Instead, they train to achieve a hard, lean look and tone themselves. The best SARMs stacks for female bodybuilders are ones that increase cardiovascular performance, reduce body fat, retains muscle, and develop lean muscle. The most popular SARMs that provide these benefits include:
- Cardarine (GW-501516)
- Ostarine (MK-2866)
- Andarine (S-4)
You can take dosages of up to 10mg and stick to cycles of four weeks with six-week breaks until you acclimate to the dose. Female users can also stack these three compounds for cutting/bulking.
What is the Difference Between SARMs and Prohormones?
Prohormones, or over-the-counter androgens, are mild alternatives to anabolic steroids. A lot of bodybuilders use these products for the rapid development of muscle mass. Like anabolic steroids and SARMs, prohormones also suppress the natural production of testosterone, but they are also liver toxic and have a high occurrence of negative side-effects.
Because of the adverse effects associated with prohormones, they are illegal in several countries. The impact of SARMs on testosterone production is not as severe as that of prohormones. As a result, SARMs are readily available, and they are a healthy alternative to prohormones.
What is the Difference Between SARMs and Steroids?
There are several differences between SARMs and steroids. Steroids have higher efficacy than SARMs, which means that steroids are more effective in achieving results. However, because steroids have a higher potency than SARMs, they are less safe, and they have a more severe impact on testosterone production. You need extensive post cycle therapy to restore your hormone levels.
Another difference between steroids and SARMs is that you can increase their efficiency with a stack. A SARM stack tends to be stronger than individual SARMS. You can also take SARMs orally, where steroids have to be taken by injection.
What are the Side-effects of SARMs?
Like most other performance-enhancing drugs, SARMs can result in adverse side-effects, but they are significantly fewer than those of anabolic steroids or prohormones. SARM’s are not illegal as they are not approved for human use.
The most prominent side effect of SARMs is the suppression of testosterone production. Using these products can also result in hair loss and acne.
To mitigate the risk of side-effects, you should only purchase your products from reputable vendors. Products from untrustworthy sources may not contain active SARM compounds.
SARMs are safer alternatives to steroids for users who are looking to achieve fast muscle development and body fat reduction. When using SARMs, stick to the recommended dosages and cycles with sufficient breaks between periods. You should also use high-quality PCT supplements to restore your testosterone production after a cycle.