Recently an absolutely new class of performance enhancing drugs was discovered. These drugs were called selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs). Their initial purpose was increase of muscle mass in cancer patients, and they showed promising results, although not all of them passed through clinical trials.
Since their mass building and fat burning effect was comparable with steroids, they quickly became popular among bodybuilders. What is most important, they had no steroid-specific side effects, such as testicular atrophy, hepatotoxicity, growth of body hair etc.
Why SARMs are better than steroids
Steroids have two types of effect – anabolic and androgenic. Anabolic effect initiate protein synthesis inside muscle cells, which causes muscle growth and has fat burning effect. But
they also affect liver, heart, sex organs and secondary sexual characteristics (e.g. voice deepening, body hair growth, acne etc.). This is androgenic side of steroids.
If we regard testosterone as an example, its anabolic-to-androgenic ratio is 1:1. Meanwhile the anabolic-to-androgenic ratio of SARMs starts from 3:1 and goes up to 90:1. In other words SARMs can provide muscle gains and fat loss without the risks of gynecomastia and virilization.
Unlike most steroids, one can take SARMs orally, which is very convenient. Besides, you can buy SARMs legally. However, in case of changes in the law, SARMs producers and sellers protect themselves from legal issues with the label “for research purposes only” or “not for human use”.
Although there is a lot SARMs, here we will regard the most popular representatives of SARM family. Besides one should mention that most of them are on clinical or preclinical trial. Therefore, if you decided to use them, you do it at your own risk.
MK-2866 (aka Ostarine) induces muscle growth and has fat burning effect. It is probably one of the most studied SARMs. It passed through clinical trials and revealed great results without significant side effects.
During human trials aged men took MK-2866 for 3 months. As a result they gained 3 pounds of muscle mass and lost 1 pound of fat. What is more important, they had no changes in diet or exercises.
The similar results were obtained in cancer patients.
Side effects of MK-2866
These studies revealed no side effects. Nevertheless, there are reports that at high doses for long time (2-3 month) it may temporally suppress testosterone production. However, the levels of testosterone retuned to normal level in two weeks after drug discontinuation.
Doses of MK-2866
There are no official doses for SARMs usage. Therefore, we will regard the most “cautious” doses based on individual reports in forums.
The most optimal dose of Ostarine is 15-20 mg daily for 1 month. Then take a break for 1 month before a new cycle.
You can buy Ostarine (MK-2866) here
LGD-4033 (aka Ligandrol) went through multiple trials, and revealed very interesting resu lts: It greatly increased lean body mass in healthy men, who took this drug for 3 weeks. The result is dosage dependent, but even 1 mg is enough to accelerate muscle growth significantly.
Even at 22 mg daily it had no side effects or heath issues. In animal trials LGD-4033 showed great increase of bone density, muscle growth, and libido, without any adverse effect on prostate or liver. LGD-4033 has no fat burning effect. Therefore, during solo usage you will get more muscle mass but will not become leaner.
Side effects of LGD-4033
LGD-4033 can temporally suppress endogenous testosterone. However, it rather quickly returns to normal level after discontinuation of the drug (within 3 weeks).
That is to say if the level of your testosterone is low, you should be very careful while taking any SARM.
Doses of LGD-4033
At the dosage 2-5 mg daily for 1 month LGD-4033 will bring you very good results. As the result is dosage dependent, some bodybuilders take up to 15 mg/day. However, it is risky, since it may greatly suppress endogenous testosterone. Take 1 month break between cycles.
GW501516 (aka Cardarine) have no official human trials. In mice it greatly increased endurance. For example during 4 weeks of GW501516 intake mice increased the running time by 68% and running distance by 70 %.
What is more important GW501516 caused growth of mitochondrial in muscle cells. It allows the muscles to produce more power and experience less fatigue. It also has fat burning properties which occur without destruction of muscle fibers. Thus with Cardarine you can improve endurance and get leaner without loss of muscles.
Side effects of GW501516
There are reports that GW501516 can cause cancer. However if we regard the study on which this rumor is based on, we will see that this statement is ridiculous. During this “carcinogenic” experiment mice were taking the human equivalent of 2400 mg a day for 2 years straight. That is 240 times more than the recommended dose, taken every day, for 2 years instead of 1 month!
There is not a single evidence that Cardarine can cause cancer at recommended doses. Besides there are no reports that it can suppress testosterone. Nevertheless, it does not mean that it has no side effects. This is a new drug, and we don’t know everything about it. Therefore, you should take it with caution.
Doses of GW501516
The optimal dosage of GW501516 is 10 mg / day. Divide the daily dosage into two portions. Take 5 mg in the morning and the other 5 in the afternoon. The duration of GW501516 cycle is 4 weeks, and then take 4 week pause before another cycle. You can also combine it with LGD-4033 and MK-2866.
You can buy GW 501516 (Сardarine) here
S4 (aka Andarine) is probably one of the first SARMs which appeared in sports pharmacology. Athletes report moderate strength and muscle gain, and also fat loss. It’s better to combine Andarine with other SARMs, for example MK-2866 and LGD-4033.
Side effects of S4
There are report that S4 can cause visual abnormality, e.g. altered color perception or nighttime blindness. This is probably due to binding of its metabolite to receptor in the eyes. However this side–effect has no official confirmation.
Doses of S4
The optimal dosage is 50 mg daily. Divide it into two (25 mg) portions. Take it for 4 weeks, then make a 4 week gap and then repeat.
SR9009 (Stenabolic) increases stamina endurance and produces fat burning effect. Besides it has anti-inflammatory effect and induces growth of new mitochondria in muscle cells.
The only disadvantage of this wonder drug is that it is injectable. Oral intake provides only 2% of bioavailability. However some manufacturers claim that you can take it orally, but it’s not the case
SARMs represent an excellent alternative to anabolic steroids (Testosterone etc.). Some of them are tested for a rather long time and have very good reputation among athletes, for example MK-2866, LGD-4033 и GW501516.