In recent years, SARMs have been gaining more and more popularity. Most athletes have encountered this name somewhere during their career, but a significant part of them don’t know what they are or what they are used for. In this article, we will try to address all the most important issues related to them and answer frequently asked questions.
What are SARMs?
The word SARM stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator. These are substances that are designed to treat diseases such as muscle atrophy and obesity, but their high anabolic potential with minimal side effects caused a sudden increase in popularity among athletes. These compounds selectively bind to androgenic receptors in muscles and bones after use, giving an effect similar to that of anabolic steroids, but without any direct interference with the hormonal system. It is also worth mentioning that SARMs, unlike oral steroids or prohormones, are not hepatotoxic.
Types of SARMs
- LGD-4033 (Ligandrol): This is the most popular SARM used to build lean muscle mass. It is a multipurpose substance, that allows you to gain a significant amount of muscle in a short period of time, which makes it ideal for bulking. Moreover, due to its high anabolic potential, it is also suitable for cutting, allowing you to maintain most of muscle mass during periods of calorie deficit.
We recommend taking 5-10mg for 6-8 weeks.
- RAD-140 (Testolone) is a SARM with the highest anabolic potential. It’s called Testolone because its effects are in all aspects very similar to testosterone. During one cycle RAD-140 can build even a few kg of good quality mass. It also provides the greatest increase in strength of all substances of this type. However, long cycles can cause testosterone suppression (PCT is not required because the HPTA system is affected only to a small extent, but is recommended to improve wellbeing and maintain more muscles).
We recommend taking 10-15mg for 6-8 weeks.
- MK-2866 (Ostarine) is the most frequently used substance during cutting. It preserves most of the muscle ,mass despite chronic caloric deficit. It is a relatively mild product that is often combined with other SARMs, demonstrating synergistic effects.
We recommend taking30mg for the entire period of reduction.
- MK-677 (Ibutamoren; Nutrabol): In theory, this substance does not belong to the SARM group, but is very often considered to be one of them. It increases the secretion of growth hormone and thus has a significant influence on the health of the skin, nails and joints. It is used in combination with other substances during bulk or separately to regenerate joints after the season.
We recommend taking 25mg for 8-16 weeks.
- GW-501516 (Cardarine): This is yet another substance that is often mistakenly classified as SARM. It significantly increases endurance and accelerates metabolism. It has a positive impact on the cardiovascular system, liver, kidneys and protects the brain against oxygen deficiency. Excellent for all performance sports and during cutting.
We recommend taking 10-20mg for 8-12 weeks.
- SR-9009 (Stenabolic) is a substance with very similar effects to GW-501516. It also increases both endurance and speeds up the loss of fat tissue.
We recommend taking 10-40mg in 3-4 servings for 8-16 weeks
- YK11: Effects of this substance are often very similar to RAD-140. YK11 is known for its ability to increase follistatin production (myostatin inhibitor) – a protein that enhances muscle growth and increases natural muscle mass limit.
We recommend taking 10-15 mg for 4-8 weeks.
- S23: One of the most potent SARMs currently available on the market. It has a universal application – it supports both muscle mass development and fat loss. In addition, it increases bone density and female libido. S23 is often combined with LGD-4033 and MK-677.
We recommend taking 20-30 mg for 8-12 weeks. It is recommended to divide the daily dose into two servings due to short half-life.
- S4 (Andarine): Strong SARM used to build lean muscle mass. It has a very similar effect to RAD-140 and LGD-4033. It allows you to build up a relatively large amount of muscle mass in a short time.
We recommend taking 25-50 mg for 6-8 weeks.
- ACP-105: One of the most recently launched substances on the market. Due to its recent introduction, there is very little information about it and only a few studies were conducted. The effects are similar to LGD-4033 but half as weak.
We recommend taking 10 mg for 6-10 weeks.
Before and after
best sarm stack for bulking
I believe this is the best currently available stack for the bulking. It is perfect as the first cycle for beginners. From this combination, we can expect 6-8kg of high-quality mass. If you have a bit more money, you can also add YK11 or Ostarin, which have synergistic effects with the mentioned substances.
A more budget option but also an effective one:
In this case, it would be a good idea to add Ostarin if the budget allows for it.
best sarm stack for cutting
Throughout my career, I have used many SARMs for cutting. The following stack is by far the best I’ve ever tested.
SARMs vs steroids
The effectiveness of steroids is, of course, significantly higher. However, SARMs have several advantages that can make them worth trying before jumping on your first steroid cycle.
Firstly, they are safer for health (especially when compared to oral steroids) – they do not significantly affect the HPTA system; do not harm the liver and stomach and do not cause acne, gynecomastia, hair loss, aggression or increased water retention. (Of course, not all steroids have the above side effects, and most of them can be avoided by making a reasonable cycle).
Secondly, they are easier to use – you need to swallow a tablet/few mg of powder instead of the injections that most beginners fear.
Finally, you can legally buy them. Of course, there is no penalty for having steroids, but the restriction itself causes problems with access to them.
SARMs vs prohormones
Both substances have similar effectiveness in terms of both building muscle mass and cutting. However, prohormones have much more side effects. Unlike SARMs, they significantly affect the natural production of hormones and HPTA system. It is, therefore, necessary to do Post Cycle Therapy even after a very short cycle. Most of the prohormones are also hepatotoxic (destroys the liver).
It is also worth mentioning that prohormones are on the list of banned substances.
The side-effects of SARMs compared to steroids or prohormones are negligible and depend on the substance used.
Long cycles (>6 weeks) of RAD-140 and LGD-4033 may result in testosterone suppression. However, it is not reduced to zero as it is with steroids, but its concentration decreases by 30-60% depending on the substances used, the amount and length of the cycle. It should be remembered, however, that SARMs of good quality have very limited effect on the HPTA system, so in the case of short cycles, a PCT is not required. In case of longer or stacked cycles, it is recommended do Post Cycle Therapy in order to preserve more muscle gains and improve mood, which may decrease in the last weeks of the cycle. Another fairly common problem is increased blood pressure. It isn’ t usually a significant change, but it’s important for people with hypertension to keep this in mind.
Where to buy SARMs online
Unfortunately, most of the SARMs present on the American market have hardly anything in common with their names. Most of the recently tested products had only a negligible amount of the declared substance. Moreover, it is a common practice among manufacturers to add prohormones and steroids. For this reason, you should buy SARMs only from reliable suppliers – they should preferably have a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) issued by an external laboratory for each batch sold.
Stores we recommend:
One of the most trusted stores, currently enjoying the greatest popularity worldwide. I can only speak in superlatives about the shop and the quality of their SARMs. The only drawback may be the fact that Proven Peptides offers SARMs only in the form of solutions. Of course, this does not affect the absorption of the substance in any way. Each bottle comes with a pipette and information about the amount of substance corresponding to 1 ml of solution. For each batch of product, they have a certificate of analysis from an external laboratory.
They are one of the very few who provide phone contact, which allows you to obtain answers to all your questions within a few minutes.
Proven Peptides also offers a loyalty program “Peptide points” in which the accumulated points reduce the cost of future orders. Shipping from the USA
Relatively young shop. It is quickly gaining popularity, especially on Reddit. This is mainly due to the attractive price of SARMs compared to the competition and high transparency. Certificates of analysis for each product can be downloaded directly from their website. Like Proven Peptides, they offer SARMs only in the form of solutions. Unfortunately, there is no pipette attached to the bottles (they offer 1 ml syringes for $1). Shipping from the USA.
Less popular than the previous vendor, but offers SARMs of equally good quality. Unlike its predecessors, it offers SARMs in the form of capsules and injections. For each product, they provide a certificate of analysis issued by an external laboratory. In addition to SARMs, the offer also includes PCTs, aromatase inhibitors, drugs for erectile dysfunction, nootropics, and peptides. Shipping from the USA
Unfortunately, despite the fact that for a long time it was our favourite shop, we are forced to withdraw our recommendation. In recent months, contact with them has become difficult, shipments are delayed by up to 3 weeks, and the quality of products has significantly decreased.
I apologize to all people who decided to buy from this store based on my recommendation before updating the review.
Frequently Asked Questions
how sarms work
SARMs work similarly to anabolic steroids – they also bind to androgen receptors, but unlike steroids, they only activate receptors in muscles and bones. For this reason, they do not have characteristic side effects of anabolic steroids.
how long should a sarm cycle be
The length of the cycle depends on the substances used. For anabolic SARMs, 6-8 weekly cycles seem to be most common. To protect/regenerate joints, these products are commonly used for 12-20 weeks.
how long between sarm cycles
Depending on the length of the cycle and the substances taken, the interval between cycles should be 4-8 weeks. The break should not be shorter than half the cycle length. If there is no post cycle therapy, waiting at least, the cycle length is advisable.
Of course, these recommendations apply only to substances that may cause testosterone suppression (RAD-140, S-23, YK-11, LGD-4033 over a long cycle). For all other SARMs, no PCT is needed.
Do you need PCT ?
SARMs do not cause the HPTA system to malfunction, so they do not require post cycle therapy – the testosterone should return to normal levels within about two weeks. However, due to the high suppression of testosterone itself during longer cycles of RAD-140, LGD-4033, S-23, YK-11 or a combination of them, it is recommended to do PCT in order to maintain more muscles. It is a good idea to start PCT two weeks before the end of the cycle – this will prevent you from feeling unwell.
You can sometimes meet with opinions indicating that SARMs can couse a blockade – this is a result of the fact that a large number of SARMs present on the market are prohormones packed in a box with a changed name. Therefore, remember to buy SARMs only from reliable sources!
what is the best sarm for bulking
The best SARMs for bulking are LGD-4033 and RAD-140. To maximize gains, you can combine both substances and add Ostarine/MK-677. When using the whole stack, you can expect a weight gain of about 6-8kg (people who are far from their physiological maximum).
what is the best sarm for cutting
When cutting, we use substances that help to preserve muscles in the presence of calorie deficiency. For this purpose, Ostarin and GW-501516 are most suitable.
what is the best sarm for strength
RAD-140 is the best substance for this purpose. A significant increase in strength is observed after about 3 weeks of use.
can sarms cause acne
Many people are afraid of steroids because they fear baldness/gynecomastia/acne. SARMs, due to their selective action, usually do not cause any of the above symptoms. Some of them, such as MK-677 or ostarin, can even improve skin’s appearance (of course they do not treat acne) by increasing the secretion of growth hormone, which affects the synthesis of collagen.
In some cases, in individuals with naturally very high estradiol, too long cycles of LGD-4033 and RAD-140 may exacerbate acne.
Personally, despite the high predisposition to acne, I have never noticed that SARMy in any way intensify it.
can sarms cause cancer
No – at the moment, there are no studies indicating that the risk of cancer may increase. Looking at the mechanism of action of individual substances, it is hard to imagine how they would cause it. Also, the opinions of those using SARMs do not mention any long-term consequences.
can sarms cause depression
SARMs don’t cause depression. Most of them are completely neutral to our mood. Only long cycles of RAD-140 and in some cases LGD-4033 can cause a decrease in energy and mood in the final weeks – this is due to testosterone suppression, which returns to normal within a week or two depending on the length of the cycle. However, these symptoms can be avoided with PCT, which should preferably be taken since week 6 of the RAD-140/LGD-4033/S23 cycle.
can sarms cause gyno
Unlike steroids, SARMs don’t cause gynecomastia.
can sarms cause hair loss
No. None of the SARMs are causing baldness. In theory, MK-677 can even help in the fight against baldness, because it increases the secretion of growth hormone, which accelerates hair growth and improves its condition. In rare cases, growth hormone (and thus also to a lesser extent MK-677) can cause hair regrowth in hair loss areas – but this is usually observed in people who have lost their hair for reasons other than male pattern baldness.
can sarms cause high blood pressure
Some SARMs cause an increase in blood pressure. This is mainly due to rapid weight gain and water retention. However, their effect on blood pressure is much weaker than that of steroids or prohormones.
can sarms expire
SARMs are resistant to temperature changes and light. Sealed powder can last for up to several years without losing its properties. However, you should not use SARMs that have been open for more than a few months.
can sarms make you sick
SARMs are absolutely safe from a medical point of view. However, the problem is the large number of contaminated products sold as SARMs. Many of them contain only a fraction of the declared value of the product or no SARM at all. Moreover, manufacturers often add prohormones or steroids to their products. For this reason, you should always use only reliable sources!
can sarms make you taller
No, I’m afraid not. The only SARM that in theory, could cause height growth is MK-677. However, it would have to be used at a young age (<18 years) in large doses for a long time and still the benefits would be negligible – no more than 2-3 extra centimetres over a dozen or so months.
Are SARMs legal?
In most countries of the world (including the USA), sarms are legal. They are however forbidden by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).