Muscle Rage does not promote, condone or recommend the use or purchase of any illegal compounds such as, but not limited to, anabolic steroids. Any mention of such items is for harm reduction purposes only. This article is not advice, results can vary from person to person. These statements have not been evaluated by the MHRA or FDA. This article does not constitute as medical or any other form of advice and nothing mentioned in the article is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Results are not guaranteed and vary upon starting point, goals and effort.
SARM stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator. Which to most people (unless you’re a scientist) still doesn’t tell you much!
An Androgen is a class of hormones that serve as ligands that bind to cellular androgen receptors. All anabolic steroids or prohormones build muscle through binding to androgen receptors.
A receptor modulator is a compound that can block or stimulate the nuclear hormone receptor under different conditions. If it can successfully stimulate a receptor in a tissue selectively, it may be able to mimic the beneficial effects within that singular tissue and minimise the unwanted effects (side effects) of hormones within the other tissues. In the most basic terms, they can help build muscle and minimize side effects by focusing on only the targeted receptors.
SARMS essentially are intended to produce similar effects to that of androgenic drugs such as testosterone but would be much more selective in their action, allowing them to potentially have more uses in pharmaceuticals and cause less side effects than other anabolic products for performance enhancement purposes.
SARMs are agonists of the androgen receptor (AR) in anabolic tissues such as bone and skeletal muscle, but only partial agonists in androgenic areas such as the prostate and sex organs. Because of this they have a significantly higher separation of anabolic and androgenic effect. No estrogen conversion takes place and there is minimal spillover with other hormones. Because of this SARMs can help replicate some of the effects of anabolic steroids both without side effects from androgenic activity such as male pattern baldness and prostate hypotrophy.
Because of this SARMs may be highly effective for muscle wasting conditions such as osteoporosis, AIDS and cancer related wasting (cachexia). Some may also turn out to be an effective oral male contraceptive therapy.
In short, it depends who you ask. Hundreds of thousands of users across the world report results with minimal or no side effects from several different SARMs. But a smaller minority of users have experienced some side effects which vary from person to person as everyone is different.
Websites or sellers saying SARMs are side effect free are LYING.
Websites also stating that SARMs will destroy your health, your life and raise the devil himself are also LYING (Maybe, hail Satan).
Like everything the truth is somewhere in the middle.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions you should not even consider SARMs, just in case. You should also be careful with ALL products that enter your body as you only have one life, so make sure it’s a healthy one.
If you are worried about the safety of SARMs or their side effects do your own research, read scientific studies, read a whole host of articles from all different sources so you can use your logic and common sense to evaluate risks and benefits for yourself. Bodybuilding Forums can also be a great place for some fantastic information; however, they can also be a terrible place for some hilarious fiction based off a legitimate study (A.K.A broscience).
SARMs side effects can vary for each type of SARM and is often dosage dependent, meaning the higher the dosage the greater the risk of side effects occurring. Later in the article we will break down the potential side effects for each SARM.
Legally: SARMs are currently not on any legal banned list or legislation as a banned ingredient/substance.
Sports: SARMs and all similar ingredients are banned by WADA and most sporting organizations.
If you are a professional athlete, you should not consider taking SARMs.
SARMs popularity has exploded due to people promoting them as steroids without the side effects, or at least, fewer side effects. Who wouldn’t want steroid like results with none of the nasties right?
What are the considered benefits of SARMs over illegal steroids?
It is worth mentioning that taking SARMs is NOT as effective as steroids. If they were then everyone using steroids would have stopped and switched a long time ago. Having said this, SARMs are taken at a much lower dosage than steroids/testosterone. A typical Ostarine dosage is 20mg for 8 weeks but a typical 8-week testosterone dosage would be anywhere between 500-1000mg per week, so if Ostarine was taken at a similar dosage would similar testosterone results occur? Who knows? (no one is stupid enough to try this) But it is highly likely that the side effects at this dosage would probably be the same or worse than testosterone.
What is the detection time for SARMs?
If you are asking this question, you probably shouldn’t be using SARMs, Just saying.
Drug testing for SARMs is now common practice in sports but was not up to as late as 2016. The detection times vary from SARM to SARM. Ostarine has a half-life of 24 hours or 23.8 hours to be exact however no study can be found that definitively shows the detection time. As an educated guess, it probably would be out of someone’s system within 12-weeks and after a detox.
Ligandrol is often described as the “super osta” or the “king of sarms” due to it being highly selective like Ostarine but exerting its effects more forcefully, leading to greater muscle gains. LGD is a strong agonist for the AR in skeletal muscle and bone but very weak in comparison in the prostate.
At just 1mg per day for 3 weeks a clinical trial showed an average gain of 1.21kg in LBM which is nearly 1 pound of LBM per week which is absolutely insane considering the time frame and the fact that they were not even training. No fat loss was noted at all during this study. Unlike Ostarine, LGD-4033 does not seem to increase liver enzymes however like Ostarine it did negatively affect good cholesterol levels (HDL).
The biggest downside with LGD is that it caused moderate to strong HPTA suppression (natural testosterone suppression) for both total and free testosterone. Total testosterone decreased by just over 50% compared to placebo. But hormone levels did return to normal within 56 days after stopping with no PCT.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals has also completed acute safety studies on Ligandrol with no serious adverse events reported in dosages up to 22mg daily.
The usual dosage for performance enhancement is 2-10mg per day for 4-8 weeks. The average results from this are 7-10lbs of LBM, good increases in strength and little to no fat loss. Which makes it the perfect “muscle building SARM”.
Due to the HPTA suppression a PCT is needed post cycle for 4 weeks followed by an equal or greater amount of time off after the PCT period.
Ostarine is the most popular SARM on the planet, although it is non-steroidal it is closely related to anabolic/androgenic in its activity. As it successfully stimulates most notably the Androgen Receptor (AR) in skeletal muscle and bone. It is far less active in “androgenic” tissues such as the prostate or sex organs.
Ostarine is also the most studied SARM as in 2017 it had 24 human clinical trials involving more than 1,500 people. They were looking into the therapeutic benefits for muscle wasting, breast cancer and urinary incontinence. In one of these studies elderly men and women were given a dosage of just 3mg per day for 12 weeks and the average gain was a 3% increase in lean body mass (LBM) which equated on average to 1.3kg as well as an average fat loss of 0.6kg, the results even showed improved insulin sensitivity. Another study followed with similar results with postmenopausal women taking 3mg daily and over 12 weeks had an average increase of 1.5kg LBM.
During these studies no side effects such as testosterone suppression or estrogen conversion occurred. However, some patients did have mild elevations of liver enzymes (roughly 20%) and negative alterations of serum lipids (HDL down 27%). With most of the patients these levels were still considered within normal range and not a high or even mild cardiovascular risk.
The usual dosage for performance enhancing is 10mg daily for women, 10mg daily during PCT, 20mg daily as a SARM cycle for 4-8 weeks. The average results from this is 5-7lbs of lean body mass gained, some fat reduction, mild to large strength increases and improved muscular endurance. Want to know more? Check out our Ostarine article!
Firstly, Cadarine is not a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator but instead is a Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Delta (PPARD) receptor agonist. It is often classed or grouped with SARMs from a sales and marketing perspective. The receptor plays an important role in human metabolism and helps regulated genes that help manage the transport and oxidation of fatty acids.
Cardarine captured the attention of the fitness community due to its merits in energy metabolism, by reducing glucose utilisation and increasing fatty acid oxidation. In layman’s terms it triggers the body to burn fat as fuel over glucose. Added to this Cardarine has been shown to improve ATP efficiency and therefore enhance endurance. This was picked up in animal studies when researchers found that mice had greatly increased cardiovascular endurance.
Due to the way Cardarine works users and animal studies showed that Cardarine is associated with significant reduction in body fat. Where Cardarine or GW50515 becomes extremely interesting is that PPARD activation increased mitochondrial biogenesis in the muscle, which can remodel your muscle tissue! In studies of trained and untrained mice, Cardarine caused fast twitch muscle fiber to convert to slow twitch muscle fibers. Because of this Cardarine is often called an exercise mimetic as only exercise could normally make these changes to your metabolism and fiber composition.
In phase 1 and phase 2 trials which lasted 12 weeks 268 patients with low HDL levels were given 2.5,5,10mg daily. During this time good cholesterol improved by 17% and bad cholesterol was reduced by 7%. Bodyweight also increased on average 1.3kg however a LBM vs fat mass analysis was not completed. Due to the way GW1501515 works it is safe to assume it was all or mostly LBM.
In the past there have been rumors based upon speculation regarding tumor growth in the colon. HOWEVER, in 2004 a study published by the American Association of Cancer Research confirmed that Cardarine had shown to have no effect on the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells under normal cultural conditions and PPAR activation has no effect on cell growth. To further this point in 2008 a study was done on human breast cancer and colour cancer cells and not only did the PPAR agonist prove to be safe it was shown to inhibit further cancer cell growth.
Cardarine is normally taken at 10-20mg daily for performance enhancement, for 6-12 weeks.
In-Vitro (performed in a test tube) studies show that RAD-140 has a much higher binding affinity for the androgen receptor than testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. It also showed that it was highly selective in skeletal muscle and bone, with only a weak antagonistic effect in androgenic tissues. RAD-140 does also have an extremely weak interaction with progesterone and estrogen due to it not reacting with any other steroid hormone receptors to any appreciable degree.
RAD-140 did progress to animal studies but is yet to move to human trials. During this time researchers found that in rats RAD-140 matched anabolic effect with testosterone propionate mg for mg but was far less androgenic. It required a 60x higher dosage than the testosterone to cause the same prostate growth. When researchers did a study on monkeys, which is considered more clinically relevant to humans, their weight increased by 10% in 28 days and was almost exclusively LBM.
Side effects of RAD-140 are mostly unknown due the lack of human trials and was only first described in 2010 by Miller et al, developed by Radius Health. It is widely accepted that side effects are also dose dependent (higher the dosage, greater the risk of side effects).
RAD-140 is most commonly used at 5-20mg per day, with 10mg per day being the most common for 6-12 weeks. During this time people have reported large increases in strength as well as 10-15lbs of muscle from the first cycle.
YK-11 firstly is not a SARM, check out our article on YK-11 for a more in depth review. YK-11 was sadly mislabeled as a SARM when in fact it is a new synthetic steroid that has only had In-Vitro studies done on it. However, in the In-Vitro studies YK-11 did bind and activate to the AR but was only found to be a partial agonist of the AR. YK-11 did show to stimulate the release of follistatin, which is an important protein for muscle growth as it strongly antagonized myostatin.
There has been no animal or human testing of YK-11 at this stage since 2011 since it was first described. Because of this the correct dosage is unknown but women report results from 1-5mg and men 5-10mg daily, for 4-8 weeks.
The side effects at these dosage and higher dosages are unknown. Any of the claims for YK-11 are sadly false advertising;
Best human dosage for muscle building
Any mention of its half-life as it is known.
No long-term side effects. (again unknown)
No PCT needed.
Not Hepatoxic (liver toxic)
YK-11 does not have a correct or best human dosage yet, scientists currently question YK-11’s half-life, the long and short term side effects are unknown, a PCT HIGHLY LIKELY to be needed as this is a steroidal and due to the 4 methylated groups in the nomenclature it is likely that YK-11 will be hepatoxic.
Because of this we are not able to categorise its effects and potential results.
The S23 SARM is a SARM, developed by GTx, Inc as a potential male contraceptive. Yes, the purpose of this is nothing to do with muscle and strength but to do with your sperm. It binds to the AR more strongly than the older SARMs such as Anadrine.
S23 could be considered as one of the more potent SARMs due to its very strong bonds with the AR. But the contraceptive effects of S23 are due to its ability to suppress FSH and LH, two key hormones for making sperm. In rats S23 the half-life is reported to be 11.9 hours and when taken by mouth 96% is absorbed by the body and levels peak at around the 4-hour mark. In rats a study shows that S23 decreased average body weight and fat mass, the rats were then also given estrogen which causes muscle loss but S23 was able to override the effects of estrogen and increase lean muscle mass.
Now back to the sperm. When S23 was given to male rats it resulted in a 100% infertility rate. But most interestingly sperm count went back to normal after finishing S23, and rats resumed mating at 100% pregnancy rates. However, too much S23 caused sperm counts to reverse the initial effect and supported sperm production.
The typical performance enhancing dosage is 10-30mg per day. Unfortunately, the average varies so much with S23 it is hard to give any decent indication without too many assumptions. It is worth noting at a PCT is probably needed due to its ability to reduce FSH, LH and Testosterone levels.
MK-677 like Cardarine is not a SARM but is also often classed or grouped with SARMs from a sales and marketing perspective. MK-677 is a growth hormone secretagogue that mimics the activity of Ghrelin. In human studies it has been shown to significantly elevate serum levels of both GH and IGF-1 levels, increase fat free mass, energy expenditure, improve sleep quality and reduce diet induced catabolism.
MK-677 is also likely to increase cortisol, ACTH (adrenocorticotropic) and prolactin levels, however most of the time this spill over is not noticeable to the user. MK-677 is an potent appetite stimulant which many view as a plus but if you are looking to lose fat then it is often seen as a side effect, as unless you control your diet well, using MK-677 will make you greatly increase your calorie intake.
MK-677 is normally taken at 10-25mg daily for anywhere between 4 weeks and 6 months.
In animal studies, Anadrine or S4 has shown comparable anabolic effect on muscle as testosterone propionate. But only has 30-40% of its androgenicity and has been shown to increase strength and body weight similar to DHT, but yet is even stronger at preventing bone loss. It also showed significant decreases in total fat mass. Most importantly S4 has very minimal stimulation of the prostate and only slight suppression of the HPTA.
Anadrine has NOT been subject to full human clinical trials. Information on its real interactions with humans is based on observation and anecdote and so far, it suggests that S4 does produce noticeable gains in LBM and strength alongside significant fat loss.
The side effects for S4 can be considered greater than the other SARMs mentioned as the notable reported side effect is night blindness and/or a yellow tint to your vision throughout the day.
As well as negatively effecting HPTA and HDL similarly to the other SARMS. PCT is highly likely to be needed after the use of S4, particularly at higher dosages (people have reported dosage of anywhere between 25-80mg).
S4 seems like a bad deal compared on risk/reward profile versus Ostarine and Ligandrol.
PCT stands for Post Cycle Therapy. The aim of PCT is to return your testosterone back to normal levels, whilst combating any side effects that try to appear during this time. Unfortunately, the human body tries to be clever and when testosterone is on the rise, it tends to increase estrogen too. Sometimes even at a faster rate, because of this during PCT it is important to block estrogen from aromatizing so that side effects such as Gyno (male breast growth) or even muscle loss don’t occur.
I heard you don’t need a PCT for SARMs?
True and false. You will not need a PCT for MK-677 or Cadarine. However, you will NEED A PCT FOR THE FOLLOWING;
Ostarine is a bit of an odd one, most often if it is used at 20mg daily for 4-8 weeks and PCT is most often not needed due to it only causing very mild suppression. However, the higher the dosage creeps up the more likely a PCT will be needed.
SERMS or Selective Estrogen Receptor modulators are the most well-known illegal PCT drugs due their effectiveness but also, sadly, some of the side effects that come along with them. It is highly recommended that drugs like Clomid and Tamoxifen are fully understood before considering. OTC PCT (Over the Counter Post Cycle Therapy) are also available and are much stronger and effective than the older generation used to be.
YOUR PCT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR CYCLE.
Your PCT is the difference between keeping gains and not.
Your PCT can be the difference between having side effects and not.
The manufacture and distribution of the raw materials to make SARMs was banned in China from 1st January 2020. The overwhelming majority of supplement ingredients come from China, with a niche like SARMs it’s going to be somewhere between 89-99% of raw materials. Because of this until a new country decides to pick up the torch (which is VERY unlikely) the SARM products on the market will become fewer and far between and may even disappear completely.