It’s normal to feel like you’re not getting satisfying results from your workout. Even if you’re completing your reps and eating well, it’s possible that you’re not gaining as much muscle as you would like.
Sometimes, it’s not because of your training routine at all: it’s due to your hormones. It’s more than likely that you’re not producing enough testosterone to support muscle development. So, how do you get around this?
One easy way is to take SARMs. These are compounds that mimic the effect of androgenic steroids and boost muscle production and increase bone density. With SARMs, you can make significant gains in a few short weeks.
In this comprehensive guide on the best SARMs for bodybuilding, you’ll learn what these compounds are and how they can help you build muscle and cut fat.
What Are SARMs?
If you’re looking for a safer alternative to androgenic steroids, SARMs are the answer. They belong to a new class of drugs that stimulate muscle and bone growth.
SARMs function the same way as androgenic steroids do but without the side effects usually associated with using steroids. These side effects include testicular shrinkage for men and body hair growth for women.
Since SARMs don’t come with these side effects, they’re usually considered a much better option. They’re “generally well tolerated” in clinical trials, and they’re also found to target muscle tissue without affecting other parts of your body.
Plenty of bodybuilders and fitness buffs swear by the effectiveness of SARMs. They help maximize every workout, build lean muscle, and cut fat.
Still, it’s important to note that SARMs have not received regulatory approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Taking SARMs to boost your performance for competitions is illegal, but buying SARMs for bodybuilding and image enhancement shouldn’t get you in trouble.
The key is to make sure to take note of the potential side effects before using SARMs. You should also stick with the right dosage per day.
How Do SARMs Work?
SARMs are available in capsule, liquid, and powder form. Once ingested, the substance binds to androgen receptors (AR), a part of your body that receives signals from hormones like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Then, these androgen receptors send signals to your DNA and affect cell growth and protein synthesis.
In the case of SARMs, they can target androgen receptors in specific tissues like skeletal muscle and bones. They send signals for your muscles to grow without affecting other parts of the body.
Due to the way SARMs work, you may need to take a post-cycle therapy (PCT) after each bulking or cutting cycle. PCT will help you get your hormones back to its usual level before you started using SARMs and will also help stimulate natural hormone production.
What Does “SARMs” Stand For?
SARMs refers to Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. These drugs get their name from the fact that they selectively target androgen receptors that are responsible for muscle development and maintenance.
6 Best SARMs for Body Building
If you’re curious about SARMs but are unsure where to start, don’t worry! We’ve rounded up the best SARMs available and have ranked them based on how well they can help you achieve your bodybuilding goals.
#1. Ostarine MK-2866
MK-2866 is usually touted by bodybuilders as the best and most widely used anabolic SARM. If you’re hoping to dip your toe when it comes to using these drugs, you can consider this as your starting point.
Enobosarm or MK-2866 is sold under the trademarked name Ostarine. Other names for the product include S22 and SARM S-22.
Like other SARMs, MK-2866 targets androgen receptors, pushing them to produce growth factors that boost protein synthesis. This makes it easier for you to produce lean muscle after every workout.
But what makes Ostarine MK-2866 special is that it takes calories from fat stores and then prompts them to move toward muscle tissue. This means you’ll continue building muscle even on a calorie deficit.
For a lot of bodybuilders, cutting can be especially difficult because it can make you lose lean muscle mass. Thankfully, that’s not something you have to worry about with Ostarine.
If you want to maximize the effects of your workout routine, this product is for you. Aside from the benefits mentioned, Ostarine MK-2866 is currently being investigated as a treatment for muscle atrophy, osteoporosis, and hypogonadism.
Each dose of the SARM contains gelatine, MK-2866, and cornstarch.
Does Ostarine MK-2866 Work?
Dosage & Beginner Advice
Ostarine is offered in capsules of 10 mg each. If you’re a guy whose goal is building muscle, you can take 25 mg to 36 mg for 3 to 8 weeks. Meanwhile, women can take 10 mg per day for the same time period. Expect to gain 6 to 8 pounds of muscle for the cycle.
For a bulking cycle, you need a protein-rich diet with a calorie surplus. You should also make sure you don’t go over your recommended dose for any reason.
Meanwhile, if you’re a guy who aims to lose weight, you can take 15 mg to 20 mg per day for a 4 to 8-week cycle. Women can take 10 mg during the same cutting cycle. Make sure to maintain a protein-rich diet with a calorie deficit.
Taking more than 10 mg of Ostarine per day will require a PCT. Try a mild anti-estrogen or aromatase inhibitor for four weeks. Then, go on break for four weeks before beginning another cycle.
#2. Testolone RAD-140: Best SARMs for Mass
If your goal is to bulk up and gain as much lean muscle as you can, Testostelone RAD-140 may be the solution. It’s a fast-acting bulking SARM with one of the most potent effects within this class of drugs. So, if you really want to increase muscle mass and make the most out of weight training, this is the way to go.
Same with other SARMs, Testostelone RAD-140 binds with androgen receptors and boosts muscle growth. Users also report that it helps enhance stamina and endurance during workouts. Expect to handle high-intensity strength training better when you give this product a try.
In addition to helping you increase muscle mass, Testostelone RAD-140 is also being investigated as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy for people with very low testosterone levels. So, instead of taking testosterone and risking experiencing harmful side effects, this is a good way to go.
Does Testolone RAD-140 Work?
Currently, RAD-140’s preclinical development profile suggests that it can “stimulate muscle weight at a lower dose required to stimulate prostate weight increases.” Moreover, researchers note that even at high doses, they saw “minimal liver enzyme elevations,” suggesting that the product is safe to use for your organs.
Dosage & Beginner Advice
For beginners, take 8 to 10 mg of the substance per day. If you’re an experienced bodybuilder, a maximum of 20 mg per day should be fine. Expect to gain about 8 to 19 pounds of muscle within 6 to 7 weeks.
Note that taking Testostelone RAD-140 will usually require you to take a PCT. This will help minimize potential side effects associated with suppressing natural testosterone production. Try using an anti-estrogen or an aromatase inhibitor to go with Testostelone RAD-140 to correct your natural testosterone level.
Be sure to do PCT after each bulking cycle, then let your body rest for 3 to 4 weeks without SARMs. Once your body has fully rested, you may begin a new cycle.
#3. Ligandrol LGD-4033
Ligandrol LGD-4033 is one of the newest SARMs available. Like others, it’s ideal for people who are serious about building muscle. If you want a toned but lean figure, this is a good option.
Compared to other SARMs, LGD-4033 has a prolonged elimination half-life, which means you can take it less frequently than others while still experiencing significant effects per cycle.
While LGD-4033 is still in the Phase I clinical trial phase, it’s shown to be safe and generally well-tolerated. It’s also being investigated as a potential treatment for muscular dystrophy, osteoporosis, and other musculoskeletal degenerative conditions.
Ligandrol is available in pure liquid form and does not come with other ingredients.
Does Ligandrol LGD-4033 Work?
Yes! In a study, researchers gave ascending doses of the substance to 76 healthy young men (21 to 50 years) and observed if the SARM had any effects on lean body mass, stair-climbing power, muscle strength, and sex hormones. Results show that it achieved its goal of helping them build lean muscle mass within a short period of 21 days.
Dosage & Beginner Advice
As mentioned, Ligandrol LGD-4033 is quite potent even at small doses. Take 3 mg to 15 mg of the substance for 8 weeks. Limit usage for up to 12 weeks.
After each cycle, you’ll need a mild PCT and a mile anti-estrogen. Once you’re done with PCT, take a break from any substance for 2 to 3 weeks.
#4. Nutrobal MK-677
Nutrobal MK-677 is like a wild card in this list of SARMs. That’s because it’s not a selective androgen receptor at all: it’s actually a growth hormone secretagogue.
But like all SARMs, Nutrobal MK-677 helps you achieve your goal of increasing muscle mass. The main difference lies in how the chemical works.
Nutrobal MK-677 mimics a hormone called ghrelin, which stimulates the secretion of growth hormones (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Once your body produces these growth hormones, it’s able to increase lean muscle mass without serious side effects.
The best part about having more growth hormones (GH) in your body is that it can increase exercise tolerance and enhance muscle strength. These are benefits that you don’t normally find in typical SARMs for bodybuilding.
Another benefit of taking Nutrobal MK-677 is that it improves sleep quality. Getting plenty of restful sleep is important in repairing muscle tissues and replacing aging or dead cells. It’s also helpful in managing anxiety and aggression.
Due to the way Nutrobal MK-677 works, it’s unlikely to affect your testosterone levels. That means you don’t have to worry about changes in your kidney, liver, or prostate while taking it.
One thing to note about Nutrobal MK-677, though: it’s linked to an increase in appetite. It’s not ideal if you’re cutting fat, but it does help when your goal is to bulk up and make significant gains.
Nutrobal MK-677 is available in liquid form with no additional ingredients.
Does Nutrobal MK-677 Work?
Yes! In a study, it’s been shown that MK-677 significantly increases growth hormone and IGF-1 levels in healthy young adults.
Dosage & Beginner Advice
You can take 10 mg to 50 mg of the substance for up to 12 weeks.
Since Nutrobal MK-677 is not a SARM, it should not require a PCT. Use a PCT only when you’re stacking this product together with other SARMs.
#5. Cardarine GW-501516
Increasing your muscle mass is one thing, but what about boosting your performance? If this is one of your main concerns, then Cardarine GW-501516 is worth checking out.
Cardarine GW-501516 or Endurobol is a PPARδ receptor. It regulates muscle metabolism and helps enhance running endurance. It was originally made as a treatment for obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic issues.
Unlike SARMs, Cardarine GW-501516 won’t affect your testosterone levels. It’s just going to help boost your endurance such that you can last longer in the gym.
GW-501516 also aids in fat loss. According to a study, PPARδ activation drives metabolism toward fatty acids as the body’s preferred energy source.
That said, you can add it to your SARMs stack to boost performance while cutting fat. You’ll perform better, last longer, and make your cutting cycle more effective.
GW-50156 is available in capsules of 10 mg each. Ingredients include gelatine, GW-501516, and cornstarch.
Does Cardarine GW-501516 Work?
It’s highly likely. In a study conducted on mice, the drug has shown to improve running endurance. Bodybuilders also report being able to work out longer and harder when they’re using the product.
Dosage & Beginner Advice
You can take Cardarine GW-501516 at a dose of 10 mg to 20 mg per day. Make sure you don’t exceed this dosage since the substance is highly potent. Same with most SARMs, you should also use it at a maximum of 8 weeks per cycle.
Since Cardarine GW-501516 doesn’t belong to the class of drugs called SARMs, it won’t require a PCT. You’ll be able to maximize its full benefits on its own.
#6. Andarine S-4
Rounding out this list of the best SARMs on the market is the Andarine S-4. It’s a well-known SARM for increasing muscle mass and cutting fat.
While these benefits are similar to other SARMs, the difference lies in its potency. It’s a lot milder and has a lower half-life. If you’re very new to using SARMs, using something this mild can ease your anxiety over these substances.
Andarine also comes with the additional benefit of strengthening bones. You’ll be able to complete your lifts easier and gain strength over time.
If you want to boost its effects, you can take it in higher doses while maintaining a longer cycle.
Andarine is available in liquid form with no other additives.
Does Andarine S-4 Work?
It’s highly likely! Like all SARMs, it’s shown to help with helping people increase testosterone levels and build muscle. A study on rats also showed that the substance helps in increasing bone mineral density and decreasing fat.
Dosage & Beginner Advice
You can take up to 50 mg to 75 mg of the SARM for 12 to 16 weeks. Make sure to split dosages into three and have them together with meals.
After going on a cycle with Andarine S-4, we recommend that you follow up with a PCT. Then, let your body recover for a few weeks afterward.
Note that taking Andarine S-4 can have a few side effects on vision. It adds a yellow tinge to your vision during the day and makes it a little harder to adjust to seeing during the night.
Best Legal Steroid Stacks
The term “legal steroids” refers to over-the-counter supplements that are meant to help with bodybuilding and stamina.
Strictly speaking, “legal steroids” are not androgenic steroids per se, but they produce similar effects. You can stack SARMs with legal steroids to maximize their effects.
Here are some examples of legal steroids alternatives you can use to increase muscle mass and improve performance.
It’s hard to talk about coming up with the best SARMs stack without mentioning creatine. It’s one of the most widely used substances for building muscle.
Creatine is composed of three amino acids: glycine, arginine, and methionine. Once it enters the body, it binds with phosphate molecules to produce creatine phosphate. This substance helps you increase your energy stores and allow you to train harder and longer.
Here are some of the benefits of taking creatine supplements:
- Boosts energy: As mentioned, the main function of creatine is to help your body produce more energy. That will help you finish intense workout routines and improve your power.
- Acts as a fuel source: When lifting weights or doing other anaerobic activities, your body will turn to your creatine phosphate supply for energy.
- Aids in muscle growth: Adding creatine to a weight training program leads to increased strength and muscle mass.
Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP)
MMP is an OTC supplement that can help you build the best SARMs stack. Users report higher energy and better concentration from taking the substance.
MMP is composed of betaine, creatine, and dendrobium extract. It plays a role in the maintenance of myofiber functional integrity skeletal muscles and regulating muscle cell migration, differentiation, and regeneration.
The substance should be relatively safe to use. When you’re taking it as a supplement, watch out for additional ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction.
Ashwagandha is a natural medicinal herb that has been used since ancient times to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration. It comes from flowers native to India and North Africa.
Studies show that taking supplements containing ashwagandha boosts testosterone levels and helps treat infertility in men.
Testosterone is helpful in developing and maintaining muscle mass, so boosting your testosterone level should help you achieve your bodybuilding goals faster.
Frequently Asked Questions: How to Use SARMs for Bodybuilding
SARMs help people increase and maintain muscle mass. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about what SARMs are and how to use them effectively.
Why do people use SARMs?
While SARMs help bodybuilders make significant gains, the compounds were actually developed as treatments for muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Some of them were also designed to help in testosterone replacement therapy.
Are SARMs effective for cutting or bulking?
Although they’re still in the research phase, plenty of the studies done on Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) offer promising results related to muscle building and recovery. Some types of SARMs also aid in fat loss and building stamina.
How to take SARMs?
Taking SARMs is relatively more simple than using anabolic steroids. They’re orally active, which means you can simply consume them in capsule, powder, or liquid form. You shouldn’t require painful injections.
The dosage should depend on the substance you’re using. Check each individual substance for detailed dosage instructions. It’s important to not go over the recommended dosage to avoid potential side effects.
How to take liquid SARMs?
Most SARMs are available in liquid form. You can measure the substance using a weighing scale and then consume it directly using a dropper or by drinking.
What is a SARM cycle?
Bodybuilders go through bulking or cutting cycles. The former refers to the process of building muscle mass and gaining body fat, while the latter refers to losing weight and burning fat.
SARMs help bodybuilders achieve their goals for their cutting or bulking cycles. Even though you’ll see significant progress with SARMs, it’s important to limit cycles to a maximum of 8 weeks. This will give your body some time to recover and regulate hormone levels.
How much can you gain with SARMs?
Plenty of anecdotal evidence exists on the Internet about the gains people have made by taking SARMs. Users report that they gain up to 18 to 21 pounds of lean muscle mass with one SARMs cycle.
What are the best SARMs for fat loss?
Stacking Ostarine MK-2866 with GW-501516 is ideal for fat loss. Ostarine helps burn fat while GW-501516 helps to boost metabolism. Take 10 mg of each for two weeks, then 20 mg of each for four weeks. Keep everything within a 6-week cycle.
After you’re done with the cutting cycle, take a PCT supplement. Then, let your body rest for the same amount of time you were on a cutting cycle.
This should work for beginners and basic cutting. Once you’re more experienced with using SARMs, you can take it to the next level by taking 20 mg of MK-2866, 15 mg of GW-501516, then 20 mg of Andarine S4.
Don’t forget to take a PCT supplement afterward and then take a break that’s equal to the cycle length.
What is the best SARMs stack for bulking?
Using 10 mg each of MK-677 and Ligandrol LGD-4033 should help you grow muscle for your bulking cycle. If you’re a beginner, start with a short 6-week cycle and keep doses low.
You can extend the cycle for up to 8 weeks once you become more experienced. As always, never forget to take a PCT supplement after bulking.
What is the best SARMs stack to recomp?
Recomping refers to cutting fat and developing muscles at the same time. The best SARMs stack for achieving this goal is taking 20 mg each of LG-4033, GW-501516, and MK-2866. Try it for 8 weeks then go on a break for another 8 weeks. Make sure to take a PCT supplement after each cycle.
What is the best SARMs stack for women?
Women use SARMs to tone and define their muscles while cutting fat. To achieve this, they can take the following:
- Ligandrol LGD-4033 (5mg)
- MK-2866 (10 mg)
- S4-Andarine (10 mg)
They can try this for 10 weeks and then take a 6-week break afterward. PCT supplements aren’t usually required since women won’t have a problem with having lower testosterone levels.
Are SARMs the same as steroids?
No. They mimic the effects of traditional androgenic steroids, but they work differently. Compared to steroids, which affect your entire body, SARMs selectively target tissues that are involved in muscle building.
Users also report that they recover faster from using SARMs compared to using traditional anabolic steroids. You can use fewer PCT supplements and can also need to take shorter breaks between each cycle.
What are the best SARMs for beginners?
If you’re new to SARMs, you should go for the mildest version, which is Ostarine MK-2866.
How long do SARMs stay in your system?
In order to get a good grasp of how long SARMs stay in your system, you need to check its half-life, which is the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of the substance in your system.
The half-life of each SARM varies. Here is the half-life of each of the substances mentioned in this article:
- MK-2866: 24 hours
- Testolone RAD-140: 24 hours
- Ligandrol-4033: 24 to 36 hours
- Nutrobal MK-677: 24 hours
- Cardarine GW-501516: 10 to 24 hours
- Andarine S-4: 4 to 6 hours
Are SARMs dangerous?
The clinical trials conducted on SARMs suggest that they’re generally well-tolerated. However, there’s limited research on the compound’s long-term effects on the body.
One thing you should note about SARMs is that they tend to affect the body’s ability to produce testosterone naturally. That’s why it’s crucial to take post-cycle therapy (PCT) supplements to get your body back to normal.
It’s also best to limit your intake to a few weeks per cycle and to remember to not go over the recommended dosage per day in order to avoid any side effects.
Best SARMs: What’s Our #1 Choice!
SARMs can make your bulking and cutting cycles more efficient. These compounds function the same way as androgenic steroids but target tissues that are more involved with muscle production.
In our review of the best SARMs available, we’ve found that Ostarine MK-2866 tops the list. A lot of its benefits are supported by clinical research and it’s also one of the mildest ones in terms of reported side effects.
Taking SARMs requires a bit of preparation and caution. Always follow instructions on dosage and stacking to help ensure that your body can recover well after each SARM cycle.
Still, it’s pretty clear that there are plenty of benefits that come with taking SARMs. With the right information and a quality SARM, you can achieve your bodybuilding goals in as short as 8 weeks!