SARMs are relatively new supplements that have not been on the market for a long time. However, the bodybuilders have been actively seeking new tools to enhance their performance without old-fashioned anabolic steroids. This in-depth review guides you through the top 7 SARMs for bodybuilding.
SARMs, or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, are relatively "new" supplements in the bodybuilding field.
However, they have been investigated as a potential treatment for muscle wasting diseases and osteoporosis for a long time.
Because of that research, many athletes have started using SARMs to improve their bodybuilding results and give them an edge in competitive sports.
Currently, SARMs are used for many indications including osteoporosis, anemia, male contraception, male hypogonadism, and wound healing.(1) They can also significantly enhance lean muscle gains and reduce body fat.
SARMs can be steroidal and non-steroidal. The non-steroidal SARMs can be used in a muscle development or fat loss regimen, and, when properly stacked, the effects can be even more amazing.
We'll go through some of the greatest stacks and individual SARMs for common bodybuilding goals, so keep reading.
The Top 7 SARMS on the Market in 2024
You may wish to stack SARMs for a variety of reasons.
If you're completely new to SARMs, we recommend starting with only one SARM and proceeding carefully to make sure you avoid potential side effects.
Ostarine (MK-2866): Best SARM for Gaining Weight
Ostarine is the SARM with the most human studies. It has been shown to increase lean body mass and promote fat loss.
This is our first recommendation if you've never used a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator before. It is one of the most potent SARMs, which can help with massive muscle gains, enhancing athletic performance.
- Burns fat
- Enhances muscle building and increases lean muscle mass
- Prevents muscle tissue loss
- Helps treat muscle wasting in patients with muscular dystrophy
- Mild stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, or nausea
- Pregnant and nursing women should avoid Ostarine.
Andarine (S-4): Great SARM for Cardio
Andarine is a moderate Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator, which is one of the good alternatives for female users.
It's also known as S4 and can help you build lean muscle mass much faster.
- Powerful SARMs for reducing fat
- Retains bone density
- Promotes lean muscle tissue growth
- Good for bulking and stacking
- High doses for multiple weeks are not recommended
- Avoid using S-4 for more than eight weeks
- May cause temporary yellow vision
Testolone (RAD140): Good SARM for Beginners
Also called Radarine, it is among the most widely used SARMs due to its strong effect on athletic performance, recovery, and muscle growth. It is primarily used to increase testosterone levels.
Radarine can be taken alone or in combination with other SARMs during your first cycle. It mimics testosterone but mostly targets the muscles. This can potentially reduce the negative side effects commonly associated with testosterone use. However, Testolone has never been approved for human use.
- May increase muscle mass and fat-burning
- A safer option than testosterone replacement therapy
- Shouldn't be used for more than eight weeks
- Must be carefully monitored after each consumption
- May suppress testosterone production
- May cause fatigue, hair loss, and mood swings
Ligandrol (LGD-4033): Top SARM for Cutting
Ligandrol is 11 times more powerful than Ostarine, allowing you to grow muscle size in less time. Anyone during a bulking phase will appreciate this step up.
Ligandrol promotes quick strength gains while preventing bone deterioration, reducing the chance of injury as you become tougher in the gym. The clinical study has found that Ligandrol significantly increases lean body mass but has little effect on body fat.(2)
- Great for strength stacking
- The strongest SARMs for muscle building
- Excellent for cutting
- Enhanced lean muscle mass
- It may cause some water retention, but it resolves quickly.
- Headaches and dry mouth are possible side effects.
- Mild testosterone suppression
- Shouldn't be used for more than eight weeks.
Ibutamoren (MK-677): Good SARM for Fat Loss
Ibutamoren (MK-677), a GH-Secretagogue rather than a SARM, has a potent appetite-inducing effect and can improve sleep and recovery by boosting growth hormone.
It's ideal for the bulking phase due to its effect on human growth hormone and IFG-1 levels.(3) While further studies are needed, researchers have found that it can increase muscle mass, prevent bone loss, and increase fat-free mass.
- Improves mineral density
- Increases lean muscle tissue
- Can be part of a cutting stack
- It's not a selective androgen receptor modulator, despite being marketed as one.
Cardarine (GW-501516): Great for Women
The second chemical on this list that isn't an actual SARM is Cardarine. Cardarine increases endurance, promotes a balanced lipid profile, and promotes fat reduction through the PPAR route.
- Moderates receptor activity
- Commonly found in stack formulas
- A better steroid alternative
- Is not an actual selective androgen receptor modulator
- Animal research of Cardarine were halted because it caused cancer, and has never been studied in humans.
YK-11: Most Effective SARM for Lean Mass
YK-11 is a new synthetic steroid often claimed to be a super-SARM. YK-11 is based on 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a stronger form of testosterone that acts on androgen receptors in the sex organs, prostate, hair, and liver.
Some studies done on cell cultures showed that YK11 may increase muscle mass and improve bone health.(4)
Always use thorough cycle supports and keep the length of usage as brief as possible.
- Often used by people who want to bulk up without having to stack
- Should be used in no more than an eight-week cycle.
- May increase fat burning and enhance bone strength.
- Doesn't have much scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness
- Not an actual SARM because it has a steroidal structure
- Relatively new compound
Myostatin (YK-11): Strongest SARM for Muscle Growth and Building a Muscle Mass
You may expect comparable results from YK-11 as you would from other SARMs, although it does have a steroid structure.
It's based on DHT, the most powerful bioactive metabolite of testosterone. One of the benefits of YK-11 is myostatin inhibition. One study also showed that it may increase bone density.(5)
Stenabolic (SR9009): Good SARM for Strength
Stenabolic, also known as SR9009, is a molecule that is technically not a SARM at all. It is an investigational chemical that enhances REV-ERB activity to regulate internal circadian rhythms. Animal research has shown that Stenabolic can boost endurance, reduce anxiety, decrease cholesterol and weight, and alleviate inflammation.(6)
It is an alternative for people who want to avoid natural testosterone suppression, which can improve physical function by reducing body fat.
Radarine (RAD-140): Good SARM for Vascularity
Radarine, or Testolone, is a popular testosterone booster and a great legal alternative to synthetic anabolic steroids. It increases protein synthesis and boosts energy and stamina while stacking well with other SARMs.
We recommend starting with 10mg Radarine every day for stacking.
This selective androgen receptor modulator might not be powerful enough to build muscle mass, but it can still help with muscle recovery, increase muscle strength, and speed up fat loss. Initially, it was investigated for treating age-related cognitive decline.
ACP-105 is one of the newest SARMs on the market. It offers anabolic effects with only mild natural testosterone suppression and minimal adverse effects that are limited to headaches, fatigue, and nausea. Therefore, it's a safe alternative to other SARMs that have more serious adverse side effects.
This makes ACP-105 a great choice for people who are just starting out with dietary supplements and are most likely to be worried about side effects.
What Are SARMs?
SARMs, or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, are fairly new chemicals for increasing gains in muscle mass and physical strength and promoting faster recovery. Although many SARMs and related compounds are promising, they have little evidence and a limited amount of research to back up all their claims. Among all products mentioned in this article, only Ostarine MK-2866 has been used in human studies.
However, SARMs are a terrific option for folks who wish to bulk up in the gym without significantly impacting natural testosterone production.
SARMs are included in several dietary supplements and synthetic drugs aimed at bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts.
How Do SARMs Work?
SARMs are different from usual anabolic steroids in a way that they activate only androgen receptors at specific organs in the body.
This is a great option for people who want to avoid the bad side effects of steroids without giving up the ability to build muscle and get stronger.
While SARMs are superior to steroids, they are investigational chemicals that have not been approved for human consumption and may cause side effects if taken in higher than recommended dosages and/or for an extended period of time.
More About How SARMs Function
Even though there aren't any approved studies of SARMs for bodybuilding, many user reports have shown that they can help build muscle.
Ostarine MK-2866, which was initially used to relieve muscle wasting caused by various chronic illnesses, has been shown to increase lean body mass in both women and men.
What Are the Benefits of Using SARMs?
SARMs were developed to have a selective action on androgen receptors in certain organs and tissues, including muscles, the prostate, hair, and sex organs. In contrast to usual steroids that act on all steroid receptors in the body, SARMs offer a precise action to cause necessary changes at the levels of the muscles or prostate without causing unwanted side effects in organs like the liver or skin.
When SARMs are used the right way, they help build lean muscle tissue and help muscles grow. They do this by increasing protein synthesis.
What Are the Side Effects of SARMs?
SARMs can act on androgen receptors throughout the body, possibly contributing to some nasty side effects.
SARMs are not approved by the FDA. Recently, the FDA has even issued a warning that SARMs are associated with serious safety concerns, including a potentially increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or severe liver damage.
A recent study found that more than half of the men who used SARMS had side effects, such as mood swings, acne, hair loss, irritability, and high blood pressure. Over 90% of the men who used SARMS were happy with the increased muscle size and other benefits, though.(7)
What Are the Different Types of SARMS?
The two main types of SARMs are steroidal and non-steroidal. There are other substances sometimes marketed as SARMs, including Stenabolic, YK-11, Cardarine, and Ibutamoren.
When Do You Stack SARMs?
If you want to get the most out of a cycle, consider taking more than one SARM at once. Below is a list of the most popular stacks, depending on your goals.
SARMs powder is included in capsules, making it easier for newcomers who are unsure of the correct daily dosage of SARMs.
But because they are the most expensive, beginners who aren't sure if they want to take SARMs yet shouldn't start with them.
SARMs Loose Powder
The powder is the most cost-effective option, but it is a little difficult to use. It can be tough to use unless you're knowledgeable enough to understand your dosage and measure it, particularly since you'll also need a micro-scale.
Liquid is probably the best choice because it is affordable for both expert and novice users.
Although, based on the dosage you'll use, it might be difficult to apply, so many users choose powder.
How to Use SARMS?
Fitness lovers are recommended to take between 5 mg and 10 mg daily for 6 to 10 weeks, cautioning that dosages greater than 10 mg may trigger significant testosterone suppression and negative effects.
Ligandrol, like Ostarine, is frequently combined with other SARMs for maximum effect.
At low doses, it has few or no major negative effects, but it can cause mild side effects like headaches, nausea, and sore muscles.
The Cardarine and Ostarine combo is the most common SARM stack for newbies.
How to Choose the Right SARM?
When it comes to purchasing SARMs, there are several factors involved.
If this is your first time taking SARMs, make sure you do your homework to find the top vendors and products.
Some of the purchasing considerations are listed below.
Quality of the Product
If you want high-quality SARMs stacks, you need to be aware of all the ingredients that go into them.
Remember that a high-quality product will provide you with the great outcomes you desire.
As a result, make sure you know where to purchase from a trustworthy brand.
The prices of SARMs vary depending on the brand, dosage, and form, such as powder, capsules, or liquid.
SARMs Stack for Bulking Up
There is no one-size-fits-all SARMs stack. However, certain SARMs complement each other better than others and may be more appropriate for your goals.
Once you decide to bulk up, you might want to look for a stack that is similar to anabolic steroids.
In general, you should look for the following products, which are commonly regarded as the most efficient for increasing muscle mass.
- Ligandrol LGD-4033
- Andarine S-4
- Testolone RAD-140
While all SARMs act in a similar way, some have slightly different effects that may be beneficial for burning fat mass, muscle growth, stamina, or managing hunger.
The most important thing regarding Cardarine is that it is not a SARM.
As a PPAR Receptor Agonist, Cardarine operates on the PPAR pathway instead of the androgen receptor structure.
Cardarine can help you get your high-intensity cardio done to the best of your abilities if you're dieting, or it can assist you in pushing through those higher rep sets for muscle gain.
Cardarine doesn't act on androgen receptors. Therefore, it's not the same as a SARM. When combined with a SARM, Cardarine would boost strength and stamina even more. However, be aware of the potential side effects of combining Cardarine with Ostarine. Taking it for a few month and/or at higher dosages may cause liver injury and muscle issues.(8)
MK-677, also known as Ibutamoren, is another molecule that is frequently mislabeled as a SARM while it is actually a GH secretagogue.
Ibutamoren stimulates ghrelin to boost growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels. This improves sleep quality and increases hunger, which is great for times when you're pushing eating and exercising hard!
Post Cycle Therapy Supplements for SARMs
If you use any steroid that affects testosterone levels or production, PCT is necessary.
Like the majority of anabolic steroids, SARMs can also decrease natural testosterone production. However, it fully recovers just a month or two after you stop taking SARMs.
After taking SARMs, Post-Cycle Treatment (PCT) will vary based on the SARMs utilized, dosage, and cycle duration.
However, because of the preferential aspect of SARMs, you can typically conduct a successful PCT with over-the-counter pills.
This means that adverse effects are far less common and can be milder when they occur. Every SARMs cycle usually lasts eight to twelve weeks at most.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
These are the frequently asked questions that SARMs users are curious about.
What Is a Good SARMs Stack for Post-Cycle Therapy?
The most effective way to increase muscle mass for post-cycle therapy is a RAD 140 + MK 667 + Cardarine formula. For people who have been riding for more than 12 weeks, a 4- to 8-week treatment of PCTs is often recommeended. This is the strongest stack and the ideal SARM stack for any purpose, especially muscle building.
What Is the Most Effective SARM?
Testolone RAD 140 is the most effective SARM. When it comes to the most well-known and powerful SARMs, Testolone is right up there with Ostarine. It was first designed to treat breast cancer patients, but it is currently being studied for muscle-wasting illnesses.
What Is the Safest SARM for Building Muscle?
Ligandrol is not only one of the most powerful SARMs on the market, but also one of the safest. It also has a good track record for improving and strengthening sexual energy and performance. LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) is the mildest and "friendliest" SARM. However, a few users have reported vomiting and abdominal pain.
Which Brand of SARMs Is Best for Boosting Energy Levels?
Ostarine, also known as MK-2866 or Enobosarm, is an experimental SARM that was originally supposed to cure osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal problems. It is one of the best-known and most-used SARMs in the fitness and bodybuilding worlds.
What SARM Is Good for Bulking?
Testolone is the most effective SARM for bulking. This is the ultimate choice of athletes for muscle building as one of the most popular SARMs available. Aside from being potent, SARMs are used to improve muscle and enhance male libido. Being the strongest SARM available, it also increases testosterone.
What Is the Most Popular SARM for Weight Loss?
Andarine (S4) is one of the most popular SARMs for fat loss and was created to combat osteoporosis, making it an ideal alternative for women. The experts also studied it to treat muscle wasting as a way to bulk up.
To wrap it up, the best SARM for bulking is Testolone. Muscular endurance is important, but of course, you'd want to look good as well.
Ligandrol is also beneficial for fat loss and muscle building. Ostarine is also great for preventing and treating muscle loss and maintaining bone density.
If you're looking for a SARM that's good for improving muscle mass, Ostarine is one of the top options.
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- Kintz, Pascal et al. “Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Delta Agonist (PPAR- δ) and Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) Abuse: Clinical, Analytical and Biological Data in a Case Involving a Poisonous Combination of GW1516 (Cardarine) and MK2866 (Ostarine).” Toxics vol. 9,10 251. 7 Oct. 2021, doi:10.3390/toxics9100251