SARMs basics: The 101 guide to everything you need to know

There is no doubt an increase in SARM usage, as many people are distraught by the disastrous effects that steroids and prohormones have on their bodies.

Bodybuilders are seeking something new and side effect free, as the belief that gaining muscle has to have some drawback is quickly losing traction.

Many of those that sought found their solace in SARMs and they claim that these drugs helped them achieve most of their fitness goals without inducing disadvantages commonly associated with other compounds.

sarmguide.com the ultimate SARMs guide

While SARMs do seem promising on paper and in studies, we still have to know a bit about them before using them, as they can become dangerous if not properly utilized.

This is why I’ve created this cheat sheet, to serve as a small guide to SARMs where you can find an answer quickly, without having to trawl the internet for ages.

We’ll learn a bit about SARMs, types of SARMs, their legality and quickly go through all the popular SARMs and compounds associated with them, and I will also show you a few of my personal favorite cycles with SARMs, as well as the two best shops for buying them. 

In the end, I will answer some of the most common questions associated with SARMs.

Let’s get started!

SARMs, which is short for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, are a group of drugs commonly lumped together because of their similar mechanism of action.

From their name alone, one can deduce that they selectively bind and modulate the androgen receptor, without affecting other areas of the body.

SARMs were first discovered in the 1940s and from there on further developed until the 1990s, when the first SARMs we know of today became freely available to the public.

Unlike steroids or prohormones, SARMs don’t aromatize into estrogen nor do they affect the prostate, meaning that they are tissue-selective in their mechanism of action.

The biggest advantage of SARMs is their high affinity to the androgen receptor, which means that they work well in low dosages and promote benefits such as muscle building, increasing strength, endurance and so on.

Different forms of SARMs

There are three different forms of SARMs you will stumble upon while researching them.

Powder SARMs

All SARMs initially start off as a powder, before they are either turned into a liquid or capsule for convenience to the end user.

Liquid SARMs

Very easy to store and measure out, they can last you a long time as long as you store them properly. This is the most commonly consumed form of SARMs.

Capsule SARMs

Very easy to consume as you don’t have to measure anything out, the perfect choice for newbies out there. The only problem is that not many reputable companies sell SARMs in capsule form.

Are SARMs Legal

As of August 2020, SARMs and compounds usually associated with SARMs, such as Cardarine, Ibutamoren and Stenabolic are completely legal to buy as research chemicals in every country in the world. I have written more about SARMs and their legality here.

The one exception from this rule is Australia, where SARMs are scheduled as prescription drugs, meaning that you need a doctor to prescribe them to you before you can possess or use them. You can read my entire guide on SARMs and Australia here.

Please note that technically, you shouldn’t be consuming the SARMs that you buy, since they are research chemicals only to be used for research in a lab. However, that doesn’t stop bodybuilders from taking them anyways and so far, nothing bad has happened, as SARMs are well tolerated and safe to use, at least according to the many studies done on them.

Ostarine (MK-2866)

Ostarine is purported to be one of the safest and mildest SARMs in existence. The reason why it’s believed to be so safe is because of the many human studies performed on it, making it the most popular and widely used SARM as of now.

Ostarine is most commonly used for cutting cycles and one has to be careful with dosages, as it can cause suppression to occur, despite being described as relatively mild.

In the future, Ostarine might be used to treat Osteoporosis and other muscle wasting diseases, as it has a positive effect on bone density.

Ostarine Benefits

  • Increases Lean Muscle Mass

In a study performed on 159 cancer patients who took either 1 or 3mgs of Ostarine per day for 113 days showed that both groups exhibited lean muscle growth. They gained around two to three pounds of lean muscle mass. The most interesting finding of this study was that both groups gained an equal amount of muscle mass (rounded up), despite different dosages.

  • Increases Muscle And Bone Strength

Although no human studies confirm these findings, we do have animal studies that showed Ostarine having very good effects on our bone and muscle strength. This is not only good news for those suffering from osteoporosis, but also for bodybuilders who seek more muscle strength and sturdiness. Moreover, this benefit will help you keep your existing muscle during a cut.

  • Improves Lipid Profile

Research that concerned 120 people showed that Ostarine had the ability to significantly reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels.

  • Increases Fat Loss

Ostarine has the ability to improve fat-free mass by decreasing the amount of fat in our bodies. This has been confirmed by the following study.

  • Potential Cure For Diabetes In The Future

Ostarine has shown itself to be beneficial when it came to lowering blood glucose and bolstering insulin resistance, both very important for those suffering from diabetes.

Ostarine Side Effects

  • Testosterone Suppression

Don’t let the fact that Ostarine is mild fool you into believing that it can’t suppress you. If you use it in normal dosages for no longer than eight weeks, you can expect mild suppression to occur by week seven. It will go away on its own after a month and you won’t need PCT for it.

The most common side effects which follow suppression are lethargy and low libido levels.

  • Headaches

They usually occur in the first week of usage and completely disappear afterwards, not much you can do about them.

  • Disturbed Sleep Pattern

A small minority of people report sleep disturbances from Ostarine usage. It’s very rare for this side effect to occur, but it is still good to know that it can happen to you.

  • Hair Loss

Only experienced by a handful of people on astronomical dosages (about 50mgs a day or more). If you stick to normal dosages, you will not have a problem with hair loss from Ostarine.

Ostarine Results

In one eight-week cutting cycle, you can expect to lose between five to ten pounds of weight, as well as 3 to 5% of your total body fat. You will also gain some lean muscle mass, but not a lot.

You will not lose any strength or muscle during your cut, as Ostarine will protect your muscle mass from deteriorating.

If you’re bulking with Ostarine, you will gain about five to seven pounds of lean muscle mass, while also losing a little bit of body fat.

Andarine

Andarine is very similar to Ostarine as it has been developed by the same company. The only difference is, after phase I human trials, it was abandoned in favor of Ostarine – probably because it impaired vision in those who took it.

Andarine has very high bioavailability and is better at building muscle tissue and promoting bone health when compared to Ostarine, but this has only been tested on animals so far.

Andarine was supposed to be a SARM with clinical applications; such as treating muscle wasting diseases, reducing prostate size and combating osteoporosis.

This is all long forgotten, but bodybuilders still use it for the powerful benefits it harbors.

Let’s take a closer look at them!

Andarine Benefits

  • Increases Muscle Mass

Measured by a ml to ml basis, Andarine is better at building muscle mass than Testosterone itself.

When compared to DHT, it also outperformed it when it came to building muscle mass. Moreover, it didn’t increase prostate size, which is a huge problem with anabolic agents.

  • Reduces Prostate Size

A study on rats that were treated for prostate hyperplasia showed that S4 was the most desirable compound for the job, outmatching S1 (another SARM being tested for reducing prostate size). Even though S4 wasn’t compared to Finasteride and Hydroxyflutamide, we can surmise that since S1 performed better than these two, that S4 would automatically outperform all three.

  • Increases Fat Loss

Female rats that had their ovaries removed showed a decrease in body fat once Andarine had been introduced to them. 

It has been proven that Andarine decreases fat by means of increasing the basal metabolic rate of rats and not through lipolysis, as was previously thought.

  • Increases Bone Strength

Andarine has shown itself to be very potent when it came to aiding bone strength, irrespective of the gender of the rat.

This is why Andarine was so promising in human trials, but was sadly abandoned after its side effects started showing.

Andarine Side Effects

  • Yellow Tint In Vision

This side effect is most pronounced at nighttime, where users have reported difficulties adjusting their vision to light while on Andarine.

Also, there is a visible yellow tint experienced by those who take Andarine in higher dosages, which does go away once the drug is discontinued, but still causes a lot of discontent for the afflicted user.

None of the clinical studies performed on animals showed this side effect, and it is widely believed that it is exactly this side effect which caused Andarine to be abandoned in favor of Ostarine.

You don’t have to be afraid of Andarine, just don’t consume it in astronomical dosages and you should have no issues with your vision.

  • Mild Suppression

According to users that have taken both Ostarine and Andarine, many of them report that the former was actually more suppressive than the latter. This would mean that Andarine is the least suppressive SARM of them all, and that you don’t have to worry that much about suppression.

Still, it can occur and will affect your motivation in the gym and libido levels, so be prepared for that.

You will not need PCT for Andarine.

Andarine Results

Andarine is usually used for cutting, as it gives your muscles a defined look at low body fat percentages. 

You will also experience increased muscle mass, vascularity, as well as a noticeable improvement in overall body composition.

In a typical eight-week cycle, you can expect to gain around 2 to 5 pounds of muscle mass and lose around 3 to 5% of your total body fat.

The above only applies if you keep your diet and exercise routines on point.

Ligandrol (LGD-4033)

LGD-4033, also known as Ligandrol or VK5211 is a non-steroidal SARM that is known to be a full agonist of the androgen receptor.

It has very high affinity and bioavailability, making it a very good compound to take orally.

Allegedly, LGD-4033 is the strongest SARM out there when measured on a mg to mg basis.

This theory confirms itself when you consider the fact that just 2,5mgs of Ligandrol can suppress you, while also providing significant benefits to the person taking it.

Ligandrol has enjoyed multiple human studies and they all confirmed this SARM to be safe and well-tolerated for human consumption, even in dosages as high as 22mgs.

Ligandrol Benefits

  • Increases Lean Muscle Mass

A study on 76 healthy males between the ages of 21 to 50 revealed that Ligandrol had the ability to increase lean muscle mass by up to three pounds on a 1mg dosage in just 21 days. The increase was dose-dependent, meaning that a higher dosage should technically net more gains.

  • Increased Strength

Although not as strong as RAD 140, Ligandrol still packs on a punch when it comes to increasing strength in bodybuilders. 

  • Increases Libido And Improves Sexual Function

The effects of LGD-4033 on sexual performance have long been documented, with most males experiencing a significant upswing in libido levels once they start imbuing Ligandrol.

  • Improves Cognition

While there are no studies supporting this claim, the company behind Ligandrol, as well as countless pieces of anecdotal evidence seem to point out that this SARM has the ability to improve cognitive function, both in young healthy males and in elderly people.

  • Faster Recovery Times

Once again, this is all anecdotal evidence from bodybuilders that have taken Ligandrol. They claim that this SARM has helped them lower their recovery times by up to 50%, which vastly improved their efficiency when it came to lifting weights.

Ligandrol Side Effects

  • Testosterone Suppression

You have to be very careful when taking Ligandrol as it is the most suppressive SARM currently available on the market. Don’t take more than 2,5-5mgs a day for eight weeks, unless you want to be completely suppressed and in need of PCT.

I have known people that have experienced a complete shutdown on Ligandrol, and they didn’t have a fun time. This could be attributed to the high dosages they took, between 10 to 20mgs a day for a long time – up to sixteen weeks. 

To avoid such a fate, stick to my recommended dosages and cycle lengths.

  • Water Retention

Water retention is a real problem with Ligandrol, more so than in other SARMs. You need to drastically increase your water intake while on LGD-4033, as to avoid this problem from occurring in your body.

Even if it does happen to you, it will quickly go away once your cycle ends, so there is nothing to worry about.

  • Testicle Pain

Some people claim to experience testicle pain while on their Ligandrol cycle. The pain is described as short and sharp, but it is relatively rare and if you do experience it, you’ll have to simply tough it out – the gains are definitely worth it in this scenario.

Don’t worry, no permanent damage is going to occur to your testicles.

  • Insomnia

This is the rarest side effect out of them all and affects only around 1% of those who take Ligandrol. You would have to be really unlucky for this side effect to bother you, and even if it does, the insomnia stops as soon as you cease taking Ligandrol.

Ligandrol Results

If you’ve read my eight-week Ligandrol log, you would have noticed that I had gained 10 pounds of muscle mass while only picking up a measly 0,5% of fat. I was on a bulk the entire time and the results were quite noticeable. My strength went up, energy was out of the roof and I broke most of my personal records.

If you’re going to cut with Ligandrol, expect to retain all of your muscle mass, while losing around 4-5% of your body fat. 

I usually don’t recommend that you cut with Ligandrol, as there are far better SARMs for the job, such as Ostarine or Andarine.

Testolone (RAD 140)

RAD 140 is purported to be the one SARM to provide the best dry gains to bodybuilders. The strength gains from RAD 140 are also not to be underestimated, as you’ll become a powerhouse once you start imbuing it.

Testolone is known as a SARM that is very similar to Ligandrol judging by its effects, and there are many people that like to compare the two, which is exactly what I did in this article.

Compared to Testosterone, RAD 140 exhibits an androgenic to anabolic ratio of 90:1, which is considered very high, even for SARMs.

Unlike Ligandrol, RAD 140 is a partial agonist of the androgen receptor, which means that it doesn’t cause as much suppression as the former.Finally, RAD 140 is very potent at low dosages, harboring many benefits in a short period of time.

Testolone Benefits

  • Increases Strength And Muscle Mass

Although no research on humans has been done with RAD 140, studies on monkeys confirm that Testolone increases muscle mass in just one month of usage.

  • Increases Fat Loss

Despite no studies backing this up, it’s only logical that by increasing muscle mass; more energy is expended, which means that RAD 140 has the ability to induce fat loss in those taking it. This is confirmed by anecdotal evidence which suggests that most users lose up to 5% of their total body fat in just eight weeks of usage.

  • Reduces Prostate Size

Unlike pure Testosterone, which can increase prostate size, studies on RAD 140 have shown that it decreases prostate size by up to 70%.

  • Increases Vascularity

As you lose more fat and gain more muscle, your veins will naturally start popping out. RAD 140 is known to increase vascularity by means of providing you with lean, dry gains.

  • Potential Cure For Breast Cancer

Preclinical studies on RAD 140 show that it has a potent effect on breast cancer cells, completely obliterating their proclivity to grow. 

However, until studies on humans are completed, I cannot safely claim that it can actually cure breast cancer.

Testolone Side Effects

  • Increased Irritability And Aggression

It is entirely possible that you’ll be a lot quicker to jump the gun once you start imbuing RAD 140. Not only will you be more irritable, but you’ll also feel aggression in the gym, which can be a positive thing when it comes to lifting weights, but not when communicating with other people. Both of these emotions are manageable, and my irritability/aggression completely disappeared once I stopped my cycle.

  • Testosterone Suppression

You will definitely feel lethargic and your libido levels will drop significantly, some even experience mild depression as they no longer have the same drive as they had before.

This is all normal and can be mitigated without PCT, you just have to be patient for around a month after your last RAD 140 dosage. Still, if you do feel like the suppression is heavy enough to warrant PCT, do use some Nolvadex for four weeks – that should do the trick.

Testolone Results

I usually take RAD 140 to bulk up, as the amazing strength and muscle gains in the gym help me beat my personal bests, which just increases my motivation to lift even more.

I have personally gained eight pounds of muscle mass and lost 5% of my total body fat in just eight weeks with RAD 140.

Your veins will also be a lot more visible, and you will get a lean and shredded look. RAD 140 definitely works wonders on body recomposition, so you should consider taking it if that’s your goal.

If you’re taking Testolone on a caloric deficit, you can expect to lose around 5-7% of your total body fat and around eight to ten pounds of weight.

YK11

YK11 is a real heavy hitter in the world of SARMs. It is classified as both a SARM and a steroid, which makes it a lot more potent than the other four SARMs I’ve talked about previously.

It is a steroid because of its molecular structure, and a SARM because cellular studies have shown that it selectively binds to the androgen receptor.

YK 11 is also a myostatin inhibitor, which means that it should technically build a lot of muscle, since myostatin has been shown to have a role in mitigating muscle growth.

No human or animal studies have ever been performed with YK11 as it was abandoned in clinical trials. 

We currently have no idea why that is the case, but many bodybuilders have used it successfully and report amazing results following their cycle.

YK11 Benefits

  • Increases Muscle Mass

While we only have cellular studies confirming this notion, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence backing it up. It increases follistatin expression in the body, which is a unique way of building muscle, meaning that YK11 works unlike any other SARM.

  • Increases Bone Growth

YK11 has been shown to increase the amount of protein kinase B, which is directly responsible for bone growth. This lets you put on a lot more muscle, without having to fear joint pain or other bone-related issues.

  • Improves Libido And Sexual Drive

While this is mostly anecdotal, many men have reported becoming beasts in bed while on YK11. I can confirm that notion as I have done an eight-week cycle on YK11 myself. You will breed like a rabbit and your partner is going to love it.

  • Increases Strength

It isn’t going to be as pronounced as with RAD 140, but you will feel increased strength while in the gym.

YK11 Side Effects

  • Liver Toxicity

YK11 has a methyl ester among its ranks, which makes it slightly toxic to the liver. Anecdotal reports have shown that it increases the presence of liver enzymes in your blood such as ALT and AST, which signify that there is some liver damage being done.

However, if you take liver support while imbuing YK11, you shouldn’t have any issues. Read more about liver support here.

  • Hair Shedding

Derivatives of DHT, such as YK11, are very dangerous to those that have a genetic disposition towards hair shedding. While reports of hair shedding on YK11 are scarce, if you do notice it, you’ll have to stop your cycle prematurely or consider taking hair-loss supplements, such as RU-58841.

  • Testosterone Suppression

Anyone claiming that YK11 is not suppressive is deluded. YK11 is quite suppressive and you do have to manage your dosages precisely if you want to avoid doing PCT. The most common side effects following suppression are low libido levels, depression, lethargy and mood swings.

  • Acne

It’s possible to experience acne while on a YK11 cycle. It happened to me on my own YK11 log. The most affected area is going to be your upper back. Don’t worry, the acne starts going away as soon as you stop your cycle.

YK11 Results

YK11 is mostly used for bulking and body recomping. 

If you’re bulking, you will gain around 15 pounds of raw mass without any issues. This sounds incredible and it really is, one has to try it out for himself to see just how powerful YK11 is.

You will also lose a little bit of fat, but not a significant amount and your strength will go through the roof. Many people don’t need more than eight weeks to smash all of their personal bests.

If you’re body recomping, you can expect to end up shredded at the end of your cycle. Depending on your body shape before the cycle, you might have to do a few cycles with YK11 before you’re completely satisfied.

Be that as it may, you’ll still get to your dream physique a lot quicker while on YK11 compared to just doing it naturally.

S23

S23 is the most powerful SARM currently on the market. Rats that were treated with this research chemical were all deemed infertile and that just gives us a small glimpse of the strength of this SARM.

The fact that it causes infertility sparked the interest of researchers who saw an opportunity in creating a male contraceptive out of S23.

As of now, S23 is in the preclinical stages of development, meaning that no studies were performed on humans and that there is no human data available.

S23 is known for its high bioavailability and research has settled it to be 96%, which means that you can take it orally and absorb almost all of it.

It also has a very high binding affinity to the androgen receptor, with the only SARM even coming close to rivaling it being Ligandrol.

S23 Benefits

  • Increases Lean Muscle Mass

Rats that were given estrogen, which should technically lead to muscle loss, showed that S23 completely dominated the estrogen inside of their bodies, essentially ignoring its presence – ending up increasing muscle mass instead!

The one thing to note was that S23 didn’t increase muscle mass in a dose-dependent manner, meaning that taking more of it doesn’t lead to more muscle to be build and may induce side effects.

  • Increases Bone Mineral Density

A study on rats has shown increased bone mineral density on the group that had S23 administered to them. This is very important as it could signify S23 to be a valiant contender for the treatment of degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.

  • Increases Fat Loss

All androgens indirectly increase fat loss by means of increasing muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the more fat you will expend as your basal metabolic rate goes up.

There is one important point about S23 and fat loss, that being that it increased fat loss the more of it was administered to the rats! This leads me to conclude that there could be an unknown mechanism, besides increasing BMR, that leads to more fat loss to be experienced while on S23.

  • Potential Male Contraceptive

As mentioned at the beginning of the S23 section, rats that were given it ended up being completely infertile. However, there is one important caveat; as soon as S23 was ceased, sperm counts returned to normal and the rats started breeding as usual. This means that it is only a temporary solution.

  • Potential Increase In Sexuality In Women

Postmenopausal female rats, who exhibited zero desire for sex, were given S23 and the results were mesmerizing – sexual motivation increased by a lot, without damaging the uterus or other internal organs.

This could translate to human females as well, although I haven’t heard of any anecdotal reports of women taking S23.

S23 Side Effects

  • Hyperthermia

There are many anecdotal reports of night sweats and cramps which comes about as a direct result of an increased body temperature caused by S23 consumption. The only remedy to this ail is to drink more water and staying hydrated at all times.

  • Aggression

You won’t exactly experience ‘roid rage’ like you would on real steroids, but you will feel a marked increase in this negative emotion. You will be a lot more confrontational and little things will get to you. 

Being aware of this side effect can mitigate the negative social effects S23 can have on your life.

  • Heavy Testosterone Suppression

S23 is the one SARM where you simply have to do PCT, there simply isn’t a way around it. Suppression is going to hit hard and if you’re not careful with dosages, a complete shutdown is not out of the question. I recommend four weeks of Nolvadex for the job, taken after you end your cycle.

Don’t cycle S23 for longer than eight weeks.

  • Acne

Since S23 is so potent, there is an increased chance of acne breakouts in users taking this research chemical. The most affected area is going to be your upper back. Luckily, the acne goes away once you stop your cycle, meaning that it isn’t permanent.

S23 Results

The results you can expect from taking S23 are going to be absolutely insane. You will gain around 15 pounds of muscle mass in just one cycle and lose up to 7% of your total body fat. You do have to eat right and train hard to achieve this, but it’s definitely worth it.

S23 is usually taken for the increase in strength one experiences. Bodybuilders that have plateaued at their squat, deadlift and bench press saw the walls in front of them crumble, as they destroyed their previous limitations and ascended to a new level of power.

Some people also like to take S23 while on a cut, as you will not only preserve all of your muscle mass, but also lose a ton of fat and weight, essentially achieving a shredded look in just eight weeks.

Cardarine (GW501506)

Cardarine is a PPAR delta agonist which means that it binds to the PPAR delta receptor, forcing our liver to change its main energy source to fatty acids.

This leads to a better lipid profile to be exhibited, as well as numerous other benefits we’ll talk about shortly.

Cardarine was abandoned in 2007 as it was shown that mice developed cancer when imbuing high dosages of this compound during lengthy periods of time. I’ve dispelled the myth of Cardarine causing cancer in humans here.

However, this doesn’t mean that human trials weren’t conducted after 2007, just that the company behind Cardarine decided to turn its back on its own creation.

Other than the cancer scare, Cardarine has been shown to be very safe and well-tolerated in all research subjects and no visible side effects were exhibited following Cardarine usage.

Some studies have even revealed that this compound has anti-cancer properties!

Cardarine Benefits

  • Increased Endurance

A study on rats has shown that those subjects who took Cardarine doubled their running distance. Moreover, the endurance increase was exhibited even in untrained mice, which could mean that even the couch potatoes among us could benefit from Cardarine.

  • Improves Lipid Profile

Since monkeys have very similar lipid profiles as humans, a study was done on them to determine if Cardarine could improve these figures. 

It was shown that Cardarine not only decreased bad cholesterol and triglycerides, but that it also increased the amount of good cholesterol!

This study has been replicated in humans and showed similar results, without any adverse effects experienced!

  • Increases Fat Burn

It has already been noted that Cardarine increases the amount of energy expended while also activating genes responsible for fat loss. This has been confirmed in the following paper.

The fat loss might not be as pronounced as in SARMs, but it is still significant.

  • Reduces Inflammation In Liver And Kidneys

Generally speaking, PPAR delta agonists have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies on mice show that Cardarine successfully reduces inflammation in both liver and kidneys.

Cardarine Side Effects

  • Liver Damage

This is the only side effect I can think of, you absolutely have to take liver support while imbuing Cardarine. 

It has been shown to increase liver fibrosis in the following study.

To be completely safe, I recommend that you get a lipid panel done before and after taking Cardarine. This will help you determine whether your AST and ALT levels are in a normal and healthy range.

Cardarine Results

The main reason why bodybuilders take Cardarine is to increase endurance. The other positive effects it has on our body are commendable, but you won’t see any significant fat loss or muscle gain from Cardarine alone.

That’s why professional bodybuilders usually stack Cardarine with SARMs like Ostarine, especially during a cut, to achieve the best out of both worlds.

With Cardarine, you’ll notice increased energy and endurance, you will feel like doing cardio forever.

The energy increase will translate into your personal life as well, and you will see yourself perform a lot better on personal projects and at work.

Ibutamoren (MK-677)

Ibutamoren is a compound that stimulates the production of the growth hormone in our body. It does so by emulating ghrelin – another important hormone controlling many bodily functions, and binding to the GHS-R located in our brain.

Not only that, but it also increases IGF-1 hormone levels which have been shown to have anabolic effects in adults.

The good thing about MK-677 is that it increases those hormones without affecting cortisol, as shown by the following study.

Ibutamoren enjoys high bioavailability and can be consumed orally.

Ibutamoren Benefits

  • Increases Muscle Mass

24 healthy men with weight problems underwent a study where they were given 25mgs of Ibutamoren for two months every day. At the end of the experiment, it was shown that these men had increased their muscle mass by around 6,5 pounds when compared to the placebo group. 

  • Increases REM Sleep

Better sleep is something that we could all use in our lives. A study on fourteen men of various ages showed that MK-677 had the ability to improve REM sleep by up to 50% in all test subjects.

This hypothesis has not been tested on women, but it should technically yield similar results.

  • Increases Fat Loss 

MK-677 increases fat loss through shooting up our basal metabolic rate. A two month study revealed that just after two weeks, BMR was increased and fat loss was experienced.

  • Improves Memory And Learning

Ibutamoren might have nootropic effects in the brain, as it increases IGF-1 levels in the body which positively affect memory and learning. The link between IGF-1 levels and cognitive functions has been proven in multiple studies.

  • Increases Longevity

High levels of IGF-1 have been linked with longer telomeres, which are a good marker for how long you have left on this earth – the shorter your telomeres, the less time you have left on your biological clock.

  • Prevents Hair Loss

As of now, we know that low IGF-1 levels are associated with little to no hair growth in humans. 

Anecdotal evidence seems to back up the notion that increased IGF-1 levels could not only prevent hair loss, but also affect new hair growth cycles.

More studies need to be done on Ibutamoren and hair loss prevention to confirm a direct link between the two.

Ibutamoren Side Effects

  • Stimulates Appetite

As Ibutamoren acts on the ghrelin receptor, which is also responsible for the regulation of our hunger cravings, so does more of it get released into the body, misleading our brain into believing that we’re hungry.

This can be a good thing for those on a bulk wanting to increase their caloric intake, but it can have disastrous effects if you’re trying to cut with MK-677.

In fact, Ibutamoren is so good at mimicking ghrelin, that it is oftentimes used as an appetite stimulant.

The only way to protect yourself from this side effect is to strictly adhere to your calories and understand that your cravings are deceiving you.

  • Increases Water Retention

I have written an entire article on MK-677 and water retention, so I suggest you go check it out for more info on the topic. 

What I will say, however, is that water retention can easily be mitigated by imbuing more water throughout the day, and it shouldn’t pose a significant problem to you.

  • High Blood Pressure

One study has shown that Ibutamoren increased blood pressure in those treated by it. Be careful if you have any preexisting medical conditions and especially if it’s related to your cardiovascular functioning.

  • Increased Fear In Rats

A study on rats has shown that those that were treated with Ibutamoren experienced a heightened fear response in comparison to the placebo group.

In humans, this translates to anxiety. 

The good news is that you won’t have to worry about this side effect unless you’re prone to anxiety in the first place.

Ibutamoren Results

You will see a quick increase in weight in just a few weeks after starting your Ibutamoren cycle. 

At first, you will feel hungry all the time and it will be hard to control it, but by week three, you will have gotten used to it. You will also notice better sleep almost immediately after taking it, and your dreams are going to be magnificent; many users report lucid dreams.

You will also gain around five to ten pounds of muscle mass in eight to twelve weeks, depending on your cycle length.

Finally, if you have troubles with hair loss, you’ll notice how it’s growing a lot quicker and that any hair shedding you had previously experienced is gone for good.

Stenabolic (SR9009)

SR9009 is a research chemical that binds itself to the Rev-Erb protein in our bodies, releasing more of them and causing a myriad of benefits to be experienced.

Its mechanism of action is quite simple; by increasing the number of mitochondria in our muscles, more endurance is to be expected as mitochondria are essentially the energy that powers our muscles.

SR9009 is oftentimes shunned for its poor oral bioavailability and its relatively short half-life. This can be mitigated by frequent usage and taking the compound sublingually.

As of now, no human studies with SR9009 have been published, with the only test subjects available being rats.

New research conducted in 2019 shows that SR9009 acts on cell proliferation independent of Rev-Erb activity, meaning that the effects of Stenabolic can’t just be attributed to the Rev-Erb protein. More studies need to be done in order to confirm these findings.

Stenabolic Benefits

  • Improves Lipid Profile And Causes Weight Loss

Overfed mice that were treated with Stenabolic lost, on average, 60% more weight than the control group and their lipid profile massively improved.

  • Increases Fat Loss

Mice that were injected with Stenabolic for a week experienced a decrease in fat, even though diet wasn’t changed!

  • Increases Endurance

A month-long study on mice has shown that SR9009 massively increases endurance and performance. Some people have dubbed Stenabolic as ‘exercise in a pill’ exactly because of this benefit.

  • Decreases Anxiety

A study has shown that mice who were treated with Stenabolic twice a day experienced decreased anxiety and better mood.

  • Improves Heart Function

Once again, mice that were given SR9009 for 28 days showed improved heart function and cardiovascular health.


Another study was done on mice that were genetically altered; these genetic changes made them more susceptible to heart disease – after seven weeks with Stenabolic, their cardiovascular health improved!

Stenabolic Side Effects

  • Increased Wakefulness 

Studies that were exclusively performed on rats have shown us that besides increased activity and a decreased need for sleep, no other side effects were noted.

Anecdotal evidence seems to support these findings, as the only complain insofar is the increased wakefulness experienced once you imbue SR9009.

This side effect can easily be avoided by not taking Stenabolic after 5pm, this gives it enough time to get out of your body, without causing any disturbance in your circadian rhythm.

Stenabolic Results

The results you’ll experience with Stenabolic are going to be awesome. While you might not gain any muscle (that is the reason why its often stacked with SARMs that do act on androgens), your quality of life will massively improve.

The first thing you’ll notice is a decrease in anxiety. Studies reveal that it acts better than benzodiazepines and I have personally felt this effect in full force on my eight-week Stenabolic log.

Another thing is the increase in endurance, you will feel a third lung grow inside of your body (not literally), but that’s what the experience will be like. Your cardio sessions will increase both in longevity and performance-wise. 

Lastly, you will lose around 4-7% of your total body fat and 10 to 15 pounds of weight, which makes Stenabolic a great compound for cutting and weight loss. 

Don’t worry, if you keep your exercise regimen up, you will not lose any accrued muscle.

Example Of Cycles

Now that we’ve learned pretty much all we need to know about SARMs and other compounds, it is time to show you a couple of cycles with examples and results that you can expect.

Cutting Cycle

SARMs cutting cycle example

Mixing Cardarine and Ostarine is an awesome way of not only losing fat and weight during a caloric deficit, but also building some lean muscle.

In eight weeks, you can expect to lose up to 5 to 7% of your total body fat, 10 to 15 pounds of weight and gain around 3 to 5 pounds of lean muscle mass.

You’ll have to eat between 300 to 500 calories less than your normal caloric maintenance during the entirety of your cycle to get these results.

PCT will not be needed, as the worst thing that can happen is mild suppression which will go away in around thirty days after your cycle.

Bulking Cycle

SARMs bulking cycle example

I actually wrote an entire article on this particular stack, you can check it out here.

You will definitely gain a lot of weight on this stack, especially in the first week as you will experience ravenous hunger from MK-677. 

If you train properly, most of the weight is going to be muscle and you will enjoy a much fuller physique which will make you look like a beast, at least that’s what happened to me.

Ibutamoren is going to make sure that you sleep well, have more stamina in the gym and that you’re hungry enough to eat all of your calories, while Ligandrol will help you build muscle mass and strength.

From the cycle above, you can expect to gain about 10 to 15 pounds of weight, most of it muscle; your body fat will most likely remain unchanged.

Your bench press, squat and deadlift will all increase by around 20 to 30 pounds, depending on your genetics and how hard you train.

Eat about 500 calories more than you usually do per day, that should be enough to get your bulk started the right way.

Remember to drink a lot of water, unless you want to experience water retention. 

PCT shouldn’t be required after this stack, but since you’re taking Ligandrol – which is known to be quite suppressive – do take your bloods before and eight weeks into your cycle.

Recomp Cycle

SARMs recomp cycle example

You do have to have some experience with SARMs before going after this stack. It requires your full attention and a lot of dedication, but the payoff is massive. 

If you’re unsure how to take Andarine and Stenabolic, given their short half-life, this stack is probably not for you, as you have to learn a whole more about SARMs and the compounds accompanying them before attempting to climb this mountain.

Stenabolic serves to improve your overall anxiety and mood, while bestowing you with a lot of endurance in the gym. 

RAD 140 is there for strength, muscle mass and fat loss, while Andarine will help you get lean with its fat losing properties and enhanced recovery times.

In eight weeks, you will gain about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle, lose 5 to 10 pounds of weight and decrease your body fat by about 3-5%. 

Your vascularity will also increase, and you will have a shredded look at the end of your cycle.

Do take your blood work before and after the cycle, as to determine if Andarine or RAD 140 crashed your hormone levels too hard. There is a small chance of you needing PCT, so have some Nolvadex or Clomid nearby, just in case.

Where to Buy SARMs - TOP 2 Companies

Buying SARMs is serious business and you have to do a lot of due diligence before deciding on a company. 

If you haven’t heard already, a study by JAMA revealed that only 52% of the products sold actually contained SARMs in them.

This is disastrous for the industry and that’s why you have to be very careful when buying SARMs.

An ideal vendor should have recent lab results, positive reviews in online forums and bodybuilding websites, a good support system for customers and a money back guarantee.

I’ve tested hundreds of them, I lost count to be honest, but in the process, I found two companies that check all of my boxes!

Science.bio

While science.bio might be a vendor from the US, they ship internationally and have a wide selection of products. They even carry PCT and hair loss supplements. 

If you buy more than a 100$ worth of goods and are from the US, your shipping costs are waived.

P.S. Use the discount code sarmguide10 for 10%off (this is the biggest possible discount).

The same applies internationally, but only for orders that exceed 300$. 

I have only good things to say about this company; they test every batch of SARMs and most of them are between 98 to 100% pure.

Not only are their SARMs pure, but the company lauds itself for their budget-friendly prices. For example, 900mgs of their Ostarine solution (30mg/ml) will only set you back $44.99.

Moreover, they ship on the same day as you order, and you get your stuff quick; I got my SARMs in just seven days of waiting and I’m from Australia.

Lastly, their money back guarantee and customer support are amazing, definitely one of the better companies in the industry.

Proven Peptides

Proven Peptides is another legitimate US vendor that is known for selling pure SARMs.

Every batch this company procures goes through independent third-party testing, and the lab results are posted publicly.

Furthermore, they use the most advanced technologies when testing their SARMs, one of them being Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS). 

P.S. Use the discount code sarmguide to get 10% off (the best possible discount).

So much quality control does have its price and Proven Peptides is quite steep when compared to other vendors in the industry.

As an example, 900mgs of their Ostarine solution (25mg/ml) will cost you $79.99, which is 35$ more when compared to an identical product by science.bio.

However, this shouldn’t dissuade you from buying from them, quite on the contrary, you should feel grateful that such a high-quality vendor exists on the market.

I would rather pay double the price just to get legitimate SARMs, as we all know what happens when you get a bunk product.

Moreover, they have this great loyalty program for those who commit to their products; every subsequent purchase in their store nets you 10% off, irrespective of any coupons. 

They also hand out free shipping for orders above 75$ if you’re from the US, but if you’re ordering internationally, you will have to pay around $12 for shipping costs.

Last but not least, they have the loosest money-back guarantee on the market, and you can return your SARMs for pretty much any reason and get your cash back.

I once had an issue with broken contents inside of my package – I simply took a picture of the mess, sent them an email and within a few days, a new package was dispatched, no questions asked!

Overall, an awesome company you will not regret doing business with.

SARMs FAQ

How To Take Liquid SARMs?

Liquid SARMs can be taken either orally, intravenously or sublingually. If you’re interested in learning how to take them, read this article of mine.

How To Take Powder SARMs?

Powder SARMs are fairly easy to imbue, you just have to follow a few simple steps and you’re done. Check out my entire article on powder SARMs here.

Are SARMs Safer Than Steroids?

SARMs are a hundred times safer than steroids as they are tissue-selective, meaning that they don’t affect other organs in the body. 

For example, steroids are known for enlarging the prostate and causing cardiovascular problems, while SARM users don’t have to think about these issues.

Do SARMs Need PCT?

Some SARMs, like YK11 and S23 do need PCT, while others – if you’re careful with dosages and cycle lengths – don’t require it as your body will naturally recover from the suppression.

It takes about a month for your body to reach homeostasis again.

Do SARMs Show Up In Drug Tests?

Normal drug tests don’t search for SARMs and you have nothing to worry about, but there are some tests that do in fact detect SARMs. Just don’t draw attention to yourself and nobody is going to test you for SARMs.

If you’re in the military and are unsure whether they will test you or not, check out this guide.

Can You Drink Alcohol While On A SARMs Cycle?

I don’t recommend that you drink alcohol on a SARM cycle for a myriad of reasons; for one, you’re putting excess stress on your liver and you’re also jeopardizing your own gains while doing it.

I’ve written an entire article on the topic, so please do have a look at it.

Do SARMs Cause Acne?

Some of the stronger SARMs may cause acne to appear on your shoulders and back. Read this write-up to learn everything related to SARMs and acne.

Do SARMs Cause Cancer?

There have been hundreds of studies performed on SARMs over the last decade and none of them found a link between SARMs and cancer.

If anything, some SARMs are being investigated as a potential cure for breast cancer in women! Interested? Read more about it here.

Are SARMs Liver Toxic?

Some SARMs are more liver toxic than others. For example, YK11 has a methylated group in its composition, which makes it a lot more liver toxic than previously anticipated.

Learn all about elevated liver hormones and what you can do about it in this article.

Do SARMs Cause Gyno?

This is such a rare side effect of SARMs that it’s simply not worth bothering with. 

You need to buy SARMs from reputable vendors, as to avoid getting batches laced with prohormones and bunk products.

This is the biggest protection against gyno out there – actually consuming real SARMs.

If you’re really concerned with gyno, measure your hormone levels and track your estrogen, that is a surefire way of spotting and preventing gyno at an early stage.

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