In our complete guide to SARMs, we’re going to go over every aspect there is to know about them – how SARMs work, their health and safety profiles, what you can expect from them, and more.
Read on to discover how SARMs can help you and if they’re right for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us via
comment or message with any questions you might have about them. Without further ado, here we go!
Disclaimer: SARMs are relatively new and investigational substances. None are fully approved for human consumption. While clinical trials on SARMs in humans are underway for a variety of compounds, we suggest playing it safe and making an educated decision on if they’re right for you.
What even is a SARM?
SARMs are what we call Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. They’re designed to activate certain pathways in your biology to generate a different response regarding the Androgen system.
The Androgen system is responsible for a wide array of things from muscle growth, bone density, testosterone
production, regulation of other hormones, and far more. We go deeper into detail on how SARMs work in the next section.
SARMs most commonly come in pill or tablet form and can be taken orally. Occasionally you’ll find it in liquid or powder form, however pill and tablet is most common and easiest to dose with.
SARMs are most commonly used in the athletics and bodybuilding scene for their mild yet significant effects on
performance, recovery, and growth.
Research initially began on SARMs to discover new substances which can help people enduring muscular dystrophy, hormonal issues, and even osteoporosis. There’s much potential in the development of this class of drug since SARMs in general don’t carry nearly the same side-effects and unwanted mechanisms of action which current substances have.
How does a SARM work?
As the name says, SARMs work by selectively modifying and influencing the basic genetic expression of the androgen system. In short – they target certain pathways in the androgen system and make temporary changes to how they work.
Each SARM is different and may influence specific gateways. Traditionally, a SARM was clinically defined as
something with more anabolic activity than androgenic activity. The major androgens in males are testosterone,
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and androstenidione.
And so, SARMs are essentially designed to provide more anabolic function than androgenic. Androgens are usually thought to be male sex hormones, however women also have them, albeit at lower levels.
The androgen (AR) system as a whole is mostly responsible for the following:
- Male sex characteristics
- Pubertal development
- Muscle mass and development
- Fat deposition
- Neurogenesis in the brain (development of new brain cells)
- Bone density and growth
Alongside other traits such as:
- Breast tissue development
- Prostate gland size regulation
- Hair growth/loss
- Other hormone regulations (ghrelin, LH, FSH, etc)
As you can see, the androgen system is responsible for many factors. While some of these traits are highly desirable, stuff such as balding and breast tissue development is certainly not.
SARMs were designed to target certain receptor pathways and functions to avoid these unwanted side-effects. As a result many are considered safe to be used by women and possess a much better active profile than other related compounds.
There are many different SARMs on the market, all with various traits and outcomes. While they all have similar
effects, there is absolutely differentiation and it’s wise to pick the best SARM for you. Below is a rundown of the most common and popular SARMs on the market.
• Ostarine (Enobosarm, MK-2866, GTx-024, S-22)
Without a doubt the most popular SARM around, Ostarine is well-researched and seemingly has the best effects. With clinical trials in humans being completed and underway, it has a very good safety profile and effects to go along with it.
Usually, people experience around 5-10lbs of muscle mass gain from a single cycle of Ostarine even with average doses. A usual Ostarine cycle is around 6-8 weeks long as with all SARMs and mild testosterone suppression is
noticed at moderate-high doses.
It’s unlikely a PCT regimen is required after using Ostarine however it’s not uncommon, especially if combined with other SARMs, anabolics, or used in high quantities. Seemingly, Ostarine is the best SARM for beginners and very easy to use. Dosing is usually once a day every day for the entire cycle.
Ostarine is deemed safe to be used by women and elderly folk and has a minor impact on other sex characteristic and hormones.
• Ligandrol (LGD-4033)
Often used in the bodybuilding and fitness world, Ligandrol is a common yet slightly less used SARM compared to others. Developed to combat muscle wasting diseases and osteoporosis, the effects of Ligandrol are certainly
Ligandrol is relatively powerful and solid amounts of muscle mass are shown to be gained from a typical 6-8 week cycles. Improved bone density, injury recovery, and performance can be noticed across the board. LGD-4033 is
rather well researched and most side-effects can be attributed to testosterone suppression – reduced libido,
lethargy, changes in appetite and more.
Many people have noticed significant amounts of testosterone suppressions when using LGD-4033 at moderate-high doses, and so it’s highly recommended to get your blood levels checked before, during, and after an LGD-4033 cycle. A PCT regimen may be required to have the best experience with Ligandrol.
• Testolone (RAD-140)
Another very common SARM, Testolone/RAD-140 is being developed by Radius Health Inc. and being researched for its impact on helping muscular dystrophy and breast cancer. Testolone aims to act as an alternative to testosterone, of course attempting to avoid the side-effects and unwanted secondary sex characteristics.
Many benefits from testosterone therapy can be had from RAD-140 such as improved anabolic growth, bone density increase, libido increase, and improvements to sleep and energy levels among other traits.
Though RAD-140 is still being researched and tried, its analogous chemistry to testosterone leads us to believe that the long term health consequences are benign and a non-issue. RAD-140 is usually dosed once a day for an entire 6-8 week cycle.
As a result, Testolone is also thought to be safe to be used by women and elderly patients, however it may induce
testosterone suppression in men. It’s recommended to get a blood panel done before, during, and after a cycle since RAD-140 is believed to suppress natural testosterone production more than other SARMs.
A post-cycle testosterone therapy solution may be required after a cycle of Testolone, however blood panel results will be the only real revealing method. Ensure you monitor hormone levels to get the best results from RAD-140,
especially at high doses.
• Andarine (S-4)
Second to its brother, Ostarine, Andarine was under development by the same GTx Inc. until being abandoned in favor of the other. While Andarine certainly possesses some excellent traits with muscle growth and other factors, some noticeable side-effects draws people away.
Usually affecting the vision, high doses of Andarine are known to produce a slight yellow tint to the vision, which while thought to not be detrimental long term, can be discomforting to most people.
Andarine has similar testosterone suppression attributes as Ostarine does and doesn’t often need a PCT regimen unless in high doses. Andarine like Ostarine is thought to be safe to be used by elderly patients and women and has few effects on hormones and secondary sex
A lesser-known yet plenty powerful substance, YK-11 is particularly interesting as it allows the body to develop or gain muscular capacity quicker than normal. By signaling the release of follistatin – the protein responsible for
growth of muscle tissue, strength and mass increases are directly benefitted in a more organic matter.
YK-11 is a derivative of DHT and thusly considered an anabolic SARM. However, it does not trigger or release
hormones in any way and influence those systems. It’s unlikely for much if any mass to be gained if the user is not working out.
As a result, a cycle of YK-11 avoids much of the associated side-effects of anabolic steroids, hormones, and even other SARMs. While it’s hard to find and the research is still underway, YK-11 is a particularly interesting compound.
There are many other substances which fall under the umbrella of SARMs but aren’t technically considered as such. These are:
• Cardarine (GW-501516)
Cardarine, also known as GW-501516, is known to be a powerful performance enhancing substance, especially
regarding cardiovascular exercise. While its benefits are absolutely there are quite strong, the ambiguous safety
profile leads many users away.
Cardarine was abandoned in development after the subjects being tested on developed tumorous growths after being exposed to extremely high levels of the drug among others.
While no one can say for sure if Cardarine can give you cancer or not and if the studied tests are a valid indicator of its downsides, research nonetheless was abandoned and using Cardarine is at your own risk. The benefits are very
powerful but not worth the risk to some.
• Ibutamoren (MK-677)
Not considered a SARM either but used in conjunction alongside many, Ibutamoren is a non-peptide agonist of the hunger hormone Ghrelin, and a growth hormone secretagogue. This is an excellent agent if you want to help spur growth in a natural way.
Ibutamoren is being researched under the name Oratrope and was given the green light by being granted
Investigational New Drug Status. It has a rather good health and safety profile and has little in the way of side-effects.
MK-677 initiates the secretion of multiple beneficial hormones such as growth hormone, IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), Ghrelin, and more without affecting cortisol levels. Ibutamoren does not have any known effect on androgen receptors.
A lot of reports note an improved quality of sleep, a much increased appetite, stronger gains of lean muscle mass, and a general increase in strength. As it doesn’t affect testosterone levels or any other sex hormone, a PCT is not required and overall Ibutamoren is fine for elderly people and women to use.
Oftentimes MK-677 is stacked with other SARMs to work in conjunction and provide great benefit. Definitely a compound to keep in the back of your mind.
• Stenabolic (SR-9009)
Also not a SARM, Stenabolic, or SR-9009 is what’s known as a Rev-ErbA agonist. In essence, Stenabolic has been shown to provide a significant increase in exercise capacity. Due to its short 4 hour half-life, Stenabolic is often used in a way similar to a pre-workout.
SR-9009 is thought to have fat-burning abilities by helping to empty glycogen reserves in the body. This triggers
hyperglycemia, increasing available energy sources while guiding the body to use fat cells as a fuel source.
There is still not too much information out there on Stenabolic, its exact biomechanics, and efficacy, however some swear by its ability to boost workouts dramatically without much in the way of side-effects.
What can you expect from SARMs?
Of course you can expect a lean muscle mass increase. While this widely depends on dose, diet, exercise routine and other factors, people often notice between 5-15lbs of muscle mass increase throughout a usual cycle of a select SARM.
Here are some other benefits and things you can expect from SARMs.
• Lean muscle mass increase
Almost all clinical trials have noted a significant increase in lean muscle mass, even from very low doses. Higher doses did result in more gains, however low-moderate quantities still showed very good results.
• Bone density increase
This is particularly useful for combatting Osteoperosis and a key research point for many of the clinical applications, bone density is likely to improve with SARMs.
• Increased libido
It’s not uncommon to notice a higher libido. Sex drive will likely increase, albeit not to the same intensity as traditional anabolic agents or hormones like testosterone.
• Improved sleep patterns
Many people notice improved REM sleep and have an easier time falling asleep. This is generally associated with a variety of SARMs however not guaranteed or particularly well studied.
• Fat loss/recomposition
As the body begins to prioritize fat cells as a source of fuel rather than carbohydrates, fat is essentially ‘burned’ off. This is particularly useful after bulking and trying to recompose the body from fatty to muscular.
• Prevents catabolism
Another aspect linked to the above fat loss, SARMs help the body preserve muscle mass while at a caloric deficit. This helps keep existing muscle mass intact and helps greatly during a cut.
• Higher muscular endurance
Cardio-related activities have been noted to improve as mitochondrial activity shifts and improve energy delivery to muscle cells. This is not particularly well-documented however suggested to be true.
• Improved strength
With lean muscle mass increases comes higher potential strength output. Combined with improved cardiovascular ability
• Higher vascularity
As fat quantities decrease, vascularity improves significantly. Arterial and venial channels are thought to grow to supply the body and muscles with more blood.
• Soft tissue reparation
While not particularly documented, recovery for damaged ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissue is thought to
improve as cellular genesis improves systemically regarding soft and hard tissue.
• Injury recovery
As a result, any injury involving bone, ligament, tendon, and muscle is seemingly improved. SARMs are particularly useful when combined with other agents used for injury recovery such as BPC-157 or testosterone
Cons of SARMs
Nothing is perfect and without repercussions. Thankfully, SARMs as a whole are generally safe to use and have a nice safety profile. With that in mind, the research is still limited and there may very well be things that we don’t know yet.
Some common cons/side-effects from SARMs as a whole are as follows:
• Potential testosterone suppression
While SARMs avoid much of the testosterone suppression associated with many anabolic agents, moderate to high doses will likely cause partial or full testosterone suppression.
We recommend getting your bloods checked before, during, and after a cycle to carefully monitor your hormone levels. A post-cycle therapy (PCT) is occasionally advised, especially to those using higher doses.
• Sleep problems
While sleep cycles may also improve, some have reported worsened sleep patterns, usually due to high levels of energy and other factors. Consider a ZMA (Zinc Magnesium Aspartate) supplement to help with sleep.
• Increased appetite
Certain SARMs trigger the stimulus of the hunger hormone ghrelin. As a result, some people develop an undesirably powerful appetite. This may influence your mood and sleep patterns.
• Mood swings and instability
While hunger is a factor, a relatively rapid shift in hormone levels and internal biological function may destabilize a person’s mood frequently. Though not nearly as severe as traditional anabolic steroids, some people may become easily aggravated, aroused, and aggressive.
• High energy levels
Restlessness may increase, especially while sitting down for long periods of time (ie; at work, in a classroom setting, etc). This may play into worsened quality of sleep.
• Hormonal imbalances
Hormonal imbalances carry a variety of side-effects regarding acne, sexual (dis)function, mood, sleep patterns, and more. We recommend getting a pre, during, and post-cycle blood panel and evaluating your hormone levels.
• Allergic reaction
A rare yet possible side-effect, allergic reactions can be considered a severe side-effects and it’s highly recommended to cease use immediately. Allergic reactions are a tell-tale sign that something is wrong and the body treats the
foreign compound as a threat rather than a benefactor.
In the case that you believe you’re having an allergic reaction from SARMs (hives, difficulty breathing, itchiness,
excessive sweating, etc), stop immediately. While cases are few and far between regarding allergic reactions from SARMs, it is absolutely possible and may have critical consequences.
Please play it safe and if you develop any strange symptoms, absolutely stop and go consult a licensed physician.
While no deaths have been attributed to SARMs, there have been cases of hospitalizations, seizures, and others from severe allergic reactions. Start low with your dose and if anything strange happens, calmly evaluate your situation.
SARMs are an excellent choice for a variety of reasons. First, their safety profile is quite nice. While side-effects do exist (as with anything) and there are potential hazards, it’s much less so than many other common agents.
For injury healing and recovery, they’re an excellent boost to help out with tissue damage. Particularly with broken bones, pulled muscles, and even damaged ligaments to a lesser degree, SARMs will certainly help with the recovery process.
Of course for learn muscle mass and performance gains, that’s what they specialize in. They won’t bulk you up like
Superman by any means, however you’ll definitely notice a difference after the first few week have passed.
They’re easy to dose, no injections, and low side-effects. We consider them to be relatively mild compared to most enhancers out there and even good enough for elderly women to take. Various peptides and anabolic steroids require injections which is a hard no for many people.
Fat recomposition is a common trait associated with SARMs as your body’s genetics begins to prioritize fat cells as a source of energy and favor muscular development. With that in mind, retention of muscle mass while on a cut is also a large benefit.
Improved sleep habits are a common benefit too. Who doesn’t like to sleep better anyways!
SARMs vs Peptides
Peptides have gained traction and for good reason – they have a great safety profile, a nice array of benefits, and are cost effective in general. On the other hand, they almost all require injections (usually subcutaneous), which is enough to scare away many people.
SARMs don’t require injections and are almost always available to be taken in pill form.
Peptides don’t have much of their mechanics related to the androgen system and rather function exactly as the amino acid they’re designed to be/emulate. Peptides also often offer localized benefit while SARMs are systematic.
Peptides are excellent to look into as well, especially for injury recovery. Growth hormone secretagogues and other hormone influencing factors generally fall into the peptide category.
For example; BPC-157, IGF-1, and CJC-1295 are all peptides and not SARMs.
SARMs vs Steroids
Steroids have been widely used in bodybuilding, athletics, and for general therapeutic purposes for many decades.
As a result, steroids are very well studied and generally well understood, with a very comprehensive safety profile and understanding of the side-effects.
With that in mind, almost all steroids have powerful side-effects compared to SARMs, many of which highly
Yes, steroids will absolutely be more effective for raw anabolic growth; however the sides are far too much for some. Of course, many steroids are only available in injectable form, though some do come in pill form as well.
Think of steroids like a shotgun and SARMs to be like a carefully placed round from a small rifle. You’re going to hit the target and more with usual anabolic steroids, however you might hit some things you don’t want like balding and gynecomastia, while SARMs will get the job done with more precision but not with as much power.
In our eyes, it’s nice to avoid super powerful substances since this is our own biology we’re playing with, and we prefer precision and low side-effects over raw power and overhaul.
SARMs vs other hormones and compounds
In comparison to things like testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and the likes, SARMs are interesting. TRT is a very powerful and effective solution for men however it comes with a catch –natural testosterone production will drop off dramatically. It’s hard to beat the positives of proper testosterone therapy, though the downsides are also quite significant. Of course, TRT is very unsuitable for women as well.
SARMs on the other hand can embody many of the positives from a TRT regimen without the complete hormone
overhaul. In fact, many times after a cycle of SARMs, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to go through any post-cycle
testosterone therapy (PCT).
Though if you are using high quantities of SARMs, it is possible that testosterone suppression may occur. This is very mild at low-moderate doses but certainly a factor at higher amounts.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy is massively beneficial and effective without many downsides, however it costs a ton of money for legitimate stuff. In general, HGH therapy isn’t what we would go for if you’re under the age
of 40 and not doing high-level, competitive bodybuilding.
Health and safety of SARMs
SARMs are still investigational new drugs and caution should be exerted. While they themselves aren’t dangerous or have many side-effects alongside them, long-term studies haven’t really been done and it’s hard to know what could happen in 20 years. It’s highly unlikely there would be any complications long down the road, but that can’t be said for sure.
The real danger lies in retailers and manufacturers selling bunk product. A study done on SARMs bought online from multiple vendors showed some surprising data:
Only 52% of the 44 tested SARMs bought online contained the marketed ingredient. 9% didn’t even have any active compound in them, and a shocking 39% contained compounds not even listen on the label.
59% even had incorrect amounts that what was listed on the label. Essentially, you get less than a half chance of
actually getting what was described on the bottle. Not exactly what we consider to be great.
An strange mystery box to open, it’s essential that you buy SARMs online from a high-quality and trusted source.
Preferably with GC/MS lab testing done by a third party to confirm accurate dosing and ingredients.
Are SARMs legal?
Put short, yes. The long answer is a bit more complicated than that. It is completely legal to buy, use, and carry SARMs and they’re in a grey area when it comes to it being sold.
SARMs are widely banned in many competitions sanctioned by USADA, WADA, and other anti-doping bodies. They’re often considered performance enhancing drugs and can certainly give an unfair advantage over competition. A handful of athletes have been found to be using SARMs and have been punished for that, with consequences similar to that of steroids.
Almost every professional sport and activity with competitive guidelines have outlawed SARMs, various peptides, hormone influencers, stimulants, and steroids. Keep this in mind if you’re a professional athlete or competing in one way or another.
SARMS for women?
SARMs are particularly interesting for use with women since they selectively target certain pathways. Avoiding stimulation or mimicry of testosterone, DHT, and other male-sex hormones, women are less likely to develop male-specific body hair, vocal changes, and other attributes.
In fact, SARMs such as Ostarine have been studied in trials with elderly women to improve pelvic floor muscular strength without the side-effects associated with other substances which may help.
Not all SARMs are made equally and it’s wise to understand the biomechanics of a particular substance before putting it in your body if you’re a woman.
Usually, peptides and SARMs are the safest and easiest route for women looking to gain muscle mass, improve
performance, or aide in injury recovery.
Are SARMs right for me?
Obvious answer: It depends. While anyone can use SARMs at any time and see measurable results, we often
recommend people to be in fine athletic shape before starting. Try and reach the limits of your natural growth and strength. If you’re already on a proper workout plan, diet, and have dialed in your training/lifestyle properly, then SARMs can be the perfect thing for you to break through.
On the other hand, people coming from a significant disadvantage in terms of physicality can also benefit greatly. It’s imperative to do proper research though and even more important to follow a proper diet and training program if you do being. Following those steps, you can achieve excellent results quickly.
Treat these compounds seriously as they’re capable of helping tremendously, and it’d be wise to dial in a proper
regimen weeks prior to beginning SARMs.
How do I take SARMs?
This all depends on the SARMs you take, however most fall under the same usage guidelines; once a day, every day, at the same time of day, for however long the cycle is. Most people typically run a cycle for between 6-8 weeks, though there are outliers.
Occasionally people run a cycle for 4 weeks, however this is often lackluster as it takes ~2-3 weeks to even begin
seeing/feeling any change from SARMs.
On the other hand, some people run a cycle for up to 12 weeks which in our mind is a bit excessive. It’s vital to let the body recover and go back to baseline, and negative-side effects will only increase the longer you use SARMs for.
Take them on an empty stomach, preferably between breakfast and lunch, consistently for the entire cycle. Though it’s not absolutely vital to be so consistent, your body will likely acclimatize to the new compound(s) easier when scheduled.
SARMs are often in pill or liquid form. They’re stable compounds and while they should be stored in a dark, cool place, they can last a while in storage.
What is a PCT and do I need to PCT after SARMs?
Where to buy good SARMs online.
As we mentioned above, it’s imperative that you buy your SARMs online from a high quality source. Try looking online for reviews on Reddit for SARM sources as well as look at companies which offer testing. A reputable retailed will always offer to have their product sent to a lab for analysis, though this will likely come at your own cost.
GC/MS testing is what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to buy good SARMs in Canada, we’ve got you covered, but of course we’re biased!
SARMs are a new technology as a whole and very interesting. While their efficacy and cost effectiveness is
scrutinized in comparison to traditional anabolic agents, they can absolutely be beneficial and give the body the proper guidance it needs during growth, recovery, and recomposition phases.
While they are new, there is still a lot of research to be done. While some compounds such as Ostarine and Testolone are seeing much in the way of research and development, in general SARMs have been neglected by much branches of research.
We’ll have to wait and see what information comes out in the future and what the data shows us. As it stands, SARMs are not approved for consumption in humans any everything is at your own risk.
Please play it safe and make an educated decision to see if SARMs are right for you. Generally, we recommend only to use them once you already have a diet and training regimen dialed in and you’re absolutely confident in your needs.
If you notice any adverse/allergic reactions at all such as hives, difficulties breathing, coordination problems, extreme acne, and other, please stop immediately and talk to a registered physician. Health is nothing to play around with and while the risk is low, it’s certainly still there.
Any questions or thoughts, please don’t hesitate to contact us or leave a comment and we’ll try and get back to you as best as we can. We’re here to help and want to ensure you have the best experience possible.