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SARMs for Bodybuilding: How Does It Work and Is It Really Legal?

We’re all after that ultimate boost to our training—but can SARMs provide a legal and safe solution?

Listen, bros.

You’re no fool—you understand the only way to make impressive and long-lasting gains is to hit the gym like an absolute beast and monitor the nutritional intake.

But, we always want to achieve more.

The issue is—although steroids are immense result providers—they come with some freakin’ awful side effects.

You know what I’m saying, right?

Recently—relatively new enhancers have been making their way into guys’ bodybuilding arsenals. The word is, these chemicals are providing steroid-like gains but without the shocking health issues.

Can it be true?

This SARMs article lifts the lid on these drugs—explaining how they assist with training and ultimately if they’re safe.

If you want to know the shocking facts that are gonna shake you to the core—stick with me.

What Are SARMs?

Are SARMs Legal

Let’s kick off with the basics.

SARMs stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. Specifically, they’re ligands (molecules) that are currently under development—aiming to replicate the androgenic anabolic properties of steroids.1

But, whereas steroids can often provide a scattergun approach—SARMs are aimed at working in a more selective manner. That is—to function more efficiently.2

Let’s think about steroids for a second. Whichever one you take—in the simplest terms you’re loading your body with testosterone, the basis of all juicing-synthetics. When this hormone enters the body it binds to the body’s androgen receptors boosting their anabolic properties.3

The issue is—while testosterone will attach to the receptors responsible for muscle building—they’ll also bind to others that are of no interest to the serious lifter. This can result in the unfortunate side effects of shrinking balls, acne, plus liver and heart issues.4

Hence, SARMs are being developed to directly target the individual receptors required—but, not actually with the bodybuilder in mind. These selective androgen receptors are formulated to assist in the treatment of medical issues—for example, guys suffering from hypogonadism or osteoporosis.5 6

But, be warned—they’re still being developed, tested, and researched.

As you will soon see, the majority of them don’t even have names yet—just alpha-numeric references.

Are SARMs Legal?

Guys down the gym often ask me, are SARMs legal?

To be blatantly honest—it depends on how you look at it.

Firstly, for competitive purposes, SARMs aren’t allowed—currently being on the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) prohibited list.7

What’s more, they’re not considered a “dietary supplement” by the US Food and Drug Administration. Recently, the FDA had to issue warnings to nutritional providers for including SARMs in their products. 8

So, SARMs for bodybuilding aids, the answer is no—they’re not legal.

Although, these products are available from some online pharmaceutical outlets purely as chemicals for research—that is, for boffins wanting to use these compounds for scientific investigation. And this is how guys are getting hold of them.

This state of play is expected to be short-lived, however, as currently there’s a Congressional Bill aiming to classify SARMs in the same illegal bracket as cocaine and methamphetamine.9

 

Benefits of SARMs for Bodybuilding

As mentioned earlier, SARMs are theoretically more beneficial than steroids as they can have a targeted effect on muscle—while having no influence over other physiological processes.

Consuming SARMs for impressive gains will have some positive results. Research has indicated they’re powerful tools for promoting enhanced muscle mass growth, elevated bone density, and improved fat loss.10

In many cases, these can be achieved without:

  • Being dangerous to the liver or raising blood pressure.11
  • Metabolizing into the muscle-killing and female trait-encouraging estrogen.
  • Reducing natural testosterone production as severely as steroids.13
  • Being identified on drug tests.14
  • Causing as much water retention as anabolic synthetics.

Since currently, they’re often cheaper than steroids, easier to get hold of, and theoretically carry fewer risks—they’re often used as a stepping-stone by guys to the serious world of steroid juicing.

So, using the best SARMs is a no-brainer, right? Well, hold on bro.

SARMs Side Effects

Sarms side effects

Before I get into the known SARMs side effects, bear these factors in mind:

  • These products are available as “research chemicals”—they haven’t yet been fully tested for safety on humans and their long-term issues are unknown.
  • They still have negative effects on the body—despite not being currently classed as dangerous as steroids.
  • SARMs are not tested for purity—research in 2018 illustrated that many SARM products purchased online contained other ingredients, were lower in doses than those stated, or contained none of the SARM compounds advertised.15

Online testimonials, SARMs Reddit reviews, and clinical research have indicated that SARMS may cause:

Decreased Natural Testosterone Production

Although not as severe as the ball-wrecking steroids—SARMs still have scary detrimental effects on your T-levels.

Research has shown that one milligram of SARMs can massively reduce testosterone production—with recovery not taking place till over 56 days of cessation of the drug.16

In fact, some SARMs are so effective at hampering the function of the testes that they’re being considered as a method of male contraception.17

Cancer Tumors

As there are so few studies available on humans, the only point of reference has to be those on animals.

A 2004 study which exposed mice to SARMs indicated that they can cause a rapid increase in cancerous tumors of the gut.18

 

Eyesight Issues

Using some types of SARMs, especially Andarine, has resulted in guys suffering from a yellowish hue to their vision.

It’s thought that this is due to the fact it attaches itself to eye receptors.19

“Standard” Steroid Side Effects

While luckily not giving the adverse effects on the heart or liver that steroids can create—many guys report some of the typical juicing problems when using SARMs of oily skin, man-boobs, headaches, and hirsuteness.

Types of SARMs

Here are the most common SARMs found online.

Ostarine (MK-2866)

SARMs Ostarine (sometimes referred to as Enobosarm) was designed by the pharma company GTx as a treatment for osteoporosis and muscle wasting diseases.20

For the bodybuilder, this SARM can be utilized in both bulking and cutting cycles—as it’s able to both build and retain lean muscle mass. Many users consider it to be the ultimate cutting SARM.

It has few side effects, although will not provide the massive bulk that steroids such as Anadrol or Dianabol can provide.

Ligandrol (LGD-4033)

This SARM is one of the most popular selective androgens on the market—with many bodybuilders considering its muscle-building properties greater than those provided by any other SARM.

Studies have indicated that it has the ability to increase strength and mass while having no effect on fat—so may be one of the best SARMs to use for bulking.21 22

Surprisingly, some users have found that unlike many SARMs, it has a high estrogenic factor.

Cardarine (GW-501516)

One of the oldest SARMs, being developed back in the 1990s by GlaxoSmithKline for heart-related diseases. However, it was soon discovered that this dangerous SARM could vastly increase the occurrence of cancer in many different organs.23

That being said, it was at a dose much greater than what even the most extreme juicer would take.

For the bodybuilder—Cardarine can prove an effective tool for both cutting and performance enhancement. It allows the heart to work harder and possibly improve fat usage during training.24

Ibutamoren (MK-677)

While not yet approved for use in humans—many bodybuilders are already using this powerful SARM.

It has one main function—mimicking the effects of compound IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor). This has the result of building large muscle mass while not increasing fat volumes. Thus making it a useful bulking aid.25

Research on obese men indicates that it raises lean gains while boosting the metabolic rate and energy expenditure—which could also lead to fat loss.26

Testolone (RAD-140)

One of the SARMs currently being investigated for the treatment of both breast cancer and muscle-wasting diseases.27

Some studies have indicated that its muscle building properties simulate those provided by injecting testosterone—but with much smaller side effects.28

In doing so it can lead to lean gains, fat loss, and improved brain function. All that being said—it’s vastly understudied so little is known about all its advantages and disadvantages.29

 

Stenabolic (SR9009)

Another one of the SARMs originally developed to improve muscle wasting disease symptoms by improving mitochondria volumes—which under investigation delivered surprising results.30

It illustrated that it changes the circadian rhythm (our internal body clock)—which in turn can lead to increased energy expenditure. Hence, not only may it work as a muscle builder—Stenabolic may also prove useful as a performance enhancer and fat-loss booster.31

Andarine (S4)

A SARM that has been compared in its bodybuilding properties to that of the steroid Winstrol. This is due to its ability to help with lean and dry muscle retention during serious cutting cycles.

Developed as a treatment for BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) it appears to work by blocking the reception of dihydrotestosterone—which not only prevents enlargement of the prostate but also helps to retain muscle.32

The main downside, as mentioned earlier, is that it can have the effect of yellowing vision.

S23

Currently, this is one of the many SARMs that are being investigated as possible male contraceptive pills.33

There is some evidence that it may help with shedding pounds while building muscle—but research is scant.34

However, some users have reported a drop in libido when using this SARM, which may be accounted for by falling testosterone levels.35

S-40503

Developed as a treatment for osteoporosis—studies have indicated that this SARM can boost overall bone density (in rats at least) which may make it attractive to guys who lift the seriously heavy iron.36

While doing so, it appears to have few masculine side effects such as body hair growth, acne development or voice-deepening which has made it popular within the female bodybuilding community.

Although it may have some muscle gain properties—it’s far from the most powerful.

LGD-3303

Another bone-boosting SARM that may have anabolic powers.37

However, many users report its efficacy is somewhat limited—with guys considering it’s best used as a stacking drug rather than used independently—most effectively as a lean muscle retainer.

For the women, there’s some evidence that it may help to improve sexual desire.38

LGD-2226

Often supplied in powder form, this SARM has the ability to increase muscle mass, improve libido, and strengthen the skeleton.39

Many users have reported few health issues and it’s thought to have little to no negative effect (so far) on the prostate.

JNJ-28330835

One of the lesser used SARMs in bodybuilding—so actual results from real users are difficult to ascertain.

Within a medical environment, this compound has been shown to prevent muscle wastage, hypogonadism, osteoporosis, and prostate enlargement.40

While it sounds impressive—it may be best to avoid since studies are so sparse on this SARM it may have negative side effects.

AC-262,356

I’m often asked, are SARMs steroids?

Well, technically they’re not—although this one does promote similar effects to testosterone.

Research has illustrated that it has around 66 percent of the muscle building potency of testosterone—yet with only 27 percent of the unwanted side effects that the hormone itself can promote.41

If it can be shown to be completely safe (it hasn’t, yet) it could be an effective tool to promote muscle protein synthesis.42

BMS-564,929

A SARM which may prove appealing to the older lifters—as this compound has been developed to counteract the andropause (when male hormones fall as age increases).43

That being said, its ability to offset some signs of aging such as depression, loss of strength, reduced muscle mass, increased chance of osteoporosis, and lowered libido may make it also appealing to the bodybuilding community.

Where to Buy SARMs?

It’s possible to find SARMs for sale on numerous online websites. As long as they’re being purchased for “research”—theoretically it’s legal. However, any product claiming to have been approved by the FDA will be telling an untruth.

Also, bear in mind that these products:

  • Have not been tested for purity.
  • Lack scientific evidence for safety.
  • Could include compounds other than those stated.
  • May result in you paying money but receiving no SARMs at all.

How Much Do SARMs Cost?

As these products are unregulated for individual use—prices vary widely.

Generally speaking, a 30-day bottle of SARMs can cost anywhere in the range of $75-$200 dollars depending on the type purchased.

A more expensive product is not necessarily a more effective or reliable one.

Legal Steroids VS Sarms

Sarms may not be as safe as many people tend to believe.

The side effects can be life threatening and unpleasant.

That’s why we can never recommend using them even though they might help achieve greater results in certain areas.

Legal Steroids are way safer than Sarms.

Legal steroids contain natural ingredient that mimic the effects of steroids without any side effects.

So they are literally side effect free.

We’ve seen some great results from using Legal steroids, there are hundreds of positive testimonials online.

Cutting stack results
Before after results using the cutting stack from Crazybulk

For those reasons we believe legal steroids are safer and possibly better.

Especially by using the bulking stack or the cutting stack from Crazybulk which is the #1 legal steroid manufacturer on the web.

SARMs Summary

We want to see maximum returns from the immense effort we put in at the gym—but we don’t want the awful side effects that some products can provide. The fact is, we demand results—but not at any cost.

Here’s the truth.

SARMs are, in general, safer than steroids. With fewer negative androgenic characteristics they can enhance gains without shrinking our balls, damaging the liver, or wrecking the heart.

But, they aren’t side effect free. They can still impair testosterone production, possibly cause cancer, and have been shown to affect vision.

There’s more.

These products have little human testing backing them for safety. Additionally, as they’re banned as dietary supplements and unregulated—you’re never sure what you are purchasing.

The bottom line.

SARMs can provide results—but are they worth the risk?

SARMS FAQ

“Are SARMs Dangerous?”

While not considered as dangerous as steroids (they don’t usually affect the liver or heart) they’re still not “safe”.

Research has indicated they may cause cancerous tumors, inhibit natural testosterone production, affect the eyesight, and cause many similar “steroid” symptoms such as baldness and acne.

“How to Take SARMs?”

SARMs are taken orally—but the actual dosage required depends on the type of SARM, whether it’s being stacked, and weighing up the benefits to side effects ratio.

“What Are the Most Powerful SARMs?”

For pure mass, the most effective SARM is Ligandrol (LGD-4033) and for cutting Ostarine (MK-2866).

“Which SARMs Should I Take?”

If you decide to take SARMs despite their side effects, choose one that delivers the results you require (increased strength, raised mass, fat loss, etc.). Always start at a low dose.

“Are SARMs Banned?”

SARMs are banned for use in sport by WADA. Furthermore, they aren’t allowed to be sold as a dietary supplement under FDA guidelines.

They are, however, legally available for sale online as research chemicals.

“Is SARMs a Steroid?”

Technically, no—although they do possess similar effects.

While boosting muscle gains, bone density, and weight loss by attaching themselves to androgen receptors (the same as steroids)—they do it in a targeted manner (which synthetic juicing doesn’t).

“Are SARMs Good for Building Muscle?”

SARMS such as Ligandrol and Testolone are useful muscle builders.

“Are SARMs Good for Cutting?”

As many SARMs are good for retaining lean muscle—they can be effective cutting supplements. In particular, Ostarine is often used during these cycles.

“Do Bodybuilders Use SARMs?”

Yes. Many bodybuilders consider them a safer alternative to steroids for improving gains.

“What Is the Half Life of SARMs?”

This depends on the SARM itself—however, most are under 36 hours.

“Can You Drink SARMs?”

SARMs are taken orally—some as pills and others as powders.

“Is SARMs a Supplement?”

As they are taken in addition to training, they may be considered a supplement—yet because they’re not approved by the FDA they cannot be considered a dietary supplement.

“How Fast do SARMs Work?”

This depends on the type of SARM and the dose taken. Many guys see results within the first 2-3 weeks.

References

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  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4810760/
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  20. https://patents.google.com/patent/WO2005120483A2/eninventor=dalton+james+t&before=priority:20041231&after=priority:20040101&oq=dalton+james+t+2004
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4111291/
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  34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2630904/
  35. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-linear-correlation-between-the-dose-rate-of-S-23-and-body-composition-percent-of-FM_fig5_23238335
  36. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14600402
  37. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20118515/?i=2&from=LGD-3303
  38. https://books.google.rs/books?id=RFGkErsFNksC&pg=PA57&lpg=PA57&dq=medical+use+lgd+3303&source=bl&ots=dGENRowNBH&sig=_q8Tb2XX3ls929eLJsrUj4xgdL0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjv5rjs0_TeAhXF_CoKHat1Am04ChDoATAHegQIAhAB#v=onepage&q=medical%20use%20lgd%203303&f=false
  39. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17023534/
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