Updated: 2022, May 25

Best SARMs: How to Use Them to Gain Lean Muscle

SARMs are compounds which help enhance your exercise endurance and build up muscle mass and strength rapidly.

What are SARMs?

SARMS are Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, which bind to androgen receptors and modify DNA in order to build muscle mass and strength, burn fat, and promote exercise endurance. They are safer than steroids and avoid some of the common risks, such as liver damage, because they only impact the muscles and no other bodily tissue.

Best SARMs: How to Use Them to Gain Lean Muscle
Best SARMs for Muscle Growth. Image/Unsplash

In addition to SARMs, there are also natural legal alternatives in the market which offer few side effects at all. The best SARMs company is Crazy Bulk, which offers a line of organic SARMs with great health benefits.

After researching this subject extensively, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to SARMs, so you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

Brand Highlights

  • SARMS have fewer side effects than steroids.
  • They can improve bone density.
  • SARMs help in overall healing and muscle recovery.
  • Although the price varies based on the SARM, most are reasonably-priced.

Key Ingredients

  • Ostarine
  • Anderine
  • Testolone
  • Ligandrol
  • Cardarine
  • Stenabolic
  • Ibutamoren
  • Myostine

Benefits

  • SARMS promote fat burning and weight loss.
  • They can develop muscle mass and strength.
  • SARMs can give you additional energy.
  • They can improve your athletic endurance.
  • They can boost immunity.

Cons

  • The results will vary for different users.
  • There may be side effects accompanying SARMs.
  • SARMs are not FDA-approved.

SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) are extremely popular with bodybuilders and other athletes trying to build lean muscle.

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) are a class of therapeutic compounds similar to steroids, but they are not one and the same. Both work by connecting to your androgen receptors, triggering a change in your DNA which improves your muscles’ ability to grow.

Unlike steroids, SARMs have fewer androgenic properties, which permits them to target tissues much more directly and reduce the host of harmful side effects experienced with steroids. SARMS are known to be “tissue-selective,” which means they target your muscles without triggering the same chain of reactions.

So quite simply, these supplements provide the benefits of anabolic steroids without the dangerous and irritating physical and mental reactions to steroids.

If your goal is to lose weight and get in shape, to look in the mirror and see a well-defined lean or muscle, or to increase your endurance and at the same time experience a burst of strengths and power – your first choice may be steroids, because they are extremely effective for any of these goals. And obviously, steroids can help you reach any of those goals, but as you well know – steroids are dangerous.

Even without suffering from any underlying cardiovascular abnormalities that could lead to sudden death and cardiovascular problems from steroid use, you will experience a series of side effects, including:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated risk of tumors and liver damage
  • Reduce sperm count
  • Decreased testicular size
  • Impotence
  • Baldness
  • Increased risk of tendon tears
  • Skin problems

Some people are easily convinced that the goal of looking good and feeling strong is worth the sure manifestation of these effects or the probability of death caused by human consumption of anabolic androgens.

So that’s why people buy SARMs as opposed to steroids – they provide the same positive benefits as steroids, such as improved recovery from injury, endurance, and muscle building without the dangerous side effects. However, as with any drug, exceeding a normal amount may lead to potentially life-threatening side effects, including stroke and the risk of a heart attack.

Also, while SARMs help you achieve muscle growth, they require post cycle therapy or PCT. The PCT is necessary to restart natural testosterone production inhibited by SARMs’ consumption. It usually lasts for one to six weeks after every SARM cycle.

SARMs are Prohibited in Competitions

SARMS are so efficient in building muscle that the World Anti-Doping Agency has immediately prohibited them from the competition. They are currently on the list of banned substances, meaning athletes are not allowed to use them.

While the use of Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators is strictly forbidden in the Olympics, which is a fair decision, they’re legal to sell for research purposes. This hasn’t stopped men from purchasing and using them to grow stronger, gain muscle and lose weight.

Benefits of SARMs

Benefits of SARMs
Benefits of SARMs. Image/Shutterstock

There are many different SARMs, and depending on which anabolic compound you take, you may get slightly different results.

For instance, Andarine S-4 is one of the best SARMs for a lean bulk. However, another SARM, such as Cardarine, may be better for shredding body fat.

The benefits of taking SARMS may vary slightly for everyone but are largely the same for everyone.

  • Improved athletic performance
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Rapid body fat loss
  • Enhance strength gains
  • Increased bone density

Research suggests that selective androgen receptor modulators are extremely effective when it comes to building lean muscle mass, hence the enthusiasm surrounding these compounds. Some reported gains of 10,15 or even 20 pounds of muscle from just one treatment period with SARMs.

Most bodybuilders take SARMS to lose fat, lean, and get stronger at the gym. While these compounds are often labelled as a safer alternative to steroids, they still cause side effects.

In general, studies show that SARMs are well-tolerated, but more research is needed on the long-term health effects. Nevertheless, these compounds are still a viable option when it comes to getting leaner and stronger.

Different Types of SARMs

Different types of SARMs will have a slightly different effect on your body, although normally, every compound can help you lose fat and build muscle.

  • Cardarine (GW -501516)
  • Testolone (RAD- 140)
  • Ostarine (MK -2866)
  • Andarine (S4)
  • Ligandrol (LGD-4033)
  • Myostine (YK-11)
  • Ibutamoren (MK-677)

Cardarine: The SARM that keeps muscle and burns fat

cardarine
Cardarine. Image/Shutterstock

Cardarine or GW-501516 is touted among bodybuilders as the ultimate performance enhancer. This compound has been linked to reversing metabolic irregularities in obese people who suffer from pre-diabetic metabolic syndrome.

The GW-501516 has the potential to reduce the level of glucose in the blood, serving as a potential solution for insulin insensitivity and fat loss.

Cardarine helps you lose weight differently than copious amounts of exercise and severe calorie restriction. It’s non-catabolic, which means it will burn fat without negatively affecting your muscles. Many users have been very impressed with the Cardarine before and after.

GW-501516 often attracts users who crave improved recovery and enhanced endurance. It provides athletes with an unparalleled advantage over others (which is one of the reasons why it has been prohibited by the World Doping Agency. [R]

Common dosage: 10 – 20mg per day

Half-life: 24 hours

Cycle length: 6-8 weeks

How long does Cardarine stay in your system? 20 – 40 days after last dose.


Testolone: The SARM that might protect brain cells

testolone
Testolone. Image/Shutterstock

This selective androgen receptor modulator mimics the activity of testosterone in the body. Like other well-known SARMs, Testolone or RAD 140 is mainly used to boost energy, enhance athletic performance, and increase muscle mass, but scientific evidence is lacking to support these uses.

Testolone works by stimulating androgen receptors in the muscle and bone. Unlike some other SARMs, it has no apparent effect on the reproductive organs. The activation of muscle and bone cells leads to increased muscle growth and enhanced bone density.

An animal study has highlighted the potential of Testolone to protect brain cells. Rats given Testolone showed increased activity of MAPK or mitogen-activated protein kinase, a potential target of anti-inflammatory therapeutics. Testolone could thus protect neurons from damage. [R]

Common dosage: 10 – 20mg per day

Half-life: 16 hours

Cycle length: 6-8 weeks

How long does Testolone stay in your system? 2-3 weeks after final dose


Ostarine: The SARM that improves lean body mass

ostarine
Ostarine. Image/Shutterstock

Ostarine or MK-2866 was primarily developed for cancer patients experiencing complications like muscle wasting diseases, in which the patient’s body weight decreases by 1/10th of their original weight. Subsequent research showed that Ostarine could improve lean body mass. [R]

It’s one of the best SARMs to get shredded.

Research has highlighted further uses of Ostarine. It has been found that MK-2866 could increase bone density, improve physical performance and stimulate fat loss. A study involving 120 people showed that using as little as 3mg of Ostarine per day could significantly increase muscle growth. There aren’t any really significant Ostarine side effects.

Small wonder then that MK-2866 is banned by WADA. The US Anti-Doping Agency or USADA has also banned Ostarine from its competitions. The FDA has gone so far as to conduct raids on facilities manufacturing this SARM.

A study in the Journal of Clinical Ontology found that Ostarine boosts lean muscle mass and enhances athletic performance in elderly people.

Common dosage: 10 – 25mg per day

Half-life: 24 hours

Cycle length: 8 weeks

How long does Ostarine stay in your system? Up to 9 days


Ligandrol: The SARM that boosts metabolism

ligandrol
Ligandrol. Image/Shutterstock

Ligandrol or LGD-4033 was initially developed by Ligand Pharmaceuticals in the US (hence the name Ligandrol). It is one of the few SARMs that have attracted human trials. Animal studies have shown LGD-4033 increases muscle mass without stimulating fat build-up. [R]

It’s one of the best SARMs for bulking, and also one of the best SARMs for cardio.

Users also claim that Ligandrol increases metabolism and, by extension, their energy levels. The quick burning of the calories you consume gives your body excess energy to burn, forcing the USADA to acknowledge LGD-4033 as a performance-enhancing drug (PED).

The LGD 4033 dosage varies depending on the benefits you’re after. To increase muscle mass and strength, take 5 – 10mg/day for 8 weeks. A 3 to 5mg daily dose for the same time period could help you shed excess body fat without losing muscle mass.

A study on rats published in Frontiers in Endocrinology found that Ligandrol and Ostarine improve muscle tissue.

Common dosage: 10 – 22mg per day

Half-life: 24-36 hours

Cycle length: 8 weeks

How long does Ligandrol stay in your system? Up to 21 days


Myostine: The SARM that boosts metabolism

Myostine or YK-11 has gained immense popularity among the bodybuilder community owing to its ability to build muscle mass. It does that by inhibiting the activity of myostatin (the protein which inhibits muscle growth) and stimulating follistatin (which increases muscle mass).

This distinguishes Myostine from other SARMs, none of which can inhibit myostatin. Another differentiating factor is its structure. Unlike most SARMs, YK-11 contains methyl groups in its molecules and has a steroid structure, convincing many people that it isn’t technically a SARM.

Regardless of your views about the group Myostine belongs to, you might find it good to note that YK-11 is currently legal to buy in the UK, Canada, and the US. Keep in mind, though, that MK-11 is extremely potent and should thus be used by experienced SARMs users.

An article in Exercises and Sport Sciences Reviews discussed myostine in muscle growth and repair.

Common dosage: 5 – 15mg per day

Half-life: 5.4-5.9 days

Cycle length: 4-8 weeks

How long does Myostine stay in your system? More than 48 hours


Ibutamoren: Human Growth Hormone secretagogue

ibutamoren
Ibutamoren. Image/Shutterstock

Ibutamoren or MK-677 is a growth hormone (GH) secretagogue. This means it promotes the production of human growth hormone (HGH) in the body. HGH is crucial for building, maintaining, and repairing building tissues throughout the body. It also improves the quality and appearance of the skin.

Another benefit of MK 677 is that it lowers body fat. A study involving 40 people who took 15 mg MK 677 a day for 16 weeks found that those who were taking this substance had a 3% reduced body fat at the end of the MK 677 cycle.

That said, increased muscle mass is one of the sought-after benefits of Ibutamoren. A test group gained 2lbs of muscle after taking 12.5mg of Ibutamoren every day over a period of 16 weeks. Best of all, the increased muscle mass was achieved without any changes in the participants’ diet.[R]

Studies have shown MK 677 brain damage in rats, but there is no evidence of this issue in human beings. In addition, impotence may resolve with MK677. Erectile dysfunction can improve with doses of this SARM. The MK 677 side effects may involve an increase in hunger and muscle pain.

A summary report provided by the University of Maryland Baltimore discussed the use of this SARM in clinical research and practice to treat disease.

Common dosage: 10 – 25mg per day

Half-life: 4-6 hours

Cycle length: 16-20 weeks

How long does Ibutamoren stay in your system? At least 48 hours


Andarine: The SARM that boosts HGH

andarine
Andarine. Image/Shutterstock

SARMs users place Andarine between Ostarine and Ligandrol in potency and suppressiveness. It can help increase muscle loss, reduce body fat and enhance post-workout recovery time. The gains would be even greater if you stay on a calorie-positive diet.

Andarine is one of the few SARMs that are considered safe for women. Its mild nature helps it perform a superb job of stripping body fat. Women will also find a significant reduction in their workout recovering time after taking this SARM.

It’s one of the best SARMs to stack, and also one of the best SARMs for cutting.

Keep in mind that Andarine suppresses the body’s natural production of testosterone. However, it doesn’t completely shut it down. With post-cycle therapy, your natural production of Testosterone will return to normal in a month after the cycle.

A study in the Journal of Molecular Structure explained the crystal and molecular structure of Anderine and Ostarine.

Common dosage: 30 – 50mg per day

Half-life: 4 hours

Cycle length: 8-12 weeks

How long does Ibutamoren stay in your system? At least 2 weeks


How to dose SARMs

SARMs dose
SARMs Dose. Image/Shutterstock

There are a few things bodybuilders need to know about the use of SARMs like GW-501516 to increase endurance, recovery, and muscle strength. Because of its long-lasting effects and benefits, it’s recommended to limit your oral dosage throughout the day.

Normally, users reduce doses to two doses in a 24-hour cycle, and an estimated daily dosage is 10-20 mg (divided into two 5-10 mg doses). When you add SARMs to your diet, consider both the quality and cost of the product.

SARMs are an interesting new class of research chemicals that, when administered responsibility, can yield massive muscle gains. There are a lot of different options, and each product has its own set of effects.

Research hints that SARMs are extremely effective at what they do but exceeding a normal dosage can present some serious health risks. That’s why it’s important to regulate your SARMs intake and stick to the appropriate dosing schedule.

Best SARMs Stacks for Cutting, Bulking, and Strength

Are you serious about using SARMs? In that case, you must be aware of the benefits you can get when you stack two or more SARMs in the same cycle. While some SARMs stacks are great for cutting, others are great for bulking, while still others increase your strength.

Here are the best SARMs stacks for cutting, bulking, and strength:

Best SARMs Stack for Fat Loss

The Ostarine and Cardarine SARMs stack is undoubtedly the best for cutting fat. Both join their forces to unleash a fat cutting machine, but still make sure to preserve lean muscle. Anyone who wishes to take cutting to the next level will find this stack working wonders for them.

Here’s the best SARMs stack for cutting:

  • Ostarine: 10 mg (first two weeks); 20 mg (last four weeks)
  • Cardarine: 10 mg (first two weeks); 20 mg (last four weeks)
  • 6 Week cycle followed up by PCT
  • Six weeks gap between successive cycles

Best SARMs Stack for Bulking

Most people turn to SARMs to bulk up. Yet they don’t know which SARMs to turn to. Which is a shame given that you can easily get that sculpted look with the right mix of SARMs. Once you have identified the right stack for bulking, all you have to do is to stick with it for six weeks to get your desired results.

Here’s the best SARMs stack for bulking:

  • Ligandrol: 10 mg (first two weeks); 10 mg (last four weeks)
  • Ibutamoren: 10 mg (first two weeks); 10 mg (last four weeks)
  • 6 Week cycle followed up by PCT

Best SARMs Stack for Strength

Almost all SARMs build muscle, help you preserve it, and increase energy levels. That is to say that selecting the best SARMs stack for bodybuilding is subjective. Yet most people side with the classic bodybuilding stack, which is Myostine and Ligandrol.

Here’s how you can stack SARMs for building muscle:

  • Ligandrol: 10-15 mg (throughout six weeks)
  • Ibutamoren: 10-15 mg (throughout six weeks)
  • 6-8 Week cycle followed up by PCT
  • A 6-8 weeks gap between cycles

Best SARMs Stack for Recomp

Various SARMs users agree that stacking Ligandrol, Cardarine, and Ostarine is the perfect recipe for changing your body’s composition. These three help you put on lean muscle mass lose fat, and enhance stamina. Best of all, they also reduce your recovery time.

Here’s how you can stack them together:

  • Ligandrol: 20 mg (throughout eight weeks)
  • Cardarine: 20 mg (throughout eight weeks)
  • Ostarine: 20 mg (throughout eight weeks)
  • 8 Week cycle followed up by PCT (using selective estrogen receptor modulator or SERM)
  • An 8 weeks gap between cycles

SARMs Post Cycle Therapy

Every SARM cycle needs to be followed up with post cycle therapy (PCT). The PCT reverses the testosterone suppression that SARMs cause. Make sure to stick to the PCT for the entire post SARMs cycle.

That means that if you’re taking a 6-week gap between successive SARMs cycles, you should aim to use PCT supplements for most of those 8 weeks. This way, you can be sure that your testosterone levels have returned to normal levels.

Clomid and Nolvadex are the two most widely used PCT supplements. Clomid is the stronger of the two. You should only go for it if you took high doses of SARMs during the cycle. For most people, the side effects of Nolvadex will be much easier to tolerate.

In terms of dosing, around 40mg per day is a good starting point for Nolvadex. Stick to this PCT protocol for the first two weeks, after which you could drop to as low as 20 mg per day. For Clomid users, a PCT protocol of 50 mg (first two weeks) and 25 mg per week (last four weeks) will be enough to restore natural testosterone levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are liquid SARMs?

A: Liquid SARMs are usually suspended in an alcohol solution or any other carrier liquid. Any SARM that is available in solid or powder form is also available in liquid form. Both provide the same effects i.e. lean muscle growth, increased bone mineral density, and more. All forms of SARMs have similar side effects too.

Q. What SARM should I start with?

A: Ostarine (MK-2866) is one of the safest SARMs on the market. Its mild nature makes it easy to tolerate for newbies and female bodybuilders alike. You can use Ostarine for muscle gain and fat loss.

Q. How long should I take between SARMs cycles?

A: As long as the SARMs cycle you just finished. For instance, if you’ve just gotten off a 6-week long SARM cycle, take a break of 6 weeks before restarting another cycle. The gap is necessary to enable your body to restart its natural production of testosterone, which SARMs suppress.

Q. When should I start PCT after SARMs?

A: Right after you’re off a SARM cycle. Most SARMs users recommend starting the PCT the day after you have stopped taking SARMs. This is necessary to reverse testosterone suppression.

Q. What Do The SARMs Reviews Say?

A: I read through many SARMs reviews online, and the opinions varied depending on the type and manufacturer. However, many users got very positive benefits from taking them, such as significant weight loss and bigger muscles. I selected some of the top direct SARMs reviews in my opinion:

Testol 140 Works!

I started taking these SARMs pills a couple of months ago, and the change has been significant. My muscles are huge, and I’ve dropped about 12 pounds – just about what I needed to lose. I’m really killing it these days at the gym. – Jed R.

Ostarine is My New Best Friend

I’m so glad I took my trainer’s advice to start taking Ostarine (MK 2866). It has really revved up my game at the gym, and my girlfriend is very impressed by my new muscle bulk! It pushes me forward at the gym, and my improved performance gives me confidence. Thanks! – Olly P.

Q. Are There Any Natural, Legal SARMs?

A: Yes, there are a number of companies that sell 100% organic legal SARMs alternatives which offer the same benefits with few if any side effects. These all-natural products are full of nutrients and antioxidants which boost the immune system and provide health benefits.

Brands like Crazy Bulk offer the best SARMs for bulking, the best SARMs for cutting, and the best SARMs for weight loss. RDNs highly recommend many of these brands and say they have nutritional value.

Q: Where Do You Buy SARMs?

A: You can buy SARMs is online, and there are a number of companies who sell them. The prices will vary somewhat depending on the manufacturer.

Q: What is the Best Time to Take SARMs

A: You should take SARMs ideally first thing in the morning, or alternatively after you are done with your workout.

Q: Who Should Take SARMs?

A: SARMs are a good choice for adults who are looking for an added method to help them with fat-burning and weight loss, or who want to build up their muscles and improve exercise endurance. It’s important to get approval from a physician before taking them, especially if you are using medication or have a medical condition.

How to Select the Best SARMs for You

The SARM product you select should be based on your needs and goals. Review the list I have provided you with, look at the benefits and pros and cons of each SARM, and decide which you want to purchase. In order to select the best SARMs on the market or the best legal alternatives, follow these guidelines:

Manufacturer – Especially with a product like SARMs that you want to ensure are safe, you should look for a well-known manufacturer with a good reputation in the market.

Safety – It’s very important to ensure that the manufacturer follows the best safety practices in producing their product. Check that they use GMP or other reputable guidelines, and manufacture in an FDA-compliant facility.

Customer Reviews – Reviews are an extremely valuable way to get information about a product and company, the pros and cons, and any issues you should be aware of. Obviously, look for a brand with excellent user feedback.

Price – Prices will vary from company to company, so make sure you do a comparison of different brands. The best SARMs capsules for sale should be reasonably priced and good value for the cost.

Return Policy – A fair company will give you a reasonable amount of time to try out the product before you commit. Look for a return policy or guarantee of at least 30-60 days.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to build muscle bulk, strength, and endurance, burn fat and lose weight, taking SARMs like Ligandrol (LGD), SR 9009, or Ibutamoren. They offer great benefits for your workouts and for your general health. In addition, there are legal natural alternatives that are also highly effective.

There are a number of SARMs reviews online for each, and naturally they offer a wide range of opinions. However, many are very positive, and many users seems to get great benefit from taking these products. Do make sure that you choose your company carefully, and research them and their safety practices so you get the best SARMs.

To get the best out of taking SARMs, RDNs suggest that you follow a healthy lifestyle including plenty of exercise and a nutritious diet. Personally, I think that SARMs can add a lot to an active lifestyle and offer many benefits. Do get approval from your physician before taking them.

6 sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

1. Cardarine (GW501516) Effects on Improving Metabolic Syndrome: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/iohsk/johsk/2021/00000002/00000002/art00006
2. Ostarine Increases Lean Body Mass And Improves Physical Performance In Healthy Elderly Subjects: Implications For Cancer Cachexia Patients: https://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/jco.2007.25.18_suppl.9119
3. Ostarine and Ligandrol Improve Muscle Tissue in an Ovariectomized Rat Model: ://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7528560/
4. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-essr/fulltext/2001/10000/Myostatin_In_Muscle_Growth_And_Repair.4.aspx
5. Ibutamoren Mesylate: Summary Report: https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/bitstream/handle/10713/14872/Ibutamoren%20mesylate_Final_2021_02.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y 6. Crystal And Molecular Structure Of Ostarine And Andarine: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022286019310646
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Evan Jensen, CPT

Evan Jensen is a renowned American Nutritionist, Diet Expert and health writer. He specializes in writing about health, fitness, nutrit

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