What are SARMs?
Androgens are a class of hormones that serve as ligands that bind to cellular androgen receptors. The androgen receptor is involved in a complex signal transduction pathway that ultimately results in greater expression of specific genes.
All anabolic steroids and pro hormones offer their muscle building properties through this binding to the androgen receptor.
A drug that can either block or stimulate the same nuclear hormone receptor under different conditions is called a selective receptor modulator. If it can block or stimulate a receptor in a tissue selective manner, it may be able to mimic the beneficial effects in one tissue and, at the same time, minimize the unwanted effects of the natural or synthetic steroidal hormones in other tissues.
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) offer the benefits of traditional Anabolic Androgenic Steroids such as testosterone (including increased muscle mass, fat loss, and bone density), whilst offering a much lower tendency to produce the unwanted side effects that come with steroids.
In this light they are a new, unique class of compounds currently undergoing investigation and development from a number of pharmaceutical companies.
Where do SARMs come from/why where they developed?
Steroids have typically been prescribed in medicine for two distinct reasons:
-Muscle wasting diseases ranging from cancer to osteoporosis
-Hormone replacement therapy
The problems with anabolic steroids or testosterone replacement therapy arise from their undesirable side effects or pharmacokinetic properties.
If you are able to stimulate a receptor in a tissue selective manner, (in our case, selective to bone and muscle) its possible to mimic the beneficial effects of androgen activation in muscles, and at the same time, minimize the unwanted effects of the natural or synthetic steroidal hormones in other tissues.
It is this specificity that makes these receptor modulators able to selectively cause muscle growth, while reducing or eliminating unwanted secondary side effects.
Hence pharmaceutical companies are currently looking to SARMs as an alternative to prescribed steroids.
How many SARMs are there?
Serveral global paharmacutical comanies are currently investingating, analysing and testing potentaial SARMs. Douglas Rollins, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Utah on how many are under development: ”I counted them once, there are 300 potential SARMs that are likely to be tested [by drug companies]. Some of them are going to make it to the market.”
However the two SARMs that are currently commercially available and most applciable to bodybuilders/fitness enthusiasts/athletes, with many user accounts, reviews and logs on the internet are Ostarine (MK-2866) and S-4 (Andarine).
Why they are beneficial ?
As stated previously, the problems with anabolic steroids or testosterone replacement therapy arise from their undesirable side effects or pharmacokinetic properties.
- Potential stimulation of prostate cancer
- Male pattern baldness
- Body hair growth or virilization
- Gynecomastia (male breast development)
- High blood pressure
- Liver toxicity
- Cholestrol imbalance
- Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (Heart growth)
- Shutdown of your own Testosterone production
Even primarily-anabolic AAS such as oxandrolone (Anavar), which are often used in terminally ill patients, do not entirely circumvent androgenic and other problematic side-effects.
However, stimulating the androgen receptor in only muscle tissue and bone can prevent most if not all of these harsh side effects, as shown below:
SARMs offer the potential for harnessing the benefits of anabolic supplementation whilst minimizing the undesirable side effects. They also have the potential advantages of oral dosing, which Testosterone and some Steroids do not.
How this applies to Body Builders
For the body builder/gym user/fitness enthusiast/athlete SARMs can be used either in conjunction with or as a replacement for traditional anabolics in the following uses:
- Lean muscle growth
- Preventing muscle loss during cutting/weight loss
- Injury rehabilitation
- PCT use after anabolics.
Of course the benefits when compared to steroids:
- Oral (no injections needed)
- Similar effects to testosterone (libido, strength gains, fat loss etc…)
- No conversion to Dihydrotestosterone
- No conversion to Estrogen
- No harsh liver toxicity from methylated compounds
- Does not inhibit your HPTA to the large extent of sterodis (no large reduction in LH or FSH)
- Undetectable (select SARMs)
SARMs of interest
As previously mentioned, the two SARMs of most interest to users are Ostarine (MK-2866) and S-4 (Andarine). These are both commercially available in liquid suspension as research chemicals.
They have both undergone clinical testing by GTx and also have many cases of positive feedback by gym goers from forums and message boards across the internet.
Find some of these logs here.
The typical user looking for lean mass gains would be suited to using Ostarine for 4-8 weeks at a dose of about 25mg, which will typically produce 6lbs or 3kg keepable gains in lean mass.
For more info on bulking with SARMs, click here.
The typical user looking to cut body fat while retaining lean mass gains would be suited to using S4 for 4-8 weeks atan dose of 50mg which will produce excellent cutting effects. As S-4 shows a greater binding affinity to the AR, it demonetrates fat burning effects in addition to maintaince of muscle mass. S-4 also shows a decrease in LPL (lipoprotein lipase) which is an enzyme that causes lipid accumulation.
For more info on cutting with S4, click here.
S4 is also similar to many of the DHT derived steroids in that effect of strength gains rise at a higher proportion than mass gains. So if you’re looking to experience and increase in strength without a large in increase in weight, S4 again used for 4-8 weeks at doses of 50mg which will produce excellent results.
For more info on strength gains with S4, click here.
The recomping effect of losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is what the majority of users are looking for.
Ostarine with its anabolic and nutrient partitioning effects is ideal for such a goal and a dosing protocol of 12.5-25mg for 4-8 weeks will give excellent recomp effects.
For more info on recomping with SARMs, click here.
Although still at an early stage of development, the potential for SARMs is very high, evident by the number of pharmecutical firms currently develpoing different SARM compounds.
Currently the GTx varieties that are available to purchase online have the most use and user data behind them.
SARMs offer the following benefits:
- HPTA suppression may be present at higher doses run for longer time periods, however a stringent PCT of prescription SERMs like Nolva or Clomid is not necessary.
- High oral biovailabilty without significant damage to your liver as with oral steroids/prohormones.
- Anabolic even at low doses
- Great for strength
- Great for lean mass gains
- Great for body recomposition
- Great for endurance (aerobic or anaerobic)
- Joint healing abilities