SARMS stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. They are a class of therapeutic compounds that have little to no androgenic properties and are mostly pure anabolic compounds. The beauty of SARMS is they provide the medical benefits of fighting muscle-wasting diseases, bone health deterioration, hypogonadism, and even cancer without the harsh side effects of pharma drugs or anabolic steroids.
But Anabolic steroids are stronger right?
SARMS are SELECTIVE, just like what the S stands for in their name. Anabolic steroids are NOT selective. It would be like comparing a bullet (SARMS) that is shot at a specific target to an atomic bomb (anabolic steroids) that will destroy everything in its sight. Anabolic steroids will do the job in most cases, but you have to take the good with the bad.
With steroids, you have a possibility of a myriad of side effects in men including heart and organ strain, water retention, gyno, HPTA damage, fried head hair, and shrunken testicles. With females, you can get virilization problems such as body hair, deeper voice, and an enlarged clitoris. People argue that because SARMS side effects are less than anabolic steroids that this makes them weaker, but remember it is like the bullet vs. atomic bomb example; one is SELECTIVE, the other is not.
When talking specifically about the HPTA, anabolic steroids are extremely suppressive, meaning your pituitary glands will become dormant during use. SARMS though are only minimally suppressive, so you can recover your natural testosterone levels much faster after using.
How they work
Following up on comparing them to anabolic steroids, let me explain the science behind how they actually work. Remember, SARMS have androgen receptor and tissue specificity, this is why they have way fewer side effects than pro hormones or anabolic steroids. The secret is also the ability of SARMS to differentiate between anabolic and androgenic action in the body. This means rather than giving you benefits with a ton of side effects, you simply get mostly the benefits of something anabolic.
Types of SARMS
There are actually many types of SARMS in clinical testing, pre-clinical, and no longer being developed. The main ones that we are concerned with are the ones that can benefit us as athletes and are available legally as research chemicals.
LGD-4033 is a great overall SARM that is popularly used as a base of a SARMS stack because it can add lean muscle, strength, and help offset muscle wasting.
MK-2866 is great for preventing muscle wasting, is very minimally suppressive when used in low dosages for short durations, and is excellent at helping joints and bone health.
S-4 is great for strength and lean muscle gains while avoiding fat gains.
Still in trials, it can be used for hormone replacement therapy and is considered the most potent SARM.
We also have compounds that are not really SARMS, however, we still classify them as such.
Those are: GW-501516/Cardarine and Stenabolic/SR9009: Both of these are nonhormonal PPAR 1)PPAR on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PPAR_agonist drugs which boost endurance and fat loss.
This is a growth hormone secretagogue 2)Growth hormone (GH)–releasing hormone and GH secretagogues in normal aging: Fountain of Youth or Pool of Tantalus? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2544358/ which will add to your bodies growth hormone, instead of suppressing it.
Who can use them
The nice thing about SARMS, unlike anabolic steroids or pro hormones, is that they are safe to use if you are overweight, underweight, out of shape, in shape, injured, etc. Some of the top athletes use SARMS, and people who are trying to get back into shape will use them.
Anabolic steroid use meanwhile is dangerous to the heart if you are overweight and if you use them while injured you run the risk of making the injury worse. Those who are between 18-25 are encouraged to avoid anabolic steroid use until they get older to prevent lasting damage to the HPTA, so SARMS are a far safer alternative for them as well. Older people who want to prevent muscle wasting can use SARMS effectively and safely vs. harsher anabolic steroids.
How to stack
Those who are experienced in fitness and are using anabolic steroids love incorporating SARMS into their existing steroid stacks because they will add benefits without causing more side effects. Those who are still natural or are bridging between cycles love to stack SARMS so they can keep their hard earned muscle gains, without suppression.
SARMS makes a great option for those looking to ‘recomp’ which is losing fat while gaining lean muscle.
1. One of the most popular SARMS stacks is called the triple stack. This involves Ostarine, S4, and GW. It will give you lean muscle mass, strenth gains, and prevent fat gain.
2. Bridge stack is used between cycles to keep gains while your body is recovering. This involves LGD + S4.
3. Cutting stack involves a simple GW + S4 protocol, great for recomping in a caloric deficit.
4. PCT stack features GW + Ostarine. Since GW is nonhormonal, it can be used freely. Ostarine is nonsuppressive when used at 25mg’s or less for 4 weeks or less, and minimally suppressive otherwise.
This makes this a great option for PCT so you can actually keep your hard fought gains.
Specific ways they benefit advanced athletes and doping
Athletes began doping with SARMS in the late 2000’s. The biggest doping incidents were during the 2008 Chinese Olympics before the WADA could figure out how to test for SARMS. It is estimated that over 80% of athletes were using some sort of SARM for doping. Today it is banned in the Olympics so athletes must be very careful to time their use away from testing. In CrossFit, bodybuilding, and endurance sports SARMS are routinely being used for doping, from professional athletes to the normal joe. One of the most recent doping incidents involved Florida quarterback Will Grier, who was caught using LGD.
S4 can cause vision side effects because it will attach to the eye receptors. In my experience, this is most evident if you are going from a lit to dark room and vice versa. The good news is this side effect is only temporary and will go away after 2-3 days when you stop using it.
SARMS are minimally suppressive to the HPTA when used properly so a mini-PCT is a good idea.
When using RAD-140 a strong post cycle therapy is going to be required, as it is the most potent and strongest SARM available.
Myths and where to find
Some users of SARMS have complained about more strong side effects like gyno, estrogen problems, heart strain, and more. The problem here is that most SARMS being sold are really pro hormones, so the myth that SARMS cause these types of harsh side effects has become prevalent, which is unfortunate.
Capsulated SARMS can only be sold on the black market, so what you are buying over the counter are laced with pro hormones. Recently several companies were sued for this and actually won in court, so they continue to operate and poison the industry with no regulation.
Legally they can only be sold as research chemicals, so you need to make sure you are buying SARMS that are real. The SARMS1 brand continues to be the champion of legitimate product, and they were independently tested and found to be 99.9% pure product.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||PPAR on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PPAR_agonist|
|2.||↑||Growth hormone (GH)–releasing hormone and GH secretagogues in normal aging: Fountain of Youth or Pool of Tantalus? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2544358/|