You count all your calories and the quantity of nutrients consumed. You do your best during your training. You buy sports supplements, such as citrulline, Tribulus Terrestris, and protein powders. However, this is not enough. You are not progressing as fast as you would like. Perhaps you are thinking about the use of anabolic steroids. We all know that these medications work well, but their use is associated with dangerous side effects of steroids. And then you saw SARMs and you were probably impressed with their procalaimed effects. Are these medicines the cornerstone of bodybuilding? Should you use them? Can they burn fat as effectively as some anabolic steroids can provide? Let’s explore this issue.
SARMs – What They are?
The word “SARM” stands for “selective androgen receptor modulator”, like other selective receptor modulators (or SRMs), these meds can either inhibit or activate hormonal receptors in cells depending on the type of their effect. Consequently, SARM drugs can inhibit / activate bodily receptors selectively, mimicking the beneficial effects of anabolics in some tissues, while minimizing typical side effects of steroids in other tissues. SARMs belong to a class of substances that duplicate the effect of androgen hormones (a special sort of hormonal substances that are “manufactured” in genitals, one of these substances is famous testosterone). SARM meds can attach to androgenic receptors in cells, which results in a difficult process of activation of some genes responsible for muscular growth, regeneration of bones and connective tissues.
In fact, anabolics & prohormones also bind to androgenic receptors, causing mass gains. At the moment, no selective androgen receptor modulator is really selective. They just have higher anabolic index. However, SARMs show their anabolic activity only in musculature & bones, and have minimal effect on other tissues and in the body, for example, on the prostate, in contrast to anabolics, which can deteriorate the work of prostate. One more advantage: SARMs are typically used orally, rather than in injectable form unlike most aabolic steroids.
Brief History of SARMs
Anabolics steroids, as a rule, are legally prescribed by doctors in two cases. The first case is the treatment of muscular atrophy, caused by serious diseases, such as osteoporosis. The second case is the use of anabolics for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). However, the key problematic issue with steroids is that they almost always cause a lot of side effects, which may be very harmful for health.
In the last century, scientists decided to develop drugs that would have all the benefits of anabolic sterols, but their side effects would be reduced to almost zero. According to a study by Shalender Bhasin and Ravi Jasuja (2010), attempts to develop the first prototypes of steroidal selective androgen modulators were carried out back in the 1940s. However, the revolution in the development of SARMs occurred in the 1990s when scientists from several well-known universities and institutions developed non-steroidal SARMs.
Thus, SARMs were born that attach selectively to the receptors, they selectively stimulate only the growth of muscles, thereby avoiding undesirable side effects.
What are Benefits of SARMs?
These meds may be used by bodybuilders, ordinary gym visitors (attendants), and other athletes as a substitute for anabolic steroids. They have the following benefits:
- Increased muscle growth.
- Prevent loss of muscle mass during the cutting cycle and when losing weight.
- Faster recovery after intensive training.
- Faster recovery after injury.
Additionally, SARMs can be used as PCT remedies after steroid cycles.
Types of SARMs
There are many types of SARMS in the black market. Among them are:
- LGD-3303. This is a powerful med for increasing muscle mass & sports performance. It does not have a negative effect on androgenic organs. LGD-3303 has a bigger potential for enlarging muscle mass and preventing catabolic effects, as well as smaller side effects androgenic effects than many other SARMs.
- YK-11. This is a med that is both a SARM and a myostatin inhibitor, which makes it one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, SARM. The drug causes stronger anabolic effects compared to classical steroids (as its manufacturers claim).
- ACP-105. This medication has a higher anabolic activity than testosterone with minimal androgenic side effects. The anabolic index of the drug is 3.19:1. ACP-105 is safer and more effective than classic prohormones & anabolics.
- Radarine (RAD-140). This is a powerful SARM of the new generation, which has virtually no adverse effects, also it does not have a negative action on the prostate gland. Its effect on the organism is comparable to anabolic steroids and prohormones. It is used to speed up muscle mass gaining, increase endurance, speed and strength during high-intensity training.
- Ligandrol. LGD 4033 is the strongest selective androgen receptor modulator. Its effect is not inferior to anabolic steroids. It allows you to gain large muscle mass and simultaneously reduce body fat.
- Ostarine (GTx-024). This is a powerful SARM for increasing muscle mass and increasing strength. The drug is very popular among professional athletes. High efficiency of the drug contributes to the rapid growth of its popularity and prevalence.
- Reverol (SR9009). It is the newest drug that increases the efficiency of metabolic processes in skeletal muscles. Key effects of the med include reducing fat tissue, increasing endurance and productivity. The drug simulates the action of physical activity, which allows you to fight excess weight without resorting to exhausting physical exercises. However, its effect is, of course, higher if you train in a gym.
- Cardarine. This medication is mistakenly believed to be a SARM drug, however, many people believe that Cardarine belongs to SARMs. This drug is one of the most effective fat burners. The effect of the drug is aimed at accelerating the process of lipolysis in the body. Cardarine increases your stamina and explosive power. It also has a powerful anti-catabolic effect. The drug does not interfere with the metabolism, does not cause weakness and lowering of blood glucose rates.
- Ibutamoren (MK-677). This is a powerful stimulant for the production of growth hormone (HGH) and insulin-like growth factor-1. It strengthens lipolysis, increases lean muscle mass, and burns fat. It does not increase the level of cortisol. Today it is one of the most powerful growth hormone activators.
Are They Really Safe? Possible Side Effects of SARMs
As stated above, the modulators act similarly to anabolics, but they virtually do not cause bad adverse events that can appear with the use of anabolic drugs. Below you’ll see the list of undesirable effects of anabolics (however, these side effects usually do not occur if a person uses SARMs).
- Prostate cancer risk increase;
- Skin problems;
- Body hair growth;
- Gynecomastia (gyno);
- Elevated arterial pressure;
- Liver disorders;
- Elevation of “bad” cholesterol levels;
- Heart hypertrophy;
- Fluid retention;
But are these medicines really safe for the athlete’s body? Manufacturers and suppliers of SARMs often claim that these meds do not inhibit the production of bodily testosterone in the organism. However, this is not true. They suppress the production of bodily testosterone rates and that’s why. For instance, in one research, male individuals taking 3 mg of SARMs per day for about 3 months had a 23% decrease in free testosterone and a 43% decrease in total testosterone rates. Similar conclusions were confirmed by a number of other studies.
In fact, SARM can act as contraceptive agents in men, because they reduce the level of LH & FSH hormones, which reduces spermatozoa amounts and testosterone rates in the male organism. This is not surprising, if you consider the main mechanism of action of endogenous androgens. When a person uses artificial androgens, his or her body sees that it does not need a lot of these substances, so it reacts to such an increase, reducing its own production of hormones.
The more dosage of SARMs the athlete uses, the more side effects he / she will have. SARMs, like any other medications, are not completely safe, however, as a rule, their side effects are minimal if a person consumes small amounts of these androgen receptor modulators. But bodybuilders usually do not take small dosages, so they often experience a lot of adverse events, usually associated with the administration of steroids, including acne & baldness.
SARMs’ Before and After Results
These medications may be used to achieve different goals, such as muscle mass gain, weight loss, increased endurance, enhanced sports performance, etc. The correct combo of several SARMs will allow athletes achieve the best results. Usually the cycle of SARMs usage lasts 12-16 weeks, depending on which SARM you have chosen.
However, some athletes who experienced SARMs wrote neutral reviews. They reported that these medicines have some effect however this effect is not very pronounced. However, SARMs have an undeniable advantage over anabolic steroids – a much smaller number of side effects. In addition to the fat burning effect, SARMs also increases bone density, which is a positive effect in bodybuilding. However, the fat burning effect itself, according to the reviews of these athletes, is not very pronounced. Therefore, they advise the use of more natural methods such as periodic high-interval training, eating less carbohydrates for weight loss, and the use of natural supplements, such as BCAA. You can read about these methods on our website.
So, as usual, the truth about SARMs lies somewhere in between. They are effective but probably aren’t as effective as claimed by their suppliers and manufacturers.