At some stage you will hit a plateau in your body development and stop hitting goals. No matter how hard you work out, no matter how good your diet is, you just won’t get results you see others getting. However, if you understand SARMs, and how to use them, you can transform your progress.
In this quick guide I’m going to explain the best SARMs for cutting, bulking, strength, and even how female stacks differ from male ones.
I’ll cover all you need to know about SARMs in easy to understand terms. Exactly what they are, which ones are androgenic, and how to use all of the most popular SARMs.
You’ll learn about potent SARMs stacks, dosing, and side effects to watch out for. Are SARMs really are safer steroid alternative? You’ll learn everything you need to know right here.
The Basics Of Using SARMs Explained
SARMs stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. That means they literally work by selectively activating the androgen receptors in muscle and bone tissue.
However, that’s not the whole story even for anabolic SARMs, because of the fact that some can also tell the body to burn fat rather than glucose and muscle first. That means they good for cutting fat as well as building muscle and strength.
But that’s not the whole story. Some SARMs aren’t androgenic in effect at all. That means you can use them without worrying about a drop in your testosterone levels.
Whatever type of SARMs you’re using, you can use them individually to get effects, or create potent SARMs stacks to enhance the benefits.
Speaking of the benefits, if you put SARMs together with a progressive gym routine and great diet, you can achieve the following in just a few cycles:
- Hard muscle tone that’s sharp and defined
- Lean muscle gains that you just can’t get naturally
- Significant endurance and strength gains
- Feeling of satisfaction
- Greatly enhanced drive and determination
- Faster recovery times
- The ability to cut fat far faster than naturally
I have to point out you here at the start of this guide that SARMs are not a miracle, you have to work hard and eat superbly to make the progress you’ll see in those SARMs “before and after” photos online.
Are SARMs Really Steroid Alternatives?
It’s not black-and-white to answer the question around if SARMs are really alternatives to steroids.
Let me be clear here, generally, SARMs are not as strong as anabolic steroids. However, that’s simplistic and not the whole story.
At stronger doses, RAD-140 and YK-11 especially, can get close to anabolic steroid strength.
At higher doses, S-23 and Ligandrol can also be significant in the effects they have, and be comparable to lower doses of bulking steroids.
But generally, at sensible doses, even when stacked, SARMs will not mimic anabolic steroids in their potency and results. At least not initially. But with time and dedication, you can get similar levels of results.
The other question I ask is do you want to have something that similar to an anabolic steroid in potency? That can cause a lot of problems, and it’s actually safer and better for your body and mind to be more progressive, which is why SARMs are a better option.
Which Format Of SARMs Is The Best To Use?
If you are considering using SARMs with your bodybuilding, then you have to make a decision on which format is best for you to take them in.
There are actually four formats to choose from:
- Raw SARMs powder
- SARMs powder in capsules
- SARMs sublingual liquid
- SARMs injectable liquid
Right at the start of this I’m going to rule out injectables. They’ve got a poor track record, and the only place I’ve ever found that sells good quality ones, Swiss Chems, hasn’t sold them for nearly a year due to quality issues.
Which leaves you with a choice between loose powder, powder in capsules, or sublingual liquid:
1. SARMs powder is the cheapest to buy, but the most difficult to take. You also have to weigh it using a microscale to get the dose exactly right. For beginners, I really wouldn’t recommend it.
2. The second option is SARMs capsules. For beginners this is the best option because you don’t have to deal with the powder, and you get an exact measured dose. However, it can be 2 or 3 times more expensive than powder, and twice as expensive as liquid.
3. SARMs sublingual liquid is the most popular format. Simply fill up the small pipette from the bottle to the correct level, and then drip it under your tongue. You let that soak in for a minute or so, and then drink the rest down with a little water. On the downside, it’s more expensive than powder, and the SARMs requiring a very small dosage can be problematic to get accurate.
The Top Six SARMs & Everything You Need To Know To Use Them Successfully
Now we have covered the basics of SARMs, I want to talk you through the top six most popular ones out there, so that you can make a better decision on which ones you would be more interested in using, and what they are good for.
1. LGD-4033 Ligandrol
Ligandrol is known as “Super Osta”, because of how structurally similar it is. It was also developed by the same company: Ligand Pharmaceuticals. It works in a similar way, but far more effectively, including the chance for muscle growth as well as retaining muscle in a calorie deficit.
- Typical dosage range is between 4 mg and 8 mg
- Is androgenic so will require PCT supplement after use
- Protects muscle tissue in a calorie deficit
- Tells the body to burn fat prior to glucose and muscle
- At higher doses can provoke significant muscle growth
2. S-4 Andarine
Andarine is another anabolic SARM developed by the same company who created Ostarine and Ligandrol. It has similar properties to both, but is more potent than Ostarine, but less potent than Ligandrol. However, many people see it’s “risk reward” ratio, in terms of testosterone problems, to be worse than using Ligandrol.
- Typical dosage range is between 15 mg and 50 mg
- Is androgenic so will need a PCT supplement after use
- Protects muscle tissue during a calorie deficit
- Tells the body to burn fat cells rather than glucose or muscle
- Can increase lean muscle mass at higher doses rather than just protect existing
3. GW-501516 Cardarine
Cardarine is one of my favorite SARMs. It’s not actually a SARM at all, its mechanism of action is as a PPAR-Delta modulator. In layman’s terms, that means it interacts with protein receptors, delivering more glucose to muscle tissue. That delivers significant strength and an energy boost, which is why it’s known as “energy in a bottle” by athletes using illegally.
- Typical dose is between 5 mg and 20 mg
- Not androgenic so no PCT required
- Delivers significant energy and strength boosts
- Lifts overall performance so great for bulking and cutting
4. RAD-140 Testolone
Testolone is probably the most potent anabolic SARM, with the possible exceptions of S-23 and YK-11. At high doses, it’s closer to a steroid in strength. Very potent for muscle building, its aggressive in muscle growth that can cause tears, and aggressive in producing testosterone depletion; so certainly not for beginners.
- Dosage range is usually between 5 mg and 20 mg daily
- Highly suppressive so requires a PCT supplement (preferably Clomid)
- Especially at higher doses, cycle length should be shorter
- Delivers significant lean muscle gains
- Increases overall strength rapidly and dramatically
5. MK-677 Ibutamoren
Ibutamoren is not actually androgenic at all. It’s thought to work as a growth hormone secretagogue. In simple terms, that means that it mimics the activity of Ghrelin, which raises levels of HGH and IGF-1, both of which are crucial to muscle development. It also increases energy expenditure and diet induced catabolism.
- Typical dosage range is between 10 mg and 25 mg daily
- Not androgenic so will not require PCT
- Can be used for slightly longer cycle length (some people up to 6 months)
- Dramatically build lean muscle mass
- Helps to cut fat and increase energy expenditure
Maybe not leaving the best until last, but Ostarine is certainly the most accessible and great for beginners getting into SARMs. Perfect for an initial cutting phase, and for protecting your gains, it’s mild and perfect for a gentle experience.
- Typical dosage range is between 10 mg and 30 mg
- Only mildly androgenic at higher doses
- Can be used on cycle and post cycle
- Protects your gains even in a calorie deficit
- Tells the body to burn fat before muscle and glucose
Best SARMs Stack For Cutting
If you’re looking for the best SARMs stack for cutting, then this is my favorite. I’ve used it a few times, and it’s very potent, but very accessible just by tweaking the doses slightly up or down:
- 10 mg Ostarine per day
- 5 mg SR-9009 per day
- 5 mg Cardarine per day
- Cycle length of 10 weeks
- Take at least six weeks before next cycle
- No PCT supplement required
What you’ll get with this SARMs stack is an incredible energy boost from the Cardarine and SR-9009. Together, they will allow you to dramatically burn more calories, and keep strength in your body at the same time. Meanwhile, the Ostarine will protect your gains, and help you to cut more fat. A cut of up to 10 lbs is possible using this stack.
Best SARMs Stack For Bulking
For me, the best SARMs stack for bulking is this perfect little combo. Your pack on lean muscle, and will experience dramatic increases in both your energy levels and your recovery times:
- 10 mg RAD-140 per day (5 mg if you’re more a beginner)
- 3 mg Ligandrol per day (can swap for YK-11 for something slightly less androgenic)
- 10 mg Cardarine per day
- 10 week cycle length
- At least in eight-week break between cycles
- PCT supplement definitely required (preferably Clomid
This bulking stack will deliver significant muscle gains. At the same time you will protect those gains and even increase them, even in a calorie deficit, because of the Ligandrol. The Cardarine dose will increase your energy levels and burn more calories as well. At the end of this, you’ll be lean and ripped. However you must watch out for that testosterone drop.
Best SARMs Stack For Strength & Maintenance
Let’s move on now to describing what I think is the best SARMs stack for strength, and also one you can use as a general maintenance stack. You won’t gain huge amounts of lean muscle, but you will harden your muscle, cut fat, and increase your strength dramatically.
- 10 mg YK-11 per day
- 10 mg Andarine (or swap out for 5 mg of Ligandrol) per day
- 5 mg Cardarine per day
- 5 mg SR-9009 per day
- 12 week cycle length
- Mildly suppressive so Nolvadex may be required for PCT
- Eight week gap between cycles
What you’ll get using this simple stack is the ability to burn fat, maintain your muscle mass (and maybe increase it slightly if you use a higher dose of Andarine or swap it for Ligandrol), backed up by the punch of significant increases in available energy as well.
Best SARMs Stack The Female Strength & Tone
Finally, let’s talk about the best SARMs stack for females. Women tend to need a slightly different approach for using SARMs. For a start they don’t need such high doses, and secondly, they tend to want to cut fat as a primary goal all the time.
- 5 mg Ostarine daily
- 3 mg Cardarine daily
- 5 mg SR-9009 daily
- 12 week cycle length
- Six-week break
- Females do not need PCT supplements
This stack will burn a hell of a lot of fat, by delivering huge amount of additional energy. The Ostarine will also protect your muscle tone and help to cut more fat. You could add in around 5 mg of Andarine, or 3 mg of Ligandrol if you want to slightly increase the size of your muscles and tone as well.
Warning About Before And After Photos & SARMs Reviews Online
Before I continue this guide to using SARMs, I want to give you a warning about those SARMs before and after photos, and a lot of the informal SARMs reviews you’ll read online.
Let’s talk about SARMs reviews first. There are two types, formal ones like this, which if they are bad, you can usually spot them.
But what I’m warning about mostly is informal reviews. This is where people pay for social media posts, things like Twitter and Reddit, saying how great the SARMs from a certain company are, or that they get incredible results.
In a lot of instances, those people work for the companies, or they are paid “shills” promoting the products.
The other side of this warning is around those SARMs before and after photos you see on social media, and on reviews. That’s why I don’t usually bother with my own before and after photos on my website.
You simply do not know if they are real, then actually taking, or over how long. At the end of the day, everyone’s results are going to the individual depending on what they do, how hard they work, and what their diet is like.
My advice is always to try it rather than thinking those before and after photos are what you will get after a single SARMs cycle. Please be realistic, you need to back things up with hard work and great diet.
How To Stay Safe & Minimize Side Effects
When it comes to staying safe and not suffering from SARMs side effects, it’s all about the dose and being aware of your body.
The main problem with SARMs is that at higher doses especially, you will suffer testosterone depletion quite significantly, and in some cases quite rapidly.
High doses of Ligandrol, S-23, and RAD-140 Testolone are the main culprits for rapidly diminishing testosterone output.
When you spot the first signs of testosterone drop, you should be doing one of three things:
1. Stopping the SARMs cycle early in going straight to PCT.
2. Lowering the doses of the SARMs to lower the level of testosterone depletion.
3. Start taking PCT on cycle (not recommended). This could mean a very mild natural supplement like Rebirth, or a very low dose of Nolvadex.
The classic signs of testosterone drop to watch out for are as follows:
- Feeling depressed and blue
- Lacking physical energy
- Lacking sexual energy and desire
- Diminishing gains despite using SARMs and hard work
- Lack of appetite
- In extreme cases development of excess breast tissue
- Shrinking testicles
If you spot any of those signs, you should immediately address the problem. Do not wait, because the longer you leave it, especially if you do this every cycle, you can encourage your body to permanently produce lower levels of testosterone, or even worse, to develop excess breast tissue (gyno) which is permanent unless surgically removed.
Using PCT Supplements With SARMs
The androgenic SARMs will definitely require the use of a PCT supplement afterwards.
As already highlighted, the androgenic SARMs are S-23, RAD-140, LGD-4033, YK-11, Andarine, and at high doses, Ostarine.
As a minimum, you should be using a natural testosterone boosting supplement, or a specialized natural PCT booster like REBIRTH.
For stronger cycles of SARMs, I would always recommend you use Nolvadex. It’s a SERM that’s potent and has been shown to benefit men’s testosterone levels.
However, if things are really bad, then I would suggest Clomid. That’s even more potent than Nolvadex, and a couple of weeks of that should sort you out, if you then drop the dose, or even switch to Nolvadex. You wouldn’t want to be using Clomid for a month or more at high doses.
In terms of dosing PCT supplements. For Clomid, you would start at around 50 mg per day for the first couple of weeks, and then drop down to 25 mg for the next three or four weeks, or until your testosterone levels are recovered.
Nolvadex, you can start around 30 mg per day, and drop down to 15 mg per day.
For a hybrid PCT course, I’d go for 50 mg of Clomid for your first week, then Nolvadex @ 30 mg per day for the next week, and as long as you’re okay, then drop down to 15 mg of Nolvadex for a few weeks longer.
Where To Buy SARMs Online
Let’s finish this SARMs review/guide by telling you what to look out for when buying SARMs online.
Whether you’re looking for the best SARMs for cutting, bulking, strength, or you’re female getting into SARMs, you have to get the best quality that you can.
What you’re looking for is companies with a great track record online. That means several years of positive feedback on bodybuilding forums and Reddit.
Also, crucially, you’re looking for companies who display current third-party lab analysis certificates on the product page.
Only a few companies actually genuinely send out a sample from each batch of SARMs they buy in for analysis by third-party lab. Some companies do it occasionally, and others just use the import certificates from Chinese manufacturers.
So what you’re looking for are companies who have recent third party, genuinely independent, lab test reports on the product pages. Only a handful of companies do this, and here are the three I use:
I have used these guys for several years, and they have never disappointed. They sell raw powder, but I tend to use SARMs sublingual liquid that I buy from them.
They sell all the major SARMs, plus little known ones, and vast amount of other peptides. Pricing is also superb. As an example, 300 mg total dose of Testolone, dosed at 10 mg/mL, costs just $59.99.
I have only used these guys once, but the quality has been superb. You also get bigger bottles; 50 mL dropper bottles rather than 30 mL bottles available from most other places around the same price.
They have all the main SARMs available in dropper bottles, and cheap powder format as well. To give you an example on price, a 50 mL dropper bottle of Cardarine, dosed at 10 mg/mL (500 mg total dose) costs only $54.99.
3. Swiss Chems
Swiss Chems used to sell injectables and liquid, they tend to now only sell SARMs capsules. However, capsules are brilliant for dosing exactly, and perfect for beginners. You will pay a premium though.
The prices are still very good currently, and you are getting top-quality powder. As an example, 60 capsules of MK-677, each dosing 10 mg (for total dose of 600 mg) costs just $76.95.