Ligandrol is often described as the “super osta” or the “king of sarms” due to it being highly selective like Ostarine but exerting its effects more forcefully, leading to greater muscle gains. LGD is a strong agonist for the AR in skeletal muscle and bone but very weak in comparison in the prostate.
At just 1mg per day for 3 weeks a clinical trial showed an average gain of 1.21kg in LBM which is nearly 1 pound of LBM per week which is absolutely insane considering the time frame and the fact that they were not even training. No fat loss was noted at all during this study. Unlike Ostarine, LGD-4033 does not seem to increase liver enzymes.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals has also completed acute safety studies on Ligandrol with no serious adverse events reported in dosages up to 22mg daily. The usual dosage for performance enhancement is 2-10mg per day for 4-8 weeks. The average results from this are 7-10lbs of LBM, good increases in strength and little to no fat loss. Which makes it the perfect “muscle building SARM”.
Ostarine is the most popular SARM on the planet, although it is non-steroidal it is closely related to anabolic/androgenic in its activity. As it successfully stimulates most notably the Androgen Receptor (AR) in skeletal muscle and bone. It is far less active in “androgenic” tissues such as the prostate or sex organs.
Ostarine is also the most studied SARM as in 2017 it had 24 human clinical trials involving more than 1,500 people. They were looking into the therapeutic benefits for muscle wasting, breast cancer and urinary incontinence. In one of these studies elderly men and women were given a dosage of just 3mg per day for 12 weeks and the average gain was a 3% increase in lean body mass (LBM) which equated on average to 1.3kg as well as an average fat loss of 0.6kg, the results even showed improved insulin sensitivity. Another study followed with similar results with postmenopausal women taking 3mg daily and over 12 weeks had an average increase of 1.5kg LBM.
During these studies no side effects such as testosterone suppression or estrogen conversion occurred.
The usual dosage for performance enhancing is 10mg daily for women, 10mg daily during PCT, 20mg daily as a SARM cycle for 4-8 weeks. The average results from this is 5-7lbs of lean body mass gained, some fat reduction, mild to large strength increases and improved muscular endurance.
Firstly, Cadarine is not a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator but instead is a Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Delta (PPARD) receptor agonist. It is often classed or grouped with SARMs from a sales and marketing perspective. The receptor plays an important role in human metabolism and helps regulated genes that help manage the transport and oxidation of fatty acids.
Cardarine captured the attention of the fitness community due to its merits in energy metabolism, by reducing glucose utilisation and increasing fatty acid oxidation. In layman’s terms it triggers the body to burn fat as fuel over glucose. Added to this Cardarine has been shown to improve ATP efficiency and therefore enhance endurance. This was picked up in animal studies when researchers found that mice had greatly increased cardiovascular endurance.
Due to the way Cardarine works users and animal studies showed that Cardarine is associated with significant reduction in body fat. Where Cardarine or GW50515 becomes extremely interesting is that PPARD activation increased mitochondrial biogenesis in the muscle, which can remodel your muscle tissue! In studies of trained and untrained mice, Cardarine caused fast twitch muscle fiber to convert to slow twitch muscle fibers. Because of this Cardarine is often called an exercise mimetic as only exercise could normally make these changes to your metabolism and fiber composition.
In phase 1 and phase 2 trials which lasted 12 weeks 268 patients with low HDL levels were given 2.5,5,10mg daily. During this time good cholesterol improved by 17% and bad cholesterol was reduced by 7%. Bodyweight also increased on average 1.3kg however a LBM vs fat mass analysis was not completed. Due to the way GW1501515 works it is safe to assume it was all or mostly LBM.
In the past there have been rumors based upon speculation regarding tumor growth in the colon. HOWEVER, in 2004 a study published by the American Association of Cancer Research confirmed that Cardarine had shown to have no effect on the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells under normal cultural conditions and PPAR activation has no effect on cell growth. To further this point in 2008 a study was done on human breast cancer and colour cancer cells and not only did the PPAR agonist prove to be safe it was shown to inhibit further cancer cell growth. Cardarine is normally taken at 10-20mg daily for performance enhancement, for 6-12 weeks.
In-Vitro (performed in a test tube) studies show that RAD-140 has a much higher binding affinity for the androgen receptor than testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. It also showed that it was highly selective in skeletal muscle and bone, with only a weak antagonistic effect in androgenic tissues. RAD-140 does also have an extremely weak interaction with progesterone and estrogen due to it not reacting with any other steroid hormone receptors to any appreciable degree.
RAD-140 did progress to animal studies but is yet to move to human trials. During this time researchers found that in rats RAD-140 matched anabolic effect with testosterone propionate mg for mg but was far less androgenic. It required a 60x higher dosage than the testosterone to cause the same prostate growth. When researchers did a study on monkeys, which is considered more clinically relevant to humans, their weight increased by 10% in 28 days and was almost exclusively LBM.
RAD-140 is most commonly used at 5-20mg per day, with 10mg per day being the most common for 6-12 weeks. During this time people have reported large increases in strength as well as 10-15lbs of muscle from the first cycle.
YK-11 firstly is not a SARM, check out our article on YK-11 for a more in depth review. YK-11 was sadly mislabeled as a SARM when in fact it is a new synthetic steroid that has only had In-Vitro studies done on it. However, in the In-Vitro studies YK-11 did bind and activate to the AR but was only found to be a partial agonist of the AR. YK-11 did show to stimulate the release of follistatin, which is an important protein for muscle growth as it strongly antagonized myostatin.
There has been no animal or human testing of YK-11 at this stage since 2011 since it was first described. Because of this the correct dosage is unknown but women report results from 1-5mg and men 5-10mg daily, for 4-8 weeks.
The side effects at these dosage and higher dosages are unknown. Any of the claims for YK-11 are sadly false advertising;
MK-677 like Cardarine is not a SARM but is also often classed or grouped with SARMs from a sales and marketing perspective. MK-677 is a growth hormone secretagogue that mimics the activity of Ghrelin. In human studies it has been shown to significantly elevate serum levels of both GH and IGF-1 levels, increase fat free mass, energy expenditure, improve sleep quality and reduce diet induced catabolism.
MK-677 is also likely to increase cortisol, ACTH (adrenocorticotropic) and prolactin levels, however most of the time this spill over is not noticeable to the user. MK-677 is an potent appetite stimulant which many view as a plus but if you are looking to lose fat then it is often seen as a side effect, as unless you control your diet well, using MK-677 will make you greatly increase your calorie intake.
MK-677 is normally taken at 10-25mg daily for anywhere between 4 weeks and 6 months.
In animal studies, Andarine or S4 has shown comparable anabolic effect on muscle as testosterone propionate. But only has 30-40% of its androgenicity and has been shown to increase strength and body weight similar to DHT, but yet is even stronger at preventing bone loss. It also showed significant decreases in total fat mass. Most importantly S4 has very minimal stimulation of the prostate and only slight suppression of the HPTA.
Andarine has NOT been subject to full human clinical trials. Information on its real interactions with humans is based on observation and anecdote and so far, it suggests that S4 does produce noticeable gains in LBM and strength alongside significant fat loss.