You probably have heard the word SARMS and wondered what the heck they were?
SARMS stands for Selective androgen receptor modulators and are growing in popularity in the fitness world. The objective is to give the benefits of anabolic steroids without the side effects that accompany harsh hormones. As of this article, none are yet FDA approved, rather they are currently or were in clinical testing.
Due to this, they are only legally available for research purposes, but this hasn’t prevented athletes from tapping into their benefits. In fact, many professionals and Olympians have been busted taking them, and many more used them before they started getting cracked down.
Scientists started researching SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) 80 years ago by studying molecules of hormones. During the 1990’s, companies started to ramp up testing with the end goal of having a product approved for humans for joint help, muscle wasting prevention, hormone replacement therapy, increasing appetite, and more.
During the 2000’s, Olympic coaches started getting their hands on different types of SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) so that their athletes could dope. At this time, the Olympic Doping agencies (WADA) and others, had not added them to the banned list since they were so unknown. At the 2008 Chinese Olympics, it was estimated by insiders, that a significant percentage of competitors were using them, the most popular being Cardarine GW501516 (which is technically a PPAR agonist).
The reason they used them was to get an edge on their opponents. The next year in 2009, most SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) were included across the board on banned lists in many sports. This has not prevented some athletes from still being busted for using them. Perhaps the most famous was football powerhouse University of Florida QB Will Grier being busted for using LGD4033 (anabolicum) in 2015.
Why anabolic steroids are risky
People are always going to make the argument of “Why not just use steroids?“. Nobody is going to argue they aren’t more powerful than SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators), however, we can argue that anabolic steroids do have plenty of risks to watch out for.
- Steroids can give females virilization problems including the enlarging of the clitoris, deepening voice, body and facial hair, and man-like physical features.
- Many steroids aromatize into estrogen which opens you up to gynecomastia, bloat, water retention, insomnia, and heart strain.
- Almost all anabolic steroids are androgenic, especially if used at moderate dosages or higher. This means they will cause enlarged prostate, enlarged organs, lipid strain, aggression, and skin problems.
- Anabolic steroids actually make it easier to get injured, and they destroy ligaments and tendon health.
- Anabolic steroids also can permanently shut down your reproductive health. Preventing you from ever producing your own testosterone or being fertile.
Anabolic steroids also speed up hair loss and can reduce life expectancy. We have seen evidence in recent years from Dallas McCarver and Rich Piana that steroid abuse will cause major internal problems across the board.
Now I am not saying anabolic steroids are all bad. They do have good qualities like making you stronger, building muscle, helping you lose fat, and boosting appetite. But the negatives are definitely a problem.
The S in SARM stands for Selective because that is exactly what they are, SELECTIVE. This means they act selectively in the body to do the good things we want, without all the bad things. This is why companies wanted to develop them. The goal is in another 10-15 years, SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) would replace hormones entirely.
the major impetus for SARM development has come from the potential anabolic effects of these compounds on the skeletal muscle and bone. – PMC
Here is a list of what they can do for you:
- Boost joints, bones, ligaments, and soft tissues.
- Do not severely shut down your HPTA Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Testes-Axis.
- Don’t mess with your prostate or head hair. In fact, they can actually help the prostate.
- They actually help your lipid/heart health.
- Do not cause permanent reproductive problems.
- They are mild, so they don’t cause anger or mood swings.
- Do not convert into estrogen or prolactin in the body.
Kinds of SARMS
There are currently dozens of SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) in existence or that were developed at one time, however, there are only 7 that athletes are primarily utilizing.
The first 3 I want to talk about aren’t actually SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) at all, but they are sold as such.
GW is a PPAR agonist (Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonist). This one is fantastic for both endurance-boosting and fat loss. It is typically dosed at 20mgs a day.
SR is similar but it is an agonist of Rev-Erba, so it is also great for fat loss and especially endurance. It has a short half life so you should use it within 2 hours of exercise between 5-20mgs.
This is a growth hormone secretagogue which causes a spike in Insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and growth hormone. The cool thing is it will ADD to both, without suppressing existing hormones. You will notice a quick change in appetite, sleep, and recovery. Over time users also say it helps with aging, overall wellness, lean muscle, and fat burn. The dosage ranges from 25-50mgs per day.
These next 4 are SARMS (selective androgen receptor modulators) and they are the most popular ones among athletes today.
This is the closest thing to hormone replacement therapy you will find. It helps with bone health, lean muscle mass, and strength. The best dosage is 10-20mgs per day.
Still in clinical testing due to its amazing muscle wasting and bone health properties. Great for joint health, it is nonsuppressive when used at a conservative dosage, so it is popular during post cycle therapy. Dosage ranges between 12.5mgs to 50mgs per day.
Also still in clinical testing and helps with building lean muscle mass while also losing fat. Very underrated also for its bone and soft tissue aid. Run it at 5-15mgs per day.
#7. S4 Andarine
Helps with prostate health. Athletes like it for fat loss, strength gains, and lean muscle mass. The standard dosage is 25-75mgs per day.
Females typically can use similar dosages, or cut the recommended amounts in half.
Where to buy sarms
SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) are currently legal in the United States as research chemicals only, but that may change with pending legislation looking to ban them entirely. Due to this, many companies no longer sell them, however, I highly recommend checking our forums at elitefitness.com and evolutionary.org for approved sources that do have them.