SARMs

Unlock Your Potential: 6 Effective SARMs Cycles for Beginners

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SARMs cycles (Selective androgen receptor modulators) are gaining traction among bodybuilders for their muscle-building and fat-burning properties.

Currently, there are no established dosing or cycle guidelines from health agencies as SARMs are relatively new compounds awaiting FDA approval.

6 The most effective SARMs cycles.

This guide outlines typical dosage patterns observed in male and female use for aesthetic enhancement.

Initial SARM Cycles

For those embarking on their first SARM cycle, an Ostarine-exclusive cycle is common. Ostarine is chosen for its considerable impact on physique through moderate muscle gain and fat loss, along with its status as the most manageable SARM in terms of side effects.

Ostarine is often preferred because it offers a balance between benefits and side effects, making it a safer option for many.

Users report gaining up to 10 pounds of muscle and shedding roughly 3% of their subcutaneous fat on Ostarine.

Ostarine Cycle

  • Week 1: 10mg/day
  • Week 2: 15mg/day
  • Week 3 – Week 8: 20mg/day

Beginners usually start with lower doses of 10 mg/day and 15 mg/day for the initial two weeks to accustom the body to Ostarine, subsequently increasing to a steady 20 mg/day over the following six weeks.

Some may work up to 30 mg/day, but this is a high dose and not recommended for first-time users.

Women typically opt for 5–10 mg/day of Ostarine with cycles lasting 4–8 weeks.

Ostarine’s 24-hour half-life means it requires only once-a-day dosing.

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In one case, a user at 20 mg/day for 45 days experienced a 3kg weight loss, with significant reductions in body fat while gaining muscle mass and strength.

Ostarine Side Effects

Compared to other SARMs, Ostarine is known to have milder side effects, with many users reporting none at all.

Yet, possible risks include liver inflammation, cholesterol changes, and testosterone reduction.

To mitigate liver enzyme increase, TUDCA can be taken at 500 mg/day during the cycle. Additionally, incorporating 4 g/day of fish oil, a diet rich in unsaturated fats, and regular cardio exercises can counteract blood pressure rises.

Post-cycle therapy (PCT) is also recommended after the cycle to aid in the restoration of the HPTA. A typical PCT regimen might include 20 mg/day of Nolvadex for 4 weeks.

Bulking Cycles

RAD 140 Cycle

Testolone, known as [RAD 140], is heralded by many as the top SARM due to its impressive influence on muscle size and strength, all without significant side effects or estrogen conversion. Its potent anabolism often earmarks it as the preferred choice for bulking.

RAD 140 is a suitable secondary cycle following Ostarine, giving best results in muscle mass and strength gains for seasoned users — not beginners.

  • Week 1 – Week 8: 10mg/day

Typical RAD-140 courses consist of 10–20 mg/day over 6–12 weeks. Practice shows that efficiency peaks at 10 mg/day and increasing the dose may intensify side effects without significant benefits.

More adept users with a tolerance history may escalate the dosage to 15-20 mg/day.

With a half-life of 60 hours, daily RAD-140 intake isn’t strictly necessary to maintain peak blood concentrations. Yet, daily consumption remains a common protocol, following initial beliefs in its 20-hour half-life.

One individual on a 10 mg/day RAD-140 dose for seven weeks reported a 6.2kg gain in lean body mass coupled with a 2.8% fat decrease without any serious side effects apart from increased sweating.

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This person also saw roughly a 20% strength boost in bench press, squats, and deadlifts.

Potential Adverse Effects of RAD 140

Comparable to Ostarine yet more pronounced, RAD 140 may elevate liver enzymes, lead to substantial suppression of natural testosterone, and adversely affect HDL cholesterol levels.

A cautious approach to dosage, like 10 mg per day, has been shown to help curb the adverse effects typically associated with RAD-140. To further diminish risks relating to liver health and cardiovascular function, a daily supplementation routine involving 500 mg of TUDCA and 4 grams of fish oil is beneficial.

For post-cycle therapy (PCT), a regimen involving Nolvadex at 20 mg per day for four weeks may hasten the recovery of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis (HPTA).

Some individuals might experience hair shedding or develop acne due to predispositions toward androgenetic alopecia or excitable oil glands. RAD-140 can possibly impact 5-alpha-reductase enzyme levels, indirectly leading to these issues.

LGD-4033 Administration Guidelines

LGD-4033, also known as Ligandrol, is a potent bulking agent on par with RAD-140. Generally, it induces more significant weight gain compared to RAD-140, with lean muscle and strength gains being comparable between the two.

However, LGD-4033 tends to be less favored than RAD-140 as it can enhance the body’s estrogen conversion, potentially leading to increased water retention and obscured muscle definition. Yet for certain users aiming for maximum bulk in the off-season, the added intracellular fluid might be seen as an advantage for mass gains.

Weight increases of up to 20 pounds have been observed with LGD-4033 users, estimated to be 25% water mass.

Responses can vary, with some individuals favoring LGD-4033 over RAD-140 or vice versa. Personal experimentation with both compounds may be advisable to determine individual compatibility.

Intake recommendations for LGD-4033 are as follows, with 6mg/day over an 8-week period being a common protocol:

  • Week 1: 6mg/day
  • Week 2: 6mg/day
  • Week 3: 6mg/day
  • Week 4: 6mg/day
  • Week 5: 6mg/day
  • Week 6: 6mg/day
  • Week 7: 6mg/day
  • Week 8: 6mg/day

The dosage for LGD-4033 can typically vary from 4–10 mg per day.

Administer LGD-4033 once daily, given its half-life ranging from 24 to 36 hours.

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A user reported substantial muscle hypertrophy, strength gains, and fat reduction after taking a high dose of 10 mg/day across an 8-week period, resulting in a 20-pound increase in lean mass.

Despite a high-dosage regimen, the user noted only a minimal presence of acne and no need for PCT, as symptoms of low testosterone were absent.

Possible Adverse Effects of LGD-4033

LGD-4033 is known to cause similar side effects to RAD 140, including noteworthy changes in cholesterol levels, liver toxicity, and testosterone suppression.

Thus, incorporating supplements like 4 grams of fish oil daily, 500 mg of TUDCA, and employing Nolvadex for PCT at 40 mg daily is considered a prudent approach.

Contraryly, LGD-4033 rarely induces androgenic side effects, including issues like male pattern baldness, as it tends to maintain stable 5-alpha-reductase levels.

However, the compound may indirectly raise aromatization levels, potentially leading to symptoms like puffy nipples or water retention, particularly in users sensitive to increased estrogen levels.

Strategies for Cutting Cycles

Cardarine Administration and Effects

Cardarine is a PPARD (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta) agonist and often mistakenly categorized as a SARM.

Its most noted advantages are the promotion of fat loss and enhancement of muscle endurance.

Users have reported shedding up to 40 pounds over cycles lasting 8–12 weeks, even on moderate dosages. Cardarine has also demonstrated substantial endurance improvement, exhibiting a 68% increase within just 3 weeks in animal studies.

Anecdotally, Cardarine’s ability to promote fat loss appears quite significant, positioning it as one of the most efficient compounds for this purpose. By improving insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and glucose tolerance, Cardarine shifts the body’s primary energy source from glucose to stored fat.

Clinical research also indicates that Cardarine may maintain muscle mass during periods of calorie restriction due to its mild anabolic effects.

Recommended intake for Cardarine is detailed below, with 10mg/day over 8-week cycles being a typical dose:

  • Week 1: 10mg/day
  • Week 2: 10mg/day
  • Week 3: 10mg/day
  • Week 4: 10mg/day
  • Week 5: 10mg/day
  • Week 6: 10mg/day
  • Week 7: 10mg/day
  • Week 8: 10mg/day

Cardarine dosage usually ranges between 10–20 mg per day, lasting between 8–12 weeks. Nevertheless, shorter cycles and lower dosages have still been deemed effective by some.

A single daily dose is sufficient due to Cardarine’s 24-hour half-life, ensuring consistent blood levels.

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In one particular instance, a user undergoing Cardarine at 10 mg/day during the initial week and advancing to 20 mg/day for the subsequent seven weeks experienced a substantial weight reduction from 205 to 165 pounds.The user mentioned previously administered Cardarine at a dose of 10 mg daily over a 4-week period, resulting in a significant weight loss of 20 pounds. This case demonstrates the effectiveness of Cardarine even at low doses and during brief cycle durations.

Cardarine Side Effects

Although Cardarine is often grouped with SARMs, it is not one in actuality, which means it has unique side effects [5]. Importantly, Cardarine does not suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis (HPTA), so natural testosterone levels are not negatively affected. It can even have a positive impact on cholesterol levels, enhancing cardiovascular health, and is thus considered a cardioprotective agent, especially when used with SARMs known to lower HDL (high-density lipoprotein).

Despite being taken orally, the main concern is its impact on liver enzymes, specifically ALT and AST. While short-term use might not lead to significant issues for many individuals, combining it with other hepatotoxic SARMs frequently raises concern.

High doses of Cardarine have been linked to cancer development in rodent studies, using amounts significantly over human equivalent doses (5 mg/kg daily). Individuals with existing cancer might find that Cardarine exacerbates their condition.

The likelihood of tumor development at standard dosages and during brief cycles is not well defined. Nonetheless, numerous individuals use Cardarine without developing cancer, suggesting that the risks may be tied to dosage, duration of usage, and an individual’s inherent cancer risk.

Stenabolic Cycle

Stenabolic (SR9009), a REV-ERB agonist, is not classified as a SARM.

REV-ERB agonists are known for manipulating the circadian rhythms, which help promote alertness during the day.

Our findings indicate that Stenabolic supports the improvement of glucose and lipid metabolism, potentially increasing the resting metabolic rate. Moreover, it has the direct effect of promoting fat loss by changing the body’s preferred source of energy from glucose to fat.

Given its comparable effectiveness to Cardarine, Stenabolic is being recognized as a potentially non-carcinogenic option. Users may expect notable fat reduction and enhanced endurance with proper use.

Users can typically expect Stenabolic to reduce body fat by 5% when taken as recommended.

Due to its minimal bioavailability in pill form, achieving effective results from Stenabolic is challenging unless it is injected or taken sublingually, as swallowing it directly is not sufficient for adequate compound absorption.

For sublingual administration, the solution is held beneath the tongue for 10–15 seconds before ingestion, which allows for rapid absorption into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane, circumventing first-pass metabolism.

The dosages below are for sublingual administration of Stenabolic.

  • Week 1: 30mg/day
  • Week 2: 30mg/day
  • Week 3: 30mg/day
  • Week 4: 30mg/day
  • Week 5: 30mg/day
  • Week 6: 30mg/day
  • Week 7: 30mg/day
  • Week 8: 30mg/day

Standard dosages for Stenabolic are in the range of 20 to 30 mg daily.

Stenabolic is short-acting (4-6 hour half-life) and should be dosed thrice daily (10mg at breakfast, 10mg at lunchtime, and 10mg at supper).

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A user took 20 mg of Stenabolic daily for 8 weeks along with 15-20 mg of RAD 140 daily and experienced a notable decrease in fat levels (5% body fat) and gained around 8 pounds of muscle while maintaining a 500-calorie deficit diet.

Stenabolic Side Effects

Reported side effects from Stenabolic are minor; nevertheless, a temporary increase in central nervous system activity can occur. This may lead to heightened perspiration due to elevated levels of epinephrine in some sensitive individuals.

Note: For enhanced fat loss and muscle preservation during calorie restriction, Ostarine can be stacked with either Cardarine or Stenabolic (Ostarine recommended dosage: 20 mg daily for 8 weeks).

RAD-140 / LGD-4033 / MK-677 Cycle

For those with experience in SARMs seeking further gains in muscle size, a combination of RAD-140, LGD-4033, and MK-677 can be an effective strategy.

MK-677 (Ibutamoren) acts as a growth hormone secretagogue [6] and can be synergistic with SARMs to optimize anabolism and fat reduction. It’s primarily recognized for its muscle-growth potential, overshadowing its ability to burn fat, and is often a choice for bulking phases.

According to reports, first-time MK-677 users have seen an increase of 6 pounds of lean muscle. When used with RAD-140 and LGD-4033, users can expect significant improvements in muscle mass and strength.

This stack is recommended for intermediate users with prior experience using LGD-4033 or RAD-140 and who have successfully managed side effects in the past.

Such a combination can aid users in pushing past plateaus in muscle growth experienced after cycles using either RAD-140 or LGD-4033 alone.

Initial Weeks
  • Weeks 1 to 2: Begin with LGD-4033 at a dosage of 5 mg per day, combined with RAD-140 also at 5 mg daily, and MK-677 at a dosage of 10 mg per day.
Following Weeks:
  • Weeks 3 to 8: Continue with LGD-4033 at the same dosage of 5 mg per day, increase RAD-140 intake to 15 mg per day, and augment MK-677 to 20 mg per day.
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The individual employing this regimen has noted substantial enhancements in muscle size, density, and strength, consistent with previous experiences from SARM or anabolic steroid use to augment muscle building, particularly when facing a plateau in hypertrophy.

Potential Adverse Effects from the Regimen:

The cycle is recognized for its severity, with a likely increase in cholesterol levels and liver enzymes such as ALT and AST, leading to notable risks related to heart and liver health. Such a robust combination can also induce significant suppression, necessitating a comprehensive post-cycle therapy (PCT) for the restoration of natural testosterone levels.

Dr. Grant Fourie designed an effective PCT:

  • hCG: Inject 2000 IU every alternate day for a span of 20 days.
  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex): Take two 20mg doses daily for a duration of 45 days.
  • Clomiphene (Clomid): Take two 50mg doses daily for 30 days.

This particular PCT protocol has been validated in clinical studies to successfully treat men with low testosterone levels within a 45-day period.

Additionally, MK-677 usage may contribute to an increased accumulation of visceral fat, which can lead to a distended appearance in the abdominal area, often referred to as a ‘steroid gut.’ It can inflate blood pressure levels as it may raise blood sugar, thereby heightening the risk for atherosclerosis. Given that RAD-140 and LGD-4033 can also elevate blood pressure by lowering HDL cholesterol, monitoring blood pressure is critical throughout the cycle.

FAQ

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Interval Between SARM Cycles

The downtime between SARM cycles should be at least the length of the preceding cycle. Therefore, an 8-week cycle should be followed by a minimum rest period of 8 weeks. More crucial is the individual’s overall well-being before embarking on another SARM cycle.

Permanency of Results

Post-cycle, fat reduction outcomes tend to persist if the individual adheres to a diet of maintenance calories or fewer.

Muscle mass acquired is typically retained post-cycle, provided that the individual persists with resistance training.

Post-cycle, those who have used LGD-4033 might experience around 20% loss in weight, primarily due to water shedding.

While endurance improvements from compounds like Cardarine and Stenabolic may diminish after the cycle ends, maintaining most of these gains is possible with consistent cardiovascular activity.

REFERENECES

(1) https://aacrjournals.org/cancerres/article/80/4_Supplement/P5-11-01/647343/Abstract-P5-11-01-Phase-1-dose-escalation-study-of

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4111291/#:~:text=LGD%2D4033%20displayed%20a%20prolonged,on%20days%201%20and%2021.

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4421799/

(4) https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/ATVBAHA.112.247890

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8538264/

(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6240568/

General Practitioner at | Website | + posts

Dr. Grant Fourie, a specialist in male hormones, is based in Cape Town, South Africa. He provides comprehensive treatments for conditions related to low testosterone, such as erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and mood changes. His methods include hormone replacement therapy and other modern treatment options.
Contact me via email or phone to book personal appointment in my clinic: The Village Square, Cape Town - South Africa

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About Dr. Grant Fourie

Dr. Grant Fourie, a specialist in male hormones, is based in Cape Town, South Africa. He provides comprehensive treatments for conditions related to low testosterone, such as erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and mood changes. His methods include hormone replacement therapy and other modern treatment options. Contact me via email or phone to book personal appointment in my clinic: The Village Square, Cape Town - South Africa

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