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Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS)

Hello everyone… This is a small intro to the wonderful world of SARMS, brought to you by your resident SARMS expert, Dylan Gemelli. In this article, I will touch on facts about these interesting drugs, and hopefully provide answers to the many questions that you may have....


Chemical Structure of SARMS


The term SARMS stands for "Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators." Let's break this phrase down piece by piece. First, Androgens:

Androgens are a class of hormones that serve as ligands that bind to cellular androgen receptors. The androgen receptor is involved in a complex signal transduction pathway that ultimately results in greater expression of specific genes. In simple terms, androgens help you build muscle.

All anabolic steroids and prohormones offer their muscle building properties through this binding to the androgen receptor.

Second, Selective Modulators:

A drug that can either block or stimulate the same nuclear hormone receptor under different conditions is called a selective receptor modulator. If it can block or stimulate a receptor in a tissue selective manner, it may be able to mimic the beneficial effects in one tissue and, at the same time, minimize the unwanted effects of the natural or synthetic steroidal hormones in other tissues. In layman terms, it can selectively grow muscles without the side effects.


SARMS offer the benefits of traditional Anabolic Androgenic Steroids such as testosterone (including increased muscle mass, fat loss, and bone density), all the while, giving the user no unwanted side effects that come with steroids.

SARMS are not new, they have been around for over 10 years. However, they are a unique class of compounds currently undergoing investigation and development from a number of pharmaceutical companies.

SARMS vs. Steroids

Steroids have typically been prescribed in medicine for two distinct reasons:

  • Muscle wasting diseases ranging from cancer to osteoporosis
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

The problems with anabolic steroids or testosterone replacement therapy arise from their undesirable side effects. Steroids target all cells, good and bad. They'll grow your muscles, which will include your heart muscle, and they will hurt your prostate. Steroids can also make you lose your hair, and have small balls.

On the other hand, SARMS are completely different. They are able to stimulate receptors in a tissue selective manner, (in our case, selective to bone and muscle). It is possible to mimic the beneficial effects of androgen activation in muscles (grow muscles), and, at the same time, minimize the unwanted effects of the natural or synthetic steroidal hormones in other tissues. In simple terms, grow big muscles and lose fat without the side effects of steroids.

It is this unique trait that makes these receptor modulators able to selectively cause muscle growth, while reducing or eliminating unwanted secondary side effects.

Hence, pharmaceutical companies are currently looking to SARMS as an alternative to prescribed steroids.

Several global pharmaceutical companies are currently investigating, analyzing and testing potential SARMS. There are hundreds of possible SARMS out there, but there are 7 main SARMS (or SARMS-related compounds) currently available and most applicable to bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and athletes. These drugs have many user accounts, reviews and logs on the internet: (I linked the below for further reading)

Many of you will ask why Cardarine (GW-501516) is listed as a SARM. It often gets classified as a SARM and is normally run in a "Sarms Triple Stack"; however, technically, Cardarine (GW) is not a SARM. GW-501516 is actually a PPAR receptor agonist as opposed to a selective androgen receptor modulators. I will go into more detail about this in a later article.

GW-501516 Cardarine

Cardarine (GW) Bottle - SARMS1

Another known "SARM-wannabe" is Nutrobal (MK-677), but it is not nearly as popular as Ostarine and S4, and it's not a SARM (just like cardarine is not a sarm). Though, nutrobal is misclassified as a SARM many times on many forums, it is actually a growth hormone secretagogue. Meaning, it makes your body release growth hormone naturally. It's literally growth hormone in a bottle!

Nutrobal MK677

Why are SARMS beneficial?

As stated previously, the problems with anabolic steroids are due to the harsh and nasty side effects that they have.

These are just some of the steroid side effects:

  • Potential stimulation of prostate cancer
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Acne
  • Body hair growth
  • Gynecomastia (male breast development)
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver toxicity
  • Cholesterol imbalance
  • Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (Heart growth)
  • Shutdown of your own Testosterone production

The above side effects are because anabolic steroids stimulate all receptors, they don't pick and choose where to give you results or where to give you problems. On the other hand, SARMS stimulate the androgen receptor in only muscle tissue and bone. As a result, this can prevent most if not all of the harsh side effects of steroids.

SARMS offer the potential for harnessing the benefits of steroid use whilst minimizing the undesirable side effects. They also have the potential advantages of oral dosing, which testosterone and all injectable steroids do not.

SARMS for Bodybuilders?

For the bodybuilder, gym user, fitness enthusiast, and athlete SARMS can be used either in conjunction with or as a replacement for traditional anabolics. Here are just some of the wonderful things SARMS can do for you:

  • Increase Lean muscle growth
  • Prevent muscle loss during cutting/weight loss
  • Boost Injury rehabilitation
  • Decrease Post-training recovery times
  • Help recover after cycle by adding to PCT
  • Increase fat loss
  • Increase endurance
  • Decrease fatigue

SARMS benefits when compared to steroids:

  • Oral (no injections needed)
  • Similar positive effects to testosterone (libido, strength gains, fat loss etc…)
  • No conversion to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
  • No conversion to Estrogen
  • No harsh liver toxicity from methylated compounds
  • Does not inhibit your HPTA to the large extent of steroids (no large reduction in LH or FSH)
  • Legal
  • Undetectable (select SARMS), as of 2016 - 90% of SARMS are detectable by WADA.


SARMS of interest

As previously mentioned, the 3 SARMs of most interest to users should Ostabolic (Ostarine/MK-2866) , Anabolicum (LGD) and Andarine (S-4). These are both commercially available in liquid suspension as research chemicals.

They have both undergone clinical testing by GTx and also have many cases of positive feedback by gym goers from forums and message boards across the internet.

However, my favorite SARMS are Cardarine (GW) and Nutrobal (MK677). Cardarine is an amazing fat loss aid and nutrobal is like oral HGH in a bottle. They work amazingly when stacked! My third favorite SARM is a stack of stenabolic (SR9009) and testolone (RAD140).

Utilizing SARMS

There are several possible ways to utilize SARMS. I am a firm believer that the most effective and efficient use of SARMS is in a stand-alone SARMS cycle. For example, the triple-stack with Ostabolic, Cardarine, and Andarine.

Another good use of SARMS is as a bridge in between steroid cycles. Using them in this manner allows a user to have a much easier time keeping and/or adding to gains made on previous cycles. SARMS make you feel great and take your mind away from the feeling you have when coming "off". Many users report feeling even better on SARMS than they do on a normal steroid cycle. The "bridge" is their most effective use.

SARMS Cycles

The typical user looking for lean mass gains would be suited to using Ostabolic for 8-12 weeks at a dose of about 25mg per day, stacked with Andarine 25mgs ED and Testolone 10mgs/ED. This will typically produce 6-12lbs or 3-6kg keepable gains in lean mass. SARMS are not best utilized in this manner, but it is possible to put on a very clean and keepable amount of size.

Sample SARMS Bulking Cycle:

Week 1-12

  • Andarine (S4) 25mgs/ED
  • Ostabolic (ostarine) 25mgs/ED
  • Testolone (RAD) 10mgs/ED

The typical user looking to cut body fat while retaining lean mass gains would be suited to using S4 for 8-12 weeks at a dose of 25mgs, stacked with Cardarine 20mgs/ed and Steanbolic 20mgs/ed. This will produce excellent cutting effects.

USER WARNING: Since S-4 shows a greater binding affinity to the receptor in the eye, keep the dose 25-50mgs range and don't go higher. Always start slow at 25mgs per day for at least 4 weeks.

Andarine demonstrates fat burning effects in addition to maintenance of muscle mass. S-4 also shows a decrease in LPL (lipoprotein lipase) which is an enzyme that causes lipid accumulation. Stacking Andarine and Cardarine+Stenabolic provides the best SARMS cutting cycle.

Sample SARMS Cutting Cycle:

Week 1-12

  • Andarine (S4) 25mgs/ED
  • Cardarine (GW) 20mgs/ED
  • Stenabolic (SR) 20mgs/ED

Andarine (S4) is also similar to many of the DHT derived steroids in that effect of strength gains rise at a higher proportion than mass gains. So if you’re looking to experience and increase in strength without a large in increase in weight, S4 again used for 8-12 weeks at doses of 25-50ms stacked with Anabolicum (LGD) will produce excellent results. Once again, the triple stack will provide the best results.

Sample SARMS Strength Cycle:

Week 1-12

  • Andarine (S4) 25mgs/ED
  • Anabolicum (LGD) 10mgs/ED
  • Cardarine (GW) 20mgs/ED

The recomping effect of losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is what the majority of users are looking for.

Ostabolic (Ostarine mk2866) with its anabolic and nutrient partitioning effects is ideal for such a goal and a dosing protocol of 12.5-25mg for 8-12 weeks will give excellent recomp effects. Stacking with Andarine S-4 as well as Cardarine GW will be excellent for a recomp as well. The beauty of SARMS is they are multifaceted in their use. Your diet and training will dictate the results, but there are many options that are possible with them.

Sample SARMS Recomp Cycle:

Week 1-12

  • Ostabolic (ostarine) 25mgs/ED
  • Anabolicum (LGD) 10mgs/ED
  • Cardarine (GW) 20mgs/ED
  • Stenabolic (SR) 10mgs/ED
  • Andarine (S4) 25mgs/ED


Although many believe SARMS are still at an early stage of development, nothing could be further from the truth. SARMS have been around in our bodybuilding industry for over 10 years. The potential for SARMS is very high, evident by the number of pharmaceutical firms currently developing different these drugs.

Summary of SARMS benefits

  • HPTA suppression is non-existent to minimal.
  • High oral bioavailabilty without significant damage to your liver compared with oral steroids/prohormones.
  • Anabolic even at low doses
  • Great for strength
  • Great for lean mass gains
  • Great for body recomposition
  • Great for endurance (aerobic or anaerobic)
  • Joint healing abilities


January, 2017 Update

SARMS Detection Time

Currently, the detection times of SARMS is a hotly debated topic.  Many athletes don't know how SARMS are tested for or how long they will stay in their system.   I've done a lot of research on the topic and have come up with some answers.  I will try to make this as simple as possible for you guys.

How are SARMS detected?

In simple terms, anti-doping laboratories create metabolites of SARMS.  In the case of one study done by the European Journal of Mass Spectrometry, it was LG121071, a cousin of LGD-4033, that was broken down into metabolites for testing.  A metabolite is a molecule that is produced by metabolizing a substance.  Think of it as a "digested" version of the original product.

After they created metabolites in a petri dish (literally created in a lab), they were able to detect these same metabolites in human urine.  How? The urine was tested with a liquid-chromatography mass spectrometer.  This allowed them to detect the metabolite in the urine and bust the athlete.

What are the detection times for SARMS?

The detection times from SARM to SARM are variable and hard to understand.  While ostarine (mk-2866) has a half life of 24 hours, the full detection times are unknown.  The same can be said about Andarine (S-4) and Cardarine (GW-501516).  No matter how many studies I read, I couldn't come up with the actual time.  Therefore, I will suggest the following (what you do is up to you), use caution when using SARMS and like anything weigh the risks.

My opinion, based on the athletes busted for using SARMS and clients I've worked with is that Ostarine/Andarine/Cardarine detection times are around 8 weeks, give or take a week.  However, if your life depends on tested, I suggest you stop SARMS 12 weeks out from a drug test.  In addition, always do a full detox before any drug test.

Here is a list of studies you can read to help you further research detection times:

SARM S-23 Dangers


SARM S-23 was developed by Gtx pharmaceuticals, the same company that brought us mk-2866.  S-23 has very high androgen receptor binding, but it has some major downfalls and side effects.  First, it has not shown in studies to build muscle in humans.  Second, all the studies on S-23 lead to the conclusion that it suppresses natural testosterone levels to a point that you can't produce sperm.  Lastly, on the forums bodybuilders have ran logs with S-23 and noticed very little bodybuilding-related results.

In fact, I recommend that bodybuilders and athletes stay away from SARM S-23 because it's dangerous and requires PCT that's months (over 3 months) long.  In fact, some users might be shut down for life.  So, you should be very careful and avoid this SARM.


Would you like to know what over 100,000 users and myself think about SARMS? read about them on our evolutionary forums...


Here are just some of my SARMS youtube videos:

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Have your say!

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Dylan Gemelli
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  1. I’m new to sarms, this is my 1st sarms run. Do I stack cardarine with andarine or with ostarine? I’m confused.

    • Dylan Gemelli

      If this is your first sarms cycle, don’t worry, start slow. I suggest the combination of Cardarine (GW501516) 20mgs/ED and Ostabolic (mk2866/ostarine) 50mgs/ED. You can follow this up with a mini-sarms pct. You don’t need to go heavy, 10-12 weeks is a good cycle. Another option is for you to use the sarms triple stack, cardarine/andarine/anabolicum or cardarine/andarine (S4)/osta.

      The choice is up to you but the triple stack gives way more results.

  2. What’s better for fat loss, cardarine (GW) or ostabolic (mk2866)? Looking for stamina and fat loss. I’m 25 year old training 5 times per week, using creatine/protein now.

    • Dylan Gemelli

      Cardarine and Ostabolic should be stacked for best fat loss.
      Week 1-12
      Cardarine GW 20mgs/ED
      OStabolic (ostarine) 25mgs/ED
      HCGenerate 5 tabs/ED

    • Albert Wolfgang

      Stack Cardarine GW @ 20mgs per day with Ostabolic (MK) at 25mgs per day, add some testolone (RAD) 10mgs per day and 3 caps hcgenerate. That’s a hardcore cutting run and will give you no side effects, especially compared to steroids.

  3. I heard andarine s4 has vision side effects I’m worried. If I get andarine how do I minimize the vision side effects and would that impact me in the long term? Like long term vision problems?
    also, how can I avoid the vision sides with andarine?

    • Dylan Gemelli

      In some cases, there are vision side effects from andarine. That’s why I suggest you start slow at 25mgs ED and move up 12.5mgs every 1 week. Feel out your dose. Best suggestion to minimize andarine s4 vision side effects is to low dose it and stack with cardarine. For example, 25mgs andarine s4 per day and 20mgs cardarine per day.

    • Albert Wolfgang

      Try using the andarine (S4) 5 days on, 2 days off. I found that makes most of the vision sides go away. The side effects with vision are NOT permanent, they are temporary only during the time you use s4. After you discontinue, the sides go away.

      Use 5 days on, 2 days off strategy to minimize the side effects.

  4. Hi Mr Gemelli, can you tell me the right dose of ostarine for cutting? and what dose of GW should I add to the osta as a stack? help…I’m 210lbs now 25 years old

    • Dylan Gemelli

      To cut up with SARMS, you need balance bro. I suggest you try this sarms cutting run with ostabolic/cardarine/sten:
      Week 1-12
      Ostabolic (osta) 25mgs/day
      Cardarine (GW) 20mgs/day
      Steanbolic (sr9009) 10mgs/day
      Andarine (s4) 25mgs/day (start with 12.5mgs for 2 weeks then goto 25mgs)

    • Albert Wolfgang

      If you just want to use ostarine and cardarine, 50mgs of ostarine ED and 20mgs cardarine ED. Easiest mix, add some testolone 10mgs ed! Makes sure to have cycle support with N2Guard 3 caps per day.

  5. What’s better for strength ostarine or andarine? can’t make up my mind what I should use to get stronger.

    • Dylan Gemelli

      For strength, you should combine both ostabolic and andarine. Try this:
      Week 1-12
      Ostabolic (osta) 50mgs/day
      Andarine (S4) 25mgs/day
      Cardarine (GW) 20mgs/day

      • What would the cardarine gw do for me for strength?

        • Dylan Gemelli

          Cardarine GW is for stamina, and you need stamina if you want to get stronger. GW will increase your speed and ability to lift weights.

          • How long do I use cardarine gw without it stopping to work? like does it stop working after so many weeks.

            • Dylan Gemelli

              12 weeks of cardarine is your regular run. Most SARMS cycles should be 12 weeks max before you do mini-pct.

              • What is a mini pct i mean i know its a post cycle therapy but for sarms .. what should i do ?

                • Dylan Gemelli

                  With certain SARMS like andarine/anabolicum/testolone, there is some suppression of your HPTA. So, you need to run a mini pct after use. An average mini pct is like this:

                  Clomid 25/25/25/25
                  hcgenerate 5caps/ed
                  cardarine 20mgs/ed or stenabolic 20mgs/ed

        • Albert Wolfgang

          Always use cardarine with sarms cycles, it’s the best sarms base. It can be used in base of all sarms cycles.

    • Albert Wolfgang

      I suggest andarine if you want pure strength, but ostabolic is also great if stacked with s4.

  6. Dylan Gemelli

    @brobiggzz Listen, cardarine (GW) has a receptor saturation time. Usually over 12 weeks of non-stop cardarine use can cause some receptor saturation. That’s why I suggest 12 week sarms cycles, after you do mini-pct for sarms and keep going.

  7. I’d like to know how to use mk677 with mk2866, I’m confused about the 2 sarms, they both say MK but I don’t get how to stack them. I’m looking for hgh boost.

    • Dylan Gemelli