Muscle Building with SARMs

If you have ever considered using SARMs but wondered if they are the right supplement for you, your muscle type, and your bodybuilding and body shaping needs, then this guide is for you. Here, we explain what SARMs are and what they are used for. We cover many of the terms frequently used by the SARMs industry, shed light on the many different types of SARMs, and discuss some alternatives. We also hope to resolve some of the common difficulties people have in deciding whether to use SARMs, how they are best used, and which SARMs to use.

In this article:

What are SARMs and why do they interest bodybuilders?

SARMs are Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. Because that’s far too much of a mouthful to use regularly, the industry goes with its acronym, SARMs.

Androgens are hormones that can “virilize.” Testosterone is probably the best known androgen. It deepens the voice, produces facial hair, develops muscle, and helps the body burn fat and stay lean. Some lesser known androgens you also may have come across are dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedione, androstenediol, and dihydrotestosterone, which all play a role in the body’s function and development, in particular for men, but also to a lesser degree for women.

SARMs have been used for the treatment of many diseases and conditions, sometimes successfully but sometimes not. These include common cancers (especially non-small cell lung cancer), heart disease and cardiovascular illnesses, muscle wasting, osteoporosis and other bone disorders, obesity, chronic fatigue and many others (see History and Development of SARMS, below.) However, it is the hormonal capability of SARMs and the desire to get rid of unwanted body fat, shape and build lean mass and muscle, and add strength to the body’s bone structure that draws the bodybuilder to SARMs.

Since modern SARMs are still in the developmental stages of clinical testing, care should be taken when using them.

Who uses SARMs, and why?

Of course people taking part in their clinical trials use SARMs. But so do bodybuilders, weightlifters, athletes trying to ratchet up their performance, and many people who just want to lose weight.

Bodybuilders and weightlifters have many, diverse reasons for considering SARMs. If just starting out, you may want to sample SARMs to test your body on a supplement that can help its anabolic activity. Or, you may want to use SARMs as a stepping stone into greater reliance on anabolic steroids as your bodybuilding supplement of choice. If you have been a bodybuilder for some time and have chosen to use steroids, you may want to start using something associated with less health risk, while continuing to effectively manage the cycles of your bodybuilding objectives, in which case SARMs might just fit the bill.

If you are an athlete looking for an edge against your competition, then SARMs may work for you for the same reasons. SARMs are less detectable in the blood than anabolic steroids and, as long as you are buying them for research purposes, are legal.

If you are trying to lose weight, then SARMs also may be worth considering. The direct targeting that SARMs perform could help you burn any excess body fat more easily while also producing lean muscle tone.

Acronyms and terms used by the SARMs sector

Before we go deeper into an explanation about SARMs, here is a brief description of many of the terms commonly used when referring to SARMs and their development:

5alpha reductase an enzyme which, when deficient, affects male sexual development before and after birth.

AICAR – 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide which was first used to preserve blood flow to the heart during surgery and more recently used to treat diabetes by changing the composition of muscle.

ALT  alanine aminotransferase, an enzyme that manifests in the blood stream and indicates liver injury when high levels are present.

AMPK – 5′-AMP-activated protein kinase is important in studies of obesity, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome.

Aromatization – the process that converts testosterone into estrogen.

AST  aspartate aminotransferase, an enzyme that manifests in the blood stream when the liver or muscles are damaged.

BMD  bone mineral density, a measurement of the amount of minerals in the bones.

DHT dihydrotestosterone, an androgen sex steroid and hormone used to treat under-functioning reproductive organs.

EB  estradiol benzoate, a natural and bioidentical form of estrogen.

ED50 – the median effective dose, a standard dose that 50% of the population responds to.

Estradiol – a form of estrogen in steroid form and a female sex hormone. It is important in the regulation of the menstrual and female reproductive cycles

FSH – the follicle-stimulating hormone which regulates the development, and growth, of the physical reproductive processes of the body.

HDL  high-density lipoprotein, known as “good cholesterol”.

HPG Axis a reference to the hypothalamic pituitary and gonadal glands as a joined entity.

LH the luteinizing (or lutropin) hormone, released by the gonadotropic cells in the anterior pituitary gland. It controls the reproductive system. Too much in women will stimulate sudden ovulation, while in men it can stimulate and increase testosterone.

LPL  lipoprotein lipase which eventually produces energy that can be stored as fat in the body for later use.

Orchidectomized  when either one or both testes have been removed.

Ovariectomized  when either one or both ovaries have been removed.

PCT  post cycle therapy, a process to help you return to normal after a cycle of prohormones/steroids.

PPARD  peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta, which plays a critical role in fat storing and burning.

PSA prostate-specific antigen, a protein the presence of which can indicate abnormal cells in the prostate gland.

SHBG  sex hormone-binding globulin, which binds to the two sex hormones, androgen and estrogen, enabling measurement of male and female production of their sex hormones.

TP – testosterone propionate is a testosterone compound, often injected intra-muscularly and used to treat men who do not produce enough testosterone naturally.

VLDL  very-low-density lipoprotein, known as “bad cholesterol.”