How to use Peptides for Bodybuilding

Peptides are chains of Amino Acids that when used correctly can result in massive gains, fat loss, and so much more. A secret weapon or a cursed venture?

In the year 1922, a little kid named named Leonard Thompson in Toronto, got the first injection of Insulin (a polypeptide) and just became the most jacked guy you’ve never heard of. Bold claim, with lackluster evidence. Poor Leonard was actually suffering from diabetes, unlike most bodybuilders who use insulin and other peptides for bodybuilding. To be brash, peptides are chains of amino acids bound together by peptide bonds, and when administered to the body they can have very great, and specific effects (1).

Peptides for Bodybuilding

What are Peptides?

In essence, peptides are simply short amino acid chains, found everywhere in nature from meat, fish, and even plant sources. Of course, scientists can isolate or even just manufacture these peptides. It wasn’t long before these scientists also noticed that particular chains of amino acids had really intense effects on the human body.

Peptides have an incredibly high affinity to bind with receptors, enzymes and certain biomolecules in the human body, and therefore they can have health altering effects. The main effects bodybuilders have after, are muscle building properties, accelerated fat loss, and recovery (2).

How do Peptides work?

Basically, by administering a peptide to your body, you are giving your body a very specific code. The composition and sequence of the peptide will determine the type of code the peptide carries. The code will then message certain receptors in the body to react a certain way like “Hey muscles! Grow!” or “Hey fat cells! Shrink!”. Basically, they do what Instagram influencers say their training programs do. Thing is… Peptides actually work.

How do Peptides work

Long story short, peptides stimulate receptors which in turn can signal hormonal release into the site and cause biological actions to take place.

Benefits of Peptides

Not all peptides are created equally. Hell, they aren’t even created remotely equally. Some are the crΓ¨me de la crΓ¨me for bodybuilders, and some are frankly going to be the melted chocolate on the backseat of your truck. They can be split into a few different categories based on their main action (for bodybuilders): Muscle Building, Fat Loss, and Recovery. 

Whether the goal is muscle building or fat loss, the categories seem to overlap somewhat so try stick with me while I break this one down for you.

Peptide Type 🧬 Examples πŸ’‰ Main Use πŸ’Š Mechanism πŸ“
Growth Hormone Releasing Hormones (GHRH) MOD-GRF (1-29) Muscle Gain Increases growth hormone production by binding to the growth-hormone-releasing hormone receptor (GHRHR)
CJC 1295 (modification of Mod GRF 1-29) Muscle Gain Increases plasma growth hormone and Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels
HGH Fragment Fat Loss Fragment 176-191 is released, resulting in fat metabolism. Stimulating lipolysis and blocks lipogenesis (burning of fat and building of fat from non-food sources respectively)

GHRH can be very effective in helping you reach your goals, and when combined with a Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides (See below) can have even improved effects.

Peptide Type 🧬 Examples πŸ’‰ Main Use πŸ’Š Mechanism πŸ“
Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides (GHRP) GHRP-6 Muscle Gain πŸ’ͺ Stimulates production of HGH as well as increasing hunger via production of Ghrelin
GHRP-2 Muscle Gain and some Fat Loss πŸ’ͺπŸš΄β€β™€οΈ Elevates levels of HGH in the body, stimulates hunger (much less than GHRP-6)
Ipamorelin Muscle Gain and some Fat Loss πŸ’ͺπŸš΄β€β™€οΈ Elevates levels of HGH in the body, stimulates hunger (much less than GHRP-6)
Hexarelin Recovery, Muscle Gain and Fat Loss πŸ’ͺπŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ Stimulates production of HGH. Repair of muscle fibers and tissue

*these are also known as Ghrelin mimetics

How to use Peptides for Bodybuilding

How do Growth Hormone Releasing Hormones (GHRH) work?

The Pituitary Gland is responsible for a host of different things, amongst which is going to produce and release growth hormone into the blood. The Hypothalamus produces GHRH, which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland to do its job.

More growth hormone is something that you’ll want as a bodybuilder. Not only can it obviously help with growth (Duh) but also with fat loss, youthfulness, joint repair, and a general feeling of wellbeing. Taking exogenous GHRH will then stimulate the pituitary gland to produce more growth hormone, as well as an increase in IGF-1.

How do Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides (GHRP) work?

One of the compounds the hypothalamus produces is known as growth hormone-inhibiting hormone (GHIH). This limits the amount of growth a human can achieve, essentially a safety mechanism that the human body doesn’t grow too large – and in one sentence I made every bodybuilder ever, shriek in fear of its existence. Well fear not.  GHRPs are here to help – sort of.

GHRPs work by limiting this GHIH, or so scientists think. GHRPs are completely synthetic, and they act on very specific receptors on the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. And because they are a relatively hard, and new peptide to study they’re not actually sure why it works. They do however, know they work!

To quote a study for you, “At present, several data favor the hypothesis that GHRPs could act by counteracting somatostatinergic activity both at the pituitary and the hypothalamic level and/or, at least partially, via a GHRH-mediated mechanism.” (3)

We also know that when combined with a GHRH, GHRPs work almost 77% better.

Other Peptides

Peptides aren’t limited to only GHRPs and GHRHs, here are a few others that can also play a role in your bodybuilding career.

BPC 157 – The healing peptide

How to use Peptides for Bodybuilding

BPC 157 is a peptide that is mostly going to be used for bone, joint and muscle repair. Synthetically designed but originally found in the gut, it has been shown to also be good for gut problems. Swiss Chems does stock BPC-157 at a reasonable price.

Melanotan II – The tanning peptide

Melanotan peptide for bodybuilding

As the name suggests, this peptide helps you achieve a tan. Sold by Swiss Chems, this peptide has been found to even be helpful in long term fat loss phases (6).

HGH – The Daddy

HGH peptide for bodybuilding

The one everyone tries to replicate, the one everyone tries to be “at a more cost effective price”. Shut it. HGH is king of the peptides. Not easily found, however PureRawz stocks it; and various other peptides as well.

Are Peptides Legal?

Since these peptides have such great affects you’re by no doubt at least considering checking out the prices no? Are they even legal though? The use of peptides for humans of many peptides has not been legalized by the FDA, since they haven’t completed human-based clinical trials yet. Peptides are also banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), while apparently it is only legal to buy peptides for research purposes, and not for human consumption (4).

How to use Peptides for Bodybuilding?

Obviously, we look at the problem and then find a solution. With bodybuilders the goals almost always is, not enough muscle mass, and too much fat. Now let’s see if we can find a solution for these problems with the help of certain peptide combinations.

Building Muscle with Peptides

Building muscle is actually a very simple process: Calorie surplus, training, hydration, rest, and if you’re so inclined you use a little something. In this case, peptides. What is going to be the best combination of peptides to create a synergy of muscle growth; since we’ve already established that a GHRH and GHRP together work better than just a GHRP on its own.

CJC 1295 with GHRP-6 

The GHRP (GHRP-6) will be better utilized for releasing a pulse of growth hormone, whilst the GHRH (CJC 1295) will be utilized to release and amplify the pulse of growth hormone. Combining a GHRH with a GHRP has been shown to increase the release of growth hormone by up to 77%, compared to just GHRP on its own.

Compound 🧬 Dosage πŸ’‰ Duration βŒ›
CJC 1295 100mcg at least three times per day, ideally more 4-6 Months
GHRP – 6 100mcg immediately when waking up 8-12 Weeks

(Followed by a 8 week off period)

100mcg immediately post workout
100mcg immediately before going to bed

CJC cycles are very different to steroid cycles, and should be treated as more of a HGH (Human Growth Hormone Cycle). These take a very long time to build up effects. It is also not advisable to run GHRP-6 for longer than 12 weeks as it does have great side effects on your insulin resistance and prolactin levels.

Muscle gaining peptides for bodybuilding

PureRawz has a nice mix of CJC with GHRP-6, dosed 1:1 which would make it aa perfect solution if you were to follow the cycle labeled above.

Side note, for max growth hormone stimulation from GHRP-6, inject only on an empty stomach, and no food can be consumed for 20 minutes post injection.

CJC 1295 with GHRP-2

How does this differ to the cycle above? Well GHRP-2 is the slightly better version, it produces a higher growth hormone peak for longer, has more side effects, and stimulates hunger much less than GHRP-6.

Compound 🧬 Dosage πŸ’‰ Duration βŒ›
CJC 1295 100mcg at least three times per day, ideally more 4-6 Months
GHRP – 2 100-300mcg per injection, two-three times per day. 8-12 Weeks

(Followed by a 8 week off period)

GHRP-2 has been known to cause cortisol and prolactin problems to a higher degree when compared to GHRP-6.

How to use Peptides for Bodybuilding

PureRawz to the rescue again, making a cost effective 1:1 ratio mix of CJC and GHRP-2. It is worth noting for optimal results, you may want to increase your GHRP-2 dose.

Side note, for max growth hormone stimulation from GHRP-2, inject only on an empty stomach, and no food can be consumed for 20 minutes post injection.

Burn Fat with Peptides

Burning fat is obviously mostly going to be determined by your diet, training, and overall calorie deficit. However, certain peptides do have great fat burning effects that can be utilized in your cutting period.

HGH Fragment 176-191

HGH Fragment 176-191 (or “Frag” for short) is purely a fat loss drug, causing lipolysis (burning of fat) and actually inhibiting lipogenesis (building of fat). Unlike other peptides, Frag does not affect your IGF levels, blood glucose levels, and also does not alter glucose levels or tolerance.

Compound 🧬 Dosage πŸ’‰ Duration βŒ›
HGH Fragment 176-191 250 – 300mcg three times per day 4-8 Weeks

For a pure fat loss cycle, the addition of CJC-1295 is not needed, however stacking Frag it with Melanotan, HGH, or GHRP-2 can potentially yield better results. Frag is theorized to be 10x stronger at fat burning than HGH itself, with way less side effects.

Other peptides for fat loss include: AOD 9604, Tesamorelin, and 5-AMINO-1MQ.

Side Effects

The next logical question you should be asking (hopefully) is whether or not these compounds have any side effects. They do. Depending on which peptide you use, and to what extent, they can have tiny to more severe side effects that can be extremely detrimental to your health. Chief amongst which:

  • Alterations of your Insulin Sensitivity: GHRPs can negatively impact your insulin sensitivity, leading to fat gain, inflammation, and a pre diabetic state.
  • Increase of Cortisol: High cortisol has been linked to insulin resistance, fat gain, muscle loss, fatigue, and loss of libido.
  • Numbness in the hands: Specific peptides that mimic HGH can cause Carpet Tunnel Syndrome like side effects.
  • Bloating and water retention: Products that mimic HGH can cause water retention and bloating which can lead to higher blood pressure.
  • Gynecomastia: Whilst peptides are not hormones, HGH does have a link with estrogen, and can lead to gyno.
  • Prolactin Sides: Prolactin is something that rises in the body with the use of GHRPs, and can lead to soreness, lactating nipples, sexual dysfunction, and intensifying estrogenic effects.

Are peptides classified as steroids?

No. Peptides are chains of amino acids that serve a particular function when administered to the body. Steroids are hormones mostly based of testosterone. The former acts upon stem cells, whilst the latter acts upon nuclear sites within the muscle.

Is creatine a peptide?

Yes. Creatine is a peptide molecule that is also the supplement with the most research done on it, and has plenty of benefits.

Can you take steroids and peptides together?

Without doubt. Steroids act upon nuclear gene transcription by activating protein receptors, whereas HGH (or other HGH mimicking peptides) act upon skeletal stem cells (amongst others). In fact, there is a prevailing theory that using steroids and peptides together can yield better results than the two on their own. Keep in mind that some peptides have estrogenic or prolactin side effects, and can be amplified by estrogenic steroids.

Peptides vs SARMs

Peptides are going to be more effective in the long run, with potentially more side effects. SARMs could yield faster results, however probably not as strong. SARMs also have the disadvantage that they do not have youthful effects like most peptides do.

Take away message

Peptides can immensely influence your bodybuilding journey, whether you need mass, less fat, or just to heal post-injury. Certain peptides can take a bit longer to work, and aren’t always going to be cost effective.

However, in the long run they could even be so effective as to change your whole bodybuilding look, but only if you can afford them. Probably not best to sell your car to afford them; if you’re strapped for cash then plain ‘ol Test ‘n Dbol will have to do.

1) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326701#:~:text=Peptides%20are%20short%20strings%20of,more%20broken%20down%20than%20proteins.

2) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10989-019-09890-8

3) Ghigo E, Arvat E, Muccioli G, Camanni F. Growth hormone-releasing peptides. Eur J Endocrinol. 1997 May;136(5):445-60. doi: 10.1530/eje.0.1360445. PMID: 9186261.

4) https://www.g2llc.com/blog/16608/money-laundering-misbranded-drugs/

5) PeΓ±alva A, Carballo A, Pombo M, Casanueva FF, Dieguez C. Effect of growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone (GHRH), atropine, pyridostigmine, or hypoglycemia on GHRP-6-induced GH secretion in man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Jan;76(1):168-71. doi: 10.1210/jcem.76.1.8421084. PMID: 8421084.

6) https://m.ufhealth.org/news/2018/fat-loss-can-be-triggered-through-brain-animal-model-researchers-find

Daniel Louwrens

Hi there! My name is Daniel Louwrens, and I have more than 10 years of experience in the bodybuilding & fitness world. I have graduated with a degree in Chemistry, and my aim with helping people is to educate people who have questions about anything and everything fitness: Training, Nutrition, Recovery, and PED's.

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