Best SARMs: Cutting, Bulking and Beginners

The top 5 SARMs are well known to everybody - But which ones should you START with? and WHY are they always the top 5 so popular?
Medically reviewed by Daniel Louwrens BSc PT
Daniel Louwrens have more than 10 years of experience in the bodybuilding & fitness world.
best sarms for bodybuilding

The best SARMs can provide us with a bolus of muscle growth, fat loss, and endurance without causing too many side effects. That said, with so many different SARMs on the market, how do we know which is best? Should you stack SARMs? What type of SARMs is safest? All questions will be answered, and more.

Warning: The content on Muscleandbrawn.com and the information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to buying anything, check that it is compliant where you live with your current government laws. We frequently mention research chemicals that are not made for human consumption. Therefore, before purchasing any product for personal use, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first.

Key Takeaways

  • There are no “universal” best SARMs for bodybuilding, just the best SARMs for you
  • The SARMs most people have positive results with are the ones that provide the most benefit for the least amount of drawback
  • Ostarine MK 2866, Testolone RAD 140, and Ligandrol LGD 4033 are all great options
FEATURES TESTOLONE RAD-140Andarine S4 Ostarine MK-2866Ligandrol LGD 4033Myostine YK-11
💪💪 Lean Muscle Mass✅✅✅ ✅️✅️
🥩 Increases Protein Synthesis✅✅🚫✅🚫✅️
💦 Fat Loss✅✅✅✅✅✅️✅️
🦴🦴 Improves Bone Density✅✅✅✅🚫✅️
⚦ Testosterone SuppressionSuppressiveSuppressiveSuppressiveSuppressiveSuppressive
PCT✅✅✅✅️✅️
🤢 Hepatotoxicity🚫✅✅✅️✅️
Muscle Wasting🚫🚫🚫🚫🚫
💊 Dosage10mg50mg25mg5 mg10 mg
⏳️ Typical Cycle Length6 – 8 weeks6 – 8 weeks6 – 7 weeks6 – 10 weeks4 – 8 weeks
⚠️ Side EffectsMinimalMildMinimalMinimalSevere
✔️ Third-Party Tested✅✅️✅✅️✅️
💸 Price64.9959.9954.9959.9959.99
VendorSports Technology LabsSports Technology LabsSports Technology LabsSports Technology LabsSports Technology Labs

Best 5 SARMS Compared

When considering SARMs overall, you need to make sure you understand what these things are and how to use them. They have muscle-building qualities, and far fewer side effects than Steroids, but every type of SARM carries risks that you need to be aware of.

That said, there are plenty of SARMs (which stands for selective androgen receptor modulators) that can be used with great success. Originally designed for muscle wasting patients, they can be used for muscle mass or to cut fat.

1) Best SARM for Bodybuilding Overall: Ostarine MK 2866

Ostarine is possibly the most researched SARM on the market. It has been shown to be effective for both lean muscle mass and fat loss, increasing testosterone levels with no yet reported side effects.

Studies on rats have indicated it might be exceptional for cutting fat due to its effect on the intensity of lipid metabolism. Other rat studies also showed that Ostarine MK 2866 helped to increase muscle mass.

Side effects are rare, however, liver damage and hypertension can happen – especially at high doses (take great care when using SARMs in general). Ostarine MK 2866 is not known for lowering Testosterone levels, but PCT supplements are recommended if you used larger doses for a longer time period.

Ostarine Summary

Ostarine

Ostarine is an orally-active, non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM ).

It’s considered to be the best SARM for beginners and it is most commonly used during bulking and recomp phases.

In a 12-week double-blind placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial involving 120 healthy elderly men and postmenopausal women, ostarine was shown to significantly increase muscle issues, and improve physical function and insulin sensitivity. [4]

Ostarine selectively binds itself to proteins within the body that are called androgen receptors. When attached to the androgen protein, it communicates the message for it to get bigger.

Unlike anabolic steroids, Ostarine does not convert to estrogen or DHT. [5]

Ostarine is legal, but only for research purposes. It has not been approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and as a result, cannot be sold as a dietary supplement.

Ostarine MK-2866 Overview

⭐️ Top Benefits: Muscle growth, strength gain, fat loss
🧪 Form: Liquid, Powder
⌛️ Cycle Length: 6 – 7 weeks
💰 Average Cost: $54.99
❤️‍🩹 Side Effects: Stomach pain, headaches, cholesterol increase, liver strain, and hypertension
☢️ Dangers: Hepatotoxicity
📚 Best Stack: MK-677 / Cardarine / RAD 140
PCT Required: Yes
🧍‍♂️🧍‍♀️Men/Women: Men and Women (Lower dose)
🔄 See Results
➡️ Go to the Full review

  • Better recovery
  • Improved fat loss
  • Massive muscle gains
  • Stomach pain
  • Headaches
  • Liver toxicity
  • Hypertension
  • Cholesterol

2) Best SARM for Bulking: Testolone RAD 140

Testolone appears to be one of the most potent SARMs on the market. It will pack on lean muscle mass by boosting testosterone levels better than any other SARM out there. It was developed to help cancer patients put on muscle mass and is the go-to treatment for that purpose. 

Though we cannot state that Testolone will give effects that are comparable to anabolic steroids, a 12-week cycle of Testolone, stacked with compounds like LGD-4033 and YK-11 appears to give similar results as a low dosage cycle of Testosterone Enanthate.

When you are thinking of stacking one selective androgen receptor modulator with another, know that the side effects might pile up. If you are prone to certain conditions, do not keep using SARMs that make it worse.

Testolone Summary

Testolone RAD 140

Testolone Rad 140 is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that was created for the purpose of treating breast cancer and muscle wasting in postmenopausal women. It effectively enhances the body’s natural production of testosterone and also increases lean body mass.

Since it attaches selectively to androgen receptors, it does not carry the sort of side effects that come with anabolic steroids.

Testolone primarily increases lean muscle tissue by enhancing testosterone and human growth hormone as well as boosting other anabolic effects following intense weight training. It may also be able to increase training energy, endurance, and speed while working out.

Testolone is considered to be one of the best SARMs for muscle-building effects but it has also been shown to be effective in fat burning as well.

An initial study conducted on monkeys showed that the administration of Testolone increased their body weight by 10 percent after 28 days of use. Another similar study showed that the negative effects on the prostate and seminal vesicles were significantly reduced by taking Testolone along with synthetic testosterone.

Testolone RAD140 Overview

⭐️ Top Benefits: Muscle growth
🧪 Form: Liquid, Powder
⌛️ Cycle Length: 6 – 8 weeks
💰 Average Cost: $64.99
❤️‍🩹 Side Effects: Gyno and Androgenic Sides
☢️ Dangers: Do not abuse
📚 Best Stack: MK-677 / Cardarine / Testolone
🌡 PCT Required: Yes
⚤ Men/Women: Men
🔄 See Results
➡️ Go to the Full review

  • A massive increase in lean muscle mass
  • Potential fat loss
  • Acne
  • Other androgenic side effects
  • Gyno

3) Best SARM for Strength: YK 11 Myostine

YK-11 is also known as Myostine. It is regarded as being one of the most potent SARMs on the market. It has a geometric structure and compound activity that is similar to anabolic steroids. It is known to be a Myostatin inhibitor. Myostatin is a protein that limits muscle growth and blocks testosterone levels. 

YK-11 has been shown to be as effective as testosterone in enhancing lean muscle mass and strength. Users of this compound report some pretty impressive gains in terms of both muscle and strength gains over an 8-week cycle. As such, it is one of the best SARMs for bodybuilding.

That said, make sure you understand the severity of this SARM. Unlike the others, such as LGD 4033, YK 11 is incredibly strong and will have severe side effects. This might be one of the best SARMs for bodybuilding, but one of the worst SARMs for body health…

YK 11 Summary

YK-11 Myostine

YK-11 is a selective androgen receptor modulator. As such, it is able to selectively attach to specific androgen receptors, rather than invading your body in a shotgun approach like anabolic steroids.

YK-11 is able to inhibit the activity of myostatin, which is a protein that prevents muscle growth. This makes it an effective compound to take during cutting as it will help to prevent muscle loss.

The protein myostatin impairs the body’s ability to build muscle and get stronger, whereas another protein follistatin promotes muscle and strength gains. When you take YK-11 you lessen the levels of myostatin and increase those of follistatin.

Studies have shown that people with a mutation that limits myostatin production are both more muscular and stronger than those with normal amounts. YK-11 may help to inhibit the levels of myostatin in muscles by attaching to the androgen receptor.

From there, it appears to induce muscle cells to create more follistatin, which in turn limits the levels of myostatin and allows for muscle growth beyond your genetic capability.

YK-11 Myostine Overview

⭐️ Top Benefits: Muscle growth, strength gain, fat loss
🧪 Form: Liquid, Powder
⌛️ Cycle Length: 4 – 8 weeks
💰 Average Cost: $59.99
❤️‍🩹 Side Effects: Headaches, nausea, testosterone suppression, and liver toxicity
☢️ Dangers: Hepatotoxicity
📚 Best Stack: MK-677 / Cardarine
PCT Required: Yes
🧍‍♂️🧍‍♀️Men/Women: Men
🔄 See Results
➡️ Go to the Full review

  • Better recovery
  • Improved fat loss
  • Massive muscle gains
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Testosterone suppression
  • Liver toxicity

4) Best SARM for Fat Loss: MK 677

As hinted earlier in this article, one of the best SARMs for an overall improvement in body composition happens to be MK 677. Unlike other SARMs that drive an endocrine change, this one simply increases natural growth hormone production.

This will drive fat loss by releasing fat from the adipocytes while also releasing glycogen from the liver. Combine that with cardio and you have the perfect scenario for weight loss!

Keep in mind that even if you want to bulk, MK 677 can still be useful to pack on lean mass. It won’t lead to prostate cancer, and the only side effect you have to be worried about is insulin resistance.

MK 677 Summary

MK 677

MK 677 is commonly grouped with SARMs when in reality it is not a SARM at all. Regular SARMs will bind to the Androgen Receptors in the muscle tissue (and bone tissue as well) to cause an increase in muscle protein synthesis.

MK 677, however, is a Growth Hormone secretagogue, meaning it will not interact with the Androgen Receptors at all, but only cause an increased release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) from your own Pituitary gland.

Increased HGH can lead to increased fat loss [2], and muscle gain, and even improve overall life quality.

Because MK 677 does not interact with the endocrine system, it is the “SARM” with the least side effects, making MK 677 a very safe SARM and great for beginners.

Read Our Review of MK677

  • Increased fat loss
  • Improves lean body mass
  • The increased insulin-like growth factor can lead to better hair and skin
  • Abusing the compound can lead to insulin resistance
  • Abusing the compound can lead to edema

5) Best SARM for Women: LGD 4033

Ligandrol LGD4033 is an effective Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator for putting on lean muscle mass that only requires low dosages. That makes it ideal for women to use. However, we suggest that a woman beginning her first SARM cycle use Ostarine for an 8-week cycle at 25mg per day. Then use Ligandrol LGD 4033 for your second cycle. 

Another great option for women (that would not have any of the typical side effects of SARMs) would be MK 677. This growth hormone secretagogue would simply increase the natural production of growth hormone, meaning it would not affect the endocrine system at all. It would also not require you to do a post cycle therapy.

Most SARMs will help you build muscle and some would help you with cutting fat. All three of the SARMs mentioned here would also increase bone density, which is very beneficial when trying to build muscle.

LGD 4033 Summary

Ligandrol LGD-4033

Ligandrol LGD-4033 is a selective androgenic receptor modulator (SARM) that was developed by Ligand Pharmaceuticals. It is primarily a mass-building SARM that was originally developed to treat muscle-wasting conditions.

Ligandrol is one of the best SARMs for increasing lean mass and it activates the muscle regeneration process after a workout. This SARM also increases both energy and strength.

Ligandrol can be stacked with a cutting SARM for weight loss in order to preserve muscle size while you are stripping off body fat.

In terms of weight loss, Ligandrol is able to attach to fat receptors and stimulate fat loss. It will boost the metabolism for faster calorie burning.

Ligandrol LGD-4033 Overview

⭐️ Top Benefits: Muscle growth, strength gain, fat loss
🧪 Form: Liquid, Powder
⌛️ Cycle Length: 6 – 10 weeks
💰 Average Cost: $59.99
❤️‍🩹 Side Effects: Aggression, acne, liver and kidney issues, and hypertension
☢️ Dangers: Hepatotoxicity, Renal toxicity
📚 Best Stack: MK-677 / Cardarine / RAD 140
PCT Required: Yes
🧍‍♂️🧍‍♀️Men/Women: Men
🔄 See Results
➡️ Go to the Full review

  • Better recovery
  • Improved fat loss
  • Massive muscle gains
  • Aggression
  • Androgenic sides
  • Liver and kidney toxicity
  • Hypertension

How SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) Work

SARMs selectively bind themselves to the androgen receptors in your muscle cells. Then, depending on the makeup of said SARM, it will cause a certain biological change that will be reflected in the human body.

This will most likely reflect as an increase in lean muscle, a decrease in body fat, and an increase in muscle strength. That said, several different SARMs will have several different mechanisms of action and results.

The type of SARM, dose, and length of usage will determine how much muscle tissue is gained and how much body fat is lost.

How to Use SARMs

Unlike anabolic steroids, SARMs do not have to be injected into your body, but there are injectable SARMs online if you look really hard.

They can be taken in three oral forms: as a liquid, capsule, or powder. Each individual Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator will have its own recommended dosage and stacking protocol.

Different SARMS are also best taken at different times of the day. There have been no studies relating to whether it is best to take SARMS with or without food, so we cannot comment on that aspect of a SARMS protocol.

The only one we do know of is MK 677, and just how much more effective it is at boosting growth hormones when combined with Magnesium.  

Best SARMs Stacks

In order to stack SARMs you need to be pretty good at SARMs already. Unlike using multiple supplements or something, if you are using SARMs that cause a similar side effect you’re in for a bad ride. So, how do you go about stacking SARMs?

  • Never use more than one new SARM at a time. If one goes wrong, how do you know which it is?
  • Do not use SARMs that have similar side effects
  • Typically, you would use fewer SARMs for bulking than cutting. You have more food, less stress, so

Now, let’s discuss some ideas for stacking SARMs.

  • Cutting Fat: LGD 4033, MK 677, and GW 501516
  • Muscle Growth: RAD 140, LGD 4033, and MK 677

You would need PCT supplements for both cycles. A PCT supplement is meant to control high estrogen after a cycle while also combating lower testosterone levels.

Who Should Use SARMs?

The question of who should use SARMs is impossible to answer. No one needs to use them. But there are some people who should not use them.

  • Do not use SARMS until you have gone through puberty. Until then your body is already in hormonal overdrive to beef up your muscle mass – don’t interfere with that natural process 
  • Do not use SARMS if you are not eating properly for lean muscle gain and training intensely and smartly. Do not expect SARMs to be a shortcut are a replacement for hard work and discipline 
  • You should also not take SARMs until you have been fully educated and informed about what they are, how they work, and the potential side effects that they pose
  • If you’re going to abuse SARMs by taking high doses multiple times per day, you should avoid them at all costs
  • Make sure that you do not suffer from any cardiovascular, neurological, or hormonal complications before you start your 8 weeks of SARMs

You need to know, too, that the SARMS market is completely unregulated. That means that there are no controls on the products that are put into the marketplace. Think very carefully about whether you are prepared to gamble with putting a compound into your body that you really have no idea about!

Are SARMs Legal?

Yes, SARMs are legal. However, they can only be sold for research purposes. As a result, they cannot be sold as a dietary supplement.

There are hundreds of websites online that sell SARMs. In order to cover themselves the sites must state that the product is being sold for research purposes only.

Of course, everybody knows that the people buying them are doing so for one purpose and one purpose only – to pack on mass and get ripped! That being said, we highly recommend Sports Technology Labs because every single batch is tested for purity.

Are SARMs Safe?

In comparison to anabolic steroids, SARMS are very safe. That is because they are selective in the androgen receptors that they bind to. The more mild ones will also not convert into DHT or suppress Testosterone levels a lot.

However, all SARMS will lower the body’s natural production of testosterone to a certain degree. Not all of them do this to the degree that you need to go on a PCT supplement cycle to allow your body’s natural testosterone production to rebuild.

Those that will require a PCT supplement are:

  • Testolone RAD-140
  • Myostine YK-11
  • Ligandrol LGD 4033
  • S-23

Your PCT supplement following a cycle of these SARMS should last for 3 weeks. We recommend taking the PCT supplement Nolvadex at a dosage of 10 mg per day. If your cycle was a bit more intense, you might need HCG as well.

We need to reiterate at this point that the SARMs market is completely unregulated. That means that the industry is rife with mislabeling of products, contamination, diluted products, and placebos.

Many of these products are also manufactured in Asia in very unsafe, low-quality facilities. 

We recommend avoiding any SARMs that are produced in Asia. Unfortunately, many SARMs purchased through sites like Alibaba and Amazon will originate in China. 

SARMs Side Effects

The main side effect of SARMs is the suppression of the body’s natural production of testosterone. There are, however, some other minor side effects with some specific SARMS.

Ligandrol (LGD-4033) may cause such side effects as water retention and gonadal androgen suppression. There has been some concern that Cardarine (GW501516) may be a contributor to certain types of cancer if taken in excessive dosages. More studies are needed, however, to confirm this or any other side effects of Cardarine.

Human studies on SARMs are very limited. Until more human trials are carried out, we cannot state that SARMs are side effects free over the long term.

One more thing to consider is that these SARMs have a half-life. Something with a far shorter half-life is going to hit you much harder but will also leave your body a lot sooner once you stop taking it. Therefore, a shorter half-life option might be best.

SARMs for women are also plentiful, however, these are typically the ones that will not affect the endocrine system as badly. A ‘SARM for women’ usually has a shorter cycle, less high dosing, and include SARMs that do not bind strongly to androgen receptors.

Where to Buy SARMs

Finding SARMs for sale is a lot easier than finding anabolic steroids for sale. The former is legal*, whereas the latter is not. SARMs work, and because of this a lot of companies have come out with their own ‘best SARMs for body building’ or ‘SARMs for bulking’, etc.

The truth is that while many companies are honest, most are not. Companies can easily buy products from third-world countries, ship them to the States, and then market them as their own. This could lead to long-term sides you may not even be aware of.

Therefore, you need to look at companies based on their reputation, prices, range of products (if they include a PCT supplement, etc), and their claims. An 8-week cycle is not going to make you Ronnie Coleman, so, a site that claims “our SARMs are the strongest and best for building muscle!” is probably lying.

We have actually spent a lot of looking at SARM vendors and which ones are worth the cash.

  • Sports Technology Labs offers exceptional quality (every batch is tested) at a price
  • Amino Asylum is a one-place shop that offers PCT (post-cycle therapy) Supplements as well
  • But the best one….
Chemyo Brand Overview

Chemyo

Chemyo is one of the leading suppliers of high-quality SARMs available. Based in the States, they operate for the purpose of providing really high-quality SARMs and pure products. They not only offer SARMs but Nootropics as well. Their products are third-party tested, and they have a crystal clear service. My favorite product in their lineup would be the YK-11 and MK-677 Value Pack. Chemyo is a great place to buy SARMs and will be providing some of the highest quality SARMs available.

Chemyo Brand Overview

💊 🧪 Form: Liquid and Powder SARMs
📄 Lab Verified (COA): Yes
📬 Shipping Policy: Same day shipping mostly, Free shipping for US orders above $100 or international over $275
💵 Payment Methods: Credit cards, Paypal, Crypto
✅ Guarantees: Refund for damaged products
📦 Other Products: Nootropics
🔖 Promo Codes: 10% off with code Muscleandbrawn10
🏷 Price (RAD140 10mg equivalent): $79.99
⭐️ Rating: 4.8
➡️ Go to the Full review

  • Extremely Cost Effective
  • Various payment methods including Crypto and Credit Cards
  • 3rd Party Quality Control
  • Free shipping internationally with $275+ order
  • Other companies could have faster delivery times
  • Very strict return policy

Conclusion

When it comes to packing on muscle mass and getting ripped, you need to concentrate on precision nutrition and hard, regular, intense training. If, having those elements in place, you decide to add chemicals to your body to boost the process, SARMs are a far safer way to go than steroids. 

Having read this article, you now know the challenges and risks involved in taking SARMs. If you decide that you still want to give them a try, we suggest that you start with Ostarine MK-2866, which is acknowledged as the safest SARM that is available. 

Study the table of contents well before making any decisions. If you want to bulk, use the correct SARMs. If you want to cut fat, again, use the correct SARMs. The SARMs best for muscle building are not the best ones for weight loss.

Lastly, while these are not Anabolic Steroids, they do still have side effects. When looking at SARMs for sale, make sure you understand each one and the side effects it poses. When you buy SARMs, buy the PCT supplement of choice as well so you’re never at risk.

Still Have Questions?

Drop us a comment down below and one of our expert coaches will respond to it. We’ll also be answering questions on our Instagram!

Contributors

Steve Theunissen

Steve Theunissen | Writer

Steve Theunissen is a seasoned fitness professional with 25+ years of experience. He has multiple certifications from the International Sports Sciences Association, including Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Certification, and Strength and Conditioning Certification. He's a knowledgeable and experienced bodybuilding coach, combining his passion for fitness with his writing skills to educate and inspire. Whether starting out or looking to take training to the next level, Steve Theunissen is the ideal coach to help reach fitness goals.

Read all articles
Daniel Louwrens BSc PT

Daniel Louwrens BSc PT | Reviewer

Daniel Louwrens have more than 10 years of experience in the bodybuilding & fitness world.

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