What Are SARMs?

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What Are SARMs?

SARMs are growing in popularity as a result of their fascinating properties. In this post, we’ll delve deeper into the question “What are SARMs?”

Science Behind The Physique

Everyone has his/her idea of what a dream physique looks like. For many, this idea perfectly aligns with the bodies of professional bodybuilders. If you are planning to build such a body of your own, a lot of work is necessary. Muscles can only grow and develop when they are subjected to tension.

This can be achieved by focusing on either volume or intensity (Morton et al., 2016). Higher intensity allows the muscles to become overloaded quicker as more force is required to drive against resistances such as gravity. However, a quicker overload doesn’t necessarily mean a better overload. While the time taken to break down the muscles is longer during volume training, the prolonged application of the lesser required force allows you to achieve a similar outcome. Even when the focus was directed at the fibers, neither the fast nor the slow-twitch fibers showed any difference in growth. Both the high intensity and the high-volume applications yielded the same average size.

Your exercise regime is not the only determinant of your bodybuilding potential and results. Being able to push your body’s limits, and being able to shape it to your liking can only be achieved with proper nutrition and supplementation (Helms et al., 2014).

Achieving The Ideal Physique Requires Supplementation & Nutrition

Reaching The Pinnacle Of Performance

This area is where the discussion about SARMs comes into play. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators have been recommended by numerous experts in the fields of health and science. While steroids are a known method of enhancing performance, there are concerns surrounding their side effects, legality, and there are also questions surrounding the morality of their users. Experts have been advocating for SARMS as an alternative to steroids without said concerns. The argument for SARMs is that they are effective in allowing bodybuilders to push their muscles to the fullest. This, of course, results in the ability to not only increase muscle mass, but also to achieve an optimally chiselled physique.

Are SARMs as effective as they say? Do they manage to do this without resulting in health concerns? To help you to answer these questions, we decided to look at the science behind SARMs to determine how well they can keep the promises made.

A Look at SARMs

What is A SARM?

SARMs is an acronym that stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. You can look at them as molecules. The original iteration was developed all the way back in the 1940s by pharmaceutical companies. The motivation was to alter the basic chemical structure of testosterone molecules. They reaped success from this venture and commissioned the first set of SARMS. The problem is that these early SARMs retained many of the unwanted properties of steroids, which scientists wanted to filter out.

As time passed, pharmaceuticals managed to filter out many of these properties, which is what allowed SARMs to have a distinct identity. Eventually, SARMs moved to keep only the androgenic anabolic features of steroids (Mohler et al., 2009). The interest in the therapeutic and enhancing potential of SARMs only increased and, therefore, development is at its highest point today.

These compounds modulate androgen receptors. The name SARMs implies this tissue-selective behavior. Even without the influence of these compounds, there are androgen receptors within the human body. While they exist within the reproductive system, the focal point for bodybuilding is those that lie within the muscles that support the skeletal system. They have a naturally dormant state, but when activated, they allow for hormone production.

These hormones include both DHT and testosterone, which contribute to the necessary muscle gains and fat loss needed in bodybuilding. Steroids work in a similar manner by activating the receptors; however, there is a huge difference.

Chemical Structure Of YK11, A Potent SARM With Similar Properties to DHT

How Steroids Work Vs. SARMs

Steroids do not work in the same selective manner that SARMs are famous for (Yin et al., 2003). The problem this creates is related to the effect of the stimulated receptors. For example, when you lift weights and the testosterone is produced because of androgen receptor stimulation, only the required receptors are stimulated. This can be viewed as a selective process since the other receptors in the body go unaffected. This is a positive result because many other androgen and hormone receptors wreak havoc on the body as a side effect when they get stimulated.

When steroids do the stimulation, what is achieved is a widespread approach. The result of this is that they bind to numerous androgen receptors, which include those that can have a detrimental effect. Of course, this means that while you get the desired effect of increased testosterone, you open yourself up to the possibility of numerous ailments. This is the reason that may steroid users see unfortunate effects such as hair loss, acne, heart ailments, and liver conditions (Hoffman et al., 2006).

This is where SARMs stand out, and this is the direction that their development is headed. The point is to be able to adequately target the required receptors without disturbing the others. While the success of SARMs is great news for the bodybuilding community, the motivation behind the continued development of SARMs is purely medicinal in nature. The intended objective is to be able to treat a wide range of conditions, such as hypogonadism (Thirumalai et al., 2017) and osteoporosis (Wang et al., 2005). Note, however, that you need to be careful and selective when using SARMs as they are at different stages of development. Some are still being researched and tested, which means that they are not available on a mainstream basis just yet. You can usually identify these based on how they are identified. Instead of having definitive names, such as Andarine, Cardarine, or Ligandrol, they are identified using alphanumeric strings.

Infographic Showing Comparison Between Steroids & SARMs

SARMs and Bodybuilding

Now that we have gone over everything you need to know to understand SARMs and how they work, we can now shift our focus to how they tie into your goal of achieving your dream body. At least from a theoretical standpoint, you should now be able to make the correlation between SARMS and their target effect on receptors that steroids cannot provide.

So far, the discussion is that SARMs are an asset to bodybuilding, and their use presents beneficial results. This is an opposing viewpoint to that of steroids, as the view is that steroids present the gains you want at the cost of your health.

Of course, it must be said again that research and development of SARMs are not yet complete, even after all these years. While that is enough time to have gathered data on the general results, the possibility exists that there are not so mild side effects that are yet to be discovered. You must make the decision on your own if you want to go for it, but the information below should be able to help to inform your decision-making process.

Advantages of SARMs for Bodybuilders

As discussed above, SARMs have medicinal and bodybuilding benefits. Of course, we know you’re here for the former, and so we’ve compiled some information on the benefits that are relevant to you. Below is an overview of the effects of stimulating the required receptors on the various bodily functions and areas needed for bodybuilding (Bhasin et al., 2010).

Muscle Strength and Density

The weight and fitness training required for bodybuilding is a very challenging task for the muscles, joints, and tissues that are needed for your regimen. This means that there is an unbelievable toll taken on your body.

There is a natural recovery process that your body goes through, which is accelerated when you are asleep. This process also increases your stamina and allows for some level repair. Along with sleep, further acceleration can take place with the use of both fast and slow digesting protein supplements. To adequately increase your muscle strength and density, and to allows for enough repairing after wear and tear, an additional boost is needed. This is where some bodybuilders use steroids, but it is also where SARMs should be used. All you need to avoid injuries and increase your recovery potential is a better flow of both testosterone and DHT. We already covered the issues that steroids present though they can help you to this end.

SARMs, on the other hand, provide the additional fuel, which allows you to push yourself as much as is necessary to improve your body. This also means that you can prevent muscle atrophy by using SARMs, which means there’s no longer a need to worry about finding a remedy for it after it has already escalated.

SARMs have been shown to increase muscle density

Body Fat Reduction

Building muscle is just a part of the puzzle where achieving a great physique is concerned. There is also the matter of body fat. Some people have a tremendous muscular structure plus a tremendous set of abdominal muscles, but they’re never seen because they are hidden by a layer of fat. Maintaining a low body fat percentage is key to having a ripped physique.

The selective approach taken by SARMs means that unlike steroids, they do not have any effect of the androgen receptors that stimulate body fat increase.

This is not to say that there aren’t testosterone supplements that help with body fat burn; however, SARMs do so in a more selective and balanced manner, which means the risk of harm to the body is tremendously reduced.

SARMs Reduced Fat In Clinical Trials

Increase in Bone Strength

Muscles are not the only things responsible for your performance during bodybuilding exercises. Bones also take quite a beating, and if they are not properly cared for, you could lose their support entirely. The properties and structure of bones change continuously with age (Boskey et al., 2010).

This leads to a continuous process of deterioration and degeneration with time. There is a process responsible for rebuilding and repairing the outer layer of bones, but it is controlled by androgens. This rebuilding assists with the preservation of calcium and of the other internal layers of the bones. SARMs accelerate the stimulation of these androgens and, therefore, allow for greater resilience and strength of the outer layer.

Bone turnover is another concern if you’re interested in bodybuilding. The inner layer of bones is both softer and more flexible than the external layer. Whenever they become weakened and susceptible to damage, that process is known as bone turnover. Having a low bone turnover means that the external layer is also less likely to become damaged. This means that you maintain the strength of your vertebrae and that you maintain good joint flexibility. Of course, this means that you can help to prevent conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis as the years go on.

Types of SARMs

Now that you’re familiar with the concept of SARMs and how they can be beneficial, you may be wondering how you get your hands on them and what you should be looking for. We have that information for you as well. Below is a look at some of the SARMs available on the market. You may view the complete listing here.

Andarine (S4)

The SARM Andarine is best suited to the retention of lean muscle, which is beneficial for cutting purposes. This is achieved by the prevention of dihydrotestosterone that is known for said muscle retention (Gao et al., 2007).

Ligandrol (LGD-4033)

While there are many selective androgens on the market, Ligandrol remains among the most popular with bodybuilders. This is because it has the effect of increasing muscle mass and strength with no effect on boy fat (Fragkaki et al., 2018).

Ostarine (MK-2866)

Ostarine was commissioned for muscle compromising diseases. Its main benefit where bodybuilding is its ability to contribute to the building and retention of lean muscle.

Testolone (RAD140)

In medicine, Testolone is being used for the treatment of muscle wasting conditions and breast cancer. For bodybuilding, it promotes brain function, fat burn, and muscle gains (Jayaraman et al., 2014).


There’s no denying the potential benefits that SARMs can have where your training is concerned. The targeted way they work allows for a much cleaner approach than steroids. Ensure that you only purchase SARMs from reputable sources only.

Phlex Labs source SARMs from audited factories following international standards. All of our products have been tested for quality and purity. Our specialists can assist with your enquiry to make sure you purchase the right products for your needs.

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