SARM stands for SELECTIVE ANDROGEN RESPONSE MODIFIER which is a long way of saying that these chemicals are engineered to give all of the advantages of anabolic steroids for building muscle without the androgenic side effects usually attributed to AAS.
SARM’s have been developed to be the successor to anabolic steroids in hopes that things like aggression, prostate issues and hairloss. SARM’s are in drug development to help aging people and also cancer patients gain weight without the side effects of steroids. The main issue that men are trying to avoid is the need for post cycle therapy which is when your natural production shuts down in response to the additional androgens in your system.
There are over 10 SARM products on the market ranging from everything like the first SARM, S4 (which can cause blurry vision in some people) to the steroidal skeleton (progesterone skeleton) YK-11, which is a SARM that also inhibits myostatin. These SARM’s have a range of benefits and each will yield a maximum of 12lbs of muscle mass in a 30 day cycle.
SARM’s are well studied at doses of 1-5mg which seems to be safe from side effects. Sadly, like most things in bodybuilding, men tend to dose way higher than the suggested dose. For example TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) is usually dosed at 150-300mg and most bodybuilders are using 750-3000mg of testosterone per week. At these levels, side effects certainly increase and are much more problematic compared to the studied doses.
PCT FOR SARMS
When first introduced, it was believed that SARM’s do not cause shut down of the natural testosterone production. This belief was starting to be challenged when men started doing their own bloodwork and started seeing reductions in free and total testosterone. It is clear, when SARM’s are dosed at 5-10 times the dosing schedule used in studies seems to cause testicular shutdown in most men.
If you look up SARM’s and Shutdown on youtube, you will find many documented cases where people test their before and after results of testosterone levels while using SARM products.
Suppression seems to be more of a factor in some SARM’s while others are a bit more mild. That being said it seems that SARM’s can certainly shut down your natural testosterone levels.
PCT SARMs – NATURAL
There are herbal boosters such as Tonkat Ali to help boost testosterone. Many of them increase LH (lutenizing hormone) which yields an increase in testosterone production. Vitamin D also can increase testosterone levels along with some amino acids like calcium d-aspartate. These things along with other natural testosterone boosters calcium lactate combine with enzyme cofactors such as astragalus and ginger to give you maximum testicular recovery after a cycle.
PCT SARMs – DRUGS
Some people will choose drugs for PCT, getting a prescription or buying un-regulated research chemicals. Tamoxifen is often used to block estrogen and increase LH production which is very useful for PCT. People often take 20-40mg of Tamoxifen post cycle for recovery. Another way that steroid users recover is using HCG, which is a hormone for pregnancy induction, yet can stimulate the testicles to increase testosterone production (HCG is in effect synthetic LH). HCG can be dangerous if too much is taken by desensitizing the leydig cells in the testicles, so it’s important not to over use HCG post cycle.
SARMS – ON CYCLE SUPPORT
SARM’s will often have the same negative effects as oral steroids on cycle. So, of course we addressed shut down, but they likely can effect the liver and lipid levels similar to standard oral steroids. They don’t seem to have an impact on the hair follicles and prostate, but that also remains to be seen, however anecdotal reports are not showing this result. Typical on-cycle support ingredients like High-Gamma Vitamin E and Fish Oil for lipid levels plus N-Acetyl-Cystine and Milk Thistle for liver stress are suggested for anyone using SARM’s at high doses.
Remember SARM’s are not legal and are not supplements. People selling SARM’s are breaking the law. There are still places to get SARM’s but any that are sold as dietary supplements are illegal. With new legislation on the horizon we may see SARM’s go the way of anabolic steroids, being classified as Schedule III drugs. Until then you can legally possess and use SARM’s but be careful as these are potent drugs that have side effects similar to chemically altered anabolic steroids.