Seven Different Types of SARMs and What They Can Do For You
By 2026, the value of the global supplement market is expected to reach $349 billion.
For consumers who choose their supplements wisely, these are dollars well spent. Still, it can be difficult to select the right supplements for your needs. The options, it seems, are endless.
Settling on a particular category of supplements, like SARMs, can make the process less overwhelming. Even then, though, you face important choices. Different types of SARMs have different uses and produce different benefits. So where do you begin?
Read on to learn more about the different types of SARMs and what they do.
What Are SARMs?
Selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, are best known for their ability to promote muscle growth, bone strength, and fat loss.
SARMs work by attaching to the body’s androgen receptors. Androgens, like testosterone, are often called male hormones. However, both men and women have and need androgens. In both men’s and women’s bodies, androgens promote reproduction and growth.
SARMs work by attaching to the body’s androgen receptors and encouraging this growth.
Are SARMs Steroids?
In many ways, SARMs are similar to anabolic steroids. However, key differences between SARMs and steroids make SARMs a safer option.
First, anabolic steroids are essentially synthetic hormones. Thus, they increase the concentration of testosterone in the body. In contrast, SARMs have a testosterone-like effect without increasing overall testosterone levels. Consequently, SARMs are generally considered safer than steroids, especially for long-term use.
Common risks associated with steroids include:
- Heart and liver disease
- Mood disorders, aggression, and suicidal thoughts
- Skin conditions, including acne
Men taking steroids also may experience erectile dysfunction (ED) or shrinking testicles. Meanwhile, women struggle with masculinity-enhancing effects, like unwanted hair growth and vocal changes.
Fortunately, SARMs do not pose the same risks and side effects. That’s because SARMs also differ from steroids in their selectivity.
Steroids act throughout the body, producing wide-ranging changes in your genetic makeup. However, the testosterone-like effects of SARMs target only your muscles and bones.
Recognizing their selective and powerful effects, scientists are studying SARMs as a promising treatment option for conditions such as osteoporosis and cancer-related muscle loss.
At the same time, SARMs are increasingly popular among health and fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders.
What Are the Different Types of SARMs?
Whether you’re an athlete looking to up your game or a bodybuilder hoping to finesse your physique, SARMs are an excellent option.
So how can you get started enjoying their benefits? What are the different types of SARMs? And more importantly, what are the best types of SARMs for you?
The most common SARMs are:
- Ostarine (MK-2866)
- Testolone (RAD140)
- Ligandrol (LGD-4033)
- Andarine (S-4)
- Ibutamoren (MK-677)
- Cardarine (GW-501516)
Among the different types of SARMs, Ostarine (MK-2866) is the most well-known and popular. It is also the mildest, most studied, and least expensive SARM. This makes it the best type of SARMs for new users.
Taken orally—usually in 10-25 mg doses, Ostarine significantly cuts fat while building muscle mass. By speeding up the body’s metabolism, it also increases energy levels. In these ways, Ostarine can enhance strength, endurance, and overall athletic performance.
Studies of Ostarine in prediabetic patients also show promise in reducing blood glucose levels and improving insulin resistance.
With a short half-life, Ostarine is good for daily dosing. It’s also safe for people with low testosterone levels. This is because, unlike other SARMs, Ostarine doesn’t significantly suppress the body’s natural hormone production.
If you do notice symptoms of low testosterone, taking a post-cycle therapy (PCT) supplement between cycles can help.
At the other end of the spectrum from Ostarine is Testolone (RAD140), or Radarine. Testolone is a relatively new SARM. Studies involving Testolone are limited but ongoing.
So far, studies show that Testalone is among the most potent of SARMs. Of all the SARMs, Testolone most closely mimics testosterone. In fact, it is even more anabolic than testosterone. Thus, it is highly effective for muscle building. Scientists also continue to investigate the use of Testalone to combat muscle wasting associated with cancer and other diseases.
Although it is highly effective, Testalone’s potency and the limited number of studies regarding its long-term safety warrant caution. This means using the lowest dose necessary to achieve your desired effects. Since Testolone is so powerful, even 15 mg is considered a high dose.
So start small with Testolone. Try a 4-5 mg dose and see how your body responds.
With Testalone, noticeable results often occur quickly—within the first few doses. If you’re not satisfied with your initial results, gradually increase the dose. Because Testolone has a relatively short half-life, you can also consider taking a dose twice daily.
As you make adjustments, though, keep individual doses below 12 mg and your average daily intake below 20 mg.
Also bear in mind that Testolone can aggressively inhibit the body’s natural testosterone production. Therefore, users with low testosterone levels should exercise particular caution.
Finally, all users should keep Testolone cycles shorter rather than longer. Testolone cycles should not exceed six weeks. Most users find four-week cycles, followed by a PCT supplement, ideal.
Ligandrol (LGD-1033) is another highly potent SARM. Like Ostarine, it helps your body burn fat while increasing lean muscle strength. In fact, Ligandrol and Ostarine produce the best results when they are taken together, or “stacked,” during cutting cycles.
Ligandrol is also a good option for people struggling with everyday stresses and even mental health conditions. It has been shown to increase users’ feelings of well-being.
Since Ligandrol is so powerful, moderation is, once again, the most important dosing guideline. As with the powerful Testolone, start with the lowest dose of Ligandrol necessary to achieve your desired results. With Ligandrol, a typical dose is less than 10 mg. However, beginners should try 5 mg first, while monitoring results and side effects.
If you desire more powerful effects, slowly increase your dose from there. If, on the other hand, you notice side effects or are worried about testosterone suppression, take a lower dose. Since Ligandrol’s half-life is longer than other SARMs, you can also try spacing your doses out more. Under no circumstances should you take more than one dose of Ligandrol per day.
Using Ligandrol safely also means combatting the suppressive effects it can have on the body’s HPTA system. The HPTA system includes the pituitary glands, gonadal glands, and hypothalamus. It is responsible for reproduction and immunity. Thus, protecting it by taking a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) between Ligandrol cycles is essential to your overall health.
Andarine (S-4) is another SARM to have on hand during cutting cycles. Besides fat, water retention can be another challenge during these cycles. Andarine works against bloating and water retention, enhancing your weight loss efforts.
Like all types of SARMs, Andarine also promotes bone and muscle growth. Like other types of SARMs, moreover, it does so selectively without causing damage to your vital organs.
Still, reports of possible vision changes have made some SARMs users wary of Andarine. Yet further investigation shows that these side effects occur only at extremely high doses.
Once again, therefore, it’s important to start slowly with Andarine. Doses ranging from 10-25 mg are safe and effective for most users.
As Andarine suppresses the body’s natural testosterone production, you will need to use a PCT supplement between cycles.
Ibutamoren (MK-677) behaves somewhat differently from other SARMs. It acts on the body’s growth hormone receptors, significantly increasing IGF-1 and growth hormone levels. In doing so, it promotes muscle growth and bone density.
Ibutamoren also increases appetite and energy, making it ideal for bulking cycles.
Most users find a daily Ibutamoren dose of 10-25 mg effective and safe.
Like Ibutamoren, YK-11 behaves differently from traditional SARMs. YK-11 works by inhibiting myostatin—and encouraging follistatin—production. Myostatin is a growth factor that limits muscle growth. Meanwhile, follistatin is a glycoprotein that promotes muscle growth. Thus, like other SARMs, YK-11 builds muscle mass and strength.
Also like other SARMs, YK-11 works quickly. You can expect to notice results within your first cycle. Keep in mind, though, that noticeable results aren’t always visible results—at least at first. With YK-11, you may not notice visible changes in your physique during your first cycle. However, you will notice increased physical strength.
When you stack YK-11 with other supplements, like Ostarine and Cardarine, you’ll enhance these effects. Plus, you’ll have better endurance and enjoy quicker recovery times following workouts.
As always, start slowly with YK-11. Most users find a 5-10 mg dose highly effective.
Technically, Cardarine (GW-501516) is not a SARM. However, its effects are similar, so it is often grouped with SARMs.
Cardarine promotes muscle growth by encouraging activity in the body’s protein receptors. By enhancing protein synthesis, Cardarine also increases energy.
Cardarine users often experience dramatic and nearly immediate results. Since it acts on the body’s protein receptors instead of its androgen receptors, Cardarine poses no risk of testosterone suppression. Therefore, you won’t need a PCT supplement between Cardarine cycles.
Experts nevertheless recommend starting with the lowest Cardarine dose and increasing from there only as necessary. The average Cardarine dose ranges from 7 mg to 20 mg.
Tips for Using SARMs Safely and Effectively
Choosing the right supplements is an essential step in using SARMs safely and effectively. However, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind too.
1. Stay Informed
Existing research on the safety and effectiveness of SARMs is promising. The fact that this research is ongoing makes these supplements even more exciting. At the same time, the ongoing nature of SARMs research means that the field is a work in progress.
Therefore, SARMs users need to stay informed of current research developments and usage regulations. Competitive athletes need to exercise particular caution in this regard. That’s because SARMs, while legal, are currently prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a weekend warrior, credible research and expert advice from trainers and medical professionals can help you make the best decisions about SARMs and other supplements.
2. Purchase SARMs from a Reputable Supplier
Although SARMs are legal, they are not yet FDA-approved for athletic and recreational use. That means that SARMs products aren’t regulated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. It also means that you, as the consumer, need to do your homework. This is especially true if you purchase supplements from online suppliers.
To ensure safety and effectiveness, buy SARMs only from reputable suppliers. Third-party testing is the best indicator of a reputable SARMs supplier. Before purchasing a product, review detailed reports regarding the identity, purity, and chemical concentration of SARMs products.
If you can’t find these reports on a supplier’s website, use their “Contact Us” page to request more information. If the supplier isn’t fully transparent, look elsewhere for your supplements.
3. Remember That Moderation and Cycling Are Key
Dramatic and quick results are among the factors that make SARMs so popular. However, it’s important to remember that the best results take time.
Every SARM—and every SARM user—is different. This means that doses will vary depending on your body and the supplement you’re using. In all cases, though, the safest dose is the lowest effective dose.
So start slowly, while monitoring your body’s response. Also remember to use SARMs in cycles. Giving your body breaks and using a PCT supplement are among the best ways to keep your natural hormone levels stable and avoid side effects.
4. Don’t Expect SARMs to Do All the Work
SARMs are highly effective at building muscle and bone while burning fat. Still, they are supplements and not substitutes for your other health and fitness efforts.
SARMs produce the best results when you combine them with good nutrition and intensive workouts. Fortunately, SARMs increase your endurance and strength, making these workouts feel easier. By enhancing and speeding up your results, they’ll also help you keep your motivation strong.
Arm Yourself with SARMs for Exceptional Health and Fitness Results
Now that you know more about the different types of SARMs, it’s time to start enjoying their benefits.
As you incorporate SARMs into your overall health and fitness plan, count on our blog for the best advice.