Ligandrol, or its research name of LGD-4033, is a popular SARM (selective androgen receptor modulator) which like most SARMs has been to specifically target particular androgen receptors in the muscles and bones.
This means it should have little to no impact on any other areas of the body, unlike steroids which directly alter the hormones and cause some drastic side effects. Ligandrol is valued not only for the results it can deliver, but in the way it can do so with often no side effects at all or only very mild ones in some users.
Human clinical trials have shown clearly that this SARM can increase muscle mass without the gaining of fat. This makes Ligandrol one of the few SARMs that have scientific proof through human studies of its effectiveness for bodybuilders and performance athletes, making this a SARM that is very appealing to a range of users with different goals from bulking and cutting, to improving recovery and body composition.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of SARMs. I am currently using this legal Ligandrol alternative.
- Powerful growth enhancer
- Promotes rapid muscle gains & extreme strength
- Shown to increase testosterone production
Like all SARMs, Ligandrol is not legal to use but this has not stopped it from achieving a high level of popularity thanks to the way it provides a legitimate alternative to more dangerous anabolic steroids.
In this guide, you'll learn:
- What is LGD-4033 (Ligandrol)?
- LGD-4033 Benefits (Effects)
- LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) Dosage
- Typical LGD-4033 Cycles
- LGD-4033 Post Cycle Therapy
- LGD-4033 vs Other SARMs vs Steroids
- What Results Can I Expect Using LGD-4033?
- LGD-4033 Side Effects
- Common Q&A Related to LGD-4033 (Ligandrol)
- My Conclusion and Recommendation
What is LGD-4033 (Ligandrol)?
Ligandrol is an oral SARM that is still listed as an investigational drug as its possible benefits and medical applications are still being researched. It is intended to possibly treat conditions like osteoporosis and muscle wasting and this gives us some insight into what this SARM might be able to do.
We know that Ligandrol has multiple benefits for athletes: it can help build muscle and repair muscle. This is a parallel benefit to that experienced with anabolic steroids, but LGD-4033, while not as powerful as the most potent steroids, can deliver benefits with a much reduced side effect profile compared with steroids.
This SARM has shown to have high levels of androgenic activity, resulting in high suppression of testosterone in trials as well as impacts on good cholesterol (HDL) levels at a dosage of just 1mg daily.
Like all SARMs, Ligandrol is banned in professional sports and listed as a prohibited substance. It has been found included as an ingredient, illegally, in some performance supplements and some elite athletes have been caught unaware that they’ve taken Ligandrol and subsequently been caught through drug testing.
LGD-4033 Benefits (Effects)
Ligandrol is one of the few SARMs that have had a number of clinical trials and studies carried out on humans. This allows us to get a very accurate insight into exactly what this SARM can do in the human body.
Studies have shown that Ligandrol is able to boost muscle strength and lean body mass. Improvements in bone mineral density and bone strength are also possible, although these harder to directly notice.
The multiple benefits of Ligandrol make it a SARM that is useful not only for bodybuilders, although if you’re a bodybuilder you are going to benefit greatly from this compound.
Other types of users from endurance athletes, sporting athletes and even physique models will also find something from this SARM that is going to enhance performance, results or physique in some way.
The type of diet and training activity that you undertake during a Ligandrol cycle will heavily determine the results you achieve: regular weight lifting will have your gains coming on faster and bigger, intensive cardio work will see more efficient weight loss, and serious cutting and toning training will result in a harder physique with minimal fluid retention.
- Muscle Building – Ligandrol was developed to potentially treat muscle wasting so its main ability is to promote muscle growth. Androgen receptors in the muscles are targeted specifically by this SARM and this results in a heightened level of anabolic activity in the muscles – bringing about faster growth and repair of lean muscle tissue. The human studies are clear that Ligandrol helps improve lean muscle mass and muscle strength, which is going to power your workouts to new levels and speed up your gains
- Muscle Repair – Because of the specific binding at androgen receptors in the skeletal muscles, muscular cell DNA genes can have their expressions changed which lead to increasing of the process of muscle repair. Athletes who expand great muscular energy and force require rest and repair for proper recovery and LGD-4033 can improve and speed up this process.
- Fat Loss – Ligandrol can make fat loss more efficient, and part of this is due to its lean muscle gaining effects; the more muscle you have, the faster fat will burn away. But it’s when Ligandrol is stacked with SARMs that are more powerful in the fat burning arena, like Cardarine, that a real cutting powerhouse combination can be achieved. This makes for an effective cutting cycle for bodybuilders and physique competitors who want a hardened and toned look with no water retention.
- Stamina, Endurance, Strength – Elite athletes are drawn to Ligandrol not necessarily for its muscle building effects but for its performance enhancement capabilities. By boosting stamina and endurance you can perform faster, harder and for longer at any pursuit.
All of these results oriented benefits have shown to be attainable through real world human clinical trials and studies. This is one of the very few SARMs or other compounds we have this proof of effectiveness of and should provide potential users with great confidence in using Ligandrol.
Ligandrol is known to positively affect the repair and growth of muscle. After all, it is designed to treat muscle wasting even though it is not yet approved for that or any medical use.
You can expect to see improvements in lean mass within a relatively short period of time; one clinical trial on healthy young men ran for just 21 days and improvements in muscle mass were seen during this time. Endurance and strength may be improved with the use of Ligandrol.
Speeding up recovery is another area that this SARM can possibly benefit as well as using this SARM during a cutting cycle where you are on a low calorie diet and need to retain muscle mass. While this makes it useful for cutting, most people still primarily use Ligandrol for bulking thanks to its excellent mass gaining ability.
A typical 12 week cycle of Ligandrol could have you gaining over 15 pounds of muscle if your workout and diet are on track to make the gains. Recovery times should also improve as you progress through the cycle, and you’ll notice some strength increases so by the end of the cycle you should be lifting much heavier weights than you otherwise normally would without the use of this compound.
There’s no doubt that another indirect benefit is that the above effects can be obtained without the side effects that are experienced with steroids. All of the these results are steroid-like in nature, but users are not having to deal with the fall out of estrogenic effects and androgenic effects, nor the liver toxicity. This adds a very substantial advantage and benefit to Ligandrol’s results as you are able to fully focus your efforts on the positives, with no effort wasted on the negative and no need to consume additional drugs like the prescription medications that are needed to offset steroid-related effects.
LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) Dosage
Medical doses in clinical trials of LGD-4033 are in the 0.5mg to 2mg daily range.
As noted, at a dose of just 1mg daily the trial participants saw a significant suppression of testosterone levels while using the compound so if this is a concern for you, dosage must be started at a low level to gauge the effects.
The good news is that only very low doses of this SARM are needed to get good results, as we’ve seen in clinical trial results and this will help keep side effects at bay.
While some people might increase dosage right up to 15mg or 20mg daily or more, keep testosterone suppression in mind and be prepared to combat it after your cycle. When it comes to females using Ligandrol, 5mg per day is the maximum recommended dosage.
With a half life of 24 hours you can get by with a once daily dosing of this compound, but you can also split it if you experience effects like headache or fatigue at higher dosages.
An 8 week cycle can be expected to deliver excellent results, but it’s possible to use this SARM for 12 weeks to really allow the effects to kick in over a longer period. Post cycle therapy to speed up the restoration of hormone production should run for at least 4 weeks.
Ligandrol is effective at low doses so there’s no need to ramp up your dose in an attempt to amplify the effects; this has no benefit and can raise the risk of more serious side effects and a greater suppression of testosterone. In fact as little as 1mg daily can give most people some very noticeable results.
If you’re a new user then evaluating Ligandrol’s effects at just 1mg a day will provide a good introduction to this SARM. More advanced users with goals ranging from cutting, bulking or performance benefits will increase the dose from between 5mg daily up to 10mg. The most advanced performance athletes have reported taking up to 20mg daily, but this is considered excessive for most people.
Female users can get by with a lower dose than males but will still see exceptional results.
Ligandrol is taken orally and it’s recommended to take the day’s dose in a single administration, as there is no need to split it due to the half life of up to 36 hours – a single daily dose is more than often enough to keep your blood levels of LGD-4033 at the optimal level.
Studies show that the majority of users found Ligandrol to be safe and well tolerated across the dosage range given in the study which ran for 3 weeks. Even short term doses above 20mg per day were tested and it was found to have no noticeably negative impacts on users; however it is not recommended to use such a high dosage for the length of time that most Ligandrol users will be running a cycle.
Typical LGD-4033 Cycles
Unlike a lot of other SARMs and even anabolic steroids which are often stacked as multiple compounds in a cycle, it’s very common for users to take LGD-4033 on its own in a cycle because of its powerful benefits which can cover all your needs and deliver amazing results even without the addition of other compounds.
Additionally, but making use solely of LGD-4033 you limit side effects. But there are additional benefits to be had by stacking Ligandrol with one or more carefully chosen compounds and below are some example cycles you can consider with Ligandrol using it both alone and in a stack for a different goals.
LGD-4033 only cycle
Using this SARM alone will provide excellent muscle gains, but also performance enhancements. So this can either be a bulking cycle or one to boost sporting performance specifically in areas of strength and endurance.
A 1mg daily dose will deliver excellent result to most people, and some won’t feel the need to exceed this low dose for the duration of a cycle. Many users will choose to increase the dose to 5mg for the whole cycle, or even up to 10mg.
The cycle duration for Ligandrol only is ideally capped at 8 weeks which provides plenty of time to see the positive effects while reducing any potential health risks and most of all, minimizing the level of testosterone suppression in male users.
LGD-4033 bulking cycle
Ligandrol on its own is excellent for bulking and many users will find that this SARM alone can take care of their bulking needs. Only those seeking more extreme results are going to want to stack it with something else in a bulking cycle. All gains made with Ligandrol come with no bloating, so it’s critical to stack it with another compound that also causes no water retention.
A common bulking stack is Ligandrol and RAD-140 (Testolone). This compound can also be dosed once daily and is very effective at helping build mass at only 10mg per day. The combination of Testolone and Ligandrol can supercharge gains 20lbs and above range throughout a short cycle of 8 weeks.
LGD-4033 cutting cycle
Cardarine is one of several other SARMs that will make a powerful combination with Ligandrol for cutting and fat loss. Cardarine will significantly enhance stamina and endurance, compounding on the effects of Ligandrol and making it possible to really increase your cardiovascular output – this can only result in faster loss of fat.
There’s no water retention with either compound and retaining lean muscle tissue will be made easier as both compounds are excellent at helping preserve muscle while losing fat and ensuring the body does not fall into a state of catabolism where muscle is being used as energy.
Ligandrol stacks well with some other SARMs and similar compounds, and the one (or more) that you choose to combine it will depend on your goals and what affects the other compound has that can amplify or work alongside those of Ligandrol. Three commonly used compounds with Ligandrol include Ostarine, Cardarine and Testolone.
A stack with Testolone and Ostarine will provide considerable benefits for those wanting mass gains as a priority, while Cardarine is going to enhance your endurance and fat loss when combined with Ligandrol. Testosterone suppression and potential combined side effects of all compounds should always be evaluated before deciding on a stack.
LGD-4033 Post Cycle Therapy
As one of the few SARMs with clinical studies that prove LGD-4033 results in suppressed testosterone, we know that PCT for male users is critical once you’ve finished your cycle.
Even a low dosage of 1mg daily and short cycles of only 3 weeks can cause testosterone production to slow down or even shut down, and some guys will find it to be a mild inconvenience at that point but since many people will be using Ligandrol for twice that length of time or even longer, more severe suppression is more than possible.
Clomid and Nolvadex are the standard options for PCT but your decision will depend on the level of suppression; anyone doing a cycle longer than 8 weeks and a dosage of more than 5mg daily is more likely to experience suppressive testosterone function.
LGD-4033 vs Other SARMs vs Steroids
LGD-4033 has anabolic effects on the body like steroids do, but these are very targeted and specific to muscles and bones. Anabolic steroids directly use hormones to increase anabolic activity.
This is the main difference between SARMs including Ligandrol and steroids. The other aspect is of course relating to side effects – Ligandrol, despite its excellent ability to promote muscle repair and lean muscle growth, can do so with no side effects for many people and only mild effects in some people.
Steroids come with a vast list of both short term side effects, and longer term risks particularly regarding damage to the liver and other organs, as well as potentially increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
When comparing Ligandrol to other SARMs available, it is still considered one of the more powerful ones when it comes to muscle growth. Some SARMs excel more at promoting fat loss, or enhancing endurance (Cardarine for example).
What Results Can I Expect Using LGD-4033?
This SARM is one that can almost rival the power of some steroids when it comes to muscle gains. Although your gains are unlikely to be as huge as you can achieve with steroids, you also do without those nasty side effects.
Users who take LGD-4033 and undertake intensive and consistent resistance training can expect gains anywhere in the range of 5 and 10 pounds per month and this should come with zero or close to zero water retention, so the weight you gain is the weight you keep.
It goes without saying that your results are going to be determined as much by the action of Ligandrol as by your own actions with training and diet. On a calorie deficit diet with the aim of fat loss or contest prep? Combining Ligandrol with Cardarine will speed up your results and increase the hardness and dryness of your physique.
But only if your diet is right, and this is the key to your muscle gains as well. Steroid users are well disciplined in maintaining hardcore training programs for the entire cycle duration, and new users of Ligandrol will need to exercise the same discipline to achieve those mass gains in the 10 pound per month range.
Your results should also include a noticeable improvement in recovery. This means reduced muscle soreness, less risk of injury, and a faster turnaround to your next workout. You will find yourself able to fit in an extra workout or two every week which can only speed up your gains further.
It has been noted in studies that some users experienced an improvement in mood and general mental energy as well, which is going to assist your motivation.
How fast will these results take to kick in? Most users will note positive changes within just two weeks, with lower doses perhaps extending to three weeks until the results start becoming noticeable. Again this is going to be highly dependent on dose, any stacked compounds, and your lifestyle.
LGD-4033 Side Effects
LGD-4033 is another investigational SARM which has become popular with athletes because of its anabolic effects. A number of professional athletes have been sanctioned for using LGD-4033 for performance enhancement as, like all SARMs, it is prohibited by anti-doping bodies.
A top Australian swimmer who recently tested positive for Ligandrol is one of the high profile athletes to bring this SARM to public attention, with the athlete stating she was unaware that Ligandrol was included in a supplement.
During the human clinical trials no serious adverse effects were noted and the drug was considered to be well tolerated. Clinical trials also showed that free testosterone levels were significantly suppressed but that after treatment was finished, hormone levels returned to normal however this took almost two months when testosterone was left to recover naturally. This hormonal suppression occurred at a dosage of 1mg daily.
The USADA also notes that LGD-4033 brings about a decrease in the production of testosterone and other hormones, which is one of only the few side effects known to date about this SARM.
Mild side effects may include headache, nausea and fatigue but you should be able to control these well with your dosage, which is why starting at a low dose is always recommended until you know how your body reacts to Ligandrol; the side effects that you hear about one person having might not affect you at all, and your side effects can be different to the next guy. Just as with steroids, we have different individual reactions to different SARMs as well.
Studies have shown that Ligandrol comes with no serious side effect and only rarely with mild side effects. One study showed that some users experienced headaches and dryness of the mouth.
Apart from that there is little to no evidence that this SARM causes serious adverse effects, with some studies including doses of up to 22mg daily. While that dose is not recommended, it does indicate the safety of Ligandrol overall and its low side effect risk profile, particularly when compared with steroids.
- Nausea and Headaches – These are mild side effects that some people may experience. If they persists, drop your dosage and continue to evaluate the effects. One method of potentially minimizing or eliminating nausea while on a Ligandrol cycle is to increase your water consumption and making sure you’re fully hydrated; this can help with headaches as well. Side effects of this nature should disappear straight away after you stop using Ligandrol.
- Respiratory – Some studies showed an incidence of respiratory tract infections of some Ligandrol users, but it is not know whether this is a direct effect of the SARM, with researchers stating they did not consider the infections to be linked to Ligandrol.
- Cholesterol – Studies have shown some impact on cholesterol even at low doses of 1mg per day. HDL levels were decreased during the trial, although there were no changes seen with LDL cholesterol. The reduction in HDL cholesterol was considered to be significant at 1mg daily for 3 weeks so those with existing cholesterol issues must keep this in mind when planning their dosage and cycle length. Short term length is not thought to put most users at risk of health issues provided a healthy diet is maintained with plenty of omega-3 foods.
Ligandrol is much more appealing to women than steroids because of the lack of masculine trait development that are an almost certainty with steroids; with LGD-4033 women are not at risk of these side effects, nor will men experience the common androgenic effects seen with steroids like acne and hair loss, despite LGD-4033’s powerful androgenic nature. This is possible because of the highly selective targeting of specific androgenic receptors by this SARM.
Researchers have stated that Ligandrol is deemed safe and well tolerated by users without any serious adverse effects. This indicates that while some of these side effects are possible, in general people will find Ligandrol a much safer compound to use than just about any anabolic steroid.
Is Ligandrol a steroid?
No, Ligandrol is a SARM and not an anabolic steroid. SARMs can have some similar benefits to steroids, but they are more targeted to muscle and bone and almost always come with much less risk of side effects than steroids; additionally, females can use SARMs without the virilization effects that come with using steroids.
SARMs are much newer compounds than steroids and there is often little scientific study available, however Ligandrol is one of the more studied SARMs available and these studies have shown clear benefits on the way this SARM functions that makes it desirable for different types of athletes to use.
Does Ligandrol increase testosterone?
Ligandrol is not a testosterone booster. It can potentially decrease testosterone by reducing the normal process of testosterone production in males. This is more likely at higher doses, above 5mg daily, and where the cycle length exceeds 8 weeks. Unlike most anabolic steroids, Ligandrol does not work by using testosterone to promote muscle growth and other performance benefits.
What is the drug Ligandrol used for?
Most people use Ligandrol to increase lean muscle mass. It also increases strength and stamina, can make fat loss more efficient and speed up recovery times. This makes it a SARM that’s useful by bodybuilders, athletes and sports people, and even those just wanting to improve overall body composition and appearance.
Is Ligandrol illegal?
It is only available to buy on the black market and it is on the prohibited substance list of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which means it can not be used by anyone competing in professional sports.
If you plan to buy this SARM through an online source always make sure its a reliable seller, as there are often counterfeit and low quality versions out there which can be ineffective, or worse: downright dangerous to use if they are contaminated or contain unknown ingredients.
Ligandrol has been known to be included in some nutritional supplements without being listed as an ingredient, catching consumers unaware that they are using a SARM and possibly testing positive.
What are the side effects of Ligandrol?
Most users will experience only mild side effects or no side effects at all. Some of the most reported side effects of LGD-4033 are headaches, nausea and decreased testosterone. These effects should subside straight away after the end of your Ligandrol cycle. More severe testosterone suppression as a result of higher doses or longer term use of Ligandrol can require post cycle therapy to restore normal hormone function.
Does Ligandrol cause hair loss?
There are no androgenic side effects with Ligandrol, so that means it won’t cause hair loss or acne the way steroids can in men. These are androgenic side effects which this SARM does not activate because of its selective nature in targeting only specific androgen receptors in the skeletal muscle.
Is LGD 4033 liver toxic?
Ligandrol is not know to be liver toxic and there are no studies which indicate that it has a negative impact on the liver at low doses over a limited period of time. When using this SARM at high doses over long periods, many risk factors can arise and one of those could be liver toxicity; to avoid the risk, simply limit use of Ligandrol to low and moderate doses and limited cycle lengths.
How long is Ligandrol in your system?
It’s possible for drug tests to pick up Ligandrol in a test 21 days after you took your last dose. This means if you think you are going to be tested, you will want to completely stop all Ligandrol use at least three weeks before the expected testing. This length of time can differ between individuals.
What is the half life of Ligandrol?
Compared with some other SARMs and similar compounds, Ligandrol has a longer half life. This can be anywhere from 24 hours, up to 36 hours depending on each individual. This means you can take your dose once a day and still maintain a high level of the substance in the bloodstream. This means it more convenient than some other compounds which can require twice or even three times a day administration.
Ligandrol and Cardarine Cycle? Best dosages?
LGD-4033 and Cardarine are a great stack for recomping, weight loss and achieving lean muscle mass while cutting. For cutting I’d use 10mg/day Cardarine and 3-5mg/day Ligandrol for 8 weeks. As for recomping, I’d use 10mg/day Cardarine and 5-8mg/day Ligandrol for 8 weeks.
Do you need a PCT after an eight week cycle of Ligandrol?
I’ve done 2-3 cycles of 10mg/day for 12 weeks and never took a PCT. You’ll notice test suppression but will be back from it in like 2-3 weeks. But that’s my experience. The half life of LGD is 24-36 hrs so if you decide to start a PCT wait 2 days after your last dose and use 25mg/day Clomid for 20 days.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
This experimental drug is one of the most promising SARMs when it comes to an alternative for anabolic steroids for athletes with a focus on gaining muscles. It has a positive history in clinical trials of working very well to build muscle and importantly: to do this without also gaining fat.
- Powerful growth enhancer
- Promotes rapid muscle gains & extreme strength
- Shown to increase testosterone production
The downside of testosterone suppression is an issue to consider, but those who are used to using anabolic steroids are experienced with this side effect and it is thankfully relatively easy to counter with the addition of a quality PCT cycle.
Those wanting to avoid anabolic steroids while still experiencing the effects of a very powerful anabolic compound will be well served by Ligandrol provided you can find a quality source.