LGD-4033 is a SARM that will interest anyone wanting to gain mass and ramp up muscle strength. The ability of this SARM to deliver in these important areas is almost second to none. Few other non-steroid compounds can support muscle and strength gains that can rival that of many anabolic steroids.
Unfortunately you don’t get to do away with all the steroid-type side effects when it comes to LGD-4033 though. Most people will still find that LGD-4033 is more manageable than most bulking steroids, with the added advantage of not needing any injections.
It’s no secret that a number of elite athletes have used LGD-4033 which immediately tells us how effective it is; after all, these people don’t mess around with things that don’t work.
But will it work for you? Is LGD-4033 really suitable for the average gym rat or are there better options? Find out everything you need to know about LGD-4033 – how to use it, side effects, and what alternative options you have to consider as well.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of SARMs.
LGD-4033 History and Overview
LGD-4033 (also called Ligandrol) is a a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) developed by Ligand Pharmaceuticals. It’s being investigated for possible use as a medical treatment for different types of conditions, ranging from muscle wasting to osteoporosis thanks to its ability to both stimulate muscle growth, and improve bone strength and density.
Like all SARMs, its legal status in the US is as an Investigational New Drug. It is yet to be approved for medical use in any country, so is not manufactured by any pharmaceutical companies and can only be acquired through research labs.
LGD-4033 is banned by WADA, but has often been detected in athlete’s samples, indicating some high level athletes are choosing to benefit from LGD-4033’s exceptional performance effects, especially without many of the side effects associated with steroids. However, as you will probably find, the side effects of LGD-4033 are closer to those of steroids than might be expected.
Some nutritional supplements have been found to contain LGD-4033 as an ingredient, resulting in some athletes inadvertently consuming this SARM without knowing.
Several studies and trials have so far been completed with LGD-4033, showing positive results for improving muscle strength and lean body mass. No long term health effects have been identified in any studies, but research will be ongoing to determine the safety of this SARM for human use.
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Chemical Characteristics and Properties
LGD-4033 is designed to specifically bind to androgen receptors in the muscle and bone. This boosts the level of anabolic activity in the body, allowing for increased muscular growth, as well as preventing muscle wasting.
So although its anti-catabolic effects are quite good, LGD-4033 is not often used in cutting cycles (at least not on its own) as quite simply there are better compounds out there for the job. When it comes to bulking though, LGD-4033 is up there with the best – including some of the most respected steroids.
Along with its most well known activity on androgen receptors related to muscle growth, LGD-4033 can also strengthen bones and potentially help prevent deterioration of the bones as a result of aging – this is why it’s gained research interest as a possible treatment for osteoporosis.
The difference between LGD-4033 as a SARM and anabolic steroids is that steroids inadvertently attach to a whole range of androgen receptors throughout the body, causing a whole lot of unwanted effects.
LGD-4033 is very specific in its target of muscle and bone receptors and has only minimal, if any, activity outside of those critical targeted receptors.
Despite this, LGD-4033 is still capable of causing some steroid like side effects through other mechanisms and this can come as a disappointment to those of us who are attracted to using SARMs at least partly to avoid the harsh side effects of anabolic steroids.
Effects of LGD-4033 (LGD-4033 Benefits)
LGD-4033’s most well known and valued benefits are muscle and strength gains. Those who have used steroids in the past and then go on to try LGD-4033 can be surprised to find that the amount of muscle gained can rival that of steroids. And you don’t need a massive dose to get there.
A common mistake is in fact assuming that a high dose is needed to get maximum muscle gains from LGD-4033, but more experienced users find that the optimal balance between strength and muscle gains and side effects is at the lower end of the dosage spectrum (I share more about dosage recommendations below).
Despite its very powerful anabolic effects, LGD-4033 is also usable by women. This is mostly due to its selective androgen receptor activity, reducing (but not eliminating entirely) the risk of virilizing side effects.
These are the main areas where LGD-4033 delivers benefits:
Muscle mass gains
LGD-4033 has already been put through a small number of clinical trials and one found lean muscle gains of over 2.5lbs in men over just three weeks on only 1mg of LGD-4033 daily.
This is a lower dose than most of us will use, but it proves just how effective LGD-4033 is at a minimal dose. You do not have to use excessive doses if you’re content with moderate gains while enjoying minimal side effects.
You will be able to lift heavier on LGD-4033. These strength gains should start being felt within the first couple of weeks and will give you the underlying push to start gaining bigger and faster muscle mass.
Most guys will be lifting 20lbs or even 30lbs heavier than usual. Users should still take precautions to reduce risk of injury and avoid over lifting.
Lean muscle protection
You probably won’t be using LGD-4033 on a cutting cycle as a sole compound, but if stacking it with any fat burning compounds LGD-4033 will play a role in protecting lean muscle while cutting.
When on a calorie deficit diet you run the risk of becoming catabolic (muscle starts being lost as energy). LGD-4033 has anti-catabolic effects so you can focus on losing fat and not the hard earned muscle you’ve previously gained.
Strong bones are critical to support your increasing muscle and for overall health. They also allow you to lift heavier weights with reduced risk of injury or fracture.
One of LGD-4033’s areas of research is as an osteoporosis treatment; a common but debilitating condition mostly affecting older people as bones become weaker and more fragile with age.
LGD-4033 can increase bone mineral density which boosts the strength of bones. This is a lesser talked about, yet critical benefit of LGD-4033.
LGD-4033 is probably not the best recovery compound available but it does have a positive effect on your recovery times and this will get you back into training sooner than usual. If your normal muscle recovery time is 2-3 days, you could see this cut in half.
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LGD-4033 Cycles and Stacks
LGD-4033 can be used on its own in a cycle or combined with one or more other compounds in a stack.
When stacking LGD-4033 the most common strategy is to use it with other SARMs or SARM-like compounds, especially ones that have complimentary benefits and effects that you either don’t get at all with LGD-4033 or are weaker than with the other compound (for example, recovery benefits, enhanced endurance, or fat loss). This allows you to tailor a stacked cycle exactly to your own personal goals.
Beginner LGD-4033 Cycles
It’s been proven through research that even the lowest doses of LGD-4033 promote noticeable muscle gains. So if you’re brand new to this SARM and this is your first cycle, you could evaluate your response and results by using no more than 2mg per day over 8 weeks, which provides the optimal amount of time to get maximum results.
By keeping the dose at this low level you still get excellent strength and muscle gains, while side effects can be kept to a minimum. Some men can even get by without the need for PCT after a low dose cycle due to minimal or no noticeable testosterone suppression. This is also an ideal dosage and cycle length for female LGD-4033 users.
Intermediate LGD-4033 Cycles
Once you’ve gained some experience and confidence using LGD-4033 at low doses, upping your dose to the 10-15mg range is the next logical step. This will improve your strength gains quite substantially, while your capacity to gain muscle should increase but a lot of this will come down to diet and training.
At the intermediate level you should be well informed on what and how much you should be eating to support muscle growth, because without those quality calories no dose of LGD-4033 is going to give you the gains you want.
8 weeks is still the recommended minimum cycle length to allow enough time for LGD-4033 to work to its maximum effect. Noticeable muscle gains usually showing around the fourth week.
Advanced LGD-4033 Cycles
More advanced LGD-4033 users will start taking 15mg to 20mg per day if using this SARM on its own. 20mg is considered to be a very high dose, and most people will strongly recommend it for good reasons.
The testosterone suppression alone at such a dose will be substantial as will fluid retention early on, but at the same time you don’t gain significant benefits because of how effective LGD-4033 is at doses of 10mg and lower. In short, the pros and cons of a 20mg dose don’t weigh up favorably for most of us.
But if you’re insistent on going ahead with a mega dose just to see if it does in fact result in bigger gains, a 15-20mg 6-8 week cycle followed up by essential PCT will provide an interesting outcome for you to compare to lower dose cycles.
LGD-4033 is powerful enough when used on its own, but there are good reasons to want to stack it with other SARMs and similar compounds. You can introduce different benefits like fat loss, endurance and recovery that go beyond what LGD-4033 can offer on its own.
Stacking it with other SARMs is common. RAD-140, Cardarine and Ostarine are often stacked with Ligandrol. Some testosterone steroid users will also add LGD-4033 to the end of the cycle.
Regardless of the combination, when LGD-4033 is stacked with anything else you not only enhance the positive benefits, but the side effects will also be multiplied.
Knowing the side effect profile of all compounds in a stack is critical to ensure no undue stress is being placed in critical areas like the liver and cardiovascular system.
Stacks for Cutting
LGD-4033 is not usually though of as a cutting compound since its primary benefits revolve around muscle growth and strength, where you need to be eating excess calories to get the best results. This is of course the opposite strategy to a cutting cycle where you consume a calorie deficit diet and where your workouts are mostly cardiovascular based to burn off fat.
Where LGD-4033 can play a role is in helping maintain muscle during this time. LGD-4033 is unlikely to directly contribute to much or any fat loss itself, so any compound you stack it with will need to have its own powerful fat loss effects to act as the main weight loss agent.
MK-677 is a good compound to stack with LGD-4033 for fat loss. Although it might not be a pure cutting cycle, this one will promote fat burning while at the same time building some muscle. This will result in increased muscle definition and vascularity.
Importantly though, both of these compounds can cause temporary water retention so doses should be kept relatively low. A recommended cycle is:
- LGD-4033: 6mg per day for 8 weeks
- MK-677: 15mg per day for 16 weeks
Another benefit of using MK-677 is it essentially can act as a PCT compound, while LGD-4033 causes suppression so by extending your use of MK-677 for an extra 8 weeks, this should have benefits for normalizing testosterone.
Stacks for Bulking
Bulking stacks are where LGD-4033 will be in its element. This is obviously a potent bulking SARM all on its own, so once you start stacking it with one or more other SARMs (or other compounds) that also promote muscle and strength gains as well as additional benefits, you’re looking at stacks that easily rival those of the best steroids.
There are a lot of options for compounds to stack with LGD-4033 for bulking, but only one is widely recommended and accepted as being effective, and that’s the combo of RAD-140 (Testolone) and LGD-4033.
LGD-4033 and RAD-140
This is easily one of the best SARMs bulking stacks and the one most commonly used. Gains of 15lbs and even more are well within your reach with this stack with the right diet and training. This 8 week cycle uses LGD-4033 at a low dose of 6mg and RAD-140 at 10mg daily. Exceptional strength and muscle gains will be the core benefits of this stack, but noticeable improvements in recovery is a nice bonus.
Expect more severe side effects with this stack concerning cholesterol and testosterone suppression.
Some guys can get away with not needing to do PCT after a LGD-4033 cycle. But besides at the very lowest doses, most of us will need to implement PCT of some sort to avoid debilitating low testosterone symptoms.
Even though LGD-4033 is not a steroid, it still suppresses your natural testosterone function and when you suddenly stop using LGD-4033, low testosterone is the result.
Without post cycle therapy it can take two months for testosterone to naturally return to normal levels, and this has been shown through research. If you leave it to allow testosterone to naturally restore you’re likely to suffer a range of effects: loss of muscle, fat gain, low libido, poor energy, low mood and more.
A PCT using Nolvadex or Clomid (Nolvadex is generally considered the more effective option) for 30 days after your LGD-4033 cycle will get your testosterone back on track faster.
LGD-4033 Dosages and Administration
LGD-4033 is used in a limited range of dosages and even experienced and advanced users will often find that Ligandrol results are exceptional even at a low dose.
Often there is no need or benefit in increasing the dose just for the sake of it; all you’ll achieve by doing so is increasing the severity and existence of side effects.
More and more people are finding that a minimal dose of just 2.5mg-5mg is all that’s needed to balance the excellent anabolic effects with the side effects.
Bodybuilding LGD-4033 Dosage
Bodybuilders don’t need to be using high doses of LGD-4033 to experience its maximum effects. We know this for a fact thanks to the research and trials that LGD-4033 has already been put through (more than many other SARMs).
Some have shown that doses as low as 1mg result in muscle gains even in men who weren’t lifting weights. More and more experienced users agree that a 5mg dose for bodybuilding is a perfect choice for balancing gains and side effects, with diminishing returns as you increase the dose.
Ultimately it is an individual response, and some of us like using LGD-4033 at just 2mg, while others won’t use less than 15mg.
Female LGD-4033 Dosage
Females will see excellent muscle gains at very low doses. Many women choose to take no more than 2mg daily and this is more than enough to promote quite incredible strength and lean mass gains.
There are women who will take the plunge and increase the dose right up to 5mg, but many will note a deepening of the voice and potentially other virilizing type side effects developing at that dosage level.
Others will get away with nothing more than a bit of acne development. It is a totally individual response, but in any case if you’re a first time LGD-4033 female user, consider starting at 1mg per day.
If all goes well, simply increase the dose in the second or third week of your cycle to a level you’re comfortable with.
Proper Administration and Timing
Some people prefer to take LGD-4033 within an hour of a training session, claiming they can feel the strength effects that quickly. It’s not really known yet whether LGD-4033 actually works that quickly, or if this is some sort of placebo effect (where your mind makes you think you’ve suddenly gained energy or strength).
More commonly, those taking LGD-4033 once a day will usually take it in the morning to avoid any potential impacts on sleep. If you’re splitting your dose into twice daily administration (commonly done when using higher doses), taking half in the morning and half in the evening is the standard timing. LGD-4033 is an oral formula so there’s no injecting involved.
LGD-4033 vs. Ostarine
Ostarine is a milder SARM than LGD-4033. Its benefits are wide ranging and include fat burning, increasing muscle mass, improving bone mass and joint health, and boosting endurance and strength.
Ostarine’s muscle gains come without water retention, but they won’t be as big as what you can get with LGD-4033. Cutting is where Ostarine shines, with excellent fat loss results possible. This makes Ostarine a useful compound to stack with LGD-4033 for body recomposition purposes.
Ostarine has a much milder overall side effect profile compared to LGD-4033. When it comes to testosterone suppression, LGD-4033 is much more suppressive than Ostarine (which itself does cause at least some suppression).
One concern is Ostarine’s negative effect on cholesterol, which when combined with LGD-4033’s potential negative cholesterol impact can bring a greater risk to anyone who has existing cholesterol issues. Ostarine may pose a greater risk to the liver than LGD-4033 does.
If muscle and strength gains are your main priorities, there’s no comparison between Ostarine and LGD-4033: LGD-4033 will be the way to go.
LGD-4033 Risks and Side Effects
Few people will use Ligandrol and not experience any side effects at all. This is one of the most powerful SARMs by far, so you can expect some negative effects to pop up.
Some of these will often be early in the cycle and disappear as time goes on, but others can remain for the entire cycle.
The three side effects that will probably concern you the most are:
- Negative cholesterol changes
- Testosterone suppression (males only)
- Water retention
LGD-4033 can negatively impact your cholesterol levels. It can cause a reduction in good cholesterol levels (HDL). In some users this can be severe enough that HDL levels reduce significantly (around 40% in one study) on a dose of just 1mg per day over three weeks.
Maintaining healthy levels of HDL cholesterol keep the arteries healthy for optimal blood flow from the heart. This means LGD-4033 could be equally or even more harmful to cholesterol than a lot of anabolic steroids which are notorious for their negative cholesterol effects.
It’s not known exactly why LGD-4033 causes cholesterol changes but if you have existing cholesterol problems, you might want to rethink your decision to use LGD-4033.
Another side effect that steroid users will be familiar with is testosterone suppression. Not all SARMs suppress testosterone but LGD-4033 is one of the more suppressive non-steroid compounds.
You will need PCT after a LGD-4033 and this can come as a surprise to anyone who thinks PCT is only for steroids. Without it, low testosterone symptoms will persist for nearly two months and will include muscle loss, fat gain, poor mood and libido, and lethargy (just to name a few).
Despite not having any aromatizing activity, LGD-4033 does come with a moderate to high risk of water retention or bloating. This is a big reason to maintain a low dose for the entire cycle. You might still see fluid in the early stages of a cycle on a 5mg dose, but it almost certainly won’t be as severe as a 15-20mg cycle.
Short-Term Side Effects
Some of the more mild and usually shorter term side effects of LGD-4033 can include:
- Hair loss or shedding – one of the more distressing side effects is when hair starts to shed. But unlike with steroids where male pattern baldness can develop and is usually permanent, the head hair loss or shedding caused by LGD-4033 will usually only be temporary with hair growing back to its normal thickness within a short time after your cycle ends.
- Headaches – some users get very bad headaches on LGD-4033. If you’re going to get headaches with this SARM it will almost always be in the beginning stages of the cycle. It’s not known for sure why this happens, but is likely due to elevated blood pressure. Drinking more water helps some people, but others either have to wait it out or stop using LGD-4033 altogether if the headaches are bad enough.
- Joint pain – another side effect that only happens to some users is joint pain. LGD-4033 isn’t the only SARM to cause this problem though and it will be more pronounced if you’re using low quality LGD-4033 from questionable sources.
- Insomnia – difficulty sleeping is commonly reported, especially in the first week or two of a LGD-4033 cycle. This will obviously impact your performance, recovery and results. Some methods to help mitigate this is to take your whole dose in the morning, and take a sleep support supplement like melatonin. Most insomnia related side effects usually stop as the cycle progresses.
- Acne – both male and female users regularly report acne on LGD-4033, and it’s considered a widespread but overall harmless side effect. It’s often not confined to the face either, with acne on the back and more unusual places like the arms occurring in many people. Even those of us not usually prone to acne can get this side effect, but it shouldn’t be a major concern and it will clear up eventually.
- Fatigue – some LGD-4033 users complain of tiredness, lethargy and fatigue including waking up feeling tired after a seemingly good night’s sleep. Other people never experience this fatigue related side effect, and it appears to be highly individualistic. A possible cause is reduced levels of testosterone as this is an issue that some people experience with SARMs in general, and not just LGD-4033.
LGD-4033 has not yet shown clear evidence of negatively affecting the liver, besides a couple of possibly erratic incidences where individuals developed concerning liver problems when using LGD-4033.
These one off instances could simply be an individual response, and a lot more research will be needed to find out whether LGD-4033 does in fact cause stress to the liver.
LGD-4033 for Sale
Poor quality LGD-4033 is a real problem, and it doesn’t only result in throwing your money down the drain. Your results will be poor, and your side effects could be well outside what’s to be expected when taking pure LGD-4033. If you’re determined to use LGD-4033 properly then its worth taking the time to research the best supplier.
Underground Lab LGD-4033 for Sale
Underground or research labs are the only place you can buy LGD-4033, unless you buy from a local supplier (who themselves would have bought from a research lab). Some of these labs are top quality and produce high purity LGD-4033, while others leave a lot to be desired.
Buying from these labs is a legal grey area – technically they can only be sold for research purposes, but little enforcement is carried out to investigate everyone who buys research SARMs.
LGD-4033 prices vary and because there’s no approval or pharmaceutical regulation (because it is not produced by any pharmaceutical companies), manufacturers can easily set their own pricing without having to adhere to strict laws about the quality of the product they’re selling.
This means one thing: you could pay top dollar for LGD-4033, but still get an inferior formula. This is the big risk we all take when choosing to use any SARM, as they are nothing more than research chemicals for now and are likely to remain that way for many years.
Expect to pay around $60-$100 for a 30ml bottle of 10mg/ml concentration of LGD-4033.
Buy LGD-4033 Online
Buying LGD-4033 online comes with a whole bunch of risks. You will never know exactly what you’re getting until you use it. Even the most reputable suppliers can turn bad, or have a bad batch.
That’s the problem with an unapproved, mostly unregulated research chemical like LGD and all SARMs. Poor quality and low purity usually means disappointing results, unexpected or severe side effects, and in the worst cases: seriously bad reactions.
To avoid all this risk and wasted money (and time), what I’m now using instead is LIGAN 4033, an all-natural and legal alternative to LGD-4033.
It’s formulated from the ground up specifically to provide very similar positive effects to this SARM but without causing the notorious side effects that I’ve detailed above.
You shouldn’t even have the more harmless sides like acne with LIGAN 4033, and there’s definitely no suppression or water retention to worry about. I like that I can focus fully on my performance and results without wasting time mitigating side effects.
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Is Ligandrol legal?
LGD-4033 is a prohibited performance enhancing substance and can not be used in any sporting competitions around the world. It is often tested for and some athletes have been caught using it, which carries similar penalties to steroid use.
LGD-4033 has no legal medical use in humans because it’s still being investigated as a research chemical; so the only way you can buy it is from research labs.
Is Ligandrol liver toxic?
LGD-4033 has not shown to have toxic effects on the liver, but more research is needed to find out what (if any) negative impacts LGD-4033 might have on the liver. Two studies showed one off instances of liver damage after using this SARM but it’s not known if these were just individual responses.
Does Ligandrol make you tired?
Some users note that fatigue is a side effect they experienced with LGD-4033. This onset of lethargy and tiredness seems to be a very individual side effect and many users won’t feel it at all. Those that suffer with fatigue find they wake up feeling tired. This side effect is thought to be caused by decreased levels of testosterone.
Does LGD-4033 build muscle?
Yes, the main reason the vast majority of people use LGD-4033 is to gain muscle. It’s an excellent lean muscle building SARM and is considered the best SARM for bulking by many people.
Users can gain 5-10lbs in an average cycle using doses as low as 5mg per day. At the upper end, 15lbs gains are possible and when stacking LGD-4033 with other powerful bulking SARMs you could be looking at gains near 20lbs.
Which is better RAD-140 or LGD-4033?
Both are excellent muscle gains. RAD-140 will usually produce faster gains, while LGD-4033 is more slower and steadier. You could get the best of both worlds by combining LGD-4033 and RAD-140 into a powerful bulking stack.
Does LGD-4033 cause hair loss?
Some LGD-4033 users find that their hair starts shedding. This can make the hair appear thinner, but is usually not a case of male pattern baldness (which occurs with steroids). Most hair shedding that happens on a LGD-4033 is temporary, and the hair should grow back to normal thickness soon after stopping your cycle.
Do you need PCT with Ligandrol?
Most males will need to do PCT after a LGD-4033 cycle besides perhaps at the very lowest doses. LGD-4033 is well known to be a suppressive compound and without PCT you can be waiting up to two months for normal restoration of testosterone function. PCT speeds this process up, with the recommended drugs being either Nolvadex or Clomid to be taken for 30 days.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
SARMs don’t get much better than LGD-4033. There are good reasons why this one is a universal favourite among bodybuilders. It is widely thought of as the best SARM for everything besides hardcore cutting. For bulking LGD-4033 is one of the best non-steroid options we have today.
The advantages of LGD-4033 are well known: great muscle gains, excellent strength, bone strength and better recovery. Everything you want in a bulking compound.
But it’s still an unknown chemical with no medical approval, and unlikely to have any approval or regulation any time in the near future. There’s still so much more research to be done to determine if LGD-4033 holds any long term health risks that we don’t know about today.
The list of side effects we do know about are nothing to sneeze at either. This is a SARM that causes side effects that are hardly different to a lot of steroids. At least some of these are caused by, or worsened, by the fact that buying LGD-4033 is fraught with risk because at the end of the day you’re buying an underground product that isn’t being made to pharmaceutical standards.
Even a good quality LGD-4033 purchase is going to deliver some unwanted water retention, plenty of testosterone suppression and more than likely a nasty hit to your cholesterol. Then there’s the acne and hair loss a lot of users have to deal with.
Sounds very much like steroids to me…