Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are the next big thing for bodybuilding and performance enhancement after anabolic steroids.
All SARMs are investigative drugs, so they have little to no official research to back up their benefits or their possible harms. But we have a lot to go on through the real world experience of thousands of people who use these compounds for performance enhancement and specifically for our main interest here: for bulking.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably read through hundreds of reviews, results, experiences, complaints and everything else from SARMs users. The thing is, your experience is going to be unique, and so was mine!
The best you can do if you’re new to SARMs is investigate the best possible options, narrow your choices down, be aware of risks and how to reduce them as much as possible, then (if you feel comfortable enough), go for it and get started on your first SARMs bulking cycle.
Below you’ll find all you need to know about the best SARMs for bulking and strength, cycles and bulking stacks for SARMs users.
In this guide, you'll learn:
SARMs for Bulking
Would you believe that some SARMs can be as good, and sometimes even better, than anabolic steroids for bulking?
Steroids have always been the go-to for bodybuilders, but with advancements in medical research comes new compounds, and there are many reasons why more people are now choosing SARMs for bulking cycles instead of or combined with steroids.
Below are four of my best options for the best bulking SARMs you can buy on the market today.
Testolone or RAD-140 as it’s more commonly known, is considered by many to be one of the best SARMs for bulking. It is the only SARM that is made to basically mimic what testosterone does, yet it is not an anabolic steroid. It only targets specific androgen receptors in skeletal tissue so you don’t get the extensive side effects that come with real testosterone steroids.
BENEFITS: Testolone is a powerful bulking SARM that makes it easier and faster for you to gain muscle. It boosts your strength way beyond normal levels, increases stamina substantially, and speeds up your recovery.
Basically everything you want in a bulking cycle is covered by RAD-140. It can also help you burn fat, thanks to its promotion of increased anabolic activity.
DOSAGE: Because RAD-140 is so powerful, if this is your first cycle you will want to start at a lower dosage and it’s wise to increase the dose gradually throughout your cycle.
Start at 5mg for the first week, then 10-15mg for the next three weeks. For the final 2 weeks you can either continue at 15mg for maximum gains or taper back to 5mg depending on how you’re managing any adverse effects. This 6 week cycle provides a good balance between benefits and side effects.
TESTOL 140 fires-up your metabolism for rapid anabolic gains, fat burning, insane vascularity and alpha energy.*
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: Testolone can cause some of the androgenic side effects that you might be familiar with from steroids. These RAD-140 side effects are less likely at lower doses though. These include hair loss, extra aggression or anxiety, acne and even increased blood pressure.
Some users report loss of appetite, dizziness, lethargy and insomnia as other side effects. This SARM will also cause testosterone suppression.
Testolone is one of the most powerful SARMs developed to date. With this comes some of the more serious side effects risk that we will see with any SARM, but not everyone will have the same experience!
The key is to work out how your body reacts to Testolone as an individual, and to adjust your dosage and cycles to get the best results from this compound. It certainly has great potential to be an even better choice than steroids for a serious bulking cycle. Click here for my full RAD-140 cycle guide.
Ligandrol targets androgen receptors in the muscles and bones, leading to direct effects on the growth of lean muscle.
LGD-4033 is one of few SARMs that has had some human studies done, and the results are impressive with excellent muscle gains on very low doses seen. With its specifically targeted androgen receptor activity, we can see benefits in all related areas, but there are some downsides with this powerful SARM when it comes to side effects.
BENEFITS: Quick muscle gains are the major benefit of using LGD-4033. It’s entirely possible, if your diet and training are right, to gain 15 pounds in a standard cycle of 8 to 12 weeks. Expect excellent gains in strength, plus improvements in your recovery time. LGD-4033 will increase the strength of tendons and ligaments, as well as bone density.
DOSAGE: Keeping in mind that some studies have shown side effects at doses as low as 1mg, you can consider starting a LGD-4033 cycle on as little as 2mg daily. Most males will aim for a 10mg daily dose at the most which you can gradually taper to as your cycle progresses, simply increasing your dose by 2mg each week.
Extreme muscle-building formula for HUGE gains. LIGAN 4033 builds muscle mass and strength without compromises.*
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: LGD-4033 causes a reduction in the amount of testosterone your body naturally produces. Some early research indicates that this SARM might have some disruptive effects on hormone signalling as well. Hair loss is a possibility but the exact cause of this effect is still not known.
More seriously, LGD-4033 poses a high risk to cholesterol health with studies showing that HDL levels can reduce significantly, so those with existing cholesterol problems should reconsider using this SARM. Potential liver toxicity is believed to be dose dependent, but detailed data isn’t yet available – therefore keeping your dose as low as possible is the best way to minimize that risk.
Ligandrol is a powerful bulking SARM – in fact it is probably the best SARM for mass gaining – but it also comes with a list of possible side effects that are at the longer end and often the more serious end compared with most other SARMs. This isn’t a compound for the beginner SARMs user, but one that should be used cautiously. Click here for my full LGD-4033 cycle guide.
MK-677 is technically not a SARM; instead it is a growth hormone secretagogue which stimulates the release of human growth hormone. With this comes all the benefits that are expected with elevated HGH levels – but it’s vital to be aware of the perils that come with too much growth hormone as well.
BENEFITS: Quick muscle gains and fast reduction in body fat are the core benefits of Ibutamoren. Increasing bone mineral density and bone strength are additional benefits.
You can expect an increase in appetite; some people might not see this as a benefit, but for bulking up you are likely to welcome this effect. A more unexpected benefit is a possible improvement in sleep quality, which can only help with your recovery process.
DOSAGE: Ibutamoren can be taken once daily, and it’s ideal to start low at the beginning of the cycle, and increase the dose halfway through. Starting at 15mg daily for the first 4-6 weeks, then if you’re comfortable, double the dose to 30mg for the second half of your 8-12 week cycle, with some users taking this cycle to 16 weeks due to MK-677’s slower acting nature.
Some users will take 50mg at the high end – but keep in mind that Ibutamoren works very well at lower doses so there is absolutely no need or benefit in jumping straight to a high dose with this compound.
Take muscle growth to a whole new level. IBUTA 677 promotes the rapid growth of lean muscle and reduces recovery times.*
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: MK-677 may cause some serious side effects, especially at higher doses which is to be expected when we are talking about a compound that raises growth hormone levels. Muscle and joint pain may occur and in some cases, even swelling.
Some individuals might be at risk of high blood pressure and increased glucose levels. In the most serious cases, heart failure could occur. Needless to say, your dosage should be carefully planned to minimize these risks.
Ibutamoren is mostly an unresearched compound so many of it’s potential risks are still largely unknown. However we do know it can cause some very serious issues in some people, especially when the dosage is too high.
There are certainly some very appealing benefits to using Ibutamoren for bulking, and using Ibutamoren at a moderate dose is going to provide very impressive results to rival that of some anabolic steroids. Click here for my full Ibutamoren cycle guide.
YK-11 is definitely one of the most powerful SARMs we can use today. It’s also slightly different from most other SARMs because it has an additional property: it is also a myostatin inhibitor.
When YK-11 attaches to androgen receptors, it also halts the production of myostatin in the muscle which can stop the muscle breaking down while promoting the growth of new muscle.
BENEFITS: Lean muscle gains as well as preserving muscle are the two big benefits of YK-11, and this makes it a versatile SARM. When it comes to bulking, YK-11 can deliver some of the biggest possible gains from any SARM. This is mostly thanks to the unique myostatin inhibition properties that you don’t get with other SARMs.
Bonus benefits include increased bone strength, which you’ll need for that extra muscle as well as enhanced strength so you’ll be seeing a remarkable ability to lift heavier and heavier weights as the cycle progresses.
DOSAGE: If it’s your first time using YK-11 and side effects concern you, starting low at 5mg per day will still get results. If all goes well, the second week can be increased to 10mg daily.
15mg is still considered a moderate dose and is unlikely to cause severe side effects, but again you will need to gauge your own response to this SARM and adjust the dosage accordingly. The cycle length should be 8-12 weeks maximum and PCT will be required.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: YK-11 brings about much more androgenic effects than other SARMs because it is actually a steroidal SARM, so you will be dealing with the familiar steroid-like androgenic side effects like hair loss and acne if you’re prone to these things.
Other side effects can include headaches, aggression, joint pain, fatigue and low to moderate testosterone suppression. YK-11 is potentially toxic to the liver. As always, the side effects you experience depend on your individual reaction and your dosage.
YK-11 comes with massive benefits for bulking cycles, and when used at low to moderate doses the side effects should be manageable for most users. It is not generally considered the best SARM to start with for those who are new to SARMs since it is steroidal, but if you already have some SARMs experience this is definitely a compound to consider for your next bulking cycle. Click here for my full YK-11 cycle guide.
SARM Stacks for Mass and Strength
Using one SARM on its own can give you great results, but combining or stacking two or more SARMs together means you are not only compounding on the muscle building benefits of all them, but you’re also grabbing extra unique effects from each one to turn your bulking cycle into one that is all encompassing across the spectrum of performance enhancement and recovery.
Most SARMs will stack well together, and below are 5 of the best SARMs stacks for bulking!
YK-11 is a very powerful SARM and is highly effective on its own. Beginners will probably not look at using this bulking stack, but advanced users with more specific needs will benefit by combining YK-11 with RAD-140 in what I consider to be my best bulking stack ever!
BENEFITS: The immense benefits of this stack are unbeatable: massive gains in mass and strength. Your gains will come on fast, and they will be dry gains without any bloating. Substantial increases in stamina, strength and recovery are big benefits of this stack, and you’ll even find you can burn fat easier but you won’t lose muscle.
DOSING: Starting low is a good idea because the effects of this stack come on hard and fast. 15mg daily of RAD140 and 10mg each day of YK11 is a good starting point. If things are going well, look to boost your dosing to 30mg per day of RAD-140 and 20mg each day of YK-11 for the rest of the cycle which can go for 8 to 12 weeks.
Your dosage of YK11 will heavily determine your results, and we know it can cause a range of side effects so you’ll need to find a balance between the results you want and the side effects you need to control.
RESULTS: Expect noticeable gains in strength by day three of this cycle and it will increase from there to pretty substantial levels. Your training ability will be beyond anything you could do naturally including both endurance and length of time you can train, and the sheer amount of power and extra weight you can work with. The sky’s the limit with how much mass you can gain with this stack with 15-20lbs more than achievable. You might have to deal with some androgenic type side effects here, but if you take care to control them they should not have a negative impact on your results.
PCT: YK-11 can suppress testosterone, but it is very dose dependent and also individual dependent. RAD-140 is the more suppressive of these two compounds, so you will need to prepare your PCT plan for the end of this cycle. Start PCT at the end of your cycle using either Nolvadex or Clomid for 4 weeks at between 20-40mg per day depending how suppressed you feel or how high your dosage was during the cycle (higher dose and longer cycle equals much greater chance of more severe suppression).
This is a great stack if your goal is to lose a good amount of fat while bulking up. This stack will give you impressive size gains, while providing amazing improvements in overall muscular definition thanks to the inclusion of MK-677.
BENEFITS: LGD-4033 is going to allow you to put on impressive size and see a notable improvement in muscle strength, so you’ll be able to lift heavier and increase the intensity and length of your workouts. MK-677 increases muscle gains and speeds up loss of subcutaneous fat, so if better muscle definition is what you’re after then this stack provides that specific benefit.
A bonus benefit of combining these two compounds is that MK-677 has a longer lasting effect, so once you stop MK-677 halfway through the cycle, LGD-4033 takes over and keeps the body in an anabolic state, essentially acting as a form of PCT so you aren’t going to start losing muscle.
DOSING: MK-677 is a slower acting compound compared with true SARMs, so get best results many people will run this stack for up to 16 weeks. Take 15mg daily of MK-677 for the entire 12-16 week cycle, and 6mg daily of LGD-4033 for the first 8 weeks.
RESULTS: Overall muscle gains can be anywhere from 10lbs and up, and we know from studies that even at very low doses of 1mg of LGD 4033, muscle gains can be made during a very short time. MK-677 can result in some water retention which is a temporary effect, but one to keep in mind as you evaluate your results during this cycle.
PCT: LGD-4033 can negatively affect the HPTA so PCT is advised. 20mg daily of Nolvadex for a period of 3-4 weeks is an effective protocol. Clomid can be used instead at 25mg daily for 3 to 4 weeks. Some guys will not need PCT at all, depending if signs of low libido, muscle loss and low energy occur – you can also obtain a blood test to determine your actual testosterone levels as a result of this cycle.
A very powerful combo with two of the best bulking compounds combined with MK-677 which comes with a host of additional benefits that will take care of your recovery and healing needs.
BENEFITS: The combination of RAD and YK11 is going to boost your muscle gaining ability to massive levels, plus a substantial increase in strength. Possibly the most appealing benefits of this stack come from MK677 which adds some very welcome effects like increased bone density and better sleep while also contributing to lean mass gains.
DOSING: An 8 week cycle can consist of 10mg-20mg of YK-11, 10-15mg of RAD-140 and 10-20mg of MK-677. Many users will start at the low end and evaluate positive and negative effects for the first 3-4 weeks, then adjust your dosage up if needed.
RESULTS: First and foremost you will gain big and fast with this stack, anywhere in the order of 10-15lbs. Body composition will be improved and you will certainly notice positive changes to your recovery times. If fat loss is on your agenda, this stack can help you achieve that as well and you won’t have to worry about losing muscle – all these compounds ensure you stay in a positive anabolic state.
PCT: RAD-140 and YK-11 are suppressive compounds so you will certainly going to need to do PCT after this cycle. Clomid or Nolvadex will take care of your PCT needs, though Clomid is considered the slightly better option. You should start at the end of the cycle and do PCT for 4 weeks, with the dosage at 20-40mg daily depending on your level of suppression.
We’ll be using one of the most powerful SARMs here with YK-11, and when it’s combined with two other excellent compounds you have a recipe for success in this bulking stack.
BENEFITS: YK-11 on its own delivers huge gains in a short period of time, and you’ll get that and more in this stack. An additional benefit is the lack of water retention, so your gains will be dry and hard. S-23 adds even more to the hardening and drying effects, and that’s the main benefit of its addition to this stack. Ligandrol provides an extra punch to your muscle gains, a strength boost and support for tendons and ligaments.
DOSING: This stack should be an 8 week cycle, and ideally you will increase your dose as you go. Start with daily doses of 10mg of YK-11, 10mg Ligandrol, and 10mg S23 for the first 4 weeks. Then adjust your dosage up as you’re comfortable, adding an extra 5-10mg to each compound for the rest of the cycle.
RESULTS: Gains of 10 to 15 pounds are more than achievable with this powerful stack, with some guys reaching 20 pounds with the right training. You should also feel less general muscle and joint pain and overall improved recovery.
PCT: You will need PCT due to YK-11’s suppressive nature. Nolvadex or Clomid for 4 weeks at between 20-40mg daily starting at the end of your cycle, with the dose dependent on how suppressed you feel.
For an extra fat loss boost, try this stack with Ostarine that is noted for its excellent ability to help you cut fat and preserve lean muscle.
BENEFITS: Fast, big and dry gains with RAD-140 and LGD-4033, while your physique hardening and toning is taken care of by Ostarine with its fat burning properties. This stack is therefore benefited by being very versatile; you can use it to gain massive size, or for body recomp or even cutting. Your endurance and recovery times will be vastly improved, taking your training to the next level.
DOSING: 2-8mg per day of Ligandrol, 20mg each day of Ostarine, and anywhere from 5-15mg daily of RAD-140. Monitor any side effects, and adjust your dosage accordingly. The cycle should run for at least 8 weeks and no longer than 12 weeks.
RESULTS: LGD-4033 will ensure impressive lean muscle gains, just how much you gain will be determined by your training effort and diet but you can easily aim for 10-15lbs, and even more. If you’re wanting to shred fat while gaining muscle, Ostarine gets the body burning fat efficiently and you will notice that you’re maintaining excellent muscle strength even while dropping fat.
PCT: With RAD-140’s highly suppressive effects, this is a stack that WILL require PCT for the vast majority of users. Clomid is the ideal choice due to RAD-140’s quite high suppression. 25mg daily starting from the end of the cycle and running for 4 weeks should have you back up and running.
How fast do you see results from SARMs?
SARMs are fast acting compounds that start working very quickly in the body, so it’s entirely possible you can start seeing noticeable improvements in the very first days of your SARMs cycle. It will take longer to see noticeable muscle gains, but you can certainly see great improvements in strength and endurance during the first two to three days.
Do SARMs work like steroids?
SARMs are similar to anabolic steroids in that both bind to androgen receptors, BUT SARMs are very different because they only bind to SELECTIVE receptors (hence the name selective androgen receptor modulators). This essentially means SARMs can be a lot more targeted in the receptors they bind to for specific purposes, and reduce unwanted side effects that come from steroids that are binding to all your androgen receptors. SARMs mostly target skeletal muscle tissue which is what makes them so appealing for muscle growth and athletic uses.
What’s better RAD 140 or Ligandrol?
Both of these SARMs are powerful, but Ligandrol can have the edge when it comes to muscle gains and stamina. RAD 140 excels at strength and power gains. Both of these SARMs have their pros and cons but if muscle mass gains are your top priority, Ligandrol is likely to come out on top.
Which SARM is best for muscle gain?
All SARMs will promote muscle gains because they target androgen receptors in the skeletal muscle. Some are more effective at promoting big gains and out of all the SARMs and similar compounds currently available, the best for muscle gains is probably going to be YK-11.
How much muscle can you gain in a month with SARMs?
There are so many factors that will influence how much you can gain on a SARMs cycle, but let’s say you’re using one or more of the best muscle building SARMs, and your diet and training is as good as they can be – it’s more than possible to make gains of 15 pounds or more in a 12 week cycle. This is even more than a lot of guys can gain on steroids, which shows just how powerful SARMs can be.
Do you lose your gains after SARMs?
If you use a SARM for bulking that suppresses testosterone, then you don’t follow up with an effective PCT cycle you can definitely lose a lot of your gains due to low testosterone levels. This is one of many reasons PCT is so critical when using suppressive SARMs.
Do you need to do PCT with SARMs?
Some SARMs can actually suppress your testosterone, and even though it often won’t be at the same level of suppression caused by steroids, post cycle therapy can still be required. The most suppressive SARMs are YK-11, RAD-140 and Ligandrol. At the other end of the spectrum, Ostarine is one of the least suppressive SARMs and when using it alone, you are very unlikely to need PCT. SARMs PCT make use of the same drugs as steroid PCT – usually Clomid and/or Nolvadex used for four weeks after a SARMs cycle.
My Conclusion & Recommendation
For sheer muscle and strength gains, you can not look past my number one bulking stack pick which is RAD-140/YK-11. Yes this is a very powerful combo that is best suited for those with SARMs experience under the belt already, but you definitely will NOT be disappointed with the results.
Adding Ostarine to any SARMs bulking cycle will provide that extra edge if aesthetics is a priority and you really want to for the chiselled look as well as put on size. However, ANY of the above bulking stacks are going to deliver results that are probably better than you could imagine, and it is difficult to go wrong no matter what you choose.