If you’re familiar with SARMs you might think that YK11 is just another SARM that’s useful for bodybuilders. In fact YK-11 is a little different in the way it works and when it comes to potential results (which let’s face it, is what we’re really interested in), YK-11 can be placed near or even at the top of the pile of SARMs for muscle growth.
Some even call it the most powerful SARM and while that’s impossible to prove, there’s no doubt that YK11 is very effective and therefore should be a top consideration if you’re looking to get into SARMs or looking to try a new compound.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of SARMs.
In this guide, you'll learn:
What is YK-11?
YK-11 is a steroidal SARM so works a little differently than many other popular SARMs. It is a partial agonist of the androgen receptor and is often described as a hybrid between a steroid and a SARM.
YK-11 is very much a research SARM and while some other compounds have moved towards human studies and trials, research on YK-11 has stalled in its infancy with no scientific validation of what it can and can’t do, and no hard evidence of potential short term side effects or long term health impacts. This means that anecdotal evidence from users of YK-11 and their personal experiences is the main form of information about this compound.
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This gives us a good idea of what YK11 is capable of, however it should always be kept in mind that you could personally experience effects – either good or bad – that have not been shared by other users and this is one of the risks that comes with using a research compound like YK-11.
What we do know is that YK11 is great for making mass gains, can assist with fat loss, and helps shape the physique with no fluid retention. For these reasons it appeals to both bulking and cutting goals, while also being a compound that females can use.
YK-11 Benefits (YK11 Effects)
Muscle gains, fat loss and improved bone health are the main desirable benefits of SARMs for performance enhancing use.
There’s lots of benefits for bodybuilders with YK-11 and in all the critical areas that you want to focus on. Here are the main benefits and effects of YK11:
- Gain Lean Muscle – YK11 will stimulate the production of muscle cells and lead to muscle gains that are good as any you’ll get with a SARM; and even potentially as much as you can get with some steroids if you put the physical work in. Consider that many have gained at least 10lbs of quality muscle on an 8 week cycle of YK-11 and you begin to see the power of this SARM.
- Increase Bone Strength – We know that SARMs bind to androgen receptors in the bones and this can stimulate an improvement in bone mineral density which ultimately improves the strength and health of the bones. Strong and healthy bones provide the structure to allow you to lift heavier and to support your increased muscle growth.
- Fat Loss – There are other SARMs with more fat loss ability than YK11 but there’s no doubt this one will also boost fat burning, particularly as you’re gaining lean muscle so your metabolism is naturally going to become more efficient. More muscle equals faster fat burning, and it also means the metabolism keeps working to burn off fat even while you’re resting. Even if YK11 does not directly contribute to fat burning through its functionality, if you’re consuming a calorie deficit diet while cutting, and you’re working out hard and gaining muscle then you are undoubtedly going to lose a good amount of fat while using this SARM.
YK-11 is thought to promote muscle growth by increasing the growth of a critical muscle building protein called follistatin, while it has also shown to stimulate the the proteins that build bones, which is one of the properties that we see with many SARMs and why they are being seriously researched to treat osteoporosis.
These effects can lead to an increase in bone density and lean muscle gains which is highly desirable for the bodybuilder and elite athlete. But so far only cellular and some animal studies have been done on YK-11 and its benefit for humans at higher doses is anecdotal based on personal experiences.
It’s not uncommon to hear about gains of up to 15 pounds within one single cycle of YK-11, while fat reduction during this time can also be significant. This can make YK-11 useful not only for bulking up, but for cutting phases as well. If the diet supports it, YK-11 can help not only retain muscle tissue during cutting, but stimulate its growth too.
YK-11 Dosage and Cycles
YK11 is fully capable of delivering very impressive results at low doses so if you’re just starting out, there’s no need to worry that starting low won’t give you what you want: because even just 5mg per day is going to allow you some nice muscle gains even with a short cycle of just 4 weeks, although ideally you will extend this to 8 weeks.
Once you feel confident in using this SARM and are able to control any side effects that develop, a dose of 10mg is viable, while up to 15mg can be considered for more advanced users. No one should be going above 15mg because of the heightened risk of side effects. Most male users will find that 10mg daily is more than sufficient.
Women can use YK11 at low doses starting at just 0.5mg daily with a maximum of 2mg.
YK-11 has a short half life (although even it’s precise half life is yet to be confirmed through studies) so it’s advisable to split your dose into a twice daily administration so you’re able to maintain the most optimal level of the compound in the bloodstream.
YK11 has good bioavailability when taken orally and this is how most people will choose to take it, but some will select to inject the compound however this is considered an advanced strategy and not recommended for those who have no experience with injecting.
YK11 only cycle
This is a SARM that is more than powerful enough to use on its own with excellent results, and that is what many people do. The shortest and sharpest introduction cycle is to take just 5mg daily over a 4 to 6 week cycle.
New users to YK11 can use this short cycle to evaluate results, and you will see results within that short time frame while minimizing testosterone suppression. Once you feel more confident you can consider increasing the dosage to 10mg or even 15mg daily for an 8 week cycle. Note that a dose any higher than 15mg is not recommended.
YK11 bulking cycle
YK11 will bulk you up seriously when used on its own, but if you want to take things to another level there are some other SARMs and similar compounds you can stack it with. One of the common ones to use with YK-11 is LGD-4033 (Ligandrol). Super advanced users might even add a third compound, with Testolone (RAD-140) and Ostarine (MK-2866) being popular. But possibly the most powerful bulking and strength combo is that of YK11 stacked with RAD140.
This emphasis on boosting strength is important because this extra strength is going to power your workouts and bring on those bulking results much faster. Gains will also be nice and dry without issues of water retention. Dosages in this 8 week cycle can be set at 10mg daily for YK11 and 15mg daily of RAD-140. These doses will give you noticeable strength benefits within just the first week.
YK11 cutting cycle
S4 (Andarine) and Cardarine are two compounds that will provide an exceptional cutting cycle when stacked with YK11. If you only choose one compound to stack with YK-11, which is the best strategy to start with, then consider Cardarine. While it’s not strictly a SARM, it is very effective for stimulating fat burning and is a popular cutting compound on its own.
At low doses Cardarine is effective and boosting endurance which is going to propel your workouts for quicker fat burning. 10mg of Cardarine daily combined with just 5mg daily of YK-11 will promote muscle retention, some possible muscle gains and importantly, fat loss and physique hardening without water retention or gyno.
YK11 Post Cycle Therapy
Do you need to do post cycle therapy after using YK11? Yes, it’s always ideal to have your PCT ready to go. You can expect some suppression of testosterone with this SARM, ranging from mild to moderate depending on your dose.
If you’ve used steroids before then you can expect YK-11 to not cause a testosterone crash or complete suppression, but you should not go into using YK11 thinking it’ll have zero effect on testosterone; virtually all SARMs suppress to some extent.
If you’re stacking YK11 with one or more other compounds you can expect more suppression; but again this depends on doses and cycle lengths.
Standard PCT protocols can be followed with the length of PCT unlikely to require being as long as you’d complete after steroids. A minimum of 4 weeks is still recommended. The most commonly used PCT drugs will be highly effective after a YK11 cycle, with those being Clomid and Nolvadex. It’s highly unlikely you would need to take PCT further by using HCG which is common after steroids.
Signs of lowered testosterone include lack of energy, loss of muscle, fat gain, low libido and general feelings of being unwell. It’s best not to wait for these signs to occur and instead to be proactive in getting PCT going after your YK-11 cycle.
YK11 vs Other SARMs vs Steroids
YK-11 is different to many of the other SARMs we are familiar with as it is as a steroidal SARM. Non-steroidal SARMs are a relatively new development, but the first steroidal SARMs were being developed way back in the 1940s. As a steroidal SARM, YK11 was developed by modifying DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) which is an androgen hormone.
So even though its more similar to steroids than other SARMs and gives you some similar results to steroids, although rarely as extreme when it comes to muscle gains, YK-11 should not be confused as a steroid. It gives you some steroid benefits without the most serious downsides and side effects.
Compared with other SARMs, YK-11 does come with its share of side effects that are not always apparent with other SARMs. Many other won’t, for example, cause the potential hair loss that YK-11 can. Again, this is due to this SARM’s modification of DHT which is not an issue with non-steroidal SARMs.
All in all, YK-11 is about as close as you can get to a steroid cycle without it being one so it sits in the middle of anabolic steroids and most other SARMs used for performance enhancement.
There are several factors that are going to contribute to your results with YK11: your dosage, the length of your cycle, any other compounds you might stack it with, your diet, your workouts, and your current physique and fitness level. That’s a lot of variables to consider, but this is a SARM that is most likely to appeal to guys who are already heavily into bodybuilding so have a solid idea of the work that needs to be put into the gym and the diet to achieve results.
With this in mind, you can expect to see superb gains even on the lowest doses of YK11 and short cycles, so those just starting out can still look forward awesome results, such as gaining up to 5 pounds of quality muscle and losing a percentage or two of body fat during a cycle of just four weeks taking only 5mg daily.
If you want to take things further then you can potentially match some of the bigger gains people are making on longer cycles of 8 weeks at 10-15mg daily, in the real of up to 15 pounds of solid muscle gained. This is right into anabolic steroid territory and shows us just how powerful the YK-11 SARM is as results like that are difficult to come by with the majority of other SARMs.
Users of YK11 often note that it starts working quickly, with some people noticing gains in as little as one week. For most users you will be looking to evaluate your results over the entire cycle with a realistic expectation that high quality and sustainable gains are going to reward those who stick with YK-11 and a quality workout regime for an entire cycle of 6 or 8 weeks.
In addition to mass gains, by the halfway point in a cycle you should be noticing loss of fat and an increasingly defined physique. If cutting is your goal you’ll be on a calorie deficit diet and your fat loss will be more substantial. The physique will also be hard and dry because this compound doesn’t cause fluid retention.
YK11 Side Effects
Many like to think of SARMs as being side effect free, but this is rarely the case. YK11 certainly comes with less side effects compared to anabolic steroids but there are still going to be things to watch out for.
Most important is the fact that this SARM has no research or studies so far to confirm adverse effects so what we do know comes from those who have been using YK-11 and have recorded and shared their own experiences.
This means there could be negative impacts that you personally experience that are still not widely known; for this reason it’s always wise to begin YK11 at low doses until you know how it affects you as an individual.
Here are the known possible side effects that come with using YK11:
This could be the most talked about side effect of this SARM and it brings to mind the issue of “roid rage” which steroids are notorious for (although not always accurately). A potential increase in aggressive tendencies can come about because of alterations to the balance of hormones which can impact on mood.
Some users note that this is more noticeable at the start of the cycle when things start kicking in. Those who are already prone to bad moods or being quick to anger are going to be at higher risk of having that personality trait worsened when using YK11, especially at higher doses.
To minimize this potentially serious side effect which can have repercussions not only on yourself, but other people around you, lower your YK-11 dosage to a point where aggression management is made possible. For many YK11 users, this can become the most concerning side effect rather than any physical effects.
The next most common side effect being reported relates to development of pain in the joints. It’s not known exactly why this happens but possibly relates to YK11’s effect on the regulation of cortisol which is a function of DHT itself and is a reason why DHT derived steroids like Winstrol are also known for causing joint pain.
The type of pain can vary. Some users have noted a sudden onset of sharp pain in places like the knees while others report ongoing low intensity pain in various joints. Another related issue is of tendon pain that some users have made note of. Naturally these problems can make it harder to lift weights and to recover quickly. Again, play with your doses to get control of this side effect if you notice joint or tendon pain developing.
Hair Loss and Acne
There can be some mild androgenic related effects in some users of YK11 and one of those is hair loss; a side effect that will be familiar to users of steroids. Acne is another androgenic effect that some people might experience, but this is usually mild compared to the severe acne that can sometimes occur with steroids.
But just like with steroids, these impacts will mostly only affect people who are genetically predisposed to either baldness or acne, and most guys aren’t going to see this issues popping up unless you’re using very high doses of YK11 (which is not recommended for numerous reasons).
YK11 is likely to cause at least mild suppression of normal testosterone function. Higher doses and longer cycles put you at higher risk of higher suppression. Stacking YK11 with one or more other SARMs or other compounds is almost certain to increase suppression enough that it will become noticeable, particularly with issues like fatigue and potentially losing some muscle gains and gaining fat after your cycle.
This is a clear sign of low testosterone so to avoid these negative impacts it’s wise to have PCT ready to go following your YK11 cycle; both from a health perspective to and retain the gains you’ve worked so hard for.
What about the side effects that you might be familiar with from anabolic steroids?
YK-11 has not shown any evidence that it can raise estrogen levels, and users report that there is no water retention. So we can expect no estrogenic related side effects with this compound. This means no bloating and no gyno to deal with.
We know that androgenic effects are a mild possibility, but not to the most extreme extent compared with steroids.
Then there’s the issue of liver toxicity. There is simply not enough evidence either way that YK-11 can damage the liver but there is certainly the possibility of liver stress occurring, especially at higher doses with YK-11 being a compound that most people take orally.
If you have a pre-existing liver condition it’s wise to be very careful with your YK11 doses. Liver support supplements can provide some protection, but if you’re especially concerned about the impact on the liver blood tests can be performed to note any changes in the liver.
Is YK11 a steroid?
YK11 is not an anabolic steroid, but it is a steroidal SARM which means it has been created based on a steroid hormone – in this case it is DHT. This makes it more like a real steroid compared to the most modern SARMs which are non-steroidal. The difference between this SARM and real steroids is that YK-11 still only has selective targeting of androgen receptors, mostly in the bones and muscles.
What should I stack with YK-11?
YK-11 is going to give you outstanding results when used on its own. For many users, this will be enough. But for those more confident and advanced users, you might consider stacking it with other compounds and YK11 is compatible for stacking with other SARMs but it’s not a recommended strategy for beginners. Once you do start stacking, the dosage of YK11 is mostly recommended to stay at the 5mg daily limit because you’re going to have to deal with additional side effects from the other SARMs or compounds you’re using. You can stack YK-11 with almost any SARM, with some of the best choices being RAD140, LGD-4033 and Andarine.
Is YK11 dangerous?
Any substance has the potential to be dangerous when used outside a medical setting and at higher doses for performance enhancement purposes, and this is even more so for a compound like YK11 which is purely a research chemical at this time and has had no studies at all undertaken on it. This means that you use YK11 at your own risk and always be aware that you could experience complications or negative effects that are unknown or unexpected. To play it safest, never exceed the highest recommended dose of YK-11.
Do you need PCT after YK11?
YK11 can cause some suppression of testosterone but the level of this is unlikely to be near that of steroids. Most guys can expect some drop in testosterone levels even at the lower dose of 5mg, and the longer your cycle the more suppression you will experience and the greater the need for PCT will be. All users of YK11 should have a PCT plan and be ready to implement it at least for a short time of three or four weeks.
What is YK 11 used for?
YK11 is used for muscle building purposes as its primary goal by bodybuilders. It has no medical uses and is only in the early stages of research so there is still much to learn about it. The other big benefit of YK11 is its ability to promote bone strength by increasing mineral density. It might also help with fat loss, although it is not considered primarily to be a fat burning SARM.
Will YK11 show up on a drug test?
All SARMs are prohibited in competitive sports and many athletes have been caught through drug testing with SARMs in their system, and YK11 is no different in this regard. Not enough is known about YK11 to know how long it stays in the system and how much needs to be present to show up in drug testing; therefore if you’re a competitor using YK11 then this is a risk that needs to be considered.
Does YK11 cause hair loss?
YK11 can potentially cause some hair loss or male pattern baldness in some men who are already predisposed to this condition. The androgenic activity that causes hair loss isn’t as strong in YK11 as it is in steroids and not everyone will experience this side effect, but it is definitely possible and the risk becomes higher as you raise your YK-11 dosage.
Does YK11 increase testosterone?
Even though YK-11 has been created based on DHT, it still doesn’t impact on hormones in the same way that anabolic steroids do. YK11 doesn’t boost testosterone levels to promote anabolic activity, instead it targets certain androgen receptors in the muscles and increases the anabolic activity in those specific areas.
Is YK 11 a SARM?
Yes, YK11 is a SARM (selective androgen receptor modulator). It is an older type of SARM known as a steroidal SARM, while the newer SARMs being developed today are mostly of the non-steroidal type. They all still work to only target specific androgen receptors in the muscles and bones which makes YK11 effective for muscle growth and improving bone strength.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
YK-11 is known as a very potent SARM, even though it is quite new and we are still in the learning phase of knowing exactly what it can help bodybuilders and athletes achieve, as well as its short and longer term negative impacts.
Between 2mg and 5mg daily is considered the ideal male dosage of YK-11. Women will be best served at a much lower dosage, sometimes as low as 0.5mg daily still giving excellent results. With time and evaluating results and side effects, some women will increase YK-11 up to 2mg daily.
If you choose to give YK-11 a try always buy from a reputable source because low quality and counterfeits do exist with this compound, and taking such products is not only detrimental to your results but more importantly is a huge health risk.
Increased aggression is a problem that some experience with YK-11 and again this is going to be dosage dependent, as well as highly individual If you are normally prone to anger or having a short fuse, then YK-11 is likely to trigger that and this is needs to be kept in mind when formulating your dosage.
We do see some unique side effects with this SARM that aren’t often seen with other compounds, and some of these are similar to what anabolic steroids can produce in addition to increased aggression. This can include unexpected hair growth plus joint weakening, as well as the aforementioned liver toxicity risk. This makes YK-11 one of the more potent SARMs not only in its positive effects, but the negatives too.