Ligandrol, the new hype
When you hear the word “steroids”, does your mind conjure the images of perfectly sculpted bodies? Or do you immediately start thinking about the side effects that these drugs produce on your body? No matter which group you belong to, this one might interest you. I will be analyzing a relatively new drug by the name of Ligandrol, or LGD-4033. Fitness forums are praising this SARM as one of the most effective in terms of increased muscle mass and that with zero side effects.
I will delve into the mystery that is this drug, how it was created, what it’s used for and give you the facts concerning its benefits, side effects, dosages and what to expect in general when using this particular SARM.
What is LGD-4033?
Concerns about the usage of steroids have led to the development of SARMs, or selective androgen receptor modulators. What these modulators do is that they stimulate the androgen receptors in just muscle and bone, thus avoiding all the bad effects of steroids. LGD-4033, also known as Ligandrol or Ambolicum, is one of the best and the most popular SARMs among the health-conscious athletes and in the fitness community. It is a new nonsteroidal, oral selective androgen receptor modulator that binds androgen receptors with high affinity and selectivity.
It was discovered by Ligand Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of conditions such as muscle wasting and osteoporosis. It’s currently under development by Viking Therapeutics.
The medical use of LGD-4033
Primarily, this drug was created to treat some cancer-related symptoms, like muscle loss and cachexia, as well as osteoporosis. It’s also used to treat age-related muscle atrophy. This tissue-selective anabolic agent focuses on building muscle mass and strengthening of bones, without the negative side-effects on prostate, skin, and hair.
How SARMs work?
You might be wondering what a SARM is. SARM stands for selective androgen receptor modulator. That does not help us much now, does it? Let me try to explain what do they do.
Androgens are hormones in our body that are in charge of masculinity features, such as deep voice, Adam’s apple, broadening of the shoulders and increased muscle mass. They can be natural and synthetic and the main androgen is Testosteron. These hormones use receptors located throughout our body to “deliver the message”. They tell the muscle to get bigger, bone to get stronger, hair to grow on a specific area of your body and so on. When you are stimulating all the androgen receptors in your body (like when you are taking testosterone and some of the steroids), you may inflict potential damage to your body and health.
Now, when you are using selective androgen receptive modulators, you are mostly “modulating” the receptors in your muscles and bones. You are stimulating your muscles to build their mass, and it prevents muscle wasting even if you are in a caloric deficit.
LGD-4033 is currently an Investigational New Drug. One clinical study claims that “dose-dependent increase in lean body mass was observed with no significant adverse events over 21 days”, but fat mass did not change significantly. Another study shows promising results in patients recovering from hip injury.
Now that we understand how it works and what medical experts are saying about it, let’s see what we can gain by using Ligandrol.
Athletes have been very impressed by what they have experienced when using Anabolicum (LGD-4033). This includes:
- Increased muscle mass
- A decrease in body fat
- Increase in strength
- Faster recovery
- Greater endurance
- Injury prevention
- Injury repair
Increased muscle mass and an increase in strength are both results of the selective activation of androgen receptors in the muscles. Faster recovery from injuries and prevention of ones comes directly from activating the same receptors in the bone tissue.
Throughout the fitness and steroid user forums people are swearing in its efficiency. They say that “the LGD-4033 is the most powerful SARM in terms of size you can get”. Also, one expert says that “using LGD-4033 is recommended if you want to bulk up and drop fat sans steroids, as we all know steroids have harsh side effects.” Fitness community recommends this product for recompositing your body and building lean body mass.
Overall, one doesn’t need much to conclude that SARMs in general, and especially LGD-4033, are gaining in popularity with members of this community. Mostly this has to do with a whole variety of benefits but also with minimal side effects of these drugs.
Side effects of steroids
For years, weightlifters and bodybuilders have been using steroids to boost their muscle mass and increase their strength. This comes with a wide variety of side effects, some of which are:
- Shrinking of the testicles,
- The growth of breast tissue in men,
- Heart problems,
- Elevated blood pressure,
- Rapid mood swings,
- Anger and aggression (“roid rage”),
- Kidney failure,
- Tumors in the liver.
One common side effect between all steroids is they cause testosterone suppression. All steroids cause some level of testosterone suppression, but some of them cause long-term suppression effect that is very difficult to recover from.
There are some other concerns regarding steroid use, like the necessity of needles and injections and, of course, legal concerns. After all, steroids are illegal and keeping them hidden or having them on hand can bring up a host of legal problems.
Side effects of Ligandrol
Unlike their steroid ancestors, SARMs do not produce a fraction of these side effects. Furthermore, it is an oral drug, thus ignoring the inconveniences that are needles and injections. Let us discuss how it is that the side effects of using these drugs are minimal.
As I’ve stated before, SARMs get the job done without all the sloppiness and collateral damage of the traditional steroids. These drugs do this in two different ways:
- They activate the receptors in certain tissues, like muscle and bone, but not in others, like the prostate, liver and brain.
- They do not break down into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or estrogen, which are the causes of unwanted side effects.
Finally, because SARMs are less powerful than regular steroids, they don’t suppress natural testosterone production as heavily, making them easier to recover from. “As heavily” are the key words here.
Minimal effects don’t mean there are no effects at all. In fact, one study on Ligandrol showed dose-dependent suppression of total testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Therefore, there are some concerns, but they are much milder than those related to steroid use. SARMs also aren’t as anabolic as pure testosterone, which means they probably don’t suppress natural testosterone as much. That makes these conditions easier to recover from.
Bottom line, SARMs seems to be safer to use than traditional steroids, and with fewer side effects. But that doesn’t mean they are completely safe. You should definitely be careful when using any investigational drug and do regular health checks.
In both clinical trials done with LGD-4033, they used surprisingly low doses. In the one using 1 mg a day on young healthy males, the result was an increase of lean body mass averaging 1,21 kg.
I’ve read opposing opinions when it comes to the dosage of this supplement. Some people like to run it solo and some prefer to stack it with other products for faster and better results. You can choose the way that suits your goals and style.
It has a half-life of about 30 hours, so you can take 10mg per day orally. This is the upper tolerable limit for males, and for females, the upper tolerable limit is 5 mg per day.
Some athletes used as much as 20 mg per day, which produced some great results, but the recommendation is that you don’t go over 10 mg/5 mg dose, just to be safe.
It doesn’t matter whether you take it with food or on an empty stomach, and timing isn’t that important. Some people, though, recommend taking it with your breakfast or just before you start exercising.
The duration of the cycle should be 8 to 12 weeks to reach a satisfactory mass, followed by a post-cycle therapy of 4 to 5 weeks. Steroids like the LGD 4033 produce the best results in shorter cycles. If you decide to go for the longer cycle make sure not to exceed 12 weeks at a time. The best thing is to start at 5mg and work from there, depending on your goals and body type.
As for stacking… Yes, it’s perfectly safe for stacking with other supplements. In a stack, it can be used for:
- Strengthening and recomping.
Used by itself, this drug is not as effective as other SARMs for fat loss. However, if you use it in a triple stack with Cardarine and Ostarine, it can be super effective in terms of weight loss, and you can gain some lean mass along the way.
For best results at cutting, a dose of 3–5 mg a day is recommended for an 8-week cycle.
For bulking, a stack with Nutrobal (MK-677) is recommended. MK 677 is a growth hormone secretagogue. Essentially, it signals the pituitary gland to produce more growth hormones. Higher levels of this hormone will prevent getting fat, even when you are eating in a caloric surplus. It has some extra perks, like faster recovery, an increase in sleep quality and sleep duration. And it doesn’t affect natural testosterone level.
Dosage is the 10 mg per day in the 8–12-week cycle. You can use MK 677 in a 16-week cycle, which means that you can use it during your PCT to help you keep the bulk you gained during the cycle.
To further enhance the capabilities of LGD-4033, it is best to stack it with another SARM drug, such as Cardarine (GW501516). This drug was originally developed by Ligand Pharmaceuticals to treat obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It’s the best SARM for the increase of fat oxidation and cardiovascular endurance.
If recomposition is your goal, you should stick to a 5–8 mg/day dose of LGD-4033 for 8 weeks.
Is PCT required?
Yes, it is. Although testosterone suppression is significantly less observed than that with anabolic steroids, there is a certain level of suppression this drug causes on both the total and free testosterone. Therefore, full PCT is necessary, unlike the mini-PCT which is often sufficient for other SARMs.
What can you expect with LGD-4033?
From what I’ve read from people with experience with this drug, these are the main gains that you can expect from using it.
- Gaining lean muscle mass — As mentioned above, the study showed an increase of 1,21 kg body mass just by using 1 mg a day for 21 days in young healthy males. The results in an 8 or 12-week cycle are stunning.
- Gaining strength — You should be able to notice the difference in lifting strength and cardiovascular strength after only three weeks. On one of the fitness forums, Connie says she ran LGD-4033 and Cardarine followed with a good diet and trained 3-4X per week in the gym. She says she went from benching 80 pounds to 110 pounds in 12 weeks.
- Fat loss — Because this drug stimulates the growth of muscle tissue, your body needs a lot of energy to sustain itself and to enable growth of extra muscle mass. It burns fat to gain that energy.
- Feeling good — This drug does not cause mood swings. It keeps you in a positive and uplifting mood the whole day.
Is LGD-4033 for you?
In the end, it all comes to your goals and preferences. My own opinion is that when you weigh all the pros and cons of this SARM and compare it to other steroids, the decision is obvious.
With time, we tend to invent things that will improve our quality of life. We discover resources that can help us reach our goals faster and safer. The motto “The end justifies the means” is no longer applicable in this world of countless means and resources at our disposal. We must decide which path is the one that most suits our values and lifestyle. With that in mind, deciding to use SARMs over any other steroid is a valuable decision in my opinion.