What is Ostarine
Ostarine is a compound that is still undergoing trials by its creator company — the GTX Inc. It falls under the category of SARMs, a new hit in the fitness and bodybuilding world. We will try to explain how to properly use Ostarine during the bulking and cutting phases, as well as during body recomposition.
As it usually happens, medicinal advances have a carryover to bodybuilding. Such is the case with Ostarine (MK-2866, being Ostarine’s generic name), which was originally meant to serve as a treatment against osteoporosis and muscle wasting diseases. You already know where this is going. Ostarine is a compound that is still undergoing trials by its creator company — the GTX Inc. It falls under the category of SARMs, a new hit in the fitness and bodybuilding world.
We will start this article with some basic info about SARMs. Here, you will see what they are, how they work and what applications they have. In this part, you will also be able to understand how the regulation of these products works. After that, the focus will shift to medicinal Ostarin. The biggest part, however, will cover Ostarine use in the fitness community. We will try to explain how to properly use Ostarine during the bulking and cutting phases, as well as during body recomposition. This is the heart of the article, and if you aren’t interested in medicinal usage, the science, or regulation, we recommend skipping to that part now.
What are SARMs?
SARMs are a relative newcomer to the fitness scene. We use the word “relative” since the steroidal SARMs have been around for decades. Nonsteroidal ones, however, are new and untested. The word itself is an acronym which stands for Selective Androgen Receptive Modulator. The main difference between nonsteroidal SARMs and anabolic steroids is the scale on which SARMs operate. Testosterone in the form of anabolic steroids cannot have a targeted function, while SARMs can be used to affect particular types of tissue by selectively targeting androgen receptors in various tissues differently. This means that they can have an effect on androgen receptors in muscles only, with limited or no effects to the endocrine system. A popular comparison exists on the web: “If steroids are carpet bombs, SARMs are laser-guided bombs.” And it makes perfect sense.
How do they work?
SARMs stimulate androgen receptors specifically in muscle and bone cells, assisting muscle and bone growth. They have little to no effect on the other cells in the body (unlike regular steroids). The key to their success is their affinity towards muscle and bone tissue without affecting anything else. We have all seen the hideous side effects of HGH — the elongated jawline, bloated fingers, and so on. SARMs will not deform your body.
Another big difference is the way you can apply them. While orally applied steroids can cause liver damage, that is not the case with SARMs. Virilization — the process of developing male secondary sexual characteristics is present as a side effect when used in higher dosages. When used in small dosages, virilization is not present, making SARMs a useful resource in battling the aforementioned diseases in women.
However, there is an issue with most SARMs. Metabolite MI is found in a lot of these compounds, and it can affect vision. As mentioned before, it has androgenic properties which may damage the prostate and colon.
This is why the World Anti-doping agency has banned SARMs as of 2008. Examples of professional athletes using Ostarine are Joakim Noah from Chicago Bulls and Florida Gators QB, Will Grier. Noah received a 20 game suspension in 2017. Grier’s case is controversial to this day without having had any sort of closure.
Ostarine is prohibited under the S1 Anabolic Agent category of the WADA Prohibited List. The number of positive tests involving Ostarine has increased steadily over the past few years, with WADA reporting 28 all over the world in 2015.
In an article written by Shalender Bashin, MD, and Ravi Jasuja, PhD, the following summary is stated: “SARMs hold promise as a new class of function promoting anabolic therapies for a number of clinical indications, including functional limitations associated with aging and chronic disease, frailty, cancer cachexia, and osteoporosis.”
Further down the study, we can find that the therapies for these conditions revolve around tissue selective activation and limited hormonal changes. Since Ostarine produces no virilization, it is safe for female use as well.
As we grow old, we lose skeletal muscle mass due to loss of type 2 muscles. This, in turn, increases the risks of falls, fractures, mobility limitation, physical disability. Our quality of life will suffer. Certain chronic illnesses, such as end-stage renal disease, obstructive lung disease, and heart failure are punctuated by the loss of muscle mass. Ostarine can prevent the collapse of a functioning human skeletal muscle system and prevent these problems from ever happening.
Ostarine in the fitness community
Ostarine is probably the most popular SARM in the fitness community. Its main strength lies in the fact that it has an anabolic effect with no aromatizing side effects. That means that Ostarine targets androgen receptors but does not convert into estrogen. It does not contain the problematic metabolite MI. On the other hand, Ostarine will:
- Increase your lean muscle mass
- Increase your lifts
- Increase your endurance
This is probably the best and the safest SARM on the market. You can expect the same results using Ostarine as the ones you can obtain from a cycle of Dianabol without all the bad side effects.
It will bind to androgen receptors, but it will not convert DHT into estrogen. As we all know, aromatization is the main problem of using steroids. With this problem out of the picture, Ostarine and other SARMs will dominate the PED market in the years to come.
How does Ostarine work?
Ostarine produces anabolic processes at a selected group of androgen receptors. If we compare Ostarine to “test boosters” and anabolic steroids, we will notice that Ostarine does not have an effect on non-skeletal muscles.
Since most bodybuilders still live by their bulking and cutting cycles, we will break down the proper usage of Ostarine for each of them.
Experts recommend a 4–6-week cycle of Ostarine for optimal gains while taking one dose of 24–36 mg per day. Gaining 15 lbs of lean muscle mass with no water retention is a perfectly achievable reality in this time frame. A lot of people worry about losing their newly-gained muscles after the cycle ends. You can alleviate this problem by taking Clomid or Tribestan in your last week of the cycle. This way, you can be sure that no muscle loss will occur once you stop.
As we’ve mentioned before, Ostarine does not have any aromatizing side effects. You will not grow man boobs or lose your hair. This is why it’s so awesome.
Pro tip: Preload your intake. Start with 50% of the dose on week 1 and gradually increase it in the following weeks. Your gains will improve considerably.
If you are interested in the biggest gains possible, use a combination of Ostarine, RAD-140, Ligandrol, and Cardarine. You will experience deeper, high-quality sleep using this combination of SARMs and some insane muscle gains while staying relatively lean.
Remember when we said that SARMs were originally designed for preventing muscle loss? This is why they are perfect for your cutting cycle. While running a caloric deficit, the body takes away nutrients not only from its fat deposits but from muscle mass as well. This is how muscle atrophy happens on a cut. Since we all want to show our newly acquired gains, losing them is not an option. Ostarine can help you here as well. Using 15 mg per day is recommended. Remember not to overdo your strict cardio routines and focus on strength and circuit training. This is the way to maximize your cutting results.
Most users reported incredible results by stacking Ostarine with a few other SARMs while cutting. Probably the best combination is the one involving Andarine, Ostarine, and Cardarine. The total dosage of these three SARMs should not exceed the recommended dosage for only using Ostarine.
Treating injuries with Ostarine
Ostarine has beneficial effects on joint and tendon health as well. As we’ve mentioned earlier, Ostarine’s original purpose was to treat osteoporosis by increasing bone density. This process has a carryover effect on joints. Stronger joints and tendons mean better workouts. However, this does not mean that you can throw proper form out of the window and go all out on the weights. Training smart is the basis for your progress, and Ostarine is its best addon. If you have an injury, most researchers point out that the proper dosage for the healing process is 12.5mg a day.
Fitness routine for the out-of-the-box thinkers, as some like to call it, is gaining popularity nowadays. It is especially welcoming to beginners who haven’t experienced their “noob gains“. It allows newcomers to lose fat while gaining moderate amounts of muscle mass. Since these two processes are hard to combine for non-enhanced experienced lifters, Ostarine comes into play.
Staying just a bit over your maintenance calorie intake while using Ostarine will allow you to recompose your body, even if you have been lifting for years. Don’t expect to gain as much muscle as on a pure bulk or lose as much as on a cut, but you will add a few pounds while losing a couple of inches of your waist.
I have mentioned a couple of times that Ostarine has no steroid-like side effects due to it not having aromatizing qualities. But it is important to mention that GTX Inc. has never released the full ingredient list for Ostarine. Anecdotal reports provide us with stories of heat waves, sweating, lethargy and disrupted sleep. However, these side effects aren’t as nearly as serious as the ones anabolic steroids can have.
FDA and Ostarine
Since the FDA has not approved this product yet, most of Ostarine comes from overseas (notably China) and can be ordered over the Internet only. There is no way to test the safety of Internet-ordered products from foreign countries with little to no quality control and regulation.
Back in 2013, some supplement companies began selling SARMs as supplements. FDA declared that these sales are in direct violation of Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and the intellectual rights of the patent holders. Later on, in 2017, the authorities have found that most of these supplements do not contain any SARMs.
You can see how big of an issue this is by reading an FDA statement about raiding caches of Ostarine with different brand names. Many PEDs are able to work around the frame of regulation by classifying themselves as dietary supplements. This makes them immune to pre-market studies.
FDA has its own investigative unit which deals with mislabeling. That unit has reached the conclusion that SARMs sold in the United States are “dietary supplements” in name only and not considered as such by the government.
This is the main issue with Ostarine and SARMs in general.
In conclusion — OK, but should I get Ostarine?
This is a complex question, or rather a question with a complex answer. It depends on a lot of factors, including — years spent training, age, testosterone levels, injuries, and how adventurous you feel. All the data so far shows that there are no short-term or long-term side effects to taking Ostarine. If you are a young guy in his early twenties who just started working out, the answer is no. You will not need PEDs in the years to come. On the other hand, if you have maxed out your genetic potential, have a low testosterone count, or are experiencing injuries, Ostarine is your best friend.
Reading through this article may set your mind on whether or not to take Ostarine. However, there are some rules you need to follow if you want to start consuming Ostarine. First, don’t buy it from shady websites. Second, don’t buy it from even shadier locker room guys. Third, consult your physician before beginning your cycle. Fourth, don’t mix Ostarine with anabolic steroids. Fifth, don’t spout unsolicited advice to younger guys about taking SARMs.
These rules apply to every single PED out there. Just because Ostarine is safer than all of them doesn’t mean you should throw them out of the window. Having successful training means using your brain, doing your research, and training smart.
Since you are reading this, you are on the right track.