SARMs Before and After Pictures (Typical Results)
Disclaimer: SARMs are only to be used for research purposes, as they are non-FDA approved compounds and thus may cause adverse effects. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultations.
The two main questions that surround SARMs are:
- How do the results compare to steroids?
- Are they safer than steroids?
In this article, we will feature several SARMs before and after transformations, giving you anecdotal evidence of the amount of muscle mass and fat loss being experienced by users.
- 1 SARMs Before and After Transformation #1
- 2 SARMs Before and After Transformation #2
- 3 SARMs Results vs Steroids
- 4 Are the results of SARMs worth the risk?
SARMs Before and After Transformation #1
This is a 5-week before and after picture demonstrating the combined effects of RAD 140 (Testolone), LGD-4033 (Ligandrol), and MK-677 (Ibutamoren).
RAD140 and LGD-4033 are two of the most potent SARMs available today. MK-677 is technically a growth hormone secretagogues (GHS), although it is often stacked with SARMs.
Moderate Muscle Growth
This user has clearly experienced improvements in muscle hypertrophy, with a visual gain of 10–15 pounds.
However, there is an argument that a SARM cycle (like the one above) may be less potent than a typical steroid cycle.
In early human trials, researchers analysed the effects of SARMs vs steroids (testosterone enanthate). They found that testosterone-users built 5-7kg of lean mass, compared to just 1-1.5kg in the SARMs group, over 4-6 weeks (1).
However, based on this user’s results, who has achieved a thicker overall look (particularly in the quadriceps), it would seem unrealistic that steroid users would experience 5x his results.
Best SARMs Company in 2023
Visceral Fat Increase
However, there also appears to be a significant increase in visceral fat, creating a more bloated or protruding effect on the midsection.
We have also found visceral fat accumulation to be common among steroid users, raising estrogen levels and consequently causing insulin resistance.
SARMs are not inherently estrogenic, as the aromatase enzyme is not present; however, they do still raise estrogen levels indirectly. The reason this female hormone can still spike is due to SARMs’ high affinity when binding to AR (androgen receptors).
Typically, our natural testosterone would bind to AR; however, SARMs have a higher binding affinity, and thus our natural testosterone production loses out. Instead, there is now more readily available testosterone that can convert to estrogen and DHT.
This can cause estrogen dominance, resulting in visceral fat storage, water retention, and gynecomastia.
DHT dominance can also lead to hair loss (on the scalp), acne, and prostate enlargement.
SARMs’ tissue selectivity aims to inhibit the above side effects; however, in reality, we still see them occur (via this indirect mechanism).
Increased DHT levels will also promote beard growth, as hair follicles are more sensitive to this androgenic hormone in comparison to testosterone (2). Such beard growth is evident in the above user, increasing the overall masculine appearance of his facial region.
MK-677 and Gut Hypertrophy
MK-677 (Ibutamoren), one of the compounds administered in this user’s stack, can exacerbate visceral fat storage due to the increased GH (growth hormone) secretion. Growth hormone, similar to estrogen, increases blood sugar levels, causing insulin resistance and this steroid gut, or HGH gut, appearance.
Interestingly, research on rats has shown MK-677 to increase peak GH concentrations by 1.8 fold over a six-week cycle (3). However, MK-677 also decreased SST receptor (SSTR)-2 mRNA expression in the pituitary gland, consequently failing to increase the growth or size of the rodents.
SARMs Before and After Transformation #2
This user performed a 12-week cycle of RAD 140 (Testolone) at 17 mg/day.
He gained 5 lbs in weight; however, he ate in a small calorie surplus, thus contributing to some fat gain.
Despite experiencing minimal muscle gains, he reported significant improvements in muscular strength, which were particularly noticeable from week 6. Although all of his lifts increased drastically, he specifically reported adding 90 pounds to his flat and incline bench presses.
The user experienced dramatic testosterone suppression, dropping from 750 to 193 ng/dL, indicating damage to the HPTA (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis) and hypogonadism. Generally, we find this to be a temporary effect, with testosterone levels set to recover post-cycle (assuming no other anabolic substances are administered).
Adverse Liver and Heart Effects
He also reported AST/ALT liver enzymes being excessively high post-cycle, in conjunction with his blood lipids deteriorating. Thus, SARMs can increase the risk of heart disease or liver failure.
Such side effects, regarding liver and cardiovascular toxicity, align with what we have observed from analysing the labs of 2,000 SARM users over a 10-year period. Consequently, Dr. Thomas O’Connor is now of the opinion that SARMs are more dangerous than steroids.
We find RAD 140’s hepatotoxicity particularly concerning, based on our patient LFTs (liver function tests) and additional medical research, with scientists diagnosing a 49-year-old male with hepatocellular-cholestatic liver injury (4). He had taken RAD 140 for 4 weeks (with infrequent use afterward).
Fake RAD 140?
Due to the high amounts of counterfeit SARM products on the market, one could hypothesize that this user’s RAD 140 was potentially diluted or completely void of the true compound, hence his lack of results.
However, given the severity of his side effects, impressive strength results, and the fact that the specified manufacturer (*confidential*) has a very positive reputation, this conclusion is unlikely.
This user also mentioned an obvious loss of hair towards the latter stage of his cycle, indicating significantly higher DHT (dihydrotestosterone) levels. This is unlikely to be an issue for those using SARMs sporadically, as once a cycle ceases, hair typically thickens back to normal levels.
However, with regular SARM use, hair thinning, recession, or loss can be permanent, accelerating male pattern baldness.
SARMs Results vs Steroids
The before and after pictures (above) are typical results from a first SARMs cycle. Thus, it is evident that SARMs-users are hypo-responders, compared to steroid-users, who are hyper-responders, in terms of muscularity and fat loss.
First Steroid Cycle
The before and after pictures below demonstrate typical gains from a first steroid cycle.
This user administered conservative dosages of Testosterone, adding roughly 20 pounds of lean mass while also significantly reducing his body fat percentage and enhancing muscle definition.
In contrast, SARMs-users are likely to experience negligible reductions in subcutaneous body fat, with only small increases in muscle hypertrophy, equating to roughly 5 lbs.
From Natural to SARMs
This user is natural on the left, and the picture on the right is after regular S4, Ostarine and GH (growth hormone) cycles. Increased thickness in the back is evident, as is growth all over the body.
From SARMs to Steroids
This shows the vast difference in potency between SARMs and steroids, with the latter being more effective at adding muscle mass.
However, Deca Durabolin and Anadrol will shut down testosterone levels, with Anadrol also causing exceptional fluctuations in cholesterol and liver enzymes due to it being a c-17 alpha-alkylated oral compound. Anadrol is also an estrogenic steroid, with water retention and gynecomastia being possible due to its direct stimulatory effect on estrogen receptors.
Are the results of SARMs worth the risk?
Non-steroidal SARMs are not FDA-approved, only being formulated recently (in the last 20 years), thus making them investigational compounds (5).
Therefore, anyone who takes SARMs is essentially conducting their own human trial.
It is already evident that initial claims of SARMs being safer than anabolic steroids are inaccurate, with vast anecdotal evidence of liver enzymes and blood lipids rising to high levels and diagnoses of acute myocarditis (6).
Thus, from existing research and our practical experience treating patients who have taken SARMs, we are seeing that SARMs are just as damaging as steroids (if not more so).
We find that SARMs only mimic a portion of the muscle-building effects of steroids; thus, it could be a wiser decision to utilize a mild steroid, such as testosterone. A cycle of testosterone would produce far superior results in terms of muscle hypertrophy and subcutaneous fat loss, without any negative effects on liver enzymes and only mild effects on cholesterol (7).