SARMs Before and After Pictures (Typical Results)

Dr George TouliatosDisclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and NOT to promote the use of illegal substances. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultations.


The two main questions that surround SARMs are:

  1. How do the results compare to steroids?
  2. 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/fat loss being experienced by users.

SARMs Before and After Transformation #1

sarms before and after

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.

Mild Muscle Growth

Considering the high potency of the specific SARMs compounds used during this transformation, and the fact they were stacked together; the results are somewhat underwhelming (at least compared to a typical steroid cycle).

These results correlate with early human trials, where 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 from the SARMs group, over 4-6 weeks (1).

The user however has made subtle improvements in muscle hypertrophy, creating a thicker overall look, particularly in the quadriceps.

Visceral Fat Increase

However, there also appears to be a significant increase in visceral fat, creating a more bloated/protruding effect to the midsection.

sarms before and after

Increases in visceral fat are also common among steroid-users, due to steroids raising estrogen levels and thus 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, your natural testosterone would bind to AR, however SARMs have a higher binding affinity and thus your 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, 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 they still occur (indirectly).

Beard Growth

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 & 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, like 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, from a six week cycle (3). However, MK-677 also decreased SST receptor (SSTR)-2 mRNA expression of the pituitary gland, consequently failing to increase the growth/size of the rodents.

SARMs Before and After Transformation #2

sarms before and after

This user performed a 12 week cycle of RAD 140 (Testolone), at 17mg/day.

He gained 5lbs in weight, however he ate in a small calorie surplus, thus contributing to some fat gain.

Muscular Strength

Despite experiencing minimal muscle gains, he reported significant improvements in muscular strength, that were particularly noticeable from week 6. Although all of his lifts increased drastically, he specifically reported adding 90lbs to his flat and incline bench press.

Low Testosterone 

The user experienced dramatic testosterone suppression, dropping from 750-193ng/dL, indicating damage to the HPTA (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis) and hypogonadism. This is almost certainly a temporary effect, with testosterone levels set to recover post-cycle, assuming no other anabolic substances are administered.

Adverse Liver & Heart Effects

He also reported AST/ALT liver enzymes being excessively high post-cycle, in conjunction with his blood lipids deteriorating. Thus, SARMs may increase the risk of heart disease or liver failure.

This experience, regarding liver and cardiovascular toxicity, aligns with what Dr. Thomas O’Connor has observed from analysing the labs of 2,000 SARMs-users, over a 10 year period. Consequently, Dr. O’Connor is now of the opinion that SARMs are more dangerous than steroids.

RAD 140’s hepatotoxicity is very concerning, based on the above user’s labs and additional medical research, with scientists diagnosing a 49 year old male with hepatocellular–cholestatic liver injury (3), after taking RAD 140 for 4 weeks (with infrequent use afterwards).

Fake RAD 140?

Due to high amounts of counterfeit SARMs 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 specified manufacturer (*confidential*) having a very positive reputation — this conclusion is unlikely.

Hair Loss

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 which are hyper-responders — in terms of muscularity and fat loss.

First Steroid Cycle

The before and after picture below, demonstrates typical gains from a first steroid cycle.

testosterone cycle before after

This user administered conservative dosages of testosterone, adding roughly 20lbs of lean mass, whilst also significantly reducing his body fat percentage; 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 5lbs.

Considering the above user only utilized testosterone, instead of stacking it with other potent steroids, such as trenbolone or anadrol — these are exceptional results.

From Natural to SARMs

This user is natural on the left, then the picture on the right is after regular: S4, ostarine and GH (growth hormone) cycles. Increased thickness in the back is evident, as well as growth all over the body.

From SARMs to Steroids

sarms to steroids before and after

The left photo is post SARM-use, and the right photo is post steroid-use (with deca durabolin and anadrol being two steroids regularly utilized).

This shows the vast difference in potency between SARMs vs 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 also is an estrogenic steroid, with water retention and gynecomastia being possible, due it having a direct stimulatory effect on estrogen receptors.

Are the Results of SARMs Worth the Risk?

Non-steroidal SARMs are not FDA approved, and have only recently been formulated (in the last 20 years), thus making them investigational compounds.

Thus, anyone who takes SARMs are 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/blood lipids rising to excessive levels.

Therefore, from existing research and real-life user experiences, it is reasonable to conclude that SARMs are just as damaging as steroids (if not more so).

SARMs also only mimic a fraction of the muscle-building effects of steroids, thus it could be a wiser decision to utilize a mild steroid, such as testosterone; producing far superior results in terms of body composition; without any negative effects on liver enzymes; and only mild effects on cholesterol.