What is LGD-4033 Ligandrol?
This popular oral SARM (selective androgen receptor modulator) is known under many guises within the bodybuilding world – LGD-4033, Ligandrol and Anabolicum (to name a few). Yet what is interesting about this modulator is the various things it can do for your body.
For instance, it was initially created by Ligand Pharmaceuticals to prevent muscle wastage (caused by cancer) and to increase diminished bone density in patients with osteoporosis.
By binding solely with androgen receptors in your muscle and bone tissues (and none in your prostate, liver, reproductive system and endocrine system), LGD-4033 can help you to cut fat; achieve clean lean muscle mass gains; fortify/heal your bones and increase your strength.
In fact, this SARM is considered ideal for anyone starting out on their first cycle because it is: highly tolerated; has got excellent bioavailability; it doesn’t cause severe testosterone suppression; it won’t convert into estrogen and cause nasty man boobs (as it is nonsteroidal), and it is one of the few SARMs to have successfully undergone clinical trials – the results of which are very promising.
The only downer is – despite having almost zero side effects, Ligandrol is banned from professional sports. Meaning, if any of it is found in your bloodstream or urine, you can say bye-bye to competing.
The great thing about SARMs is that they are selective about which androgen receptors they bind to. Meaning, instead of binding with every receptor they encounter, they only focus on specific ones.
This is especially true of LGD-4033, as it binds solely with the receptors in your bone and muscle tissues – happily leaving those in your liver and sebaceous glands in peace.
But how does Ligandrol work?
Ligandrol mimics the effects of androgens in these receptors, helping you to achieve greater lean muscle mass, increased strength, faster recovery times (from injury and exercise) and a better quality of life.
In clinical studies, Ligandrol was found to raise anabolic activity in muscles and bones, whilst reducing muscle wastage and bone breakdown in participants suffering from muscular dystrophy, osteoporosis, old age and cancer.
In addition, it has been reported to decrease your body fat percentage, improve your physical performance and heal/strengthen your bones.
Now, whilst this sounds like every athletes and bodybuilders dream – LGD-4033 isn’t 100% perfect.
True, it can effectively be used for bulking, cutting and body re-composition. And yeah, it can easily be paired with other SARMs. HOWEVER – and this is a big one – in 2008, it was banned by the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), meaning that if you ever get tested positive for it, you risk being kicked out of professional sports/competitions.
The interesting thing about all SARMs – including Ligandrol – is that thanks to being nonsteroidal; they can produce the same results as steroids but with very few of the negative side effects.
And as you can imagine, this makes them very attractive to athletes, despite the vast majority of them being banned.
In fact, they are incredibly popular due to the following benefits they can offer:
- They are not substrates for 5 alpha-reductase or CYP19 aromatase, but are orally active meaning they won’t be converted into DHT (a testosterone metabolite) or aromatized into estrogen (unlike testosterone).And you don’t want excess estrogen floating around your body – unless you fancy getting a nice pair man boobs (no thanks!). Nor do you want excess male sex hormones triggering additional body hair, acne, voice hoarseness or problems with your prostate.
- Prevents muscle wasting – the biggest risk of cutting and going into a calorie deficit is the loss of your muscle gains. LGD-4033 prevents muscle breakdown by targeting anabolic pathways (but with none of the androgenic side effects).During one clinical trial of 76 healthy men, they received escalating low doses of LGD-4033 over 3 weeks until they reached 1mg of this SARM per day. This amount was found to be safe, well tolerated and sufficient enough to increase participants’ lean body mass by up to 3lbs (as well as increase their physical performance during leg presses).Another study found that users could safely take a LGD 4033 dosage of 22mg a day with little to no side effects.
- Cachexia – this form of extreme muscle wasting (which includes severe weight loss, muscle atrophy, fatigue and appetite loss) is common amongst patients with AIDS, cancer, kidney disease, sepsis and severe burns.SARMs such as LGD-4033 are considered effective whilst dealing with Cachexia as they have none of the drawbacks of testosterone (increased risk of prostate cancer, red blood cell imbalance and negative effects on your sexual organs) and anabolic steroids (liver toxicity and masculinization in women).Instead, they can positively be used to help increase your muscle mass without detrimentally affecting your prostate.And this is important for those with Cachexia, as LGD-4033 can give them a better tolerance of intensive treatments such as radio and chemotherapy.
- Osteoporosis and fractures – whilst SARMs aren’t the first line of defence against osteoporosis and fractures; its ability to prevent bone loss and encourage increased bone formation can make it an asset.By activating androgen receptors, this can help increase bone mineral density and trigger the formation of new bones (periosteal reaction). And in doing so, this can help you to maintain bone mass and enable you to heal from breakages/injuries.SARMs also have the added benefit of not triggering androgen excess, making them ideal for men and women with osteoporosis.
- Brain and libido – whilst more research is needed into the impact SARMs can have on the brain; it is well known that testosterone can influence psychosexual and cognitive behavior.True, SARMs are only meant to be bone and muscle selective; however, in order to do this they have to cross into the brain – which would explain their ability to affect your libido and mood.According to the producers of LGD-4033 (Viking Therapeutics), they claim that this particular SARM can improve your cognitive function, libido and energy levels, as well as increase your stamina and sense of well-being. NOTE: This needs to be further investigated though.
- Contraception for men – yep you read this right. There are some SARMs which have the potential to be used as male contraception, as they can inhibit gonadotropins from the pituitary gland (FSH and LH) but not your prostate. They can also have a positive impact on your libido.
So what does all of this tell you?
Well, what it suggests is that ‘where’ you use Ligandrol can extend far beyond the gym or the athletic/bodybuilding arena. It can also offer a whole host of benefits to those suffering from cancer, AIDs, osteoporosis and muscle atrophy.
It is only natural for you to wonder what LGD-4033 results you can expect. Can it really it help you with your bodybuilding endeavours? Or is it limited?
Well, in terms of bodybuilding results there has only ever been one single clinical trial. The rest of the scientific research you’ll find is based on its other health applications.
That is why, to help to paint a clearer picture of what you can expect from this SARM, we have summarized its results based on the vast amount of user reviews/feedback you can find online.
NOTE: this information is all anecdotal and based on personal experiences. We can’t attest to their accuracy nor can we confirm the influence other SARMs/supplements may have had on their experience. All we have done is gleamed off the most relevant and reoccurring statements from users who took 5mg of Ligandrol per day for 8 weeks.
- Most users take LGD-4033 on its own and don’t stack it with other SARMs. When they do choose to stack, it is usually with Cardarine, Ostarine and Testolone.
- This SARM is usually the first one athletes, models, bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts take for their first cycle.
- On average users experience lean muscle mass gains of 5-10lbs per month.
- Lower LGD-4033 dosages of 5mg per day helped users to more easily maintain their gains.
- Users benefited from easier fat loss; increased stamina and libido; faster recovery from exercise/injury, and less pain.
- Users experienced increased lifting and cardiovascular strength by the 3rd week (and this makes sense as the more muscle you amass, the stronger you will become).
- Users noted increased vascularity (veins popping out) and skin tearing muscle pumps.
- Users benefited from a heightened sense of well-being without having to deal with sudden mood swings or crashes.
- Users noted that LGD-4033 was best for bulking and offered good results for body re-composition.
- For cutting, users often did LGD-4033 cycles using Cardarine.
- Users reported minimal to no bloating; no liver damage; no negative changes to cholesterol or blood pressure levels, and no excess body hair/ hair loss.
- Users started seeing positive results around weeks 2-3 of their cycle.
- Users reported no testosterone suppression at the end of the cycle, so not everyone opted to do PCT.
- Most held onto the majority of their lean muscle mass gains 4 weeks after the end of their cycle.
- LGD-4033 is viewed as being stronger and more powerful than Ostarine.
What do the studies say?
Study One: a study on 70 healthy participants found that those placed on LGD-4033 were able to gain more lean muscle mass with only a slight variation in their prostate specific antigen levels.
Study Two: numerous studies have shown positive LGD 4033 results when participants took only 1mg a day. They witnessed muscle mass gains of 3lbs in 3 weeks.
Study Three: a study which explored different LGD-4033 dosages on 76 participants, found that Ligandrol was safe to take in low doses. However, it is possible to securely take as much as 22mg a day without fear of harsh negative side effects.
What about different cycles? What results can you expect?
- Body re-composition – you can pair this SARM with Cardarine to achieve lean, hard muscles and minimal water retention. Its enhanced fat burning capabilities will enable you to achieve a competition-ready look.
- Bulking – this SARM is great for bulking, as you won’t need to stack it with anything else. Nor will you have to deal with any unwanted bloating that comes from using other SARMs.
- Cutting – LGD-4033 prevents muscle loss, enabling you to retain your gains long after you finish. NOTE: if you’re following a strict calorie controlled diet, stack it with Cardarine.
We’ve glossed over the topic of LGD 4033 side effects already. However, if you’re still not sure where this SARM stands on the side effect scale, then here is some extra information.
- Even at 22mg a day, Ligandrol produces minimal side effects (at short term dosing).
- Its common side effects are fairly mild – dry mouth, nausea, fatigue and light headaches – and usually disappear once you stop using this SARM.
- Its lowest dose of 1mg a day can cause mild suppression (10 times lower than typical bodybuilding dosages) – bearing this in mind DO NOT take high LGS-4033 dosages for long durations e.g. 40mg a day for 8 weeks, as this may suppress testosterone, SHBG and FSH, and require the use of PCT.
- LGD-4033 has got a half-life of 24-36 hours and can be detected in your urine 7 days after your last dose. Its metabolites can be detected 21 days after your last dose. This window becomes extended with regular/higher doses.
On the positive side, Ligandrol DOES NOT aromatize or trigger any estrogen related problems (man boobs). Nor does it cause baldness, liver toxicity or a swollen prostate.
Ligandrol dosage and cycles
One of the most notable things about Ligandrol is that you don’t need a high LGD-4033 dosage to get results. Ideally, you would only ever take 5mg a day, as even 1mg can produce promising results. However, the majority of Ligandrol users surpass 5mg and choose to take 5-10mg a day for all of their cutting, bulking and body re-composition cycles.
Here are some examples:
- Men take up to 10mg a day, whilst women typically take 5mg a day.
- Athletes – some will take as much as 20mg a day; however, most don’t recommend taking anything higher than 10mg a day.
- Due to LGD-4033 having a half-life of 24-36 hours, it is recommended that take your daily dose in one session (during breakfast) as your LGD-4033 blood concentration levels will increase over time.
These will vary depending on where you are on your cycle:
- Bulking – 3-6 weeks. You can move towards a 6 week cycle as your tolerance increases. NOTE: most users stick to 4 weeks on and 4 weeks off to allow their natural testosterone levels to recover.
- Cutting – 8-12 weeks
- Body re-composition – stick to a 4-6 week cycle, as your body will build up a tolerance after 6 weeks.
- PCT – there are mixed opinions on whether to do PCT after a LGD-4033 cycle. Those who do choose to do it – to assist natural testosterone recovery – opt for Clomid or Nolvadex; whilst others use natural testosterone boosters. NOTE: if you do a long LGD-4033 cycle of 10mg/a day for 12 weeks, you will need PCT. If you do only 5mg a day for 8 weeks, then you should be okay without PCT (although it is always better to be safe than sorry).
Technically Ligandrol is banned by the WADA and can’t be used in professional sports. HOWEVER, it is possible to buy it online if you know where to look. The key is making sure you find a reputable source that can verify the legitimacy of their product – and subsequently its ingredients – so you don’t end up with a dud.
And that happens more often than you’d think…
In fact, there are tonnes of fake SARMs out there. So if you’re serious about using them, you first need to check out their certifications, ingredients, reviews etc. to ensure you’re getting the real deal.
SARMs may be safer than anabolic steroids for encouraging lean muscle mass gains and improvements to strength, bone density and fat loss; however, they are not 100% perfect.
Truthfully, the safest thing you can do is look into natural steroid alternatives, such as those offered by CrazyBulk as they can offer you the security of a 100% side effect free experience that involves no testosterone suppression, aromatization or risk of nausea, headaches or liver damage.
In fact, CrazyBulk’s Testo-Max contains a complex formulation of numerous natural testosterone boosters – boron, magnesium, Fenugreek, zinc, Vitamins D, B6 and F1 (to name a few) – that have been specially chosen for their ability to increase lean muscle mass, cut fat, improve muscle recovery and maximize your endurance, stamina and strength.