The Complete Guide to Ligandrol
All Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) started out as research chemicals that were supposed to be used for medicinal uses. The intention behind the development of these compounds was to help with the treatment of conditions such as muscle wasting, hip fractures, and bone density problems among other issues. As these compounds were being developed, trials showed how potent they were for some of these purposes, and this raised the eyebrows of scientist including fitness experts. As you can guess, the compounds became popular in the bodybuilding industry, and this is not just because they emulated the effects of steroids but because they were also a safer alternative.
Ligandrol or LGD-4033 just like the other SARMs have a similar background. It is marketed as an extremely potent SARM with vast benefits. A significant majority of bodybuilders out there also rate it highly not just due to its effectiveness but also for its safe nature. But is it really? How solid is the science behind it? Most importantly, should you use Ligandrol?
Ligandrol was initially developed by Ligand Pharmaceuticals from which it gets its name. As you can already guess, the motive behind the development of LGD-4033 was to create a substance that could tackle the muscle wasting menace associated with aging and most chronic conditions like cancer and HIV/AIDs.
At the moment, Ligandrol is undergoing trials at Viking Therapeutics under the code name VK5211.
One of the clinical trials done by Viking Therapeutics on this SARM involved 76 male adults. In this placebo-controlled study, men aged between 21 to 50 years were randomly given three different doses of LGD-4033; 0.1, 0.3 and 1.0mg daily for 21 days. Five weeks after the intervention, various measures were taken to investigate the effects of the different doses of Ligandrol on blood counts, lipids, antigen, lean and fat mass, hormones, muscle strength, electrocardiogram, and prostate-specific antigen.
The results of this study were very impressive. Scientists discovered that LGD-4033 was highly-tolerable and most importantly, it increased lean body mass. It’s also vital to know that the compound had an impact on sex hormone-binding globulin, total testosterone, triglyceride levels, free testosterone, and lipoprotein cholesterol. In simple terms, the use of Ligandrol can lead to some undesirable effects whose severity will be dependent on the dose you are taking. We will discuss this in another segment.
Thousands of bodybuilders across the globe are using Ligandrol despite the fact that clinical trials are still ongoing to investigate the full spectrum of its effects on humans. That’s just because the limited clinical trials available prove the efficacy of the substance and there is also a lot of anecdotal evidence showing the same benefits. What benefits are we talking about?
Benefits of Ligandrol
The secret behind the success of SARMs is their specificity. Unlike anabolic steroids and prohormones, SARMs such as Ligandrol are very specific in their activities. These enable them to achieve all the intended bodybuilding effects without leaving behind a mess of adverse reactions.
Ligandrol achieves this by binding onto the androgen receptors located in your muscle and bone tissues and other relevant sites. Remember that androgen receptors are found all over the body including in the brain. By being highly selective, LGD-4033 will interact with just the right androgen receptors to achieve the following benefits in the safest way possible.
- Increases muscle mass
One of the main reasons for the development of Ligandrol was to assist in the prevention of muscle wasting. While the compound was being tailored to achieve just that, it ended up being useful in enhancing the growth of the muscles. Ligandrol achieves this by stimulating the androgen receptors in the muscle tissues. This creates a highly anabolic environment thus promoting muscle growth.
The impact of LGD-4033 here is very massive, and that’s why the SARM helps athletes to gain even more muscle mass in a much shorter period than they would if they were not using any substances.
In the study highlighted above, the adult men who were given 1.0mg of Ligandrol every day gained approximately 3lbs of muscle mass in three weeks. This not only proves that Ligandrol promotes muscle growth, but it also shows that it can do an incredible job especially when higher doses are used. Also, remember that the 3lbs of muscle mass was gained after just 3 weeks. Now take a moment and imagine how significant the gains can be if one runs Ligandrol for a full cycle.
It’s also vital to note that unlike most other performance-enhancing drugs, Ligandrol gains dry weight. This basically means that the user will no longer have to persevere the annoying bloating effects.
- Boosts bone health
Viking Therapeutics are investigating the possibility of using LGD-4033 in the treatment of a hip fracture. We already have some other trials which reported that the use of Ligandrol helps in increasing bone density.
In boosting bone density and overall health, Ligandrol sets itself apart as a potentially incredible treatment for a wide variety of bone degenerating disorders. The aging population in particular, usually have a hard time dealing with osteoporosis. Even the people with chronic conditions which eat into bone density will be able to use this substance to keep their bones strong and functional.
For athletes, stronger bones are crucial in so many ways. First, the stronger your bones are the lower the risk of fractures and other such injuries. This is vital since you probably spend a lot of time doing strenuous exercises. Secondly, stronger bones will become very useful as you accumulate muscle mass. The bones together with other connective tissues will provide the perfect platform for the growth of bigger and stronger muscles.
- Reduces Body Fat
Ligandrol is not the most potent SARM when it comes to decreasing body fat. However, it can still be used for this purpose especially when an athlete is looking to gain some muscle mass while reducing body fat simultaneously.
LGD achieves this by interfering with the catabolic processes in the body. When a body needs a source of energy while the calorie levels are low, your muscle tissue may end up being broken down. This is a big problem as it results in a decrease in muscle mass. LGD-4033 stimulates your body to source its energy from adipose stored in different parts of your body. This means that the fat will be broken down to produce energy. In the end, you will witness higher energy levels and a decrease in body fat.
- Increase in strength levels
An increase in strength becomes rather obvious since you are gaining more muscles. Higher strength levels are critical particularly to patients suffering from chronic conditions such as cancer. The strength facilitates a more normal life where they can undertake regular activities with more ease.
To athletes, more strength means that they can do heavier exercises for longer. Yes, in addition to gaining more strength, LGD-4033 will also stretch your endurance levels significantly. As a result, you can commit more productive hours to your workouts for even better and faster results.
- Quite safe
We began by pointing out that all SARMs are popular than other performance-enhancing drugs because they are a lot safer. This is due to their high selectivity in the androgen receptors they interact with. Therefore, if you are looking for a substance that comes with the above benefits without putting your health at risk, then LGD-4033 is an excellent place to start.
Ligandrol is already being used by many bodybuilders around the world, and none of them have reported life-threatening adverse reactions as is the case with anabolic steroids. However, this doesn’t mean that Ligandrol is entirely safe.
Side Effects of Ligandrol
The bad news is that although Ligandrol is not as aggressive as anabolic steroids, it still comes with some adverse reactions. The good news is that most of the side effects are dose-dependent. This was established in multiple trials including the study highlighted earlier on in this article. This means that you can easily avoid a big majority of the side effects of Ligandrol by sticking to the doses that your body can tolerate.
With that in mind, here are some of the common side effects of LGD-4033:
- Testosterone suppression
Testosterone suppression is when your body does not produce as much testosterone as it should. This can lead to undesirable effects especially if it is not addressed promptly.
Various clinical trials done on Ligandrol showed that the SARM causes dose-dependent testosterone suppression. This means that the conditions get even worse when the user is taking extremely high doses of LGD. Severe testosterone suppression may also occur if one uses the substance for a prolonged period.
A decrease in the production of testosterone can result in various effects. Testosterone helps in maintaining an anabolic environment for proper muscle growth and maintenance. This explains why other steroids are formulated using the synthetic form of the male sex hormone. When the levels of testosterone drop, you get the opposite of anabolic. Your body will no longer be able to sustain all the muscle gains. The muscles will start to break down, and soon afterward, they’ll be replaced with fat.
Low levels of testosterone will also affect one’s sex life. Your libido will drop significantly.
To avoid the suppression of testosterone, you need to avoid taking LGD in excess. Stick to the recommended doses, and you should also make sure that your cycles are never prolonged.
Sadly, sticking to the right doses alone isn’t enough to get you off the hook. The clinical trials showed that individuals who used as little as 1mg per day also experienced mild testosterone suppression. This becomes even more worrying when you learn that 1mg per day is just a tenth of what most people use for bodybuilding purposes. This calls for what is known as Post Cycle Therapy or PCT.
PCT helps in restoring testosterone levels back to norm. Its recommended that everyone using LGC for bodybuilding purposes goes through PCT after each cycle. Some people are also known to use other medications to promote the production of testosterone while they are still on cycle.
- Hair loss
Guys who are genetically predisposed to baldness are likely to experience even faster hair loss. Unfortunately, there is barely anything you can do to avoid this issue.
Women taking Ligandrol to run the risk of witnessing male characteristics such as deepening of the voice and irregular hair growth. This problem is prevalent especially if they are taking high doses of LGD-4033.
Ligandrol may also result in:
- Deepened voice
- Dry mouth
Clinical trials show that Ligandrol can suppress follicle-stimulating hormone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). The good thing is that taking a break from the compound will restore hormone levels back to normal.
It’s critical to note that LGD-4033 did not tamper with the levels of luteinizing hormone and hemoglobin. There was also no alteration on prostate-specific antigens, heart levels (QT intervals) and liver enzymes (ALT and AST).
Some people are also known to react negatively to Ligandrol. In most cases, this has nothing to do with the SARM, but it might just be as simple as your body rejecting the substance. This is usually seen in the form of various adverse reactions which may become severe regardless of the doses you are taking. If you are experiencing this problem, the only solution is to stop taking the substance immediately. You can consult your physician on the other types of SARMs or other compounds that may work for you.
The recommended cycle for taking Ligandrol is between 8 to 12 weeks. Beginners and women are encouraged to start with shorter cycles. This helps in decreasing the risk of side effects.
Your goal for using the compound will also influence how long you should take the substance. For instance, experienced users who are looking for immense cutting results will witness better results if they take Ligandrol for 12 weeks. When it comes to bulking, experts recommend a much shorter cycle of between 3 to 6 weeks.
At no point should anyone take LGD-4033 for more than 12 weeks though. This can lead to severe testosterone suppression, not including the risk that it puts to your hormone levels.
The length of taking Ligandrol might also change if you decide to stack it with other SARMs. Make sure that you are fully aware of the cycle needs of all stacks before you start using any one of them.
After each cycle of taking Ligandrol, you will need to go through PCT. Here, you can use medications such as Clomid or Nolvadex. This helps in restoring normal testosterone production and other hormone levels. The PCT should then be followed by a break which may last as long as your cycle was. This is vital in restoring normal body functions before you start your next cycle.
As of right now, there is no specific dosage published that guarantees the best results for everyone. This is simply because Ligandrol is still under multiple clinical trials that continue to investigate both the short- and long-term effects of using the compound. Therefore, the doses being used are based on anecdotal evidence.
Most people witness all the benefits of Ligandrol by taking just 10mg per day. Women are advised to take half the dose to avoid virilization, i.e. expression of male characteristics. The long half-life of the compound (24 – 36 hours) means that a single dose per day is sufficient to keep LGD-4033 in your system throughout the day.
If you go through fitness forums, you will find that some people are taking up to 20mg of Ligandrol per day. This is very dangerous as it can lead to a myriad of adverse reactions.
Is it Legal?
As of right now, there aren’t any laws in the U.S banning the use of Ligandrol even though all SARMs are technically supposed to be sold for research purposes only. This means that you can buy the substances online under the disguise of “research purposes” without breaking the law. Unfortunately, SARMs may get banned very soon. The SARMs Control Act of 2018 was seeking to ban the distribution and use of SARMs. The FDA has also been tightening the regulations governing the distribution of the SARM. It’s, therefore, a good decision to stock up your supply before the ban comes in effect.
In Europe and other countries, things might be completely different. Some countries have limited the use of specific SARMs for medicinal use only while the others are banned completely. Other countries have it much easier as there aren’t any regulations yet on the compounds. It is upon you to do your research and see where your country stands on the subject of the legality of SARMs.
If you are a professional athlete, you should stay away from Ligandrol and all other SARMs for obvious reasons.
Bodybuilding Uses of Ligandrol
Ligandrol is widely used in bulking cycles where it helps bodybuilders to increase lean muscle mass within a short time. LGD-4033 can be used alone for this purpose, but it achieves an even better result when it is stacked with other SARMs.
For instance, you can stack Ligandrol with Nutrobal (MK-677). In such a stack, you are advised to take 10mg of LGD-4033 with 25mg of MK-677 every day for around 12 weeks. In the final four weeks, the user should also take 5 tablets and 25 mg of HCGenerate ES and Clomid per day respectively.
Ligandrol has made cutting cycles very effective. No longer will you have to rely on a calorie deficit diet alone to lose your body fat. Even better, you’ll never have to worry about losing your hard-gained muscle mass during your cutting cycles.
This selective androgen receptor modulator protects your muscle mass while stimulating your body to burn down more fat deposits. This will help you to reduce the body fat percentage all while you are still protecting and gaining some muscles.
For the best cutting results, users can stack Ligandrol with Cardarine. In this particular stack, you can take 10 mg of LGD-4033 and 20 mg GW-501516 per day for 12 weeks.
Ligandrol is also a good SARM for everyone who wants to gain some muscle mass while reducing body fat at the same time.
For recomposition, one should use 10 mg of Ligandrol and 20 mg of Cardarine per day for 12 weeks as is the case in cutting cycles. The user should also add 5 tablets of HCGenerate ES and 25 mg of Clomid per day in the final four weeks of the recomposition cycle.
Bodybuilders are also using Ligandrol to promote recovery. The compound enhances the health of your ligaments, tendons, and joints. This is essential in withstanding all the stress coming from your rigorous workouts. As a result, you will spend less time off the gym and more time working out towards your goals.
Ligandrol users have also reported better mood and focus. In summary, LGD-4033 delivers an overall feeling of wellbeing that will put you on the right mood for improved productivity both in and out of the gym.
Ligandrol (LGD-4033) is one of the best SARMs in the market today. It delivers outstanding bodybuilding effects without subjecting the users to serious health complications.
However, we cannot ignore the fact that LGD-4033 is still under research. This means that there is still a lot of unknown information on the long term effects of the compound. Fortunately, if you use it correctly and for a short term basis, you should be able to achieve all the results you are looking for without putting your life at risk.
- The Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Effects of LGD-4033 https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/68/1/87/548321