One way to improve one’s appearance is to build more muscle. During this process, not only do you gain muscle, but fat as well. This is why so many individuals try and cut their weight after they've “bulked up” so that they can have a slimmer and more muscular look. But how can this be accomplished successfully?
Well, one can simply eat healthily and exercise, or you could also start taking certain non-steroidal products that will help with the slimming process while preserving the gained muscle mass.
One such product that we are going to review today is a SARM known as Ligandrol. Could Ligandrol be the right option for you? Is it a fraudulent product? Let’s find out!
What is Ligandrol?
Also known as LGD-4033, Ligandrol is a popular androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that is designed to provide steroid-like benefits (1) (2). Unlike traditional anabolic hormones, Ligandrol targets androgen receptors (they don’t just inject a bunch of hormones in the body) which raises testosterone levels and growth factor hormones in an indirect and more profound way.
Athletes and bodybuilders use Ligandrol for both bulking and cutting, as it appears that Ligandrol helps in the building of muscle mass and in the process of cutting weight. Actually, recent studies indicate that taking a daily dose of only 10mg can lead to a gain in muscle mass of 5-10 pounds, without the addition of fat (3).
Ligandrol is also reported to be a very powerful testosterone booster compared to other testosterone-boosting supplements. Its androgenic ratio is estimated to be 10:1, and just for comparison sake, the same ratio for testosterone is 1:1. For this reason, numerous studies have actually concluded that Ligandrol is approximately 11 times stronger than any testosterone boosting supplement or another SARMS drug (4).
How Does Ligandrol Work?
Ligandrol has a very similar process to other selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMS). Basically, Ligandrol affects different receptors that target various growth factors within the body (5). As mentioned, Ligandrol is highly popular among bodybuilders who want to build lean muscle while trimming the unnecessary fat away. Some users have compared its properties to the anabolic steroid Primobolan.
Instead of converting to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estrogen after entering the body, Ligandrol targets androgen receptors. By targeting these receptors, Ligandrol is said to reduce side effects. If you’re nervous about anabolic steroids and their devastating negative effects like acne, hair loss, enlarged prostate, and others, then Ligandrol might be the worthy alternative (6).
However, as you’ll learn in the next part of this review, Ligandrol is still associated with some side effects, and you’ll need to be careful with the dosing and post cycle therapy.
Ligandrol Side Effects
Ligandrol might be the perfect steroid alternative, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any adverse effects. First of all, Ligandrol isn’t perfect for individuals under the age of 19. Secondly, recent studies show that this drug can lower and suppress free testosterone levels in some users. The lowering and suppression of free testosterone isn’t that big of a deal, however, it has been reported that once users cycle off their testosterone levels they should return to normal (7) (8). Another study concluded that Ligandrol also suppresses the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which could lead to a decreased sex drive.
The good news is that unlike regular steroids, Ligandrol does not cause liver toxicity (9).
Ligandrol vs. Steroids
Another Ligandrol benefit includes its ability to cause anabolic activity in muscles and bones, however, unlike anabolic steroids, it will not damage the user’s prostate and reproductive health. Therefore users won’t have to go through the same shutdown, shrinking of testicles, or the difficulty of recovering from a Ligandrol cycle. On the other hand, many steroid users give up on cycling steroids since they find it too difficult to maintain. In addition, with the constant use of anabolic steroids users are likely to require testosterone replacement therapies (TRT), as their body can not adjust to the normal hormone production after their use.
Another advantage is that Ligandrol has been specifically designed to be easier to handle, either by capsule or in liquid form. Meanwhile, anabolic steroids that are taken orally can cause serious liver toxicity. By contrast, Ligandrol, as mentioned, has absolutely zero risks for toxicity, since it’s not methylated at all. There is no doubt that there are steroids which have less toxic effects, but those are injected with needles which is obviously far less comfortable.
Adding everything up, Ligandrol could easily be considered a safer alternative to anabolic steroids in terms of building muscle.
What Should You Expect After Using Ligandrol?
Since research has proven its effectiveness, users can expect to gain anywhere from 1-1.5 pounds of lean body mass in one to two weeks (10). However, users won’t experience the best results if they exclude a healthy diet and workout regime.
Basically, Ligandrol has almost steroid-like effects. For this reason, many people actually consider Ligandrol a steroid due to its amazing properties. However, professional athletes should reconsider the use of this peptide since it may cause them to fail their drug test.
The recommended dosage for Ligandrol is anywhere between 5mg to 10mg per day. Users should start with a 5mg dose during their first 2-3 weeks. The complete cycle should last 12 weeks before going off of it. Some bodybuilders recommend increasing the dose after the 4th or 5th week by 1mg to 2mg since this can generate better results.
Ligandrol is a non-prescription peptide and can be easily purchased online or in stores. Now the pricing for Ligandrol ranges anywhere from $40 to $130 depending on the quality and amount you buy. You can expect to pay around $60 for an 8 week supply of decent quality Ligandrol.
Finally, Ligandrol is a legal steroid alternative that has shown excellent results in muscular development and fat loss (11). However, some downsides have also been experienced. It’s highly advised that one consults his doctor or physician before use, and should only take Ligandrol within the recommended time period. If you notice any downsides, you are supposed to stop taking Ligandrol for two to five days. All in all, Ligandrol is a great option for any amateur or professional bodybuilder who is looking to take his physique to the next level!
- Narayanan R, Coss CC, Dalton JT. “Development of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs).” Mol Cell Endocrinol. (2018 Apr 15). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28624515
- Shehzad Basaria, Lauren Collins, E. Lichar Dillon, Katie Orwoll, Thomas W. Storer, Renee Miciek, Jagadish Ulloor, Anqi Zhang, Richard Eder, Heather Zientek, Gilad Gordon, Syed Kazmi, Melinda Sheffield-Moore, and Shalender Bhasin. “The Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Effects of LGD-4033, a Novel Nonsteroidal Oral, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator, in Healthy Young Men.” J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. (2013 Jan 28).
Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4111291/#!po=42.9054
- Van Wagoner RM, Eichner A, Bhasin S, Deuster PA, Eichner D. “Chemical Composition and Labeling of Substances Marketed as Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators and Sold via the Internet.” JAMA. (2017 Nov 28). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29183075
- Anthony L. Handlon, Lee T. Schaller, Lisa M. Leesnitzer, Raymond V. Merrihew, Chuck Poole, John C. Ulrich, Joseph W. Wilson, Rodolfo Cadilla, and Philip Turnbull. “Optimizing Ligand Efficiency of Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs).” ACS Med Chem Lett. (2016 Jan 14). Viewed at:
- Roland Blanqué, Liên Lepescheux, Marielle Auberval, Dominique Minet, Didier Merciris, Céline Cottereaux, Philippe Clément-Lacroix, Philippe Delerive, and Florence Namour. “Characterization of GLPG0492, a selective androgen receptor modulator, in a mouse model of hindlimb immobilization.” BMC Musculoskelet Disord. (2014). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4167280/
- William Ericson-Neilsen, MD and Alan David Kaye, MD, PhD. “Steroids: Pharmacology, Complications, and Practice Delivery Issues.” Ochsner J. (2014 Summer). Viewed at:
- Neri M, Bello S, Bonsignore A, Cantatore S, Riezzo I, Turillazzi E, Fineschi V. “Anabolic androgenic steroids abuse and liver toxicity.” Mini Rev Med Chem. (2011 May). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443508
- Hannah I Awai, MD, Elizabeth L Yu, MD, Linda S Ellis, MD, and Jeffrey B Schwimmer, MD. “Liver Toxicity of Anabolic Androgenic Steroid Use in an Adolescent with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. (2014 Sep). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772995/
- Cox HD, Eichner D. “Detection of LGD-4033 and its metabolites in athlete urine samples.” Drug Test Anal. (2017 Jan 8). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27168428
- Geldof L, Pozo OJ, Lootens L, Morthier W, Van Eenoo P, Deventer K. “In vitro metabolism study of a black market product containing SARM LGD-4033.” Drug Test Anal. (2017 Feb 2). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26767942
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John has been a fitness enthusiast for over 10 years, starting out while struggling with obesity as a teenager. Over the years he has advised numerous clients on how to transform their physiques and their lives. As a writer on Nutrition Inspector he aims to help others achieve real results by staying clear of the common hype and false claims in the supplement industry!