SARMs vs SERMs for Bodybuilders: How Do They Compare?

SARMs are compounds known for targeting specific androgen receptors, aiding in muscle growth and performance. On the other hand, SERMs interact with estrogen receptors, which are often used to combat estrogen-related side effects. SARM primarily assists in muscle building, while SERMs are used to manage estrogen-related issues like gynecomastia. 

In this article, we explore deep into the differences and similarities between SARMs and SERMs. We’ll explore their mechanisms of action, potential benefits, and their safe and responsible usage.

Quick Comparison of SARMs and SERMs

DefinitionSARMs are designed to mimic androgens, promoting lean muscle and bone health in bodybuilding.SERMs have unique effects on estrogen receptors, allowing selective action in different tissues making them relevant in bodybuilding.
Medical UseIt is mainly used in bodybuilding and fitness to promote muscle development and fat loss.Primarily used in the management of breast cancer and osteoporosis, as well as addressing menopausal symptoms.
Mechanism of ActionSelectively target androgen receptors.Selectively target estrogen receptors.
Side EffectsPotential side effects are liver failure, sexual dysfunctions, heart attack and stroke.It can cause hot flashes, mood swings, and blood clots.
Target ReceptorsSpecifically, it interacts with androgen receptors in muscles and bones.Primarily target estrogen receptors in various tissues, particularly in breast tissue.
ExamplesOstarine, Ligandrol, Andarine, TestoloneTamoxifen, Raloxifene, Clomiphene

What Are SARMs?

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are a class of compounds that selectively target androgen receptors in the body. They are not steroids but are often used to enhance muscle growth and strength. These compounds have gained popularity among athletes and fitness enthusiasts for their potential to achieve similar results to steroids while minimizing side effects.

SARMs) are a new class of non-steroidal drugs that have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of a wide range of conditions. SARMs work by selectively binding to androgen receptors in different tissues, which allows them to produce different effects depending on the tissue.

For example, SARMs can promote muscle growth and bone density in skeletal muscle, but they have little or no effect on the prostate or other androgen-sensitive tissues.

This makes SARMs a promising treatment option for a variety of conditions, including osteoporosis, cachexia, benign prostatic hyperplasia, stress urinary incontinence, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. SARMs are also being investigated as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, hypogonadism, and as a male contraceptive.

While no SARMs have been approved for therapeutic use by Health Canada as of 2024, clinical trials are ongoing, and the potential of these drugs is very promising.

Read more: What are SARMs?

How SARMs Work?

How SARMs Work?

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators work by binding to specific androgen receptors in the body. These receptors are found in various tissues, including muscles and bones. SARMs attach to these receptors, initiating a sequence of cellular changes. These changes result in enhanced muscle protein synthesis and bone mineral density.

SARMs, in contrast to conventional anabolic steroids, precisely target androgen receptors, delivering precise and selective muscle-enhancing benefits. This selectivity helps reduce the potential for side effects, making SARMs a promising option for those looking to enhance muscle growth and bone strength.

Use of SARMs in Bodybuilding

SARMs) are a class of synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of androgens on muscle and bone tissue but without the androgenic side effects that are common with traditional anabolic steroids. This makes SARMs an attractive option for athletes and bodybuilders who are looking to improve their performance and physique without risking their health.

According to “Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) as Function Promoting Therapies by Shalender Bhasin” SARMs have gained popularity in the realm of bodybuilding for their ability to enhance muscle growth and improve athletic performance.

SARMs have demonstrated efficacy in combating muscle wasting and accelerating recovery, enabling individuals to push their boundaries and enhance endurance during workouts. Consequently, some bodybuilders incorporate SARMs-based pre-workout supplements to optimize their training outcomes and accelerate progress.

These compounds, unlike traditional steroids, target specific androgen receptors in the body, reducing the risk of unwanted side effects. Bodybuilders value SARMs for their ability to improve lean body mass and boost strength.

Additionally, these compounds can aid in fat loss, enhancing training regimens. Different SARM stacks can be effectively used for bulking and cutting.

Different Types of SARMs and Their Effects

There are eight different types of SARMs, and their effects are given below:

1. Ostarine (MK-2866)

Ostarine, also known as MYO-STA, is a potent SARM designed to combat muscle loss, strengthen bones, and address certain medical conditions. Bodybuilders have shown interest due to its potential to enhance muscle growth and strength, making it valuable for both bulking and cutting phases.

2. Ligandrol (LGD-4033)

According to “The Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Effects of LGD-4033, a Novel Nonsteroidal Oral, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator, in Healthy Young Men by Shehzad Basaria” LGD-4033 is a nonsteroidal SARM used to treat conditions like muscle wasting and osteoporosis. It is associated with benefits including increased muscle growth, enhanced strength, reduced body fat, improved endurance, and quicker recovery, and is available under the brand name MYO-LGD.

3. Testolone (RAD-140)

Testolone RAD-140, also known as Myo-Rad, is an investigational SARM that targets specific androgen receptors in the body, primarily in muscles and bones. It is praised for its ability to accelerate muscle recovery and promote the development of lean, superior muscle mass, making it a compelling choice for bodybuilders seeking exceptional results.

4. Cardarine (GW-501516)

Cardarine (GW-501516), also known as Myo-Card, falls within the PPARs category, favoured by athletes and bodybuilders. It’s appreciated for boosting endurance and promoting fat loss, making workouts more effective and aiding in achieving a lean physique. Additionally, it may have immune system benefits by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

5. Andarine (S4)

Andarine S4 falls into the category of selective androgen receptor modulators. Created to address muscle-wasting conditions, it’s now gaining popularity among bodybuilders. Andarine S4 is recognized for promoting lean muscle growth, enhancing fat loss, and boosting muscle strength, often found under the brand name Myo-S4.

6. Ibutamoren (MK-677)

Ibutamoren, also known as Myo-HGH, is a potent growth hormone secretagogue that activates ghrelin receptors. It stimulates the release of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), making it valuable for bodybuilders. Its benefits include:

  • Muscle growth.
  • Reduced muscle wasting.
  • Improved bone mineral density.
  • Enhanced sleep.
  • Potential anti-aging and nootropic effects.

7. YK-11 (MYO YK)

YK-11, known as MYO-YK, is a synthetic SARM that offers potential benefits for bodybuilders. By inhibiting myostatin, it promotes muscle growth, making it an intriguing option for those seeking muscle gains. This myostatin inhibitor shows promise in the pursuit of a bulkier physique.

8. Stenabolic (SR9009)

Stenabolic or Myo-SR is a synthetic compound that influences metabolism by activating the protein Rev-Erb-alpha. This activation boosts energy production and endurance, making it an attractive choice for bodybuilders and athletes seeking to enhance their physical performance. One key effect of SR9009 is its ability to increase exercise endurance, reduce fatigue, and promote fat burning through enhanced mitochondrial activity.

What Are SERMs?

What Are SERMs?

SERMs are a class of compounds that interact with estrogen receptors in the body. These receptors are not just about female hormones but also in males. In bodybuilding, Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators are used to control estrogen levels. Intense weight training may lower your body’s testosterone production, potentially causing an elevation in estrogen levels. 

SERM can help mitigate this by blocking the effects of estrogen. It, in turn, can enhance muscle growth and reduce the risk of gynecomastia, a condition characterized by the development of male breast tissue.

How SERMs Work?

SERMs work by binding to estrogen receptors in the body. They can act as either estrogen agonists or antagonists, depending on the specific tissue. In tissues like the bones, SERM acts as estrogen agonists, helping to maintain bone density. In breast tissue, they function as antagonists, blocking the effects of estrogen and are often used in the treatment of breast cancer. 

This selective action allows SERMs to target specific areas in the body, making them valuable tools in the management of conditions related to estrogen while minimizing unwanted side effects.

Use of SERMs in Bodybuilding

SERMs are employed to manage the levels of estrogen in the body. By binding to estrogen receptors, SSERMs effectively block or activate them selectively. SERM helps bodybuilders regulate their estrogen levels, which is particularly important when using anabolic steroids or SARMs. 

According to “Gynecomastia: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment by Ronald S. Swerdloff” High estrogen can result in undesirable effects, such as gynecomastia. SERMs prove invaluable in maintaining hormonal balance during training and competition. SERMs are mainly used as PCT for muscle building.

Because they have fewer side effects, these are preferred over anabolic androgenic steroids by the amateur fitness and bodybuilding communities in Canada.

Different Types of SERMs and Their Effects

There are eight types of SERMs and their effects are discussed below:

1. Tamoxifen

According to “Tamoxifen by Maela C. Farrar” Tamoxifen is a medication with significant impact for bodybuilders. It works by competitively inhibiting estrogen receptors. It makes it valuable for preventing gynecomastia, a common side effect of anabolic steroid use. Additionally, Tamoxifen can help maintain bone health and lower cholesterol levels, providing various benefits to those in the bodybuilding community.

2. Raloxifene

Raloxifene’s primary effect is to counteract the side effects of anabolic steroid use. It can help prevent gynecomastia and maintain bone density, making it a valuable tool for those in the bodybuilding community.

3. Clomiphene

Clomiphene, or Clomid, plays a pivotal role in bodybuilding as part of post-cycle therapy (PCT). Its primary purpose is to assist in the recovery process by restoring natural testosterone levels after a steroid cycle, thus preventing muscle loss and promoting muscle recovery. It not only aids in maintaining total lean body mass but has also been linked to improved strength and endurance gains.

4. Toremifene

Toremifene, or Fareston, a SERM, is of interest to bodybuilders for its potential to mitigate the side effects of anabolic steroid use. This compound helps counteract estrogen-related issues, such as gynecomastia, making it a valuable addition to bodybuilding regimens.

5. Bazedoxifene

Bazedoxifene aids in reducing estrogen levels, which can help mitigate side effects like gynecomastia, and supports bone health. Bodybuilders often use it as part of their post-cycle therapy (PCT) to maintain gains and minimize estrogen-related issues.

6. Ospemifene

Ospemifene helps to counteract the effects of aromatization, which is the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. It can be especially beneficial for bodybuilders looking to maintain optimal testosterone levels and minimize estrogen-related side effects during their training and competition.

7. Lasofoxifene

Lasofoxifene is a SERM that bodybuilders often use to counteract the side effects of anabolic steroid use. It helps mitigate gynecomastia and other estrogen-related issues, making it a valuable tool in the bodybuilding community.

8. Fulvestrant

Fulvestrant is a medication used in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer treatment. For bodybuilders, it’s not a performance-enhancing substance but can affect muscle growth indirectly. By blocking estrogen receptors, it may impact hormone levels, potentially influencing muscle development.

SARMs Vs SERMs: Detailed Comparison

SARMs Vs SERMs: Detailed Comparison

Here, we discussed a detailed comparison of SARMs Vs SERMs: 

How to Use


To use SARMs, they are typically taken orally in either pill or liquid form. A common dosage is 10 mg, and they are often cycled for 6-8 weeks.


SERMs are taken orally in the form of pills or liquid solutions. A common dosage is around 15 mg per day, and it is often recommended to cycle SERMs for about six weeks.



  1. Muscle Growth: SARMs stimulate muscle development.
  2. Bone Health: SARMs enhance bone density and strength.
  3. Improved Recovery: Faster recovery from workouts.
  4. Fat Loss: Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators aid in fat reduction.


  1. Hormone Regulation: SERM balance estrogen levels.
  2. Breast Cancer: SERMs can help prevent invasive breast cancer.
  3. Osteoporosis: SERMs combat bone loss in postmenopausal women.
  4. Cardiovascular Health: SERMs are effective in reducing cardiovascular risk factors.
  5. Menopausal Symptoms: SERM alleviate menopausal issues.

Side Effects

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators

  1. Testosterone suppression
  2. Liver toxicity
  3. Heart diseases
  4. Hair loss

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators

  1. Hot flashes
  2. Blood clot risk
  3. Mood swings
  4. Nausea


SARMs and SERMs, while promising for enhancing muscle growth and treating hormone-related conditions, come with their own set of risks. According to “Liver injury associated with the use of selective androgen receptor modulators and post-cycle therapy: Two case reports and literature review by Tomas Koller” Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators can potentially lead to liver damage, cardiovascular issues, and hormonal imbalances. 

According to “Benefits and harms of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) to reduce breast cancer risk: a cross-sectional study of methods to communicate risk in primary care by Jennifer G McIntosh” On the other hand, SERM may pose risks like blood clots and increased cancer susceptibility.

Read more about risks of using SARMs here: Risks of SARMs for bodybuilding


In Canada, SARMs and SERMs are not approved for human use, and their legality is in a gray area. They are not authorized as prescription drugs, making their sale and possession for human consumption illegal. Some individuals may import and use them for personal use, but it’s a legal risk.

Read more: Can you buy SARMs online legally?

Who Should Use SARMs?

SARMs are typically recommended for individuals who are looking to enhance their muscle growth and physical performance. Athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts often consider using SARMs to achieve their fitness goals. 

However, it’s essential to note that the use of SARMs should be under the supervision of a healthcare professional. They may be suitable for those with specific medical conditions like muscle wasting or osteoporosis.

If you are looking to bulk up using SARMs then read this: SARMs for Bulking and if you are looking to burn fat or cut weight, then read this: SARMs for Cutting.

Who Should Use SERMs?

Bodybuilders primarily use SERM during post-cycle therapy (PCT). PCT is important for those who’ve completed anabolic steroid cycles. SERMs help to restore hormonal balance, counteracting estrogenic side effects, making them an essential tool for bodybuilders in this context.


What is the Difference Between Aromatase Inhibitors and SERMs?

Aromatase inhibitors block the enzyme aromatase, reducing estrogen levels in the body. In contrast,  SERM interact with estrogen receptors. While aromatase inhibitors lower overall estrogen production, Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators work by selectively blocking or activating estrogen receptors in different tissues. This fundamental difference in their mechanisms of action makes them valuable tools in managing hormone-related cancers, such as breast cancer.

Can I Take SARMs and SERMs at the Same Time?

Yes, it is actually advisable to use SERMs after a SARM cycle. SERMs can function as Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) for SARMs, helping to restore hormonal balance and mitigate potential side effects. The fitness community commonly recommends this sequential approach to support a safe and effective bodybuilding journey.

Where Can I Buy SARMs?

You can buy SARMs from trustworthy online vendors such as They provide a variety of Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator options, guaranteeing access to authentic, high-quality compounds. To ensure the product aligns with your fitness goals, verifying third-party testing and reading customer reviews is essential.

Where Can I Buy SERMs?

You can buy SERMs from reputable online sources such as They provide a variety of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator products to ensure access to high-quality, genuine compounds. 

Final Thoughts on SARMs vs SERMs

SARMs and SERMs are compounds that can significantly impact your body, but they target different receptors. You see, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are all about muscle growth. They interact with androgen receptors, helping you gain that coveted muscle mass and strength. On the other hand, SERMs deal with estrogen receptors and are more often used in medical treatments like breast cancer and osteoporosis. 

So, the choice between SARMs and SERMs depends on your goals. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators might be the way to go if you want to increase muscle mass. If you have specific medical needs, SERM could be the right.


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