Out of all the currently available SARMs which are not actual steroids, LGD-4033 has gained much attention and popularity. The reason for this is pretty clear, it is the most anabolic of all the currently available SARMs on the open market (S4, ostarine, and more recently RAD-140 are the other three compounds). It has the most potential to illicit gains relative to all the other available SARMs.
So what makes LGD-4033 an actual SARM? First of all, it does not have a steroid backbone. It is truly a tissue selective androgen receptor modulator as there does not seem to be any notable impact on prostate as well as other sex organs. There is no methylation so it does not pose much in terms of hepatoxicity risk as most oral steroids have. Thus if one considers SARMs to be strictly non-steroid based compounds which are tissue selective and having minimal to no notable impact on things such as sex organs, then LGD-4033 fits the criterias put forth.
What makes LGD-4033 a good candidate for our purposes though (bodybuilding, use as a PED)? It has greater potential for inducing anabolism than any of the other SARMs. Though there are no clinical data comparing anabolism between various SARMs, the overwhelming feedback from users has been that LGD-4033 provides the most growth potential. From first hand experience, I would be inclined to agree with the popular consensus. Ostarine was the first SARM to really take off in the mainstream (fitness community) but it was never effective enough to illicit gains for more experienced anabolic users (it does make for an excellent beginner compound though, where some gains can be expected). I personally find ostarine to be better suited as something which one can run to extend a cycle of another compound to help maintain (15-20 mg has worked well) or when on a caloric deficit as it does help preserve lean mass. LGD-4033 on the other hand, this compound does appear to illicit both weight and strength gain. From using it at 9 mg a day, there was a ~1 lbs per week gain with a bump up in caloric intake. Some people have used an even higher dose than that but 9 mg really should be sufficient for most if not everyone (less is more).
One would be at this point wondering if there are any drawbacks to LGD-4033. In a word, yes. Out of all the available SARMs, LGD-4033 appears to be the most suppressive. Even at 1 mg per day, it was seen in the clinical trial that testosterone levels did drop significantly (though still within normal range). This occurred with doses under 5 mg. Suppression did occur in a dose dependent fashion. When the administered dosages went above 5 mg, the subjects testosterone levels were dropped down to clinical deficiency. HDL levels also saw a decline and was also noted to be in a dose dependent manner. Safety and tolerability study was performed for it from dosages ranging from .1 mg through to 22 mg per day for 2 weeks. Even though it appeared to have no appreciable impact on hematocrit, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular health markers, please keep in mind that the safety and tolerability study had a subject pool consisting of just 8 participants (2 of which were placebo controls) and for a length of just 2 weeks. Also keep in mind that the human data for LGD-4033 consisted of male participants. There being any virilization effects for females is as far as I know an unknown. LGD-4033 being an actual SARM would suggest that virilization for females should not be a large concern, but keep in mind that we don’t have female data for the compound.
Who then would LGD-4033 be good for? Beginners whom wish to experiment with anabolic compounds but are apprehensive of using oral steroids (due to their massive impact on health markers as well as potential toxicity). People wishing to try and maintain gains made off of a cycle of a stronger compound/stack. Recomposition and cutting phases would also be good candidates for LGD-4033 (especially recomp as one can make modest gains from it). I don’t feel that LGD-4033 is the first go to for a “lighter” compound cycle. 1-DHEA which is currently legal, non-methylated, and with negative side effects which are relatively easy to manage will provide better gains in strength and weight. The drawback for 1-DHEA however is that when compared to LGD-4033 on the aspect of price, LGD-4033 would be more economical. Still, it is a good “mild” compound worthy of consideration.