Ligandrol (LGD-4033) – SARM Cycle, Benefits and Side Effects

The purest bulking compound of the class - that's what LGD-4033 is. Just like most other SARMs, LGD has overgrown with some incompetent bullshit that needs a bust. That’s exactly what this article is for.


LGD-4033, aka Ligandrol, is one of the most popular SARMs, one of the best bulking substances of the class, and the best-researched one as well. For most athletes, that’s enough to jump on the hype train and give it a try. However, it’s a guaranteed express trip to disappointment. Learn some stuff about the substance first. I’ll begin with what exactly you can expect from LGD-4033. 

Ligandrol Benefits

Muscle Growth

Years of anecdotal reports and clinical trials by Viking Therapeutics prove that LGD-4033 is a powerful bulking compound. Guys from Viking studied the effects on people with hip fractures in these recent medical trials. They got a remarkable 9,1% increase in lean body mass. You can pretty much imagine the possibilities with additional hardcore workouts and a more significant dose. I’ll provide no exact numbers since the final result is dependent on way too many factors, but you can definitely expect a notable increase in muscle mass.

Strength Gains

Yes, Strength gains follow the mass gains – and you will throw a few additional weights on the bar by the end of the cycle. Don’t expect miracles! Ligandrol is not a powerlifter’s dream, but you can test your limits more on it. In these 2013 clinical trials on LGD-4033, Ligand Pharmaceuticals tried to measure the strength gains. Sadly, their research was limited to just four weeks and a 1mg dose only. Even on that mild dosage, the results prove that LGD-4033 can notably increase strength – at least in leg press. Also, it has shown a strong connection between the dosage and the result.

Ligandrol and Weightloss

It’s important to stress it out: LGD-4033 is NOT a dietary supplement, even though it was once. The story blew up twice in recent years:

The first act was in 2017 when Infantry Labs got a warning from the FDA for selling dietary compound “The Lieutenant” with LGD-4033 in it. Guys from the Infantry Labs just misbranded the thing and tried to trick the community. Even though the FDA mostly acts as a paperwork-crazy bureaucratic maniac, this one time, it was quite a justified move.

The second part happened in 2019 when a famous Australian swimmer Shayna Jack tested positive for LGD-4033 at the World Swimming Championship in 2019. She claimed that she might’ve taken it “unknowingly”. This line of defense didn’t save her career, though.

SARMs are SARMs, not dietary supplements. I can call Dianabol a vitamin, but it won’t save you from the side effects.

Misbranding – especially with new and poorly researched substances – is a dangerous thing. It reminds me of the infamous “HCG Diet” – you can read more about it in our complete HCG guide.

LGD-4033 FAQ

The diet thing is not the only tricky question about Ligandrol. Here are some other, popular questions that need to be cleared: 

How To Take LGD-4033

Finally, to practice. LGD-4033, as most SARMs, comes in pills or capsules. It’s oral, so you just take it as your ordinary painkillers. LGD has a half-life Of 24-36 hours, which means that you can take it just once a day.

When To Take LGD-4033

The best time for the administration is…whatever the time you’re comfortable with. Seriously. LGD peaks in 1 hour after the administration, so I assume that the best time is exactly 1 hour before the workout. It’s not THAT important, though. The difference that you can achieve by the precise timing here is insignificant. Some athletes report feeling sleepy all day when they take LGD in the morning. Others prefer it before breakfast. We have no scientific data on this. That’s why timing in the case of LGD-4033 is individual. 

LGD-4033 Dosage 

In short, it’s 2,5-10mg of the compound with daily administration. Anything extra is a pointless waste of the compound. Recent clinical trials clearly show the connection between dosage and gains. Look at the graph: 

See that curve on the top? It means that “the more – the better” approach just doesn’t work here. The more you take – the less the difference from a mild dose is. At the same time, suppression grows straight along with the dosage. 

The most common dose is up to 10mg a day. That’s the limit for most athletes because it can give the maximum gains without severe suppression. 

Anything over 10mg ED of Ligandrol can shut you down in no time. Look for your sweet spot somewhere between 2,5mg and 10mg daily. 

Ligandrol Solo Cycle

You should never stack SARMs for your first cycle. It’s not about just Ligandrol, it’s about all substances of the class. 

I know how it works with young athletes: you see dozens of SARMs, all the benefits, and you want to try them all. The first thing that crosses your mind is, “Hey, can I take two at a time?” Hell, yes, you can! Just not for your first time. 

Gain some experience with solo cycles first. This way, you will know how your body reacts to compounds individually.

Don’t put yourself in a situation when you have to play a game of chance and think, which one of 3 compounds in a stack gives you headaches. 

LGD-4033 Stacks 

If you already have some experience and know how to deal with things, you can run LGD-4033 in a stack. Here are the best options 

LGD-4033 and RAD-140 Stack 

Two powerful bulkers in a combination can blow you up visually in no time and give you extreme strength gains. 

When you mix LGD-4033 and RAD-140, take both in mild doses. In a stack, suppression skyrockets even faster than your gains. 

Be sure to have some HCG on hands (just in case) and don’t even think about skipping the PCT. You should start the restoration part the next day after your last pill of the SARM! These are not long lasting Injectable Steroids. You don’t have to wait for two weeks to let your body clear. 

This is how the cycle should look like: 

Ligandrol (LGD-4033)Testolone (RAD-140)Nolvadex PCT
Weeks 1-82,5-5mg ED10-20mg ED
Weeks 9-1020mg ED
LGD-4033 and RAD-140 8-weeks cycle

LGD-4033 and MK-677 Stack 

Another bulking option, just as powerful as the previous one. All the rules remain the same, so here is just the protocol: 

Ligandrol (LGD-4033)Ibutamoren (MK-677)Nolvadex PCT
Weeks 1-82,5-5mg ED25mg ED
Weeks 9-1020mg ED

Best LGD-4033 Stack Ever 

Bulking stacks are a way to go, for sure, but there is just one compound that beats all other options: 

The best stack for LGD-4033 is two more weeks of LGD-4033. 

That’s right, just ten weeks of Ligandrol solo. Here is why it’s better than other options: 

  • No additional side effects; 
  • No raised risk of testosterone shut down; 
  • Still great bulking;
  • Still significant additional strength gains. 

LGD-4033 Side Effects

The bad news is that Ligandrol is suppressive as hell, and can shut you down. Even on a mild dosage of 0,3mg ED, it suppresses your natural testosterone level and decreases testicular functions. In other words, your balls get lazier, and you can get moobs.

Also, LGD-4033 is a “wet” compound. It causes notable water retention. Your face can get puffy, your limbs get swollen, and it lasts the whole week of a pea dosage. Some athletes are more prone to the thing and can get a more significant swelling, so pay extra attention to your sodium intake – you might be one of them.

PCT after Ligandrol is crucial. Don’t even try to avoid it, because “SARMs are not steroids, duh”. SARMs can hurt your testosterone just as bad.

The good news is that in every other significant aspect, LGD-4033 safety is proven by the trials.

Guys who took placebo and guys who took LGD reported the same insignificant side effects. However, guys on LGD got bigger, leaner, and had better physique by the end of the trials – and guys on placebo didn’t.

That’s what selective means – LGD-4033 does not affect your heart, red blood cell production, heart rate, blood pressure, liver enzymes, and prostate. It just doesn’t interact with them. Instead, you can get mild side effects:

  • Cholesterol levels misbalance (HDL increase);
  • Headaches;
  • Dizziness;
  • Mood swings;
  • Aggression.

Personal Opinion on LGD-4033

LGD-4033 stands out of all SARMs list. It’s an «experimental compound» that we know A LOT about. In basic terms, it remains experimental for bureaucratic reasons and because it was sold to Viking some years ago. I want this guide to be useful for people in the long run, but now, there is news that Viking is trying to take LGD off the market. Typically, it means that they will start another major round of full-scale trials soon. Even though it’s risky for the company, I hope that at some time, we will get Ligandrol back with additional data on it. The compound is worth it, and it doesn’t matter, whether we’ll call it LGD or VK-5211.