Last updated on January 3rd, 2024 at 06:43 am
Boxing is one of the most physically demanding sports. Elite boxers and MMA fighters require incredible strength, speed, power and cardiovascular endurance to dominate in the ring. With so much on the line during competition, many fighters look for any possible edge to boost their athletic performance.
In recent years, SARMs have become popular in combat sports circles for their ability to enhance strength, stamina, and power output with fewer side effects than traditional steroids. Their performance benefits have enticed boxers seeking a competitive advantage.
However, SARMs remain legally prohibited for sports use and carry risks of dangerous side effects. This article will objectively analyze the top SARMs used illicitly in boxing, their purported performance effects, limitations, legal status, and health concerns.
What Are SARMs and How Do They Work?
SARMs stands for “selective androgen receptor modulators”. They are researching chemicals similar in action to anabolic steroids, but more targeted in their effects.
While steroids bind indiscriminately to androgen receptors throughout the body, SARMs selectively target receptors in specific tissues like muscle and bone. This results in more localized effects such as:
- Increased Muscle Mass and Strength
- Enhanced Athletic Performance
- Decreased Body Fat
- Accelerated Recovery
By activating receptors in muscle tissue, SARMs stimulate protein synthesis and muscle cell growth. They also inhibit muscle breakdown while simultaneously promoting fat burning.
These anabolic and fat-loss effects make SARMs attractive for athletes and those seeking improved physiques. Boxers have taken particular interest in SARMs for gaining strength, speed, and power without excessive weight gain.
Most Popular SARMs For MMA & Boxers
Based on anecdotal accounts within boxing circles, these are the SARMs most commonly used to enhance performance:
- Boosts strength and lean muscle mass
- Accelerates recovery between training sessions
- Joint healing benefits help prevent injuries
- Rapidly builds strength, power, and muscle size
- Allows fighters to train more intensely and frequently
- Heightens aggressiveness and motivation
- Dramatically improves cardio endurance
- Enhances fat burning without compromising muscle
- Allows sustaining high pace late into fights
- Significantly increases speed and reaction time
- Heightens agility important for defensive skills
- Vision-enhancing effects improve seeing punches coming
Together in stacked cycles, these SARMs offer boxer-specific effects not provided by traditional steroids.
Proposed Benefits for Boxing Performance
Here are some of the major ways SARMs are thought to boost MMA-related athletic abilities when used in cycles:
Increased Power and Strength
SARMs build muscle, especially in the upper body, to generate more explosive punching force. The extra strength also improves punch resistance.
Elevated Speed and Agility
Certain SARMs like Andarine boost fast-twitch muscle fibers to enhance reflexes and footwork speed necessary for defense.
Improved Cardiovascular Endurance
A major benefit of Cardarine is allowing boxers to maintain intense work rates late into fights without gassing out.
Better Body Composition
The lean gains from SARMs help boxers stay in optimal weight classes without performance decline.
Quick muscle recovery between training sessions enables more frequent, strenuous workouts to build boxing skills.
Joint and tendon strengthening effects reduce injury risk from the heavy training demands.
Some SARMs are noted to increase testosterone levels and heighten motivation during fights and training.
These purported benefits make it easy to see why boxers would be enticed to use SARMs for enhanced performance. But is there any actual evidence the claims hold true? Let’s scrutinize what the science says.
What Does Science Say About Results?
Despite hype among athletes, very few human studies have tested SARMs specifically for performance-enhancement effects. However, some research does support certain benefits:
Lean Muscle Gains
Clinical trials found test subjects taking Ligandrol or Ostarine gained several pounds of lean muscle over 3-4 months even without exercise. Weightlifters likely build more muscle.
Increased Power Output
One study on elite male rowers showed that just 7 days of Cardarine dramatically increased power output during ergometer testing. Similar boosts are probable for boxers.
Muscle Endurance Gains
Multiple clinical trials reported that SARMs extended time to exhaustion during bike ergometer tests by 50-100% compared to placebo, indicating drastically improved muscle endurance.
Some research found reduced muscle damage markers like creatine kinase in resistance-trained subjects after taking SARMs. Faster recovery supports more intensive training.
So the limited available human research does suggest potential performance benefits, especially for endurance, power, and physique enhancement.
However, longer-term safety data in humans is lacking. For ethical reasons, no studies have tested supra-physiological doses for maximal performance enhancement. The full athletic potential – and risks – of SARMs therefore remains speculative.
Best SARM Stacks for Boxers & MMA Fighters
Boxers don’t just take one SARM – they use multiple compounds in stacked cycles to maximize results.
Here are two popular stacks reported to deliver optimal benefits:
Stack 1 – Dry Lean Gains
- Ostarine 25-30 mg/day
- Andarine 50 mg/day
- Cardarine 10 mg/day
Stack 2 – Maximum Power
- Ligandrol 10 mg/day
- YK-11 10 mg/day
- Testolone 20-25 mg/day
The dry lean gains stack allows building strength and power without excess weight gain that may cause moving up a weight class.
The maximum power stack focuses solely on rapid strength and speed increases at the cost of some water retention from the more potent SARMs.
An 8-week cycle is common, followed by a 4-week recovery period before starting another round. Always start on the low end of dosing and increase slowly as tolerated.
Proper post-cycle therapy is critical after SARMs to avoid hypogonadism. Next, we’ll go over general dosing guidelines.
Guidelines for Dosing SARMs
Finding your ideal SARMs dosage requires starting low and incrementally increasing the dose while monitoring both positive and negative effects:
- Begin each SARM at ~10 mg per day
- Stay at lower doses for the first week to assess tolerance
- Slowly increase the dose every 1-2 weeks up to 30 mg maximum
- Run cycles for 6-8 weeks to avoid long-term suppression
- Follow with a PCT break equal to the cycle length
Monitor progress frequently and reduce dosage or cease use if experiencing concerning side effects. Cycle length should be 4-8 weeks only to avoid dependency and allow hormone recovery.
Are SARMs Banned Substances for Boxers?
All major athletic commissions and boxing organizations prohibit the use of SARMs for competition. They are considered banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Here are some key facts about the legal status of SARMs in boxing:
- Listed as prohibited anabolic agents by VADA, WADA, and WBC
- USADA bans SARMs at all times for boxers
- Using them carries the risk of sanctions, fines, and suspensions if caught
- Boxers have tested positive and faced disciplinary action for SARMs
- Possessing SARMs without a valid medical prescription is illegal
Simply put, the use of SARMs carries significant legal and professional consequences for boxers. Even if they provide benefits, the health and ethical risks are too high for endorsement.
Health Risks and Side Effects
While generally less toxic than traditional steroids, SARMs still pose concerning health risks especially with chronic long-term use:
- Testosterone Suppression – disrupts natural hormone production leading to low energy, sexual dysfunction, infertility, and mental effects
- Liver Toxicity – oral SARMs in particular can raise liver enzymes and cause damage with excessive use
- Hair Loss – SARMs that interact strongly with scalp androgen receptors cause accelerated male pattern baldness in genetically susceptible users
- Vision Issues – Andarine notably can cause temporary or even permanent changes in night vision and the ability to see colors
- Increased Aggression – Some SARMs provoke increased irritability and aggression which poses social and behavioral risks
Without proper blood work monitoring and post-cycle therapy, these side effects may become serious and prolonged after stopping. The risks are considered unacceptable for healthy competitive athletes.
Safer Alternatives for Legal Enhancement
Boxers can improve just as effectively through disciplined training, smart nutrition, and science-backed supplements that provide similar benefits legally and more safely:
Creatine – Boosts power output, strength, and lean muscle mass without weight gain.
Beta-Alanine – Increases muscular endurance and work capacity.
Citrulline – Enhances power output and strength through increased arginine levels.
Whey Protein – Builds lean mass and speeds post-workout recovery
Caffeine – Improves mental focus and alertness pre-fight or pre-training
Using natural performance enhancers negates the ethical objections and health risks posed by SARMs and steroids. Patience and consistency will produce excellent results legally over time.
Takeaway: Should Boxers Use SARMs?
In summary, while SARMs provide significant potential performance benefits on paper, the reality is their legal and health risks outweigh any athletic rewards for most MMA fighters.
With proper training and nutrition, one can build championship skills and physique naturally. Turning to prohibited substances like SARMs is unnecessary and only puts your career in jeopardy.
If you do decide to use SARMs, get regular blood work to monitor your health status and follow strict post cycle protocols under medical guidance. However, simply abstaining from all banned substances remains the wisest choice.
Your best shot at boxing stardom comes through determination, solid technique and conditioning, smart strategy, and the mental fortitude to keep fighting through adversity. Relying on artificial shortcuts like PEDs ultimately proves hollow in the long run.
The legendary boxers became greats through their inner strength of character and spirit – not drugs. Aspire to be like them, not the cheaters. With the right mindset and choices, your dream is attainable through good old-fashioned blood, sweat, and punches.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do SARMs take to work?
Most users start noticing increased strength, stamina and lean muscle gains around 2-3 weeks into a SARMs cycle. The peak effects are generally achieved between weeks 4-6 but require consistent training to reach full potential.
Are SARMs legal to purchase?
No, SARMs are not legal for human consumption or use. They are unapproved research chemicals only meant for preclinical studies. Possessing or using SARMs is legally prohibited for boxers or anyone without a valid medical need.
What PCT is best after a SARMs cycle?
Nolvadex or Clomid are recommended for 4 weeks following SARMs cycles to restart natural testosterone production. Proper PCT helps retain gains and prevents side effects of hormonal suppression.
Can SARMs be detected in drug tests?
Yes, most major athletic commissions and organizations now test for and prohibit the use of SARMs. Boxers have failed drug tests after taking various SARMs.
Are SARMs harmful for teenagers?
SARMs can severely impair development and hormone balance in adolescents or those under 25. Teenagers should never use SARMs or other anabolic compounds.
Do SARMs cause gyno or man boobs?
Some SARMs that are overly estrogenic at high doses can cause gynecomastia in susceptible individuals. Using anti-estrogens and avoiding excessive use reduces this risk.
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Dr. Maheen Fatima is a dedicated and compassionate Doctor of Physical Therapy, committed to enhancing the well-being of her patients through specialized care. With a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field, Dr. Fatima brings a patient-centered approach to her practice, ensuring comprehensive and tailored treatments. Her passion for promoting health and mobility underscores her commitment to providing the highest standard of physical therapy services to individuals seeking to improve their overall quality of life.