Achieving gains without the nasty side effects linked to the use of steroids and prohormones is ‘Utopia’- for every bodybuilder on the planet! This is one of the reasons why SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) are shaking up the fitness industry and taking the bodybuilding world by storm. Basically, SARMs give you the similar effects to taking steroids and prohormones but without the high blood pressure, man boobs and numerous other horrible side effects!
One of the SARMs that are gathering a big following is MK-677, Nutrobal or Ibutamoren. Let’s take a closer look at this relatively new SARM…
Benefits of using MK-677
- It has healing properties for all musculoskeletal tissues i.e. ligaments, tendons and bone.
- Tightens up loose skin.
- Boosts lean muscle mass.
- Improves your quality of sleep.
- Increases the breakdown of body fat.
How MK-677 works
It was originally designed to combat health issues such as osteoporosis, obesity and muscle wasting. MK-677 targets specific types of androgen receptors, and this changes the way that these androgen receptor work within the body. In essence, it stimulates these androgen receptors to copy the benefits of anabolic steroids but without the added side effects.
MK 677 works in the following way:
- Increases the overall production of Human Growth Hormone
- Encourages the release of Human Growth Hormone
- Inhibits and slows down the activity of somatostatin (this stops the release of the Human Growth Hormone).
Human Growth Hormone
MK 677 is an orally taken SARM that stimulates the pituitary glance to secrete Human Growth Hormone (HGH).(1) Human Growth Hormone is a stress related hormone that increases glucose levels, free fatty acids and the insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) within the body. It also promotes muscle tissue growth, cell and regeneration and it plays a key role in keeping your metabolism and immune system healthy. This is important to all lifters as Human Growth Hormone does play a part in:
- The creation and maintenance of muscle mass.
- A healthy metabolism- this aids fat burning throughout the body.
- A healthy immune system- this helps with reduced recovery times, growth and repair of muscle tissue.
Unfortunately, when we reach our 30’s, Human Growth Hormone does begin to drop rapidly. This can lead to an increase in body fat, a reduction in muscle mass and bone density. At this point in your life, it is time to step up your resistance training regime, eat a higher protein diet and to supplement with MK 677. Injecting with HGH is probably not the best course of action, as with any anabolic performance enhancing drug, there are nasty side effects attached to it. These include an increase in insulin resistance, swelling at the joints, muscle pain and man boobs.
The role of IGF-1
In clinical trials MK 677 has been reported to boost lean muscle mass and the hormone IGF-1 (2). Insulin growth factor-1 or IGF-1 is a hormone very similar to the structure of insulin (although it is made in the liver and not the pancreas) and it is a powerful precursor for cell growth in adults. It is highly anabolic and IGF-1 does promote muscle hypertrophy, the formation of new muscle cells and musculoskeletal tissue repair. IGF-1 does lower blood glucose levels- this does help with fat burning and the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Benefits of MK-677
Improves body shape
MK-677 does increase your metabolism and a high energy turnover (within the body) has a clear link to fat burning and fat loss. It works by increasing both Human Growth Hormone and IGF-1 levels. This helps with insulin control and firing up your metabolism. If insulin levels are uncontrolled, this can lead to an increase in fat storage and damage to your body composition.
The ultimate goals are to burn fat and to harness insulin post exercise, so that it can be used a vehicle to drive the amino acids into the muscle tissue. This can be achieved by mixing it up with a high quality protein powder and dextrose post exercise. Dextrose is a good supplement for rapidly increasing the blood glucose levels and the body counteracts this by secreting insulin. This strategy will harness the insulin (if performed within 20 minutes post exercise); thus improving your muscle growth and recovery!
Increases Bone Strength
There is evidence to support MK-677’s role in boosting bone strength and mineral density. Again, it is down to Human Growth Hormone’s role in the creation of osteoblasts, and from this viewpoint it is used for osteoporosis. From a bodybuilding perspective, it is pointless having the best musculature on the planet, if you don’t have the right scaffolding to support it. Plus, if you do get injured then MK-677 has healing properties to get you back on track with your training regime and physique goals.
MK-677 works very similar to GW-501516 by increasing the oxygen usage of the slow twitch muscle fibres. In terms of lifting, it allows you to train at a lower intensity for a longer duration with little bouts of rest in between sets. This is good news if you are completing a lifting circuit, as you can execute several sets with higher reps with a slower deliberate motion.
Sleep researchers are reporting that a poor night’s sleep can have a massive impact on our metabolism, and not getting enough sleep can reduce glucose metabolism by as much as 40% (3). Human Growth Hormones is decreased during sleep debt, this can slow down your gains and limit your fat burning potential. Cortisol levels also increase after having a poor night’s sleep. This is a clear relationship between high cortisol levels and an increase in belly fat- this is a lifter’s worse nightmare!
The recommended doses of MK-677 to improve muscle mass is 5-25 mg. It can be consumed daily over a 10 weeks block. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you start at the lower end of the range, as this will give your body time to adapt to this powerful SARM.
Increased levels of Human Growth Hormone can be linked to numb hands, skin issues, increased body weight, a reduction in insulin sensitivity and a slight increase in appetite. These side effects are very much minimal and the benefits of taking MK-677 outweigh these negatives considerably. Therefore, MK-677 is very safe and it is recommended for building muscle mass, improving bone strength and for recovery purposes.
- A medical review on MK-677 (Nutrobal) growth hormone secretagogue
- Nass R, Pezzoli SS, Oliveri MC, et al. Effects of an oral ghrelin mimetic on body composition and clinical outcomes in healthy older adults: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(9):601-11
- Powers M (2005). “Performance-Enhancing Drugs”. In Leaver-Dunn D, Houglum J, Harrelson GL. Principles of Pharmacology for Athletic Trainers. Slack Incorporated. ISBN 1-55642-594-5.