There are three types of SARMs stack. You’ve got a bulking stack, which everyone knows about and wants to do because you get ripped.
Then you’ve got cutting stacks. This is where you SARMs alongside hard work to burn more calories and therefore cut fat tone existing muscle.
Then you’ve got maintenance stacks. These aren’t talked about as often. I think it’s because they just sound a bit boring.
But a maintenance stack mixes muscle toning/growth with increased energy output and fat burning, so that you maintain the hard work you’ve already done, or even slightly improve it without going to the extremes of bulking or cutting.
Let’s Talk About Bulking Stack’s First
Bulking stacks are the glamorous SARMs stacks. These are the ones that get you the massive gains. You’ll look bigger, harder, leaner, and you’ll feel stronger and more powerful. Of course it’s extremely important to use pure SARMs, not something cheap unknown brand from Aliexpress.
But they steal the limelight from the workhorses of the cutting stack and the maintenance stack.
A typical bulking stack will usually contain one or more androgenic SARMs that interact with androgen receptors in muscle tissue to make them grow back harder and larger.
The androgenic SARMs are Ligandrol, S-23, Testolone, Mk 677 Ibutamoren and Andarine, although Andarine is good at producing hard and dry gains, rather than large ones.
Usually, bulking stack is also backed up with an energy boost like Cardarine so that you work out harder and recover better as well.
So you’ll get the gains, and you look fantastic. But then you’ll need that maintenance stack because you can’t just keep hammering your body with bulking stacks.
The Opposite Of Bulking Stacks Is Cutting Stacks
As well as bulking, you have to cut. If you don’t cut fat then you look huge, but you won’t be defined, toned, and chiseled.
To get that chiseled, dry muscular look, requires cutting body fat and toning up the muscle, which is the job of the SARMs cutting stack.
Usually containing Ostarine, or it’s more powerful big brother Andarine, both these SARMs are good because they tell the body to protect muscle mass in a calorie deficit you will be using.
So you’ll be eating in a calorie deficit, and working out hard. Andarine will protect the gains you have made and give you an energy boost.
You’ll then underpin that with something like Cardarine or Stenabolic, both of which can produce a significant energy boost. So you will work out harder and longer, burn more calories, and less of the energy you take in will be converted into body fat.
Why Maintenance SARMs Stacks Are So Un-Talked About
I think maintenance SARMs stacks are talked about less because they just aren’t particularly glamorous. You bulk up and that sounds impressive. When cut fat and tone, that sounds fantastic as well.
Maintenance stacks also feel a bit like you’re not making progress, like you’re treading water. But the truth is that they are maintain the hard work you’ve already done to re-comp your body through at least one cutting stack and then a bulking stack. Think of the bulking and cutting stacks is accelerating out onto the freeway, and then the maintenance stack is switching on cruise control and enjoying the effort to get you there.
For me, once you’ve been through your first year of SARMs, you are mostly going to be using maintenance stacks if you continue to work hard and eat well. You can’t keep bulking and cutting forever, so some stage you have to level out and have smaller amounts of incremental muscle growth and fat cutting is needed while maintaining the overall look you have achieved.
Here’s My Maintenance SARMs Stack
I want to talk you through my maintenance SARMs that now. This is what I use most of the time now.
In the beginning is all about cutting and bulking, but now it’s mostly about maintenance free years into my SARMs journey.
I’ll usually do to SARMs stacks a year, and I’ll talk you through how my strategy developed, and how much time I spend in maintenance in a moment.
But here’s the maintenance SARMs stack I use:
- 10 mg Andarine
- 10 mg Cardarine
- 5 mg YK-11
- 12 week cycle
- Minor PCT required
This SARMs stack is great for maintenance because it hits all angles from using SARMs at once.
First, you’ve got Andarine. That protects your muscle mass when you are eating in a slight calorie deficit. Not that I always do, but it protects against it. On top of that, it’s great for hardening and sculpting drive muscle mass.
Secondly, I’m using Cardarine in this maintenance stack. Cardarine produces significant increases in energy both before, during, and after your workout. So it’s great for motivation, working hard, recovering, and fueling your muscles for growth. On top of that, Cardarine rewires your energy supply so that you burn some of the fatty acids that would otherwise be converted into body fat.
Thirdly I have a small dose of YK-11. It’s non-androgenic, and more like a steroid in its chemical make up. So what you’re getting there is a very minor muscle building hit. It increases levels of an essential protein used for muscle mass development, so as well as sculpting hard muscle, you will slightly build them if you work hard.
Put all that together, and depending on how hard I work out and how much I eat, you’ve got a balance between protecting your gains, producing strong energy, sculpting the gains you’ve already got, and potentially increasing them a little if you work out hard.
Because it’s only mildly androgenic, you will only need Nolvadex for PCT, and at 10 mg of Andarine, you may not even need that.
How Much Of Your Time Should Be Spent In Maintenance?
The first year I started using SARMs, I did a cutting stack of 12 weeks first. That got rid of a lot of the fat hiding the muscle.
I waited 10 weeks, then in the second half of the year I did a 12 week bulking stack. Not aggressive, but quite long, so that I developed significant strength and muscle mass improvements.
In my second year, I did another cutting stack, a shorter six-week bulking stack, and then a 10 week maintenance stack.
Now in my third year, I’m doing my second consecutive 10 week maintenance stack. I may do a bulking stack for cutting stack depending on how I feel about how I look towards the end of year, but from here on in, 50% or more of my SARMs cycles are going to be maintenance stacks.