Testosterone Propionate is a single ester testosterone compound and represents one of the most important testosterone compounds every manufactured. When synthetic testosterone was first created it was in its pure form. Simply put there was no ester attached, thereby providing a fast acting compound that would necessarily require a very frequent administration schedule. In 1937 the pharmaceutical giant Schering out of Germany would release the first ester base testosterone in Testosterone Propionate under the trade name Testoviron. The same trade name it would eventually give to its Testosterone Enanthate product. By attaching the Propionate ester to the hormone, this would allow for the hormone’s release time to be controlled and provided a more efficient means in maintaining stable blood levels. Although this was not the first synthetic testosterone preparation created, Testosterone Propionate would become the first commercially available testosterone product. It would also dominate the medical community until the 1960’s and much of the newly born performance enhancing community.
During the 1960’s Testosterone Propionate would lose a lot of its popularity in favor of the larger ester base Testosterone Cypionate and Testosterone Enanthate compounds. However, it is still used medicinally today as well as by many performance athletes. You will find more of it among the latter group than anywhere else. Many performance enhancing athletes actually believe the Propionate form will lead to less water retention than the dominating large ester forms of Testosterone. For this reason, it is often the preferred form of testosterone during cutting cycles. While this is the common belief it is also a misconception. Regardless of the testosterone form the hormone does not become active in the body until the ester detaches and then the hormone is released. Regardless of the ester originally attached to the hormone you still have the same testosterone hormone in the body once the ester is removed. So where does this myth come from? Common sense tells us that when running a cutting cycle the individual will consume a calorie restricted diet, one that is often healthier and with less of an abundance in carbohydrates. As a result the individual will hold less water. Then we have the fact that many often use less testosterone when dieting and if your total dose is less than an off-season dose there’s less active hormone available to promote water retention. All in all, you can receive the same benefits with Testosterone Propionate as all testosterone forms. However, an advantage of Testosterone Propionate is that it can be easier to maintain stable and peaked blood levels of the hormone due to the very frequent injection protocol compared to large ester bases.
Outside of performance enhancement, Testosterone Propionate has found a number of therapeutic uses. However, like all testosterone forms the treatment of male androgen deficiency such as low testosterone has always been the most common point of use. Testosterone Propionate has, however, also found other points of interesting use over the years in treating menopausal issues, chronic cystic mastitis, excessive lactation and endometriosis. This was for a decent amount of time the most commonly used testosterone for female medical treatment, but it has largely been removed from U.S. FDA approval in female patients. It is still approved for male use in the U.S. but it will be found in medicinal circles more commonly in other parts of the world. However, Cypionate and Enanthate remain the dominate forms worldwide leaving Propionate to be primarily use in performance circles.
Testosterone Propionate Functions & Traits:
Testosterone Propionate is a pure testosterone hormone. Although synthetic it is a perfect replica of the primary naturally produced male androgen testosterone. By design, the hormone is attached to the Propionate (propionic acid) ester, a small/short ester that enables the hormone’s release time to be controlled. Without an ester, the hormone would disperse and dissipate rapidly post administration. By attaching the ester, this promotes a controlled release and allows the individual to inject the hormone less frequently. Once Testosterone Propionate is injected, the ester slowly begins to detach from the hormone. As the ester is detached the testosterone hormone begins to release into the blood. The half-life of Testosterone Propionate is approximately two days, which is substantially longer than ester free testosterone, which carries a half-life a little less than 24 hours.
As a pure testosterone, Testosterone Propionate carries an anabolic rating of 100 and an androgenic rating of 100 as well. The testosterone hormone itself represents the basis by which all anabolic and androgenic ratings are measured in all anabolic steroids. More importantly, while carrying these structural ratings, its translating rating matches up perfectly. Testosterone Propionate will yield a notable amount of anabolic and androgenic activity. This is important as not all steroids match their structural ratings in a translating capacity.
Although synthetic in nature, Testosterone Propionate is an efficient hormone for the treatment of low testosterone. Testosterone is an essential hormone produced by men and women that affects our physical, mental and sexual wellbeing. While produced and essential for both sexes, men require approximately ten times that of women. If you suffer from low testosterone and more than 20 million men in the U.S. suffer from some type of androgen deficiency, Testosterone Propionate will remedy the problem. However, while effective, after all, it is testosterone, it is not a preferred form of treatment as it will require frequent injections. Testosterone Cypionate and Testosterone Enanthate remain the dominant forms in treatment plans. However, if you suffer and Testosterone Propionate is what’s available it is a suitable option.
There are numerous symptoms associated with low testosterone. The symptoms themselves are not life threatening but they severally diminish your quality of life. More importantly, when the condition is ignored it can be an open doorway to many far more serious conditions, some of which are life threatening. The symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Loss of Libido (can refer to partial or total loss)
- Erectile Dysfunction (inability to maintain or obtain and erection)
- Loss of Muscle Mass (despite diet & exercise)
- Loss of Strength (despite diet & exercise)
- Increased Body Fat (despite diet & exercise)
- Loss of Mental Clarity
- Decreased Ability to Focus
- Decreased Energy
- Weakened Immune System
Regular administration of Testosterone Propionate will remedy every last symptom on this list if it is due to low testosterone. In the early stages of low testosterone you may not display too many symptoms. Many men initially display one of the sexually related most commonly and perhaps one more from the list. However, while the sexually related symptoms are the most common it is possible to suffer from low testosterone without such symptoms initially. As time goes by, if ignored the symptoms will begin to mount. If continually ignored low testosterone can in part promote several far more concerning conditions including:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Heart Disease
When compounds like Testosterone Propionate can so easily remedy a low testosterone condition, there really is no excuse for living with the problem. There are possible side effects to use, but keep in mind this is merely testosterone a hormone your body is well accustomed to. For the low level patient, while there are possible side effects of Testosterone Propionate very few men will have a problem.
While a perfect replica of the primary male androgen, treating low testosterone is not the only functional trait provided by Testosterone Propionate. This is a highly versatile anabolic steroid and high levels of the hormone will enhance several primary anabolic characteristics. When we refer to high levels, this is the realm of performance enhancement. With this type of use, the individual will be taking his testosterone levels far above and beyond what could ever be naturally produced. Through this action, Testosterone Propionate will promote five key steroidal enhancement traits that will serve most any man tremendously well. With this type of use, every man who supplements will enjoy improvements in his life in the same areas as a low level patient. However, it is the tremendous enhancement provided by the five traits that separate and distinguish this type of use. The five primary anabolic traits of Testosterone Propionate include:
- Enhanced Protein Synthesis
- Enhanced Nitrogen Retention
- Increased Red Blood Cell Count
- Increased IGF-1 Output
- Inhibition of Glucocorticoid Hormones
By enhancing protein synthesis, this simply means we enhance the rate by which cells build proteins. Protein representing the primary building block of muscle tissue; this is essential to repair and recovery, which is where anabolic growth is promoted. The promotion of nitrogen will also enhance the anabolic atmosphere as all lean tissue is comprised of approximately 16% nitrogen. When nitrogen levels fall this can lead to a catabolic (muscle wasting) state. Conversely, the more nitrogen we retain the more anabolic we remain.
Then we have the promotion of red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to and through the blood. Greater blood oxygenation results in greater muscular endurance, enhanced recovery and again promotes the anabolic atmosphere. From here we have the promotion of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a naturally produced protein hormone that is highly anabolic and essential to the body’s recovery and rejuvenation abilities. This is a hormone that affects nearly every cell in the human body and will have a positive impact on muscle tissue, ligaments and tendons, cartilage, and even the central nervous system.
Finally we’re left with inhibition of glucocorticoid or stress hormones. These hormones are necessary to the body’s wellbeing to a degree but they are muscle wasting and fat promoting hormones. Cortisol is the most well-known glucocorticoid and it is very easy for these hormones to become dominant in the body. A dominant atmosphere will lead to the opposite of an anabolic atmosphere. Thankfully compounds like Testosterone Propionate will ensure this doesn’t happen.
Effects of Testosterone Propionate:
For the low testosterone patient, if you supplement with Testosterone Propionate you will suffer no more. This is the primary effect of Testosterone in this regard. Levels were low and now they’re not. Then we have the performance enhancing athlete, and as a versatile anabolic steroid the effects of Testosterone Propionate will cover a wide breadth in this category.
For the off-season athlete there is no anabolic steroid more important or beneficial than testosterone. High levels of testosterone will promote significant increases in lean muscle mass and strength. This is assuming that the individual is consuming adequate calories. Compounds like Testosterone Propionate are not magical, you will still need to feed your body enough calories. During an off-season period of growth, this means total caloric intake will need to be slightly above maintenance. This will, unfortunately, promote body fat gain. However, the key to a successful off-season is gaining lean tissue while minimizing body fat gain to the fullest extent possible. By supplementing with Testosterone Propionate you will be able to achieve this more efficiently. High testosterone levels will promote a stronger metabolic rate. This is not a license to eat like there’s no end in sight, but you should be able to make better use of your calories.
Then we have the cutting phase, and Testosterone Propionate can be invaluable here. In order to lose body fat we must burn more calories than we consume. You can follow the healthiest diet in the world and exercise yourself into the ground but if you are not in a caloric deficit you will not lose body fat. Unfortunately, this necessary caloric deficit puts our lean muscle tissue at risk, especially as we become leaner. The human body does not want to lose body fat due to its survival instinct. As energy demands increase during dieting the body will take what it needs from wherever it wants, and this is often from your muscle tissue. The key to successful dieting is not only losing fat but minimizing muscle tissue low. High testosterone levels will enable you to achieve this efficiently. Without an anabolic protectant like Testosterone Propionate, some lean muscle tissue loss will occur, this is a given. Due to the metabolic enhancement provided by high testosterone levels, the individual will also burn fat at a more efficient rate.
Regardless of your purpose of use, all who supplement with Testosterone Propionate will find their muscular endurance is greatly enhanced. You will not tire out as fast. You will also find your overall rate of recovery is greatly improved, and it is through recovery that progress is made. This makes Testosterone Propionate an excellent steroid for athletes who may not have any bulking or cutting in mind. The increases in endurance and recovery along with improved strength will simply lead to more effective athletic performance.
Side Effects of Testosterone Propionate:
Testosterone Propionate is a very well-tolerated anabolic steroid for most healthy adult men. Healthy is excluding a low testosterone condition. While carrying a high threshold of toleration, there are possible side effects of Testosterone Propionate use. For the low level patient, the side effects of Testosterone Propionate will rarely be a problem. Side effects are possible, but keep in mind you’re merely replacing what your body is lacking. For the performance athlete, this will require supraphysiological doses of the hormone and this is where the side effects of Testosterone Propionate will be most common. However, most men can tolerate high testosterone levels very well. There is a cutoff point and it will vary from one man to the next, but most men can enjoy and control relatively high levels of the hormone. In order to help you understand the possible side effects of Testosterone Propionate, we have broken them down into their separate categories along with all the information you’ll need.
The side effects of Testosterone Propionate will predominantly surround its estrogenic nature. The testosterone hormone has the ability to convert to estrogen through its interaction with the aromatase enzyme. As aromatization occurs, if estrogen levels become high this can lead to gynecomastia and excess water retention. Severe excess water retention can also lead to high blood pressure. Fortunately, it is very easy to control and avoid the estrogenic side effects of Testosterone Propionate.
Many men are commonly encouraged to use an anti-estrogen when supplementing with exogenous testosterone. You have two choices in anti-estrogens, Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM’s) like Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate) and Aromatase Inhibitors (AI’s) like Arimidex (Anastrozole). AI’s will be the most effective as they inhibit aromatization and lower serum estrogen levels. SERM’s will not inhibit or reduce estrogen, but rather bind to the estrogen receptor preventing the estrogen hormone from binding.
While AI’s are the most effective, they can also be harsh on cholesterol. They do not appear to be too harsh on their own, but when combined with an aromatizing steroid like Testosterone Propionate the problem is enhanced. SERM’s will not promote any negative cholesterol activity. In fact, while anti-estrogenic SERM’s actually act as estrogen in the liver and will promote healthy cholesterol. SERM’s should always be your first choice if they can get the job done. However, some will need an AI and if so they will need to put more effort into controlling their cholesterol.
Testosterone Propionate is a potent androgenic hormone and as a result androgenic side effects are possible. The possible androgenic side effects of Testosterone Propionate include acne, accelerated hair loss in those predisposed to male pattern baldness and body hair growth. While these side effects of Testosterone Propionate are possible, they are highly dependent on genetic predispositions. Many men will not have an issue at all, while others may need to exercise a little caution.
The testosterone hormone has the ability to reduce to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) due to it being metabolized by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. This is what promotes the androgenic activity in the target areas of the skin and scalp. Some men may find a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor like Finasteride to be useful as it will reduce the hormones relative androgenicity. It will not completely reduce this activity but it will have a pronounced effect.
Testosterone Propionate can have a negative impact on cholesterol, particularly HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in suppressing total HDL levels. A therapeutic dose should not support a strong statistical decrease, however, the same dose could promote HDL suppression when conjoined with an AI. With a supraphysiological dose, total HDL suppression by as much as 20% is very possible. If conjoined with an AI it will more than likely be exasperated.
If you’re going to supplement with Testosterone Propionate, especially if you’re going to include an AI a cholesterol friendly lifestyle will be important. The individuals diet should be rich in omega fatty acids, low in saturated fats and simple sugars, and plenty of cardiovascular activity should be part of your normal routine. Those who ensure a cholesterol friendly lifestyle will rarely have an issue unless some underlying condition exists.
Regardless of who you are or why you’re using it, the side effects of Testosterone Propionate will always include the suppression of natural testosterone production. For the low level patient this is of no concern. Such an individual is not producing enough testosterone to begin with. For the performance athlete, during use this is also no concern as the exogenous testosterone will provide your body all it needs.
Once use is discontinued, natural testosterone production will begin again. This, however, does not apply to the low testosterone patient. A low level patient will more than likely always need exogenous testosterone therapy.
For the performance athlete, although production will begin again on its own more are encouraged to implement a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) plan. This will cut down the total recovery time and ensure you have enough testosterone for proper bodily function while your levels continue to naturally rise. No, a PCT plan will not return you to normal on its own, there’s no PCT plan that can do this, but it will ensure a more efficient and comfortable recovery. It will also greatly protect your lean muscle tissue. Once a cycle is discontinued and natural testosterone levels are low, it is very easy for cortisol to become the dominant hormone, and this will put your lean tissue at risk. Implement a PCT plan and this problem is solved.
An important note on natural testosterone recovery; this assumes severe damage was not done to the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis (HPTA) due to improper steroidal supplementation. It also assumes no prior low testosterone condition existed.
Testosterone Propionate is not hepatotoxic. This anabolic steroid will present no stress or damage to the liver.
Testosterone Propionate Administration:
For low testosterone treatment standard Testosterone Propionate doses will normally fall in the 25-50mg per injection range and are normally given 2-3 times per week. However, keep in mind in the modern age it is rarely used when compounds like Cypionate or Enanthate are available.
For performance enhancing athletes, 25-50mg every other day is generally a solid dose of Testosterone Propionate to combat suppression caused by the use of other anabolic steroids. For a true anabolic benefit, doses will normally fall in the 100mg every other day range. This is a very safe dose, easy to control and should be well-tolerated by most adult men. Higher doses can be used, most men can tolerate 150mg every other day very well. Many men will be able to tolerate 200mg every other day with relative ease. However, always keep in mind that the higher the dose the greater the probability of adverse effects. Higher doses will require more caution and effort in controlling side effects but it is more than possible to control them.
Testosterone Propionate will stack well with any and all anabolic steroids. Off-season bulking plans will often include compounds like Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate), Anadrol (Oxymetholone) or Dianabol (Methandrostenolone). During the cutting phase, you will find Test-P as it’s often known stacks well with Anavar (Oxandrolone), Masteron (Drostanolone), Primobolan (Methenolone), Trenbolone and Winstrol (Stanozolol). The Trenbolone hormone can also be very beneficial during periods of off-season growth.