Testosterone Propionate

Testosterone Propionate

Testosterone propionate is a fast-acting form of testosterone with a relatively short-half life.

Testosterone propionate is probably the third most popular injectable form of the primary male hormone testosterone after testosterone enanthate and testosterone cypionate. Testosterone propionate is relatively fast-acting compared to testosterone esters such as enanthate and cypionate.

Testosterone propionate is administered every 1-3 days to maintain stable levels of circulating testosterone. The short-acting nature requires more frequent injections than the enanthate or cypionate esters.

History of testosterone.

Testosterone was first synthesized in the laboratory in the 1930s. In fact, Swiss and German scientists won the 1939 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this discovery.

Testosterone propionate and methyltestosterone were the first forms of testosterone used in scientific and medical research in the 1940s.

West coast bodybuilders eventually started experimenting with testosterone propionate, testosterone suspension and methyltestosterone in the 1950s. No other injectable steroids were available during these early years.

Testosterone propionate was probably one of the first injectable steroid product used by bodybuilders in the 1950s and 1960s. However, testosterone’s popularity was dampened by the stigma of it being an injectable (intramuscular) drug.

Orally-active drugs, such as Nilevar and Dianabol, quickly supplanted injectables such as testosterone propionate in the 1960s and 1970s. After all, it was much more convenient and socially-acceptable to simply pop another pill as if it were just a multi-vitamin or amino acid.

Testosterone endured as one of the most popular anabolic steroids.

The popularity of injectable testosterone-based products like testosterone propionate may have waned during the early years but testosterone was never abandoned by athletes.

The indisputable effectiveness of testosterone as an anabolic, muscle-building and performance-enhancing drug guaranteed that its use would endure. Testosterone is quite simply one of the most effective androgens and mass builders in the athlete’s drug arsenal.

The popularity of testosterone enjoyed a resurgence after users learned about many of the negative side effects associated with orally-active and synthetic injectable steroids.

Specifically, most of the oral steroids caused disruptions in liver function. This was due to the hepatoxicity of the 17-alpha alkylation process required to make the steroids orally-active. This side effects severely limited the dosage and the length of cycle for oral steroids.

The practical use of testosterone propionate.

Testosterone propionate is relatively faster- and shorter-acting compared to other testosterone esters such as testosterone enanthate and testosterone cypionate. For this reason, testosterone propionate much be injected much more frequently.

Testosterone propionate must be injected at least every other day to maintain stable serum blood levels of testosterone. The frequent injection schedule makes it less convenient for some athletes. Many testosterone users prefer long-acting testosterone esters that only require a once-weekly injection schedule.

Testosterone propionate users generally use 50 to 100 milligrams every other day when stacked with other anabolic steroids. Or they may use 50 to 100 milligrams every day if used as a standalone steroid cycle.

Testosterone propionate steroid stacks.

Testosterone propionate, like all forms of injectable testosterone, stacks very well with pretty much every other steroid. However, some steroids are more popular in conjunction with testosterone propionate stacks.

Given that testosterone propionate users are comfortable with the required frequent injection schedule, they are not afraid of using other short-acting steroid esters such as Masteron (drostanolone propionate) and trenbolone acetate.

Not surprisingly, testosterone propionate and drostanolone propionate stacks are very popular as are testosterone propionate and trenbolone acetate stacks.

Some bodybuilders use all testosterone propionate + drostanolone propionate + trenbolone acetate in a single stack. Various underground laboratories (UGLs) have recognized this trend and have produced blends of the three components to create a ready-made stack of fasting-acting compounds.

Other bodybuilders prefer to combine testosterone propionate in more traditional testosterone stacks with long-acting steroids. These popular combinations include testosterone + Deca Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate), testosterone + Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate) and Primobolan (methenolone enanthate).

Frontloading and tapering with testosterone propionate.

Testosterone propionate is also used for two very specific purposes at the very beginning and the very end of a testosterone-based cycle.

Frontloading: A traditional testosterone-based cycle involving testosterone cypionate or testosterone enanthate would take a couple of weeks to reach steady-state levels of blood serum testosterone. This is a less-than-ideal scenario although many people are happy to wait for the testosterone to “kick in”.

The use of testosterone propionate in the first week or two of a long-acting testosterone ester cycle can be an effective way to “jump-start” the cycle. It facilitates the achievement of a stead-state level of serum testosterone. This increases the efficacy of the cycle.

Tapering: There is also a specific-use case for testosterone propionate at the end of a long-acting testosterone ester cycle. The replacement of long-acting testosterone esters with short-acting esters like testosterone propionate can expedite the timing of post cycle therapy (PCT).

PCT is only effective once serum androgen levels drop down to at least physiologic levels. PCT is simply not effective when substantial amounts of exogenous androgens are still circulating in the bloodstream.

Testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate are relatively long-acting testosterone and take a long time to clear from the system. This means that users must wait several weeks after discontinuation before they even began to think about PCT and recovering their own natural hormone production.

If users drop the long-acting enanthate/cypionate esters of testosterone during the final weeks of the cycle and replace it with the short-acting propionate ester of testosterone, the supraphysiological levels of serum testosterone will drop much more quickly.

This strategy allows the implementation of PCT weeks earlier leading to a much quicker recovery of endogenous testosterone production.

Testosterone propionate side effects

The side effects of testosterone propionate are generally the same as the side effects for all injectable testosterone products. The parent compound is testosterone after all. And once the ester releases testosterone into the bloodstream, the actions of testosterone are the same.

The most notable side effects of testosterone result from the metabolism of the parent compound into estradiol or E2 (via the aromatase enzyme) and dihydrotesterone or DHT (via the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme).

It should be noted that DHT are E2 are not categorically ‘bad’. The conversion of testosterone to DHT and E2 is very desirable at physiologic testosterone levels. For example, oral and synthetic steroids that do not metabolize into DHT/E2 can lead to adverse sexual side effects and can exacerbate serum lipid problems (cholesterol and triglycerides).

Yet, E2 and DHT can cause serious problems when serum testosterone becomes extremely elevated with the use of exogenous testosterone. Elevated DHT levels can result in oily skinm acne and accelerated hair loss while elevated E2 can result in water retention, increased blood pressure and gynecomastia (also known as “gyno”).

Managing the side effects of testosterone propionate.

It may be impossible to avoid all adverse side effects from the use of anabolic steroids such as testosterone propionate. But it is possible to effectively manage the side effects that result from the conversion of testosterone to E2 and DHT.

Athletes who use high-dose testosterone cycles are more likely to experience E2- and DHT-related problems. The good news is that there are ancillary pharmaceutical drugs that disrupt these enzymatic conversions.

Finasteride (Proscar and Propecia) and dutasteride (Avodart) are 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors that will block the conversion of testosterone to DHT. The goal in this case is not to eliminate DHT but to keep DHT levels within the physiologic range.

Similarly, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) such as anastrozole (Arimidex) and letrozole (Femara) can block the conversion of testosterone to E2.

Steroid users greatly fear the side effect of gynecomastia or “gyno” and often end up reducing E2 levels excessively. But bodybuilders should resist the temptation to the take too much Arimidex/Letrozole. Low E2 levels can cause a variety of undesirable side effects such as fatigue, worsened lipid profiles, weakened bones and erectile dysfunction.

Unfortunately, not all testosterone side effects are preventable. All anabolic steroids, testosterone included, have adverse cardiovascular side effects when used at supraphysiologic dosages.

These adverse effects include short-term (and usually transient) changes in lipid profiles. Specifically, steroids tend to reduce the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels, increase the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels, and increase triglycerides.

The long-term consequences of chronic steroid (testosterone) use can include elevated blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). This could increase an individual’s risk of experiencing a myocardial infarction (MI) or suffering from cardiovascular disease (CVD).

And of course, the suppression of endogenous testosterone production is unavoidable with any serious steroid cycle. The anabolic steroid induced hypogonadism (ASIH) is generally reversible in most cases after the discontinuation of steroids.

ctables such as testosterone propionate in the 1960s and 1970s. After all, it was much more convenient and socially-acceptable to simply pop another pill as if it were just a multi-vitamin or amino acid.

Testosterone endured as one of the most popular anabolic steroids.

The popularity of injectable testosterone-based products like testosterone propionate may have waned during the early years but testosterone was never abandoned by athletes.

The indisputable effectiveness of testosterone as an anabolic, muscle-building and performance-enhancing drug guaranteed that its use would endure. Testosterone is quite simply one of the most effective androgens and mass builders in the athlete’s drug arsenal.

The popularity of testosterone enjoyed a resurgence after users learned about many of the negative side effects associated with orally-active and synthetic injectable steroids.

Specifically, most of the oral steroids caused disruptions in liver function. This was due to the hepatoxicity of the 17-alpha alkylation process required to make the steroids orally-active. This side effects severely limited the dosage and the length of cycle for oral steroids.

The practical use of testosterone propionate.

Testosterone propionate is relatively faster- and shorter-acting compared to other testosterone esters such as testosterone enanthate and testosterone cypionate. For this reason, testosterone propionate much be injected much more frequently.

Testosterone propionate must be injected at least every other day to maintain stable serum blood levels of testosterone. The frequent injection schedule makes it less convenient for some athletes. Many testosterone users prefer long-acting testosterone esters that only require a once-weekly injection schedule.

Testosterone propionate users generally use 50 to 100 milligrams every other day when stacked with other anabolic steroids. Or they may use 50 to 100 milligrams every day if used as a standalone steroid cycle.

Testosterone propionate steroid stacks.

Testosterone propionate, like all forms of injectable testosterone, stacks very well with pretty much every other steroid. However, some steroids are more popular in conjunction with testosterone propionate stacks.

Given that testosterone propionate users are comfortable with the required frequent injection schedule, they are not afraid of using other short-acting steroid esters such as Masteron (drostanolone propionate) and trenbolone acetate.

Not surprisingly, testosterone propionate and drostanolone propionate stacks are very popular as are testosterone propionate and trenbolone acetate stacks.

Some bodybuilders use all testosterone propionate + drostanolone propionate + trenbolone acetate in a single stack. Various underground laboratories (UGLs) have recognized this trend and have produced blends of the three components to create a ready-made stack of fasting-acting compounds.

Other bodybuilders prefer to combine testosterone propionate in more traditional testosterone stacks with long-acting steroids. These popular combinations include testosterone + Deca Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate), testosterone + Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate) and Primobolan (methenolone enanthate).

Frontloading and tapering with testosterone propionate.

Testosterone propionate is also used for two very specific purposes at the very beginning and the very end of a testosterone-based cycle.

Frontloading: A traditional testosterone-based cycle involving testosterone cypionate or testosterone enanthate would take a couple of weeks to reach steady-state levels of blood serum testosterone. This is a less-than-ideal scenario although many people are happy to wait for the testosterone to “kick in”.

The use of testosterone propionate in the first week or two of a long-acting testosterone ester cycle can be an effective way to “jump-start” the cycle. It facilitates the achievement of a stead-state level of serum testosterone. This increases the efficacy of the cycle.

Tapering: There is also a specific-use case for testosterone propionate at the end of a long-acting testosterone ester cycle. The replacement of long-acting testosterone esters with short-acting esters like testosterone propionate can expedite the timing of post cycle therapy (PCT).

PCT is only effective once serum androgen levels drop down to at least physiologic levels. PCT is simply not effective when substantial amounts of exogenous androgens are still circulating in the bloodstream.

Testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate are relatively long-acting testosterone and take a long time to clear from the system. This means that users must wait several weeks after discontinuation before they even began to think about PCT and recovering their own natural hormone production.

If users drop the long-acting enanthate/cypionate esters of testosterone during the final weeks of the cycle and replace it with the short-acting propionate ester of testosterone, the supraphysiological levels of serum testosterone will drop much more quickly.

This strategy allows the implementation of PCT weeks earlier leading to a much quicker recovery of endogenous testosterone production.

Testosterone propionate side effects.

The side effects of testosterone propionate are generally the same as the side effects for all injectable testosterone products. The parent compound is testosterone after all. And once the ester releases testosterone into the bloodstream, the actions of testosterone are the same.

The most notable side effects of testosterone result from the metabolism of the parent compound into estradiol or E2 (via the aromatase enzyme) and dihydrotesterone or DHT (via the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme).

It should be noted that DHT are E2 are not categorically ‘bad’. The conversion of testosterone to DHT and E2 is very desirable at physiologic testosterone levels. For example, oral and synthetic steroids that do not metabolize into DHT/E2 can lead to adverse sexual side effects and can exacerbate serum lipid problems (cholesterol and triglycerides).

Yet, E2 and DHT can cause serious problems when serum testosterone becomes extremely elevated with the use of exogenous testosterone. Elevated DHT levels can result in oily skinm acne and accelerated hair loss while elevated E2 can result in water retention, increased blood pressure and gynecomastia (also known as “gyno”).

Managing the side effects of testosterone propionate.

It may be impossible to avoid all adverse side effects from the use of anabolic steroids such as testosterone propionate. But it is possible to effectively manage the side effects that result from the conversion of testosterone to E2 and DHT.

Athletes who use high-dose testosterone cycles are more likely to experience E2- and DHT-related problems. The good news is that there are ancillary pharmaceutical drugs that disrupt these enzymatic conversions.

Finasteride (Proscar and Propecia) and dutasteride (Avodart) are 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors that will block the conversion of testosterone to DHT. The goal in this case is not to eliminate DHT but to keep DHT levels within the physiologic range.

Similarly, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) such as anastrozole (Arimidex) and letrozole (Femara) can block the conversion of testosterone to E2.

Steroid users greatly fear the side effect of gynecomastia or “gyno” and often end up reducing E2 levels excessively. But bodybuilders should resist the temptation to the take too much Arimidex/Letrozole. Low E2 levels can cause a variety of undesirable side effects such as fatigue, worsened lipid profiles, weakened bones and erectile dysfunction.

Unfortunately, not all testosterone side effects are preventable. All anabolic steroids, testosterone included, have adverse cardiovascular side effects when used at supraphysiologic dosages.

These adverse effects include short-term (and usually transient) changes in lipid profiles. Specifically, steroids tend to reduce the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels, increase the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels, and increase triglycerides.

The long-term consequences of chronic steroid (testosterone) use can include elevated blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). This could increase an individual’s risk of experiencing a myocardial infarction (MI) or suffering from cardiovascular disease (CVD).

And of course, the suppression of endogenous testosterone production is unavoidable with any serious steroid cycle. The anabolic steroid induced hypogonadism (ASIH) is generally reversible in most cases after the discontinuation of steroids.

Sources:
  • Llewellyn, W. (2009). Anabolics, 9th Edition. Molecular Nutrition: Jupiter, Florida.

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