Testosterone propionate is considered one of the most popular steroids among bodybuilders. It can
be used for gaining muscle mass and strength, but due to its specific properties it is also used for cutting cycles.
Testosterone serves as a core molecule for creation of numerous hormonal (androgenic) compounds. By adding or removing atoms in testosterone molecule one can change its properties. For instance, testosterone propionate is created by attaching of propionic acid ester to testosterone molecule. Thus propionic residue determines pharmacological properties of this substance.
- Anabolic activity – 100% of testosterone
- Androgenic activity – 100% of testosterone (high)
- Aromatization (transformation into estrogen) – high (anti-estrogens are required)
- Suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-testes axis – yes
- Hepatotoxicity: Liver friendly
- Method of usage: injection
- Duration of action – 2-3 days
- Doping tests – detectable during 40-60 days
Mechanism of action
- Testosterone propionate initiates transcription of genes involved in metabolism of nitrogen. Thus it causes accumulation of nitrogen.
- It also increases the level of insulin-like growth factor in muscles and liver.
- It stimulates proliferation of satellites cells in muscles, which in turn cause muscle enlargement and enhanced muscle recovery.
One should mention that all testosterone esters have the same mechanism of action. The only difference is in their durability and preferential direction of action.
The Effects of Testosterone propionate
- Muscle mass enlargement
- Fat Burning
- Improvement of muscular relief
- Increase of strength
- Increased libido
- Lowers blood cholesterol levels
- Reduces the risk of cardiac ischemia and heart disease.
Due to a short propionic residue it has a short half-time, therefore injections should be done every other day. Probably this is the major disadvantage of propionate, in comparison with its long-living relatives, e.g. testosterone enanthate. A higher price can be also regarded as disadvantage, but its multifunctionality make it outstanding as it can be used both for gaining and cutting cycles.
Its short duration of action can also be regarded as advantageous – it provides ability to quickly adjust the dose and avoid allergic reaction in case you have intolerance to one of the drug constituents (e.g. oil).
At proper dosages it doesn’t make water retention in the organism, and doesn’t cause the rapid increase of body weight. Therefore the gained muscle mass is more qualitative than with other testosterone esters (for example enanthate).
After injection it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, so you can quickly feel the result. For these reasons testosterone propionate is suitable both for beginners and for experienced bodybuilders.
Dosage and Usage
You can use testosterone propionate standalone, but optimal results can be achieved by stacking it with other steroids. The usual dosage for beginners is 50 mg/ every other day. Professional bodybuilders can do 100mg daily or more.
In order to avoid gynecomastia and other estrogen related side-effects you should take anti-estrogen (for example Proviron) or aromatase inhibitors starting from the second week of your cycle. When your cycle is completed a Post Cycle Therapy is required (tamoxifen or analogues). Usage of cortisol blockers will be also helpful in order to avoid the loss of gained muscle mass. Follow the diet for gaining weight and use sports nutrition.
Testosterone Propionate Combinations
For cutting cycles testosterone propionate is stacked with Stanozolol, Trenbolone acetate, Masteron, Primobolan and some other steroids. Besides, Propionate is an obligatory component of testosterone ester mixtures, such as Sustanone or Omnadren – it provides immediate effect of these compounds.
Here is an example of propionate cycle for beginners:
- Propionate 50mg/ EOD
- Winstrol 30mg/day (starting with 10 mg, and adjusting the dose to the optimum within 1 week).
- After 6 weeks you should discontinue using anabolics and start PCT after 3-4 days.
In this cycle you will see synergistic effect of these drugs. This means that the effect of their simultaneous usage is greater than the effects of their separate usage. Moreover, the risk of side effects in this cycle is reduced. Some bodybuilders inject propionate into the target muscle (e.g. biceps, deltoids etc.), but the effectivity of this method is not yet proven.
Side effects of propionate
The usual complain about propionate usage is pain, irritation and redness at the spot of injection. The side effects of testosterone propionate are similar to other testosterone esters when taken at high dosages:
- Hair loss (scalp)
- Increased growth of body hair
- Prostate enlargement (especially in the elderly)
- Virilization (in women)
Testosterone propionate suppresses natural testosterone production, which usually returns to the normal level in 2-3 months after the end of the cycle. If you do a prolonged cycle, then you should take gonadotropin at the dosage 500 IU/ week, starting from the second week of your cycle. At proper dosages it doesn’t make any adverse effect to such organs as liver or kidneys. Women should avoid it due to high risks of androgenic side-effects.
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