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Testosterone Propionate

(Testosterone + Propionate ester)

Manufacturer: Eco Oils, British Dragon, Asia Dispensary
Effective Dose (Men): 350-2000mg+ week.
Effective Dose (Women): 50-100mgs/week
Active life: 2-3 days
Detection Time: 2-3 weeks
Anabolic/Androgenic ratio: 100/100

Testosterone was the first steroid to be synthesized. Now, it remains the gold standard of all steroids. Testosterone Propionate is often referred to as just “prop” or “test prop”.
Testosterone’s anabolic/androgenic ratio is 1:1. It is as much anabolic as it is androgenic. Actually, testosterone is the steroid on which all anabolic/androgenic ratios are based. If a steroid is 2:1, then compared with testosterone’s ratio, it is twice anabolic as it is androgenic. Hence, we see from testosterone’s ratio, it is both anabolic as well as androgenic.

So how exactly does testosterone build muscle? Testosterone promotes nitrogen retention in the muscle (6), the more nitrogen the muscle holds, the more protein the muscle stores and the bigger the muscle gets. Testosterone can also increase the levels of another anabolic hormone, IGF-1, in muscle tissue (7). By itself IGF-1 is highly anabolic and can promote muscle growth. It is responsible for much of the anabolic activity of Growth Hormone (GH). IGF-1 is also one of the few hormones positively correlated with both muscle cell hyperplasia and hyperphasia (this means it both creates more muscle fibers as well as bigger fibers). All of this leads me to speculate that for pure mass, IGF-1, GH, and Testosterone would be a very effective combination. Testosterone also has the amazing ability to increase the activity of satellite cells (8). These cells play a very active role in repairing damaged muscle. Testosterone also binds to the androgen receptor (A.R.) to promote all of the A.R dependant mechanisms for muscle gain and fat loss (9), but as we’ve seen, this isn’t the only mechanism that promotes growth.

Testosterone has a profound ability to protect your hard earned muscle from the catabolic (muscle wasting) glucocorticoid hormones (11), and increases red blood cell production (12). As you may know, a higher RBC count may also improve endurance via better oxygenated blood. The former trait increases nitrogen retention and muscle building while the latter can improve recovery from strenuous physical activity, as well as increase endurance and tolerance to strenuous exercise.
Testosterone occurs naturally in both the male and female body, and as far as testing for it, typical tests don’t work (i.e. testing for metabolites). Testosterone can be tested on a testosterone/epitestosterone ratio, a failing result usually being anything over 6 to 1, but there are other more effective tests currently in use and being developed by the usual party-poopers in the IOC and FDA. If you are using low doses of this drug and stop taking it 36-48 hours before a Test/EpiTest analysis, you can still pass.

Testosterone, once in the body, can be converted to both estrogen (via a process known as aromatization) as well as DHT. Estrogen is the main culprit for many side effects such as gyno, water retention, etc., while DHT is often blamed for hair loss and prostate enlargement. Naturally there are ways to combat this, such as using an anti-estrogenic compound along with testosterone, or even an estrogen blocker. DHT can be combated (on the scalp, to prevent hair loss) with compounds such as Ketoconazole shampoo (sold under the trade name Nizoral) as well as Finasteride (sold as Proscar in the 5mg version and as Propecia as 1mg tablets). Interestingly, this shampoo can also be used topically to combat acne on the face (or even the back if you’re really flexible). Both of these methods for preventing hair loss and acne are reasonably effective. However, if you are not prone to hair loss, they may be wholly unnecessary. Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is carried by the X chromosome, so if your mother’s family boasts men with full heads of hair, then you are probably safe (unless those full heads of hair are all mullets). Naturally, as with most other steroids, your lipid profile and blood pressure are going to suffer a bit while on testosterone. This, of course is nothing that can’t be controlled by watching your diet and doing your cardio, at least for the duration of the typical cycle (which for arguments sake, I’ll assume is +/- 12 weeks).

To combat the aromatization of testosterone, you can simply take an aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex. This and other Anti-estrogenic compounds are generally considered a must with testosterone doses over 0,5 gram per week (500mgs). Another side effect (as if acne and going bald aren’t enough) is increased aggression. This is a hotly debated issue in steroid-culture. Generally the consensus is that if you are prone to being a jerk, you’ll be a bigger jerk, if you aren’t, then your temper will not get much worse (this is supported by research as well). Also, high levels of testing are generally associated with aggression and anti-social behavior in males with lower intelligence (1)(2).

Testosterone is also a relatively safe steroid to use, with some studies showing no adverse effects from 20weeks at 600mgs/week (3)!

Testosterone is usually attached to an ester (i.e. when you buy testosterone propionate, the subject of this profile, you are buying testosterone with a propionate ester attached). The ester determines how long it takes your body to dispose of the steroid in question, and propionate is the shortest ester available with a testosterone base (of course, testosterone suspension has no ester). There are enzymes, called esterases, in your body that have the function of removing the ester from steroids and leaving you with just the steroid molecule with the ester cleaved off. The heaviness of the ester chain, determines how long it takes the esterase to remove it. And that amount of time determines how long the drug stays active in your body. Great, right? Not really; the ester takes up “room” in the injection.

The longer the ester on the testosterone, the longer the steroid is active in your body, and the less actual test you get. This is because for every 100mgs of testosterone cypionate you inject, only 69.90mgs of it is actually testosterone—the rest is the cypionate ester, which must be removed. On the other hand, with the propionate ester, you’ll get 83.72mgs of testosterone! The advantage to longer esters is that they need to be injected less frequently (test prop needs to be injected every other day while you can shoot test cyp once a week). The disadvantage to long estered steroids is that they contain less actual steroid. Anecdotally, most athletes and other discussion boards who have tried differing esters on their various cycles agree: Testosterone Propionate causes the least side effects and the least bloating. For this reason, it’s often the testosterone of choice in cutting cycles. On a personal note, it’s the only form of testosterone I ever use, and it’s the only one most women will use, due to the previously mentioned factors (as well as it’s ability to clear your body quickly upon cessation in the case of side effects). Testosterone levels when you’re using injectable testosterone propionate begin to decline sharply after the second day of use (5). Obviously this is not the drug of choice for those who are squeamish about injections; you’ll be shooting this stuff every other day at least.

Also, as with most steroids, injected testosterone will inhibit your natural test levels and HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis). A mere Hundred mgs of test/week takes about 5-6 weeks to shut the HPTA, and 250-500mgs shuts you down by week 2 (4).

Realistically, every cycle should contain testosterone. Go back and read that sentence again. A beginner’s dose of testosterone (i.e. someone on their first or second cycle of AAS) would be in the 250-500mgs range. It isn’t recommended much less than 400mgs of test per cycle for anybody, beginner or not. The more you use the more results you get. Frequently, the more side effects, too (3).

What stacks well with testosterone propionate? Everything! Many people’s favorites are Eq (boldenone undeclynate) or Deca (nandrolone decanoate), but anything will stack well with test prop. Tren (Trenbolone Acetate), Masteron, and/or Winstrol are also favorites for many on a cutting cycle, myself included. It’s important to remember that since test prop has such a short ester, most people stack it with other short estered drugs. They need to endure frequent injections for the test prop to be effective, so they may as well be using other drugs requiring the same dosing protocol.
Finally, it’s worth noting that sometimes a phenomenon strategy known as “frontloading” is employed with testosterone propionate. This is where double or triple the intended dose for the cycle is injected for the first two weeks; the user then switches to a longer ester. The reasoning behind this is presumably to get the blood levels of the drug up quickly in the hopes of seeing rapid results.
Of all testosterones available on the market today, Testosterone Propionate is the most expensive. This is both because it is in high demand (due to its ability to avoid bloating the user as other testosterone’s tend to do) and because the actual chemical is expensive compared to other tests.

References:
1. Pope, H.G, Kouri, E.M., & Hudson, J.I. (2000). Effects of supraphysiologic doses of testosterone on mood and aggression in normal men: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 133-140
2. Chance, S.E., Brown, R.T., Dabbs, J.M., & Casey, R. (2000). Testosterone, intelligence and behavior disorders among young boys. Personality and Individual Differences, 28, 437-445
3. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2003 Jan 7; [epub ahead of print] Related Articles, Links “Development of Models to Predict Anabolic Response to Testosterone Administration in Healthy Young Men.”
4. J Investig Med. 1997 Oct; 45(8):441-7
5. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1986 Dec; 63(6):1361-4. 6 .
6. J. Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997 Feb; 82(2):407-13.
7. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Mar; 282(3):E601-7.
8. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004 May; 7(3):271-7.
9. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2004 Oct; 5(5):459-70.
10. Metabolism. 1991 Apr; 40(4):368-77.
11. J Lab Clin Med. 1995 Mar; 125(3):326-33.
12. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2003; 9(4):248-51. Effect of androgen on erythropoientin in patients with hypogonadism] [Article in Chinese]

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