Testosterone propionate is a steroid that is both androgenic as well as anabolic in equal ratio. It was one of the first testosterone steroid forms available in bulk in the market and has enjoyed immense popularity. It is a fast acting steroid with a relatively low half life, because of which it is one of the most controllable versions of synthesized testosterone.
Later, testosterone propionate was manufactured and released under the brand name of Testoviron in markets for commercial sale by a company in Germany called Schering AG. Until the 1960s, testosterone propionate was the most consumed form of testosterone. It was also developed and marketed in buccal and sublingual forms as tablets, but was discontinued during the 1980s due to dwindling popularity.
Testosterone propionate is composed of testosterone, chemically attached with propionic acid via a bond called ester bond. Its properties are similar to any other testosterone variant. The only difference lies in the rate in which testosterone is released and its half-life – the duration for which testosterone remains in the body.
The rate at which testosterone is released in the body is slowed down due to the propionate ester attached to it. Once the testosterone propionate compound enters the bloodstream, it is acted upon by enzymes that try to break the testosterone-propionate ester bond. This breaking of bond takes time, and results in slower, controlled release of testosterone in the system.
Since testosterone also occurs naturally in the body, its steroidal form is considered to be safe. This is because these anabolic steroids serve to increase the quantity of a hormone that already exists in the system for performance enhancement.
Testosterone also exhibits some estrogenic behavior, and some testosterone is converted into estrogen by a process known as aromatization. This is due to its mild tendency to bind with aromatase enzyme and produce estrogen. Testosterone helps in building muscles, but can also be used to cut down on fat in the body.
Popularity of testosterone propionate
Testosterone propionate is quite a popular testosterone form, and is used all over the world. It was the first synthesized testosterone variant that came out in the market way back in 1930s, and has been in use for years now. It is manufactured by all the pharmaceutical firms that are involved in producing anabolic steroids, and is easily available in the marketplace.
A reason for such immense popularity of testosterone propionate is because it acts like pure testosterone once injected into the system. Also, the blood levels remain relatively normal after doses of testosterone propionate are injected into the system. This variant has a relatively short half life, so the effects associated with the hormone are controllable and the peaks can be maximized easily and efficiently.
Testosterone propionate also got popularized because of the various medical applications it was used for in the initial years after its release, though eventually its use in medical treatments was reduced due to government regulations.
Action on the body
Testosterone propionate is a performance enhancer and reverses all the ill-effects the body suffers from due to a deficiency of the testosterone hormone. It decreases body fat, increases the lean muscle and muscle strength, enhances sexual function, increases mental focus, and energy levels of an individual – all things that take a downward swing due to testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone helps in retention of nitrogen, which helps is storing a good amount of protein in the muscles. Proteins are the main components of muscles, so increased protein synthesis by the muscles leads to increase in strength and muscle mass. Increase in lean tissue increases the metabolic rate, further helping in the body’s growth.
Testosterone acts against glucocorticoid hormones, which act to destroy muscle tissue and promote increase in body fat. Testosterone propionate can block and reduce these hormones effectively, in turn reducing body fat. Testosterone also helps in increased recovery and regeneration, which leads to faster growth and greater athletic performance.
It also increases the levels of an important anabolic hormone, IGF-1 which occurs naturally in the body. Testosterone increases the sex drive of an individual and imparts them with a sense of well-being. It also prevents osteoporosis (decreased density of bone) and protects against development of heart diseases.
Other benefits include help in the development of secondary sex characteristics like broad shoulders, firm jaw line, increase in muscle mass, facial as well as chest hair. Testosterone binds with Androgen Receptors (AR) and stimulates them, leading to acceleration in muscle gain, repair, and growth.
Testosterone propionate is popular among male as well as female bodybuilders because blood levels are easier to control through its use. It can be used both during fat loss and cutting cycle as well as bulking cycle. It is also a fast acting testosterone due to the short half-life of testosterone propionate and is capable of producing rapid growth in strength as well as size.
Dosage and administration
Testosterone propionate should be injected every alternate day to gain maximum benefit while maintaining stable blood levels. Generally a weekly dose between 500 and 1000 mg forms a standard dosage.
Beginners should begin with a weekly dosage of 200-400mg or even 500mg, and unless you have specific bodybuilding needs, you can stick to this dosage permanently. For people interested in extreme gym training, or bodybuilding at a competitive level, dosages of 1000mg can be used safely. Extreme bodybuilders can even use testosterone propionate at dosages of 1500mg and beyond. But you should remember that with higher dosages, while benefits increase, risks also increase.
The minimum cycle of usage is at least 8 weeks, while a cycle of 16 weeks is optimally efficient. Following a testosterone propionate cycle, a well-planned post cycle therapy or PCT must start. Testosterone propionate is a testosterone variant with a short half life, so its associated PCT needs to begin soon. PCT should start 3 days after your last propionate injection. PCT generally consists of human growth hormone (HGH) for 10 days and is followed by a 3-4 week long therapy of Clomid or Nolva .
Once testosterone enters the bloodstream, a part of it is converted into estrogen by a process called aromatization. Increase in the level of estrogen is responsible for side effects like water-retention, gynecomastia or male breast enlargement, and even higher levels of blood pressure and cholesterol. Many side effects related to estrogen can be countered by the intake of supplements that inhibit aromatase. Changes in blood pressure and cholesterol levels can also be controlled through a balanced diet rich in omega fats, and cardiovascular exercise.
Another side effect is that testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone or DHT, an excess of which leads to prostate enlargement and hair loss. Another side effect of consuming testosterone propionate or any testosterone based steroid is that the body stops production of testosterone during the period of consumption, since it feels its production is no longer necessary.
Testosterone is normally produced in the testicles in case of men, so the testicles shrink during the phase when testosterone steroid is injected into the body. However, the testicles return to normal size when the steroid is discontinued, and the body starts producing its own testosterone again. A well-known side effect is increase in aggressive behavior of a person. Anti-social behavior and extreme aggression is exhibited by people of low IQ taking steroids .
Myths about testosterone propionate
Here are some of the most common myths associated with the use of testosterone propionate.
One of the common myths is that testosterone propionate is cutting in nature. In truth, it is as effective in fat burning as any other form of testosterone variants like enanthate or cypionate. The source of this myth comes from the fact that testosterone propionate leads to lesser water retention in the body as compared to other testosterone forms. Fat burning and leanness have little to do with water retention, and even the difference in water retention between the variants is not enough to produce any effect.
An associated myth is that testosterone propionate will not cause bloating, unlike other testosterone forms. While it is true that propionate aromatizes to a lesser amount than other variants of testosterone producing lesser estrogen, the difference is very less. It is not enough to show visible difference in bloating – though slight difference may show on an already lean person. The fact is that if testosterone propionate is accompanied by intake of excess carbohydrates than the body needs, bloating will occur just like in case of any other testosterone form.
Another myth is that testosterone propionate doesn’t curb the manufacture of body’s natural testosterone to the same amount as other forms of testosterone. This is not true because all anabolic steroids inhibit the production of testosterone. While there may be slight differences in the suppression, it is negligible.
Another popular myth is that because testosterone propionate is a short ester based steroid, it is not as effective in bodybuilding as other variants like enanthate or propionate, which are long ester based steroids. Actually, all these steroids have testosterone as their active ingredient, and the way it acts on the body’s anabolic system does not change with variants. In fact, when measured per 100 milligrams of each variant compound, it is seen that propionate contains more amount of testosterone than cypionate or enanthate. For example, while propionate contains 83mg of testosterone, the other variant cypionate is seen to contain only 70mg of the same . Ultimately, by adjusting the dosages of various types of testosterone, you can gain the same kind of results.
Testosterone propionate is an ester based anabolic steroid that is popular among bodybuilders and athletes. It offers various benefits like increased muscle mass, strength, energy, as well as recovery. While intake of this supplement has various side effects, there are various inhibitors that can be taken alongside to counter these effects to varying degrees.
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