In its natural form, testosterone is a hormone which occurs in the human body in both sexes and affects many different functions. When there’s insufficient testosterone in the body, undesirable symptoms can occur such as depression, fatigue, insomnia, loss of strength or a decreased libido.
Testosterone was first produced for use in the 1930s, originally without an ester attached. Although effective it quickly dissipated within the body shortly after administration, which meant that it was expensive and inconvenient to use.
By 1935, the very first esterified version of testosterone was created: testosterone propionate. This was released commercially in 1937 by German firm Schering under the brand name of Testoviron.
Today testosterone propionate remains the longest established esterified testosterone available.
Although other esters were later developed, larger and longer-lasting, testosterone propionate remains one of the most popular forms of the drug, particularly among the bodybuilding community. This is because it’s far simpler to achieve and maintain peak serum levels of the drug.
Testosterone propionate is a very important drug within bodybuilding and sport, but it also has medicinal uses too.
In addition to treating low testosterone levels, it has previously been used for female conditions such as mastitis, endometriosis and excessive lactation. However, the FDA in the US has broadly withdrawn approval for testosterone propionate to be prescribed to female patients. It remains available for prescription for therapeutic use for male patients in the US but is more commonly seen within bodybuilding, with other esters generally preferred for medicinal use.
Can Test Prop be taken on its own?
Testosterone in all of its forms is excellent for helping to increase muscle growth and improve performance, while simultaneously burning fat. Testosterone propionate is no exception.
For this reason, testosterone propionate can be used on its own to great effect, either during a cutting or a bulking cycle.
However, although there’s no doubting the potential benefits which can be gained from this steroid, running it solo means there’s a real risk of unwanted side effects, especially aromatization. To counteract this, it’s wise to add an AI such as arimidex to your cycle (in preference to an anti-estrogen because of their tendency to be site-specific).
It’s worth highlighting that testosterone propionate, as with other esters of testosterone, will only work to amplify results. If no exercise is being undertaken, testosterone will not magically create bulk or a ripped physique. Instead, it serves to heighten the effect of a rigorous exercise and diet regime already being followed.
Testosterone propionate can be stacked with other forms of testosterone, or other slower-acting anabolic steroids as a means of kick-starting a cycle.
Because testosterone propionate is so quick-acting, it can be useful to start seeing results before the other steroids in the stack start to take effect. Once the other drugs become active, testosterone propionate can be tailed off.
When used in a bulking cycle, testosterone propionate can be stacked with deca durabolin, anadrol or dianabol. Adding testosterone propionate for the first 4-6 weeks helps to maximize potential gains.
For cutting cycles, testosterone propionate can be stacked with proviron and when used together, it’s unlikely that an additional anti-estrogen will be required.
How it is administered
During the 1980s, testosterone propionate could be found in tablet form but only for a brief period, being discontinued fairly quickly.
It is normally administered via injection intra-muscularly; as long as the muscle is large enough, any muscle can be chosen. The buttocks, triceps and shoulder are all popular choices among users.
Because of the frequency of administration, sore points can develop at the site of injection so it is important to vary the muscles used. Shorter esters such as Testosterone propionate are notoriously more painful than the larger, slow acting esters so sensitive muscles such as the thighs are usually best avoided.
The dosage of testosterone propionate will depend on the reason it is being taken. When stacked alongside other anabolic steroids to combat depletion, a dose of around 25-50mg every other day is considered sufficient.
However, when testosterone propionate is being taken for its anabolic effect, at least 100mg is required every other day. Testosterone Propionate is generally very well tolerated compared to other forms of anabolic steroid and the dosage can even be increased up to 200mg every other day. Very experienced bodybuilders may increase the intake up to 1500mg per week. As the dosage increases the risk of side effects heightens, so it’s preferable to limit the dose to that which produces the desired result.
Although testosterone propionate is the shortest acting ester, the half-life is still substantially longer than testosterone without any ester.
Ester free testosterone has a half-life of less than 24 hours while testosterone propionate has a half-life which is almost double at two days. This ester allows the testosterone to be slowly released into the bloodstream rather than dissipating immediately after administration.
The most sought-after positive effects of taking testosterone recreationally relate to the rapid physical growth which can be attained.
Testosterone propionate can be used to aid the growth of muscles, helping to increase strength and improve endurance. This in turn allows the individual to train harder and for longer, helping to enhance muscle growth even further.
The fat burning qualities of testosterone propionate and its ability to promote quicker recovery are also prized by athletes.
Aside from the benefits on performance, there is an element of protection for the bones and joints via an increased production of collagen and bone mineral content. Levels of hemoglobin also rise, helping to deliver more oxygen throughout the body.
The male body naturally produces around 200mg of testosterone every week but this isn’t enough to optimize the results of bodybuilding. Synthetic testosterone can amplify this effect by increasing strength and assisting recovery.
But with the addition of extra testosterone comes the risk of side effects. As testosterone occurs naturally within the body, it is one of the best tolerated drugs on the market but nevertheless the dosage must be carefully managed.
Testosterone propionate is androgenic, like all types of testosterone, and so the potential for androgenic side effects is significant. These could include:
• Oily skin
• Deepening voice
• Excess bodily hair growth
The extent to which androgenic effects are felt can be controlled by reducing the dose of the testosterone in most cases.
Because testosterone interacts with the aromatase enzyme, there is an enhanced capacity for an estrogenic effect to occur with this drug.
This can lead to excess water retention and bloating, with muscles looking puffy and losing definition and also gynecomastia. This is extremely undesirable, especially during the cutting cycle but can be usually controlled with the use of SERMs or AI’s.
AI’s are generally more effective but can be particularly harsh on cholesterol when taken with an aromatizing drug such as testosterone. For this reason, a SERM such as Nolvadex should always be tried first, only moving on to an AI such as Arimidex if the former proves to be ineffective.
When used to treat low testosterone therapeutically, test propionate rarely causes cardiovascular problems but at the dose required for athletic purposes, there can be a negative effect on cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol can be suppressed by as much as 20%, particularly if an AI is being taken at the same time.
Cholesterol levels, and in particular the ratio, should be closely monitored and a healthy lifestyle and diet adhered to at all times.
The other potential cardiovascular effect arises from any water retention caused by the estrogenic activity. If this water retention is not properly controlled, it can cause blood pressure to rise. It is therefore imperative that SERMs or AIs are taken alongside the testosterone if this is an issue.
As an androgenic drug, hair loss can be a factor but only for those who are predisposed to male pattern baldness. In these cases, hair loss can be accelerated, and simply stopping taking the test propionate won’t reverse this. It will however prevent any further hair loss from occurring.
Hair loss won’t occur in individuals who don’t already have the male pattern baldness gene.
For those who are affected, they may find Finasteride or another 5-alpha reductase inhibitor to be useful. This is because testosterone is metabolized by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, and it is this which leads to targeted androgenic activity in the scalp and skin. An inhibitor may not completely eradicate unwanted results but may be useful in reducing the effect.
Testosterone propionate is not a hepatotoxic drug and can be safely taken without any ill-effect on the liver.
Some studies have shown a link between testosterone and increased aggression/mood changes, commonly known as “roid rage”. This is not demonstrated in every instance and subjective reports suggest that much may depend on the individual’s natural tendency to anger.
If any undesirable effects occur during a testosterone propionate cycle, intake should be ceased immediately and the drug allowed to clear from the system. However, some individuals should seek medical advice before contemplating taking test prop, including anyone with a history of any of the following:
• Raised cholesterol
• Respiratory disease
• Abnormally high levels of red blood cells
• Heart attack or other cardiac disease
• Renal disease
• Excessive retention of water
• Prostate cancer
• Breast cancer
Testosterone has also not been demonstrated as safe for intake in breastfeeding or pregnant women.
Is it best suited to cutting, bulking or both?
For individuals looking to bulk, test prop can offer excellent benefits and stacks well with other anabolic steroids such as Dianabol, Deca Durabolin and Anadrol. When accompanied by an AI, testosterone propionate can be used for lean hard muscle mass while others prefer a degree of protection which they believe the water retention can offer.
Testosterone propionate has a reputation for being better for cutting than other forms of testosterone but in reality, its fat burning qualities are more or less identical. The often-repeated myth arises from the fact that testosterone propionate retains marginally less water than other esters but this has no relation to the amount of fat the steroid burns.
Is it safe for women to use?
Testosterone is not normally recommended for women to use due to its very strong androgenic effect. There are other anabolic steroids on the market which serve the purpose equally well without such a strong risk of virilization side effects.
Nevertheless, for any women who do opt to cycle with testosterone, propionate would be the preferred choice over the other esters, enanthate and cypionate. This is because test prop has a much shorter cycle within the body and if undesirable effects occur, the system can be cleared far more quickly.
In cases where test prop is used by women, a dosage in the region of 25-50mg administered every 5-7 days should be used. The cycle should be no longer than 6-8 weeks maximum.
Type of PCT needed after the end of the cycle
After a cycle of testosterone of any form, PCT is essential in order to prevent long term problems with low testosterone within the body.
HCG and Clomid or Nolvadex are usually effective in helping to kickstart the body’s own natural production of testosterone. Because of the short acting ester of test prop, PCT should start very quickly after the cycle has finished, ideally around three days. HGH should then be taken for 10 days, followed up by 3-4 weeks of Clomid or Nolva.
Human grade testosterone propionate manufactured in the US can no longer be found, but it can be sourced from overseas. However, the far more common route to buy testosterone propionate is to purchase from an underground supplier.
Testosterone for sale from legitimate sources is far more expensive, costing up to 10 times more than on the black market. You can buy testosterone propionate online for between $45-90 per 10ml at the concentration of 100mg per ml. The price typically depends on quality, strength and local availability.
Sports that use it
Testosterone was the very first synthetic anabolic steroid to be created and its use in the first three decades was widespread.
Its ability to produce rapid growth within muscles as well as improving endurance and increasing delivery of oxygenated blood means that testosterone propionate is a very popular drug. Power athletes such as body builders, weight lifters and wrestlers have all used testosterone in the past and continue to do so. Propionate is often the preferred ester despite the inconvenience of more frequent administration; this is due to the much more rapid clearance rate from the body, making it more suitable for pre-competition periods.
Legality of purchase and its usage in the US
Just like other anabolic steroids, all forms of testosterone including testosterone propionate are considered to be a controlled substance, classified as Schedule III. This means the drug cannot be prescribed to patients for recreational use.
It is a criminal offense to supply or possess testosterone propionate in the US, unless you have a valid medicinal prescription. Breaching the law could result in both a hefty fine or even a jail sentence.
Elsewhere in the world, the laws on the use and possession of testosterone propionate are more lenient and it can easily be purchased legally. The UK and Europe have such laid back laws. The drug cannot be brought back onto US soil without breaking the law, even if it has been procured legally in another country.