Testosterone Propionate: The Ultimate Guide
Disclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and does not promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultation.
Propionate is a fast-acting testosterone ester, present in products such as Testoviron®.
Testosterone propionate has the ability to produce impressive gains in the early stages of a cycle.
Although it kicks in fast, it’s not the most rapid form of testosterone, with suspension being superior in this regard.
As propionate is absorbed quickly, frequent injections are required to maintain peak testosterone levels (1). It is thus recommended to be injected every other day.
Testosterone propionate injections can be painful in our experience, regularly leaving users feeling sore or even having to limp (after injecting in the leg).
One myth about testosterone propionate is that it’s cheap. This is because the price of a bottle is typically lower than for other testosterone products. However, propionate is dosed at 100 mg/ml, whereas other testosterone esters, such as cypionate or enanthate, are dosed at 250 mg/ml.
Thus, if propionate is priced at $50 and enanthate at $100, propionate can be 50% more expensive.
- 1 Testosterone Propionate Benefits
- 2 Testosterone Propionate Side Effects
- 3 Testosterone Propionate Cycle
- 4 Testosterone Propionate Results
- 5 Testosterone Propionate vs. Testosterone Suspension
- 6 Testosterone Propionate vs. Testosterone Undecanoate
- 7 Testosterone Propionate vs. Enanthate and Cypionate
- 8 Summary
Testosterone Propionate Benefits
The general benefits of testosterone propionate are typically the same as those of any other testosterone ester.
We see users experiencing roughly 20 pounds of lean muscle (combined with some fat loss) when taking testosterone for the first time.
Strength will also go up dramatically in the first few weeks, then slowly continue increasing until the end of a cycle.
The main difference with propionate in our experience is that results occur in the earlier stages of a cycle, compared to slower esters (such as enanthate or cypionate) taking longer to kick in.
However, the end result is the same no matter what testosterone ester you take, as they are all essentially the same steroid (they just peak at different times).
Testosterone Propionate Side Effects
The usual side effects associated with testosterone also apply to propionate, such as:
- High cholesterol
- Increased blood pressure
- Risk of gynecomastia
- Oily skin or/and acne
- Hair loss
- Testosterone suppression
LDL cholesterol levels rising and HDL levels falling is typical when taking any steroid. However, it’s worth noting that testosterone is one of the least harmful steroids for negatively affecting cholesterol in our testing. Thus, blood pressure will rise; however, if moderate dosages are taken for reasonable lengths of time, this is often manageable.
We have seen bodybuilders combat excessive spikes in BP by supplementing with fish oil, taking 4 grams per day throughout a cycle (2).
Testosterone is estrogenic, so water retention, bloating, and gynecomastia are all possible.
Despite testosterone causing some fat loss (due to its androgenic nature stimulating lipolysis), it is mainly used when bulking. Thus, many users do not mind a temporary smooth, watery look.
We find SERMs, such as Nolvadex, to be effective in reducing the risk of gynecomastia. AI’s (anti-aromatase inhibitors) are not recommended as blocking estrogen can worsen cholesterol and blood pressure due to estrogen having a positive effect on HDL cholesterol.
Oily skin and acne are possible for some users (3), which is the result of testosterone’s strong androgenic properties (causing increased sebum production).
Hair thinning on the scalp, or recession, is possible due to elevated DHT levels.
In some cases, we have seen that when DHT drops post-cycle, the hair on the scalp becomes thicker again. Although those who take androgenic compounds long-term will be more susceptible to permanent hair loss.
It seems ironic that by taking testosterone, your natural testosterone crashes. However, this is the reality (as is the case with all anabolic steroids). This occurs due to the body detecting exogenous testosterone, with total levels rising excessively high, causing the body to halt natural production (to try and maintain homeostasis).
Thus, after a cycle ends, users are left with shut-down endogenous testosterone, needing a PCT to help resurrect testosterone back to adequate levels. We find that an effective PCT can usually restore hormone function in approximately 4 weeks. Without a PCT, low testosterone levels can persist for several months (4).
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Testosterone Propionate Cycle
Testosterone propionate comes in bottles dosed at 1 ml/100 mg.
100 mg every other day for 8 weeks.
Note: Testosterone propionate generally isn’t advised for beginners, due to painful injections (and having to be administered frequently).
150 mg every other day for 8 weeks.
200 mg every other day, for 8–10 weeks.
- Fish oil (4 g/day)
- Nolvadex (20–40 mg/day)
Note: Intermediates and advanced steroid users often stack testosterone propionate with other compounds for maximum results; however, this isn’t recommended for beginners (due to additional side effects).
Testosterone Propionate Results
A first testosterone cycle can produce the gains seen above in regards to muscle size and fat loss.
Users who follow the beginner cycle protocol (above) can expect a similar transformation.
Testosterone Propionate vs. Testosterone Suspension
Testosterone suspension is pure testosterone (no ester), so it’s extremely fast-acting.
One benefit we see with testosterone suspension is that it produces faster results than propionate.
However, the downside is that it requires very frequent injections (2x per day) to keep serum testosterone high. This is a lot more than propionate’s twice per week.
Testosterone suspension, like propionate, can also be painful to inject.
The only situation where testosterone suspension might be advantageous is before a competition, where it clears out of the system quickly.
For example, someone might have a drug test on a certain date; if they used suspension, they could stop taking it a few days before and not test positive. This is because suspension’s detection time is 1-2 days, with a half-life of less than 24 hours.
However, testosterone propionate, for example, can be detected for up to 2 weeks, and thus you wouldn’t be able to use this closer to the competition (if being tested).
Other than for competition purposes and wanting it out of your system quickly, bodybuilders typically won’t use testosterone suspension, as there’s no need to inject twice per day (when you can do so once per week).
Testosterone Propionate vs. Testosterone Undecanoate
Undecanoate is the oral version of testosterone, also known by the product name Andriol or Testocaps.
Thus, for those who want to experience the benefits of testosterone but don’t want to inject it, undecanoate would be the ideal alternative.
Testosterone undecanoate is also fast-acting, with testosterone levels peaking approximately 5 hours after the first dose in our testing.
Despite being an oral steroid, undecanoate is not liver toxic, with it being absorbed via the lymphatic route.
The only main advantage to taking testosterone propionate is that it’s a lot cheaper than undecanoate, with Andriol being one of the most expensive steroids on the market.
Testosterone Propionate vs. Enanthate and Cypionate
Testosterone enanthate and cypionate are similar esters in many respects. They both are slow-acting, so injections only need to be administered once every 4-5 days (compared to once every 2 days for propionate).
Due to enanthate and cypionate’s slower nature, results won’t happen as fast as with propionate.
However, we find enanthate and cypionate to be more pleasant injections, with users reporting less irritation and soreness.
Also, enanthate and cypionate are more affordable esters than propionate in the long run.
A bottle of propionate may be cheaper; however, it’s dosed at 100 mg per 1 ml, compared to 250mg per 1 ml (for enanthate/cypionate).
Thus, when calculating the cost per mL, propionate is considerably more expensive.
Cypionate and enanthate remain the most popular esters for good reason, considering they produce the same results as propionate yet are cheaper and less hassle.
Testosterone propionate is not a convenient ester for our patients, as it requires more frequent injections. Additionally, injections are typically less pleasant compared to other testosterone esters, causing more pain.
However, in the right circumstances, bodybuilders may opt for propionate if they require it to exit their system quickly.
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