Product name: Testosterone Propionate
Chemical Structure: 4-androstene-3-one, 17beta-ol
As we all know, Testosterone was the first steroid to be synthesized, and now it remains the gold standard of allsteroids. First, we will discuss Testosterone in general, and in depth, then well examine exactly how and what thepropionate ester is (together, Testosterone Propionate is often referred to as just “prop” test-p or “test prop”).
Testosterones anabolic/androgenic ratio is 1:1 meaning it is exactly as anabolic as it is androgenic. Actually, testosterone is the steroid that all anabolic/androgenic ratios are based on. If a steroid is 2:1, then it is, compared with testosterones ratio, doubly as anabolic as it is androgenic. Hence, we see from testosterones ratio, it is both quite anabolic as well as androgenic. It should be noted; as Testosterone Propionate is merely testosterone, this anabolic/androgenic rating holds the same.
So how exactly does Testosterone Propionate build muscle? Testosterone Propionate promotes nitrogen retention in the muscle, and the more nitrogen the muscles hold the more protein the muscles store, and the bigger the muscles get. Testosterone Propionate can also increase the levels of another anabolic hormone, IGF-1, in muscle tissue. IGF-1 is alone 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 might lead one to speculate that for pure mass, IGF-1, HGH, and Testosterone Propionate would be a very effective combination. Testosterone Propionate also has the amazing ability to increase the activity of satellite cells. 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 dependent mechanisms for muscle gain and fat loss, but clearly, as we’ve seen, this isnt the only mechanism by which it promotes growth.
Testosterone Propionate has a profound ability to protect your hard earned muscle from the catabolic (muscle wasting) glucocorticoid hormones, and increase red blood cell production, and as you may know, a higher RBC count will 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, as insofar as drug testing for it, typical tests dont work (i.e. testing for metabolites). Testosterone can be tested for 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 as well as being developed by the usual party-poopers in the IOC and FDA. Noteworthy is that if you are using low doses of Testosterone Propionate and stop taking it 36-48 hours before a testosterone/epitestosterone analysis, you can still pass!
Testosterone, once in the body can be converted to bothestrogen (via a process known as aromatization) as well as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Estrogen is the main culprit for many side effects such as gynecomastia, water retention, and as a result high blood pressure 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 your Testosterone Propionate, 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 youre really flexible). Both of these methods for preventing hair loss and acne are reasonably effective; however, if you are not predisposed to male pattern baldness they will be wholly unnecessary. Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is carried by the X chromosome, so if your mothers 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 is going to suffer a bit while supplementing with Testosterone Propionate. This, of course is nothing that cant be controlled by watching your diet and doing your cardio, at least for the duration of the typical cycle (which for arguments sake, Ill assume is +/- 12-16weeks). Lets be totally honest, here, even a modest amount of exercise will improve your blood pressure and lipid profile.
In-order 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 a gram per week (1,000mgs), and often recommended with even less. Also among side effects (as if acne and going bald arent 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, and if you aren’t, then your temper will not get much worse (this is supported by research as well.) Interestingly enough, high levels of testosterone are generally only associated with improper aggression and anti-social behavior in males with lower intelligence.