Testosterone propionate is a commonly manufactured, oil-based injectable testosterone compound. The propionate ester will slow the rate in which the steroid is released from the injection site, but only for a few days. Testosterone propionate is therefore much faster acting than other testosterone esters such as cypionate or enanthate, and requires a much more frequent dosing schedule, in order to maintain stable blood levels. While cypionate and enanthate are injected on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, propionate is usually injected every second. The propionate ester can be very irritating to the site of injection. In fact, many sensitive individuals choose to stay away from this steroid completely, their body reacting with a pronounced soreness and low-grade fever that may last for a few days.
Those who do not mind frequent injections will find propionate to be quite an effective steroid. As with all testosterones, it is a powerful mass drug, capable of producing rapid gains in size and strength. At the same time the buildup of estrogen and DHT (dihydrotestosterone) will be pronounced, so typical testosterone side effects are to be expected. Many consider propionate to be the mildest testosterone ester, and the preferred form for the dieting/cutting phases of training. Some will go so far as to say that propionate will harden the physique, while giving the user less water and fat retention than one typically expects to see with a testosterone. Realistically however, this is nonsense. The ester is removed before testosterone is active in the body, and likewise the ester cannot alter the activity of the parent steroid in any way, only slow its release. We can say that propionate might be the favored testosterone among female bodybuilders (for those who insist on testosterone use), as blood levels are easier to control with it compared to other esters. Should virilization symptoms develop, one would not wish to wait the weeks needed for testosterone concentrations to fall after a shot of enanthate for example.
During a typical cycle one will see action that is consistent with a testosterone. Users sensitive to gynecomastia and water retention may therefore need to add an anti-estrogen like Arimidex, Femara or Aromasin. Those particularly troubled by gynecomastia may find that a combination of Nolvadex and Proviron works especially well at preventing/halting this occurrence. Also unavoidable with a testosterone are androgenic side effects like oily skin, acne, increased aggression and body/facial hair growth. Those who may have a predisposition for male pattern baldness may also find that propionate will aggravate this condition. To help combat this one may choose to Propecia/Proscar, which will reduce the buildup of DHT in many androgen target tissues. This will help minimize related side effects (particularly hair loss) although it offers us no guarantees. And as with all testosterone products, propionate will also suppress endogenous testosterone production. The use of a testosterone stimulating drug like HCG and/or Clomid/Nolvadex is therefore a requirement in order to avoid enduring a post-cycle crash.
The most common dosage schedule for this compound (men) is to inject 50 to 100mg, every day or 2nd day. As with the more popular esters, the total weekly dosage would be in the range of 300-700mg. As with all testosterone compounds, this drug is most appropriately suited for bulking phases of training. Here it is most often combined with other strong agents such as Dianabol, Anadrol, or Deca-Durabolin, combinations that prove to work quite well. Propionate however is sometimes also used with nonaromatizing anabolics/androgens during cutting or dieting phases of training, a time when it’s fast action and androgenic nature are also appreciated. Popular stacks include a moderate dosage of propionate with an oral anabolic like Winstrol (15-35 mg daily), Primobolan (50-150mg daily) or oxandrolone (15-30mg daily). Provided the body fat percentage is sufficiently low, the look of dense muscularity can be notably improved (barring any excess estrogen buildup from the testosterone). One could also add a non-aromatizing androgen like trenbolone or Halotestin, which should have an even more extreme effect on subcutaneous body fat and muscle hardness. Of course with the added androgen content any related side effects will become much more pronounced.
Women who absolutely must use an injectable testosterone should only use this preparation. The dosage schedule should also be more spread out for a female bodybuilder, with injections coming every 5 to 7 days. The dosage obviously would be lower as well, generally in the range of 25mg to 50mg per injection. Androgenic activity should be less pronounced with this schedule, giving blood levels time to sufficiently decrease before the drug is administered again. In order to further reduce any risks, the duration of this cycle should not exceed 8 weeks. Should a stronger anabolic effect be needed, a small amount of Durabolin (Deca-Durabolin if unavailable), Oxandrolone or Winstrol could be added. Of course the risk of noticing virilizing effects from these drugs may increase, even with the addition of a mild anabolic. Since many of the masculinizing side effects of steroid use can be irreversible, it is very important for the female athlete to monitor the dosage, duration and incidence of side effects very closely.