So, you’ve made the big decision to finally plunge that needle intramuscularly and go for those big gains and youthful days of erections. Now the decision arises – which form of testosterone is best? You’ve heard various claims ranging from Prop hurts the most to Cypionate needs the least frequent injections, however, there has to be one better than the other right?
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What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the main male sexual hormone (C19H28O2), and is obviously responsible for all the typical biological features such as penis and testicular development, body and facial hair, sex drive, and sperm production. Testosterone has been associated with an increase of muscle mass, bone density, and even decrease in fat mass; because of this various athlete (Particularly strength and physique) use exogenous testosterone in the hopes of gaining the edge in competition.
A study in 2019 found that even in a caloric deficit, a simple dosage of 200mg of Testosterone Enanthate resulted in an increase in Fat Free mass by 2.5kg/5.5lbs compared to the control group. Not only does this prove that exogenous testosterone can possibly mess with the laws of Thermodynamics, but also that testosterone could play a massive role in any athlete’s approach to competing. Since the average male only produces 49 – 55mg of testosterone weekly, quite a lot of exogenous is needed before we see favourable results.
What kinds of Testosterone are there?
As mentioned, testosterone does have a specific chemical formula (C19H28O2), but when it comes to exogenous testosterone there are various kinds available. These all almost only have one thing different between them: The chain length of the Carbon Atoms. In essence, there is no chemical difference between them, and they will all yield similar results – with subtle differences between them.
Testosterone Propionate – The shortest Chain Testosterone
Testosterone Propionate (or “Prop”) is the testosterone that has the shortest Carbon chain, and because of this short chain, it is broken down fairly easy once it is administered to the body. It has a half live of approximately 4.5 days, because of this the frequency of injection needed increases tremendously (EOD of even ED). This of course raises the risk of an infection post injection; however, it does give the user the ability to control stable blood levels more accurately. Another benefit of a short chain compound is that even though it is “in quickly”, it is also “out quickly” so if you were to have severe side effects they would calm down after only a few days.
Test Prop is usually dosed either at 100mg/ml or sometimes 150mg/ml. This is not commonly used by strength athletes, but definitely used more by physique athletes. Reason for this is the notion that a shorter ester (Carbon Chain) carries less water due to less aromatization (Act of Testosterone being converted into Estrogen) however most users will probably use an aromatize inhibitor anyway.
Positives: More dense than other esters, easier to control blood levels, could possibly hold less water.
Negatives: Painful to inject, high frequency of injection, could be more expensive.
Best Usage: While perfectly fine to use in the off season, it is more commonly used in the final weeks before a Bodybuilding show.
Testosterone Enanthate – The medium Chain Testosterone
Testosterone Enanthate (Or “Test E” or “Enth”) sits happily in the middle with the medium carbon chain length. This makes it a reasonably good choice for users since you still have the ability to control blood levels relatively well like Prop, however since the half life is approximately 7 – 9 days the frequency of injection is lower, only every 5 days. Usually dosed at 250mg/ml it is a very common choice amongst strength and physique athletes.
Since it is not as dense as Test Prop, the dose needed to reach the same blood levels as Prop might be higher, and it really comes down to a personal decision.
Positives: Less frequent injections, readily available.
Negatives: Not as dense as Testosterone Prop, some find it painful.
Best Usage: Anywhere really. Commonly used by athletes.
Testosterone Cypionate – The longer Chain Testosterone
Testosterone Cypionate (or “Cyp” [Pronounced ‘Sip’] is commonly known as a longer chain compound, with a much slower release rate and a half live of 8 days. Due to this slower release rate, the frequency of injection lowers dramatically, some administering Cyp only once every two weeks. This unfortunately does not give you the ability to control blood levels effectively, and most still opt for a more frequent (Twice a week) injection schedule.
Cyp also has a reputation of being the least painful to inject, reason being it is the least dense of the aforementioned esters. This again requires “more oil” to achieve the same blood levels as them as well.
Positives: Much less frequent injections, readily available, claimed to be least painful to inject.
Negatives: Not as dense as Testosterone Prop or Enth, could potentially hold more water.
Best Usage: More commonly used farther away from competition. Commonly used by athletes and as a Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
Testosterone Suspension – Water Based Testosterone
Testosterone Suspension (“Aqua Test” or “Suspension”) is almost exclusively found in the steroid market, and would not likely be administered by a doctor or health practitioner. The main reason for this is that because this compound is water based, the release period into the blood is quite literally, only a few hours. Since suspension is non-estrified testosterone derivative, it can be transported in water. Water based exogenous hormones are broken down easier, and can be used faster than oil based.
Often dosed at 100mg/ml, a dosage of 50 – 100mg per day for the last 10 days before a bodybuilding contest or a strength-based contest is quite common. For bodybuilders, this can help with coming in drier and also potentially aid in the carbing up phase. Strength athletes use it for aggression and power pre contest. Unfortunately, Suspension has the risk of being highly infectious since bacteria can survive in the water – water based compounds are also commonly known to be extremely painful to inject.
Positives: Great for blood level control.
Negatives: Extremely painful, infections are common.
Best Usage: Pre Contest/Meet.
Testosterone Sustanon – Blended Testosterone
All the compounds mentioned before consisted of one Testosterone, one chain length. Testosterone Sustanon (or just “Sust”) is actually a mix of various types of testosterones. It was designed to be used as a hormone replacement therapy, and have the different testosterones release into the blood at different rates due to their chain length differences.
Sustanon is dosed at 100mg/ml or 250mg/ml, consisting of Testosterone propionate, Testosterone phenylpropionate (Slightly longer version of Test propionate), Testosterone isocaproate, and Testosterone decanoate. This is a very common drug used, especially amongst strength athletes. Administration could technically only be every 4 weeks thanks to the Decanoate – however those who use this compound as a PED would probably administer it every week, at least once per week.
Positives: Set it and forget it.
Negatives: Hard to control blood levels, some claim Phenylpropionate is extremely painful to inject.
Best Usage: Mostly off season as the longer chain testosterones could hold water.
Testosterone Decanoate – The Longest Testosterone
As the subtitle suggests, Decanoate is the longest chain testosterone available. This is almost never used as a PED, partly because it is quite scarce, but also because athletes wish to keep blood levels stable, and using something with a half life of 20 days makes this extremely difficult.
Positives: Lowest frequency of injections.
Negatives: Hard to control blood levels, hard to find.
Best Usage: As hormonal replacement therapy.
Which Testosterone is best?
The question of which Testosterone is best is kind of a hallow question. They all have their drawbacks and their benefits. You chose the compounds based on your goals and of course, your own reaction to the compound. Some people cannot stand Propionate whilst others love it. Some have allergic reactions to certain esters. Best to play around and find out which is best for you.
For cutting, it is common to go for a shorter Ester such as Prop. For the off season (or strength athletes) Cypionate, Enanthate or even Sustanon are great options. Just make sure to use reasonable dosages, and control your estrogen.
It is important to take into consideration not to start two new compounds at once, as a negative reaction could not be blamed on one because, how would you know which one caused the reaction?