Muscle Sport Magazine

Testosterone Propionate Profile

By Leigh Penman


This is part of a continuing series provided exclusively by MuscleSport Mag giving information on a variety of performance-enhancing drugs for educational purposes. While it is apparent that people are going to use these substances regardless of the health and legal risks involved, quality information is necessary and learning as much about them as possible can only assist an adult making a decision either way.


Testosterone Propionate is the shortest estered, fastest acting form of testosterone currently available. Levels generally peak after 24-36 hours, however they soon begin to taper thereafter and the steroid itself only has a 2-3day life span. This can be a good thing for those susceptible to the side effects caused by longer acting testosterones (e.g. enthanate, cypionate, Sustanon 250) with Propionate causing less water retention and the user experiencing an increase in energy, a better muscle pump and an increase in strength and appetite after only one or two days.

The downside of Propionate is that, due to its composition, it requires more frequent injections in order to keep blood levels stable (this usually involves administration every second day). This can be troublesome since the Propionate ester can be very irritating at the injection site with sensitive individuals experiencing pain and swelling accompanied by a low-grade fever that may last for a few days.

Although still regarded as a controversial subject (and usually ‘forbidden territory’) the use of testosterone compounds by female athletes does exist at top competitive levels and the drug of choice is usually Testosterone Propionate. This is due to the fact that, when applied properly, androgenic side effects are more easily avoided. With this in mind, women who choose to use this form of testosterone usually administer it every 5 –7 days and experience better workout recovery and muscle growth with a minimum of androgenic related problems. In this case the dosage is usually 25-50mg per injection and the duration of use kept to 8-10 weeks. This is usually supplemented by adding a mild anabolic such as Primobolan or Anavar in order to increase protein synthesis.

For men daily injections of 50mg are often used and, as long as the pain and swelling at the injection site which often results from Propionate use, is not too troublesome the usual side effects triggered by testosterone use are less frequent. However, it is still testosterone and, for those with sensitive metabolisms side effects may still be evident and include acne, accelerated hair loss, possible water retention and gynecomastia. These effects are not as common as with other long acting testosterones though and most athletes find that the frequency of injections is the only real hassle with Propionate use.


One technique often used with Testosterone Propionate is ‘front-loading’ where the rapid onset of action is used to trigger quick gains in strength and weight while waiting for a longer acting drug to take effect. One example of this would be to combine Testosterone Propionate with Testosterone Enanthate. The enanthate would be administered at 250mg and the propionate at 50mg at the beginning of a cycle then, after the effect of the propionate decreases (2 days) another 50mg shot is injected. By the time the effect of the second shot diminishes (another 2 days) the Enanthate kicks in and no further propionate would be necessary. This would lead to a longer and sustained level of testosterone in the body. Some athletes do prefer to take Propionate throughout their entire cycle, injecting 50-100mg every day or every second day. This may reduce the likelihood of water retention during a mass building cycle but, once again it has to be weighed up against the pain and swelling at the injection site caused by Propionate use.

Leigh Penman, in addition to be a staff writer at MuscleSport Mag, has been writing for bodybuilding magazines, websites and nutritional supplement companies since 1985. Whilst residing in the UK, she earned the reputation of being one of the top female writers in bodybuilding-related media. Her credits included being a contributing editor on all the magazines in production as well as filling the shoes of Ladies Editor and Showbiz Editor on two publications (the later being on Arnold’s sanctioned magazine, ‘Bodypower’). During this time she also competed successfully on four occasions (placing in the top four in all contests).

Relocating to New York in the late 1990s she focused her writing attention to crystal healing techniques and metaphysics – however, she still maintained a five day workout schedule during this time and gained her personal training certificate.

Having also studied pharmacology in relation to sports performance, her writing began taking her in that direction until the present day which sees her embarking on a return to the magazine world, as well as extending her web-related work in the bodybuilding and fitness field.


Leigh has been working out for close to thirty years so she is clearly a writer who ‘walks her talk.’
She can be contacted personally at or you can also check her out at New York’s favorite metaphysical store

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