There are two ways to look at it.
Biologically, Testosterone is an endogenous hormone produced by the endocrine glands in both males and females.
In males, it is responsible for the development of physical characteristics, muscle growth and development of sexual organs and the prostate gland.
A healthy male produces about 6-7 mg of test every day.
In females, it is present in much smaller quantities.
The levels of Testosterone is at its peak during puberty in males after which it continues to decline as the person ages.
After the 40s, it declines at the rate of 1% every year.
But chances are that you aren’t looking for the scientific gobbledygook part.
Chapter 1. What is Exogenous Testosterone?
You are here to know about exogenous Testosterone, which is considered universally as the baseline anabolic steroid. Aren’t you?
Exogenous Testosterone, available as an oily injection in various ester forms, is the most popular performance enhancement drug in the world. It is usually the base for almost all steroid stacks and is generally very well tolerated.
It has an anabolic to androgenic rating of 100:100, which means that it can produce some dramatic muscle gains. But there is every possibility that it might cause androgenic side effects too.
However, you can easily control most of side effects with supplementation and some meds.
It is also prescribed medically for men suffering from hypogonadism or Low test levels in a program called ‘Testosterone Replacement Therapy’ that has gained immense popularity among men around the world.
Chapter 2. How does Exogenous Testosterone work in the body?
When you inject exogenous testosterone into the body, it gets absorbed into the blood stream instantly or slowly, depending on the ester. (More on Test esters in a bit)
It then binds to androgen receptors in the muscle and bone tissue signaling them to increase protein synthesis, improve nitrogen retention, increase the levels of Red blood cells and prevent the release of Cortisol.
In a performance enhancement steroid cycle, the amount of exogenous testosterone can be as high as ten times what the body would produce naturally.
So, the body balances the surplus quantity by converting some of it into estradiol. The rest converts into dihydrotestosterone or DHT.
That’s where the side effects come into the picture.
Before we get to that part, let’s understand the effects of a Test steroid cycle.
Chapter 3. What are the effects of a Testosterone steroid cycle?
A Testosterone only cycle is usually the first anabolic steroid cycle for most users who go to the AAS route.
Going solo with Test allows a user to gauge the reaction and understand their individual sensitivity to some of the potential side effects.
If you are looking to start your first test only cycle, then here are some of the results that you can expect.
Section 1. Strength gains:
Testosterone will kick in by week 3 of the cycle and the first difference that you will notice is the strength. By boosting the production of RBC, it increases oxygenation in muscle tissue which in turn helps you to lift better. The harder you lift, the sooner you grow.
Section 2. Recovery:
Testosterone amplifies the rate of recovery allowing you to hit the gym with the same intensity day after day. Even after a vigorous leg day, you will be back under the rack in no time.
Section 3. Protein synthesis:
By enhancing protein synthesis, Test increases the rate at which your body builds muscle. In a bulking phase, you can expect to gain 10-12 lbs. of weight. (Not all of it will be lean muscle) In a cutting phase, it will prevent muscle loss even when you are in a calorie deficit.
Section 4. Fat Loss:
There are multiple ways in which Test can boost fat loss. Firstly, it blocks and reduces the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that is associated with fat gain, particularly in and around the gut. Secondly, the increased muscle mass also contributes towards fat loss.
Section 5. Mental Health:
You will feel invincible while you are on testosterone. The mental clarity, the focus, the alertness and the good mood are incomparable. In simple terms, it makes you feel great.
Chapter 4. What are the different esters of Testosterone and how do they differ from one another?
Testosterone is available in many forms which may confuse a first-time user.
Essentially, all forms are the same synthetic hormone. The only difference is the type of ester that is attached to it.
The Ester is a carbon chain that determines how soon the steroid is absorbed into the bloodstream, how much of it will be absorbed and how soon it clears your system.
The Acetate ester for example, has two carbon atoms while the Enanthate ester has eight, which makes it a slow acting version.
There are six Esters of Test that bodybuilders mostly use in steroid cycles and TRT.
Section 1. Testosterone Propionate:
Also called the Original Testosterone, Test-P is a fast acting steroid with a 3-carbon ester attached to it. It has a 1-2-day half-life and the recommended dose is 100mg/day. Test-P is characterized by the increased vascularization it provides and reduced water retention as compared to some of the other esters.
Section 2. Testosterone Enanthate & Cypionate:
Testosterone Ethantate or Test-E is a slow-release form of testosterone that has a half-life of 15-days. This allows users to limit the dose to two injections per week as opposed to Test-P which needs to be injected every other day at least. Test-E gives you great results that are very similar to what you can achieve with Test-P. Testosterone-Cypionate is generally considered to be a twin of the Enanthate version.
Section 3. Testosterone Suspension:
Testosterone suspension is 100% pure testosterone without any ester attached to it. Unlike other forms of test, it is a water-based solution and has a very fast absorption rate. This means that most athletes who use Suspension will need to inject it at least once a day. Test Susp injections are the most painful of them all though.
Section 4. Sustanon 250 & Omnadren:
Sustanon 250 is a blend of four different Testosterone esters, two fast acting ones and two slow release ones. This allows the user to maintain a consistent level of testosterone in their blood stream without frequent injections.
Chapter 5. What are the side effects of Testosterone?
With a high anabolic and androgenic rating, any form of exogenous Test will definitely cause side effects.
Most of them are reversible and you can easily manage them with medication and PCT.
- Testicular atrophy: As your body’s natural testosterone production is stopped due to exogenous test, your testes will shrink. However, the size will return to normal once you stop using exogenous test. A PCT speeds up recovery time.
- Gynecomastia: Also called bitch tits, it is every bodybuilder’s worst nightmare. Testosterone aromatizes to estrogen which leads to fat gain near the nipples giving them the appearance of a female breast. You can mostly control Gyno with an aromatase inhibitor like Arimidex. However, if you are extremely sensitive, then even an AI won’t prevent gyno. You will have to remove it surgically.
- Cholesterol: You should always monitor your lipid levels while you are on Test or any other anabolic steroid. It will cause your lipid levels to spike.
- High blood pressure: The water retention that testosterone causes can eventually cause your blood pressure levels to spike. Just like lipids, you must closely monitor your blood pressure levels while you are on a cycle.
Chapter 6. To sum it up
Testosterone is the Granddaddy of all anabolic steroids.
And any steroid stack that you will use will most likely have it as the base steroid with other supplementary compounds tailored around it.