Testosterone cypionate is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring steroid hormone testosterone. It can be taken by itself or with other drugs, along with a balanced diet and and exercise regimen, to help build muscle. However, there are a number of potentially dangerous side effects to consider before using it.
According to websitedrugs.com, testosterone cypionate is an injectable, synthetic, long-acting form of the steroid hormone testosterone. It is manufactured by a number of pharmaceutical companies (by Upjohn in the U.S.) and sold under a variety of names (such as Depo-Testosterone in the U.S.). Testosterone cypionate differs from naturally produced testosterone in that it contains an eight-carbon ester group, which makes it more difficult for the liver to break down. Consequently, those who use it must inject testosterone cypionate into intramuscular tissue, where it is absorbed by the body, stored in fatty tissue and released slowly over time.
Testosterone binds to the androgen receptors in muscle cells, where it stimulates protein synthesis and thereby causes muscle growth. It also acts to prevent muscle tissue breakdown (catabolism) and promotes bone density. High levels of testosterone can also cause the body to retain excess water and store it as fluid in the muscle tissues, further inflating gains.
According to bodybuilding.com, individuals trying to add muscle mass can take testosterone cypionate by itself. Because the ester acts over a long period of time, effective doses can range from 500 to 1,000 milligrams per week for eight to 12 weeks.
According to bodybuilding.com, maximum muscle gains are achieved by “stacking” (taking more than one steroid hormone at a time) testosterone cypionate with other drugs. For instance, those looking for the biggest, quickest payoff can take weekly dosages of 200 to 400 milligrams of nandrolone (Deca-Durabolin) with 500 to 750 milligrams of testosterone cypionate. Individuals who want to limit water retention typically take weekly doses of 300 to 400 milligrams of Primobolan (a mild androgen) along with testosterone cypionate. Bodybuilding.com advises athletes looking to gain lean muscle tissue to stack testosterone cypionate with boldenone (Equipoise), which also stimulates the appetite and thus helps them gain more mass.
Diet and Exercise
It is imperative to eat and train properly in order to gain muscle while taking testosterone cypionate. Bodybuilding.com recommends heavy resistance training, as this will cause micro-tears in muscle fibers, which the body will then repair and replace with new muscle tissue. In order to enjoy maximum muscle gain and quick recovery it's important to eat two to three grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. For example, a 200-pound athlete with 10 percent body fat has 180 pounds of lean body mass and consequently would need 360 to 540 grams of protein daily.
Testosterone cypionate can cause side effects, including high blood pressure, depletion of good cholesterol, jaundice, and heart and liver disease. As testosterone is an androgen, users may also experience deepening of the voice, greasy skin, acne and greater facial and body hair growth. Women are more prone to suffer these effects and may also experience a disruption of menstrual cycles, altered libido and an enlarged clitoris. Excess amounts of testosterone can undergo aromatization, a natural process that converts it to estrogen. In men, this can cause erectile dysfunction (including impotence) and lead to gynecomastia (the development of breasts). Additionally, taking excess amounts of exogenous (externally produced) testosterone can dampen the body’s natural production, and users may have to take injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in order to begin producing their own again.