Many people aren’t aware that there are several dozen ester variants of testosterone. Most of these esters are either not commonly used or never hit the market at all. Testosterone Cypionate is in the category of one of the most popular of all testosterone esters.
It is generally widely available and its well known pharmaceutical brand name of Depo-Testosterone is used medically to treat low testosterone and some other conditions. But its popularity with bodybuilders remains strong today and whether it’s used alone or stacked with any other steroid, Testosterone Cypionate users can be confident of excellent results.
Testosterone Cypionate can be described as the safest steroid to use, being an unaltered form of testosterone.
The range of benefits and effects you experience with Testosterone Cypionate cover the entire spectrum of bodybuilding needs, and this is why it’s such a staple steroid in the cycles of bodybuilders. Beginners to advanced and everyone in between find that Testosterone Cypionate is versatile, powerful and reliable.
But as with any anabolic steroids, the negatives do come along with the positives. While the downsides of Testosterone Cypionate are not often as severe as with other types of steroids, even this one can present challenges for many users; especially when we start taking those higher doses to achieve the best possible results.
- Is Testosterone Cypionate a steroid you should still be using today?
- What are the benefits, effects, side effects, possible results, and stacking options available?
- And are there any viable alternatives to this classic steroid?
Read on to find out all this and more about Testosterone Cypionate.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of steroids (PEDs).
Testosterone Cypionate History and Overview
Testosterone Cypionate has been around since the early 1950s, when it was developed to be used medically. Mainly it was for the treatment of low testosterone where patients receive anywhere from one to four injections monthly depending on individual need.
Today Testosterone Cypionate remains in use for medical purposes, but is also one of the most popularly used steroids in performance and bodybuilding circles.
Its main pharmaceutical brand name is Depo-Testosterone, but there are also more than twenty other brand names this steroid has been or still is marketed under. This can present some problems for bodybuilders trying to buy Testosterone Cypionate, with counterfeit suppliers often using one of these many brand names.
Testosterone Cypionate remains one of few anabolic steroids still marketed within the United States. As a result, this is the most popular ester variant of testosterone for American bodybuilders, simply because it’s easier to find for purchase than others.
With a very similar half life and action duration as Testosterone Enanthate, Testosterone Cypionate is even considered by medical practitioners to be virtually identical to the enanthate ester.
Bodybuilders will find that either of these two esters will provide the same experience in a cycle, with barely one day difference between their elimination half lives.
Like all anabolic steroids, Testosterone Cypionate is a prohibited performance enhancing substance by all world sporting associations, and is listed a schedule III controlled substance in the US. This makes it illegal to use Testosterone Cypionate apart from medical use under a doctor’s prescription.
Legal Testosterone Alternative
I’m on TRT, so I’m always skeptical of whether or not products intended to boost testosterone levels even work for me at all. Well, let me just tell you that the skepticism I had at first is completely gone after experiencing the effects of Testo-Max.
Testo-Max is absolutely INSANE in terms of delivering strength and mass gains that are FAST and DRY!! It acts on different pathways than a testosterone derivative or a typical androgenic steroid, and it gives you all of the benefits without the side effects.
So, if you’re looking for a legal alternative to testosterone injections then Testo-Max is very comparable and best of all is you won’t mess with your normal hormone levels when you stop using it!!
Chemical Characteristics and Properties
This steroid is a synthetic form of testosterone – the primary male sex hormone produced naturally in the body – with the attached cypionate ester being one of slow release.
Without an ester attached, testosterone would have such a short duration of action that it would be unusable as an injection. This is because a non esterified testosterone hormone has a half life of no more than a few hours.
What the Cypionate ester does is make the testosterone more soluble in the oil it is placed into for the purpose of injecting. This slows down its rate of release once you’ve injected it, so it’s active duration is spread over a certain period of time.
In the case of Testosterone Cypionate the half life is 8 days which makes it one of the longer acting variants of testosterone. This means by day 8, the amount of Testosterone Cypionate circulating in your body will be about half of that which was injected. To prevent levels dropping too much, most bodybuilders inject twice weekly with this ester of testosterone.
The anabolic and androgenic ratings of Testosterone Cypionate is a standard 100 and 100. This is the measurement that all other steroids are compared to, with many having decreased androgenic effect with increased anabolic activity compared to testosterone.
Effects of Testosterone Cypionate (Testosterone Cypionate Benefits)
When used correctly you can benefit from the whole range of anabolic steroid effects, after all Testosterone Cypionate is the original steroid hormone that many others are based on and measured against.
Testosterone Cypionate comes with many advantages and its effects will be greatly dependent on your chosen dosage.
In turn, the level of side effects will also generally increase with higher doses, therefore you always need to find a balance when selecting a dose.
The effects of using Testosterone Cypionate only for testosterone replacement will be unnoticeable, as you are merely replacing the testosterone that should be naturally there at a normal level.
The effects of higher performance doses (generally 400mg and above weekly) can be dramatic, as your testosterone levels will rise well above what is a normal level which amplifies both the anabolic and androgenic effects.
Testosterone Cypionate users can expect all of the benefits and effects below:
Lean muscle gains
With improved nitrogen retention comes increased protein storage capacity in the muscles, allowing for greater growth.
A positive nitrogen balance is critical for muscle growth because it allows the process of protein synthesis to be carried out without the risk of protein breaking down – keeping you in a constant high anabolic state.
Intensive exercise itself increases protein synthesis, but Testosterone Cypionate takes this well beyond a level your body could naturally produce.
This steroid also boosts the growth hormone IGF-1 which is a very anabolic muscle tissue hormone. It stimulates muscle and and bone growth and contributes to Testosterone Cypionate’s ability to increase muscle mass and volume while enhancing general body composition.
Strength and stamina
Testosterone Cypionate will lead to noticeable strength gains, allowing longer and more intense training sessions with heavier weights. Rapid muscle size increases follow.
Lifting up to 50lbs heavier is within reach, and with increased stamina and endurance your normal point of fatigue is going to be extended well beyond previous levels. Longer, harder workouts result in one outcome: faster and bigger lean gains.
This increase in endurance and performance is largely thanks to an increase red blood cell production, allowing more oxygen in the blood to be carried to the muscles. With this higher oxygen supply getting to the muscles, they have a significantly higher capacity to be worked harder for longer.
Protection from muscle loss
Using Testosterone Cypionate in a cutting cycle as an anti-catabolic agent is a common strategy, especially when combined with powerful cutting steroids like Primobolan, Winstrol or Anavar.
Testosterone Cypionate will help reduce and block the stress hormone cortisone which can bring about loss of muscle tissue due to catabolic activity. When on a cutting diet that’s low in calories, there’s a high risk of losing muscle while you lose far.
Testosterone Cypionate should be sufficient to provide this lean muscle protection to allow you to maintain a muscular physique and in some cases, even gain some muscle while burning fat.
Intense training is the activity that’s going to build your muscle when using Testosterone Cypionate.
Muscle tissue is damaged and then repairs itself and grows. This repair process is slow when left natural, but Testosterone Cypionate speeds up the pace of recovery and many will find recovery of a day or two faster than normal is possible.
With the combination of increased strength and faster recovery, muscle can only be gained much faster on Testosterone Cypionate and for those using it on a bulking cycle this is the ultimate goal.
These positive effects of Testosterone Cypionate at performance dosing are focused on the core areas that bodybuilders are concerned with. Testosterone brings additional benefits to the quality of life of males and these will also usually be noticeable; covering areas from sexual health to mental health and improved bone density to name just a few.
Testosterone Cypionate Cycles and Stacks
One of the best things about Testosterone Cypionate is that it can be included in any type of cycle.
This isn’t a steroid that has one single purpose, but rather it’s one that can contribute to virtually any goals and it works well alongside all other anabolic steroids.
All you need to work out is the best place to put it in a cycle in relation to the effects of other steroids, and of course what the best dosage of Testosterone Cypionate will be to get the benefits you need from it.
Beginner Testosterone Cypionate Cycle
Testosterone Cypionate is a good steroid for beginners to start with because it’s easier to use and usually tolerated better than some of the more potent anabolic steroids. Most beginners will be looking at balancing positive effects with the side effects of Testosterone Cypionate, and dosage is going to play a major role.
300mg per week is the lowest a beginner will usually aim for. This puts you above standard testosterone replacement, but not an excessive dose that causes more prominent side effects.
It’s certainly not out of the question for beginners to take 500mg per week though and most will tolerate that level well. The cycle length should be at least 12 weeks to allow time for this slower acting steroid to work.
A Testosterone Cypionate only cycle is the best place to start for a beginner. It allows you to evaluate your response exclusive to this steroid before you consider stacking it with any others.
Intermediate Testosterone Cypionate Cycle
Once you’re confident using Testosterone Cypionate on its own at lower doses, most intermediate users will either look to increase the dosage of this steroid, or to include at least one other steroid in the cycle to introduce some different or more powerful benefits.
Users must weigh up the pros and cons of taking higher doses of Testosterone Cypionate, or retaining a more moderate dose in combination with other steroids.
Intermediate cycles will still run for a 12-16 week length in most cases, with dosages of at least 500mg. A common stack at this level is Deca-Durabolin, combined with Dianabol to get the cycle off to a quick start. An example of such a cycle would be:
- Dianabol – 25mg daily for the first 4 weeks only
- Testosterone Cypionate – 500mg weekly for 12-16 weeks
- Deca-Durabolin – 400mg weekly for 12-16 weeks
Advanced Testosterone Cypionate Cycle
Steroid users with plenty of experience with both Testosterone Cypionate and other compounds will be able to confidently put together more complex stacks that meet very specific goals.
Testosterone Cypionate might be relatively small part of an advanced cycle, or it could be used as one of the primary steroids.
Two of the very advanced and potent steroids to include in a stack at this level are Trenbolone and Anadrol (usually one or the other as the side effects will be harsh).
Stacking Testosterone Cypionate and Trenbolone is a powerful bulking stack with massive gains possible and you won’t get the kind of water retention that is a problem when using Dianabol.
Trenbolone will also help you achieve a very ripped and dry look, as it can actually help remove water. A 12 week cycle of 150mg of Trenbolone and 600mg of Testosterone Cypionate will provide some of the best strength and muscle gains possible.
Another cycle to consider for advanced users include the powerful Anadrol which can make for a very good off season bulking stack with Testosterone Cypionate.
Expect huge strength and muscle gains here, but it’s not without its challenges as Anadrol is stressful to the liver and cardiovascular system so users should be prepared to deal with the often harsh side effects.
50-75mg daily of Anadrol for the first 6 weeks, with Testosterone Cypionate at 400mg for 12-16 weeks.
Stacking Testosterone Cypionate
Using Testosterone Cypionate in a stack is a widespread practice, and for good reason. This steroid combines well with all other steroids. It can be used solely as a testosterone replacement to support T levels while they’re being suppressed by other steroids.
In this case, Testosterone Cypionate will only be used at low doses of 100-200mg per week, while other steroids in the stack take on the anabolic roles.
When using Testosterone Cypionate at performance doses in a stack you get to benefit from its wide range of anabolic effects that can either compliment or amplify the effects of the other steroids.
Bulking, cutting, contest prep: you name it, Testosterone Cypionate can help make it happen when it’s strategically stacked with the right other steroids.
If it’s a first time stack using Testosterone Cypionate, combining it with just one other steroid is ideal because you’ll be dealing with the negative side effects of each and every compound in the stack.
When it comes to estrogenic and androgenic side effects, as well as impacts on the cardiovascular system, adverse effects can quickly become severe.
Experienced users will usually stack three or more steroids and other types of compounds, but even a stack of just two is going to deliver results well beyond what you’d achieve solely with Testosterone Cypionate. Some examples of these stacks are:
Testosterone Cypionate and Anavar
Taking advantage of Anavar’s fast acting effects, this powerful stack will result in efficient fat burning while retaining muscle and enjoying the strength benefits of Testosterone Cypionate that can help get you through a cutting diet phase.
Testosterone Cypionate and Anadrol
A hugely powerful bulking stack, but one that will introduce liver toxicity risks with Anadrol being one of the most stressful oral steroids on the liver. Anadrol should therefore only be used for 6 weeks.
This stack will bring about huge strength and muscle gains, but water retention can be difficult to control with Anadrol being a highly estrogenic steroid.
Testosterone Cypionate and Dianabol
A very popular stack with two of the best muscle building steroids bringing massive gains in mass, plus eye watering strength gains. Dianabol is liver toxic so its time use should be limited in this cycle with doses in the 10-20mg per day range being more than sufficient.
Testosterone Cypionate Dosages and Administration
A carefully planned cycle and dosage schedule is well worth the time and effort when it comes to getting the results you want with Testosterone Cypionate. This is a steroid that can be used by everyone from the very first time user, up to the most experienced steroid users.
While some users will take very high doses, most will find that dosages below 1000mg are highly effective while keeping side effects to a mostly manageable level.
Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Testosterone Cypionate Dosages
With this steroid usually being well tolerated by all males, dosage ranges between beginners and advanced users doesn’t necessarily need to be far apart.
Some beginners will happily use higher doses, while even advanced users will go for a lower dose for certain reasons (when using Testosterone Cypionate as TRT only, or when stacking with other steroids).
For a very first timer, Testosterone Cypionate at 300 to 500mg per week will likely be managed while while providing a solid introduction to what this steroid does. Side effects can arise at these doses, but are unlikely to be severe unless you are very sensitive to androgens (as dictated by your genetics).
Intermediate users will usually be very comfortable using Testosterone Cypionate within the 500-800mg range. Many won’t see any need to exceed 800mg.
The most advanced users are well known to regularly use 1000mg of Testosterone Cypionate, with some extreme users taking double this amount.
Anyone considering such a big dosage should do so with caution, and it’s unlikely the average user is going to gain enough benefits versus the considerable side effect risk to warrant doses anywhere near the 2000mg weekly mark.
Medical Testosterone Cypionate Dosage
The main medical use of Testosterone Cypionate is to treat conditions of low testosterone in men. This condition causes significant decline in all areas of life quality, but when Testosterone Cypionate are regularly administered men will find that the symptoms of the condition are significantly improved or eliminated.
This treatment is often for the duration of a lifetime. The most common dosage schedule for low testosterone treatment using Testosterone Cypionate is between 100mg and 200mg each week. This low dose is enough to provide normal levels of testosterone where the body is unable to produce it naturally.
Female Testosterone Cypionate Dosage
Testosterone Cypionate is far from the most ideal steroid for females to be using. Most will instead choose to use a milder steroid like Anavar, which produces considerably less risk of virilizing side effects compared to testosterone.
Testosterone Cypionate with its more powerful androgenic activity is highly likely to cause masculine development in women: deepened voice and body hair growth are just two of the serious side effects.
Females who are still determined to use Testosterone Cypionate despite the risks should look to use it at very low doses of around 20mg weekly, while monitoring for any undesirable adverse effects.
Because Testosterone Cypionate has a longer half life than some other testosterone esters, it takes longer to clear the body; therefore any side effects that do develop may take several weeks to subside once Testosterone Cypionate use stops.
Proper Administration and Timing
Testosterone Cypionate has a half life of about eight days. This means while you could inject once weekly, it’s more ideal to split your weekly dose into a twice weekly administration.
This will maintain more stable levels of the hormone throughout your cycle. It can also help smooth out the negative effects rather than introducing a large dose of the hormone with each injection.
This is especially important when you’re taking higher doses above 600mg. It’s also physically easier to inject smaller amounts each time which is important for those who find it painful or uncomfortable.
Like all steroids, Testosterone Cypionate needs to be injected into a large muscle. Avoiding arteries and veins is essential, but sometimes you might accidentally hit a small vein and this can result in a small amount of bleeding.
The buttock gluteus medius muscle, and the outer thigh are preferred injecting sites. Injection sites should be regularly rotated to avoid pain and damage to the muscle, as well as abscesses.
Testosterone Cypionate Risks and Side Effects
Testosterone Cypionate is simply a standard testosterone steroid. This is a hormone your body is used to so almost all men find that they tolerate Testosterone Cypionate very well.
Once higher doses start to be used, as is required if you want true performance and body enhancing results, testosterone levels raise well beyond what your body would naturally produce for your basic needs.
This is where the risks and side effects can start to rear their head. It’s not a surprise that the more Testosterone Cypionate you take, the greater the risk of more severe side effects.
Although these are still generally more tolerable than you’ll experience with most other steroids, they can still be uncomfortable and in some cases a real health risk.
These are the primary side effects of Testosterone Cypionate to be aware of:
- Estrogenic: Testosterone Cypionate will aromatize and while not severe compared to many other steroids, estrogenic side effects are a very real threat which increases with higher doses. Water retention and gynecomastia are the main culprits here. SERMs and AIs can be used to combat these estrogenic issues, but AIs do come with a risk of worsening cholesterol.
- Androgenic: If you’re genetically prone to acne, you might experience breakouts when using Testosterone Cypionate. If your family history includes male pattern baldness, this might be triggered at higher doses of Testosterone Cypionate. Some men might see mild hair shedding, while others have it much worse – this is very much dependent on genetics.
- Cardiovascular: Testosterone Cypionate is not the worst steroid when it comes to cardiovascular related side effects and risks, but it can alter cholesterol levels and this in turn can bring about an increase in blood pressure. Your blood pressure can also rise if you allow water retention to get out of hand. Again, higher doses are going to heighten these risks. A cholesterol friendly diet is a must when taking Testosterone Cypionate, and more so if you’re stacking it with any other cardiovascular affecting steroids.
- Testosterone suppression: Testosterone Cypionate will suppress your normal testosterone production, and the more you take the more severe this suppression will be. But any doses above basic TRT will require a PCT plan following your cycle so you can bridge the gap while your body starts producing testosterone naturally again. Testosterone Cypionate’s suppressive effects will lead to a low testosterone situation if PCT isn’t undertaken, and this results in catastrophic effects including loss of muscle gains, fat gain, low energy and mood, low libido, and more.
- Liver: There’s no liver side effects with Testosterone Cypionate, which in itself is worth mentioning. If you’ve ever used an oral steroid then you’d be familiar with liver toxicity risks. This is not a concern with Testosterone Cypionate and it’s known to cause no stress to the liver at all, even at higher doses.
All in all, there’s always the option of lowering your dose if you do find the side effects are difficult to handle, but keep in mind that the 8 day half life of Testosterone Cypionate means it will take some time for your levels to drop after reducing your dose.
Testosterone Cypionate Results
All steroid users should expect results to depend not only on the compounds being used and their dosages, but also diet, training, genetics, age and other factors (some of which are in your control, and others outside it).
When using Testosterone Cypionate on its own at moderate to high doses for the primary purpose of muscle gains, users can find themselves with weight gains in the 20-30lbs range.
Fat is often lost as well, thanks to Testosterone Cypionate’s powerful anabolic effects. There’s likely to be some water weight but this should not be difficult to keep to a minimum.
Strength gains are always impressive with Testosterone Cypionate. How much more you’ll be able to lift will greatly depend on what level you’re already at, but breaking personal records should be expected.
At the higher end you can find yourself able to lift 40lbs, 50lbs or even more than before. Testosterone Cypionate users will often also experience excellent muscle pumps.
Another aspect of your results with this steroid will relate to recovery. You should notice less time being taken to recover from intense workouts and less muscle pain post workout. This gets you back into the gym sooner, leading to faster gains.
Not only is heavier lifting capability going to contribute to your results with Testosterone Cypionate, so too will the increased endurance and stamina you feel.
Once Testosterone Cypionate kicks in you will find yourself able to work out longer than usual, with fatigue not coming on at the point it normally would.
How to Buy Testosterone Cypionate?
Buying Testosterone Cypionate requires the same strategies as buying just about any other anabolic steroid.
Even though it’s one of the few still in use medically which means it is manufactured in official pharmaceutical labs, being able to get your hands on genuine pharmaceutical grade Testosterone Cypionate is not easy for most people. That would be the most pure and desirable form of Testosterone Cypionate – if you can get it.
For the rest of us we mostly need to rely on underground labs and black market sellers. This opens up a world of quality variation and means that you can never be 100% sure that the Testosterone Cypionate is going to be pure and sterile.
Good quality black market and underground lab operators to exist, but it requires not just buying from the first supplier you come across and trusting that you’ll receive a good quality product.
Counterfeit versions of the brand name pharmaceutical Depo-Testosterone is now quite widespread and with the increasingly sophisticated packaging and marketing abilities of these fake suppliers, you do need to be very vigilant with who and where you purchase from.
The main issue with counterfeits is the quality of the steroid and whether it contains much or any Testosterone Cypionate at all.
Sterility and hygiene is another worrying factor; without clean and professional facilities, underground labs can have you risking your health with contaminated steroids which could contain bacteria and other harmful organisms or chemicals.
Legal Steroid Alternatives That Work
OK guys, for those who follow me, you know I’d never steer you wrong. The truth always comes first and in this world of bodybuilding there’re lies everywhere.
I always kick the real deal and in fact, it’s my opinion that most supplements are complete bullshit. HOWEVER, there are a few products that do in fact work well.
Crazy Bulk is my recommended source for SARMs and legal steroid alternatives, based on MY PERSONAL RESULTS. NO BS!!
I’ve been recently using a few stacks that have given me INSANE RESULTS….. QUICKLY, and best of all you won’t mess with your normal hormone levels when you stop using these products!!
So, if you’re seriously looking for smooth and steady gains, give Crazy Bulk a run for a few months. Crazy Bulk is highly effective, affordable, and legal.
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Testosterone Cypionate FAQs
What are the main side effects of Testosterone Cypionate?
The most common side effects when using this steroid at high doses are estrogenic effects such as water retention and gynecomastia, androgenic effects in some people including acne and hair loss, suppression of natural testosterone production, and negative changes to cholesterol levels.
How long does it take for Testosterone Cypionate to kick in?
It will take two to three weeks until you start seeing noticeable benefits with Testosterone Cypionate because it’s a slow release ester. Cycles therefore need to be at least 12 weeks so the steroid is given enough time to deliver its maximum benefits.
What can you stack Testosterone Cypionate with?
Testosterone Cypionate will stack well with any other anabolic steroid. You can stack it with bulking steroids, cutting steroids, or any other combination.
A common strategy is to stack Testosterone Cypionate with a fast acting oral steroid so you can start seeing effects early on in your cycle while waiting for Testosterone Cypionate to kick in.
Is Testosterone Cypionate or Testosterone Enanthate better?
The structure of the testosterone hormone is exactly the same on these two ester variants. Only the attached ester differs, controlling the release rate of the hormone.
Both are very similar but Testosterone Cypionate has a slightly longer half life of one extra day. At the practical level users are unlikely to notice a difference and the choice often comes down to availability.
Is Testosterone Cypionate good for building muscle?
Yes, all testosterone steroids have powerful anabolic effects which promote muscle growth through increased protein synthesis, nitrogen retention and red blood cell production, as well as boosting IGF-1 levels.
Can Testosterone Cypionate be used for cutting?
Yes this steroid can work well in a cutting cycle by helping preserve lean muscle tissue and strength. Some of the cutting steroids Testosterone Cypionate is often stacked with include Anavar, Winstrol and Equipoise.
Testosterone Cypionate itself will also help accelerate fat loss while even allowing you to add some bulk at the same time.
What’s the best Testosterone Cypionate dosage for bodybuilding?
Bodybuilders will usually take between 500mg and 1000mg of Testosterone Cypionate per week to enjoy its anabolic benefits. Taking higher doses will result in harsher side effects like water retention.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
Testosterone Cypionate is probably the most reliable steroid you can use. You know what to expect – both good and bad. No one can deny the positive benefits of Testosterone Cypionate.
Lean muscle growth, big strength gains allowing you to power through previous personal lifting records, faster recovery, more stamina and endurance, easier fat burning, lean muscle preservation, and improved overall well being. Who could resist all that?
But it’s not all roses with Testosterone Cypionate even though it’s considered the most tolerable and “safest” steroid to use, being a straight up testosterone hormone with no modifications.
While this is true, it only indicates that other steroids are particularly unsafe. It doesn’t necessarily mean higher dosed, longer term use of Testosterone Cypionate for bodybuilding purposes is not going to negatively impact our health in some way.
Even when I disregard possible health impacts, the illegality of Testosterone Cypionate and having to worry about suppliers and quality have all led me to look into alternatives.