Most people will say that testosterone in any form, including Testosterone Enanthate, is the safest steroid to use. Why? Because as a male your body naturally produces this hormone.
The hormone hasn’t been modified as is the case with other anabolic steroids. You’re essentially just putting higher doses of a naturally occurring hormone into your body. But it’s those higher doses of testosterone that can bring on some familiar steroid side effects.
With testosterone being such a widely used and well understood steroid, we have a very good idea of exactly what types of side effects can occur.
But that doesn’t mean your experience will be totally predictable because dosage and individual response will make your own use of testosterone – and the associated side effects – potentially different to the next guy.
Although the side effects that you experience with Testosterone Enanthate will be virtually identical to those experienced with any other ester variant of testosterone, the timing and duration of side effects can differ with the different rate of release as controlled by the enanthate ester.
This article will focus specifically on the potential side effects you could see when using Testosterone Enanthate.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of steroids (PEDs).
What is Testosterone Enanthate?
There are many different ester variants of the steroid hormone testosterone, and Testosterone Enanthate is one of the better known ones.
The Enanthate ester, which is attached to the testosterone hormone and controls the rate of release after injection, is a large and slow acting ester. This results in a slow release of testosterone, with this variant having a long half life of around 8 to 10 days.
Of all the forms of Testosterone available to bodybuilders, Testosterone Enanthate is one (if not the) of the most used types. It is widely and easily available, affordable, and is convenient and practical for most users because only twice weekly injections are required.
Testosterone Enanthate comes with the standard testosterone anabolic-androgenic ratings of 100-100. You will find that all other steroids are measured against this testosterone standard in terms of rating their anabolic and androgenic potency.
What does Testosterone Enanthate do?
Almost every male bodybuilder who uses steroids will include some form of testosterone in their cycle, whether it be at low TRT doses to provide a source of testosterone to combat suppression from other steroids, or at higher doses to benefit from its powerful anabolic effects.
Testosterone Enanthate is very often the testosterone steroid of choice and it can fit into just about any type of cycle.
Unless you’re taking low replacement doses of Testosterone Enanthate to maintain healthy levels during a cycle, higher doses of Testosterone Enanthate will be providing you with much more of the hormone than your body could naturally produce. This means considerably more anabolic activity, as well as heightened androgenic activity.
Testosterone has many benefits for the bodybuilder and athlete. As a hormone that plays a critical role in all aspects of male health, men will find not only is it exceptionally valuable for gaining muscle and strength, but for wider health covering the physical, mental and sexual aspects.
Here are the main benefits you can expect when using Testosterone Enanthate:
Lean muscle gains
Testosterone Enanthate can provide you with significant gains, as long as your diet supports muscle growth.
Put simply you must be consuming enough calories (quality ones) and undertaking intensive resistance training for the body to be able to grow and for the enhanced protein synthesis stimulated by Testosterone Enanthate to bring about those gains.
Testosterone Enanthate boosts protein synthesis substantially, as well as enhancing nitrogen retention and IGF-1.
Just how much muscle you can gain will come down to your Testosterone Enanthate dosage, your workouts, diet and of course whether any other bulking steroids are being used. A standard cycle can have you gaining up to 20lbs to 30lbs of muscle.
Even at low doses, Testosterone Enanthate will provide noticeable strength increases. Increased muscle strength means lifting heavier weights, fast tracking your muscle gains.
Just how much more you’ll be able to lift will come down to each individual, but improvements in the range of 30lbs to 50lbs are more than achievable.
With a higher red blood cell count, more oxygen is being transported through the blood and to the muscles. The result is enhanced muscular endurance, making more intensive and longer workouts possible
You will notice early on in your cycle that fatigue takes longer to appear and that it requires harder workouts to become as fatigued as you previously did without Testosterone Enanthate.
Fat loss and muscle preservation
The powerful anabolic effects of Testosterone Enanthate will naturally promote fat loss when you’re in a calorie deficit diet.
With improved nitrogen retention, Testosterone Enanthate helps prevent muscle catabolism, making it a good muscle preserver in a cutting cycle.
The body stays in an anabolic state when nitrogen is positively balanced, preventing the muscle wasting that can so often be a challenge when you’re trying to get lean and ripped.
It’s only natural that Testosterone Enanthate is going to improve your recovery, and noticeably so. Yet this is often an under looked benefit.
Simply through testosterone’s natural activity of increasing red blood cell count and increasing Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1, the healing and recovery of ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilage is enhanced.
This means quicker recovery after a workout, faster muscle healing that leads to growth, and being able to workout with shorter breaks in between sessions.
As you can see, we can’t class Testosterone Enanthate as just a bulking steroid, or just a cutting steroid, or a steroid that is suitable for one outcome.
Its anabolic effects provide all round benefits and you can include Testosterone Enanthate in a cycle that is designed to meet a variety of different performance or body recomposition results.
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Short-Term Side Effects
Most of the side effects that come about when using Testosterone Enanthate will be short term. Once you stop using the steroid and allow a few weeks for it to clear your system, almost all side effects will subside.
That’s why it’s critical that Testosterone Enanthate is used in planned cycles with a suitable amount of time in between cycles to allow recovery.
During that time, PCT takes place to restore suppressed testosterone, acne can clear up, any mood changes will dissipate, and if negative changes to cholesterol or blood pressure have developed, these can be given time to recover.
When used sensibly, Testosterone Enanthate is considered quite a safe steroid but continual, high dose use without a break can lead to otherwise short term side effects becoming a more permanent problem.
The main short term side effects to look out for when using Testosterone Enanthate include:
- Negative changes to cholesterol and blood pressure (not usually severe with this steroid)
- Water retention
- Testosterone suppression
In some cases you can take steps to reduce or even prevent some of these short term side effects; such as anti-estrogen drugs.
When it comes to acne, some users will develop severe acne, but other guys find they have very little problem with their skin.
As always, a healthy skin-friendly diet can help mitigate some of this problem, but for a lot of men the acne becomes an accepted if not unwelcome part of using Testosterone Enanthate.
Estrogenic Side Effects
Estrogen conversion is inevitable when taking Testosterone Enanthate. The process of aromatization causes testosterone to convert to the female hormone estrogen.
While men naturally need very small amounts of estrogen, when levels rise too high and hormones become imbalanced, unwanted side effects are almost inevitable.
Most men who use steroids will always be prepared with how to deal with estrogenic side effects. This involves the use of anti-estrogen medication of which there are two main types:
- SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)
- AIs (Aromatase Inhibitors)
Most users will find that aromatase inhibitors are the most effective option when using testosterone because they directly stop the process of aromatization, resulting in a lowering of circulating estrogen levels.
But the downside of AI drugs is that they can cause some cholesterol issues which will add to the cholesterol negatives brought on by Testosterone Enanthate, which while considered mild to moderate, can still be a problem for some individuals.
Healthy individuals with normal cholesterol levels will usually be able to handle the combined stress caused by an AI and testosterone, cholesterol levels should still be monitored.
Those with existing cholesterol problems should rethink using any steroids that cause further negative alterations to cholesterol.
The alternative class of drugs to control estrogenic side effects – SERMs – do not come with the risk to cholesterol (they can actually benefit cholesterol).
So if you’re able to effectively control estrogenic side effects with SERMs they are the healthier option; unfortunately many users will find a SERM is not effective enough, hence the need to use an AI like Arimidex instead.
Estrogenic effects are some of the most dreaded side effects for men who use Testosterone Enanthate because they have a very noticeable impact on your appearance.
When water retention and/or gynecomastia are not kept under control they can quickly change a muscular physique into a puffy, bloated one that makes it very obvious that steroids are being used.
Excess fluid retention also has the more sinister consequence of bringing about an increase in blood pressure on top of that which might already be caused by increased cholesterol.
Androgenic Side Effects
With an androgenic rating of 100, you can expect to be dealing some of the well known androgenic side effects that we face when using many steroids.
The severity of androgenic side effects you’ll see with Testosterone Enanthate will depend a lot on your dose and how genetically predisposed you might be to particular side effects.
If it’s your first time using Testosterone Enanthate or any steroid with high androgenic activity, it will be difficult to know what to expect.
As a very general guide, you can often look at your past and at your family traits to get some basic idea of what you might be faced with. This doesn’t mean you WILL suffer or not suffer with these side effects, but it’s best to be prepared.
When it comes to acne development, those who experienced severe acne during the teenage years are often more prone to developing it while using Testosterone Enanthate. This include not only on the face, but acne popping up on the shoulders, back and elsewhere.
Male pattern baldness, or more simply loss of hair on your head, is more likely to happen if you have a family history of male baldness.
You can consider your father and grandfather and whether they experienced hair loss in their later years. If so, it’s likely you will also be at the mercy of male pattern baldness when you’re older.
However, a steroid like Testosterone Enanthate can bring forward this hair loss and when it happens, it’s often permanent.
You can take some action to help mitigate and prevent some of the hair loss activity. The cause is due to the conversion to DHT as a result of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme.
Using a inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase enzyme may help reduce hair loss in some cases. Finasteride is the most common 5-alpha reductase inhibitor drug used for this purpose.
Hepatotoxic Side Effects
As an injectable steroid, Testosterone Enanthate doesn’t bypass the liver like oral steroids do. This makes it a steroid that doesn’t pose a risk to the liver and shouldn’t cause it stress.
Studies involving the use of very high doses of Testosterone Enanthate have found that even extreme doses aren’t stressful to the liver.
HPTA and Endogenous Testosterone Production Side Effects
Natural testosterone production will be suppressed while you’re using Testosterone Enanthate.
By providing your body with an exogenous form of testosterone, your natural hormones are tricked into thinking they no longer need to produce testosterone internally.
The amount of shutdown can vary but in any case you will require post cycle therapy after using Testosterone Enanthate. Without PCT, you will experience a long period of low testosterone.
The body needs time to start producing the hormone naturally again, and in the meantime debilitating symptoms will occur – everything from muscle loss and fat gain, to lack of energy, no libido, and overall poor health.
Once again we need to turn to drugs like SERMs – Nolvadex and Clomid are the PCT drugs of choice for steroid users. Often HCG will also be added.
The goal of your PCT plan is to allow your body to function normally while natural testosterone production gets back on track.
The best time to start PCT and the length of time it should run for will depend on which steroids you’re using in your cycle along with Testosterone Enanthate.
PCT start time should be when the last steroid you use has cleared your system (depending on its half life) and most PCT cycles will run for about 4 weeks.
Cardiovascular Side Effects
Testosterone Enanthate can bring about some raising of LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. This won’t be as severe as many other steroids, but if you’re combining Testosterone Enanthate with any other steroids that have a more negative effect on cholesterol, this steroid will only compound on that.
These cholesterol related side effects should be temporary, in that once you stop your Testosterone Enanthate cycle your cholesterol levels should return to a normal healthy level, provided they were healthy to begin with. Some users will choose to monitor cholesterol levels closely throughout a steroid cycle.
At lower doses of Testosterone Enanthate, HDL cholesterol is unlikely to be altered but since AI drugs are often used in a steroid cycle, this combination is enough to bring about a suppression of HDL cholesterol – potentially suppressing it by up to 25%.
A diet rich in omega fatty acids is essential to promote cholesterol health while using Testosterone Enanthate, and cardiovascular exercises should be included in all workouts.
Due to the link between high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the latter also needs to be monitored while using Testosterone Enanthate.
Higher cholesterol results in the heart needing to work harder to pump blood, which in turn raises your blood pressure.
Combined with the blood pressure increase that can be caused be fluid retention, when using Testosterone Enanthate you are likely to see at least some stress to your overall cardiovascular system.
Is Testosterone Enanthate Safe?
Testosterone Enanthate is considered the safest steroid to use, but like any steroid it can still be misused and abused.
While most men will be able to tolerate Testosterone Enanthate very well, even at higher doses, if cholesterol levels are allowed to go unchecked then it can become dangerous as blood pressure rises.
Keeping fluid retention under control is one of the most critical actions we can take when using Testosterone Enanthate (and any other steroid). Not only for aesthetic purposes, but more critically to prevent stress on the cardiovascular system.
The long term health impacts of using high doses and regular cycles of anabolic steroids, including Testosterone Enanthate, are not well understood or studied but medical authorities do warn that long term misuse of steroids can put people at risk of serious health conditions like kidney failure, heart attack or stroke.
Additionally, since most bodybuilders will stack Testosterone Enanthate with far more potent steroids to achieve bigger gains and performance enhancement, this increases the health risks significantly.
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What does testosterone enanthate do to your body?
Taking Testosterone Enanthate will make it easier and faster to gain muscle, it will increase your strength and endurance, it can give you more confidence and enhance your mood and libido, make it easier to lose fat, and help you recover faster from workouts.
How long does it take for Testosterone Enanthate to start working?
Testosterone Enanthate is a slower acting steroid so it can take several weeks until you start seeing very noticeable results. You can see some improvements in strength within the first two or three weeks, but muscle gains will take four to six weeks to become more prominent.
How often should I take Testosterone Enanthate?
The recommended dosing schedule is to inject Testosterone Enanthate twice per week. While it has a long half life and a once weekly dose can work, most users will want to split the weekly dose into two to avoid injecting larger amounts.
Does Testosterone Enanthate make you stronger?
Testosterone Enanthate will provide significant increases in muscular strength and endurance, allowing you to lift much heavier weights and complete more intensive workouts.
Which testosterone steroid is best for building muscle?
All forms of testosterone steroids will provide the same effects and benefits for muscle building and performance. Testosterone Enanthate is one of several ester variants of testosterone available.
It allows a slower release of the testosterone hormone compared to some of the other esters, which means your results will take several weeks to become noticeable.
Even though testosterone steroids, including Testosterone Enanthate, are thought of as the “safest” steroids to use (for men at least), risks are always there.
The list of debilitating side effects is long, and for more and more people having to deal with cholesterol issues, acne, hair loss, and testosterone suppression isn’t worth the trade off for bulking up.