Curious about testosterone cypionate cycle?
Then you’re in the perfect place. Inside this ultimate guide, we’ll breakdown exactly what testosterone cypionate cycles are, and how to perform one for optimal results.
Whether this is your first time running a testosterone cypionate cycle, or you’re an experienced veteran with several cycles under your belt, we’ve gathered all the information on testosterone cypionate cycles so you can make an informed decision. In addition, this article will explore and answer a number of common questions about post-cycle therapy and how it’s used.
Is testosterone cypionate dangerous? How long should I run a testosterone cypionate cycle for? What dosage should I use? What’s the best testosterone cypionate cycle for a beginner, intermediate, or advanced user?
Our team has organized the best studies on this anabolic compound to give you science-based answers to all of your most important questions. After reading this comprehensive guide, you will know how a beginner, intermediate or advanced user should organize their testosterone cypionate cycle, as well as how to use it for TRT, or testosterone replacement therapy.
As always, be sure to consult a licensed health professional before experimenting with any new substances.
What is Testosterone Cypionate?
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the human body. It gives men their secondary sexual characteristics, such as broad shoulders and a strong jawline. It also helps men build muscle mass and strength, and improves their overall athletic performance.
Anyone who is interested in improving their overall health and maximizing their progress in the gym should know what their testosterone levels are, and how to safely increase them if they are low.
Some men choose to raise their testosterone levels using an exogenous, or man-made source of testosterone. For example, some men with clinically low testosterone levels may choose to use testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, to safely raise their testosterone levels to the high-end of the normal range .
On the other hand, bodybuilders and other athletes sometimes use steroids to achieve supra-physiological levels of testosterone. Steroids are very effective at boosting muscle mass, muscle strength, and even cardiovascular endurance.
However, they also have many dangerous side effects .
The problem with regular testosterone is it has a very short half-life. If someone were to inject plain testosterone into their body, it would clear through their system in less than an hour! In other words, you would experience a huge spike in testosterone, immediately followed by a crash.
To get around this problem, most users use a modified version of testosterone, such as testosterone cypionate, to create a more controlled release of testosterone into their body.
Testosterone cypionate is created by adding an additional ester, called “C17β cyclopentylpropionate,” onto the testosterone molecule. This ester must be broken off from the testosterone molecule before it can exert its physiological effects in the body. In other words, the extra ester in testosterone cypionate slows down the release of testosterone in the body.
This means you get a slow, gradual release of testosterone into the bloodstream, rather than one huge spike followed immediately by a crash.
Testosterone cypionate has a half-life of approximately 4.5 days. This means if someone injects 100 mg of testosterone cypionate into their body, then approximately half of the testosterone will be cleared from the body by the 4th or 5th day.
Testosterone cypionate can be administered as infrequently as once per week. However, many individuals find they have more steady testosterone levels (and fewer side effects!) by injecting a smaller dose of testosterone cypionate 2, 3, or even 7 days per week.
Testosterone Cypionate Benefits
Testosterone cypionate has many benefits for users who are interested in improving their health, athletic performance, and overall sense of well-being. Of course, testosterone cypionate is a drug, and users may experience side effects if they choose to use the it without the supervision of a doctor.
Benefit #1: Slower Release Of Testosterone In The Body
Testosterone cypionate is one of the slowest releasing forms of testosterone. Research shows that testosterone cypionate has a half life of approximately 4.5 days. This means that if an individual injects a certain amount of testosterone into their body, about half of it will still be in their system 4.5 days later. Compare this to regular testosterone, which has a half-life of only 10 minutes!
Many users find they can maintain stable blood testosterone levels by injecting testosterone cypionate only 1-3 times per week. Some less-informed medical professionals may recommend injecting only once every 2-3 weeks. This practice should be avoided, as users will have significant swings in their day-to-day testosterone levels, which may increase the risk of negative side effects, such as gyno.
Benefit #2: Increased Muscle Mass And Strength
Research shows that exogenous forms of testosterone, such as testosterone cypionate, are extremely effective at elevating testosterone levels in human subjects [3, 4].
Research shows that testosterone cypionate is extremely effective at building muscle mass and strength in human subjects . This is true for users using supra-physiological amounts of testosterone, and for users who are on a doctor-supervised testosterone replacement therapy protocol.
Many athletes and bodybuilders will use testosterone cypionate to make faster gains in the gym and to improve their performance in their chosen sport.
Benefit #3: Decreased Body Fat
Research shows that testosterone cypionate is extremely effective at reducing body fat levels in human subjects. One of the primary reasons this occurs is that testosterone cypionate increases the rate of protein synthesis in muscle cells. This means that more of the calories an individual consumes will be partitioned towards muscle cells, and fewer calories will be partitioned towards fat cells.
Of course, it’s important to note that these decreased body fat levels normally only occur in individuals using supraphysiological levels of testosterone, such as with steroids, or with therapeutic doses of testosterone, as with testosterone replacement therapy.
Benefit #4: Improved Recovery And Work Capacity
One of the most common effects that users report while using testosterone cypionate is an increase in their overall work capacity. There are many different reasons why this may occur. One of the main reasons is exogenous testosterone is known to increase red blood cells in the blood.
This means that your body is able to carry more oxygen to your muscles, thus leading to a more rapid recovery. This is one reason that endurance athletes such as Lance Armstrong have reportedly used steroids during their careers.
Benefit #5: Appropriate For Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone cypionate is one of the best forms of testosterone that you can use for a testosterone replacement therapy protocol. Testosterone cypionate has a long half-life, which means you can get by with injecting the drug 1-3 times per week and still maintain stable blood testosterone levels.
Testosterone replacement therapy can be a good choice for men who want to improve their health and physical performance, but aren’t quite ready to begin using performance enhancing drugs. Research shows that a therapeutic dose of testosterone cypionate will help most users build muscle mass and strength at a much faster rate, while simultaneously avoiding many of the negative side effects of steroid use [6, 7, 8].
Testosterone Cypionate Dosage
The research is very clear that testosterone cypionate is extremely effective for elevating men’s testosterone levels, and for stimulating gains in muscle mass, strength, and athletic performance. So how much should you take?
This is a complicated question, as it depends on the user, what their goals are, and how experienced they are. Let’s examine some hypothetical dosages for a beginner, intermediate, and advanced user.
Beginner Testosterone Cypionate Dosage
The Fitness YouTube star Greg Doucette says that individuals should use “the lowest testosterone dosage that makes them happy.” This is very good advice, as exogenous forms of testosterone can have dangerous side effects if they are not used correctly. A good beginner dose of testosterone cypionate can be anywhere from 100 – 300 mg per week.
Individuals using a testosterone replacement therapy protocol will often use 100 – 200 mg per week to bring their total testosterone levels to the high end of the normal range. On the other hand, a beginner-friendly cycle may involve 200 – 300 mg per week of testosterone cypionate. This is sufficient to put most user’s total testosterone levels in the supra-physiological range, while having relatively fewer side effects.
Most experts agree that using 300 mg per week of testosterone cypionate can be considered a beginner-friendly steroid cycle, so a proper post-cycle therapy protocol should be used following your cycle. If you are not familiar with post-cycle therapy, then we strongly recommend you read up on this important protocol before experimenting with exogenous testosterone.
Intermediate Testosterone Cypionate Dosage
Most individuals will get great results performing a TRT protocol with 100 – 200 mg per week of testosterone cypionate, or by running cycles of testosterone cypionate in the 200 – 300 mg per week range. However, some users are interested in using higher doses of testosterone cypionate to further improve their gains in muscle mass, strength, and athletic performance.
Most experts agree that a good intermediate dosage of testosterone cypionate is in the 400 – 600 mg per week range. Most users find they have more stable blood testosterone levels (and fewer side effects) by breaking this dosage up into 2-3 smaller doses throughout the week.
For example, instead of injecting 600 mg of testosterone each Monday, a user may get better results by injecting 200 mg of testosterone on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. An individual using an intermediate dosage of testosterone cypionate can expect significantly faster progress, as well as greater risk of side effects, than an individual using a beginner dosage.
Advanced Testosterone Cypionate Dosage
If a beginner testosterone dosage is between 100 – 300 mg per week, and an intermediate dosage is between 400 – 600 mg per week, then what does an advanced dosage look like? Most experts agree that an advanced testosterone dosage may be anywhere from 700 – 1,000 mg per week.
High testosterone cypionate dosages are associated with tremendous increases in muscle mass and strength. However, they also come with significant side effects, which is why we recommend users carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of cycles using such large doses of testosterone.
Testosterone Cypionate Cycles
Individuals using testosterone cypionate as part of a testosterone replacement therapy protocol do not need to “cycle” their testosterone dosage. They can take the same dosage year-round, as long as their testosterone levels stay within the healthy, normal range.
Individuals who are using supra-physiological dosages of testosterone cypionate often choose to “cycle” their dosage to maximize their gains while minimizing negative side effects. In other words, they will use a higher dose for 2-4 months to get the performance enhancing benefits of the drug, followed by a 1-2 month period where they lower the dose (or stop using the drug altogether) to minimize side effects and help their body recover.
Beginner Testosterone Cypionate Cycles
A normal beginner testosterone cycle may include 200 – 300 mg of testosterone cypionate per week for 8-12 weeks. Users may want to start their cycle at the lower end of this range, and slowly increase the dose during the cycle as they monitor for side effects. For example:
- Weeks 1-4: 200 mg of testosterone cypionate
- Weeks 5-8: 300 mg of testosterone cypionate
Users performing their first cycle can expect significant increases in muscle mass and strength from using up to 300 mg of testosterone cypionate per week. Of course, a proper post-cycle therapy should be performed following this cycle to minimize side effects.
Intermediate Testosterone Cypionate Cycles
Intermediate users with more experience sometimes perform cycles with larger doses of testosterone cypionate. A reasonable intermediate cycle may involve using 400-600 mg of testosterone cypionate per week for 8-12 weeks. For example:
- Weeks 1-4: 400 mg of testosterone cypionate
- Weeks 5-8: 500 mg of testosterone cypionate
- Weeks 9-12: 600 mg of testosterone cypionate
These doses may be administered once per week. As an alternative, a user may choose to break up the large dosage into 2-3 smaller doses and spread them out during the week. Users often report better results and fewer side effects with smaller, more frequent doses administered throughout the week.
Advanced Testosterone Cypionate Cycles
Advanced athletes sometimes perform very large cycles of testosterone cypionate to maximize their improvements in muscle mass and strength. This is especially true for professional bodybuilders who are preparing for one of their bodybuilding competitions. An advanced cycle may involve using 700 – 1,000 mg of testosterone cypionate per week for 8-16 weeks. For example:
- Weeks 1-4: 800 mg of testosterone cypionate
- Weeks 5-8: 900 mg of testosterone cypionate
- Weeks 9-12: 1,000 mg of testosterone cypionate
Cycles involving 700 – 1,000 mg of testosterone cypionate per week often come with significant side effects. Users must be very aware of the advantages and disadvantages of heavy steroid use before attempting this cycle. Of course, a proper post-cycle therapy protocol must be followed following advanced testosterone cycles to minimize side effects.
Testosterone Cypionate vs. Alternatives
Testosterone cypionate is one of the most effective and science-based forms of testosterone in the world. Users love it because it has a half-life of 4.5 days. This means that if a user injects 200 mg of testosterone into their body on Monday, they will still have 100 mg of testosterone in their system on Friday or Saturday. Compare this to regular testosterone, which has a half-life of about 10 minutes!
Of course, there are other forms of testosterone that can be used for cycles or even TRT. Testosterone enanthate is another form of testosterone with a relatively long half-life. Doctors regularly use both testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate for TRT, so you can’t go wrong with either one .
Some users want to get the muscle-building benefits of testosterone cypionate, but aren’t ready to use a drug that may interfere with their natural hormone production. Fortunately, there are many legal steroid alternatives that offer similar muscle-building effects to steroids – but without the negative side effects.
The supplement ecdysterone has been shown to build muscle mass and strength as fast as many anabolic steroids, such as dianabol. However, unlike anabolic steroids, ecdysterone does not impact your hormones, and does not have any side effects when used responsibly.
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Testosterone Cypionate Side Effects
The scientific community has identified several negative side effects associated with testosterone cypionate:
- Injection site pain and swelling
- Increased aggression
- Thinning hair
- Depression or anxiety
- Decreased fertility
Individuals who are using a therapeutic dosage of testosterone cypionate, such as a dose in the 100 – 200 mg per week range, may experience minimal side effects. On the other hand, individuals running steroid cycles using testosterone cypionate may experience more dangerous side effects, including increased blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and atherosclerosis.
Users are encouraged to consider the advantages and disadvantages of different testosterone cypionate dosages before starting a cycle.
Testosterone Cypionate FAQs
What does testosterone cypionate do to your body?
Testosterone cypionate is an exogenous, or man-made, version of testosterone. Users often perform intra-muscular or sub-cutaneous injections of testosterone cypionate to raise their total testosterone levels.
Research has shown that increased levels of testosterone in the blood is associated with an increase in muscle mass, muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance, and many other markers of athletic performance .
However, individuals taking supra-physiological levels of testosterone cypionate often experience negative side effects, such as damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys.
What are the side effects of testosterone cypionate?
Testosterone cypionate is associated with many negative side effects. However, this is only true for users who are using supra-physiological levels of the drug. Research shows that individuals using testosterone cypionate as part of a doctor-supervised testosterone replacement therapy program may experience slightly reduced HDL levels, a slight thickening of the blood, or slightly elevated estrogen levels.
Fortunately, all of these side effects are easily managed, and TRT normally results in an improvement in the users overall health and well-being. Individuals running cycles of testosterone cypionate with supra-physiological doses are more prone to experience significant side effects.
Research shows that testosterone cypionate cycles are associated with impaired cardiovascular health, such as elevated blood pressure, thickening of the blood, decreased HDL, elevated LDL, elevated triglycerides, and potentially even atherosclerosis [11, 12, 13, 14].
Does testosterone cypionate help build muscle?
Testosterone cypionate is extremely effective at building muscle mass in humans. Research shows that individuals using supra-physiological doses of testosterone experience extremely rapid increases in muscle mass .
In fact, studies show that individuals taking 600 mg of exogenous testosterone per week experience up to three times as much muscle mass gain as individuals who are on a resistance training program, but not taking the exogenous testosterone!
In other words, testosterone cypionate is extremely anabolic on its own, even if the individual is not lifting weights. This makes sense, as boys going through puberty often put on 10, 20, or even 30 pounds of muscle in a short period of time. These rapid weight gains are primarily caused by a natural increase in testosterone and other anabolic hormones.
Individuals using testosterone cypionate at TRT dosages can also expect a significant increase in muscle mass. Research shows that a combination of TRT and exercise can significantly increase muscle mass levels in older men .
How often should you inject testosterone cypionate?
This is an extremely complicated topic, but here’s the short answer: smaller, more frequent injections are associated with more stable blood testosterone levels, superior improvements in athletic performance, and better overall health outcomes.
Many TRT doctors used to recommend injecting a large dose of testosterone once every 2-3 weeks. The problem with this approach is the most popular forms of testosterone, such as testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate, have a half life of 4-5 days. Research shows that individuals injecting testosterone every 2-3 weeks experience wild fluctuations in their total testosterone levels [17–18].
A better approach may involve using smaller, more frequent injections to keep your total testosterone levels more stable throughout the week. Here are some potential options that TRT doctors have successfully used with their patients:
- 1 testosterone injection per week
- 2 testosterone injections per week
- 3 testosterone injections per week
- Daily testosterone injections
In each of these scenarios the total weekly testosterone dosage is the same. For example, consider an individual on a TRT protocol of 200 mg of testosterone cypionate per week. The individual may choose to inject 200 mg once per week, or 100 mg twice per week. Most individuals will find the right “sweet spot” is injecting testosterone 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days, such as Monday / Thursday, or Monday / Wednesday / Friday.
Injecting 2-3 times per week will keep blood testosterone levels reasonably stable, while minimizing fluctuations in estrogen levels. Some individuals may choose to inject testosterone more frequently than this. For example, Derek from More Plates More Dates prefers smaller, daily TRT injections to keep his blood testosterone levels as stable as possible.
However, most TRT doctors agree that daily injections are not required, and 1-3 weekly injections will suffice for most individuals.
Users performing testosterone cycles are strongly encouraged to consider smaller, more frequent injections, as they are at greater risk for significant side effects than individuals following a doctor-supervised TRT protocol.
Intra-Muscular Vs Subcutaneous
There are two main ways to perform testosterone injections:
- Intra-muscular testosterone injections
- Subcutaneous testosterone injections
The most reliable method is to inject testosterone directly into your muscles, such as your deltoid, quadricep, or glute. This is known as an intra-muscular testosterone injection. Intra-muscular injections have been used sense testosterone cypionate was first invented in the mid-1900s. The testosterone is slowly released from the muscle into the bloodstream, resulting in relatively stable total testosterone levels.
The primary drawback of intra-muscular injections is some patients experience side effects, such as pain or swelling at the site of injection. More recently there has been a growing interest in subcutaneous testosterone injections. This involves injecting testosterone into body fat tissue, such as the fat on your stomach or glutes.
Research shows that both intra-muscular injections and subcutaneous injections are a reliable way to administer testosterone as part of a testosterone replacement therapy protocol [19, 20, 21]. Doctors have used both approaches with success. The main benefit of intra-muscular injections is it is the most reliable approach, as it has successfully been used for decades.
Subcutaneous injections have a smaller body of research supporting them, although it’s possible that they will produce similar results while minimizing side effects at the injection site. Individuals who experience significant side effects with intra-muscular injections may want to talk to their doctor about different strategies to minimize pain and discomfort.
For example, some individuals report decreased pain while injecting into their side glutes, or by performing injections with a smaller insulin needle.
Does testosterone cypionate make you gain weight?
There is a large body of research showing that testosterone cypionate stimulates muscle mass gains in men, even if they are not lifting weights or following a special diet [22, 23]. This makes sense, as boys often gain 10-30 pounds of muscle during puberty when their testosterone levels are rapidly increasing. Of course, this does NOT mean that an individual performing a testosterone cycle will gain body fat.
Research shows that most individuals using supra-physiological levels of testosterone often experience a simultaneous decrease in body fat levels and increase in muscle mass levels. The bottom line is yes, testosterone cypionate will stimulate weight gain when used as part of a steroid cycle. However, the increase in body weight primarily comes from lean muscle mass, not body fat.
How much testosterone cypionate do bodybuilders take?
Most bodybuilders will agree that an injectable forms of testosterone, such as testosterone cypionate, is the most effective anabolic steroid for building muscle mass. Many professional bodybuilders will use testosterone cypionate on its own, or in conjunction with other performance enhancing drugs. So how much testosterone do bodybuilders take?
The truth is most bodybuilders will perform cycles with anywhere from 300 – 1,000 mg of testosterone per week. For example:
- Beginner testosterone cycle: 200 – 300 mg testosterone per week
- Intermediate testosterone cycle: 400 – 600 mg testosterone per week
- Advanced testosterone cycle: 700 – 1,000 mg testosterone per week
Research shows that there is a linear correlation between weekly testosterone dosages and gains in muscle mass. In other words, according to most studies, the more testosterone some takes per week, the more muscle mass they will build [24, 25]. However, it’s important to understand that higher doses of testosterone come with a significant increase in potentially dangerous side effects.
Some users experience more side effects at higher doses, which limits their gains in muscle mass. For example, IFBB professional bodybuilder Stan Efferding got his best results using 100 mg of testosterone every other day. This is only about 350 mg of testosterone per week!
When it comes to testosterone and other performance enhancing drugs, IFBB pro Greg Doucette says that the individual should stay conservative and use the lowest dose that makes them happy. This is good advice for most individuals.
How long does testosterone cypionate take to kick in?
Blood testosterone levels start to increase almost immediately after an injection is performed [26, 27]. This does NOT mean that an individual will gain several pounds of muscle mass in the first day or even week after starting a testosterone cypionate cycle. However, the physiological benefits of increased testosterone levels, such as elevated protein synthesis levels, will begin shortly after the first injection is performed.
Where Can I Buy Testosterone Cypionate?
Testosterone cypionate is a prescription medication in the United States and many other countries. This means that you must obtain a doctor’s prescription to purchase and use testosterone cypionate. Fortunately, we live in an era where this is extremely easy to do.
Today there are many online testosterone replacement therapy clinics that allow you to obtain a prescription testosterone medication without ever setting foot in a doctor’s office. These online clinics use zoom, e-mail and many other “telehealth” technologies that let you talk to your doctor about your symptoms of low testosterone and why you are interested in starting testosterone replacement therapy.
One of the best online TRT providers is called Fountain TRT. This company was founded by Dr. Doron Stember, a board-certified urologist with decades of experience treating men with testosterone replacement therapy. Fountain TRT uses a simple 3-step process with all of their patients:
- Step #1: Fill out a simple survey, and then talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
- Step #2: Perform a blood test at one of their partnered facilities, and talk to your doctor about your results.
- Step #3: If your doctor agrees you are a good candidate for TRT, then your prescription testosterone cream will be delivered to your home, and your doctor will teach you how to use it.
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Verdict | Testosterone Cypionate Cycle
Testosterone cypionate is one of the most popular forms of injectable testosterone. It is often considered superior to regular testosterone, as it has an extra ether molecule attached to it, which slows down the absorption of testosterone into your body.
Bodybuilders often use testosterone cycles lasting 8-16 weeks to increase their muscle mass and physical performance. On the other hand, doctors will often prescribe testosterone cypionate as part of a testosterone replacement therapy protocol to treat individuals with hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels.
As always, users should consult their doctor before starting a prescription medication such as testosterone cypionate.