Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, and is largely responsible for some of the physical and psychological development of men. Testosterone promotes sex drive (as you may have suspected), as well as both muscle gain and fat loss. Testosterone Cypionate is simply testosterone which has undergone 17beta-estrification, to allow for a steady release over the course of about a week. Besides this difference (the ester), this form of testosterone will do what all others do.
Testosterone is a highly anabolic and androgenic hormone, it has an anabolic (muscle building) as well as anabolic rating of 100 each, respectively. Testosterone exerts the majority of its effects by promoting increased nitrogen retention in the muscle. Testosterone is also known to increases levels of the growth factor IGF-1 in both the muscle tissue as well as the liver. Testosterone also increases the activity of satellite cells, which are cells that play an active role in repairing exercise-damaged muscle. Testosterone exerts these effects primarily by genomic mechanisms, meaning that it binds to the androgen receptor (AR) thus initiating gene transcription. This stimulation of the AR promotes various of the AR dependant mechanisms for both muscle gain and fat loss , as well as reducing catabolic glucocorticoid hormones , and increasing red blood cell production . Testosterone may even aid in protecting the heart against coronary disease. Testosterone binds to the AR on fat cells resulting in fat break-down and also prevents new fat formation. All of the preceding effects are why we, as athletes or bodybuilders, use testosterone. Unfortunately, there is also a down side to testosterone as well- no free rides here. Testosterone is metabolized in the body to the female hormone estrogen (via aromatization) by the aromatize enzyme. This can lead to some unwanted and nasty side effects; breast tissue growth in men (gynocomastia), some fat gain and even reducedfat breakdown, testicular shrinkage and water retention which can increase blood pressure. Testosterone is also a substrate for the 5alpha-reductase enzyme. Interaction with this enzyme converts the testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a more androgenic form of the parent hormone, though a less anabolic one. DHT has a high binding affinity to the tissues of the scalp and prostate, resultingin hair loss in loss and making the prostate swell.
For one reason or another, it would appear that Testosterone Cypionate causes more water retention than some of the shorter estered versions of testosterone. This has been my experience, as well as many others…therefore, we usually reserve testosterone for use on a bulking cycle. Doses are typically in the 400mg-600mg range, although 1-2 grams have been reported as well. I have used the high end of this, and found the side effects to be pretty intolerable.
Testosterone, regardless of the ester, is highly versatile and should be considered the base of any (male users) cycle. Testosterone Cypionate is pretty widely available and cheap, and costs around $50- 75 for a 10cc bottle of it, dosed at 200-300mgs/ml.