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Testosterone Cypionate Muscle Gains (Is It Safe Or Risky)

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
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If you spend enough time in gyms around performance athletes and bodybuilders, then you’ll eventually hear talk about Testosterone Cypionate. Along with Testosterone Enanthate, it’s one of the drugs most often abused for muscle mass gains.

To help my readers and clients fully understand what they might be letting themselves in for, our team got together with a medical doctor to research scientific literature on how it impacts low testosterone and overall health. .

We paid special attention to all the side effects that most athletes don’t take seriously enough.

Quick Summary

  • Testosterone Cypionate is an anabolic steroid commonly used for testosterone replacement therapy.
  • It is currently only available as an injectable and is often preferred by doctors to treat patients with hypogonadism.
  • Testosterone Cypionate has also gained popularity in the bodybuilding scene, but most athletes underestimate the serious side effects it can cause.

How Fast Can You Gain Muscle With Testosterone Cypionate Injections?

Injecting a testosterone cypionate to a person

You can gain muscle mass in about 12 weeks with Testosterone Cypionate injections and other similar anabolic steroids [1].

A lot of that will depend on the dosage, current T-levels, diet, and also the amount of physical training.

One common thing I heard bodybuilders talk about is that the effects of Testosterone Cypionate also limit how much of it can be transformed into estrogen.

However, having spoken to a doctor about this, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support this.

In fact, there are many studies that suggest that men going through hormone replacement therapy should also be taking estrogen blockers [2].

You’ll sometimes see it under different brand names, and those typically include Deposteron and Androlic. But they all come in liquid form that is usually injected into the buttocks.

And while it does have positive effects on muscles, libido, and fertility, there are many other body functions that could be negatively influenced.

How Does The Body React To Testosterone Cypionate?

A muscular person holding a syringe to inject to his body

The body will react to a Testosterone Cypionate injection within a couple of days.

And because it’s chemically almost identical to natural testosterone, it will quickly bind to different receptors around the body.

One common reaction is that it will act as a messenger signal for muscles to increase muscle building and repair activities.

Essentially, it will stimulate protein synthesis [3].

It’s why bodybuilders resort to taking such drugs to gain lean muscle mass faster than they could naturally achieve, but there’s a hefty price the body has to pay for those benefits.

More on that shortly.

One interesting fact that I found about Testosterone Cypionate has to do with its synthetic structure. It’s classed as a testosterone ester, and esterification makes it last longer in the human body before it's broken down [4].

For medical patients, this can significantly reduce the effects of sudden spikes during treatment cycles, and it can make it easier for doctors to manage the Testosterone Cypionate dosage.

“Testosterone levels decline naturally in men as they age over decades. But certain conditions can also lead to an abnormally low level.”

- Matthew Hoffman, MD at WebMD.com

Does It Have Other Benefits?

Injecting a syringe on a biceps

Testosterone Cypionate has several other benefits that doctors take advantage of in treating patients.

In young boys, it can be used to treat delayed puberty, and in adult men, it can help treat the effects of hypogonadism, like reduced bone density and muscle growth [5].

Rebalancing testosterone in men can also help with reducing body fat, as there is a direct link between sex hormones and the way the body stores fat.

Low T-levels have even been shown to be a significant contributing factor in obesity [6].

But all those benefits come with significant risks attached.

Let’s take a closer look.

What Are The Side Effects?

Testosterone Cypionate has quite a long list of side effects, and they can vary in severity depending on the dosage.

You should talk to your doctor for a full list of the risks [7].

Here are just a few of the adverse reactions:

  • Gynecomastia
  • Blood Clots
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Worsening Prostate Cancer
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Liver Disease
  • Mood Swings

The reason there are so many potential negative effects is that fluctuations in testosterone may also impact sex hormone-binding globulin, follicle-stimulating hormone, and human growth hormone.

So it’s not like it’s limited to one kind of interaction.

Is It A Banned Substance?

A man showing his palms while holding an injection

Yes, Testosterone Cypionate is banned in sports, and it’s a class III controlled substance.

This means it’s illegal to own and take it without a prescription, and you can test positive for performance enhancers in a drug test [8].

I have heard some athletes mention that it’s less likely to cause a positive test result because it doesn’t cause sudden spikes.

But there’s no evidence that this is actually the case, and my doctor mentioned that modern tests are highly sensitive to these synthetic drugs.

That means for bodybuilding, Testosterone Cypionate is a high-risk drug for health reasons as well as being caught through a random drug test.

But the temptation of increased muscle tissue still seems to catch many athletes out.

Are There Better Ways To Boost Testosterone levels?

Yes, there are better and much safer ways to boost testosterone levels than taking Testosterone Cypionate injections, primarily natural testosterone-boosting supplements.

While there are many good reasons to go through hormone therapy, this should only ever happen after consulting a doctor.

Anyone looking for the performance and muscle impacts of higher T-levels should consider natural T-boosters. 

These use a combination of proven testosterone-boosting herbs, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids to trigger a natural response in the body.

What they don’t do is provide the same sudden boost you get from a hormone injection.

But consistently taking a supplement can raise your T-levels enough after about two months to provide significant improvements.

And they generally have very limited or no adverse effects.

FAQs

How Many Times A Week Should You Inject Testosterone Cypionate?

Testosterone Cypionate should be injected no more than once a week and is often only given every two weeks or even less often [9]. Taking it more often than recommended by a doctor can lead to more severe side effects.

How Long Does It Take Testosterone Cypionate To Peak?

It takes about 2-5 days for Testosterone Cypionate to peak [10]. From then on, the levels will gradually reduce over a few weeks, and doctors monitor the T-levels carefully to determine the ideal timing and dosage.

Take A Safer Approach To Boosting Testosterone

I would never advise my clients or readers to start injecting Testosterone Cypionate or Testosterone Enanthate because of all the serious health risks.

And considering that for most people, a natural supplement can achieve significant results just in a longer time frame, there really is no excuse for taking such risks.

We have successfully tested many testosterone boosters both for men and women, and I would highly suggest that you try taking one of our recommended products.

They won’t turn you into The Hulk overnight, but taking them consistently will make a quite noticeable difference in your physique.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3188848
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1557988314539000
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2917954
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/testosterone-ester
  5. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-5185/testosterone-cypionate-intramuscular/details
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25982085/
  7. https://www.drugs.com/pro/testosterone-cypionate.html 
  8. https://www.usada.org/athletes/substances/prohibited-list/
  9. https://www.goodrx.com/testosterone-cypionate/what-is
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3595893/
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