In the world of anabolic steroids there are literally a multitude of choices and within each choice there are often more choices. For example, take the anabolic steroid testosterone; there are numerous forms of this hormone, each defined by the ester attached or lack thereof. In the end each one is comprised of the same active hormone but as the ester affects the total mass of the compound it also affects the total half-life; if we are to maintain stable testosterone levels this must be understood. Most who supplement with testosterone will do so normally with long ester based or short ester based testosterone; while moderate ester based testosterone is available it is rarely available in a single ester based form and generally part of a testosterone mixture comprised of several single ester based forms.
Testosterone Levels & Long Esters
While there are many long ester based forms of testosterone or large ester based depending on how you look at it, by-in-large the two most common are Testosterone Cypionate and Testosterone Enanthate. The Cypionate form carries with it a half-life of approximately 12 days; what this means is that after an injection of the hormone 12 days later half of the active dose will still be active in the body. For example, an injection of 200mg will yield 100mg of active testosterone 12 days later and 50mg the next 12 days later and so on and so on. When we look at Testosterone Enanthate there really isn't that much difference, it carries with it a half-life approximately 36 hours shorter and when we are talking about half-lives that extend well past a week this is of an inconsequential nature; so what does this mean? We cannot arbitrarily inject our long ester forms, doing so would cause our testosterone levels do be all over the place, up then down like a roller coaster. With most long ester based forms of testosterone an injection once per week will suffice but for the performance enhancer who wishes to not only maintain proper testosterone levels but to do so at its peak twice weekly injections of an equal dosing will be far more efficient. In many competitive bodybuilding circles, although it is not medically necessary individuals often administer long ester testosterones on an every other day to daily basis, splitting their dosage up into a multitude of small regular injections. For the average performance enhancer this is unnecessary but such practice will ensure testosterone levels are at their peak throughout use.
Testosterone Levels & Short Esters
While long ester based forms are quite popular there is one short ester based testosterone that is equal in popularity and it is that of Testosterone Propionate. Testosterone Propionate is one of the original testosterone forms, in-fact it's one of the original anabolic steroids, as well as one of the very first made readily available for mass human use. As a short ester based testosterone the Propionate version carries with it a half-life of approximately 4 days and by this nature one can already see frequent injections are going to be necessary if testosterone levels are to be maintained. In the grand scheme of action one could maintain proper testosterone levels with an injection every three days but to keep peak testosterone levels at their peak an administration schedule of every other day will prove to be far more optimal and efficient.
The End Game
In the end it is fairly simple; in order to maintain proper testosterone levels when supplementing with exogenous testosterone you must understand the active half-life associated with the compound. While we have only discussed three compounded forms we have discussed the most common and if your testosterone is not in this group all you really need to know is its half-life to make an accurate determination. However, simply knowing the half-life does not apply to testosterone mixtures such as Sustanon 250; testosterone mixtures have far extending total half-lives but testosterone levels cannot be maintained with infrequent injections; mixtures are best served when treated as single short ester based forms.