What is NPP?
The anabolic steroid nandrolone is most often referred to as Deca Durabolin, the trade name for its decanoate ester. However, the phenylpropionate ester, known as nandrolone phenylpropionate (a.k.a. "NPP") is also very popular. In fact, some bodybuilders like NPP far more than deca because it acts extremely fast and clears out of your system quicker. Regarding nandrolone, in general, it's a great drug because it is highly anabolic and only aromatizes at 20% the rate of testosterone. So if you're interested in using NPP to attain fast muscle gains and cut fat, keep reading as we discuss 31 critical tips that you should know about this drug.
1. You'll pack on Massive Amounts of Lean Muscle with NPP
Few steroids can help you pack on lean muscle and boost your strength better than nandrolone phenylpropionate . It's not uncommon to see bodybuilders on forums boasting of up to 20 to 30-pound gains on a 10 to 12-week cycle. Research backs these claims up since NPP is commonly used to help muscle-wasting patients regain what they've lost. What's more is that this drug helps you heal up much faster from brutal workouts . So if you're looking for an anabolic steroid that can dramatically transform your physique, then you'll definitely want to consider NPP.
2. NPP will Boost Nitrogen Retention in Your Muscles
As you may know, nitrogen is key to gaining lean muscle because muscle cells assimilate extra protein when they have a positive nitrogen balance. And this brings us to yet another benefit of nandrolone phenylpropionate since it helps your muscles retain more nitrogen . But the key is that you must keep your diet and protein intake strong if you're going to benefit from this nitrogen-boosting effect. So even if you're cutting, don't just rely on wheatgrass and hemp milk to feed your muscles for rapid growth.
3. You'll have Higher IGF-1 Levels thanks to NPP
You should see a significant rise in insulin-like-growth factor (IGF-1) when on nandrolone phenylpropionate. Research backs this up by showing that nandrolone increases IGF-1 mRNA expression levels in animals . And this is important because IGF-1 is a hormone that's key to packing on more lean muscle. Combining this with the nitrogen-boosting effect of NPP, you can really see how this drug has such a strong effect on muscle growth.
4. Nandrolone Phenylpropionate helps provide Joint Relief
The combination of lifting heavy weights and intense cardio on a consistent basis is not exactly easy on your joints. So it's not uncommon for bodybuilders to complain about joint pain after they've been training for a while. And this is where NPP can be of great benefit since it aids in collagen synthesis. One study showed that, even when dosed at just 50mg every three weeks, nandrolone boosted type III collagen synthesis . Anecdotal evidence backs up the research because many bodybuilders post on forums about the joint relief that nandrolone provides.
5. Your Appetite will be out of Control
If you're looking to pack on some serious lean muscle, then you'll find that NPP is an excellent drug for this! Nandrolone has a very powerful appetite-stimulating effect that should have you craving just about anything you can get your hands on. Assuming you have a difficult time stuffing calories down on cycle, nandrolone phenylpropionate will help you immensely. And this is a big reason some athletes report gaining up to 30 pounds or more during an anabolic steroid cycle.
6. NPP is a Versatile Drug that can help you Bulk or Cut
It might seem contradictory to follow the last point up with this, but it's worth mentioning that nandrolone is a versatile drug that can be used for both cutting and bulking cycles. The latter is most popular; however, NPP can certainly be a great aid to anybody who's trying to shed fat and get ripped. The key thing, though, will be keeping yourself out of the fridge late at night when you get hungry. But as long as you eat clean and do a decent job of staying away from Wendy's and McDonald's, you should get good cutting results from this drug.
7. This Drug has many Medical Uses
Most anabolic steroids can trace their origins back to therapeutic uses. Nandrolone phenylpropionate is no different in this regard because research has shown that it has many potential benefits. For starters, it can treat osteoporosis and improve bone mineral density. NPP also raises red blood cell counts and has been used to treat anemia ; this benefit helps deliver more oxygen to muscles, which boosts muscular endurance in athletes. And nandrolone phenylpropionate is also extremely useful in helping HIV patients gain back weight.
8. You'll be More Dominant in Competitive Situations
Many guys feel more powerful and better overall when they're on anabolic steroids cycles. And nandrolone phenylpropionate takes this a step further by actually helping one excel in a competitive situation. Research backs this up by revealing that mice on nandrolone were more dominant than placebo subjects . So if you're looking to crush the competition in any situation, then NPP is a good drug to take.
NPP vs. Deca
9. NPP causes Muscle Gain Far Quicker than Deca
As mentioned in the introduction, the NPP steroid begins producing results much faster than Deca Durabolin. But exactly how much faster? Many athletes who take this drug can see results as quickly as 1-2 weeks; compare this to deca, where you're looking at a minimum of 4-5 weeks before you start experiencing significant muscle gains. So if you're looking for lean muscle growth sooner rather than later, NPP is definitely your steroid!
10. You can also expect NPP to clear your System Faster
Another advantage that nandrolone phenylpropionate has over deca is that it doesn't stay in your system as long. Given that it's faster acting,NPP metabolites clear your body within 10-12 months. Contrast this to deca, which can turn up on a drug test 18 months after your last injection. Neither drug is perfect for an athlete who's bulking in the offseason and fears a future drug test. However, NPP will at least be completely gone from your body several months sooner.
11. Nandrolone Phenylpropionate also requires More Frequent Injections
So if NPP provides faster results and exits your system faster, why aren't more people choosing it over deca? There are a few reasons why, but the biggest is the fact that it must be injected more frequently. NPP's half-life is only 2.5 days while deca has a much longer half-life of 6 days (12). This means that, with the phenylpropionate ester, more frequent injections must be administered to keep the drug running consistently strong in your bloodstream. The absolute minimum that you want to pin NPP is 3 days while most bodybuilders inject it every 1-2 days.
12. NPP used to come in Small Quantities
Another reason for why NPP isn't as popular as deca today has to do with its history. Going further, nandrolone phenylpropionate wasn't as prevalent in the past, and its mg/ml ratios were really small compared to deca. So most guys just preferred the convenience of getting 200mg of deca from a 1ml syringe. This has largely changed thanks to online steroid pharmacies, which offer NPP in bigger mg/ml ratios; but older bodybuilders still use deca because they're used to it.
How to use NPP?
13. Here are Typical NPP Dosages
Like any anabolic steroid, the amount of nandrolone phenylpropionate that you run largely depends on your experience, muscle-building goals and how well you handle side effects. But generally speaking, beginners usually dose NPP at 300-400mg per week while experienced users may take anywhere from 500-600mg. So if you're new to NPP, you could pin 50mg every day or 100mg every two days. As mentioned earlier, injecting NPP every 3 days is the absolute maximum you want to wait; but most guys will at least inject every 2 days for best results.
14. You can run Shorter Cycles with this Drug
Given that nandrolone phenylpropionate acts much faster than deca, it's great for running shorter cycles with. You can do a solid NPP cycle in as little as 6-8 weeks, which is good for those wanting fast gains without staying on gear forever. Contrast this to deca, where, due to the fact that it doesn't kick in for 4-5 weeks, the minimum recommended run time is 10-12 weeks. So while NPP might require far more pins than its nandrolone cousin, you won't have to use it as long either.
15. You won't need an Oral Kickstarter with an NPP Cycle
Oral steroids are often used as kickstarters with cycles involving long-ester injectables so that bodybuilders can get quick gains while waiting for the injectable to kick in. But what's great about nandrolone phenylpropionate is that you don't need to use an oral kickstarter to get fast gains. As mentioned earlier, NPP helps produce muscle gains within 2 weeks, meaning it's fast enough that there's no need to kick-start your cycle with Dianabol or another quick-acting oral steroid.
16. Testosterone is usually run with NPP to keep Libido High
Nandrolone phenylpropionate can have a very negative impact on your libido, which we'll discuss in the side effects section. And due to this potential problem, many bodybuilders like to run NPP alongside testosterone. Not only does this enhance your gains on a cycle, but it also keeps your libido going strong. There's some debate on the ratio of NPP vs. testosterone that you should run; however, a typical ratio is 5:4 in favor of testosterone. So if you run 400mg of NPP per week, you'd dose 500mg of testosterone each week.
17. Here's a Sample NPP Cycle
There's certainly no one-size-fits-all cycle for nandrolone phenylpropionate. It's popular to match up NPP with a long-ester injectable so that you get quicker results. However, some bodybuilders also like to run two short-ester injectables together as well. Such is the case in the following cycle I'm going to share with you, where the OP asks if they should inject 100mg of NPP every day, while being told that this is too much. They are instead advised only run 400mg of NPP per week and inject every other day. Below you can see what their final cycle looks like based on the advice given by everybody:
Ancillaries: HCG (250iu x2 per week), Caber (0.25mg x2 per week), Arimidex (0.25mg EOD)
18. Here are some Ancillaries that you'll want with an NPP Cycle
Ancillaries will largely depend on all of the steroids included in your cycle. But looking specifically at nandrolone phenylpropionate, you want an aromatase inhibitor for NPP's mild aromatization, Cabaser for prolactin control and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to keep libido high. You might also want to include a strong testosterone booster like Test Stack No. 17 both on cycle and in PCT for to boost your natural testosterone production. This probably seems like a lot of ancillaries for just NPP, but these compounds minimize side effects for many other steroids too.
19. NPP PCT is of Course Important Too
A common practice among those who run both testosterone and nandrolone phenylpropionate is to quit injecting the latter anywhere from four days to two weeks before stopping testosterone. The reason why is because NPP is pretty suppressive, so you can keep your libido going by running the testosterone just a little while after the NPP – i.e. for an 8-week test prop/NPP cycle, you'd quit the nandrolone after Week 7. As for specific PCT compounds you should be using, Nolvadex and Clomid are classics that should be dosed after NPP, and other steroids have started clearing your system. If your libido is really low, you might also want to consider hCG to bring it back.
20. This Drug is not Highly recommended for a First-time Steroid User
If you're just getting started in the world of anabolic steroids, nandrolone phenylpropionate is not exactly the best choice for your first cycle. While most of the side effects are mild, the suppressive nature of this drug means that you're better off starting with something a little more libido friendly. When you also include the fact that NPP requires more frequent pins than the average steroid, you're better off using other bodybuilding drugs in the beginning.
NPP Side Effects
21. NPP does Aromatize, but not as much as Testosterone
Like many steroids, nandrolone phenylpropionate does aromatize (convert to estrogen). So estrogen-related side effects like gynecomastia (a.k.a. man boobs) and water retention are a possibility. But given that this drug only aromatizes at 20% the rate of testosterone, these estrogen-related side effects are not very severe in most individuals. Still, you should be prepared and use an aromatase inhibitor on cycle like Arimidex or Aromasin.
22. You must be wary of Progesterone-caused Gyno
Some guys wonder why NPP gives them gynecomastia when considering its low aromatization rate. And the problem lies with progesterone, a female sex hormone that nandrolone has an affinity for binding to. When too much progesterone builds up in your system, you can begin to develop female breast tissue. During the early stages of gyno, you can use a SERM to combat the effects; more serious cases may require the use of letrozole or, in the worst case scenario, surgery.
23. Your Natural Testosterone will drop on NPP
As is common with many anabolic steroids, nandrolone phenylpropionate will cause your natural testosterone production to drop during a cycle. How much it drops is largely dependent on genetics, NPP dosage, and cycle length. Libido, sex drive and mental drive may all be affected later on or after an NPP cycle if your testosterone lowers by a significant amount. But by running a good post-cycle therapy, you can bring your testosterone production back to normal. Many bodybuilders also run human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) for part of their cycle to reduce shutdown.
24. Nandrolone can suppress Luteinizing and Follicle-Stimulating Hormones
You may have heard the term "deck dick" used in conjunction with Deca Durabolin before, where sex drive is severely hampered when using this drug. Moreover, nandrolone can suppress luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to a significant degree (13). This becomes a huge problem since LH stimulates your testicles to produce testosterone and FSH interacts with sertoli cells to begin sperm production. Given that NPP is the same drug as deca, just in the phenylpropionate ester, it causes many of the same problems Luckily, taurine has been shown to boost your testosterone and sperm quality (14) when used on cycle.
25. Your Libido might Decrease
Yet another reason why nandrolone phenylpropionate can negatively affect your libido is due to prolactin, a hormone that helps women lactate during pregnancy. Prolactin is also found in men, and when levels get out of control, prolactin can counteract dopamine, the chemical responsible for sexual excitement. So not only could your libido take a hit physically, but you also won't feel like having sex if your dopamine is counteracted.
26. NPP can slightly suppress Cholesterol Levels
One good thing about nandrolone is that it isn't very harsh on your lipid profiles. But anybody who suffers from low HDL (good) cholesterol should be aware that this drug can have a small negative impact on good cholesterol (15). However, you shouldn't have too much of a problem here as long as you supplement with fish oil, flaxseed and/or green tea extract since they all have a positive effect on cholesterol.
27. Nandrolone is Easy on Your Hairline
Some anabolic steroids cause accelerated hair loss, which is a nightmare for guys who are already predisposed to this problem. But you won't have to worry about this with NPP because it's a DHT-derived steroid, meaning nandrolone metabolites will fight with DHT for receptors. This is good for your hair because DHT is a male sex hormone that can prevent hair follicles from absorbing the important nutrients that they need to stay healthy.
28. NPP is not the Best Steroid for Women
If women aren't already scared off by the amount of injections required with nandrolone phenylpropionate, they definitely won't appreciate the virilization side effects. Even with a safe recommended NPP dosage for women ranging from 25mg-100mg, they can suffer from acne, clitoral enlargement, facial hair, extra body hair and a deeper voice. For this reason, ladies are encouraged to use milder steroids like Anavar; nevertheless, some women have used NPP to pack on strength and muscle.
NPP in Sports
29. Nandrolone was Very Popular among Bodybuilding Legends
As discussed before, deca was the predominant form of nandrolone in past decades. So it's little surprise that nandrolone was used by bodybuilding legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Mentzer and Sergio Olivia on their way towards incredible bodies. Sure this wasn't NPP they were using, but remember that the mg/ml ratio was much lower and less convenient than what's available today. It's likely that these guys would have loved nandrolone in any form because, due to the lack of knowledge on aromatase inhibitors and selective-estrogen-receptor modulators, they used this drug due to its low aromatization rate.
30. Athletes love using Nandrolone...and they've been caught doing it too!
A large number of professional athletes have used nandrolone in the offseason due to its ability to pack on incredible amounts of muscle and strength. However, the downside, as covered before, is that NPP's metabolites can remain in your system for up to 12 months after use. That said, a fair number of athletes have tested positive for nandrolone - whether in its phenylpropionate or decanoate form. Some of them include British Olympic gold medalist Linford Christie (1999), Italian footballer Pep Guardioal (2001), MMA legend Royce Gracie (2007), MMA fighter Sean Sherk (2007), basketball pro Juan Dixon (2009), Baltimore Orioles minor leaguer Alfredo Zimbrano (2010) and New York Yankees minor leaguer Derrick Bernard (2014).
31. This Drug was at the Center of Baseball's Steroid Era
As you may remember, Major League Baseball began a steroid witch hunt in the early 2000s after it was revealed that many of the game's biggest stars were juicing. BALCO and their designer drug, “The Clear” (THG), grabbed many of the headlines. However, nandrolone was also heavily prevalent during baseball's steroid years, with both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens being accused of using the drug. In Clemens case, his trainer, Brian McNamee, alleged that he injected the All-Star pitcher with nandrolone from 1998-2001. Clemens was twice found not guilty of lying to the grand jury about his steroid use.