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This study examined the effects of Cr supplementation on muscle strength in conjunction with resistance training in nonresistance-trained males utilizing strategies previously reported in the literature to help optimize muscle Cr uptake. Nineteen nonresistance-trained males underwent 4 weeks of resistance training (3 days · week−1) while assigned to Cr (20 g · d−1 Cr + 140 g · d−1 glucose) for 7 days (loading), followed by 5 g · d−1 Cr + 35 g · d−1 glucose for 21 days (maintenance; n = 9) or placebo (160 g · d−1 glucose [loading] followed by 40 g · d−1 [maintenance; n = 10]). In subjects classified as “responders” to Cr on the basis of body mass changes (n = 7), the magnitude of change in 180∞ · s−1 isokinetic (p = .029) and isometric (p = .036) force was greater compared to the placebo group. A positive correlation was found between changes in body mass and 180º · s−1 isokinetic (loading: r = 0.68, p = .04; maintenance: r = 0.70, p = .037) and isometric (loading: r = 0.82, p < .01) force. Estimated Cr uptake was also positively correlated with changes in 60º · s−1 (r = 0.90, p < .01) and 180º · s−1 (r = 0.68, p = .043) isokinetic force, and isometric force (r = 0.71, p = .033). These results indicate that Cr supplementation can increase muscle strength (allied with 4 weeks of strength training) but only in subjects whose estimated Cr uptake and body mass are significantly increased; the greater the Cr uptake and associated body mass changes, the greater the performance gains.
The authors are with the Department of Sports Science at the University of Wales Swansea, Swansea, SA2 8PP, and the Centre for Exercise Science and Medicine in the Institute of Biomedical & Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK.