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Aline C. Tritto, Salomão Bueno, Rosa M.P. Rodrigues, Bruno Gualano, Hamilton Roschel and Guilherme G. Artioli

This study evaluated the effects of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate free acid (HMB-FA) and calcium salt (HMB-Ca) on strength, hypertrophy, and markers of muscle damage. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 44 resistance-trained men (age: 26 ± 4 years; body mass: 84.9 ± 12.0 kg) consuming ≥1.7 g·kg−1·day−1 of protein received HMB-FA (3 g/day; n = 14), HMB-Ca (3 g/day; n = 15), or placebo (PL; cornstarch, 3 g/day; n = 15) for 12 weeks, while performing a periodized resistance training program. Before and after intervention, lean body mass (measured with dual X-ray absorptiometry), maximal dynamic strength (one-repetition maximum), knee extension maximal isometric strength (maximal voluntary isometric contraction [MVIC]), cross-sectional area (measured with ultrasound), and muscle soreness were assessed. MVIC was also measured 48 hr after the first and the last training sessions. All groups increased lean body mass (main time effect: p < .0001; HMB-FA: 1.8 ± 1.8 kg; HMB-Ca: 0.8 ± 1.4 kg; PL: 0.9 ± 1.4 kg), cross-sectional area (main time effect: p < .0001; HMB-FA: 6.6 ± 3.8%; HMB-Ca: 4.7 ± 4.4%; PL: 6.9 ± 3.8%), one-repetition maximum bench press (main time effect: p < .0001; HMB-FA: 14.8 ± 8.4 kg; HMB-Ca: 11.8 ± 7.4 kg; PL: 11.2 ± 6.6 kg), MVIC (main time effect: p < .0001; HMB-FA: 34.4 ± 39.3%; HMB-Ca: 32.3 ± 27.4%; PL: 17.7 ± 20.9%) after the intervention, but no differences between groups were shown. HMB-FA group showed greater leg press strength after the intervention than HMB-Ca and PL groups (Group × Time interaction: p < .05; HMB-FA: 47.7 ± 31.2 kg; HMB-Ca: 43.8 ± 31.7 kg; PL: 30.2 ± 20.9 kg). MVIC measured 48 hr after the first and the last sessions showed no attenuation of force decline with supplementation. Muscle soreness following the first and last sessions was not different between groups. The authors concluded that neither HMB-Ca nor HMB-FA improved hypertrophy or reduced muscle damage in resistance-trained men undergoing resistance training ingesting optimal amounts of protein. HMB-FA but not HMB-Ca resulted in a statistically significant yet minor improvement on leg press one-repetition maximum.

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Manoel E. Lixandrão, Hamilton Roschel, Carlos Ugrinowitsch, Maira Miquelini, Ieda F. Alvarez and Cleiton Augusto Libardi

Context: Given the comparable muscle hypertrophy constantly observed between blood-flow restriction exercise (BFR-RE) and conventional resistance exercise, understanding their particular rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and pain may help to better prescribe exercise at a low-discomfort level, thus increasing its feasibility. Design: Randomized crossover study. Objective: To compare the RPE and pain response between conventional high- (HI-RE) and low-intensity resistance exercise (LI-RE) protocols to failure with a nonmuscular failure LI-RE associated with BFR-RE. Participants: A total of 12 men (age: 20 [3] y; body mass: 73.5 [9] kg; height: 174 [6] cm). Interventions: Four sets of 45° leg-press exercises in 3 different conditions: (1) BFR-RE (15 repetitions; 30% 1-repetition maximum), (2) HI-RE (80% 1-repetition maximum to muscular failure), and (3) LI-RE (30% 1-repetition maximum to muscular failure). Main Outcome Measures: RPE and pain were assessed immediately before exercise session and after the end of each of the 4 sets. Results: RPE and pain levels increased throughout the exercise sets for all RE protocols (all, Ps < .05). HI-RE and LI-RE protocols showed similar increase in RPE and pain levels during all exercise sets (P < .05); however, both protocols demonstrated higher RPE and pain response compared with BFR-RE after each of the 4 sets (all Ps < .05 between-group comparisons). Conclusions: Our results demonstrated that both HI-RE and LI-RE to muscular failure resulted in similar and significant increases in RPE and pain levels, regardless of exercise intensity. In addition, nonmuscular failure BFR-RE also increased RPE and pain response, however, to a lower extent compared with either HI-RE or LI-RE.

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Marcelo Luis Marquezi, Hamilton Augusto Roschel, André dos Santos Costa, Letícia Aiko Sawada and Antonio Herbert Lancha Jr.

Purpose: This study evaluated the effect of aspartate (ASP) and asparagine (ASG) supplementation on fatigue determinants in Wistar rats exercised to exhaustion by swimming. Methods: The animals were tested for anaerobic threshold (AT) determination and then supplemented with 350 mM ASP + 400 mM ASG · day−1 (AA group, n = 16) or 2 ml · day−1 of distillated water (PLC group, n = 16) for 7 days. On the 7th day of supplementation, the animals were divided into 4 new groups and killed at rest (RAA, n = 8; RPLC, n = 8), or immediately after the swimming exercise to exhaustion (EAA, n = 8; EPLC, n = 8). Results: No significant differences were observed between amino acids and placebo rest groups for muscle and liver glycogen, blood glucose, lactate, ala-nine, and glutamine concentrations. However, in the exhaustion groups, the EAA group showed higher exercise time (68.37+ 25.42 X 41.12 + 13.82 min, p < .05) and lower blood lactate concentration (8.57 ± 1.92 X 11.28 + 2.61 mmol · L−1, p < .05) than the EPLC group. Moreover, the ASP+ASG supplementation decreased the rate of glycogen degradation of gastrocnemius (1.00 + 0.51 X 3.43 ± 0.99 μg · 100 mg of tissue sample−1 · min−1), extensor digitorius longus (5.70 ± 2.35 X 8.11 ± 3.97 μg · 100 mg of tissue sample−1 min−1) and liver (0.51 ± 0.34 X 3.37 ± 2.31 μg · 100 mg of tissue sample−1 min−1) for EAA. Conclusion: These results suggest that ASP+ASG supplementation may increase the contribution of oxidative metabolism in energy production and delay fatigue during exercise performed above the AT.