The Impact of Creatine Supplementation during Complex Training on Strength and Muscle Damage
Enhancing Athletic Performance
The beneficial impact of creatine supplementation on performance during isolated complex training is well-established, but the effects during extended complex training are less understood. This investigation aimed to assess the influence of a four-week complex training program, supplemented with creatine, on athletic performance and markers of muscle damage. In this study, thirty athletes known for their explosive capabilities were split into two groups, one receiving creatine and the other a placebo.
Both groups consumed 20g of their respective supplements daily for 6 days, then reduced to 2g for the duration of the study. After the initial 6 days, participants underwent half squat strength tests and complex training exercises to ascertain individual optimal post-activation potentiation time. Following this, all participants engaged in a complex training program consisting of high-intensity half squats and plyometric jumps, conducted three times weekly over four weeks. Measures of body composition, 30-meter sprint and jump performance, as well as creatine kinase (CK) blood levels were recorded before and after the training period.
The study found that post-training, the creatine group demonstrated a significant increase in maximal muscle strength compared to the placebo group, and had notably reduced CK activity, indicating less muscle damage during training. However, no significant differences were observed in other evaluated parameters. These results highlight that combining creatine supplementation with complex training enhances maximal muscular strength and mitigates training-induced muscle damage.