The Effects of Amino Acid Supplementation on Muscular Performance During Resistance Training Overreaching

Document Type

Journal Article


National Strength and Conditioning Association


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science




Ratamess, N., Kraemer, W., Volek, J., Rubin, M., Gomez, A., French, D., Sharman, M. J., Mcguigan, M. R., Scheett, T., Hakkinen, K., Newton, R. , & Dioguardi, F. (2003). The Effects of Amino Acid Supplementation on Muscular Performance During Resistance Training Overreaching. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 17(2), 250-258. Available here


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of ami-no acid supplementation on muscular strength, power, and high-intensity endurance during short-term resistance training overreaching. Seventeen resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to either an amino acid (AA) or placebo (P) group and underwent 4 weeks of total-body resistance training consisting of two 2-week phases of overreaching (phase 1: 3 X 8-12 repetitions maximum [RM], 8 exercises; phase 2: 5 X 3-5RM, 5 exercises). Muscle strength, power, and high-intensity endurance were determined before (T1) and at the end of each training week (T2-T5). One repetition maximum squat and bench press decreased at T2 in P (5.2 and 3.4 kg, respectively) but not in AA, and significant increases in 1RM squat and bench press were observed at T3-T5 in both groups. A decrease in the ballistic bench press peak power was observed at T3 in P but not AA. The fatigue index during the 20-repetition jump squat assessment did not change in the P group at T3 and T5 (fatigue index = 18.6 and 18.3%, respectively) whereas a trend for reduction was observed in the AA group (p = 0.06) at T3 (12.8%) but not T5 (15.2%; p = 0.12). These results indicate that the initial impact of high-volume resistance training overreaching reduces muscle strength and power, and it appears that these reductions are attenuated with amino acid supplementation. In addition, an initial high-volume, moderate-intensity phase of overreaching followed by a higher intensity, moderate-volume phase appears to be very effective for enhancing muscle strength in resistance-trained men.