The Effects of Beta Alanine Supplementation on Bench Press Endurance and Isometric Core Endurance Following a 4-Week Training Program

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Dr. Maureen Dunn

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Beta-alanine has previously been shown to improve high-intensity exercise performance in active and sedentary individuals following a training program. The majority of current research pertains to the effects of beta-alanine supplementation on aerobic exercise following a prolonged training program. This study was designed to determine whether 4 weeks of beta-alanine supplementation (BA, n=11) combined with 3 days of resistance training per week would result in greater improvements in muscular endurance compared to placebo (PL, n=10). All participants completed the maximum number of bench press repetitions at 65% 1RM before being matched for muscular endurance and randomly assigned to either BA or PL. Training included 3 successive sets of pushups to muscular fatigue followed by 3 timed planks. It was hypothesized that betaalanine supplementation would improve bench press endurance and isometric core endurance due to its ergogenic properties of increasing muscle carnosine concentration. Results displayed improvements in bench press repetitions to failure at 65% 1RM in both groups, (pre: BA= 14.7 ± 1.0, PL=15.0 ± 1.1; post: BA=21.0 ± 1.1, PL=16.8 ± 1.2, p<0.0001) with significantly greater improvements in the BA group (p < 0.0001). Both groups improved in isometric core hold time (seconds) to failure (pre: BA = 51.3 ± 7.6, PL = 63.8 ± 8.0; post: BA = 69.4 ± 9.6, PL = 75.3 ± 10.1, p<0.0001) but no significant difference existed between groups (p = 0.286). The study concluded that 4 weeks of beta-alanine supplementation combined with 4-weeks of muscular endurance training significantly increased bench press endurance at 65% 1RM.

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