Creatine supplementation has an ergogenic effect in an acute complex training bout, but the benefits of chronic creatine supplementation during long-term complex training remain unknown. The study aimed to evaluate the effects of 4-week complex training combined with creatine supplementation on sport performances and muscle damage biomarkers. Thirty explosive athletes were assigned to the creatine or placebo group, which consumed 20 g of creatine or carboxymethyl cellulose, respectively, per day for 6 days followed by 2 g of the supplements until the end of the study. After 6 days of supplementation, subjects performed tests of one repetition maximum (1-RM) strength of half squat and complex training bouts to determine the optimal individual post-activation potentiation time. Thereafter, all subjects performed a complex training programme consisting of six sets of 5-RM half squats and plyometric jumps 3 times per week for 4 weeks. Body composition, 30-m sprint and jump performances were assessed before and after the training period. Moreover, blood creatine kinase (CK) activity was analysed at the first and the last training bout. After the training, the 1-RM strength in the creatine group was significantly greater than in the placebo group (p < 0.05). CK activity after the complex training bout in the creatine group was significantly reduced compared with the placebo group (p < 0.05). No differences were noted for other variables. This study concluded that creatine supplementation combined with complex training improved maximal muscular strength and reduced muscle damage during training.
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