Creatine supplementation reduces the impact of muscle fatigue on post-activation potentiation (PAP) of the lower body, but its effects on the upper body remain unknown. This study examined the effects of creatine supplementation on muscle strength, explosive power, and optimal individual PAP time of the upper body during a set of complex training bouts in canoeists. Seventeen male high school canoeists performed a bench row for one repetition at maximum strength and conducted complex training bouts to determine the optimal individual timing of PAP and distance of overhead medicine ball throw before and after the supplementation. Subjects were assigned to a creatine or placebo group, and later consumed 20 g of creatine or carboxymethyl cellulose per day for six days. After supplementation, the maximal strength in the creatine group significantly increased (p < 0.05). The optimal individual PAP time in the creatine group was significantly earlier than the pre-supplementation times (p < 0.05). There was no significant change in explosive power for either group. Our findings support the notion that creatine supplementation increases maximal strength and shortens the optimal individual PAP time of the upper body in high school athletes, but has no effect on explosive power. Moreover, it was found that the recovery time between a bench row and an overhead medicine ball throw in a complex training bout is an individual phenomenon.
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