Creatine Enhances the Effects of Cluster-Set Resistance Training on Lower-Limb Body Composition and Strength in Resistance-Trained Men: A Pilot Study Academic Article uri icon


  • Creatine monohydrate (CrM) supplementation has been shown to improve body composition and muscle strength when combined with resistance training (RT); however, no study has evaluated the combination of this nutritional strategy with cluster-set resistance training (CS-RT). The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of CrM supplementation during a high-protein diet and a CS-RT program on lower-limb fat-free mass (LL-FFM) and muscular strength. Twenty-three resistance-trained men (>2 years of training experience, 26.6 ± 8.1 years, 176.3 ± 6.8 cm, 75.6 ± 8.9 kg) participated in this study. Subjects were randomly allocated to a CS-RT+CrM (n = 8), a CS-RT (n = 8), or a control group (n = 7). The CS-RT+CrM group followed a CrM supplementation protocol with 0.1 g·kg−1·day−1 over eight weeks. Two sessions per week of lower-limb CS-RT were performed. LL-FFM corrected for fat-free adipose tissue (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) and muscle strength (back squat 1 repetition maximum (SQ-1RM) and countermovement jump (CMJ)) were measured pre- and post-intervention. Significant improvements were found in whole-body fat mass, fat percentage, LL-fat mass, LL-FFM, and SQ-1RM in the CS-RT+CrM and CS-RT groups; however, larger effect sizes were obtained in the CS-RT+CrM group regarding whole body FFM (0.64 versus 0.16), lower-limb FFM (0.62 versus 0.18), and SQ-1RM (1.23 versus 0.75) when compared to the CS-RT group. CMJ showed a significant improvement in the CS-RT+CrM group with no significant changes in CS-RT or control groups. No significant differences were found between groups. Eight weeks of CrM supplementation plus a high-protein diet during a CS-RT program has a higher clinical meaningfulness on lower-limb body composition and strength-related variables in trained males than CS-RT alone. Further research might study the potential health and therapeutic effects of this nutrition and exercise strategy.

published proceedings

  • Nutrients

altmetric score

  • 12.55

author list (cited authors)

  • Bonilla, D. A., Kreider, R. B., Petro, J. L., Romance, R., García-Sillero, M., Benítez-Porres, J., & Vargas-Molina, S.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Bonilla, Diego A||Kreider, Richard B||Petro, Jorge L||Romance, Ramón||García-Sillero, Manuel||Benítez-Porres, Javier||Vargas-Molina, Salvador

publication date

  • July 2021