European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 5, pp 891–905 | Cite as

Periodized resistance training with and without supplementation improve body composition and performance in older men

  • Matthew G. Villanueva
  • Jiaxiu He
  • E. Todd Schroeder
Original Article



To examine the effects of 12 weeks of periodized resistance training (RT) with and without combined creatine and whey protein supplementation on changes in body composition, muscular strength, and functional performance.


Twenty-two male volunteers (68.1 ± 6.1 years) were randomly assigned to one of three groups: RT plus supplementation (RTS, n = 7); RT only (RT, n = 7); or control (C, n = 8). RTS consumed 0.3 g/kg/day of creatine for 5 days followed by 0.07 g/kg/day. RTS also consumed one 35 g liquid protein ready-to-drink daily. RT and RTS trained 3 days/week.


Following 12 weeks of training, there were no significant differences in the main measured outcome variables between RT and RTS. RTS increased relative (% change) lean body mass (LBM, 3.3 ± 3.1 %) compared with C (p = 0.01). Compared to baseline, RT increased LBM at week 6 (60.2 ± 8.3 to 61.6 ± 9.4 kg; p < 0.05), and decreased fat mass (20.8 ± 4.2 to 19.0 ± 3.9 kg; p = 0.05) and percentage body fat at week 12 (25.7 ± 3.8 to 23.8 ± 4.0 %; p = 0.05); RTS increased LBM at week 6 (p < 0.01) and week 12 (56.4 ± 4.3 to 58.2 ± 3.4 kg; p < 0.01), and decreased percentage body fat at week 12 (23.9 ± 4.4 to 22.0 ± 4.4 %; p < 0.01). In addition, compared to C, relative bench press 1-RM increased for RTS (72.4 ± 62.2 %; p < 0.01) and RT (50.1 ± 21.5 %; p = 0.05); relative leg press 1-RM increased for RTS (129.6 ± 39.4 %; p < 0.0001) and RT (112.9 ± 22.7 %; p < 0.0001); RTS increased relative Margaria stair-climbing power (38.3 ± 30.4 %; p < 0.05); and, relative 400-m walk time decreased for RT (−11 ± 9.2 %; p < 0.05) and RTS (−9.6 ± 9.4 %; p = 0.05). RT increased estimated VO2Max at week 6 (p < 0.01) and 12 (34.6 ± 1.9 to 36.4 ± 2.7 ml/kg/min; p = 0.01) compared to baseline. Lastly, RTS increased estimated VO2Max at week 12 (36.3 ± 2.7 to 37.5 ± 3.3 ml/kg/min; p = 0.05) compared to baseline.


Creatine and whey protein supplementation may not provide additional benefits in older adults performing periodized RT to augment muscular and functional performance.


Hypertrophy Maximal strength Creatine Protein Functional performance 



Activities of daily living


Body weight


Control study group




Cross-sectional area


Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry


Lean body mass




Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire




Repetition maximum


Resistance training only study group


Resistance training plus combined creatine and protein supplementation study group

RT program

Resistance training program



The authors would like to thank the study participants, University of Southern California Clinical Exercise Research Center staff, and Adriana Del Padilla for their contribution to the successful completion of the experimental protocol.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew G. Villanueva
    • 1
  • Jiaxiu He
    • 2
  • E. Todd Schroeder
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Clinical Exercise Research CenterUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Division of Biostatistics, Department of Preventive MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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