Effects of resistive training and chromium picolinate on body composition and skeletal muscle size in older women

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2002 Jun;12(2):125-35. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.12.2.125.


This study assessed the effect of resistive training (RT), with or without highdose chromium picolinate (Cr-pic) supplementation, on body composition and skeletal muscle size of older women. Seventeen sedentary women, age range 54-71 years, BMI 28.8 +/- 2.4 kg/m2, were randomly assigned (double-blind) to groups (Cr-pic, n = 9; Placebo, n = 8) that consumed either 924 micrograms Cr/d as Cr-pic or a low-Cr placebo (< 0.2 microgram Cr/d) during a 12-week RT program (2 day/week, 3 sets.exercise-1.d-1, 80% of 1 repetition maximum). Urinary chromium excretion was 60-fold higher in the Cr-pic group, compared to the Placebo group (p < .001), during the intervention. Resistive training increased maximal strength of the muscle groups trained by 8 to 34% (p < .001), and these responses were not influenced by Cr-pic supplementation. Percent body fat and fat-free mass were unchanged with RT in these weight-stable women, independent of Cr-pic supplementation. Type I and type II muscle fiber areas of the m. vastus lateralis were not changed over time and were not influenced by Cr-pic supplementation. These data demonstrate that high-dose Cr-pic supplementation did not increase maximal strength above that of resistive training alone in older women. Further, these data show that, under these experimental conditions, whole body composition and skeletal muscle size were not significantly changed due to resistive training and were not influenced by supplemental chromium picolinate.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron Chelating Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Picolinic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Picolinic Acids / urine
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*


  • Iron Chelating Agents
  • Picolinic Acids
  • picolinic acid