Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of 14 wk of chromium picolinate supplementation during the final 16 wk of a preseason resistance and conditioning program on body composition and neuromuscular performance in NCAA Division I wrestlers. During this phase of training, wrestlers are primarily interested in trying to improve physical performance and wrestling technique and are not engaged in severe, acute weight loss practices commonly employed before competition.
Methods: This double-blinded, randomized placebo-controlled study involved 20 wrestlers from the University of Oklahoma assigned to either a treatment group (Cr+3; N = 7; 20.4 yr +/- 0.1) receiving 200 micrograms chromium picolinate daily, a placebo group (P; N = 7; 19.9 yr +/- 0.2), or a control group (C; N = 6; 20.2 yr +/- 0.1) using a stratified random sampling technique based on weight classification. Body composition, neuromuscular performance, metabolic performance, and serum insulin and glucose were measured before and immediately following the supplementation and training period.
Results: Repeated measures ANOVA indicated no significant changes in body composition for any of the groups. Aerobic power increased significantly (P < 0.002) in all groups, independent of supplementation. There were significant trial and group x trial interactions for upper body endurance (P = 0.038) and relative bench press power (P = 0.050). Post-hoc analyses revealed that the C group increased upper body endurance (P = 0.006), but none of the pre- to post-test changes in bench press power were significant.
Conclusions: These results suggest that chromium picolinate supplementation coupled with a typical preseason training program does not enhance body composition or performance variables beyond improvements seen with training alone.