The overreaching cycle during a resistance-training program is designed to simulate muscle stress that is encountered during higher intensity training, peaking for competition, or multiple-game tournaments. In this study, trained athletes underwent a 2-week overreaching cycle after 8 weeks of intense resistance-training. HMB free acid supplementation resulted in decreased CPK, an indicator of muscle damage; decreased cortisol, a stress hormone; and maintained more strength throughout the overreaching cycle. In conclusion HMB free acid provided more muscle protection against the sudden increase in training intensity compared to the placebo.

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