Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Sports Science and Coach Education

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Michael Stone

Committee Members

Brad DeWeese, Caleb Bazyler, Jeremy Gentles, Nick Fiolo


The purposes of this dissertation were to investigate the acute effects of branched-chain amino acids on psychological, physiological, and subsequent performance changes following high volume resistance training. The rationale for this study design was based on abrupt or contiguous training/ competitions that specific athletes encounter in a competitive season. This study design also sought to fill some gaps in the scientific literature concerning the efficacy of BCAAs for subjective fatigue in a resistance training paradigm. To address the purposes of this dissertation, a one-week study was conducted on resistance trained males, in which half of the subjects were randomly selected to receive BCAAs and the other half was a non-supplement group. The subjects in this study performed two high volume resistance training bouts consisting of squat and bench press (5 sets x 10 repetitions at 95% relative intensity) separated by two days. The physiological variables tested in this study were creatine kinase, interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, testosterone, and cortisol. The performance variables tested in this study were static and counter-movement jumps, isometric mid-thigh pull, and Bosco repeated jumps. The primary findings from this study was that subjects in the BCAA group had a statistically significant decrease in muscle damage, indicated by levels of CK. Additionally, there was a statistically significant increase in T:C ratio for the BCAA group compared to the NS group. Concerning performance variables, BCAAs had a small to moderate effect on rate of force development; however, this result was not statistically significant. There were no differences in psychological variables between the groups. Based on the findings of this dissertation, BCAAs mitigate levels of muscle damage and rate of force development. To conclude, BCAAs may provide a competitive advantage for athletes when training volume and competitions become contiguous.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.