The major findings of this study suggest that ingesting 500 mg of a commercially available botanical extract once per day for eight weeks in conjunction with a structured resistance training program can significantly impact body composition and strength in resistance trained males when compared to a placebo.
It is well documented that a controlled resistance training program can positively influence body composition across multiple populations [23–28]. The PLA group decreased body fat percentage over the 8 week period void of any experimental treatment however, this reduction was not found to be statistically significant. In contrast, the FEN group experienced a significant reduction in body fat percentage losing 2.34% compared to only 0.39% in the PL group. This change in body fat percentage is likely related to the significant increase in lean body mass observed exclusively in the FEN group. Together, these findings imply that supplementing with 500 mg of the commercially available supplement combined with resistance training can alter body composition to a greater extent than resistance training alone for 8 weeks. Woodgate and Conquer  investigated the effects of consuming a daily stimulant-free supplement containing glucomannan, chitosan, fenugreek, G sylvestre, and vitamin C in obese adults (age 20-50, BMI ≥ 30) while maintaining their normal dietary and exercise practices for six weeks. The experimental group significantly reduced their body fat percentage (-1.1% vs. 0.2%; p < 0.05) and absolute fat mass (-2.0 kg vs. 0.2 kg; p < 0.001) when compared with the placebo group. These results convey that the experimental proprietary blend significantly affected body composition more so than a placebo. The role that fenugreek alone played in altering body composition cannot be speculated, but in conjunction with glucomannan, chitosan, G sylvestre, and vitamin C, fenugreek did assist in the reported changes. Together, the present study and the findings of Woodgate and Conquer  demonstrate that fenugreek supplementation has the potential to improve body composition, specifically body fat percentage, over a chronic time period, although the mechanism of action has not been elucidated.
Strength increases resulting from a resistance training regimen are well established [24, 30–35]. Initial strength changes occurring in untrained populations are attributable to neural adaptations [36, 37], while individuals that have neurally adapted can experience hypertrophic changes that occur in a matter of weeks to months after the onset of resistance training . In the present study, we employed an eight week, linear resistance training program that has established itself as an efficient stimulus for increasing muscular strength and lean muscle mass (hypertrophy) . Over the course of eight weeks, the PL group significantly increased bench press (4.22%) and leg press (15.26%) 1-RM strength, indicating the resistance training program alone augmented upper- and lower-body maximal strength. The FEN group experienced a 9.19% increase in bench press 1-RM, but this increase was not influenced by the experimental treatment. In spite of this, the FEN group experienced an increases in bench press 1-RM from T1 to T2 and T2 to T3, while PLA only increased from T1 to T2. Based on this finding, it is possible that fenugreek can positively affect performance measures, such as those analyzed in the present study, over longer periods of time (8+ weeks). This hypothesis is also applicable to our Wingate peak power findings, as the FEN group underwent a significant increase from baseline at week 8. Significant differences were observed between FEN and PL groups at T3 for leg press 1-RM, as FEN underwent a 25.29% increase. No significant changes were observed for bench press or leg press muscular endurance tests or Wingate mean power. To our knowledge, there have been no investigations examining the effects of a dietary supplement containing fenugreek on muscular strength. However, one particular inquiry  evaluated the effects of two different dosings (10 mg/kg or 35 mg/kg) of galactomannan treatment, in comparison to testosterone treatment (10 mg/kg), on levator ani muscle weight in male castrated rats. At the end of six weeks, 35 mg/kg of galactomannan was as effective as the testosterone treatment at increasing the levator ani muscle and overall body weight in rats. An increase in a muscle's weight is reflective of muscle hypertrophy or an increase in the cross sectional area of muscle fibers. There is a direct relationship between a muscle's cross sectional area and overall strength of that particular muscle . Therefore, if the levator ani muscle increased in cross sectional area, the possibility exists that a strength increase accompanied this adaptation, even though there were no strength measurements assessed in this study. The results from the present study suggest that 500 mg of a commercially available supplement can increase overall body strength during an 8 week period, or potentially over a more chronic time frame, in resistance trained males, and there is a possibility that a high dosage of a treatment (galactomannan) can increase muscle strength via muscle hypertrophy in rat models, even though no direct evidence subsists to support this claim.
Fenugreek supplementation is surrounded by assertions of having anabolic potential, even though there is no scientific data supporting this notion. In the present study we examined serum hormone variables that included free testosterone, DHT, estradiol, insulin, cortisol, and leptin over an eight week period. Of the above listed, no between or within group differences were observed for any of the measured hormone variables, except for free testosterone. Although a between group difference was noted for free testosterone at T2 and T3, it has limited relevance due to the fact that it did not significantly change over time. The investigation by Aswar and colleagues (2008) found no significant changes in serum testosterone levels in rats when treated with either a 10 mg/kg or 35 mg/kg dosage of galactomannan. This evidence coincides with our finding, which implies that the commercially available supplement lacks the potential for altering hormone values in combination with a resistance training regimen. Therefore, it is assumed that daily consumption of the 500 mg commercially available supplement in conjunction with a resistance training program has no anabolic effect on the hormonal status of resistance trained males.