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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 Jul 06

language: English

Body composition changes in an endurance athlete using two different training strategies

Peter FRANCIS 1, William MC CORMACK 2, Aaron CASELEY 1, June COPEMAN 1, Gareth JONES 1

1 School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK; 2 Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland


Swimming, running and cycling are among the most popular and fastest growing sports in the world. Inherent in these sports is a desire to favourably alter body composition. Here we report a ~5.4kg and ~5.3kg fat tissue mass (FTM) loss in two separate interventions (12 – 16 weeks), in the same athlete, separated by 5 years. Whole body composition was assessed using dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Dietary analysis for intervention 2 was completed using Mc Cance and Widdowson’s composition of foods. In 2010, the male athlete (23 yrs, 85kg, 195cm, 18.1% body fat (BF)) had a reduction of ~5.4kg of FTM (15.4kg vs. 10.0kg) and an increase of ~5.1kg of lean tissue mass (LTM) following 16 weeks of moderate intensity running (213 (53) min/week) and circuit training (64 (46) min/week). In 2015, the same athlete (28 yrs, 90.6kg, 195cm; 18.2%) had a ~5.3kg loss of FTM and a ~0.8kg increase in LTM after 12 weeks, predominately (75%) non-weight bearing exercise (49% Cycling, 215 (88) min/week; 25% Running 110 (47) min/week; 19% Swimming, 83 (27) min/week; 7% Rowing Machine, 29 (26) min/week). Weekday and weekend dietary intake during intervention 2 were estimated as 2,560 kcal and 3,240 kcal per day respectively. This report provides support for the hypothesis that an extended period of energy deficit is required to reduce body fat levels in amateur athletes independent of the mode of exercise.

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