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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 Marzo;42(1):45-55

lingua: Inglese

Body composition estimations by BIA versus anthropometric equations in body builders and other power athletes

Huygens W. 1, Claessens A. L. 1, Thomis M. 1, Loos R. 1, 2, Van Langendonck L. 1, Peeters M. 1, Philippaerts R. 3, Meynaerts E. 1, Vlietinck R. 2, Beunen G. 1

1 Department of Sport and Movement Sciences Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy
2 Faculty of Medicine, Center for Human Genetics, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven,
3 Department of Movement and Sports Sciences Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium


Background. Two ­main ques­tions are stat­ed: 1) are BIA and anthro­po­met­ric equa­tions accu­rate in esti­mat­ing ­body com­po­si­tion in ­male pow­er ath­letes and ­more spe­cif­i­cal­ly in ­body build­ers and 2) is ­there a dif­fer­ence in ­body com­po­si­tion ­when ­body build­ers are com­pared to ­weight and pow­er lift­ers?
Methods. Experimental ­design: ­this is a descrip­tive, com­par­a­tive ­study on a select­ed sam­ple of pow­er ath­letes. Participants: 49 Belgian ­elite and sub-top ­male pow­er ath­letes (34 ­body build­ers and 15 ­weight and pow­er lift­ers) ­were includ­ed in ­this sam­ple. More ­than 70% was in prep­ar­a­tion of com­pe­ti­tion at ­time of ­data col­lec­tion. Measures: an extend­ed set of anthro­po­met­ric meas­ures was tak­en. Body com­po­si­tion was esti­mat­ed by BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) and by regres­sion equa­tions of skin­folds. Somatotype and mus­cle+­bone are­as ­were cal­cu­lat­ed. Factor anal­y­sis on all anthro­po­met­ric meas­ures was car­ried out to deter­mine the ­body struc­ture of the ath­letes.
Results. Compared to exter­nal vis­u­al cri­te­ria, the equa­tions of Durnin and Womersley and Lohman (skin­folds) and the Guo-equa­tion (BIA) ­were the ­only equa­tions ­that ­could accu­rate­ly esti­mate the ­body com­po­si­tion for ­this spe­cif­ic ­group of ath­letes. However, the sum of skin­folds ­attains the ­most accu­rate esti­mate of sub­cu­ta­ne­ous fat­ness. Body build­ers ­have sig­nif­i­cant­ly (p<0.01) larg­er arm and ­thigh cir­cum­fer­enc­es and are ­more mes­o­mor­fic ­than the oth­er pow­er ath­letes (5.9 vs 3.8).
Conclusions. This ­study ­shows ­that to esti­mate ­body com­po­si­tion in ­extreme pow­er ath­letes BIA is not as accu­rate as com­pared to anthro­po­met­ric equa­tions. Moreover, the sum of a larg­er set of skin­folds is pre­ferred to anthro­po­met­ric pre­dic­tion equa­tions. In addi­tion, ­body build­ers are ­more mus­cu­lar and lean­er ­than oth­er pow­er ath­letes.

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