Seasonal variations in the body composition of lightweight rowers

Morris, F.L. & Payne, W.R. (1996) Seasonal variations in the body composition of lightweight rowers. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 30(4), pp. 301-305.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To monitor the seasonal body composition alterations in 18 lightweight rowers (six females, 12 males) across a rowing season incorporating preseason, early competition, competition, and postseason.

METHODS

Subject age was 23.1 (SD 4.5) years, height 170.8 (5.6) cm (female, 23.5 (3.5) years, 180.5 (2.7) cm (male). Body weight, fat mass, and fat-free mass (FFM) were assessed using dual energy x ray absorptiometry (DXA-L Lunar) and skinfold techniques. Weight control techniques were documented before major regattas by a questionnaire.

RESULTS

Female body weight was reduced from 61.3 (2.9) to 57.0 (1.1) kg (5.9%), while male body weight was reduced from 75.6 (3.1) to 69.8 (1.6) kg (7.8%) preseason to competition season respectively. These body weight reductions were mirrored by a significant reduction in fat mass as indicated by the sum of skinfolds [female seven sites: 80.9 (8.1) to 68.2 (11.8) mm; male eight sites: 54.2 (8.7) to 41.8 (4.8) mm], percentage body fat [female 22.1 (1.0) to 19.7 (2.4)%; male 10.0 (0.9) to 7.8 (0.8)%], and total fat [female 12.5 (5.2) to 10.9 (1.4) kg; male 7.3 (1.9) to 5.6 (1.8) kg] (DXA). In contrast, no changes were observed in FFM despite a season of intensive rowing training. Seasonal body weight control was achieved through reduced total energy and dietary fat intakes. Acute body weight reductions were achieved by exercise in 73.3% of participants, food restriction in 71.4%, and fluid restrictions in 62.9%.

CONCLUSIONS

Seasonal body weight alterations in lightweight rowers are in response to a significant reduction in fat mass. However, the weight restrictions appear to be limiting an increase in FFM which could be beneficial to rowing performance.

Impact and interest:

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15 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 91253
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: body composition, lightweight rowers
DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.30.4.301
ISSN: 1473-0480
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Exercise Physiology (110602)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 16 Dec 2015 00:50
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2015 00:50

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