Longitudinal Changes in Body Composition Throughout Successive Seasonal Phases Among Canadian University Football Players

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Kim, J, Delisle-Houde, P, Reid, RER, and Andersen, RE. Longitudinal changes in body composition throughout successive seasonal phases among Canadian university football players. J Strength Cond Res 32(8): 2284–2293, 2018—The purpose of this study was to assess changes in body composition during seasonal phases of the training year among Canadian Inter-University Sport (CIS) football players. Forty university football players were assessed for anthropometry, total body composition, regional body composition, and central adiposity over a 7-month period including the summer off-season and the in-season. Baseline testing occurred in April, before the summer off-season, and follow-ups were completed before training camp, at the beginning of August, and following the in-season, at the beginning of November. Linemen had the greatest tissue percent fat (25.98 ± 6.56%) at baseline, significantly (p < 0.01) greater than big skill (18.69 ± 3.97%) and followed by skill (14.35 ± 3.39%) who were significantly (p < 0.01) leaner than both other groups. Skill players significantly increased fat mass (0.98 ± 0.30 kg, p ≤ 0.05) and waist-to-hip ratio (0.02 ± 0.01, p ≤ 0.05) during the in-season, and linemen increased visceral fat mass from April to November (0.20 ± 0.06 kg, p ≤ 0.01). All players significantly (−1.26 ± 0.30 kg, p = 0.001) decreased lean mass during the in-season. All groups significantly increased bone mineral content during the summer off-season (p ≤ 0.05). There was also a significant time × summer training location interaction (p ≤ 0.05) for fat mass with athletes who remained on campus during summer months gaining the least amount of adiposity. Body composition and central adiposity seem to change differentially among positional groups across the annual training season.

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