Longitudinal Changes in Body Composition throughout Successive Seasonal Phases among Canadian University Football Players

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Abstract

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, prior to the summer-off-season, and follow-ups were completed prior to 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 (WHR; 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 appear to change differentially among positional groups across the annual training season.

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