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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1989 Dec;29(4):314-20.

The effect of a competitive season on the body composition of university female athletes.


Fifty-six NCAA Division I female athletes (age +/- SD = 19.82 +/- 0.59 years) from the swimming (SW), track (TR), volleyball (VB), gymnastics (GYM) and basketball (BB) teams were measured preseason and postseason to determine the effects of a season's training on their body composition. Body density (BD), relative fat (RF), fat-weight (FW), and fat-free weight (FFW) were obtained via hydrostatic weighing. The TR and GYM athletes showed significant increases and the VB players significant decreases in BD and FFW across season, respectively. No significant changes were found for the SW and BB teams. Preseason comparisons showed greater BD for TR than for BB, VB or SW. The GYM and VB had lower BD values than SW. Fat-free weight was higher in BB and VB teams, while TR and SW teams had greater FFW than GM. The BB, VB and SW teams had greater preseason FW than the TR and GYM groups. Postseason comparisons showed greater BD in TR and GYM than in the other three groups. Although FW differences were consistent with preseason data, all groups differed significantly in FFW with BB players having the greatest amount followed by VB, SW, TR and GYM.

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