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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1993 Dec;33(4):383-91.

Changes in body composition, diet, and strength of bodybuilders during the 12 weeks prior to competition.

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Department of Health Education, Physical Education, and Recreation, University of Alabama at Birmingham.


The purpose of this study was to monitor body composition, diet, and strength in male bodybuilders (No. 6) during the 12 weeks prior to competition. Data were collected every third week and analyzed with repeated measures ANOVA (p < 0.05). Significant decreases (p < 0.01) were found in body mass (-7.3 kg) and hydrostatically determined percent fat (-5.0%), while fat-free mass showed little change. All 7 skinfold sites were reduced significantly (p < 0.01) across the 12 weeks. Ultrasound scan revealed a significant decrease in skin thickness at the biceps (p < 0.01), but no change in biceps thickness. Circumferences decreased significantly at all sites (p < 0.05) except the chest. The greatest decreases were at the waist (-6.9 cm) and hips (-4.3 cm). Maximal isometric dead-lift force decreased significantly (p < 0.05) across time (-129 N). In comparison to off-season, both higher resistance and aerobic training volumes were found during pre-competition. Nutritional analyses showed significant reductions (p < 0.05) in total kilocalories, protein, fat, and cholesterol intakes. Vitamin and mineral intakes exceeded the RDAs. The data indicate the pre-competition practices were effective in reducing subcutaneous fat stores while maintaining muscle. Finally, the onset of the pre-competition phase resulted in strength loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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