Individuals in a structural physical training program can show beneficial changes in body composition, such as body fat reduction and muscle mass increase. This study measured body composition changes by using 3 different techniques-skinfold thickness (SF) measurements, air displacement plethysmography (BOD-POD), and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-during 9 months of intense training in healthy young men engaged in military training. Twenty-seven young men were recruited from a special faction of the Italian Navy. The program previewed three phases: ground combat, sea combat, and amphibious combat. Body composition was estimated at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the training. After the subjects performed the ground combat phase, body composition variables significantly decreased: body weight (P < 0.05), fat-free mass (FFM) (P < 0.001), and fat mass (FM) (P < 0.03). During the amphibious combat phase, body weight increased significantly (P < 0.01), mainly because of an increase in FFM (P < 0.001) and a smaller mean decrease in FM. There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in circumferences and SF at various sites after starting the training course. Bland-Altman analysis did not show any systematic difference between FM and FFM measured with the 3 different techniques on any occasion. On any visit, FFM and FM correlation measured by BOD-POD (P = 0.90) and DXA was significantly greater than measured by SF. A significant difference was found in body mass index (BMI) measured during the study. BOD-POD and SF, compared with DXA, provide valid and reliable measurement of changes in body composition in healthy young men engaged in military training. In conclusion, the findings suggest that for young men of normal weight, changes in body weight alone and in BMI are not a good measure to assess the effectiveness of intense physical training programs, because lean mass gain can masquerade fat weight loss.

Effect of intense military training on body composition

Pietrobelli, Angelo
2008

Abstract

Individuals in a structural physical training program can show beneficial changes in body composition, such as body fat reduction and muscle mass increase. This study measured body composition changes by using 3 different techniques-skinfold thickness (SF) measurements, air displacement plethysmography (BOD-POD), and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-during 9 months of intense training in healthy young men engaged in military training. Twenty-seven young men were recruited from a special faction of the Italian Navy. The program previewed three phases: ground combat, sea combat, and amphibious combat. Body composition was estimated at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the training. After the subjects performed the ground combat phase, body composition variables significantly decreased: body weight (P < 0.05), fat-free mass (FFM) (P < 0.001), and fat mass (FM) (P < 0.03). During the amphibious combat phase, body weight increased significantly (P < 0.01), mainly because of an increase in FFM (P < 0.001) and a smaller mean decrease in FM. There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in circumferences and SF at various sites after starting the training course. Bland-Altman analysis did not show any systematic difference between FM and FFM measured with the 3 different techniques on any occasion. On any visit, FFM and FM correlation measured by BOD-POD (P = 0.90) and DXA was significantly greater than measured by SF. A significant difference was found in body mass index (BMI) measured during the study. BOD-POD and SF, compared with DXA, provide valid and reliable measurement of changes in body composition in healthy young men engaged in military training. In conclusion, the findings suggest that for young men of normal weight, changes in body weight alone and in BMI are not a good measure to assess the effectiveness of intense physical training programs, because lean mass gain can masquerade fat weight loss.
Body composition; military; training; weight management
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/364106
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