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Like sports individuals, athletes have greater bone mineral content, bone density and skeletal muscle mass. Therefore the density of an athletic male and female will be greater.
The use of generalized equations over estimates Fat Free Mass. It is now clear that such equations cannot be used to accurately estimate the Fat Free Mass (FFM).

It is important to recognize that there may be an optimal body weight and body composition to increase performance, however values may vary among individual athletes. It is therefore important to set individual goals for athletes that fall within a range of body fat values than to expect all athletes in that same sport to achieve the same level of body fatness. Otherwise this could lead to unsafe practices in weight loss resulting in eating disorders.

We recommend that body composition of an athlete should also be assessed at the beginning and at the end of each season training period. Advice should be requested from a professional nutritionist, dietician, or physician to developing dietary recommendations for weight loss, gain and exercise prescription for fat loss and Fat Free Mass gains.

It is important that after the first assessment all subsequent tests are performed in the same category and full records maintained. Maltron’s Client Record Sheet can be used to build a history of body composition.