Body Composition

Fitness components used in sports and activities


Refers to the proportion of body weight that is derived from fat compared with the amount of weight derived from lean tissue.

Body composition can be divided into two components: fat-free mass and fat-mass. Free-fat mass consists of bones, water, muscle and connective tissue, organs and teeth. Fat-mass includes both essential and non- essential fat stores.

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An individual’s age, sex, genetics and the requirements for the sport are factors that impact an athlete’s body composition. For example, essential fat in males makes up on average 3 per cent of total body mass whereas it makes up 12 per cent in females.

Recognised tests

Skinfold measurement

Seven testing sites on the body are used to arrive at a sum of skin-fold measurement. They include biceps, abdominal, supraspinale, thigh, subscapular, triceps and calf. The tester pinches the skin at the desired sight to raise the underlying fat and skin, but not the muscle. Skin-fold calipers are then used to measure the raised skin.

Body mass index (BMI)

The Body mass index (BMI) is a practical formula that is used to assess weight relative to height and determine whether the individual is within a healthy weight range.

Formula: BMI= weight ÷ height2

The BMI is used to classify a person as underweight, in the normal range, overweight or obese.

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Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing (Real Footage + Results)

Training methods

Long interval

Long interval training is where the work period is dominated by the aerobic energy system. This occurs when the work period is 1 minute or longer. The aim is to increase the performer’s LIP, which can be beneficial for increasing lactate tolerance.


Continuous training involves performing an activity, such as jogging, cycling or swimming non-stop for a period of time. This type of training forms the foundation for more demanding, aerobic training methods.


Fartlek training combines continuous running with random bursts of speed, increasing the contribution from the anaerobic energy systems. This type of training improves both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems and related fitness components.


Weight training promotes weight loss and balance, which improves body composition.


Circuit training involves a sequenced performance of exercises at different activity stations. The completion of each exercise in the circuit once is called a lap and around 2-3 laps are completed during a circuit.

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