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Series on BIOMECHANICS   ISSN 1313-2458
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A comparative analysis of body composition and dimensions of experienced olympic weightlifters, powerlifters and bodybuilders
V. Panayotov
Abstract: In this article, the author studies the differences in body composition and body dimensions in competitive athletes in the three most popular strength sports – bodybuilding, Olympic weightlifting, and powerlifting. 42 athletes in total participated, all of them competitors at the national level in their sports. Five parameters were compared – body mass index (BMI), percentage of adipose tissue, lean body mass, thigh circumference and arm circumference. The somatotypes of the participants were also calculated. We found statistically significant differences only in arm circumference: as opposed to the popular belief, overall, we did not find evidence that bodybuilders possess the most hypertrophied musculature. On the other hand, although the somatotypes’ variables of the three groups of athletes also did not show statistically significant differences, they were close to the borderline level of significance. Being a well-established integral measure of human body shape and physique type, the somatotype takes into consideration some additional components apart from those measured in this study. In our opinion, data about BMI, lean body mass and percentage of adipose tissue brings insufficient information about body shape and composition in strength-trained athletes.

Series on Biomechanics, Vol.35 No.2 (2021), 38-44

Keywords: body composition; bodybuilders; lean body mass; Olympic weightlifters; powerlifters
Date published: 2021-07-02
(Price of one pdf file: 29.00 BGN/15.00 EUR)