Raw Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Variables (Impedance Ratio and Phase Angle) and Physical Fitness in Cross-Fit® Athletes

Giada Ballarin, Fabiana Monfrecola, Paola Alicante, Rossella Chierchia, Maurizio Marra, Anna Sacco, Luca Scalfi

Abstract

Few data are available on body composition and its relationships with physical fitness in Cross-Fit® athletes. Our study aimed to evaluate changes in raw bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) variables and their relationships with physical fitness in male Cross-Fit® athletes. Fifteen male Cross-Fit® athletes (age 19-35 years, weight 83.8±5.6 kg, body mass index-BMI 26.0±1.9 kg/m²) and fifty-one control men, (age 20-30 years, weight 76.5±10.8 kg, BMI 24.6±3.2 kg/m²) participated in the study. Body composition was evaluated by using BIA and physical fitness was assessed by measuring handgrip strength (HGS), long jump (L-J), squat jump (SQ-J) and counter-movement jump (CM-J). Phase angles were higher and impedance ratios were lower in Cross-Fit® athletes for the whole body and limbs (both these directly-measured raw BIA variables are promising markers of muscle quality). HGS was only slightly higher in the Cross-Fit® group, whereas a clear difference emerged between groups in L-J (+16.2% in Cross-Fit® athletes), SQ-J (+21.5%) and CM-J (+21.5%). HGS, L-J, SQ-J and CM-J significantly correlated with both impedance ratios and phase angles (for whole body and limbs). In conclusion, raw BIA variables such as impedance ratio and phase angle significantly change in Cross-Fit® athletes compared to controls and also exhibit significant relationships with physical fitness.

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