Introduction In sports which are weight classified and where the athletes attempt to reach certain weight limitations it is very important to monitor the body composition and body fluids. Relatively little is known regarding the physical changes during the preparatory period of karate athletes. The aim of the study was to compare anthropometrical and physiological variables in male karate Macedonian National Team before and after preparatory period.
Methods Eleven national level Macedonian male athletes from different weight categories were evaluated at baseline, before preparatory period and after three months, 1-5 days before competition. Body composition was assessed by bioelectrical impendence analyzer (BIA), In Body 720. Body weight, height, fat-free mass (FFM), fat mass (FM), fat percentage (BF%), body mass index (BMI), extracellular (ECT), intracellular (ICT) and total water (TW) were analysed.
Results Mean values of all analysed parameters before and after preparatory period were as follow: height = 181.95 cm vs. 181.36 cm; weight = 80.21 kg vs. 81.05 kg; ICW = 32.23 kg vs. 32.37 kg; ECW = 19.05 kg vs. 19.11 kg; TW = 51.27 kg vs. 51.48 kg; FFM = 69.87 kg vs. 70.25 kg; BF = 10.34 kg vs. 10.75 kg; BMI: 24.21 vs. 24.55; BF%: 12.73% vs. 13.22%. Statistically significant differences were found only for height, weight and BMI (p < 0.05).
Discussion Karate athletes usually try to maximise skeletal muscle mass and to minimise fat mass. The body fat percentage range of top level male karate athletes extends from approximately 7.5% for Japanese to 16.8% for Polish elite-level karate athletes (Imamura et al., 1997; Sterkowitch-Przbycien, 2010). Body fat percentage in our karate athletes was between 6% and 21%, with average value around 13%. The body weight was significantly higher at the end of the preparatory period. Nine athletes were found to increase and only 3 athletes to decrease their body mass. The FFM and percentage of body fat in our karate athletes was insignificantly higher after the preparatory period.
Sterkowitch-Przbycien KL. Body composition and somatotype of the top Polish male karate contestants. Biol Sport 2010;27:195–201.
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