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Evaluation of Multifrequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis in Assessing Body Composition of Wrestlers


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: February 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 2 - p 361-367
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181b2e8b4
Basic Sciences

Purpose: To evaluate the accuracy of multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (MFBIA) in assessing fat-free mass (FFM) in comparison with hydrostatic weighing (HW) and skinfolds (SK) in high school wrestlers in a hydrated state.

Methods: Body composition was determined by MFBIA, HW, and three-site SK in 72 high school wrestlers (mean ± SD; age = 15.3 ± 1.4 yr, height = 1.71 ± 0.08 m, body mass = 67.3 ± 13.4 kg). Hydration state was quantified by evaluating urine specific gravity.

Results: There were no significant differences for estimated FFM between MFBIA (57.2 ± 9.5 kg) and HW (57.0 ±10.1 kg) or SK (56.4 ± 8.8 kg). The SEE for FFM with HW as the reference method were 2.73 kg for MFBIA and 2.66 kg for SK. Correlations were found for FFM between HW and MFBIA (r = 0.96, P < 0.001) and between HW and SK (r = 0.97, P < 0.001). A systematic bias was found for MFBIA because the difference between MFBIA and HW correlated with the FFM average of the two methods (r = −0.22, P < 0.001). A bias was also seen between SK and HW and correlated with the FFM average (r = −0.47, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that MFBIA provides similar estimates of FFM when compared with HW in a heterogeneous high school wrestling population during a hydrated state. MFBIA is an attractive assessment tool, easy to use, and may be considered as an alternative field-based method of estimating the FFM of high school wrestlers.

Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Address for correspondence: Alan C. Utter, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM, Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608; E-mail:

Submitted for publication March 2009.

Accepted for publication June 2009.

©2010The American College of Sports Medicine