Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 3 > Mechanical Scale and Load Cell Underwater Weighing: A Compar...
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e99c2d
Original Research

Mechanical Scale and Load Cell Underwater Weighing: A Comparison of Simultaneous Measurements and the Reliability of Methods

Moon, Jordan R1; Stout, Jeffrey R2; Walter, Ashley A3; Smith, Abbie E2; Stock, Matt S3; Herda, Trent J3; Sherk, Vanessa D4; Young, Kaelin C4; Lockwood, Christopher M2; Kendall, Kristina L2; Fukuda, David H2; Graef, Jennifer L2; Cramer, Joel T3; Beck, Travis W3; Esposito, Enrico N5

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Moon, JR, Stout, JR, Walter, AA, Smith, AE, Stock, MS, Herda, TJ, Sherk, VD, Young, KC, Lockwood, CM, Kendall, KL, Fukuda, DH, Graef, JL, Cramer, JT, Beck, TW, and Esposito, EN. Mechanical scale and load cell underwater weighing: a comparison of simultaneous measurements and the reliability of methods. J Strength Cond Res 25(3): 652-661, 2011-Both load cell and mechanical scale-based hydrostatic weighing (HW) systems are used for the measurement of underwater weight. However, there has been no direct comparison of the 2 methods. The purpose of the current investigation was to simultaneously compare a load cell and mechanical scale for use in HW. Twenty-seven men and women (mean ± SD, age: 22 ± 2 years) participated in the 2-day investigation. Each subject completed 2 HW assessments 24 hours apart. Single-day comparisons of all trials for both days revealed no significant difference between the mechanical scale and the load cell (mean difference < 0.016 kg, p > 0.05). True underwater weight values were not significantly different between methods for either days (mean difference < 0.014 kg, p > 0.05) and accounted for a mean difference in percent fat (%FAT) of <0.108%. The 95% limits of agreement indicated a maximum difference between methods of 0.53% FAT. Both methods produced similar reliability SEM values (mechanical SEM < 0.72%FAT, load cell SEM < 0.75%FAT). In conclusion, there was no difference between mechanical scale and load cell measurements of underwater weights and the added precision of the load cell only marginally (<0.16%FAT) improved day-to-day reliability. Either a mechanical scale or load cell can be used for HW with similar accuracy and reliability in young adults with a body mass index of 18.7-34.4 (5-25%FAT).

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association



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