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Effects of Body Fat and Dominant Somatotype on Explosive Strength and Aerobic Capacity Trainability in Prepubescent Children

Marta, Carlos C.1,2; Marinho, Daniel A.2,3; Barbosa, Tiago M.2,4; Carneiro, André L.2,5; Izquierdo, Mikel6; Marques, Mário C.2,3

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: December 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 12 - p 3233–3244
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000252
Original Research

Abstract: Marta, CC, Marinho, DA, Barbosa, TM, Carneiro, AL, Izquierdo, M, and Marques, MC. Effects of body fat and dominant somatotype on explosive strength and aerobic capacity trainability in prepubescent children. J Strength Cond Res 27(12): 3233–3244, 2013—The purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of body fat and somatotype on explosive strength and aerobic capacity trainability in the prepubertal growth spurt, marked by rapid changes in body size, shape, and composition, all of which are sexually dimorphic. One hundred twenty-five healthy children (58 boys, 67 girls), aged 10–11 years (10.8 ± 0.4 years), who were self-assessed in Tanner stages 1–2, were randomly assigned into 2 experimental groups to train twice a week for 8 weeks: strength training group (19 boys, 22 girls), endurance training group (21 boys, 24 girls), and a control group (18 boys, 21 girls). Evaluation of body fat was carried out using the method described by Slaughter. Somatotype was computed according to the Heath-Carter method. Increased endomorphy reduced the likelihood of vertical jump height improvement (odds ratio [OR], 0.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01–0.85), increased mesomorphy (OR, 6.15; 95% CI, 1.52–24.88) and ectomorphy (OR, 6.52; 95% CI, 1.71–24.91) increased the likelihood of sprint performance, and increased ectomorphy (OR, 3.84; 95% CI, 1.20–12.27) increased the likelihood of aerobic fitness gains. Sex did not affect the training-induced changes in strength or aerobic fitness. These data suggest that somatotype has an effect on explosive strength and aerobic capacity trainability, which should not be disregarded. The effect of adiposity on explosive strength, musculoskeletal magnitude on running speed, and relative linearity on running speed and aerobic capacity seem to be crucial factors related to training-induced gains in prepubescent boys and girls.

1Department of Sport Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Guarda (IPG), Guarda, Portugal;

2Research Center in Sports, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Covilhã, Portugal;

3Department of Sport Sciences, University of Beira Interior (UBI), Covilhã, Portugal;

4Department of Sport Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Bragança, Portugal;

5Department of Sport Sciences, University of Montes Claros-Unimontes, Montes Claros, Brazil; and

6Department of Health Sciences, Public University of Navarre, Navarre, Spain

Address correspondence to Mikel Izquierdo, mikel.izquierdo@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.