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The Importance of Testing Body Composition in Sports



The Importance of Testing Body Composition in Sports

Athletes ask a lot from their bodies. They push themselves to the limit and do what they can to operate at peak performance. Overall health and fitness are incredibly important in athletic success.

Whether you’re chasing the next level of success or you’re trying to get back into your sport of choice, you have goals you’re working toward. Working toward athletic goals requires baseline knowledge of your body. Testing your body composition can be an important step in boosting your performance and safely getting into shape.


What is Body Composition?

Body composition refers to the ratios that make up your body. When testing body composition, the goal is to figure out the percentage of body fat to “lean tissue,” which includes muscles, bones, organs, and even water. Since athletes need more lean tissue than fat, body composition testing can be important for creating training programs and nutrition plans.


Why Base Testing Matters

Base testing for body composition and other physical fitness markers simply means getting data that can be referenced later to track progress. You can’t see how far you’ve come unless you know where you started! Base testing allows coaches and athletes to create goals and training plans.

Ongoing body composition testing is helpful for athletes, but it’s especially important for athletes who are back in the game after being sedentary, such as after an injury. Base testing will provide a reference point to use in the training process.


How Testing Body Composition Can Help Improve Performance

Weighing yourself as you work on getting yourself in shape isn’t a true measure of your progress. Weight can only tell you so much. Even if the number on the scale isn’t changing much, you can still be gaining muscle and losing fat.

Body composition testing, on the other hand, can help you see how much progress you’re making. By monitoring your body composition, you can get a more accurate idea of where you are and how far you have to go. Ultimately, this will help you improve your performance because you can fine-tune your training protocols and diet based on your baseline and ongoing results.


How to Test Your Body Composition

Measuring your body composition is more complicated than stepping on a scale. Usually, you will need to visit a provider with specialized equipment. This is the biggest limiting factor for athletes who want to use body composition in their training plans.

Some body composition testing methods involve displacement of air or water. The athlete steps into a tank or pod and the amount of displacement provides information on their body composition. Other methods involve low levels of electrical current or radiation to test body composition.


Is Testing Body Composition Practical?

Athletes can benefit from body composition tests, but is it realistic to monitor your fitness in this way? Depending on your situation, it can be. If you’re working at an elite level, tiny changes in your body composition could make all the difference in competition. If you’re just playing for fun, then getting body composition tests might not be practical.

In sports, the goal is to unlock peak performance and see what the body is capable of doing. With body composition testing, athletes have another tool for improving their performance and reaching higher levels of success.


We hope you enjoyed the article ‘The Importance of Testing Body Composition in Sports.’ Have you tested your body composition before? Let us know!


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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