Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Chomentowski, Peter J.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KNPE)


Body composition quantification in athletics can be used as a tool for developing a training program and monitoring progress in developing ideal body composition for optimal performance. Commonly, athletes are concerned with the amount of fat free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) they have, since those variables have been commonly linked to reduced performance and increased injury risks. The game of football is constantly evolving and so is the need for players to be bigger, stronger, and faster. Most research has investigated the body composition changes in football players as a whole team during an off-season, however few have observed changes that may occur within different teams and positions during an in-season period. PURPOSE: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the changes in body composition in Division I collegiate football players throughout one in-season period as a whole team and grouped by a traveling team (TT) and development team (TT). The body composition variables focused on in the present study were FFM and FM. Additionally, we investigated changes in body weight (lbs.), skeletal muscle mass (lbs.), body mass index (BMI), and body fat percentage. METHODS: One hundred and five college males were recruited to participate in the present study. Of the 105 participants recruited, twenty-eight participants were excluded for not having the appropriate body composition scans (n=27) and not completing a consent form (n=1). The remaining participants were grouped into a TT (n=46) and DT (n=31) as established by the coaching staff. Within each team, participants were divided into sub-groups based on their positions (Big, Mid, and Skill). Overall, participants for the TT were 20.6 (± 1.1) years old with 3.1 (± 1.1) years of experience on the football team. Within the DT, participants were 18.3 (± 0.5) years old with 1.2 (± 0.5) years in the football program. All body composition quantification scans were conducted using the InBody 770 at the football team’s athletic facilities. Participants followed the athletic training plan developed and implemented by the Director of Sports Performance for Football. Interactions were determined using a three-way mixed measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) and follow-up pairwise comparisons. All significance was set at p < 0.05, unless otherwise noted. RESULTS: No statistically significant three-way interactions were found between time, team, and position on any body composition variables collected. Within the TT, a statistically significant two-way interaction between time and weight was observed (p = 0.001) and between time and BMI (p= 0.002). Conversely on the DT, there was a statistically significant two-way interaction between time and FFM (p= 0.001) and between time and SMM (p=0.0001). CONCLUSION: The findings of the present study suggest the importance of implementing effective training programs to negate the loss of FFM and increase in FM seen in players on a TT, but also implementing effective training plans to increase FFM and decrease FM for players on a DT.

Keywords: football players, body composition, BIA, collegiate athletics


60 pages




Northern Illinois University

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