Services on Demand
- Similars in SciELO
Print version ISSN 1517-8692
Rev Bras Med Esporte vol.18 no.1 São Paulo Jan./Feb. 2012
EXERCISE AND SPORTS SCIENCES
Leonardo Vidal AndreatoI,II; Emerson FranchiniI; Solange Marta Franzói de MoraesII; João Victor Del Conti EstevesII; Juliana Jacques PastórioII; Thaís Vidal AndreatoII; Tricy Lopes de Moraes GomesII; José Luiz Lopes VieiraII
IUniversity of São Paulo - USP, São Paulo, SP
IIState University of Maringá - UEM; Maringá-PR
Athletes from many sports that are categorized by body mass tend to reduce it to fit in lower categories. Such reduction can compromise the athlete's performance and health. In order to determine the most appropriate category, the body composition is highly relevant, especially to avoid excessive reduction. Thus, this study analyzed the morphological profile of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu elite athletes. The sample was composed of 11 athletes, aged 25.8 ± 3.3 years, medalists in national and/or international competitions. The analysis was performed to determine the anthropometric body composition and somatotype. Body fat percentage from this population was 10.3 ± 2.6 % fat, a high percentage of muscle mass (61.3 ± 1.5 %), and predominant mesomorphic component (5.5 ± 1.0) was observed. The points of highest and lowest fat accumulation were respectively abdominal (15.7 ± 6.3 mm) and chest (6.8 ± 1.5 mm) regions. It can be concluded that athletes from this sport showed higher body mass during the preparatory period than in competitive conditions (4.4 ± 2.4 %); however, they showed low body fat, high muscle mass percentage and predominant mesomorphic component.
Keywords: high performance, anthropometry, physical evaluation.
It is crucial to know the body composition in combat sports modalities in order to control and define the weight category. Moreover, higher body fat percentage is negatively correlated with performance in locomotion and technical entrance activities1,2. Some studies distinguish different competitive levels in athletes concerning their body composition, reporting that athletes of lower competitive level present higher fat mass percentage3. Thus, the maximization of the lean mass percentage within the upper threshold of a weight category could provide advantages to an athlete on his/her physical performance4.
In order to fit in a given category, many athletes of combat sports modalities adopt weight loss5-8, making use of different methods and can refer to caloric restriction, hydric restriction, dehydration by saunas, running wearing clothes which decrease heat exchange with the environment, use of plastic outfits, use of diuretic, laxative and/or stimulating medication, as well as vomiting induction. These methods can cause decrease in physical performance, negatively affect the cognitive aspect, damage health and even cause death6,9,10.
Many studies have tried to investigate the effects of the body mass reduction on performance11-15, the anthropometric alterations8,12,15, the humoral responses7,16,17, the cognitive effects9 and physiological responses11, differentiating the reduction method into gradual and fast18,19.
Since the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport in which the athletes are divided in nine weight categories, besides the category termed absolute20, they use body mass reduction to fit in the upper threshold of a given category. Steen and Brownell21, in a study with North-American Olympic wrestling athletes (n = 63), mentioned that 41% of the athletes reported weight fluctuations from 5.0 to 9.1kg in one week. Brito et al.22 investigated 120 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters (14 women and 106 men) aged 21.4 ± 5.3 years, in pre-competitive season, and identified that 29% of them adopted some kind of fast reduction of pre-competition body mass. However, until the present moment no indication of the magnitude of body mass reduction in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes has been found in the literature.
Generally speaking, the athletes of domain combat sports modalities have presented body fat below the population mean 4,16,23. Specifically concerning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Del Vecchio et al.24 reported that the modality's athletes (n = 7) presented values of 9.8 ± 4,2% of body fat.
Besides the body composition in the fight modalities, Carter and Heath25 suggest that the somatotype and sports success are positively correlated. In combat sports modalities, the mesomorphy component has been highlighted as the most relevant for performance4,26, allowing in fact identifying athletes of different performance levels27. Nevertheless, little is known about the somatotypology in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes and only one study24 which reported predominant mesomorphic component in this population was found (n = 7; 7.9 ± 1.4).
Considering the previous information and since Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not a sport extensively studied concerning anthropometric aspects, the present study had the aim to analyze the morphological profile presented by elite athletes of this sport.
The sample of this research was composed of 11 male elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes, aged 25.8 ± 3.3 years, from the male adult category, with brown and black belt graduations. In order to fit into this group, they have been medalists in national and/or international competitions. Out of these athletes, one was from the feather category (up to 67kg), four from the light category (up to 73kg), three from the middleweight category (up to 79kg), two from the heavy category (up to 91kg), and one from the super heavy category (up to 97kg).
All subjects, after having been informed about the procedures to which they would be submitted to, signed a Free and Clarified Consent Form. Subsequently, data were collected in the Laboratory of Exertion Physiology (Labfise) of the State University of Maringá (UEM), between August 1st and 17th September, 2008. In that period, the athletes were in preparation season. This work research was approved by the Permanent Ethics in Research with Humans Committee (COPEP) of the State University of Maringá, legal resolution # 175/2007.
The athletes had their weight (body mass) checked on a Filizola® scale with 0.1kg precision, and height was determined on a Seca® stadiometer with 0.1cm precision, according to protocol by Lohman et al.28. After the weight and height values were set, the body mass index (MBI) was determined by the use of the body mass/stature2 quotient (kg/m2).
The thorax, waist, abdomen, hip, forearm, thigh and leg perimeters were obtained following the techniques described by Lohmanet al.28, except for the relaxed arm perimeters, in which the widest circumference and perimeter of the relaxed arm were considered, which were measured on the point of biggest volume, at the end of a maximum biceps voluntary contraction. All perimeters were determined with a Seca® measuring tape with 0.1cm precision. The bone diameters of the femoral bicondyle and humeral bicondyle were obtained with a pachimeter with 0.1cm precision, according to the description by Lohmanet al.28.
The skinfolds were determined (chest, mid-axillary, tricipital, subscapular, abdominal, suprailiac and mid-thigh) three times, using the mean value, following standardization by Lohman et al.28. The Harpenden plicometer (John Bull British Indicators®, England) with constant pressure of 10g/mm and 0.2mm precision was used.
From the skinfolds thickness, the body density (BD) was determined by the formula by Jackson and Pollock29:
where ∑7SFT is the sum of the thickness of seven skinfolds (chest, mid-axillary, tricipital, subscapular, abdominal, suprailiac and thigh).
Once the body density was set, the Siri equation30 was used for body composition estimation:
Where %F is the body fat percentage.
Muscle mass (MM) was estimated by the equation proposed by Martin et al.31:
Where H is height, PT is the thigh perimeter corrected by the thigh skinfold thickness, PFA is the forearm perimeter and PC is the calf perimeter corrected by the skinfold thickness of the mid-leg, and all measurements were in centimeters. The thigh and calf perimeters were corrected by subtraction of the values found by the π value multiplied by the respective skinfolds thickness.
The somatotype was obtained using the proposal by Carter and Heath25 which considers body mass, stature, bone diameters (humeral and femoral bicondyles), perimeters (contracted arm and mid-leg), and skinfolds thickness (tricipital, subscapular, suprailiac and mid-leg).
The data obtained were statistically analyzed in the Excel® program and presented as mean, standard deviation (SD), mean standard error of the mean(SEM), confidence interval of 95% (CI95%) and amplitude (minimum and maximum values).
The anthropometric characteristics of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes are presented in table 1. The great variations concerning body mass (83.1 ± 8.7kg) and stature (180.1 ± 6.5cm) are mainly due to the different competitive categories of these athletes.
The results indicated low body fat level; however, with great variation between the extreme values. The points of highest and lowest accumulation were the abdominal and chest regions, respectively. The athletes presented mesomorphic component and high muscle mass percentage.
Body composition is an essential component for the control and definition of the weight categories in combat sports modalities.However, few studies have investigated the morphological profile of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes. Thus, the main difficulty when analyzing the results found in studies with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters is the lack of indicators in studies published in indexed journals. Therefore, due to this limitation, data obtained in similar modalities (judo and Olympic wresting) were used to perform possible comparisons.
Another difficulty in the data analysis is that there is no homogeneity concerning the training period of the athletes, the equation for estimation of the body density, the equation for estimation of body fat percentage and, whenever the skinfolds thickness method was adopted, the kind of calipers.
However, concerning the method of body composition measurement, the majority of the studies uses the skinfolds thickness method for body density estimation. This study adopted the Jackson and Pollock29 equation, originally developed for individuals aged between 18 and 61 years. Although this equation is has not been sensitive to identify slight alterations in body composition of judo fighters submitted to weight loss32, it has been widely used in studies with combat sports modalities athletes4,26 and other athletes33,34.
Despite these limitations, a comparison of the results of this study with results obtained in other studies involving fighters is presented in table 2.
The results found are in agreement with previous studies which state that domain combat practitioners present fat percentage below the population mean4,16,23. When the athletes in this study are compared with studies involving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters and others from similar modalities, it can be observed that they are within the mean presented by this population, and the lowest and highest values of fat percentage were 7.3%16 and 15.0%14, respectively. When the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes are analyzed in isolation, great similarity is found in the obtained results in comparison with those reported by Del Vecchio et al.24 (~10%).
Divinding the athletes from the same nationality1,2,24, with the purpose to discard possible ethnic differences, similarities between the results in this study and in the study by Del Vecchio et al.24 and Franchini et al.2, were found; however, with discrepancy when compared with the judo fighters from the college judo team (n = 13; ~14%)1.
The point of highest fat accumulation in the present sample was the abdominal region. Elite judo fighters (n = 43; 15.8 ± 11.5mm) and non-elite ones (n = 93; 15,4 ± 10,7mm)38 presented similar values in addition to have presented the abdominal region as the point of highest body fat accumulation. Such fat accumulation in the central region is common in the male gender, which presents the android model as fat distribution characteristic, especially concerning hormone characteristics39.
The BMI analyzed in isolation classifies the athletes as presenting overweight. However, this classification is not the best to be used for athletes, since only considers body mass and stature and does not identify the body composition constituents. Predominant values of high muscle mass and low body fat level mesomorphy indicate that this high BMI is a product of remarkable muscle mass development found in fighters of the present study.
Carter and Heath25 suggest that somatotype and sports success are positively correlated. In domain combat sports modalities, the mesomorphy component has been highlighted as the most relevant for performance4,26, allowing also the discrimination of athletes of different performance levels27. Therefore, our results concerning somatotype indicate that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters present predominant mesomorphic component.
A somatotipological comparison between the results in this study and others involving fighters is illustrated in table 3.
When the result in this study is compared with other studies involving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters and fighters of similar modalities (judo and Olympic wrestling) it can be seen that the athletes in this study presented the highest mesomorphic component value. In the other studies, the lowest mesomorphy value found was 5.6 in judo fighters from a lighter category (n = 18)40; conversely, the highest value was 7.9 in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes (n = 7)24.
The athletes were evaluated in preparatory season, and it was observed that all of them were above the upper threshold of body mass in their categories (4.4 ± 2.4%), with amplitude range between 1.0% and 9.2%. These values are compatible with what was reported in other modalities such as Olympic wrestling6,21,42. The fact that the athletes were above the upper threshold of the competitive category deserves attention, since fast decrease in body mass in order to fit in their categories may bring damage to health43 and harm performance44, especially due to the fact that these athletes present fat mass compatible with the indications for fighters and predominant mesomorphic component. Thus, strategies that restrain remarkable reduction which were successful in other combat sports modalities45,46 should be implemented among high performance Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes. In addition to that, further investigation is necessary in order to identify the profile of athletes of this modality, since there is a low number of studies involving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu22,24,47.
It can be concluded that the elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes present fat mass percentage within the recommendation for this population, high muscle mass and predominant mesomorphic component. Although the elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes present this morphological profile, since the training period corresponds to the preparatory season, they presented body mass higher than the upper threshold of their competitive categories, indicating hence the need to refer to body mass reduction in order to fit in their competitive categories.
The researchers Leonardo Vidal Andreato, João Victor Del Conti Esteves and Juliana Jacques Pastório thank the CNPQ and CAPES organs for scholarships.
1. Franchini E, Takito MY, Bertuzzi RCM. Morphological, physiological and technical variables in high-level college judoists. Arch Budo 2005;1:1-7. [ Links ]
2. Franchini E, Nunes AV, Moraes JM, Del Vecchio FB. Physical fitness and anthropometrical profile of the Brazilian male judo team. J Physiol Anthropol 2007;26:59-67. [ Links ]
3. Kubo J, Chishaki T, Nakamura N, Muramatsu T, Yamamoto Y, Ito M, et al. Differences in fat-free mass and muscle thicknesses at various sites according to performance level among judo athletes. J Strength Cond Res 2006;20:654-7. [ Links ]
4. Franchini E, Matsushigue KA, Vecchio FB, Artioli GG. Physiological profiles of elite judo athletes. Sports Med 2011;41:147-66. [ Links ]
5. Kordi R, Ziaee V, Rostami M, Wallace WA. Patterns of weight loss and supplement consumption of male wrestlers in Tehran. Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol 2011;12;3:4. [ Links ]
6. Artioli GG, Gualano B, Franchini E, Scagliusi FB, Takesian M, Fuchs M, et al. Prevalence, magnitude, and methods of rapid weight loss among judo competitors. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2010;42:436-42. [ Links ]
7. Timpman S, Ööpik V, Pääsuke M, Medijainen L, Ereline J. Acute effects of self-selected regimen of rapid body mass loss in combat sports athletes. J Sports Sci Med 2008;7:210-7. [ Links ]
8. Ransone J, Hughes B. Body-Weight Fluctuation in Collegiate Wrestlers: Implications of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Weight-Certification Program. J Athl Train 2004;39:162-5. [ Links ]
9. Filaire E, Maso F, Degoutte F, Jouanel P, Lac G. Food Restriction, Performance, Psychological State and Lipid Values in Judo Athletes. Int J Sports Med 2001;22:454-9. [ Links ]
10. Rivera-Brown AM, Lebron LE, De Felix-Davila RA. Effects Of Dehydration On Anaerobic Performance In Adolescent Judo Athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2005;37:464, Suplemento. [ Links ]
11. Artioli GG, Iglesias RT, Franchini E, Gualano B, Kashiwagura DB, Solis MY, et al. Rapid weight loss followed by recovery time does not affect judo-related performance. J Sports Sci 2010;28:21-32. [ Links ]
12. Buford TW, Smith DB, Obrien MS, Warren AJ, Rossi SJ. Seasonal changes of body mass, body composition, and muscular performance in collegiate wrestlers. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2008;3:176-84. [ Links ]
13. Rankin JW, Ocel JV, Craft LL. Effect of weight loss and refeeding diet composition on anaerobic performance in wrestlers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1996;28:1292-9. [ Links ]
14. Degoutte F, Jouanel P, Bègue RJ, Colombier M, Lac G, Pequignot JM, et al. Food Restriction, performance, Biochemical, Psychological, and Endocrine Changes In Judo Athletes. Int J Sports Med 2006;27:1-9. [ Links ]
15. Maccargar LJ, Crawford SM. Metabolic and anthropometric changes with weight cycling in wrestlers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1992;24:1270-5. [ Links ]
16. Kraemer WJ, Fry AC, Rubin MR, Triplett-Mcbride T, Gordon SE, Perry KL, et al. Physiological and performance responses to tournament wrestling. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2001;33:1367-78. [ Links ]
17. Kowatari K, Umeda T, Shimoyama T, Nakaji S, Yamamoto Y, Sugawara K. Exercise training and energy restriction decrease neutrophil phagocytic activity in judoists. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2001;33:519-24. [ Links ]
18. Yankanich J, Kenney WL, Fleck SJ, Kraemer WJ. Precompetition Weight Loss and Changes in Vascular Fluid Volume in NCAA Division I College Wrestlers. J Strength Cond Res 1998;12:138-45. [ Links ]
19. Fogelholm GM, Koskinen R, Laakso J, Rankinen T, Ruokomo I. Gradual an rapid weight loss: effects on nutrition and performance in male athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1993;25:371-7. [ Links ]
21. Steen SN, Brownell KD. Patterns of weight loss andregain in wrestlers: has the tradition changed? Med Sci Sports Exerc 1990;22:762-8. [ Links ]
22. Brito CJ, Souza ER, Roa FCM. Prevalência de Estratégias de Rápida Redução de Massa Corporal em Lutadores de Jiu-Jítsu. Sistema Online de Apoio a Congressos do CBCE, XVI Congresso Brasileiro de Ciências do Esporte e III Congresso Internacional de Ciências do Esporte, 2009. Disponível em: http://www.rbceonline.org.br. Acesso em 28 de agosto de 2009. [ Links ]
23. Barbas I, Fatouros IG, Douroudos II, Chatzinikolaou A, Michailidis Y, Draganidis D, et al. Physiological and performance adaptations of elite Greco-Roman wrestlers during a one-day tournament. Eur J Appl Physiol 2010;16. [ Links ]
24. Del Vecchio FB, Bianchi S, Hirata SM, Chacon-Mikahili MPT. Análise morfo-funcional de praticantes de brazilian jiu-jitsu e estudo da temporalidade e da quantificação das ações motoras na modalidade. Movimento e Percepção 2007;7:263-81. [ Links ]
25. Carter JEL, Heath BH. Somatotyping: development and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. [ Links ]
26. Yoon J. Physiological profiles of elite senior wrestlers. Sports Med 2002;32:225-33. [ Links ]
27. Gualdi-Russo E, Graziani I. Anthropometric somatotype of Italian Sport participants. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1993;33:282-91. [ Links ]
28. Lohman TG, Roche AF, Martorell R. Anthropometric Standardization Reference Manual, Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois, 1988. [ Links ]
29. Jackson AS, Pollock ML. Generalized equations for predicting body density of men. Br J Nutr 1978;40:497-504. [ Links ]
30. Siri WE. Body composition from fluid spaces and density. In: Brozek J, Henschel A. (Eds.).Techniques for measuring body composition. Washington: National Academy of Science, 1961, p.223-244. [ Links ]
31. Martin AD, Spenst LF, Drinkwater DT, Clarys JP. Anthropometric estimation of muscle mass in men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1990;22:729-33. [ Links ]
32. Silva AM, Fields DA, Quitério AL, Sardinha LB. Are Skinfold-Based Models Accurate and Suitable for Assessing Changes in Body Composition in Highly Trained Athletes? J Strength Cond Res 2009;23:1688-96. [ Links ]
33. Schneider CD, Silveira MM, Moreira JCF, Belló-Klein A, Oliveira AR. Efeito do exercício de ultrarresistência sobre parâmetros de estresse oxidativo. Rev Bras Med Esporte 2009;15:89-92. [ Links ]
34. Reis VB, Seelaender MCL, Rossi L. Impacto da desidratação na geração de força de atletas de arco e flecha durante competição Indoor e Outdoor. Rev Bras Med Esporte 2010;16:431-5. [ Links ]
35. Callister R, Callister RJ, Staron RS, Fleck SJ, Tesch P, Dudley GA. Physiological characteristics of elite judo athletes. Int J Sports Med 1991;12:196-203. [ Links ]
36. Vardar SA, Tezel S, Öztürk L, Kaya O. The relationship between body composition and anaerobic performance of elite young wrestlers. J Sports Sci Med 2007;6:34-8. [ Links ]
37. Thomas SG, Cox MH, Legal YM, Verde TJ, Smith HK. Physiological profiles of the Canadian National Judo Team. Can J Sport Sci 1989;14:142-7. [ Links ]
38. Franchini E, Takito MY, Kiss MAPDM, Sterkowicz S. Physical fitness and anthropometrical differences between elite and non-elite judo players. Biol Sport 2005;22:315-28. [ Links ]
39. Blouin K, Boivin A, Tchernof A. Androgens and body fat distribution. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2008;108:272-80. [ Links ]
40. Claessens A, Beunen G, Wellens R, Geldof G. Somatotype and body structure of world top judoists. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1987;27:105-13. [ Links ]
41. Farmosi I. Body composition, somatotype, and some motor performance of judoists. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1980;20:431-4. [ Links ]
42. Kiningham RB, Gorenflo DW. Weight loss methods of high school wrestlers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2001;33:810-3. [ Links ]
43. Green CM, Petrou MJ, Fogarty-Hover ML, Rolf CG. Injuries among judokas during competition. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2007;17:205-10. [ Links ]
44. Oppliger RA, Case HS, Horswill CA, Landry GL, Shelter AC. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Weight loss in wrestlers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1996;28:ix-xii. [ Links ]
45. Oppliger RA, Landry GL, Foster SW, Lambrecht AC. Wisconsin minimum weight program reduces weight-cutting practices of high school wrestlers. Clin J Sport Med 1998;8:26-31. [ Links ]
46. Artioli GG, Franchini E, Nicastro H, Sterkowicz S, Solis MY, Lancha Junior AH. The need of a weight management control program in judo: a proposal based on the successful case of wrestling. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2010;7:15. [ Links ]
47. Vidal Andreato L, Franzói de Moraes SM, Lopes de Moraes Gomes T, Del Conti Esteves JV, Vidal Andreato T, Franchini E. Estimated aerobic power, muscular strength and flexibility in elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes. Science & Sports 2011 dez;26(6):32937. [ Links ]
Mailing address: All authors have declared there is not any potential conflict of
interests concerning this article.
Departamento de Ciências Fisiológicas - Laboratório de Fisiologia do Esforço
Av. Colombo, 5.790, bloco H-79, sala 109 - 87020-900 Maringá, PR
All authors have declared there is not any potential conflict of interests concerning this article.