Body composition refers to the percentage of body mass that is comprised of fat and fat-free mass. A body composition assessment provides information beyond just your weight on the scale. This test will estimate the proportion of fat-free mass (bone and muscle) to fat mass in your body. The participant will be able to use this information to determine an optimal amount of fat loss while maximizing lean tissue. Body composition measurements are considered one of the best indicators of overall health, in conjunction with other measures. In the athletic arena, body composition may be one of the more important measures of modifiable outcomes that can be directly related to improved sport performance.
Underwater weighing uses the hydrodensitometry method and is generally regarded as the gold standard for body composition assessment. The participant is weighed while fully immersed in water. Fat-free mass is denser than water and causes an individual to weigh more underwater. After correcting for residual lung volume, the weight of a subject underwater can be used to estimate their body density. With the use of conversion equations it is possible to determine an individual’s body density, which can then be used to estimate percentage of body fat.