Proposal of a Normative Table for Classification of Body Fat Percentage in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athletes

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Beatriz de Souza Cerqueira; Mateus Baú Cerqueira; Willian Costa Ferreira; Fabiano Mendes de Oliveira;  Leonardo Vidal Andreato; Rubens Batista dos Santos-Junior; Pablo Valdés-Badilla & Braulio Henrique Magnani Branco


Previous evidence indicates that body fat can distinguish Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) athletes according to the competitive level. However, propositions of cut-off points for establishing classifications of body fat percentage for combat sports athletes and, specifically, for BJJ athletes are still incipient in the literature. In this sense, the main aim of the present study was to establish a normative table for the classification of body fat percentage in BJJ athletes. As a secondary aim, athletes were compared according to competitive level. Ninety male BJJ athletes (aged: 29.0 ± 8.2 years; practice time: 6.0 ± 2.1 years; body mass: 82.1 ± 12.7 kg; height: 175.9 ± 6.5 cm; fat mass: 16.0 ± 8.9 kg; bone mineral content: 3.7 ± 0.6 kg; muscle mass: 37.9 ± 5.4 kg; body fat percentage: 17.3 ± 6.8 %; basal metabolic rate: 1811.4 ± 193.4 kcal) from different competitive levels: state (n= 42), national (n= 26) and international (n= 22) took part in this study. All athletes had their body composition measured via tetrapolar bioelectrical impedance. Percentiles p10, p25, p50, p75, and p90 were used to establish the classification. As a result, the following classification was obtained: <7.7 % (very low); ≥7.7–11.5 % (low); 11.6–17.0 % (medium); 17.1–24.0 % (high) and ≥24.1 % (very high). State-level athletes had a higher fat percentage than national and international-level athletes (p<0.05). The proposed cut-off points can help professionals responsible for sports training and nutritional prescription in monitoring the body fat of BJJ athletes.

KEY WORDS: Martial arts; Sports performance; Combat sports; Body composition.

How to cite this article

CERQUEIRA, B. S.; CERQUEIRA, M. B.; FERREIRA, W. C.; DE OLIVEIRA, F. M.; ANDREATO, L. V.; DOS SANTOS- JUNIOR, R. B.; VALDÉS-BADILLA, P. & BRANCO, B. H. M. Proposal of a normative table for classification of body fat percentage in Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes. Int. J. Morphol., 40(1):57-61, 2022.