Law enforcement agencies often test the fitness performance and body composition of incoming recruits. This study investigated the relationships between whole and segmental body composition, and fitness tests in law enforcement recruits. A retrospective analysis of 72 male and 11 female recruits was performed. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) variables were: lean mass (LM), upper-extremity lean mass (UELM), trunk LM, lower-extremity lean mass (LELM), fat mass (FM), upper-extremity fat mass (UEFM), trunk FM, and lower-extremity fat mass (LEFM). Fitness tests included: vertical jump (VJ), peak anaerobic power (PAPw), 75-yard pursuit run (75PR), push-ups, sit-ups, 2-kg medicine ball throw (MBT), and the multi-stage fitness test (MSFT). Partial correlations and ANCOVAs between quartiles assessed relationships between body composition and performance. Significant moderate-to-large relationships were found; LM, UELM, trunk LM, LELM all related to PAPw (r = 0.500-0.558) and MBT (r = 0.494-0.526). FM, UEFM, trunk FM, LEFM all related to VJ (r = -0.481 to -0.493), 75PR (r = 0.533-0.557), push-ups (r = -0.484 to -0.503), sit-ups (r = -0.435 to -0.449), and MSFT (r = -0.371 to -0.423). The highest LM quartile (4) had superior PAPw and MBT than LM quartiles 1-3. Higher FM quartiles performed poorer in VJ, push-ups, and sit-ups. The 75PR quartiles 2, 3, and 4 were slower than quartile 1, and MSFT quartile 4 completed less shuttles. Total and segmental measures of LM and FM shared the same relationships; lower FM and higher LM related to better performance. Monitoring body composition could help guide training to optimize performance.
|Journal||International Journal of Exercise Science|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Jan 2022|