Less body fat improves physical and physiological performance in Army Soldiers

Kim Crawford, Katelyn Fleishman, John P. Abt, Timothy C. Sell, Mita Lovalekar, Takashi Nagai, Jennifer Deluzio, Russell S. Rowe, Mark A. McGrail, Scott M. Lephart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare physical and physiological fi tness test performance between Soldiers meeting the Department of Defense (DoD) body fat standard (=18%) and those exceeding the standard (<18%). Ninety-nine male 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Soldiers were assigned to group 1: =18% body fat (BF) or group 2: >18% BF. Groups 1 and 2 had similar amounts of fat-free mass (FFM) (66.8 ± 8.2 vs. 64.6 ± 8.0, p = 177). Each subject performed a Wingate cycle protocol to test anaerobic power and capacity, an incremental treadmill maximal oxygen uptake test for aerobic capacity, isokinetic tests for knee fl exion/extension and shoulder internal/external rotation strength, and the Army Physical Fitness Test. Results showed group 1: =18% BF performed signifi cantly better on 7 of the 10 fi tness tests. In Soldiers with similar amounts of FFM, Soldiers with less body fat had improved aerobic and anaerobic capacity and increased muscular strength. Copyright (c) Association of Military Surgeons of the US. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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