Cameron Matthew Horsfall1, Greg A. Ryan2, Hannah E. Ramirez1, Drew S. DeJohn1, Lucas Haaren1, Stephen J. Rossi1. 1Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA. 2Piedmont University, Demorest, GA.

BACKGROUND: The maximum amount of oxygen a body can use during exercise (VO2max) is an important indicator of cardiorespiratory fitness and overall athletic performance. Metabolic carts are a luxury that all levels of sport and athletics may not have the means to use. Body fat percentage (BF%) is something that is easily measurable by a professional and does not require tremendous amounts of time. Using BF%, it may be possible to predict VO2max levels in male soccer players of varying levels. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between BF% and VO2max values using two levels of male soccer players. METHODS: Thirty-six male (Professional: n=13; Collegiate: n=23) soccer players participated in this study. Each participant had three skinfold measurements (Chest, Abdomen, and Thigh) taken during preseason by trained exercise professionals. Each participant also ran a Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 2 that was conducted by strength and conditioning professionals. VO2max for each participant was calculated from the Yo-Yo results. Pearson correlations were run on all variables to determine their relationship. Additionally, a stepwise linear regression was calculated to potentially predict VO2max based on the BF% variables. Significance of relationships was calculated at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: A significant, negative, strong correlation was found between BF% (11.4 ± 6.1%) and VO2max (56.6 ± 3.3 ml/kg/min, r = 0.70; p < 0.01) among collegiate soccer players. A significant regression equation was found (F (1,21) = 19.48, p < 0.01) with an adjusted R2 of 0.46. The prediction equation was VO2max = 60.813 - 0.372(BF%). 95% Cis were [55.137, 57.984] and [-0.548, -0.197] respectively. BF% was not a significant predictor (p = 0.28) of VO2max in professional players. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the findings, BF% is a significant predictor of VO2max and may be useful in determining VO2max in collegiate soccer players. BF% could predict ~48% of the variance in VO2max in this group. However, the ability of BF% to predict VO2max does not appear to be evident in professional players. It is possible that age, the higher level of competition, or a variety of other factors may influence VO2max in professional soccer players.

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