• body composition;
  • fat-free mass;
  • multi-compartment models;
  • women

The purpose of this study was to compare percentage body fat (%BF) values of black female athletes calculated using the Heymsfield four-compartment (4C), Brozek two-compartment (2C) and Schutte models. Eleven collegiate athletes underwent total body water (TBW) assessment, hydrostatic weighing (HW) and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Repeated-measures ANOVA determined that the 4C model yielded %BF values (16·2 ± 1·5%) that were higher than the Brozek model (13·6 ± 1·7%) but similar to the Schutte model (16·7 ± 1·6%). The fat-free mass density of the athletes (1·109 ± 0·002 kg l–1) was significantly higher than the value 1·1 kg l–1 assumed by the 2C model. We conclude that in lean black female athletes, the Brozek 2C model under-estimates %BF, and that, if only HW is available, the Schutte model should be used to estimate %BF.