Wrestling: Is There a Science to Cutting Weight?

Anyone who has any familiarity with wrestling knows two things. Wrestlers are hard workers and they’re known to cut weight. I wrestled at the weight class 126 for my first three years in high school and my senior year I wrestled at 132. My freshman year I never had to cut weight and my sophomore year it was about four to five pounds every week. This is very minimal. The big jump was my junior year, where I started out weighing about 150 and had to descend to 126. I knew nothing about cutting weight and I Yo-yo’d every week . “Yo-yoing” means making your weight and then you eat/drink so much your weight shoots up to it’s natural weight. I was miserable and didn’t know how to get the weight down in a healthy way so I could compete at my best.

Over the off season between my junior and senior year in high school I began experimenting  I had gained quite a bit of weight (155) and began to worry. I decided I was going to wrestle 132, so I was a little relieved I didn’t have more to cut than what I was doing previously. Throughout the summer I learned a lot about what foods to eat and not eat and broke it down to a science. Six small meals a day with 34 ounces of water daily. Here’s a sample day for meals. 1)  Low fat  oz Muscle Milk and half an apple 2) Cliff bar 3) half a ham sandwich on whole wheat bread, 7 almonds, 8 oz water 4) Low fat 8 oz Muscle Milk 5) Half an apple, 7 almonds, 8 oz water 6) Small salad, 6 oz chicken breast, 17 oz water. This doesn’t seem like much, but with discipline it makes a difference. I went from not eating two days before a meet to having a full meal the night before weigh ins. The following article is part of one of many websites that taught me how to cut weight healthily

I’ve looked for a study specific to this topic ,however I couldn’t find something close to it. I believe it could be easily conducted. It would be an experimental study, because you’re manipulating the independent variable, which would be the method of cutting weight.  The dependent variable would be performance on the mat. The data could be recorded simply win and loss or by how many points scored, pins, etc. The control group would be wrestling who do not have to cut weight. There would be two experimental groups. The first would be wrestlers who cut weight by yo-yoing and eating responsibly and the second would be wrestlers restricted to a diet of six small,healthy meals a day. I believe that the wrestlers put on a restricted diet would have the best results.

This topic may seem foreign to many people, however to wrestlers it’s very important. Cutting weight the wrong way may have impacts on other things on a day to day basis such as sleep, grades, and interaction with family and friends. I hope there are a few of you who can relate to this and those completely new I’d like to read feedback.



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1 thought on “Wrestling: Is There a Science to Cutting Weight?

  1. Jackson Grey Hope

    I personally was not a wrestler but a lot of my friends in High School were forced to cut a large amount of weight in a short period of time. I would often walk into the gym locker room bathroom and witness wrestlers making them puke and it made mw wonder why they would do that to themselves. Also, I realized some wrestlers would take water pills instead of consuming the liquid and some would even chew packs of gum and spit into water bottles to release the excess water weight. I would walk into the cardio room to see kids in winter jackets on the elliptical until they basically passed out. This seems extremely unhealthy to the body and now that I have read this article I’m sure ll wrestlers would appreciate this advice and for those that had to do it the unhealthy way, well, I feel for them. Here is an article from a coach’s perspective. He discusses how he made the mistake of cutting weight the wrong way and provides advice as well as encourages wrestlers to cut the right way. Check it out!

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