- Video of the Day
- Unhealthy Weight-Loss Tactics
- The Perils of Dehydration for Wrestlers
- Cut Calories to Drop Weight
- Creating Meals for Wrestler Weight Loss
- Determing Weight
- Losing Weight
- Cutting Weight
- Caloric Intake
- Video of the Day
- High School Classes
- Establishing a Minimum Weight
- Making the Weight
- Weighty Differences
- Eat Your Water – Drink Your Meals
- Load the Fiber – Fill Up Before You Fill Out
- Got Milk? Calcium Fights Fat
- Soy Good – The Other Calcium Source
- Go Nuts – Good Fat, Fiber and Protein
- Related Articles
- Unhealthy Weight Loss
- Effects of Unhealthy Weight Loss
- Healthy Weight Loss
- How to Lose Weight
- How the certification program will work-
- 1. Hydration Assessment.
- 2. Alpha Weight Determination.
- 3. Skin Fold Measurement.
- 4. Minimum Weight Class Certification.
- 5. Monitored Descent.
How Do Wrestlers Lose Weight So Fast?
Fasting, severe calorie restriction, excessive exercise and dehydration may help you get into a lower wrestling weight class, but you’ll pay a steep price. You may feel fatigued, unfocused, weak and downright sick as a result of such extreme, unhealthy tactics. None of these side effects help you win a match. You can drop weight classes if you’re aiming for a weight that’s still healthy, but lean for you. But, if you have to sacrifice smart nutrition or performance, re-evaluate your goals to determine a safe weight for competition.
Video of the Day
Unhealthy Weight-Loss Tactics
When a wrestler has his mind set on the notion that competing in a lower weight class will give him an advantage, he’ll do almost anything to cut weight. This deprivation usually backfires, however. Dropping to a lower weight class doesn’t make you a better athlete — focusing on training does. When you fast or severely deplete calories to lose weight quickly, you rapidly lose muscle tissue and water. Your body senses the extreme deficit and uses your lean tissue for energy. This is the muscle you need for strength and endurance in a match.
Denying yourself calories means denying your body nutrients that are critical to proper growth and energy. Extreme exercise to lose weight overly fatigues you so that you’re not 100-percent ready for a match. Laxatives, sauna suits and cutting out entire nutrient categories — such as all carbohydrates — are strategies that are downright dangerous and you should avoid these tactics at all costs.
If you’re not careful, you may even diet yourself out of competition. American wrestling programs institute the national hydration assessment test to make sure wrestlers are healthy enough to wrestle. When a boy dips below a body fat of 7 percent — or a girl below 12 percent — the wrestler is deemed unfit to compete.
The Perils of Dehydration for Wrestlers
Wrestlers often use dehydration as another weight-cutting tactic. Weight in the form of water leaves your body quickly, but leaves you fatigued, lacking in strength, potentially dizzy and without focus. Dehydration can result in cramping, heatstroke and — in rare situations — swelling of the brain. Symptoms of dehydration appear with as little as a 2-percent loss of your normal water volume.
To dehydrate, wrestlers force excessive sweat by exercising in heavy clothes or garbage bags; they may sit in saunas and limit the intake of fluid. Some take diuretic medications, which force water loss but can endanger the health of their heart and kidneys. Use of these methods are also banned at the high school and collegiate levels, and could get you disqualified from competition.
Cut Calories to Drop Weight
A restricted, but healthy, diet helps you lose weight more gradually, at a healthy rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week. Some wrestlers can safely lose 3 pounds per week, but weight loss that’s faster than this results in muscle loss. Good nutrition is part of proper training.
Losing a pound of fat requires a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. Talk to your coach or a school dietitian to determine your daily calorie burn, based on your size and activity level, and create a daily deficit of about 500 to 1,000 calories to lose 1 to 2 pounds in a week. It is likely that you already train a significant amount, so consider how you can increase your calorie burn with simple tactics, such as walking more, fidgeting as you study or by engaging in an additional, moderate-intensity 30-minute cardio session that won’t leave you depleted for wrestling training. Reducing your intake of fried foods, sugar, processed snacks and soda also helps you create a deficit without losing nutrients.
Creating Meals for Wrestler Weight Loss
Aim for a balanced diet that contains about 55 to 65 percent of calories from carbohydrates, 12 to 15 percent protein and 20 to 30 percent from healthy fats. You need carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle repair, and growth and fats to absorb nutrients and support your brain.
Focus on eating only healthy foods such as grilled meats, fresh vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and fruit. Typical meals might be eggs scrambled with spinach and peppers with whole wheat toast for breakfast; beef fajitas with corn tortillas, salsa and guacamole at lunch; and a dinner of roast chicken, sweet potatoes and a green salad. Snack options include fresh fruit, low-fat cheese, cut-up vegetables with hummus, low-fat Greek yogurt and a handful of nuts.
Wrestling Diet to Lose Weight
Losing weight in order to wrestle may be necessary for some athletes, but there are certain measures to make sure you do it in a healthy fashion. Many wrestlers partake in the extremely unhealthy practice of “cutting weight” in order to shed pounds rapidly to get into a competitive weight class. By maintaining a nutritious diet, you can still lose weight but remain energized and healthy.
Depending on age, minimum body fat should be between 5 percent and 7 percent. Anything lower than this is unhealthy. When choosing a target weight at which to wrestle for the season, it is important to choose a weight that will still allow you to be healthy. Figure out how much weight you can lose while remaining above the minimum fat percentage, and then aim for an acceptable weight, advises the California Interscholastic Federation.
When losing weight, it is important to do it slowly. In addition to other health problems, losing weight rapidly can cause rapid loss of muscle. Cutting weight too fast can also result in a deficiency in the very nutrients you need for optimal performance. Aiming for 2 to 3 pounds per week until you reach your target weight is a safe amount. In addition, losing weight slowly will allow you to concentrate more on wrestling and less on weight cutting.
Many high school wrestlers cut weight using dangerous practices such as running in rubber suits or winter clothes, spitting in cups, starvation, dehydration and sweating in saunas. In addition to causing weakness, fatigue, dehydration, low blood sugar, fainting, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, cutting weight can also be fatal. In 1997, three rising college wrestling stars died from cutting weight.
According to the California Interscholastic Federation, a wrestler’s caloric intake should be a minimum of 1700 to 2000 calories per day. Because you exert so much energy when wrestling, you can still lose weight while taking in this amount of calories. You just need to make sure you get your calories from the right places. (See References 1)
According to information from the American Dietetic Association posted by Lehigh University, wrestlers should consume between 2.3g and 3.6g of carbohydrates from sources such as whole grain breads, cereal, fruits and vegetables–per pound of body weight, per day. Lehigh also suggests eating .55g to .8g of protein per pound and .45g of fat per pound, per day. Fish, poultry, lean meat, low-fat milk, yogurt, nuts and legumes can all be healthy options for protein, while olive oil, canola oil and nuts can provide healthy fats.
There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.
What may be causing this?
- You are attempting to access this page via a Webhosting Account
- Scripted access to public pages is not allowed.
- You are accessing the web via a proxy.
- If you are using a public proxy, you may wish to switch to another or disable it. If you believe your ISP is using a transparent proxy, please let us know.
- You or someone on your network is running a bot to crawl our site.
- Please contact your Network Administrator if you believe this to be the case.
We just need you to confirm that you are a person and not a robot.
High School Wrestling Weight Class Rules
To avoid mismatches, and for obvious safety reasons, amateur wrestlers only face competitors of comparable sizes. As a result, wrestling organizations set strict weight-measurement rules to ensure heavier wrestlers don’t sneak through to face lighter opponents. At the high school level, each state sets its own standards, but state associations typically follow the rules established by the National Federation of State High School Associations, or NFHS.
Video of the Day
High School Classes
High school wrestlers typically compete in one of 14 weight classes established by the NFHS. In the lowest weight class, wrestlers can weigh no more than 106 pounds. The maximum weights, in pounds, for the remaining classes are: 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285. A few states make exceptions to these rules. For example, New York adds a 99-pound weight class to the 14 standard classes. Some states also set lower weight limits for non-varsity competition. In Ohio, for example, weight classes for all-freshman meets are: 98, 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189 and 265 pounds.
Establishing a Minimum Weight
Each state develops its own preseason minimum weight certification procedures, which go beyond merely stepping on a scale. In New York, for example, all wrestlers are assessed within 14 days of the beginning of the wrestling season to establish the minimum weight at which they may compete during the season. Wrestlers may compete in higher weight classes if they gain weight as the season progresses. During assessments, wrestlers are weighed, take a urine test — to ensure they aren’t dehydrated in an attempt to lower their weights — and are subject to a skinfold test to check their body fat. A wrestler’s minimum certified weight can be adjusted if the body fat level is more than 7 percent for boys or 14 percent for girls.
Making the Weight
Regardless of a wrestler’s minimum weight certification, he still cannot wrestle within a weight class if he weighs more than the limit. Each wrestler is weighed on the day of a match to verify his eligibility for a particular weight class. In Kansas, for example, competitors are weighed between 30 and 90 minutes before a dual meet, or between 30 minutes and two hours prior to a tournament. They can strip down to minimal clothing but must wear a “suitable undergarment” on their “buttocks and groin area.” Wrestlers who are above the weight for their classes may be re-weighed as many times as they wish before the weigh-in period ends.
The Amateur Athletic Union, or AAU, also holds competitions for high school-age wrestlers. For 15- and 16-year-old competitors, the AAU uses the standard NFHS weight classes, but adds three lower classes, with maximum weights of 84, 91 and 98 pounds. For 17- through 19-year-olds, the AAU eliminates the two lightest classes and leaves the upper 15 unchanged. High school wrestlers who move on to collegiate competition are sorted into 10 weight classes, with a maximum of 125 pounds in the lightest class and 285 in the heaviest.
I Started Wrestling To Lose Weight. I Quit Because I Couldn’t Stop.
When I started wrestling my freshman year of high school, I was in search of change: I wanted to lose the weight I was getting bullied for.
At the time, I was relatively short, severely overweight and not too athletic at all. Between peer pressure and a fragile sense of self, wrestling became a means for me to make up for what I saw as my shortcomings. I had to compensate for my lack of natural physical gifts with extra work, but I did see results from my efforts.
After having a losing junior varsity record my first year, I went on to start in every dual meet for the next three years, eventually becoming a captain and the city’s wrestler of the year. B y the end of my senior season, wrestling had given me a new perception of myself. I had lost over 40 pounds between my freshman and sophomore seasons, finally becoming healthy and fit, and then carved away an additional 15 pounds by the time I graduated two years later. Though I had always eaten a lot, I finally found something to do with the weight I was gaining: Cut it.
Weight cutting is the process of shedding water weight to compete at a certain weight class in mostly combat sports. Weigh-ins typically happen every wrestling session and are daily during tournaments (up to four days in a row). Beyond the standard health tips and horror stories, there are no questions asked when it comes to making weight. You just do it, and however you do it between the end of practice and the beginning of weigh-ins is up to you.
Coaches say the process helps toughen you up for actual competition. Teammates laugh off the lingering dredges from it at the post-match buffet splurges. Your partner grazes your cheek and asks you about where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing. Your teachers let you chew gum in class to get over the cottonmouth. The red hex-code digits of a weight scale dial over and over in place of the letters on the page while you try to read. It’s an obsession.
Once I got “good” at cutting after a few years, it became a quick fix: Suddenly, instead of worrying about gaining weight when I’d eat, I just thought of how many miles I’d have to run to forget about the meal. This developed into a problematic gorging-fasting routine. Though my physique lost more and more spare weight over the years, I kept descending in weight classes, finding harsher methods to chisel more of myself away until my body wouldn’t let me go any further.
In the summer between high school and college, I had the chance to travel with my state’s team to the Junior National Duals in Oklahoma City, where I’d spend a week practicing twice a day with enough dry heat to sweat away anything that the workouts didn’t catch. In high school, there are 14 weight classes, determined according to body weight differentials calculated by the NFHS ― with one wrestler per team occupying each weight in a dual meet.
I was registered as the team’s only 152-pound wrestler, with a vacancy at the weight class below me. Halfway through the week, the team coach unexpectedly urged me to drop an additional seven pounds so I could take the vacant spot at 145 pounds for the second part of the tournament, which began the next day. This doubled the amount of water weight I initially set out to cut and gave me half as much time to do so.
I grabbed my sweatsuit, my iPod, my lucky jump rope, and looked around for the longest road outside of our hotel. The next afternoon, I found myself disoriented and slumped into a corner of the tournament venue’s main corridor. I hadn’t eaten anything solid for the past two days and was severely dehydrated.
I didn’t qualify for the lower weight class and had to wrestle for my original spot anyway, somehow feeling heavier after trying so hard to lose so much of myself. After that particular week, wrestling became less and less fun. Two years later , halfway through college, when I had to go through another severe last-second weight cut, I completely stepped away from competing. I couldn’t handle it anymore.
When I left wrestling behind, my eating habits stayed with me, and my extra weight came back. For years, I’d go through a sporadic routine of disordered eating that mimicked my cutting patterns. I was so afraid of becoming the bullied kid I’d been before I started wrestling. My body couldn’t handle the dangerously irregular eating habits at all, and my health sharply declined.
The hardest part of admitting that I had a problem was seeing that so many around me had the same problem. I didn’t want to consider that I’d been dealing with an eating disorder, because I had only cut weight like everyone around me. I wasn’t sure if I was a product of my sport or a product of my own decisions, and that paralyzed me from getting help.
If I wasn’t running toward my goal, I was closely monitoring how much each bottle of water weighed, and if I wasn’t hyper-attentive to the portions on my plate, I was senselessly computing mounds of food into hours of running in my head throughout a meal. I dealt with this all through college until my senior year, when an athlete at my university revealed their problems with gorging and I didn’t feel like I had to hide it anymore.
I told some family and friends about the problem, explaining missed friend dates at restaurants and disappearing meal points. Since publicly admitting that I had a problem, I’ve been able to get the help I need. Now, on the good days, I treat myself to an overpriced burger and a milkshake, and I genuinely enjoy it. On the bad nights, I wake up in the middle of nightmares of running toward the Oklahoma horizon, the sweat on my face feeling all too familiar.
Though wrestling and its practices came into my life and left their mark, I and my body remain, and the relationship between the two is growing back into something healthy.
Foods to Help You Lose Weight
Looking for foods to help you lose weight? These five tips will help you zero in on the foods that make you thin.
WebMD archives content after 2 years to ensure our readers can easily find the most timely content.
To find the most current information, please enter your topic of interest into our search box.
“>From the WebMD Archives
Wouldn’t it be nice if every pound of chocolate you ate would make you lose a pound of flab? Well, perhaps chocolate won’t do the trick, but new research is showing that there are certain foods that can help make you thin and actually can help you drop pounds.
“A pound of carrots will fill you up, with only a smattering of calories — or you can have a pound of cheeseburger, and you’ll gain weight faster than you can jump on a scale,” says Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, author of 10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman’s Diet and Age-Proof Your Body. “People don’t gain weight on carrots and blueberries; it would be almost impossible to eat enough of them,” Somers says. “We fill up on the volume of food.”
But fear not, you are not destined to a steady diet of carrot sticks and bird food. In fact, a wide assortment of the right “thin” foods can help you lose weight. The key things to look for: Foods with high water content, high-fiber foods, and calcium. All of these will help you feel full longer and thus eat fewer calories in the long run. Sorry, until Godiva starts filling their truffles with water instead of chocolate cream, they don’t make the list. But lots of other luscious foods do.
A good rule to bear in mind is to avoid processed foods, which tend to be higher in fat and salt. “If you eat real food, minimally processed, for instance plain nuts instead of those processed with fat, or 100% whole-wheat bread instead of white bread, that alone will help you manage your weight,” Somer says.
Here are other tips on foods to help you lose weight.
Eat Your Water – Drink Your Meals
It’s important to stay well hydrated on a diet. People often mistake hunger for thirst. So next time you get a pang, drink a glass of water first to make sure you’re really hungry.
But that’s not the only way water can help you lose weight. “If water is incorporated into food, it tends to fill us up,” Somer says. Most fruits and vegetables are 80% to 90% water.
Another tip: Try a bowl of soup before each meal. “Make sure it’s broth-based, not cream-based,” Somer says. She also suggests, “a thick beverage like V8 before a meal so you’re less likely to overeat. You’re likely to consume fewer calories. Brown rice or oatmeal, which have incorporated the water into them, also work.”
Load the Fiber – Fill Up Before You Fill Out
“People who eat whole grains have an easier time managing their weight,” Somer says. “Fiber fills you up before it fills you out.” Whole grains have the added benefit of generally being lower in calories than refined (think white flour) grains and carbohydrates.
Most Americans get less than half the 30 to 35 grams of fiber most health organizations recommend for adults. The high fiber content of most fruits and vegetables makes them good sources of foods that make you thin – in addition, they are comparatively low in calories. What else can you do?
Look for breads that say 100% whole wheat to make sure you getting the real deal. Ann Kulze, MD, of Charleston, S.C., author of Dr. Ann’s 10-Step Diet, A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss & Lifelong Vitality, also recommends incorporating beans such as soy, lentil, chickpeas, and black beans into your diet. “They are high in fiber and protein so they’ll keep you full longer,” Kulze says.
Got Milk? Calcium Fights Fat
“Preliminary evidence suggests that if someone is already eating a low-fat, portion-controlled diet and then they get three servings of nonfat milk a day, they lose more weight than someone who eats the same number of calories but doesn’t have the milk,” Somer says. The theory is that calcium may inhibit the storage of fat, and it seems that the weight loss comes largely from the midsection.
Though Somer says the research is not yet conclusive, she points out, “You need the milk anyway for your bones, so it certainly won’t hurt.” The research has been strictly on food, not supplements, so even if you take calcium supplements, you need to drink up, too.
Women who got the largest amount of calcium from dairy foods lost the most weight and body fat over two years, even if they didn’t change their exercise habits, according to a study in the December 2000 Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Although the recommended calcium level for young women is 1,200-1,500 milligrams daily, the study showed that the average woman’s daily intake of calcium was under 800 milligrams per day.
Here are the calcium levels recommended for adults by the USDA:
Ages 9 to 18: 1,300 mg
Ages 19 to 50: 1,000 mg
Ages 51 and over: 1,200 mg
Soy Good – The Other Calcium Source
Not a milk lover? You may be able to get similar benefits from soy (and no, we’re not talking soy sauce here.) An article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in December 2002 says soy contains many of the same properties as calcium. Stay tuned for further studies. In the meantime, eat your tofu!
Go Nuts – Good Fat, Fiber and Protein
Yes, nuts are high in calories, but they are also a great source of protein, fiber, and the “good” (monounsaturated) fat — all of which can help in weight loss. A small handful (10-to-12 nuts) of walnuts or almonds can actually help you “lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes,” says Somer. Try some in your salad, with a piece of fruit, or sprinkled in your cereal – oatmeal, of course.
Published February 2007.
SOURCES:Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, author, 10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman’s Diet and Age-Proof Your Body. Ann G. Kulze, MD, author, Dr. Ann’s 10-Step Diet, A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss & Lifelong Vitality.
Wrestling Weight Control System – 38 Diet Tips & Facts for Wrestlers
Bill Swertfager – John Jay Wrestling
O ver the last 30 years, medical science has replaced urban legend and just plain bad nutritional information for wrestlers with safer and healthier diet and weight-loss methods.
Kudos to Bill Swertfager, head coach of John Jay high school wrestling, who compiled the following 38 diet tips and facts for wrestlers.
Also included in this page is a list of meal examples, a daily nutritional routine and a list of daily food servings.
- Determine what weight class you want to wrestle, be at weigh-ins hydrated.
- Digestion begins in the mouth. Chew your food! Mom was right, even though she probably didn’t know that chewing your food thoroughly stimulates enzyme secretion in the mouth & digestive tract for healthier digestion.
- “Yo-Yo” dieting actually makes losing weight more difficult.
- Fasting slows metabolism. After fasting, returning to a normal diet triggers overeating and spiked metabolism (Yo-Yo effect).
- It takes 3500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat.
- You can only lose 2-3 lbs. of fat per week…anything else is just water.
- Eat fiber in the morning to decrease your appetite all day.
- Change your plate size from a 12” dinner to 9” salad.
- Six small meals a day is the healthiest way to lose and keep weight off.
- Concentrate on wrestling rather than cutting weight. This is a wrestling team, not a weight cutting team.
- Fasting will consume muscle protein and harm muscle growth.
- Losing weight rapidly will result in a loss of muscle tissue.
- Fat burning zone is somewhat of a myth. In the absence of carbs for fuel, the body burns a combination of fat and muscle for energy.
- Do not accept food from others unless you ask for it.
- The object is to lose FAT-not water.
- The darker the urine the more dehydrated you are.
- If you are thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
- Lack of thirst can mask severe dehydration. Stay hydrated!
- Big evening meal builds deposits of fat because of inactivity.
- When you eat, only eat…Focus!
- Slow sustained weight reduction will stay off longer, is healthier than fasting and dehydrating and is easier to achieve.
- Cut back on all processed sugar and processed flour, such as junk foods like candy, white bread, etc.
- All commercially available oils in the U.S. produce trans-fat when heated (even olive oil).
- Totally eliminating fat from the diet is unhealthy and counter-productive. A minimum of 10% of diet calories should come from fat.
- Cut back on fried foods- baking & broiling eliminates fat.
- Cut back on fats such as butter, margarine, salad dressing, cheese, bacon and omega 6’s (soybean and vegetable oil).
- Good fats include olive oil (unheated), avocados, peanuts, pistachios, Omega 3’s (fish) and a moderate consumption of eggs.
- Eat more fish and chicken in place of red meat (hamburger, steak, etc.)
- Start Now-Be At Your Lean, Mean Fighting Machine Weight For Our First Match.
- Eating slowly will help speed sense of fullness.
- Your goal is to be lean and well hydrated.
- Before you eat plan your meal.
- Don’t be a victim to your food desires.
- You need to eat (keep metabolism going) to lose weight. Replenish your fuel. Eat every 4 hours.
- Dieting & intense workouts lower the immune system. Supplement your diet with a good one a day multivitamin.
- You want to lose weight?…simply take in fewer calories then you expend.
- You want to lose 2lbs. of fat /week, you need to have about 100 calories less/day, burn 1,000 calories more/day or a combination of both.
- Generally, stay away from packaged products.
GOOD BREAKFAST BAD BREAKFAST
Eggs, whole-wheat toast, white toast with butter, donuts, whole grain cereals, fruit, skim or 2% milk pancakes with syrup
GOOD LUNCH & DINNER BAD LUNCH & DINNER
Salads, fruit, tuna, baked chicken, fried chicken, fried fish, tacos,
fish, cottage cheese, pastas, vegetables, French fries and burgers
baked potato, baked tortilla chips, lean steak
GOOD SNACKS BAD SNACKS
Fruit, juice, plain popcorn, baked tortilla chips Ice cream, sugared soda, potato
Daily Nutritional Routine
MORNING Weigh yourself and record.
Drink 2 glasses of hot water
(lemon and/or honey)
BREAKFAST Juice and/or fruit
Cereal w/skim milk or eggs
Toast, tea/coffee (2 cups hot liquid)
BEFORE NOON Glass of water, fruit/juice
NOON-LUNCH Sandwich (chicken, turkey, fish)
On whole wheat bread
Or pasta with tomato sauce
Or baked potato (not fried or chips)
Vegetables, fruit, tea/coffee
MID-AFTERNOON Glass of water, fruit/juice
EVENING- DINNER Lightest meal of day
Cottage cheese (low-fat)
Or piece of chicken (baked, broiled)
Fruit and/or vegetables
BEFORE SLEEP Glass of water
DAILY FOOD SERVINGS
1 – Dairy group – eggs, skim milk, cheese (low fat)
1 – Protein/meat group – fish, chicken, turkey, peanut butter
3 – Fruit/vegetable group – citrus, tomato, potato, apples, beans, peas
2 – Cereal/grain group – oatmeal, whole wheat, rye, granola, cracker
Weight Loss & Wrestling
In wrestling, you compete against people in the same weight class. This provides an incentive to drop down into a lower weight class, allowing you to be on the larger end of the weight range. Although this can be give you a competitive advantage, it isn’t always the best choice for your health. Wrestlers will often drop too much weight, too fast. To keep yourself healthy, maintain a minimum body fat percentage and avoid rapid weight loss.
Unhealthy Weight Loss
High school and collegiate wrestlers lose and average of 4 to 5 pounds per week, and 20 percent of wrestlers lose 6 to 7 pounds or more weekly, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Many of these wrestlers already have minimal body fat. The ACSM reports that in-season wrestlers usually have just 6 to 7 percent body fat. Chuck Whedon, the coordinator of athletic training at Rowan University in New Jersey, advises that you should not reduce your body fat below 6 percent.
Effects of Unhealthy Weight Loss
When you lose weight at a rate of more than 1 to 2 pounds per week, you are not only just losing fat, but also you’re likely losing muscle and water. Wrestlers who use sweating techniques, laxatives and self-induced vomiting to lose weight quickly before a weigh in can also lose electrolytes that the body needs to function properly. To replenish bodily fluids, it can take 24 to 48 hours, muscle glycogen takes 72 hours to be replenished and muscle tissue takes several days. If you reduce your weight rapidly before a weigh in, your body won’t have time to recover before competition.
Healthy Weight Loss
It’s important to maintain a healthy body fat percentage when losing weight. Whedon claims that wrestlers should keep their offseason body fat at around 10 to 12 percent. During the wrestling season, you can reduce your body fat percentage to between 6 and 8 percent, but you don’t want to go any lower or you will risk muscle loss and fatigue. Whedon also recommends keeping weight loss at a healthy rate of no more than 1 or 2 pounds weekly.
How to Lose Weight
The ACSM recommends that wrestlers consume 1,700 to 2,500 calories per day, at a minimum, with 55 percent of these calories coming from carbohydrates, 30 percent coming from fat and 15 to 20 percent coming from protein. Whedon recommends using interval training to burn calories and increase you anaerobic fitness. For instance, you might alternate between sprint cycling for 30 to 40 seconds and cycling at a comfortable pace for 90 to 120 seconds for a total of 30 minutes. Weight loss should be fat loss, not water loss, so consume at least eight glasses of water daily and more when you work out.
Wrestling Minimum Weight Certification Program Information
The UIL does not advocate that a wrestler’s established minimum weight is the athlete’s best weight at which to wrestle, but simply the minimum weight at which the athlete will be allowed to compete.
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations Wrestling Rule Book, rule 1-5-1: Each state association shall develop and utilize a weight-management program that includes a specific gravity not to exceed 1.025; a body fat assessment no lower than seven percent for males/12 percent for females; and a monitored weekly weight loss plan not to exceed 1.5 percent a week.
For varsity wrestlers, minimum weight class for competition will be determined by predicted body weight at 7% body fat for males and 12% body fat for females. For sub varsity wrestling participants, the previous weight control program will remain in effect. A 2% variance will be applied to each students Minimum Wrestling Weight as calculated by the TrackWrestling system.
There will be monitored weight loss on the descent. A maximum weight loss of 1.5% of a wrestler’s alpha body weight per week has been established. A wrestler who loses more than 1.5% of their alpha body weight in a week is ineligible to compete in the weight class to which they are descending. Weekly recording of actual weights (competition or practice) is required to measure compliance with the above rule.
ALL UIL WRESTLING SCHOOLS WILL BE REQUIRED TO UTILIZE THE OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE CALCULATOR FOR THIS PROGRAM.
A varsity wrestler will not be allowed to wrestle at their established minimum weight until the date specified in TrackWrestling.
Each school will be mailed a school code and school password for the Optimal Performance Calculator at the beginning of the school year.
Wrestling coaches must bring a copy of the Alpha Master Report form for their team to each contest, meet or tournament and must file a copy with their District Executive Committee Chairperson. Coaches should also print and keep a copy of this form on file in his/her office. It is recommended that each wrestlers Individual Weight Loss Plan be available as well.
How the certification program will work-
Hydration testing and skin fold measuring may begin no earlier than October 1st.
All varsity wrestlers, including those coming out late, must have their minimum weight established by hydration assessment and skin fold measuring prior to any competition with a student from another school.
The deadline for all skin fold measuring and minimum weight certification, including appeals, is two weeks prior to the district certification deadline.
Trained assessors will sponsor regional assessment opportunities for varsity wrestlers. Assessments of varsity wrestlers will primarily occur at regional assessment clinics. Dates, times and locations will be posted on the UIL website if available. Schools will be responsible for transporting their athletes to the regional assessment site at the designated time.
Should a varsity wrestler not be able to attend their designated assessment location, they can contact another regional assessment site and request to be assessed at that site. Otherwise, it will be the school’s responsibility to contact a designated regional representative in their area to arrange for skin fold measurement of varsity wrestler(s) at their school. For school based assessments, payment should be made directly to the certified assessor. A list of regional sites will be available on the UIL website at www.uiltexas.org/wrestling/regional-sites.
If the assessment is taking place on a school campus, the school must have available at the time of the hydration testing and skin fold measuring: 1) a certified scale, 2) Weight Certification Forms (www.uiltexas.org/wrestling/forms), 3) the necessary school officials (e.g., coach, trainer, teacher, A.D., or other health professional) and materials (including clear specimen cups) to assist with registration, the hydration assessment process, obtaining the weight of each wrestler and with the recording of the data. It is recommended that an adult person of the same gender of the athlete being assessed be present when assessment is conducted.
In all cases, the school is responsible for all charges for skin fold measuring. At this time, the fees are set at $5 per athlete. All payments for assessments must be made in cash at the time of the assessment. Athletes will not be assessed until payment has been made. For regional assessments, regional assessment sites may request all schools to pre-register their students for assessment. Schools whose students do not pre-register may be charged an additional fee for on site registration.
Weight Certification forms should be prepared prior to test date for all athletes to be assessed that day. All information for the wrestler will be entered on both the top and bottom of the Weight Certification Form. Upon completion of the assessment the assessor will retain the top half of the form, the school and or coach will retain the bottom half of the Weight Certification Form.
For the weight certification process, all athletes (male and female) shall wear a wrestling singlet or two-piece uniform (in accordance with NFHS Rule 4-1). Student athletes appearing for certification that are not wearing the appropriate attire will be refused assessment.
Whether at a regional assessment site or a school location, the following procedure will apply. Students should sign in at a designated area and obtain their Weight Certification Form.
1. Hydration Assessment.
The Hydration Test is simply a pass/fail assessment based on the specific gravity level less than or equal to 1.025. A specific gravity level greater than 1.025 would be considered a failure on the hydration test.
Hydration level will be judged using a color chart. If schools or assessors wish to provide dipsticks or a Urine Specific Gravity Refractometer and related materials for hydration testing, that would also be acceptable.
Any attempt to violate the protocols of the weight certification process, by adulterating a sample or attempting to cheat, will result in the assessment process being ended, and the student not being eligible for reassessment for 24 hours, at which time they would begin the process from the start.
If the athlete fails the hydration assessment, the athlete will not be eligible for reassessment for 24 hours and must meet the hydration requirement before the skinfold measurement takes place.
If the athlete passes the Hydration assessment, they must have their Alpha Weight determined immediately, on that date, without any exercise or delays.
2. Alpha Weight Determination.
Next, the athlete is weighed on a certified scale and this weight is recorded on the athletes Weight Certification Form, and is the students Alpha Weight for the year.
The alpha weight established at this initial assessment will be the weight utilized in determining the descent calendar per the 1.5% per week rule.
For the weight certification process, all athletes (male and female) shall wear a wrestling singlet. Student athletes appearing for certification and not wearing a wrestling singlet will be refused assessment.
It is recommended that an adult of the same gender as the participant be present when weigh ins are done for wrestlers. No weight allowance is given for clothing or other items worn for the alpha weigh in.
3. Skin Fold Measurement.
Once a wrestler has passed the Hydration Assessment and established their Alpha Weight, they must undergo skin fold measurement immediately, on that date, without any exercise or delays.
For the weight certification process, all athletes (male and female) shall wear a wrestling singlet. Student athletes appearing for certification and not wearing a wrestling singlet will be refused assessment.
Females must also wear a halter, sports bra or other appropriate undergarment allowing the assessor access to the measurement sites (subscapular). It is recommended that a female be present when skin fold measurement is conducted for females.
All skin fold measurements shall be made on bare skin. Skin fold measurements shall not be taken over or through the singlet or clothing the wrestler is wearing.
If the assessment occurs at a school location, the school should provide individuals to assist the skin fold measurer with recording of data for the participants.
The assessor should take three measurements at each designated area and each measurement should be recorded on the applicable section of the Weight Certification Form.
Skin Fold Measurement Sites
All skin fold measurements should be made on the right side of the body.
4. Minimum Weight Class Certification.
The lowest weight class at which a wrestler may compete will be determined by predicted body weight at 7% body fat (males) and 12 % body fat (females) as follows. A 2% variance will be applied to each students Minimum Wrestling Weight as calculated by the TrackWrestling system.
If the predicted weight, at 7% male/12% female, including the 2% variance, is exactly that of one of the weight classes, that weight class shall be the wrestler’s minimum weight class.
If the predicted weight, at 7% male/12% female, including the 2% variance, falls between two weight classes, the higher weight class shall be the wrestler’s minimum weight class.
For any male or female wrestler whose body fat percentage at the time of measurement is at or below 7% male/12% female, their minimum weight class will be determined by their alpha weight (weight at the time of assessment) including the 2% variance.
5. Monitored Descent.
There will be monitored weight loss on the descent. Based on NFHS rule, a maximum weight loss of 1.5% of a wrestler’s alpha body weight per week has been established.
Example: Alpha weight = 150 pounds
1.5% of 150 pounds = 2.25 pounds
Maximum allowed weight loss per week = 2.25 pounds
A wrestler who loses more than 1.5% of their alpha body weight in a week is ineligible to compete in the weight class to which they are descending. Wrestlers will be required to weigh in each week and keep those weights on file for compliance with the above rule.
A school may appeal the results of the body fat assessment one time per wrestler.
The appeal must be requested and submitted in writing (via email) to the UIL Office within seven (7) calendar days of the initial skinfold assessment date. Schools may not wrestle the wrestler that is appealing below the minimum weight class based on the initial assessment until the results of the appeal are determined.
If a wrestler’s body fat assessment results are being appealed, the wrestler may wrestle in any interscholastic competition based on the preliminary assessment until the appeal results are determined.
A maximum weight loss of 1.5% of a wrestlerís alpha body weight per week has been established, and will be enforced between the initial assessment and any appeal assessment.
Any costs associated with the appeal are to be paid by the school or the wrestler depending on the policy of the local school district.
Any appeal assessment must be conducted within 21 days of the initial assessment being conducted.
The coach or wrestler must present the UIL acknowledgement of appeal to the certified assessor performing the appeal before any appeal assessment can be conducted.
The wrestler and school must accept the results of the second assessment.
The person that is conducting that assessment will forward the results of the appeal/second assessment to the UIL Office and will notify the school of the result through TrackWrestling.