How to Cut Weight For Wrestling in a Healthy Way
Similar to boxing matches, wrestling competitions are organized by weight class to ensure that competitors matchup with comparable opponents. As any wrestler knows all too well, sometimes the most difficult part of wrestling isn’t the training, but making weight for a match. For most wrestlers, a few pounds can be the difference between being the biggest athlete in one class or the smallest in another – or, frequently enough, the difference between a win and a loss. With such high stakes for wrestlers to make the proper weight, it’s no wonder that many resort to unhealthy methods to cut extra pounds.
However, it cannot be overstated enough that taking these measures can be hazardous to your health and overall well-being. CoachUp highly advises against these attempts, so, hopefully, these tips will help you cut weight in the safest and healthiest ways.
If you’ve ever trained for another sport, or put off studying for a test until the night before, you should be familiar with this notion: don’t wait! If you want to hydrate before tryouts, don’t wait until the night before. If you want to ace a test, guess what? Don’t wait! Please, don’t wait to start cutting weight until a few days before an important match. You are, whether you realize it or not, setting yourself up for failure.
Frankly, the human body is simply not designed to lose weight so suddenly and quickly. Healthy weight loss must be gradual. Start your weight loss plan a week in advance, so that you don’t find yourself having to make extreme reductions in food intake at the last minute. Weight that is lost gradually and healthily will be mostly fat, whereas weight that is lost quickly will likely include muscle -- an absolute essential for a winning wrestler.
One of the most common methods for cutting weight, especially among high school wrestlers, is cutting down on fluid intake. While this does lead to weight loss, the resulting dehydration is not only unsafe, but also detrimental to a wrestler’s physical strength, mental clarity, and aerobic ability. Safe weight loss can be achieved by cutting down on other fluids such as sodas, juices, and sports drinks, which contain additional calories.
Eliminate Fatty Foods
By sticking to healthy, low-fat foods, you can lose weight and improve your overall health and nutrition. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all terrific choices. Try buying a huge jar of peanut butter and have a few big scoops before every meal. Not only is it tasty and full of healthy proteins, but it will curb your hungry stomach as well. For restricted diets, it’s a smart idea to incorporate vitamin supplements to ensure you're getting enough vitamins and minerals.
Frequent But Smaller Meals
Rather than eat three full, sit-down meals in the days before a big meet, try eating a higher number of smaller meals. This will help with hunger pains, improve metabolism, and decrease overeating. It will help your body deal with the physical and mental strains of eating less. Additionally, athletes tend to overeat during those most common big meals of the day. So, snacking in a healthy and effective way is a far better way to eat less in a perfectly reliable way.
If you follow these healthy steps well in advance of your meet and are still nowhere near reaching your target, perhaps you are shooting for an unrealistic weight class. In this case, you should have a discussion with your doctor and coach about what is right for you. Again, please don’t resort to drastic measures in order to drop weight before a match -- the negatives far outweigh, literally, the positives. You must take care of yourself before you can take of business on the mat.
Remember, you win a match through training and hard work, not by what a number on a scale says! For those that are curious to learn more, but don’t know where to start, consider booking one of CoachUp’s private trainers to help you carve out a healthy and safe weight loss effort. Our established and knowledgeable coaches know what it takes to become a winner in the ring, so don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you might have. What are you waiting for?
Be prepared for the biggest moments by mastering the small ones off the mat.