Wrestling: Dropping bodies and pounds

Megan, Lime

In the sport of wrestling, it is very common to lose or gain weight and to move up or down weight classes. This is done in order to increase the wrestler’s chances of winning their matches.

Wrestlers cutting weight to compete in a weight class is nothing new. Unfortunately, many of these athletes take on unhealthy methods to lose weight. When weight loss is done in a healthy way, the wrestler can become stronger and more competitive in a lower weight class.

Each wrestler is weighed on the day of a match to verify their eligibility for a particular weight class.

Regardless of a wrestler’s minimum weight certification, he still cannot wrestle within a weight class if they weigh more than the limit.

In the lowest weight class, wrestlers can weigh no more than 106 pounds. The maximum weight, in pounds, for the remaining classes are: 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.

It is more common to lose weight during the season. Varsity wrestles Jimmy Danielczyk (’18), Garrett Naylor (’18), and Jimmy Kells (’19) all lose around 10 pounds per season.

“You want to be as light as you can with the most muscle mass,” Danielczyk said.

There are many different ways that a wrestler can lose weight, based on the methods that work best for them and the amount of weight they need to lose.

“I go on a no-sugar-no carbs diet, wear a sweat suit at practice and I run every day,” Naylor said.

Wearing a sweat suit can contribute to rapid weight loss by increasing body temperature and calories burned along with immediate water loss.

When trying to lose weight Danielcyzk practices in a sweat suit, diets rigorously, only drinks water, sticks to vegetables and healthy foods, and tries not to snack.

Kells also tries not to eat and wear plenty of layers at practice.

There are many unhealthy ways to lose weight quickly.

“Some kids take it too far,” Naylor said.

According to Livestrong researchers, dehydration is the worst method of losing weight since it causes a quick decline in strength, endurance, and mental alertness. Starving yourself to lose weight is also harmful to your body, instead you should try to eat healthy every day. Reducing the fat in your diet is a good way to lose weight.

“Once I had to cut 15 pounds to get down to 152 and make it back up to 165 three days later,” Naylor said.

Cutting too much weight in a short period of time is harmful to your body.

“Coach is pretty hard on us making sure we don’t do that,” Naylor said.

Even though it is more popular to drop weight during the wrestling season, after wrestling season many athletes gain weight back.

“After the season I probably gain about 20 pounds” Kells said.

In order to deal with the challenges of wrestling which include dropping and gaining weight, you don’t only need to be physically tough, you also need to be mentally tough to get through the season healthy.