If you are done looking for the right trunks and boots for wrestling and you want to know what you should do about your weight to get into those custom wrestling singlets you’ve got specially made for the next competition, this article comes at the right time.
Wrestlers trying to cut weight in order to compete in a certain weight class is not something you might be unfamiliar with since this is one of the hardest parts of this sport. Unfortunately, many athletes don’t choose the healthiest methods to achieve this, thus diminishing their chances to perform at their highest potential.
When weight loss is approached in the right and healthy way, it can help the wrestler become both stronger and more competitive. In the end, it’s all a matter of managing the weight, not of cutting it. Most of the times, wrestlers may have some pounds that they can afford to lose, but their number depends on many factors, including the size of the athlete.
If you want to determine the optimal weight you should achieve, creating a plan that fits your individual needs and following a set of tips and tricks to help you get the results you want in a faster way is the best approach you can have. This way, you won’t end up trying to make weight a couple of days before a major competition.
Get enough sleep
The importance of getting the proper amount of sleep cannot be stressed enough, especially when it comes to athletes who need to be able to sustain intense physical activity. According to some studies, when the body doesn’t get enough sleep, it tends to produce hunger to compensate, which in turn means that you might overeat and feel less satisfied afterward.
Moreover, lack of sleep can also affect glucose and insulin levels within the body, which can lead to fat cells losing their ability to properly use insulin. If the body develops a resistance to insulin, it will tend to produce more to keep working, resulting in fat buildup.
Sleep is also an essential aspect for your muscles to repair after intense workouts and competitions, and as a wrestler, you surely want to get this part right in order to be ready for the next challenge. Therefore, getting an average of 7 or 8 hours of sleep is something you should strive for every night.
Keep yourself hydrated
Dehydration is one of the main health concerns if an athlete is losing weight quickly. Some wrestlers might think that cutting fluids is a good idea in order to make weight, but this can actually cause a quick decline in endurance, strength, and mental alertness.
Another fun fact about dehydration is that its effects can be noticed after an apparently insignificant 2% loss of normal water volume. If you plan on reducing your water intake while exercising heavily, then do know that this can cause cramps or, in extreme cases, much worse.
What you should do if you want to make sure you are properly hydrated is to drink plenty of water, the rule of thumb stating that getting a drink every 10-15 minutes while at the gym, and one at least every 3 or 4 hours during the day is a good approach.
In case you want to check if you are dealing with dehydration, then the urine’s color is a very simple and accurate way to get this done. Dark urine definitely indicates dehydration, while clear one lets you know that you are on the right track.
Eat nutritious foods
Malnutrition can also be a pretty common issue among wrestlers trying to quickly lose weight. Although it may seem like a solution in the short term, it’s surely not a good one. Immediate weight loss can also mean that essential nutrients such as proteins, calories, iron, zinc, and vitamins are not at the right levels.
Since high school wrestling programs in the United States are required to use a national hydration assessment and other related tests to determine whether an athlete is able to compete, this should tell you how important it is to stay on track and healthy while practicing this sport.
What you can and should do if you want to lose weight is to reduce fatty foods from your diet, and learn which types of fat are good and which ones are not. Fat definitely plays an important role in maintaining your health, but you need to take a closer look at the sources of fat that you include in your diet.
You can also prevent your body from losing muscle mass by refueling after your workouts with fast-digesting protein-full foods, such as yogurt or shakes. Another useful trick before a competition is to cut sodium from your diet for a couple of days since this substance can cause your body to retain excess water.
Other tips and tricks
Experienced wrestlers advise any athlete to start cutting weight early since this also means a better experience during the match. If you try to lose 1.5 pounds two days before the competition, you will end up feeling lethargic and slow once you hit the mat. If you start the process at least a week before the event, you’ll feel much better.
You should also eat smaller and more frequent meals, this way keeping yourself from overeating during a single meal. This approach increases your metabolism while helping you maintain your strength. It’s very true that snacking should be included in your routine, but eat fruits and nutritious foods instead of candy bars or highly processed alternatives.
If you need to cut weight, don’t forget to eat well and diversify your diet as much as possible in order to make sure that you get everything you need. Remember that slowly losing weight means you are doing it right. If you go down 1 or 2 pounds per week it means you are getting rid of fat but keeping the muscle mass.
You can also monitor your weight daily and set weekly goals before an upcoming competition. You should not be heavier than 2 pounds over the required weight two days before the match and make sure that you make the weight the night before.