Hey wrestlers, think you can just “get used” to cutting weight before big matches? Think again.
A study in the September 2013 issue of The British Journal Of Sports Medicine examined whether combat athletes who were experienced at rapid weight loss could better handle the stresses of cutting weight fast. Researchers followed 18 male combat athletes—10 of whom were chronic weight cyclers, and eight who were non-weight cyclers.
The athletes reduced their overall body mass by up to five percent over the course of five days. Researchers recorded the athletes’ body compositions and observed how they performed in high-intensity activity.
The result? There was no difference between athletes who were chronic weight cyclers and those who hadn’t previously undergone rapid weight loss. Both groups were equally stressed.
So what does that mean to you? You can’t get used to losing weight fast, no matter how often you’ve done it. You’ll perform just as poorly as a first-timer.
If you’re prepping for a big fight or match, manage your weight intelligently, so you don’t negatively impact your performance. Aim to maintain that weight throughout the season.
Photo: Richard Hamm//Athens Banner-Herald