By Sarah Gearhart
Wearing rubber suits, sitting in saunas and using laxatives are just some of the extreme weight-loss methods wrestlers sometimes use. The downfall? Well, besides negatively affecting your game, using such drastic techniques to make weight can leave you weak, dizzy, dehydrated and possibly dead.
Back in ’97, three collegiate wrestlers sacrificed their lives trying to make their weight-loss goals. University of Michigan’s Jefferey Reese collapsed and died attempting to lose nearly 20 pounds just days before a match against MSU; Billy Jack Saylor of Campbell University died of cardiac arrest after an intense workout; and Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Joe LaRosa was trying to make the 150-pound weight class when he died from heat exhaustion.
In an effort to prevent such tragedies, the National Federation of State High School Associations is enforcing new guidelines for weight management by high school wrestlers. Starting this year, male wrestlers must maintain a body fat of at least seven percent and females at least 12 percent. Losing more than one and a half percent of your weight each week is prohibited. To ensure compliance, schools will be monitoring weight loss plans weekly. Your hydration level cannot exceed 1.025.
Ensure that your hydration levels are where they need to be with these tips:
• Check the color and smell of your urine; darker and more potent-smelling pee means a lower hydration level.
• Determine how much fluid you need to consume by weighing yourself before and after practice. For every pound you lose practicing or competing, drink one pint of fluid.
For more information visit www.ncaa.org and www.nwcaonline.com