Making Weight & Performing Great for Wrestlers
Sources: Tavis Piattoly MS, RD, LDN, and Clint Wattenberg MS, RD, CSCS
I took part in an online seminar recently hosted by Tavis Piattoly and Clint Wattenberg. Clint is a fully certified dietician and a two-time NCAA All-American. He is the Coordinator of Sports Nutrition at Cornell and also works with many other wrestlers to help them make weight and wrestle great. The presentation was informative and thorough. Here are some key takeaways I gained that will help you along your season.
Dieting vs Weight Cutting
Dieting is a long-term adjustment to your nutrition and exercise in order to reach a competitive body weight. Weight cutting is a planned short term weight shift that the body doesn’t notice. If you are over 20% body fat you need to diet. 15-20% body fat should consider dieting.
Weight cutting is not necessary. Weight cutting gives the wrestler a potential advantage of higher relative strength. Start your weight management program in September. Identify your target weight class and weigh your target weight or less at certification. Your target weight is about 3% higher than your weight class.
132*1.03 = 136
Glass of Water
You want your body to be a full glass of water. When the glass is full, additional water pours over the side and the glass weighs the same but has cleaner water. When the glass is empty additional water fills the glass up and remains in the system. You can pour water out of a full glass and still feel good. There is nothing to pour out of an empty glass.
If you run a garden hose at a trickle the water takes a long time to make it to the end. The water is stale from laying in the hose. When you shut off the valve the flow stops immediately. If you run a garden hose at full blast the flow is immediate and is a lot. The water that comes out is fresh and clean. When you shut off the valve the flow continues for a while afterwards.
Your target weight is about 3%-5% above your weight class. Wrestlers that are hyper-hydrated and fully fueled will experience dramatic weight shifts throughout their day. Your target weight should be the average of those weight shifts. Here are some good benchmarks to pay attention to. Monday weigh-out should be below your target weight. Every other day your weight before and after practice should be the same distance above and below your target weight. If your target weight is 136 you should come in at 138 and leave at 134, for example.
The Last 48 Hours
What Not To Do:
Starving – No fuel for days
Prolonged Dehydration – No water for days
Spitting – Gum, Candy, Dip, etc
Diuretics – Taking weight loss pills and laxatives
That sounds stupid, why do people do it?
Fear makes people do dumb things
Pride makes people do dumb things
(how many of you have heard an impressively stupid weight-cut story from an old-timer?)
Starving and prolonged dehydration drops your metabolic rate so you float less
Starving increases body fat storage so when you do eat it is sticky
Starving increases the craving for poor high energy food (and then see above)
Prolonged dehydration shuts down your kidneys so more impurities enter the bloodstream
Prolonged dehydration and spitting creates an empty cup that needs to be filled.
What To Do:
Drink 1-2 Gallons of water a day (8-16 water bottles)
Eat the right food 6 times a day (pickup the nutrition guide)
Morning workout everyday
48 hrs2w eat only energy dense and fiber low foods like peanut butter
48 hrs2w decrease sodium intake (gatorade and salty food)
36 hrs2w cut out carbs
24 hrs2w cut water
24 hrs2w At least 1 extra workout
How Do You Know You are Doing it Right?
Losing 3, 4, 5 lbs at practice
Floating +1 lb overnight
Weigh out of practice below target weight
Why Don’t People Do This
It requires faith, the extra weight is scary
Poor Planning or Organization
They care more about eating tasty foods and drinks than winning at wrestling
Energy Dense Foods:
Eat Only Energy Dense Foods 2 days prior to weigh-in
Cheese, Whole Milk, Yogurt
Fatty Meats: Salami, Pepperoni, Sausage
Olive or Canola Oil
Fiber is something the body needs but NEVER ACTUALLY DIGESTS.
It helps regulate digestion.
It provides no energy and digests slowly.
Do Not Eat High Fiber Foods 2 Days before weigh-ins
Peas, Beans, Vegetables
Berries and other Fruit
Pasta, Oatmeal, Cereal
Post weigh in plan
- Drink High Protein Fluid like Muscle Milk, Refuel, or Chocolate Milk
- Eat Quick Carbs like dried fruit, sports bar/gel/goo, yogurt, fruit snacks, or pancakes
- Then Eat Slow Carbs like oatmeal, bagels, multi-grain bread, noodles, pretzels
- Then Add Protein Meals like deli meat, yogurt, or protein bars
- Rehydrate with water when thirsty
- Drink one chocolate milk after first match
Rules for Day One of Two Day Weigh-ins
- Eat what you need but only what you NEED
- Drink 1 Chocolate Milk and 1 Gatorade but water the rest of the day
- Never go above 5% of weigh-in weight
- Start cutting after your last match
Drink more than 8 bottles of water
Eat 6 small meals that follow the nutrition plan
Overnight float should be +1lb
Post-Practice loss should be 3, 4, or 5 lbs
Post-Practice weight should be below Target Weight
Post-Practice weight should be 2-3 lbs over day before weigh-ins
Saturday AM Weigh-in
Thursday After Breakfast eat only energy dense foods (weigh your food)
Thursday After Breakfast drink only water and cut out the salty food
Thursday After Dinner cut out carbs
Friday After Breakfast cut water
Friday after practice get in at least 1 extra workout 30-45 min
Friday Noon Weigh-in
Wednesday After Breakfast eat only energy dense foods (weigh your food)
Wednesday After Breakfast drink only water and cut out the salty food
Thursday After lunch cut out carbs
Thursday After lunch cut water
Thursday After practice get in at least 1 extra workout 30-45 min
Wednesday Night Weigh-in
Monday After Dinner eat only energy dense foods (weigh your food)
Monday After Dinner drink only water and cut out the salty food
Tuesday After breakfast cut out carbs
Tuesday After lunch cut water
Tuesday After practice get in at least 1 extra workout 30-45 min[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]