West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

Weight Management: A Must for our Wrestlers, Part 2

In part one, we took a look at some of the new weight management procedures that have been incorporated in many states across the country. As a matter of fact, the WVSSAC is seriously considering "skinfold testing" as a mandatory procedure for determining certified minimum weight. I agree with their decision, for the sake of our matmen and the great sport of wrestling.

Now let me share some helpful facts and suggestions for wrestlers, parents, and coaches. Consider the following:

1. A wrestler should start at the beginning of the season (the first practice) to begin losing unwanted pounds to reach his certified minimum weight. In doing so, he should lose no more than three pounds a week. The loss of any more weight could lead to dehydration.

2. Do not "fast!" Fasting can cause your muscles to lose proteins for energy, even with body-fat present. Eat at least the minimum calories (approximately 2000) your body requires on a daily basis.

Not knowing any better, I learned to "fast." In fact, I had it down to a science, knowing I would drift 2 and 3/4 pounds in a 24-hour period. I am sure it cost me a couple of wins due to muscle weakness.

3. "Yo-Yo" dieting is a no-no! The greater the peaks and valleys in your body weight, the more difficult it is for your body to function correctly. It tends to hang on more tightly to each calorie, making the weight-reduction phase more difficult as the season progresses.

When I "Yo-Yo" dieted, I would often dream about eating, waking up panicky in the morning -- thinking I ate and was overweight. Don't you let your weight fluctuate more than a couple of pounds during the season. Then you'll dream about winning matches, not consuming food!

4. Finally, research shows that practicing proper methods of weight control are essential to maximizing your athletic performance. The psychological aspects are also positive; you'll feel mentally better because you feel good physically. Improper methods of dieting can only negatively affect your level of success on the mats.

Below are two "conditioning diet" menus that are excellent for wrestlers, and others who are concerned about having more control over their food intake. They were developed by the sports medicine community of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.


Breakfast: Orange Juice, 6 oz. (80 calories); English Muffin (140); Peanut Butter, IT (90); Medium Banana (100); Milk, 1 cup 2% (120) -- Total Calories: 530.

Lunch: Cheese Pizza, 2 slices (400); Milk, 1 cup 2% (120); Medium Apple (80) -- Total Calories: 600.

Dinner: Chicken & Noodles, 1 cup (300); Cooked Carrots, half cup (25); Lettuce Salad (10); Dressing, IT (60); Milk, 1 cup 2% (120) -- Total Calories: 515.

Snack: Milk, I cup 2% (120); Fig Bars, 5 (250) -- Total Calories: 370.



Breakfast: French Toast, 2 slices (300); Syrup, 2 oz. (200); Unsweetened Strawberries, 4 oz. (25); Milk, 1 cup 2% (120) -- Total Calories: 645

Lunch: Turkey Sandwich (Breast) on Bread, 2 slices (245); Lettuce & Tomato Slices (5); Lo-cal Mayonnaise, IT (30); Milk, I cup 2% (120) -- Total Calories: 400.

Dinner: Beef Stew, 2 cups (400); Dinner Roll, 1 (70); Margarine, It (35); Applesauce, 4 oz. (55); Milk, I cup 2% (120); Lo-cal Pudding, I cup (130); Vanilla Wafers, 6 (100) - Total Calories: 910.

Snack: Popcorn, 2 cups & no butter (60); Diet Soda, 12 oz. (0) -- Total Calories: 60.


In closing, peak physical performance involves hard-nose conditioning, a dedication to skill development, and nutritious eating habits With this synergistic combination, you will wrestle better knowing you have done everything possible to be the best!

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. "
-- George Moore

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