Wrestlers use strict diets to cut weight

Erica Beebe

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Wrestlers have to do more than just training in order to perform at their very best. This sport is unique in the fact that players have to make a certain weight. Wrestling coach and physical education teacher Tommy Edgmon explains the difficulties in “cutting” or losing weight.

“[The difficulty of cutting weight] depends on the wrestlers’ body fat and how much weight he has to lose. It also depends on the time period you have to lose it in. If you have a week to lose five pounds, that’s pretty reasonable. If you have a day to lose five pounds, that might be a little hard,” Edgmon said.

In order to lose the weight, wrestlers have to get in at least two workouts a day to lose more calories than they consume. This might sound like a difficult task, but the consequences of not making weight are sometimes worse.

“If you do not make weight you just scratch and you don’t wrestle, and that weight class is open. If we have another wrestler that can fill that weight, then we’ll move kids around to fill that weight. Even if you wrestle 120 pounds, 120.1 is overweight, and you don’t wrestle,” Edgmon said.

While Edgmon works to motivate his wrestlers, it is the wrestlers’ decision on whether they will work to make weight.

“If you say you’re going to make a certain weight, then I expect them to do that. I let them pick what weight they need to make, but at the same time I may tell them where I’d like them to be based on how much they weigh and where the team is falling. If they need guidance as far as workout plans and food regiments, I do recommend that as well,” Edgmon said.