Alright, while cutting weight isn’t really the focus of this blog, it is an important part of wrestling. And since I’m a proponent of educating yourself in an effort to maximize your performance, I wanted to write some posts to help you out.
On a quick side note- I decided to include a picture from my most recent weigh in. This was from a couple of weeks ago when I made 145 for the first time. My first 6 fights were at 170 and 155. The only reason I put it up is to show that I practice what I preach.
Anyway, there are a number of issues to tackle when it comes to getting your weight down. Here are some of the most important factors. The first, and most important, is…
Get Your Diet Under Control
Listen, as you probably know, there’s only so much weight you can cut.
My water cut didn’t go according to plan for this weigh in. I think this was due to the fact that I had a cold and major congestion all week and that I didn’t drop my carbs enough.
Anyway, I ended up having to cut 12 pounds from my morning weight. By the time I I stepped on the scale at 6:30 that evening I was at 145.8.
As you may have guessed, it wasn’t a very fun time.
But whatever, I had to do it so I got it done.
By the time I was done, I probably didn’t have much more to lose. I was starting to have some inner ear issues and I obviously had really bad dry mouth. Additionally, my eyes felt really dry, something I’ve never felt before.
Fortunately it’s a day before weigh in, so I had plenty of time to rehydrate. This is something wrestlers do not have the luxury of.
Back to the point- there’s only so much water weight you can lose.
On top of that, because you have such a limited time to rehydrate, it’s in your best interest to stay as regimented as possible with your eating.
A great resource to get you started on ways to improve your diet is my Wrestling Nutrition post.
In terms of putting together a meal plan, here are some tips.
Slower digesting foods farther from practice.
This will provide more of a sustained source of fuel for you during the day. You will also feel full for a longer period of time.
For example, my daily breakfast is Super Yogurt Pudding!
Wow, that sounds fancy and delicious, right?
Anyway, right now I’m not measuring my food since I don’t have to make weight again until January 25.
But, I’d estimate it to contain the following:
– 1 cup fat free plain greek yogurt.
– 4 tablespoons organic peanut butter.
– 1 scoop of Chocolate Complete by Strengthlete.
It makes a nice, chocolate peanut butter pudding that is packed with slow burning fat and protein.
Not only does it provide 2 great sources of protein but the slow burning fat keeps me feeling full for a long time.
My breakfast choice is by no means the answer to your diet concerns. But it is certainly better than a bowl of sugary cereal, and it works well for me. By the way, this is a big key when designing your wrestling nutrition plan.
Faster digesting foods around practice/workouts.
For more immediate replenishment after training you’ll want to ingest foods that digest at a faster rate.
Typically that means starchy foods, some fruits, and faster digesting protein (whey is a good option here). You’ll want to stay away from fibrous carbs (veggies, slower digesting fruits like apples, and in my case, Ezekial bread).
There are a lot of great options here. But again, it’s important that you find what works best for you.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t exactly follow this very well.
For example, I will start my day with the yogurt pudding. I usually have that about 2-2.5 hours before my first workout.
After my first training session, I usually eat 3 slices of Ezekial toast with Coconut Oil and honey along with a vanilla protein shake.
I’ll rest for a couple of hours before starting my next session. Once I’m done with that I usually have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Ezekial.
In addition to the slow burning fat from the peanut butter and slow burning carbs from the Ezekial bread, I usually use low sugar jelly. In a nutshell, I don’t do a super good job of eating fast digesting carbs after training sessions.
But, while my meal selection in relationship to my workouts is something I need to improve, I’ve found that my food choices work well for me.
I don’t suffer from the dips and spikes in blood sugar that are sometimes the result of eating a high carbohydrate, fast digesting meal. This is something that regularly affected me when I was a pudgier, out-of-shape powerlifter.
I guess this supports the idea that it’s really about finding what works for you.
Stay Consistent Between Weigh Ins
The biggest thing that I think wrestlers struggle with is consistency between weigh ins.
For example, this past week was certification week in NYS. And, just like every year, the wrestlers I train were all working hard to get their weight down.
You know the drill…
Not eating much, if anything, for many days in addition to drinking just enough water to maintain pee that doesn’t look like Apple Cider.
And then once everyone’s finished with the process, the eating begins.
One of the wrestlers I train who’s going for his 3rd NYS Championship had a full sub, a can of Pringles, and a package of cookies!
Another guy went to 3-4 different restaurants to get his favorite meals at each place.
I know it’s part of the “ritual.” I did similar things after certifications.
But it’s huge swings in calorie consumption like this which lead to inconsistencies with your metabolism. It impacts your body’s ability to properly digest and utilize food as energy. It also promotes bloating and water retention. When this is done in between weigh-ins that are a couple days apart, it only makes things harder to get your weight down.
I know it’s hard to maintain your weight.
But honestly which is more painful- not eating a brownie at lunch or losing an important match in front of your friends, family, and teammates?
Listen, only you can make the decision to get your nutrition plan dialed in.
But let me tell you from personal experience- getting my diet under control has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I recover better.
I feel better.
I lose weight easier.
I have great, consistent energy throughout the day.
I’m sure when you make the necessary improvements and are consistent for a while, you will feel the same way.