Wrestlers trim the fat before stepping on the mat
Ever try losing 25 pounds in a week? Not many people do. However, this is one of the struggles that wrestlers face constantly. Maybe they do not always lose 25 pounds, but they are forced to keep a constant watch on their weight and often times they are forced to push their limits before even stepping on the mat.
“Wrestlers go to extremes to make or break weight, and it can be very detrimental to their internal organs,” Athletic Director Randall Neal said.
To determine which weight class a wrestler is in, they must “weigh in” before the season begins and every time they wrestle. A lot of wrestlers go to extremes to lose weight, so they do not have to wrestle bigger opponents.
“I knew a lot of wrestlers in college that would starve, or purge themselves in order to lose weight,” Neal said.
Another popular way to lose weight for the winter season is the trash bag method.
“The Trash bag method is when wrestlers wear rubber suits, or trash bags, while they are working out in order to sweat more and lose more weight,” Neal said.
The Trash bag method is a popular way to shave some unwanted pounds; however, it has proved fatal in more than one case. In 1998 the N.C.A.A put heavier restrictions on the methods wrestlers used for shedding weight, due to the fatalities of three collegiate wrestlers that died due to complications while wearing rubber suits, according to the New York Times.
On top of the already barred laxatives, fluid restrictions, purging and hot rooms (rooms above 79 degrees), the N.C.A.A announced the prohibition of rubber suits, saunas for water loss and diuretics. Although more drastic measures are taken at the collegiate level to make weight, high school wrestlers are also taking dangerous steps in the direction toward their desired weight class.
“I don’t have to lose any weight this season, but last year I would spit a lot or even throw up in order to make it,” Wrestler Zach Scally (12) said.
One senior wrestler in particular, Damasjae Currington, is taking a more healthy approach to making weight. Currington had to lose 21-23 lbs before his first weigh in.
“I am working harder in practice and jogging every night in sweats,” Currington (12) said.
Another healthy way to lose weight is diet.
“It is all about eating healthy and portion sizes,” Wrestler Nolan Severa (12) said.