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Cutting Weight For Wrestling – a Guidebook

29 Nov Posted by in Wrestling Tips | Comments
Cutting Weight For Wrestling – a Guidebook
  1. Determine the minimum weight you can wrestle at. Most states require certification for high school wrestlers, as do many organizations at other levels. If you’re not allowed to go below a certain weight, there’s no point in straining yourself.
  2. Try to lose weight slowly over a few months. A good diet and vigorous daily workout can get you to surprisingly low body fat percentage, although running in excess may burn more muscle than fat. Losing body fat is the best way to lose weight, and might keep you from having to cut at all!
  3. Determine how much weight you typically lose overnight. Between dinner and breakfast, you probably use the restroom twice (before and after bed) and lose some water during sleep. Weighing yourself before and after bed every day will allow you to plan ahead. Some people regularly lose two pounds or so every night.
  4. Two days before the match, try to cut down your water intake. Under-hydrating is still a problem. You need water to keep your body systems functioning. Try to drink 3-4 ounces of water every 3 hours before weighing in .stay away from sports drinks during workouts as well, they may sound tempting but water hydrates just as well and with fewer calories. Try to eat high-energy foods during this time.  You want good protein sources, lean meats like chicken and turkey are good but stay away from fatty and red meats. soy is also a good source of protein.
  5. During the 24 hours before your match, start cutting. If you want to be at your best, you’re going to need calories, though, so try to eat foods that have a high calorie-to-weight ratio. Energy bars are usually the best source of calories in a food that only weight a few ounces. The night before your match, weigh in before dinner. If you are overweight by more than the amount you normally sleep off, limit yourself to just an energy bar and go to bed.
  6. If you have a very small amount of weight to lose, try spitting into an empty can. Use a pack of gum to or hard candies encourage saliva production (stronger or sour flavors work best, especially cinnamon). Over the course of a day, you might be able to fill up a 20 ounce bottle or more.  It’s a bit gross, and gets much more difficult than you might think, but it is much easier on your body than any other method if you’re just dying from the cut and still have enough saliva to spit..  Brush your teeth… and we suggest working out – it’s better for you than this, but people want all of their options.. lol.
  7. If you have a larger amount of weight to lose, consider running it off. Sauna suits or garbage bag outfits are popular, but very dangerous. If you’re going to use one, never use one by yourself. Running short, fast laps followed by short breaks works well — the short bursts raise your temperature enough to keep your sweat going.
  8. After you weigh in, avoid the urge to chow down immediately. Depending on how much time you have, drink water or gatorade slowly at first. This allows you to absorb the water and hydrate yourself quickly, food would slow down this absorption.  Drink room temperature fluids after a heavy cut so you don’t shock your system.
  9. Only eat what you have to in order to not be hungry. You’re not going to gain any energy from your food to make a difference, and you don’t want to be sick. There’ll be plenty of time to eat after the match.
  10. Remember: Fibrous foods keeps you full for a longer period than most, so try to get a solid amount of fiber into your diets.

[private]This is a basic outline, if you want more information about a specific topic please ask in the comments![/private]


  • [private] In most foods, most of the weight is made up of water. By buying foods with a high calorie-to-weight ratio, you can be sure that you’re not replacing the water that you’re trying to lose! (A clarification here: be careful. If you eat dry carbohydrates and your body wants to store them as glycogen in the muscles and liver (which it will if you are dieting), note that it needs 3 times as much water to store them as the mass of carbs consumed. Where does the body get that water from? From wherever it can get it, which means that if you eat 1lbs of carbs your body will need 3lbs of carbs to get to the state of hydration that it was at before. If you were borderline dangerously dehydrated, this will push you over the edge if you don’t drink the extra water your body is thirsting for.)
  • Remember that you’re not just trying to lose water weight, you want to lose body fat instead so that the weight will stay off without you being dehydrated.[/private]
  • Avoid sugar and candy on match day. It’ll give you a little bit of energy at first, but it’ll be gone before you can put it to any use.
  • [private]Garbage bag suits may seem like a good idea, but they are VERY dangerous. Only use them when supervised, and as mentioned above, it is best to run a SHORT distance, just long enough to get your body temperature up, and then take a break or you could cause yourself serious harm. Do 15-20 minute workouts then weigh yourself. If you still need to cut more water, wait at least 30 minutes before cutting again.[/private]


  • Drink plenty of water. It is not worth cutting the weight if you can’t wrestle due to dehydration! It’s best to drink at least every 10-15 minutes, like you are at the gym and at least every 3-4 hours during the day. However, everybody’s body is different so find out what your body takes in from drinking water. Also, drinking sport energy drinks sometimes can slow you down.
  • [private]If you feel a burning or pulsing heat in your chest, head, or abdomen, or if you feel a sharp pain, stop running immediately. This is your body’s way of letting you know that it is overheating. You’ll still sweat plenty during your rest, but it’s important that you cool down.
  • If you feel dizzy, sick, or cold, hang it up for the day. These are signs of dehydration and heat illness. You won’t be able to lose any more weight without hurting yourself.
  • Sauna suits and garbage bag shirts can overheat you very quickly. They are NOT a safe or productive way to lose weight. Sauna suits work well under supervision but they really only make you lose water weight quicker than with only a sweater.[/private]
  • If you frequently get pains while you exercise, you should consult your doctor.
  • [private]Starving yourself to lose weight is harmful to your body. You should try to eat healthy everyday. Not eating will make you tired and you may start to feel sick at times during the day.[/private]