Making weight makes wrestling a tough sport

January 7, 2011 — by Brandon Judoprasetijo and Deborah Soung

Think only women are picky about their weight? Think again. In the world of wrestling, even the smallest weight gain or loss can send a wrestler tumbling through various weight classes and training; indeed, a wrestler’s dieting plan can rival the harshness of the Atkin’s.

Wrestlers of below average weight in their respective weight classes often opt to drop a few pounds and face smaller wrestlers instead of wrestlers who weigh 10 or 20 pounds more. One such wrestler, freshman Charles Sun, is intent on dieting his way out of the 112 pound class and into the 103 pound weight class, since “there are less people [in the 103 weight class], and they’re smaller,” according to Sun.

Before dieting, wrestlers go through hydration testing, which tests the amount of body fat on an individual and how much weight he can lose—in other words, the lowest weight class he can wrestle. Then, the wrestler consults his coach to find out what weight class he should wrestle in, and finally, he begins his dieting regimen, according to sophomore Henry Wei.

“[The food] is nothing good, usually just things like chicken, carbs and vegetables,” Wei said. “At the same time, it’s not too bad. If you do it right, then it’s never too bad.”

In addition to eating responsibly, wrestlers often do additional exercise to cut down on weight.

“I usually have eggs for breakfast, a high protein lunch, and a medium dinner with lots of vegetables and meat and some carbs,” said Wei. “Then you always have to work out and do a little extra running, and from there you slowly manage your weight down to the correct weight class.”

Wrestlers’ main complaint about dieting stems from the inability to eat what friends are eating.

“The big negative is that you can’t really enjoy yourself when you’re trying to cut down,” said Wei. “You want to have those pizza sticks, you want to have that ice cream, but you can’t, and then you see other people eating it and it’s really bad.”

However, sticking to a reasonable diet plan always has better results than splurging or waiting until the last minute to fast in order to shed an unhealthy amount of pounds.

“If you’re overweight and you’ve been not eating for a day, day and a half, then you don’t have a lot of energy when you finally weigh in, and you’re just stuffing in all the food into your body an hour before you have to wrestle,” said sophomore Bryson Yates.

Results and future competitions

On Jan. 6, the team lost to at home to Palo Alto 40-10. Missing varsity members and veterans attributed to the team’s struggle.

“To be truthful, we actually lost pretty badly,” Li said. “Half of our varsity team is out. Our best guys weren’t even there, they didn’t even get a chance to wrestle.”

The Falcons face Monta Vista in an away match on Jan. 20 and participate in the Mid Cal Tournament on Jan. 21-22 at Gilroy High School.

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