Is Weight Gained From Morning To Night Just Water Weight Making Weight For Wrestling – Part II

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Making Weight For Wrestling – Part II

This month I want to start with a little story. It goes back to my days as a competitive powerlifter. I competed for 12 years in powerlifting, and remember many matches where I had to cut weight. Towards the end of my powerlifting career I was around 196 lbs. I could have competed in the 198 lb. class, but chose to drop down to the 181 lb. class to take a shot at a 500 lb. bank press There weren’t too many guys benching 500 lbs in those days. in the 181 lb weight class so it sounded like a good idea.

Before the first year I would make this attempt, I had my best training lift of 475 lbs. for 3 repetitions in the gym. That would equal about 530 lbs. for me. It was the best training ever, and my match was the following week. I was super strong, and super ready to go “get the job done.” I only had to drop from 196 lbs. up to 181 lbs. and had a week to do it. Worst case scenario, I knew I would finally get my 500 lb bench press to 181 lbs. of body weight.

I wanted to stay strong, so I waited until Wednesday of that week to start cutting, before the Saturday morning weigh-in at 9am and the powerlifting match at 12pm.

I ate just 3 small meals every day, and they were basically sandwiches, and protein shakes. By Friday night I was 189 lbs. I still had to lose 8 lbs. and knew I’d just shed the water weight by the time the waves rolled. Heck, I would get a few hours to regain the water, so I could probably compete at a weight of a full 195-196 lbs. and in the end you get 500 bank.

I didn’t drink water, and sat on and off in my friends sauna for a few hours. The weight came off. I was tired, and didn’t feel too big, but the weight came off. Besides, I could still put the water back in my system and compete feeling strong.

The next morning at 9 am I weighed 181 lbs. on the nose. After weighing in I guzzled Gatorade and water. I tried to eat a little, but my appetite was mainly for water and Gatorade, not solid food. I also ate a banana to get my potassium levels back up. The long and the short of it was that I only bench pressed 470 lbs. that day It was good enough to win that particular powerlifting contest, but it was a personal disappointment. I knew something was wrong. The next week at the gym I was a comfortable 197 lbs. and my bench press was even better. I hadn’t trained since the game, but the following Saturday I pushed weight that would equal a 535lb. bank pressure

What did I learn from this experience?

I learned that if you want to keep your strength, you better cut weight. If you are a wrestler or a powerlifter, your goal is to perform at your best. Wrestlers don’t lift maximum weight to win a match, but it makes sense to assume that when you’re at your strongest, you’ll wrestle at your best!

All things being equal, the stronger wrestler wins!

With this in mind, here are some guidelines for shedding water weight to help you wrestle at your best:

Use proper weight cutting methods to lose fat first If you don’t have much fat on your body, you either have to trick your body into encouraging more fat loss, or accept that your body can cannibalize its own muscle for food otherwise. You should eat 6 or 7 small protein-centered meals throughout the day.

Do not exceed 3 or 4 lbs. about weight class two days before. Listen carefully. There are some basic physiological truths in this world. You can not cut 10 lbs in one day, and have it come off fat. It must be dehydration. Dehydration will make you weaker than pregnant. I don’t care how tough you are, how good you are at wrestling, who you learned from, etc. If you cut too much at night, you may win the match or tournament despite poor weight cutting techniques, but you will be struggling at YOUR personal best! It won’t matter until you’ve met your match. Be smart with your weight cutting.

Do not dehydrate. You should start to “restrict” water about 15 hours before you venture in. That means you will drink 6-8 ounces of water every 3 hours starting 15 hours before the weigh-in. If you feel that you can’t drink any water at this point, and just try to sweat it out the old-fashioned way, you won’t keep your strength.

The Super-Saturation meal 36 hours before you weigh in (assuming you are at 3-4 lbs. over) You need to super-saturated the muscle cells. To do this, you would have a large carbohydrate meal (pasta, rice, yams, baked potatoes, etc.) You eat as much as you can comfortably eat during this meal. You then limit carbohydrates the rest of that day, and the next day. Don’t worry, although your body will use the stored carbohydrates (now in the muscle cells as glycogen) for energy, you will still have glycogen stored in your liver. Your body will be able to use this stored liver glycogen for energy on wrestling day. After the super-satiety meal, you will basically eat all-protein meals.

If I knew then what I know now, I might have put my 500 lb bench press in the 181 lb class. Instead, I reached a comfortable weight of 193 lbs. later that year and got my 500lb. bench and just missed a 535 lb. Learn from my mistakes. Cut your weight properly, consistently, and watch your gains increase tremendously!

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