"Anybody can win the matches you can dominate, but it's the tough matches that are going to make the difference."
- Jim Zalesky, University of Iowa

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cutting Weight by Jordan Burroughs

Cutting Weight It sucks. That's the only way to describe making weight in wrestling. There is no other way around it. Saying no to all of your favorite foods is beyond brutal. On behalf of all wrestlers, I want to personally thank everyone who has put up with our cranky attitudes leading up to weigh ins. It wasn't us yelling at you, it was our stomachs. Please forgive us. I can't remember how many times I laid in bed, belly growling, thinking "I just want to be normal, I just want to eat." I don't encourage cutting weight, I will explain why in a later blog, but here are some tips to help you out if you do. That sip of Gatorade just turned into drinking the whole bottle. That half of burger I threw away last month because I was full, is looking pretty tasty. Not to mention I have weigh ins tomorrow, and Mom is making my favorite food for dinner. "Jordan, why don't you just drink water?" "No Mom, water still weighs something." Moms think water is this mysterious weightless wonder drink. Or how about stocking your fridge up with drinks and your cabinet with food before a dual. Been there. Sometimes it seems like I'm more interested in eating than I am with wrestling. These are thoughts that we have all had. But it can be easier than you think. No candy. No soda or juice. No snacks period. The less sugar the better. The simple things are super helpful. I'm no nutritionist, but I know what's good for my body. There are a couple big pointers that are simple but useful. I know everyone wants to have that binge night, the night of a dual. You know those nights, where you eat until you feel like your gonna explode. You have to stop those nights. You worked hard all week to get your weight under control and ruined it in one night. I know you like hot wings, but did you really need to eat 30? I know you love pizza, but did you really need to eat a whole large by yourself? I don't think so. The sooner you can eliminate nights like those, the easier it will become. Secondly, DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF. You need your energy. Just eat smaller portions of meals as you get closer to competition, but don't miss meals. You have to work out to lose weight anyway right? Let's have some energy for it. The most important meal is 2 nights before competition. Not the one immediately after weigh ins. Lastly, stay hydrated. Your body is like a sponge, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. The more water you drink, the more you can expect to sweat, the more weight you will lose. Just don't drink too much. I learned to cut my weight the right way.Here is an ideal plan. The typical dual meet is on a Saturday. Saturday night, have good meal, but limit yourself from eating too much. During training, I walk around at about 175 pounds. I usually start dieting about a month before a competition, which I know is impossible for high school and college kids competing weekly, but making weight weekly makes your body easier to maintain. Let's say you come into practice 8 pounds over on Monday. You have 5 days to lose 8 pounds. Pretty simple. If you make it that way. Replace that fried food with grilled. Skip those fries and get rice. Dump the bag of chips and grab an apple. Small things like this are super helpful. As you get close, remember to stay hydrated and focused on the task, not making the weight but winning matches. Try not to bundle up too much during practice. When I lose weight, I start practice off in a t-shirt and shorts, and as I break a sweat from a hard drill, I throw on my sweats and keep my sweat going. I never start with sweats on. Your body gets so hot and uncomfortable that you can hardly sweat, and it's tough to workout in that stuff anyway. Stay tough and disciplined ladies and gentlemen. I know it's rough, but what part of wrestling isn't? I encourage you to cut your weight the right way. Start early. Don't wait till a couple days before and crash diet. Your diet is just important as your training. How many guys have we seen powerless in the 3rd period of a big match because he hasn't eaten in 2 days? I'm guilty of that. Not anymore. Take control of every aspect of your wrestling. Eat well so you can perform at your highest level. Sometimes you have to make the decision of what's more important to you, eating or winning. Winning of course. - Jordan