I am the 48-year-old father of an 18-year-old high school wrestler. My son’s weight at the start of practice (Nov.) was 118 pounds. By working out at practice he got down to 107 to 108 pounds and then starved himself to 103 pounds to wrestle. Right now he weighs 110 pounds after a two-week layover between the regular season and the start of the WPIAL’s, Regionals and States. How can we get him down to weigh in at 105 pounds the next 3 weeks and not give up his strength and endurance?
After weigh-ins, he can gain back up as long as he is back down by the following week. Any help or guidance you could give me would be most welcome. Thanking you in advance.
The issue of making weight concerns me and I know this has been a part of the sport for a long time. On one hand, you have a growing teenager who unless he gets the nutrients he needs now, may stunt his genetic height potential and bone density among other things. On the other hand the weight cycling, especially starvation and vomiting to make weight, seriously compromise his strength and endurance. Loss of water or dehydration can reduce athletic performance by 30%.
I would not recommend losing weight to wrestle at a lower class. Instead, I would recommend weight training and wrestling practice to maintain his current weight and compete in the 110-pound weight class. At 110 pounds, he should only be 5 feet 1 1/2 inches tall. I would be surprised if an 18-year-old male were this short, but possible. More than likely, he is underweight for height. Have you tried my Healthy Body Calculator®?
I would suggest looking at the whole picture including wrestling, his weight and height and how these fit in with a healthy lifestyle. After all, isn’t that why your son is involved in sports?