A Wrestler’s Life

Eric Thorson, Spear Contributor

Wrestling is generally regarded as one of the hardest sports in high school. This is because of both the physical and mental stresses that come with playing it. Wrestlers have to deal with the pressure of 1 v 1 competition, constant impacts, and notoriously, cutting weight. Many people don’t quite understand why wrestlers have to cut weight and they don’t see how it is relevant to performing well in the sport. During the offseason, wrestlers often put on as much muscle as possible for the following season. However, it’s quite difficult to put on muscle without putting on any fat alongside it, and here lies the problem. This fat needs to be shed because it takes up precious weight that could be muscle. Once the season starts, wrestlers begin eating less, running, and doing other rituals to cut off as much of this “dead weight” fat as possible, leaving behind only muscle. This allows them to wrestle lower weight classes, which is considered easier. That being said, this is no new phenomenon. Wrestlers all over the world have been cutting sometimes extreme amounts of weight for decades. Shedding a little fat never hurt anybody, but modern day wrestlers are taking weight cutting to the new heights, some say it’s too far and becoming dangerous. There is a line between cutting fat and starving yourself to the point where the very muscle begins to atrophy. Now, CHSAA has set new guidelines to prevent this unhealthy weight cutting. A wrestler must have 7% body fat or more in order to legally cut ANY weight. The wrestler must also pass a hydration test before weighing in. These rules prevent extreme weight cutting, but regular weight cutting is still a large part of wrestling. No matter what guidelines are present, or how much weight needs to be cut, it still sucks. Wrestlers push hard in practice and put physical stresses on their bodies, and then aren’t able to eat the food they need to repair themselves. Going from eating as much as possible in the offseason to eating as little a possible is rough.  It is a brutal routine, a routine which is unique to wrestling.