Updated Tue, Feb 12, 2013 12:35 pm
Americans seem to be always looking for a way to lose weight. Like anyone else, wrestlers are also always working to lose weight – and they tend to be very successful at it. The difference when compared to the average person is: though a wrestler may lose up to 15 pounds a week, he will have to lose those same 15 pounds week after week.
Ranging from 133 to a maximum of 285 pounds, it is clear that wrestlers come in many shapes and sizes. Along with the wide range of weights comes a wide range of cuts. Some wrestlers are lucky, and only have to shed a few pounds. Some are not as lucky, and may have to shed up as much as 15 pounds.
The spectrum of weight is no different for Ohio wrestlers. Freshman Bobcat Kagan Squire finds himself on the lighter side of cutting weight, while other Bobcats such as sophomore Andrew Romanchik sometimes have to cut 15 pounds.
Most wrestlers, however, start each week having to cut about 10 pounds before weigh-ins. That is where freshman 133-pounder Joe Munos finds himself.
“We usually check our weight the first day of practice when you come back for a new week,” Munos says. “Every day (coach Joel Greenlee) want us to get down about two pounds…If you’re over (10 pounds) he’ll make you get within 10 pounds that first day. If you’re 15 over then you’ll do something a little bit extra after practice.
Lately, Romanchik says he has been coming into weeks at just 10 pounds overweight, but when he does weigh in at 15 pounds overweight, he is one of Greenlee’s wrestlers that has to do extra workouts.
“I probably do three or four a week. I run on the treadmill, stair stepper and elliptical for about an hour. Each workout is about an hour,” Romanchik says.
As a wrestler who is typically 10 pounds overweight, Munos says that he only needs one extra work out a week in order to make his weight.
Being on lighter side, Ohio’s 141-pounder, Squire only needs to lose five to eight pounds per week, and he says he is able to do all that in practice and by lengthening his practices just a bit longer, to keep his sweat going.
Cutting weight is certainly not glamorous, and losing so much weight in such little time comes with some negative effects, such as dehydration, fatigue and sluggishness.
“Towards the end of the week—about Thursday or Friday—I start to feel a little dehydrated. It’s a pretty big cut to make,” Romanchik said.
Munos notes that he also feels dehydrated at times, especially if he has to cut all of his water weight right before a weigh in. After all the time dedicated to slimming down, the techniques used can result in wrestlers being tired and sluggish. These obstacles are just a few of many that they need to overcome in their matches.
Squire believes that the small amount of weight that he needs to cut gives him an advantage over his opponents. To that, Romanchik says, “Someone who doesn’t cut (as much) weight is obviously going to feel a lot better.”
With fewer pounds to drop, Squire can eat more, thus giving him more energy for his matches. After all, working up a sweat is not the only way that wrestlers trim themselves down. They also have to watch what they take in everyday.
“The dining halls are tough to eat at,” Munos said. “Coach has a pretty good idea what’s in there so he keeps us eating chicken breast and the pasta and fruits, and (we) stay away from the pop and sugary drinks.”
“I eat pretty healthy but my food intake might be a little more than some of the other guys,” said Romanchik, who finds ways to eat right outside of Ohio University’s dining halls. “I drink lots of water, and Gatorade. I eat lots of Subway, actually, and Jimmy John’s.”
So once a wrestler meets his goal at weigh-ins, what’s next, and how do they gain all of the weight back?
“Usually you put on about five pounds after weigh in,” Munos said.
With all the food and fluids that they take in after weigh-in, wrestlers regain a lot of their weight. Over the next day or two following their matches, wrestlers’ muscles and fluids are totally replenished.
Then it is time to start all over again.