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Thread: The Evils of Weight cutting

  1. #10

    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    I can't really speak in personal terms about weight cutting as the most I ever pulled was like 5 or 6 pounds at the start of the week up until match time, and that was still generally eating whatever I wanted up until the day of.

    I actually spent my last year and a half or so of wrestling trying to gain weight. Not to make you all feel bad or anything.

    I did have a buddy though on my team, tough kid but for his first three years he cut way too much weight, and was absolutely miserable doing it. Our senior year he wound up going 171 while walking around at about 169 and made the state finals.

  2. #11
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    One thing that made my high school wrestling experience enjoyable was the fact that I always wrestled 2 weights up the whole season and cut weight only for National Preps. So I never had to really cut weight in high school with the exception of the last two weeks during each season.

  3. #12
    Mayor of Bringsburg homerdindon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    I might as well chime in with my weight cutting adventures. (Warning, this is going to end up being pretty long)

    I was very fortunate to be in one of the top youth wrestling clubs growing up (PWA represent, Grips and Dart!). From the time I was in 6th grade on, I was surrounded by very good high school wrestlers, and most of these high school wrestlers cut a good amount of weight. I looked up to these guys, and thought that if I was going to be good, I had to cut weight. It was never something that my dad or coach forced upon me or anything; I was just following what I saw the top guys doing. I guess I didn't know any better.

    My 8th grade year, there was a Junior quad (Junior like the age group after Cadets, not Junior in high school) between us, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York (who didn't show up, which was stupid). The lowest weight was 98, and the coaches asked me if I wanted to be the 98 pounder for the team. Even though I was a big 105 pounder, I agreed, being that I was only a 2nd year schoolboy, and this was a team consisting of all the best high school wrestlers in the state.

    Some rich guy in Maryland decided to put our entire team up in his house for the weekend. While I would normally be feeling miserable cutting so much, everyone else on the team was cutting just as hard. Guys like Carl Perry, Byron Tucker, etc. were in the sauna with me sweating our brains out, and I thought it was the most awesome thing that had ever happened, even though I was hurting pretty bad. From then, I thought that I had to cut weight or I would be at a serious disadvantage.

    Starting high school the next year, I wrestled 112, which actually wasn't a horrible cut for me. I weighed about 120 normally, so with normal wrestling workouts and such, it wasn't too bad.

    Sophomore year, I decided to move up to 119. I had my mind set on 119 since the summer, so I tried to keep my weight within striking distance of that. Well, I grew about 3 or 4 inches, so I didn't realize how much energy cutting was taking out of me. In short, that year was absolutely miserable. I was barely beating guys that I teched the year before. I probably should have moved up a weight, but the #1 ranked guy in the nation was at that weight, so I figured I'd take my chances at 119. I lost 3 times to a guy that I had beaten 5 times the year before, with our closest match from the previous year being 8-3. I was sluggish, got tired, had no quickness, etc etc. I sucked, pretty much.

    It wasn't until after that year that I decided that cutting weight wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I decided I was just going to start eating well, and lifting my butt off, and whatever weight I ended up at was the weight that I would go. I wrestled 154 in all of the local freestyle tournaments, and beat the state champ at 145 a few weeks after the season. Not to toot my own {proverbial} horn, but I kinda pwned everyone that year at Cadet World Team Trials (except for Coyte Cooper, damn him...j/k, he's awesome, and I'm not just saying that in case he's reading it) and Cadet Nationals. I had never felt better in my life.

    The next 2 years I just stayed big (152 both years, as opposed to 119 my sophomore year) and had a lot of success. It was so good to be able to focus on getting better, getting my team better, etc. rather than to worry about how much I weighed all of the time.

    College, I had to cut to 157 my freshman year, despite weighing 185ish preseason. It was a very tough year, to say the least. The weight cutting, coupled with being a true freshman wrestling top 5 ranked guys every freaking weekend, really took a toll on me. I pretty much just got pwned all year. It sucked.

    Sophomore and Junior years, I'd weight about 195 in the offseason, and then cut down to 165. I did fairly well each year, but I was always losing to the same guys, and decided it was time for a change.

    I did the rare 2-weight bump up to 184 my Senior year, and only had to cut about 15 pounds total from my highest weight ever. So during the season, I really didn't cut at all. I felt 100% better than I had the previous two years, both physically and mentally. My results were a lot better as well. While I ended up pulling a major chokejob at NCAAs that year, life does go on, and I was happy that I made the jump.

    In closing (told you this would be long), I'm obviously not a fan of cutting weight. If you're a few pounds over a weight, then there's nothing wrong with just watching yourself and losing a pound or two. But while I used to think that extreme weight cutting was the thing to do, or the thing that would get you ahead from everyone else, I now know that this is far from the truth. If the average wrestler would spend half of the time working on technique that he spends worrying about making weight, there would be a lot more great wrestlers around. Ok, I'm done.
    "Now class, I'd like for you to transition from downward dog....straight to FULL BRING!!!"

  4. #13
    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    i came out of football @195 and the only spot open on the varsity was 155 -so out came the plastics , the diuretics ,the spitting in a cup -passing out between classes and finally making the weight and being 4 points at start of third and literally every part of me cramped -finished the match getting stuck @5;30 or so ..Wrestled reserve 185 rest of the year .

    While i was coaching no one cut more than 5% of their body weight -period. And when I go back to coaching no one will cut .

    How many of you ,like me , have screwed up thyroids ? I'm waiting on my first knee replacement -my 6th knee surgery and my first shoulder replacement , 2nd shoulder operation .
    I just turned 50 and I can barely move somedays -I was never state champion and went to college on an academic ride -I'm practically living on pain meds and I used to not even take aspirin .

    Tell your kids it isn't worth it- the weight cutting starts a series of imbalances you don't see right away .

  5. #14

    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    Cutting weight sucks... my coaches wouldn't let us cut weight (beyond a few lbs) even through high school. Having kids cut weight is crazy.

  6. #15
    National Finalist MOJO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    Great stories Brothers and sister! Brother R. Payton brings up a great point, the long lasting effects of weight cutting. I'm talking real long term, like I retired from competition in 1989, and as I mentioned in the original post, stop cutting insane weight in 1982, and 26 years later, I still can't tell when I am thirsty. It seems like I somehow shut down my conscious awareness of thirst. This has gotten me into trouble healthwise on several occasions well into my 40's, not drinking enough water and wondering why I was always having headaches and dark colored urine!

    Brother Homer, that was a great story. The increase in performance and mood after bumping up 2 classes makes so much sense and is a story more kids should hear. Another recent example in your weight class was Damion Hahn. Sanderson's comments today regarding Varner support this idea as well.
    You bring up a great point regarding modeling as well. Its not just overzealous dads and coaches who are responsible for wrestlers thinking that drastic cutting is the way to glory. The biggest and most significant role models for many kids are their same age or slightly older peers. I remember seeing Adam Cuestas all bundled up like the Michelin man at the state freestyle tourney my first year wrestling. He came in to the weigh-in room and peeled off several layers of soaking wet gear and I recall thinking "THAT is what it takes to be a state champ!" I'm sure I wasn't the only awe-struck kid taking mental note.

  7. #16
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    In his senior year, my son's coach told him he wanted him to go 130. My didn't want to cut that much knowing the hadship he's by in. He wanted to go 135 which was 7 under his walk around weight. Hcould have gone 140 since he was beating on the soph at that weight class. Well, things got real hot with the coach the day before the opening Christmas tournament. Now my son won the wrestle off for 135, but coach wanted to use him at 130. He shows up day of the tournament at 134, coach goes balastic and wouldn't let him on the bus.

    The kid walked away from the sport and never looked back. He knew hew wouldn't enjoy the season as 4 lbs would have been a real stretch. Can you believe the coach never talked to him again. A 3 year starter, top returning 35 lb in the district and the coach just ignores him. The HS AD talked to him twice and my son explained the situation.

    He doesn't regret it though and the coach was canned at the end of the season.

  8. #17
    Related To Gage Trusty's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    I'm glad the tool bag coach got canned.
    Even though he doesn't regret it, it's too bad he didn't get to compete his senior year.

  9. #18
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    We had talked about it daily when he made his decision, I wanted him to be sure. He had been cutting 7 - 10 lbs his first three years. He told me his friends were about the same size when they were in 7-8th grade. They grew taller and he wasn't growing as tall. He attributed that to the weight cutting. He was convinced it was a cause. It had affected him deeply. I can tell he creid over the decision for a week. He does question how far he could have gone, but he is content with his decision and doesn't regret it.

    His buddies on the team talked to him in school and called him nightly trying to change his mind. That fact the coach never made any attempt hurt him, but he was steadfast that he wasn't dropping the extra 5.

    He found the strength to go to the district finals to root for a couple of teammates that were in the finals. He hung out near the neutral corner and as his friends won their bouts, they ran over to him to celebrate rather than the coach. Oh what a bunch shit that kicked up in the wrestling room the next week.

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