Cutting Weight in Combat Sports

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Cutting Weight in Combat Sports
Indira Moores
Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School

Contents

Cutting Weight in Combat Sports3
Cutting Weight in General3
Effects of Extreme Weight Cuts4
Effects on Growth and Development5
Proper Techniques5
Effects on Performance6
Average Cuts7
Prevention of Weight Cutting8
Conclusion8
Works Cited10

Cutting Weight in Combat Sports

It is a known fact that to be a competitor at an elite level, one must work hard and make sacrifices. There are many examples of hard working athletes shown through the media. Most of these examples, however, tend to focus on a select few professional sports like hockey, football, basketball and amateur sports like figure skating and track and field. Many other sports, are sometimes recognized as being an elite level, but are not nearly as understood because they do not get the exposure from the media, that more ‘popular’ sports do. A lot of combat sports, including wrestling, fall in to this category. Wrestling gets a limited media exposure compared to more popular sports, and as a result, is not well understood. For example, at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Canada earned its first gold medal by wrestler Carol Hyun at weight 49 kg. Yet wrestling was generally not covered extensively over most television networks, (Yardly, 2008).Because combat sports aren’t generally media-popular sports, they are often not understood, which leads to some misconceptions. For instance, they are viewed as more violent compared to other contact sports such as hockey or football, or that it requires less training, (Bina, 2011). However, one of the biggest misconceptions, and the one I am choosing to focus on is that cutting weight, in a sport such as wrestling, is an unhealthy component of the sport with detrimental consequences. That’s not to say that there aren’t extreme examples of dangerous and reckless weight cutting with dire consequences. However weight cutting, when monitored and executed properly, is just another example of hard work and sacrifices that must be made within the sport. Cutting Weight in General

Most combat sports are divided into weight classes. This gives athletes the advantage of competing against someone who is relatively their own size. Rather than having a 190 pound athlete compete against a 130 pound athlete. The competitors attend a weigh- in session in which the athletes are weighed and are grouped in to the listed weight class. This is where the concept of cutting weight comes in. Instead of wrestling someone your own size, why not lose weight and wrestle somebody who is smaller? This thought process has become very popular in recent years with wrestlers, especially in North America. Cutting weight is known as the process of losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time. If it is only a few pounds, losing the weight is fairly easy, but if the athlete is trying to drop multiple weight classes in a few days that is when issues arise. Unfortunately, the small amount of attention from the media that wrestling receives is mainly focused on the most extreme cases and negative cases, where athletes refuse liquids for hours, food for days and wear multiple layers of clothing to sweat out the weight. In some cases athletes are dressed in sweat suits and sit in steam rooms at ridiculously high temperatures in attempts to lose the weight. The media has brought the attention to the deaths and the injuries instead of focusing more on the good of the sport. When the process of cutting weight is only viewed in such a negative way, it’s easy to assume that it can be very detrimental to anyone’s body. Effects of Extreme Weight Cuts

These extreme cases that the media has focused on are, of course, very unfortunate. These cuts have very harmful effects on the body. First of all, there is the obvious fact that the body is being dehydrated. Dehydration alone, causes the body to be tired and sleepy, causes the body to...
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