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Making Weight in Combat Sports

Langan-Evans, Carl BSc; Close, Graeme L PhD; Morton, James P PhD

Strength & Conditioning Journal: December 2011 - Volume 33 - Issue 6 - pp 25-39
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e318231bb64
Articles

COMBAT SPORTS ARE CATEGORIZED INTO WEIGHT CLASSES INTENDED TO PROMOTE FAIR COMPETITION BY MATCHING OPPONENTS OF EQUAL STATURE AND BODY MASS. MANY ATHLETES AIM TO COMPETE AT THE LIGHTEST WEIGHT POSSIBLE IN THE BELIEF THAT IT WILL OFFER A COMPETITIVE EDGE OVER OPPONENTS. CONSEQUENTLY, COMBAT ATHLETES OFTEN RELY ON ACUTE AND CHRONIC DEHYDRATION AND RESTRICTED ENERGY INTAKE TO MAKE WEIGHT. IN CONTRAST, THIS ARTICLE OUTLINES KEY PRINCIPLES FROM EXERCISE METABOLISM AND NUTRITION THAT COMBAT ATHLETES CAN EMPLOY TO MORE GRADUALLY MAKE WEIGHT AND THEREFORE AVOID THE NEGATIVE HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE EFFECTS ASSOCIATED WITH TRADITIONAL WEIGHT-MAKING STRATEGIES.

Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Carl Langan-Evans is a strength and conditioning coach completing his Masters degree at Liverpool John Moores University and a former international taekwondo competitor.

Graeme L. Close is a senior lecturer in Exercise Metabolism and Sports Nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University.

James P. Morton is a senior lecturer in Exercise Metabolism and Sports Nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University.

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association