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Weight Loss Practices of College Wrestlers: A 5-Year Follow-Up2374Board #106 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Oppliger, Robert A. FACSM; Scott, James R.; Utter, Alan C. FACSM; Steen, Suzanne Nelson FACSM

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 5 - p S436
Friday Morning Poster Presentations: Posters displayed from 7:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: One-hour author presentation times are staggered from 8:30–9:30 a.m. and 9:30–10:30 a.m.: E-29 Free Communication/Poster-Fitness, Activity, and Risk Factors: FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2006 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM ROOM: Hall B

1Iowa Wrestling Research, Iowa City, IA.

2Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI.

3Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.

4 University of Washington, Gig Harbor, WA.


In 1998, the NCAA made significant changes in rules to curtail excessive weight cutting among wrestlers.

PURPOSE: To survey weight loss behaviors among college wrestlers.

METHODS: We surveyed 712 wrestlers from 36 schools including 14 Division I, 8 Division II, and 14 Division III. The retrospective survey covered the 2003–04 competitive year and included items from a similar tool administered in 1999.

RESULTS: Excluding heavyweights (n=29), the primary methods of weight loss used frequently (≥3 times/week) were increased exercise (78.8%), gradual dieting (71.3%) and restricting food (45.6%). Unhealthy behaviors including restricting fluids (30.4%) and fasting (9.8%) were also employed. Banned behaviors including use of a heated wrestling room (47.4%), rubber/plastic suit (9.0%), and saunas (8.4%) were prevalent. These results show few differences compared to the 1999 survey.

CONCLUSION: Weight loss behaviors have changed little in five years and still include unsafe and illegal practices

© 2006 American College of Sports Medicine