Amateur wrestling, high school and college, in addition to being a sport extremely dependent on physical strength and skill, is a game of weight. Possessing the strength of a 160-pound person, but physically confronting, fighting, a person with the strength of a 145-pound person, lowering weight to match his opponent, is normal practice. There is nothing illegal about it, we are not talking about steroids or some physique enhancing drug. We are talking about controlling your body to achieve the goals that your mind has set.

Also, there is a science to losing weight. Do it the wrong way or too fast and not only will you lose your advantage, but you will give your opponent a huge advantage by becoming dehydrated and losing strength. You will enter the match tired and slow, exactly the opposite effect you were fighting for.

Let’s get one thing clear before we get started, you can’t lose 3 pounds of body fat in 1 hour unless you cut an appendix and that’s not an option. However, you can lose 3 pounds of total body weight by losing water weight. Remember Biology 101, the body could be made up of 75% water, depending on the physical composition of the person. The fatter the person, the greater the difference in water weight than a muscular person, for example.

So what we are really trying to do is remove water (fluid) from the body, which will result in less body weight. So how can we do this safely?

The first issue we must address is our diet, and I’m not just talking about eating healthy, I’m talking about eating without sodium. Salt is the main reason that a healthy person retains water. There are other health reasons that cause water retention, but those do not apply in our case.

Therefore, if we eliminate as much salt as possible from the body, the body’s resistance to fluid loss decreases, facilitating the passage of water weight through perspiration.

Perspiration, if you remember, is the body’s natural function to cool itself when temperatures rise above normal. Therefore, we must generate heat to raise the temperature of the body and force it to cool down through perspiration.

There are probably many different methods, some complex, such as water pills, that make a person continually urinate to remove fluid from the body, but we will use a tried and true old method. Perspiration.

Dress in warm clothing, such as sweatshirts and sweatpants. You will notice that I use the plural form of shirts and pants because you will be layering these clothes, at least two layers and three if possible.

Be sure to wear some type of hat, preferably a winter hat, as the body removes a tremendous amount of heat through the head. We don’t want that to happen in this situation. We want to retain as much internal heat as possible.

Exercise vigorously for at least 10 minutes. This can be jogging, either on site or around the gym, jumping jacks, whatever feels comfortable for you, but will get you a good sweat.

After a good sweat, lie down and have someone wrap you in a wrestling blanket or mat. This will keep your body temperature high after exercise, which will continue to draw fluid through perspiration.

After 20 minutes, undress and weigh yourself. You have most likely lost more than three pounds, but if not, you still have time to straighten up, put on dry clothes, and repeat the procedure.

As with any sudden or drastic body change, there are dangers associated with this procedure. Never perform this procedure alone. Always have a coach or fighter with quick access to the coach, with you at all times. After gaining weight, rehydrate with drinks like Gatorade, which are high in electrolytes.

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