Cutting Weight for Dummies: In 4 Steps

I’m currently beginning my fourth year of college wrestling, and over the past ten years in wrestling I have learned what works and what doesn’t work in regards to losing weight for a match — and feeling good by the time you need to wrestle.

Before you read this, if you’re looking for a quick way to lose 15 pounds in a night, this isn’t an article that will help you with that. I don’t think there is anyone out there who that can honestly say they can lose that much weight in a day, and still feel good enough to wrestle their best after the typical 1 or 2 hour weigh in.

These are the tips I have for you from my experience of cutting from 197 to 184:

1. Drink a TON of Water

Drinking a lot of water makes everything about dieting and cutting much easier. I go through an entire gallon every day. I do this for a couple of reasons.

  1. Constantly being hydrated will make your body think you’re more full, which leads to less snacking. It makes it a lot easier to follow a calorie tracker.
  2. You’ll feel a lot better during practices. You won’t feel nearly as hot or tired, and hydration helps limitlessly with muscle recovery.
  3. Your body will constantly store more water, and you’ll lose more during practices. This means that when you cut weight, you can start cutting out water later because you will lose much more in those last couple practices than you would if you weren’t hydrated.

2. Sorry, but you Gotta Use a Calorie Tracker

Unless you have an extremely low amount of body fat already, why not just lose some actual weight to get closer to your wrestling weight? When I wrestled 197, my first year I walked around at 210 because I thought that being bigger would be a huge advantage. My sophomore year I walked around at 200, and the difference in how I felt after weighing in was huge. I was able to spend much less time on cutting weight, and more time on simply getting better at wrestling.

3. Put the Phone Away and Get Your Sleep

I used to get 6–7 hours of sleep every night. A lot of people will tell you that’s more than enough, but if you’re wrestling and lifting multiple times a day, your body needs to recover. Getting 8–9 hours of sleep every night will allow you to wake up feeling less groggy, less sore, and with a clear mind. Having the discipline to go to bed earlier instead of playing on your phone will pay off, I promise. Lately I’ve been shooting to be in bed by 9:30 every night, and my body has never felt better.

4. JUST Practice Won’t be Enough

If you normally have practice in the middle of the day, try getting in an extra drill or run at night or in the mornings. Doing so will boost your metabolism throughout the rest of the day (or night), and it will be really beneficial especially if you are dropping a weight class. If you’re newer to wrestling, I recommend using extra workouts to work on the basic techniques you’re struggling with, because that will be the biggest barrier when you are wrestling opponents that have been doing it for a long time.

If you want to learn more about cutting weight, you can find out EXACTLY what I do to get down in my 30 page guide. I tell you exactly what foods and how much of them I eat, how much I drink, how much I sleep, and how I get down to weight in that last extra workout.

*I even have a backup plan that tells you what I do if I ate too much over the weekend and weigh THIRTEEN pounds over on Monday! It describes every little step I take to make sure I am down to weight on Saturday and feel good.*