Weight factors into wrestlers training


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Photo by Enrico Cabredo |

Senior 125-pounder Joey Langel is one of many wrestlers who have to grapple with watching and cutting their weight.


Scott Winston saw the scale tip to more than 200 pounds after one of his surgeries.

“In the summertime, I’m weighing 190, 195 [pounds] and I’m not really fat,” he said. “I’ve seen 205 after surgery, so I guess I cut some weight.”

Though he has competed as high as 165 pounds during his career for the Rutgers wrestling team, the senior moved down a weight class to 157 pounds this season.

It is the same weight he wrestled at when finished his freshman season ranked No. 12 in his weight class.

The process of getting down to each wrestler’s minimum weight is a responsibility unique to the sport.

“This year it has been a discipline weight cut,” Winston said. “There have been times I’ve struggled, but that’s just part of it.”

According to NCAA rules, each wrestler’s weight must be assessed before they begin to practice, with the recorded weight the minimum at what they can compete at.

“The reality is you probably come in anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds from what you weigh in July,” Goodale said. “I wouldn’t label it as a weight cut, but should be a progression of a weight loss and a proper diet. It’s definitely a uniqueness and always on these guys minds.”

Each wrestler is weighed in an hour before a dual match to make sure no wrestler comes in over weight.

During his wrestling days at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, Goodale said he cut weight a lot in his career.

Goodale said wrestlers had 24 hours between weigh-ins and matches to recover, and used saunas and plastic suits to make weight.

The NCAA has since outlawed these practices, along with implementing the one-hour time after weigh-ins.

“Rules were different,” Goodale said. “You could cut a lot of weight and feel like crap and still have 24 hours to recover.”

For Winston and the rest of the Scarlet Knights, making weight can still sometimes be a struggle.

If grapplers wait until last minute to drop the extra pounds, it will show on the mat.

“There have been times when you go out there and your muscles freeze,” Winston said. “No matter how great and how hard you’ve trained, it doesn’t matter. You can do all that for no reason if you don’t cut your weight right.”


By Bradly Derechailo

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