'Making weight' ingrained in the culture of wrestling

Published: Feb. 7, 2020 at 5:39 PM EST
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Todd Marshall was a college level wrestler back in the late 70's and early 80's. During that time, he was at the top of his sport and spent countless hours at the gym.

"After school, you go for like two hours -- that's just the minimum -- and then on top of that you've got training on the weekends that you would do on your own,” Marshall said.

Marshall, 59, says he lived the wrestling culture for years, including the weight class juggle.

"The mindset was if I go down weight, I'll have a better record and kids won't be as strong,” Marshall said.

Marshall wrestled through college and later went on to coach the sport. He says he tried to get across a healthy mindset to the kids he coached.

"I would tell them, ‘You're going to lose some weight just by the rigors of the workouts,’ and from there kind of figure out where your natural body weight's going to fall into play,” Marshall said.

Medicine backs up the need for wrestlers to maintain a healthy and consistent weight during the season.

Promedica Dr. Steve Wing says straying from recommendations only weakens the athlete's performance.

"You're not losing fat,” Wing said. “Generally what people are trying to do when they're trimmed down, they're losing fluid weight. When you lose a lot of fluid weight you get dehydrated, you feel weak. Your muscles get tremulous which is detrimental to your sport."

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