Tips on Weight Cutting for Wrestling

It is that time of year. Your last league dual meet has been completed and now your focus is on League Finals and the road to state. Thanks to the two pound allowance that was administered a couple weeks ago, you are planning on dropping to the next lowest weight class. If you are going to embark on such an endeavor, you must know some simple rules of weight cutting in a healthier, yet effective manner.

Before I continue, let me be clear that I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet. The following is a compilation of personal experience and research conducted by yours truly. Always consult a physician before partaking in any extreme weight loss procedures.

Back to my tips for weight cutting. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you are dropping weight each week on the road to state.


I know it sounds crazy. You would think that the best way to lose weight is to just stop eating. You are correct, you can lose a lot of weight by simply no longer eating paired with exercise. However, that is a sure way to sap performance, and though the quick drop in weight is nice, your weight will eventually stall out.

Food is fuel, bottom line. If you want to make a car lighter, you take off the heavier pieces and replace them with lighter ones, NOT by taking out all the gasoline. Your body acts in a similar way. After those hard training sessions in the wrestling room, your body needs fuel to recover and rebuild itself in preparation for the next hard training session. Your body is broken down in the wrestling room, refueled in the kitchen, and rebuilt during sleep. I tell all my athletes to continue eating a clean diet, even if they are trying to cut weight. Simply switching to healthy foods would guarantee a quick 2-3lb drop in a week or two.

A simple guideline to follow on what to eat when cutting weight would be… i. If it comes from the ground or has a mom it is probably good for you, ii. If it has more than three ingredients, it is probably bad for you. That is a great place to start if you are looking to make some healthy changes to your diet. Keep eating, just eat till your satisfied but not full. If you need to go for a run before bed to get a little sweat going and lose .5-1lb, do so. DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF.


I can imagine that this also will sound crazy. You lose weight while you sleep. If you weigh yourself before bed and check your weight in the morning, you will notice that you would have lost some weight. Finding out the average amount of weight lost during sleep is a great tool to use when cutting weight. I know I lose about 2lbs during sleep. I compete at 155lbs when I cut weight. Knowing I lose about 2lbs from sleep, I now know that the night before morning weigh ins, I need to weigh 157lbs. This is usually my weight post dinner, and after about 45 mins light jog to lose a little weight from dinner and keep my metabolism up.

You do not need to be on weight the night before weigh ins, you only need to be on weight when you step on the scale. Track your weight every day and night for a week. Find the average amount of weight lost during sleep and factor that into your target weight the night before. If you need to run laps in the arena before weigh ins to lose a pound, it is not a big deal. You can lose a pound of water weight in 30-45 mins easy.


So you made weight and are walking back to the stands to eat breakfast. What you decide to eat for breakfast plays a very important role in optimizing your performance after a serious weight cut. Immediately begin consuming fluids to rehydrate. Water is obviously a given. Try drinking close to a full water bottle before eating any solid foods. Having a good amount of water in your system will help with your digestion, and immediately begin the rehydration process. Sipping on Pedialyte along with water is another popular way to rehydrate due to the high content of electrolytes. However, drink this slow. There have been some cases of people drinking it too quickly and having the sharts or runs later on in the day.

You are also going to want to consume some form of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help you pull water into the muscles. Carbohydrates also aid in the production of glycogen which is the fuel for the muscles. When your muscles are depleted of glycogen, your performance is sapped. Ever seen someone start off really strong in a tournament, and at the end are just a shell of themselves? They will be a conditioning machine in the first few rounds of the tournament, but by their fourth and fifth match they are just gassed. Much of that is due to the lack of glycogen or fuel in the muscle. Rehydrating properly, and consuming enough carbohydrates to refuel glycogen stores is crucial for optimal performance for a long day of wrestling.

There are obviously a lot more steps involved in a safe, successful weight cut. However, I will have to dive into those another time. Hope you find these three tips helpful if you are lost during your weight cut, or if you are a seasoned wrestler familiar with the weight cutting process. If you have any more questions about weight cutting or prepping for the road to the state wrestling tournament, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, @joshuasettlage.


Quick Creatine Breakdown

One of the most popular supplements and most researched, tested, and explored substances is creatine. Creatine comes from most animal products like meat and fish. Like other animals, it is synthesized in our own bodies in the liver and the kidneys. It is then stored in the muscle. About 95% of creatine is stored in skeletal muscle. Creatine is not listed as a banned substance according to the World Anti Doping Agency. Creatine is not a stimulant, or hormone that enhances performance, although it is a staple in most pre workout mixes and can be found at every supplement store on the planet.

Jose Antonio, PhD, a professor at Nova Southeastern University, states that, “Creatine serves as a fuel source for rapid exercise through increased phosphocreatine (PCr) stores.” In aerobic activity like jogging, walking, light biking, the main source of fuel that will be used is glycogen. Glycogen comes from glucose which comes from carbohydrates. Anaerobic activity like sprinting, powerlifting, etc. rely on ATP and phosphocreatine to fuel activity. The more creatine you have available, the more potential energy you have available to be used during exercise. For example, if you can sprint at max capacity for 15 seconds without creatine, supplementation of creatine in your diet will allow you to have more energy for anaerobic activities like sprinting. After you have been supplementing creatine in your diet for several weeks, next time you sprint you might be able to sprint for a total of 18 seconds, because of the extra energy creatine provides in the muscle. It may sound like only a slight improvement, but if you hit these types of workouts once a week for an entire year, that is a total of 156 more seconds of sprint training your body can adapt to.


Athletes from all types of disciplines take creatine for a wide array of purposes. Research has not only shown for creatine to assist in providing energy in anaerobic sprinting activities, but also in sports like powerlifting and bodybuilding. Research has shown bodybuilders using creatine supplementation to increase muscle mass with limited fat gain, increased strength gains, and hydration in extreme heat conditions. Similar to the example given above, a bodybuilder would use creatine to help him/her to get one or two more reps. One or two more reps provides extra stress on the muscle for it to adapt to. There is a big misconception among athletes just beginning to take creatine supplements that they will feel energized similar to the buzz of caffeine. Many pre workout supplements often mix creatine and caffeine together, and athletes assume it is a one and done supplement. For best results, it is suggested to take creatine separately from pre workout. A small dose of only 5g is sufficient for daily use. The effects of creatine do not present themselves a half hour after consuming like the active ingredients in pre workout blends, but upwards of two weeks.

The research does support the theoretical uses of creatine. Richard B. Kreider states that results of short term creatine supplementation for 5-7 days resulted in an 10-30% increase in total creatine content and increased phosphocreatine content as high as 40% (Kreider, 2003). Kreider also mentions how in another short term creatine study strength gains were analyzed. The subjects of the study experienced as great as a 15% increase in maximal strength and power output.

Maria Lourdes Guerrero-Ontiveros and Theo Wallimann conducted a study looking at the effects of creatine loading in patients. In the abstract of their study, they noted how, “… so far there are no reports of harmful side effects of Cr loading in humans.” (Guerrero-Ontiveros & Willimann, 1998). From a bodybuilding perspective, creatine does tend to hold on to water. Many times bodybuilders will take creatine up until one to two weeks out from the show when they really start to drop water and dry out. This can be potentially dangerous when athletes do not cut water in healthy ways.

There’s a quick breakdown of creatine. I currently take 5g of creatine every morning with a big glass of water. As long as I keep my creatine consumption at 5g or less on a daily basis, I do not get bloated or put on extra water weight.

For more information on diet and supplementation, training programs, and personal training email me at! To see what my daily workouts, morning routines, jiu jitsu training, and lifestyle look like, give me a follow on Instagram: @joshuasettlage.