Is cutting weight going to help or hurt you?
Fortunately, there have been many studies done to answer your question. We have all heard teammates, coaches, parents, and friends glorify how low their percentage of body fat was during wrestling season. Few people challenge these people and ask if this was the optimal move for them. Could've they done better with a higher percentage of body fat. As always, we will default to looking at the very best wrestlers in the world.
Here is the average percentage of body fat for each of the studies:
*2010 World/European championship, 92 participants- 10.3% for lightweights, 11% for middleweights
*1997 US World Team, 10 participants: 7.6%, 6.5% excluding the heavyweight
*2011 Elite Junior Iranians, 70 participants- 10.6%
*Exercise Physiology Textbook Studies: 8.4%
*International Journal of Wrestling Science Recommendation: 7-9%
These are just some facts based on recent studies.
At the end of the day, if you believe a certain weight class is best for you then it is the best weight class for you. Your perception is your reality. Once you make a choice you need to treat it and honestly believe that it is the best thing possible for you. If you cannot do this with your weight class, it is time to reconsider.
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