Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the weight management (WM) behaviors of collegiate wrestlers after the implementation of the NCAA’s new weight control rules. Methods: In the fall of 1999, a survey was distributed to 47 college wrestling teams stratified by collegiate division (i.e., I, II, III) and competitive quality. Forty-three teams returned surveys for a total of 741 responses. Comparisons were made using the collegiate division, weight class, and the wrestler’s competitive winning percentage. Results: The most weight lost during the season was 5.3 kg ± 2.8 kg (mean ± SD) or 6.9% ± 4.7% of the wrestler’s weight; weekly weight lost averaged 2.9 kg ± 1.3 kg or 4.3% ± 2.3% of the wrestler’s weight; post-season, the average wrestler regained 5.5 kg ± 3.6 kg or 8.6% ± 5.4% of their weight. Coaches and fellow wrestlers were the primary influence on weight loss methods; however, 40.2% indicated that the new NCAA rules deterred extreme weight loss behaviors. The primary methods of weight loss reported were gradual dieting (79.4%) and increased exercise (75.2%). However, 54.8% fasted, 27.6% used saunas, and 26.7% used rubber/ plastic suits at least once a month. Cathartics and vomiting were seldom used to lose weight, and only 5 met three or more of the criteria for bulimia nervosa. WM behaviors were more extreme among freshmen, lighter weight classes, and Division II wrestlers. Compared to previous surveys of high school wrestlers, this cohort of wrestlers reported more extreme WM behaviors. However, compared to college wrestlers in the 1980s, weight loss behaviors were less extreme. Conclusions: The WM practices of college wrestlers appeared to have improved compared to wrestlers sampled previously. Forty percent of the wrestlers were influenced by the new NCAA rules and curbed their weight loss practices. Education is still needed, as some wrestlers are still engaging in dangerous WM methods.
Robert A. Oppliger, Suzanne A. Nelson Steen and James R. Scott
R. Randall Clark, Jacqueline M. Kuta and Robert A. Oppliger
Wisconsin has mandated minimal weight (MW) testing for high school wrestlers. In preparation, six MW predictions were cross-validated on 69 Wisconsin wrestlers (age 15.7±1.1 yrs, height 169.2±6.3 cm, weight 63.3±8.1 kg, percent fat 11.2±4.7%, and MW 58.9±6.9 kg). Minimal weight, defined as fat-free body/.93, determined by hydrostatic weighing (HW) and residual volume using 02 dilution, served as the criterion. Analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA, statistically significant but clinically small (<1.3 kg) differences were shown in four of six predictions. Lohman 1, Lohman2, and Katch equations appear more appropriate with smaller mean differences, smaller total error, and higher correlations.
Robert A. Oppliger, Scott A. Magnes, LeRoy A. Popowski and Carl V. Gisolfi
To reduce the adverse consequences of exertion-related and acute intentional dehydration research has focused on monitoring hydration status. This investigation: 1) compared sensitivity of urine specific gravity (Usg), urine osmolality (Uosm) and a criterion measurement of hydration, plasma osmolality (Posm), at progressive stages of acute hypertonic dehydration and 2) using a medical decision model, determined whether Usg or Uosm accurately reflected hydra-tion status compared to Posm among 51 subjects tested throughout the day. Incremental changes in Posm were observed as subjects dehydrated by 5% of body weight and rehydrated while Usg and Uosm showed delayed dehydration-related changes. Using the medical decision model, sensitivity and specificity were not significant at selected cut-offs for Usg and Uosm. At the most accurate cut-off values, 1.015 and 1.020 for Usg and 700 mosm/kg and 800 mosm/kg for Uosm, only 65% of the athletes were correctly classified using Usg and 63% using Uosm. Posm, Usg, and Uosm appear sensitive to incremental changes in acute hypertonic dehydration, however, the misclassified outcomes for Usg and Uosm raise concerns. Research focused on elucidating the factors affecting accurate assessment of hydration status appears warranted.