Achieving Optimal Wrestling Weight

Achieving Optimal Wrestling Weight

Because of the danger associated with the unsafe weight loss practices of wrestlers, weight certification programs require body composition assessments at the beginning of the season in order to determine the lowest weight class in which each wrestler can safely compete. This is determined based on the wrestler’s body fat percentage. Currently the lowest percent body fat at which a male wrestler is permitted to compete is 7% for high school and 5% for collegiate athletes.

Tanita introduced the world’s first body composition analyzer (TBF-300WA) designed for high school and collegiate wrestlers in 2005, using the ACSM and NCAA guidelines for weight loss.  It was preset with both the high school and collegiate minimum body fat percentile standards, providing the ability to use the same machine for any weight class of wrestlers.  It also educated student wrestlers on the minimum wrestling weights allowed while maintaining a healthy body fat percentage.

The Center for Sport Performance; Dept. of Kinesiology; California State University, Fullerton recently conducted a study reviewing the use of Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) with wrestlers.  Their goal was to determine if this was an accurate and accessible method of testing body composition to ensure health and safety of wrestlers during competition.  They concluded that given the success of the weight management programs in preventing weight-cutting-related deaths since adopting the TBF-300WA for body composition assessment, governing bodies for wrestling should use the research data in their decision-making process for approving appropriate devices and thus, the opportunity to implement weight management programs more broadly.

This new TBF-300WAplus builds on the accuracy of the original model by adding an increased weight capacity, larger platform, and enhanced printout.  California State University cited this model in their study, having tested it against Air Displacement Plethysmography, and determined that it demonstrated reasonable measurement accuracy, comparable to the earlier model.

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