The Role of Diet and Exercise in the Co-ed Varsity Wrestling Team’s Weight Maintenance


Rahma Tasnim

Zainab Mridha ’19 prefers a rigorous workout over dieting to maintain her weight for wrestling tournaments.

Coming off from two consecutive city champion titles, the Bronx Science Co-ed Wrestling team was keen to keep their title for a third year in a row.

However, this optimistic goal came with many obstacles, one of which is particularly difficult for the athletes to overcome: maintaining weight. In  wrestling, there are strict rules that apply to being in a specific weight class. Dual meets and tournament weight classes have different rules, however. For example, in dual meets, one must be on the weight in the weight class you are aiming to wrestle in the morning (105 pounds, 113, 120, etc.), but after weighing in in the morning, wrestlers get a three to four pound allowance for the afternoon. This changes the weights (105 becomes 108, 113 becomes 116, etc.), which makes it easier for the wrestlers, since they can now afford to eat or drink throughout the day before their matches.

I was very consistent with my diet.”

However, for tournaments, if someone were to aim to being in the 113 pound weight class, but weighs in during the tournament at 113.1 pounds, then that wrestler would not be eligible to wrestle in the 113 pound weight class, and must wrestle in the next weight class, which is 120 pounds.

As a result, many wrestlers worked at making or maintaining their weight around tournament time. “My standing weight is around 147 to 150. My wrestling weight is 145. The most difficult part about cutting weight is to stay disciplined and not eat poor quality food or to drink too much water,” said Terence Xu ’18, a member of the Co-ed Varsity Wresting team.

Wrestlers use many techniques to cut weight, most typically through light dieting. Daniel Cohen ’19, uses specific methods to maintain his weight. “In order to lose weight, I was very consistent with my diet. Every day, I would eat two eggs and a cup of yogurt for breakfast, two apples and a pack of almonds for lunch, and grilled chicken and Brussels sprouts for dinner. I would also use the elliptical machine every day for thirty minutes.” For Cohen, although the diet may be difficult to adhere to, the sacrifice was well worth it. On the difficulty of maintaining this strict lifestyle he said, “I got to wrestle in a couple of tournament matches, and I really enjoy wrestling.”

Others, prefer a tough workout over dieting, such as Zainab Mrida ’19. She prefers jogging and sprinting for extended periods of time in order to lose the additional water weight. 

Most wrestlers found themselves back to their standing weight a day or two after each tournament day, after making weight for their matches. “Although you will lose a pound or two, it will be short lived, and you’ll gain the weight right back,” said Daniel Cohen ’19. a member of the team.

Zainab Mridha ’19 added, “During my Girls’ Varsity Wrestling season last year, iIwrestled in the 132 pound weight class. I started at around 135, and cut down a few pounds before every match. However, when the season ended, I gained everything right back.”

The Co-ed Varsity Wrestling team’s diligence in maintaining weight paid off, as the team won their third straight PSAL Championship on February 15, 2018.