T Nation

Bigger and leaner?

Okay, here is my dilemma.

I am wrestling for my high school team. I currently weigh about 158lbs or so when fully hydrated later in the day, and therefore would have liked to wrestle the 152lb weight class. However, a state champion on my team has finally gotten down from 170lbs into the 152lb weight class, and trashes me when we wrestle off.

My only option to make varsity is to wrestle 145.

So, here’s my weird scenario. This entire season, I have not lost ANY WEIGHT. I am consuming less than 1500 cals/day normally (around 1200), until night falls… and the cravings get intense. I will snack a good amount (although not a lot, like a scoop of ice cream, a few crackers/triscuits, a couple handfuls of cereals) and go to sleep. I can’t be getting more than 2,000/day… and my workouts for wrestling are INTENSE.

I am: 5’8.25, 17 years old, 158lbs (although I’ve weighed in at 152 a few times). I started the season this heavy, too! It’s been a month and NO SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT LOSS! My midsection (abs) look leaner, although I still have no 6 or even 4-pack… if I pull down the chub I can see separation between them for the first time. So my problem is: I’m not losing any weight. The good thing is, it seems like my midsection is getting leaner (although since I’m eating almost no carbs, my arms have seem to have shrunk…)

Does anyone have any possible explanations/solutions to this? I want to hit 145 in a week or two if possible, but I’m weighing 160 right now, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. We get 2lbs in a few weeks, so it will be the 147lb weight class, but even then, making 152 a week ago required a lot of running with sweats on…

Thanks guys.

fricken wrestlers…

im kidding, depsyphor.

i dont have time to post a decent reply right now but basically it sounds like your diet is COMPLETE CRAP. your snack before bed is a joke. the reason youre getting leaner and still have no ab definition is because most , if not all, of the weight you are losing is muscle, not fat. you dont have alot of time here…
so post your daily diet and workout scedule and im sure some people will help you out. if nothing else i will make you an easy diet to follow for the next 2 weeks. it always amazes me, the kind of crap coaches will have/let kids do. hopefully you can learn a few things here and pass the knowledge along to your friends.

ill post back soon.


ive never understood this about wrestlers.

i would rather eat a real diet with a decent amount of calories and be a little heavier and strong as fuck. then eat like a rabbit, dehydrate myself and be weak as shit just to weigh a little less.

At seventeen, you’re also very likely still growing (especially at your stats). So it seems like you’re trying to fight your own evolution, so to speak.

And yes, your “diet” is a joke. I hope for your sake that if Ryan or someone else goes to the time and trouble of writing you something out, that this time you actually take the advice as is, instead of trying to tweak everything yourself and ending up with nothing.


7:00AM Breakfast:
2/3 cup oatmeal
1 scoop protein powder (whey)

10:00 Snack
1 scoop grow or whey
1/2 tbsp flax oil

1:30 snack
1 scoop grow or whey
1/2 tbsp flax oil

(right now I’m using LC grow… but when I run out, whey is much cheaper, so I think I’ll use that)

Practice at 3:00-5:30
I just drink 1 scoop of whey during practice throughout, fighting off catabolism with as little calories as possible

Post-practice snack at 6:00ish
6 egg whites
1/2 cup of cheerios (regular)

Whatever my mom makes, try to go heavy on meat and vegetables and light on other things

11PM Pre-bed
1/2-1 cup cottage cheese

I didn’t think my diet is that awful.

What makes you say all of the weight I am losing is muscle? Wouldn’t more ab defintion (at the same weight) tend to mean gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously?

The only reason I am somewhat hopeful of this scenario (simultaneous muscle gain/fat loss) is because of my age (17 years old) and the subsequent hormones running though my body. The intense wrestling workouts do have a tendency to lean one down.

I can only lift about twice a week, on the coaches orders. One day is upper body, one day is lower, focusing on major compound lifts (deads, squats, benches, rows) at lower reps (around 5 reps per set, 3-4 sets per heavy compound exercise). My strength has not seen to have improved or decreased, but I HAVE MAINTAINED what I started the season with (pus or minus a measly one or two reps on different exercises).

Thanks a lot for all of the help.


I wrestled for six years and know exactly what you are talking about. If I had it to do all over, I would not have sucked as much weight as I did (18lbs).

My suggestion for you is one that you probably do not want to hear: Wrestle a weight class higher!

Maybe you will be varsity and maybe you won’t but at least you will be healthy, strong and in shape.

Okay okay, ASSUMING I am going to wrestle 145 (eventually), that’s what I’m saying. I am going 152 tomorrow actually, the state champ weighed in today at 165 and doesn’t want to suck 13lbs overnight! But I know that, in the end, I’ve got to get down to 145.

Hey, atleast I’m not drinking slim fasts and eating regular powerbars, like the rest of my team! Hah, if only they knew what crap (aka HFCS) they were piling into their bodies. One of them keeps trying to convince me “if you eat a diet with absolutely NO fat you’ll get jacked!” I’ve tried to convine him otherwise, but to no avail. I know losing the weight isn’t amazingly healthy, but it’s not too much (15lbs from when I’m completely hydrated, and I’ve got a week or 2 to do it). I want to try to do this the smartest way I can, even if it’s still a little stupid… I’m going to make the best of the situation that I can. And I appreciate all of the help I get from you guys to do it. I have another 9months a year to get HYOOGE, during the winter I am willing to sacrifice a little muscle and glycogen to make a weight class and wrestle varsity. If I’m willing to make that sacrifice, why shouldn’t I? I’ve got the rest of my LIFE to gain muscle, and only 2 more years (I’m a junior) to wrestle!

How does my diet look? I know the calories are low, but otherwise…? Thanks a lot for all of the help, it’s really appreciated. I know some of you don’t think it’s worth it to lose a pound or two of muscle to wrestle varsity, but to me, it is. And I’m asking for your help so I can atelast minimize the amount of muscle I do end up losing.

Thanks again.


IF he wrestles at 152 he is only 152 before the match when he weighs in. Then after he rehydrates himself and weighs 158 where he now has an advantage. IF he were to wrestle 170 he would have a big disadvantage because he only weighs 158 and the rest of the guys are about 175 and sucked down to 170, you dig?

Hey arent wraslers the ones who started the flood of bad publicity that creatine got hit with in the mid 90’s by consuming creatine and purposfully dehydrating to hit a weight class? I never understood that . To me I think its more satisfying going in a higher, one that the person SHOULD be, weight class and trying to win there rather than destroying your body and actually trying to face competition of equal or greater strength. Thats almost like a person faking a disability to compete in the special olympics just so he can win or the “sandbaggers” who pad their handicap so the can compete in a higher handicap flight and win.

Didn’t you already get good advice on another site?>

Oh god, please guys, PLEASE DO NOT HIJACK THIS THREAD. I’ll post a separate “wrestler bashing” thread in the Off-Topic Forum if you’d like, but come on, I’m legitimately trying to look for some help here!

The fact is, the person ON MY TEAM (my team!) in the 152lb weight class is a state champ, so I can’t beat him. He’s been wrestling for longer, is bigger and stronger, and more skilled than me. Our 160lber is also slightly more skilled and MUCH bigger/stronger than I am, so going 160 is not an option either. If I don’t wrestle 145, I don’t wrestle varsity.

Could we steer away from the wrestler-bashing, please?

Thanks in advance for all the help I have already received, and any more I will receive.

And PGA, I am not taking creatine, due to the strain it’d place on my kidneys if I was dehydrating while on it (plus it causes water retention, which I don’t want!)

It’s so you can get the edge. IF the weigth class is 150-170 would you want to fight someone who weighed 20 pounds more than you esp. when that 20 lbs could be muscle? Or would you want to be in that kid who weighed 170’s position, wrestling someone 20 pounds weaker than you are.

Would you want to go into a golf match with some guy who has an extra 5 strokes on you, or whatever you call it when someone has less attempts on the same hole.(haha) It’s all about getting the edge.

If in the off season you’ve trained your ass off and only got to 150 how do you expect to put on 20 lbs of weight especially when wrestling practices burn a thousand or more calories.

As a wrestler that competed through HS and now in college the one bit of advise I would give to a younger wrestler is NEVER CUT WEIGHT, EVER! I know this is the exact opposite of what most wrestlers will preach, but trust me. Every year I go through the same cycle as every other wrestler in the country, spend all summer getting as big and strong as I could then spend the rest of the year pretty much starving myself to make weight and get weak as hell. Last year as a red-shirt I dominated pretty much everyone in the room and loved every minute of it because I wasnt cutting any weight at all, now a year later when im in the lineup and competing I’m giving up points to guys that I used to murder in practice! I’ve decided to move up to heavy from 197 and feel stronger then I have in a long time, I’m much more explosive with my takedowns and dont have my energy drained from my body becuse of dropping 10-15 lbs. a week to make the lower weight, and most of all I’m really starting to enjoy the sport a ton more. Also my muscles have just blown up beause I can spend some quality time in the weight room again, not hours on the treadmill losing water weight! Sorry I know this was a little long-winded, but I cant tell you how much better I wrestle after deciding to stop cutting weight. Hope you have a great season no matter what you end up doing.


I see it as a challenge. Kurt Angle got into a legit fight with Brock Lesner, I know its WWE but these 2 are the real deal. Angle is MUCH smaller than Brock but handed him his ass. I understand that there is a weight difference but its NOT always “the bigger guy wins”. ANYBODY can be beat REGARDLESS of weight or size. This has been proven time and time again. I’m sure there are thousands of 150lbers that are stronger than 170lbers.

BTW when I was in a handicap division I ALWAYS played in the Championship Flight (Zero Handicap). I wanted to compete against people BETTER than me to give me more confidence. It also makes you play at a higher level.

Ever hear of playing to your competition? You NEVER know what can happen when you face someone but since you already lost in your head you would have no chance against the “bigger” wrestler.

Desypher I wasnt trying to hijack it I was just making a point. I’m NOT bashing wrestlers I almost wrestled in highschool but had other sports to play.


i agree with Zeb. you should think about wrestlinga a higher weight class. do you plan on wrestling in college? are you going to place state at 145? if not, then wrestle the higher weight class and get some kickass experience AND feel good and strong.
your diet doesnt seem as bad as i thought. i misread your post a bit on the “abs definition” thing. i have had friends diet down (and there is a big difference between dieting down and dehydrating) and they were piles of shit at the lower weight. they should have just stayed at their original weight, stayed strong, stayed sharp and learned to wrestle against superior opponents. instead , they just got their asses , routinely, handed to them. they should have kept the weight.
enough preaching.
if you are bent on making 145, here is what i might suggest, and this is hard because you are presenting a paradoxical problem. anyway:
–calculate your daily calorie needs.
–if you are maintaining weight with what you are currently eating, then you are going to HAVE TO drop calories. but heres the catch…
–calculate your calorie needs for a body weight of 145 BUT go ahead and add more carbs and fat to your diet. try 40/30/30 or 50/35/15. whatever, just play around with it a bit.
–the ideal here would be to be eating an ideal diet for a 145lber.
–an ideal diet would be one that doesnt leave you feeling weak/tired.

tear the hell out of this suggestion if you like, guys. but i cant come up with anything else (besides just staying at the same weight).

i will help you with the diet a bit if you need it, but it seems like you have a decent handle on it. just keep it simple and precise.

good luck,
ryan b.

Thank you ryan b.

Also, if I don’t make 145, I don’t wrestle… period. I can go JV, but I won’t even get to face the ‘bigger tougher opponents’… just the state champ on my team, who will dominate me. It’s not a lack of self-confidence. If you played Tiger Woods in golf, or one-on-one with Lebron James, you’d lose, it wouldn’t matter how much you tried. Same concept (albeit slightly less extreme) with my teammate and I.

Thanks for the advice, and if anyone else has anything to add, I’d love to hear it.

Well, since you put it that way (regarding the Tiger Woods or Lebron James analogy), here’s what happened to me.

I lost my first strongwoman contest (“lost” as in, placed third) to better and more experienced competitors. I learned from that experience, took what I learned from there and applied it to my next contest.

Which I then won and in the process beat the gal that had won my first contest. BTW, I was the lightest competitor in both contests.

If you wish to compete with also-rans, you will only be learning from also-rans and relegating yourself as a also-ran. When you buck up and compete againt/with those more seasoned/experienced, expect to learn MUCH and be able to apply what you learn to every match thereafter.

Competing is suppose to be a learning experience.

I would switch your egg whites meal to somewhere during the day and drink your quick absorbing whey protein (not grow) right after your workout along with a small dose of high GI carbs.

You should also try adding two short duration, high intensity cardio sessions during the week to help you kick your metabolism up so you burn more calories. These can be as simple as a few sprints on a field or some interval training on a bike.