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Sports Med. 1992 Aug;14(2):114-43.

Applied physiology of amateur wrestling.

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Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.


The general physiological profile of the successful wrestler is of one having high anaerobic power (mean range of 6.1 to 7.5 W/kg for arms; mean range of 11.5 to 19.9 W/kg for legs); high anaerobic capacity (range for arms 4.8 to 5.2 W/kg; range for legs 7.4 to 8.2 W/kg); high muscular endurance; average to above average aerobic power (range 52 to 63 ml/kg/min); average pulmonary function (range 1.90 to 2.02 L/kg/min for VEmax); normal flexibility; a high degree of leanness (range 3.7 to 13.0% fat) excluding heavyweights; and a somatotype that emphasises mesomorphy. Training methods include wrestling, and nonwrestling activities for increasing strength and power (i.e. resistance training), and to improve cardiovascular fitness (i.e. endurance training). Unfortunately, data on the isolated effects of wrestling on fitness and the type of training programme most effective for success in wrestling are scarce. The practice of weight loss is commonly used by wrestlers to enhance performance. Rapid weight loss has profound adverse effects on the wrestler's physiology but little effect on strength or anaerobic power performance as measured in the laboratory. In contrast, muscular endurance appears to be impaired by the rapid weight loss. Current research on weight loss and performance in wrestlers has taken 2 directions: (a) towards nutritional treatments to prevent suboptimal muscular endurance, and (b) towards the development of programmes to estimate minimal weight based on body composition techniques and thereby prevent weight reductions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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