Sport-Seasonal Changes in Body Composition, Strength, and Power of College Wrestlers

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Changes in body composition, muscular strength, and anaerobic power of 25 college-age wrestlers were studied throughout the season. Wrestlers were divided into cyclers (n=14) and noncyclers (n=11) based on their reported weight-cutting and dieting history. Isometric strength measures were evaluated from a midthigh clean pull using a special isometric rack with the subject standing on a 61.0 ± 121.9-cm AMTI force plate. Body density was measured via hydrostatic weighing and residual volume was determined via nitrogen washout. For fat-free mass (FFM) and body weight (BW), there was a significant difference in the pattern of change (p < 0.001), highlighted by a decrease in FFM and BW at midseason compared to preseason for the cyclers. A significant increase in FFM occurred postseason. No significant interaction effects were seen for % body fat, fat mass (FM), anaerobic power, or any isometric strength measure. Significant time main effects were found for % fat, BW, FM, and FFM. FFM correlated to isometric peak force and isometric rate of force development at midseason. Taken together, the data indicate that college wrestlers who fluctuate their weight throughout the competitive season lose a significant amount of FFM without concomitant decreases in isometric strength or power.

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