Rapid weight loss practices within Olympic weightlifters

Gee, Thomas, Campbell, Paul, Bargh, Melissa and Martin, Daniel (2023) Rapid weight loss practices within Olympic weightlifters. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research . ISSN 1064-8011

Rapid weight loss practices within Olympic weightlifters
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Rapid weight loss (RWL) practices are common amongst athletes in order to ‘make weight’ for a chosen bodyweight class. This study’s purpose was to investigate RWL prevalence, magnitude, and methods within Olympic weightlifters from Great Britain. Subjects (n = 39, male = 22, female = 17) were recruited from International Weightlifting Federation lifting populations (mandatory two-hour competition weigh-in). Subjects were categorised into competitive groups based on Sinclair coefficient total (high, mid, low) and also gender (male, female). The validated Rapid Weight Loss Questionnaire (3) was used to establish RWL magnitude and practices. Of respondents, 33 of 39 (84.6%) had purposely acutely reduced body mass to compete, a higher proportion present within females (94.1%) than males (77.3%). The cohort’s mean habitual pre-competition acute body mass loss was 3.8 ± 1.7% and the ‘rapid weight loss score’ (RWLS) was 23.6 ± 9.5. Across competitive groups there were no significant differences in habitual or highest pre-competition body mass loss, post-competition body mass gain or RWLS (p > 0.05). However, females attributed a significantly greater ‘highest’ relative pre-competition body mass loss compared to males (7.4% vs 4.9%, p = 0.045). For RWL methods used, frequencies of ‘always’ and ‘sometimes’ were reported highest for ‘restricting fluid ingestion’ (81.8%) ‘gradual dieting’ (81.8%) and ‘water loading’ (54.5%). The prevalence of RWL is high amongst competitive Olympic weightlifters, and especially within the sampled female athletes. Magnitude of RWL was similar across different standards of athlete, however, female lifters demonstrated a higher maximum pre-competition RWL.

Keywords:weight cutting, strength training, athletes
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
Divisions:College of Social Science
ID Code:55418
Deposited On:19 Jul 2023 10:12

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