By Bryanna Perez
Photo taken by the Hour
When it comes to wrestling , weight can be a bit important. Boys and girls are forced to watch their weight in order for them to compete. Players have been known to starve themselves because of the situation and it may not be the healthiest for their bodies. It may not be easy but the players at Brien McMahon High School have definitely worked there way to success. The four captains at Brien McMahon, Nicolas Gonzalez, Felipe Silva, Jason Martinez, and Jeffrey Capone are very much on top of their weight as they give us a behind the scenes of what they did to prepare for their 2016-2017 wrestling season.
The way weight cutting works is that you decrease carbohydrate intake and slow down on drinking fluids. You also go into the sauna the day before a match to help get rid of a few pounds of excess water. If you are focusing on gaining weight you don't want to necessarily eat more but actually focus on gaining more muscle. The reason players lose or gain weight depends on the weight class that you are in. They do this so that there is no cheating and the match is fair.
“Before the season I weighed about 140 pounds. I had to lose eight pounds in order for me to compete in the 132 weight class,” Nicolas Gonzalez (‘17) explained to Pride Time. Although eight pounds may not seem like a large number it is actually harder than expected, in fact Gonzalez's food selection had to be limited. “I cut down on carbs, so I stopped eating less bread and rice, but that only meant that I had to focus more on eating vegetables and working on my cardio.”
Gonzalez’s teammate, Felipe Silva (‘17), also had to be careful on his choices of food as he is in the 160 weight class. “Before the season I weighed 167 pounds. I knew I had to be below 160 pounds. I had to cut down on all my carbs but it wasn't easy,” Silva told Pride Time. “The first week leading up to the first match was horrible. I was still five pounds overweight and I knew I had to lose it all right away because even if I was .2 pounds over, they wouldn't let me compete. On game days it gets even harder, drinking even the smallest amount of water is dangerous for me.”
So what actually happens if a player is overweight before a match?
“You put on a bunch of jackets and sweatshirts and start running laps, that way you sweat a lot and lose a lot of water weight quicker.” Silva explaining speaking from experience.
Captain Jeffrey Capone (‘17) also had to lose weight , but that didn't stop him from eating less. “Before the season I weighed about 176 pounds. I now weigh about 169-170 pounds. Yes I had to lose a little weight, but our practices are extremely intense that I lost the amount I needed to lose simply off of just practicing. Therefore I don't watch what I eat because I burn it off everyday.”
Captain Jason Martinez (‘17) wasn't so worried about his weight , but rather winning an FCIAC title. Unfortunately for Martinez, in order for him to win an FCIAC title he had to follow the rules and reach the weight expected in order to compete. “When I first started wrestling I didn't eat anything because I was new to the sport and had no idea how to diet properly. As I matured I learned a lot of things like “cutting.” Losing and gaining weight was never easy for Martinez when he first began the sport playing for the Norwalk youth program called Madbull. “Before the season I weighed 138 pounds, but I am now wrestling in the 145 weight class. I usually just eat light foods and barely anything on game days. It's after matches that I treat myself with chocolate chip pancakes, It's become a tradition of mine.”
The four captains continue to work super hard to make sure that there last season at Brien McMahon is memorable as their season so far is 6-2