TO INVESTIGATE WEIGHT ALTERATION METHODS IN WEIGHT CLASSIFICATION SPORTS
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Objectives: This study investigated weight alteration methods in weight classification sports. Differences between males and females as well as sports were also evaluated. It is estimated that many athletes engage in extreme weight alteration techniques in an attempt to make the weight and possibly gain an advantage over other naturally smaller competitors. Research in weight attainment has typically focused on male’s intentions to achieve weight, while studies on females have been directed towards aesthetic sports and adjunctive eating practices. Furthermore, evidence comparing weight classification sports is scarce. Measures: Participants were 25 competing weight class athletes (6 females; mean ± s; 23.83 ± 1.77 years, weight 52-72kg; 19 males; mean ± s; 25.63 ± 1.32, weight 65-125kg) for powerlifting, mixed martial arts (MMA) and Olympic weight lifting. The RWLQ (Artioli et al., 2009) was adapted to be suitable for a variety of weight classification sports. The variables tested were weight loss and weight gain amount and strategies and the effects these had on performance. After tests of normality, a Kruskal- Wallis 1-way ANOVA was applied to assess differences between sporting groups. Independent samples T-tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were performed to compare differences between genders. Results: It was shown that there were no significant differences between genders or sporting groups on weight reduction and weight gain strategies (p<0.05). Athletes stated that they believed that the dietary practices employed between weigh-in and competition are vital in influencing performance by improving energy, alertness and replenishing their body. Conclusion: The severity of weight loss and weight gain alteration methods differs slightly depending on the participation sport and the gender of the athletes. However, statistically there are no significant differences in sample groups and weight alteration methods. This may be due to the small and uneven sample size.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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