In my article on exercise science in last month's CFJ, I highlighted the difficulty of scientifically determining optimal training methods. Most often, it is coaches working hands-on using a trial-and-error methodology that actually push the science ahead. Eventually, scientists notice that most coaches are doing a particular thing with success and then design a study However, coaches' practical, field-tested insights and clinical experience don't necessarily translate into the realm of scientific testing and study design.
I was recently contacted by a coach working with the Canadian National wrestling team. One of the wrestlers was competing in the 62 kg class, but the coaches thought that if he could drop down a weight class he would be able to medal at the Olympics. They wanted him to drop from 62 to 55 kg, but realized that he was, understandably, concerned about how he would perform after dropping over 11 percent of his body weight. So they wanted him to get a few weight-cutting practice trials in before he actually had to do it in ompetition. He was to act like it was a wrestling meet and cut down for weigh-in at 6 p.m., rehydrate overnight, and then go through some physiological fitness tests in the morning.