In a release dated yesterday, The Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP), ‘released a consensus statement on weight management in professional combat sports.’
They want to reform the way the various combat athletes make their weight.
Here are the guidelines they want to have the various Athletic Commissions consider:
The ARP recommends standardized weigh-in policies in conjunction with year- round weight management programs. These would include scheduling weigh-ins twenty four hours or less before the start of competition. Therefore, establishing a lowest allowed fighting weight (weight class) for competitors through body composition and hydration assessment is essential. Combatants should be assessed and certified at their appropriate weight annually. This assessment should be completed by non-biased examiners, in conjunction with licensure, and stored in an international data bank accessible to athletic regulatory bodies. In this light, the ARP will be establishing a medical database to provide this and other resources. Regulatory bodies should also consider adding additional weight classes in certain sports where needed.
Additionally, in order for an athlete to maintain proper weight control and optimal body composition, a continual commitment to proper diet and training is required. Educational programs should be established to inform coaches, athletes, administrators, promoters and sponsors about the adverse consequences of prolonged fasting and dehydration on performance and health. These programs should discourage the use of extreme methods for making weight; i.e., excessive heat methods (such as rubberized suits, steam rooms, hot boxes, saunas), excessive exercise, induced vomiting, laxatives and diuretics. Nutritional programs should also be instituted to emphasize and meet an athlete’s individual needs for adequate daily caloric intake from a balanced diet high in healthy carbohydrates, the minimum requirement of fat, and appropriate amounts of protein.
The ARP wishes to thank Alan C. Utter, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC for his dedicated assistance in the development of this consensus statement.