Two mature elite Sambo wrestlers were studied during a 22-day pre-European Championship period, during which they were to lose weight and maintain their top physical performance characteristics. During this time the athletes underwent intensive training coupled with a hypocaloric diet. Both lost approximately 8% of their initial body weight, while maintaining their pre-weight loss maximum oxygen uptake, anaerobic threshold and maximum isometric strength. These variables therefore increased when expressed relative to the lower body weight. Isometric endurance and short-term sprinting ability, however, were compromised by the weight-loss regimen, decreasing by up to 7% and 13% respectively. Following a well-planned weight-reduction programme coupled with serious training, aerobic power and isometric strength were unaffected and/or improved, but prolonged anaerobic exercise performance was impaired.
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