Physiological and performance adaptations of elite Greco-Roman wrestlers during a one-day tournament
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The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a simulated one-day Greco-Roman wrestling tournament on selected performance and inflammatory status indices. Twelve competitive wrestlers (22.1 ± 1.3 years) completed five matches according to the official Olympic wrestling tournament regulations following a ~6% weight loss. Performance measurements, muscle damage assessment, and blood sampling were performed before and following each match. Performance and inflammatory markers were not affected by weight loss. Mean wrestling heart rate reached ~85% of maximal and lactate concentration exceeded 17 mM. Fatigue rating demonstrated a progressive rise (P < 0.05) throughout the tournament, peaking in match 4. Performance demonstrated a progressive deterioration (P < 0.05) throughout the tournament, especially in the last two matches (P < 0.05), with upper-body measures exhibiting a greater decline (P < 0.05) and remaining below baseline (P < 0.05) until the end of the tournament. Muscle damage markers increased during the course of the tournament with upper limbs affected more. Creatine kinase activity, CRP levels, IL-6 concentration, and leukocyte counts increased (P < 0.05) progressively throughout the tournament, peaking in the last two matches. Cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine increased (P < 0.05) after each match, but testosterone declined (P < 0.05) progressively, reaching a nadir before the last match. This inflammatory response was accompanied by a marked increase (p < 0.05) in lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and antioxidant status markers indicating the development of oxidative stress. These results suggest that a one-day wrestling tournament may induce significant physiological demands on wrestlers that may adversely affect their performance and inflammatory status especially during the later stages of the tournament.
KeywordsGreco-Roman wrestling Oxidative stress Muscle damage Muscle soreness
The authors wish to thank all the subjects for their participation and commitment to the study and Mr Ioannis Galanis for his technical assistance with diet analysis. The work described in the present manuscript was entirely supported by funding received by the Democritus University of Thrace.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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