Purpose. The study aimed to analyse the methods and magnitudes of rapid weight loss (RWL) in judo team members in distinct periods before the biggest state competition in Southern Brazil.
Methods. Twelve male judo athletes took part in the study. The data collection was performed in three periods: (1) three months before the biggest state competition, (2) one week before the competition, (3) the day prior to the event. Anthropometric assessment and the Rapid Weight Loss Questionnaire were performed. Student’s t-test and ANOVA were applied, with the significance level set at p < 0.05.
Results. The main results showed that the majority of athletes reduced 7.1 ± 6.8 kg and started to lose weight to compete 13–16 years earlier. Increasing exercises (91.7%) and restricting fluid intake (41.7%) were the most frequent methods of weight loss. The judo coach/sensei was the person who most influenced the RWL procedure (58.3%). The athletes reduced 5% of their body weight (p < 0.01), 2.4% of their body fat (p < 0.01), and 2% of their fat-free mass (p = 0.04).
Conclusions. We conclude that RWL was a common and premature practice in the athletes in the study. The most common methods were increasing exercise volume and restricting fluid and food intake. The coach/sensei was the most influential person in this practice. The judo athletes presented decreases in body fat and fat-free mass during the period prior to the competition.
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