Midwest wrestling study: Prediction of minimal weight for high school wrestlers

William G. Thorland, Charles M. Tipton, Tim G. Lohman, Richard W. Bowers, Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson, John M. Kelly, Robert A. Oppliger, Tse Kia Tcheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


This study determined the validity of previously published or newly derived equations to predict fat-free body mass (FFB) in high school wrestlers from the midwestern United States. Five laboratories participated in the data-pooling study (total sample of 860 subjects). Measures included body composition by underwater weighing and anthropometric measurements of body mass, stature, and selected circumferences, diameters, and skinfolds. Cross-validation of selected equations to predict FFB revealed the lowest levels of error from the equations of Lohman, Thorland et al., Katch and McArdle, and Behnke and Wilmore. Modification of the constants in these equations or generation of new equations did not substantially reduce prediction error. Overall, total error for these top equations ranged from 2.44 to 2.59 kg. However, based on observed trends, this error was of lower magnitude with the younger and lighter subjects and of higher magnitude with the older and heavier subjects. We conclude that these equations could be used singularly or collectively to determine FFB, and a minimal weight could then be derived and assigned to a scholastic wrestler.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1110
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Anthropometry
  • Athletes
  • Body composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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