You probably aren't thinking about the calories you're burning when you're struggling to get out of an opponent's hold, but as you wrestle, your body is steadily burning calories. Keeping track of the rough number of calories you burn -- and thus the fat you lose -- is important in fighting sports such as wrestling, as weight classes play a key role.
The rate that you'll burn calories while wrestling depends significantly upon your weight; the more you weigh, the more calories you'll typically burn. According to Harvard Medical School, a 125-pound person will burn 180 calories in 30 minutes of wrestling. If you weigh 155 pounds, you'll burn 223 calories in 30 minutes, and if you weigh 185 pounds, expect to burn 266 calories in every half-hour you spend wrestling.
When determining how many calories you burn while wrestling, consider the amount of time you actually spend engaged in the sport. Wrestling matches have different lengths and rounds according to the age of the athlete and the governing body. In Olympic wrestling, for example, matches consist of three two-minute rounds, known as periods. Given the amount of time a wrestler actually spends competing, a 155-pound athlete would burn about 45 calories in a full match.
Burning more calories than you consume results in fat loss, and while many people exercise for the purpose of dropping a few pounds, doing so is not necessarily ideal for wrestlers. Fighting sports such as wrestling contain several weight classes with regulations that fighters must meet before a match. If your weight class is 139 pounds, for example, you must track your weight consistently to ensure that you weigh as close to 139 pounds as possible. To avoid losing weight before a match because of heavy practicing, follow your coach or trainer's diet recommendations to maintain your weight.
A wrestler's training regimen consists not only of wrestling drills, but also a variety of aerobic and strength-training exercises to build stamina and power. You'll burn calories at different rates during each type of exercise. For example, a 155-pound person will burn 112 calories in 30 minutes of general weight lifting, notes Harvard Medical School. If you jog to build your endurance for the sport, be mindful of the high rate of calories you'll burn during this exercise; a 155-pound person will burn 298 calories during a 30-minute run at 5 mph.