What are the effects of rapid weight loss on a wrestler's muscular strength?
What techniques does National Football League use for its Play 60 advertising campaign?
What factors influence juror opinions?
What are the effects of social pressure on making decisions?
These questions and more were addressed by students who completed college research projects.
More than 90 students from Heidelberg University, Bluffton University and University of Findlay presented their findings at Heidelberg's 18th annual Minds at Work student research conference Tuesday. Last week, faculty members shared their research during Heidelberg's annual faculty research symposium, according to the university.
Frank Dudzik, a fifth-year Heidelberg senior from Hilliard studying athletic training and sports management, presented "The Effects of Rapid Weight Loss on Muscular Strength During a Competitive Wrestling Season" Tuesday morning.
He set out to determine the impact of rapid or excessive weight loss in a short period of time on muscle strength and said he expected significant cuts in body weight would have a considerable impact on a wrestler's strength.
He said wrestling is the only sport in collegiate athletics where an athlete's competition is based on his or her weight.
Dudzik, a wrestler, said he has been able to experience the hardships of the sport and how it affects an athlete making a particular weight class. The sport requires an athlete to maintain a personal image or specific weight class, which often results in acute or rapid weight loss, he said.
Some methods of weight loss include dehydration, thermal dehydration and caloric restriction.
"Proteins are essential in repairing broken-down muscle," he said.
Dudzik had help with his research from 13 Heidelberg wrestlers ranging in age from 18 to 27 and representing eight of the 10 weight classes. He compared results from the preseason to the results from near the end of the season.
He said six of the 13 wrestlers weighed in lower than their preseason weight, and the average weight loss over the course of the season was 9.45 pounds. He estimated the biggest weight loss was about 15 pounds.
When researching the wrestlers' strength, Dudzik found the average decrease for bench pressing was 20.5 pounds. Three wrestlers experienced no change in their ability to lift the weight, he said.
The amount of weight the wrestlers could lift during a back squat exercise decreased by 27.3 pounds, while one wrestler experience no change, he said.
Another weight-lifting exercise saw wrestlers lifting 18.55 pounds less than they could in the preseason. Two were able to lift the same amount, he said.
Dudzik said wrestling equals a loss in strength, no matter what the situation is. People were heavier and still had a loss in anaerobic potential, he said.
Dudzik was one of more than 80 Heidelberg students who prepared presentations for Tuesday's conference.
"Thank you all for coming. I really appreciate it," he told those who attended his presentation.