Weight Cut (For Fighters)

Monday, April 1st, 2013

I get lots of questions regarding nutrition and supplementation from fighters, especially as the weigh in date approaches.  Fighters that have the luxury of getting notice of a fight 6-8 weeks prior to the event should begin getting their diet in order right away.  I tell fighters to avoid saunas, sauna suits, and diuretics at all costs, as they can drain your energy and can also be dangerous if not used correctly.

What and when to eat and supplementation are another article entirely.  This article is to address water, carbohydrate and sodium manipulation in the 7 days prior to the weigh in.  So you have 7 days or so before the weigh in and still have a few pounds to lose.  This is just one way to do it and one way I’ve used with success.  It’s also one of the safer methods and seemed easier to recover from as far as rehydrating and getting my strength and energy back.

I’ll keep all this as simple as possible and keep the science behind it out of the article.  The basic idea is to get your body to believe there is an abundance of water with a fairly normal amount of both carbohydrate and sodium.  If your body believes there is a water shortage, it tends to want to hold on to whatever water you give it.  Carbohydrates and salt will also cause your body to hold water.

If you’re training 5-6 days a week, you should be drinking at an absolute minimum, 1 gallon of water every day.  The RDA for sodium is 2400mg and we’ll start on day 8 with 100g carbohydrate (CHO).  The chart below starts on day 8, the Saturday prior to weigh ins, and counts down to the next Saturday or weigh in day.  You begin to taper water, carbohydrates and sodium beginning on day 7.  You lose water weight via urination.  You will pee A LOT and, if you do this correctly, will continue to pee throughout the 8 days.

Saturday   (Day 8) 1.5-2   Gallons 100g   CHO 2400mg   Sodium
Sunday     (Day 7) 1.5   Gallons 80g   CHO 2000mg   Sodium
Monday   (Day 6) 1   Gallon 60g   CHO 1800mg   Sodium
Tuesday    (Day 5) 1   Gallon 50g   CHO 1500mg   Sodium
Wednesday   (Day 4) ¾   Gallon 40g   CHO 1200mg   Sodium
Thursday   (Day 3) ½   Gallon 30g   CHO 900mg   Sodium
Friday    (Day 2) Sip Water Throughout day 15g   CHO 500mg   Sodium
Saturday  (Day 1) No Food/Water Until After Weighing In

Chew gum or suck on a lemon to help with the thirst on weigh in day.  Like I mentioned above this is just one method I’ve used to lose the last few pounds.  You will make adjustments to accommodate your own body and learn what works best for you.


-Sunshine Fettkether

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