I’ve never done a weight cut, but if you only have 2lbs to lose, you might be able to just take a slightly longer slightly warmer than usual shower the night before the meet and not eat or drink anything till after weigh ins. Lowering carbs the day before would probably help, but 2lbs really isn’t very much
Sean Noriega also competes 83kg with 2 hour weigh ins. I suspect he knows what he’s doing (he’s 4th ranked 83kg lifter by total)
You can probably cut back on carbs for the whole week before the meet, you won’t be doing any hard training anyway, right? 2lbs is nothing. Restrict water intake the day before and weigh yourself before you eat or drink anything.
As for regaining the weight, Gatorade or Pedialyte after you weigh in. Don’t go overboard or you will feel sick, since you probably wont have more than about an hour between weighing in and starting to warm up. But remember, 2lbs is not a big deal, it’s normal for bodyweight to fluctuate by more than that based on hydration and salt intake.
I’d be careful with restricting carbs, I’ve always felt that it hurts my performance. With just 2 lbs I would spend the week eating a pretty normal diet, sodium and water load Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, cut sodium back Thursday with water high, then cut water out quite a bit Friday, like less than a liter before noon and none after. No salt at all Friday.
For regaining, as mentioned Gatorade and pedialyte are the way to go, I would recommend doing a 1 to 1 cut with water. Makes it less likely to get the shits. Eat salty/carb heavy foods. If you’re comfortable with potentially shitting yourself a bit, try to bloat as much as possible. It might not kick in early enough to help with squats, but I’ve always felt a good bloat does wonders for bench.
I’m hoping to qualify for raw nationals at the meet after this one. If I compete heavier than I did last meet, which would push me into the next weight class, and set PRs then it’s not really a good gauge of my strength gain in the 83kg class.
Well, it’s your call but worrying about weight classes is one of the more surefire ways to limit progress in the long term. Until you’re going to be competitive on a big stage you may as well just grow your total without worrying what weight class you’ll be in.
I guess you have 2 camps in powerlifting Camp 1) Build the biggest total possible regardless of weight class and Camp 2) Build the biggest total you can within your chosen weight class.
Honestly, I don’t think there is any point in eating your way up several weight classes to get strong. Not saying your implying that, but I know a lot of people who ate themselves up, didn’t worry about weight class, got strong, but gained 40lbs of excess fat they needed to lose. Ended up losing it, with a massive strength drop along with it.
If you have the ambition to try and qualify for nationals some day, its good to think about your weight class from the get go (its all part of the game) so that you don’t need to do anything crazy in the future. Sure, I could eat my way easily to the 120kg class (I am 5ft 7/8 with a pretty good appetite), and build lots of strength, but the fat gains (as a natty) would just be too much to justify the return.
Not sure if other people feel the same way? I am just a powerlifting noob, so maybe some of the experienced guys can chime in.
That isn’t really how it works, unless your only goal is to qualify for nationals. In that case I’d wonder why you even bother with powerlifting at all. Qualifying for nationals doesn’t mean shit. In some countries and federations all qualifying for nationals means is that you set a total.
As a general rule (to which there will be some exceptions, but not too many), the people who are married to competing in a particular weight class from early on tend not to ever do very well. Their reasoning is generally like you said, to qualify for a specific meet; or because they wouldn’t be competitive in a heavier class - except they generally aren’t competitive in their chosen class either, except maybe outside their home area. So they never put any real effort into gaining muscle, and remain at best mediocre in their chosen class.
What these people don’t realise is that gaining a bunch of weight, moving up a class or two and getting a fair bit stronger doesn’t in any way preclude going back to the initial weight class they picked. There would be a period where they lose weight (most likely a fair bit of fat) and readjust to being lighter. Then once that was complete they would be back in their original weight class, but carrying significantly more muscle. They will also be significantly stronger and more competitive in that class.
I’m not a great fan of doing this, but I’ll use myself as an example because I’m a fairly average guy. I started powerlifting five years ago, weighing just below 90 kilos. I trained for around six months and did my first meet in March 2015 at 90 kilos, didn’t need to cut at all. I totalled 525 kilos. In October 2015 I competed at 100 kilos and totalled 565 kilos, even though I only got my openers for squat and deadlift. In March 2016, still in the 100s I totalled 605 kilos. In October 2016 I competed at 100 kilos again and totalled 630 kilos. Around May 2016 I had decided that I was getting fatter rather than more muscular so I started dieting down. I had topped out around 105 kilos, so had only lost five or so kilos when I competed in October. My next meet was in July 2017, where I competed at 82.5 kilos and totalled 600 kilos. That was the first time my total was even remotely competitive, in that it would probably have gotten me an invitation to nationals. At nationals I wouldn’t have been competitive at all, and lucky to place above the bottom third. I had a meet planned at 82.5 kilos that October but staying in the mid to low 80s wasn’t sustainable, let alone something I could do while getting stronger. I pulled out of the meet. I was definitely carrying more muscle than when I first competed though, and was stronger too, but nowhere near as strong as I had been in the 100s. So I started growing again, except I had a better handle on my diet and knew what to do a bit more. By July 2018, when I next competed, I was in the 110s and totalled 672.5 kilos. That meet was when I also when I first passed 300 lbs on bench and 600 lbs on deadlift in meet. That had eluded me since 2016 when it first became a realistic possibility based on my gym performance. In June 2019 I had my second meet at 125 kilos and totalled 700 kilos.
That’s not a full list of all my meets, but it covers how I’ve moved through weight classes. Based on how I perform, I need to be heavier to do better. I can definitely fit into a weight class up to four steps down from where I am, but at 173 cm tall there are virtually no realistic circumstances where I would be competitive at any meaningful level at 82.5 kilos. This most probably applies to the majority of men my height.
I also probably won’t stay at 125 kilos. I’m too short to need to be, and I sit in the light half of the class anyway. However, for the foreseeable future that’s where I’ll be because I have a lot of room to gain mass while fitting in the 125s. Eventually I probably will drop to the 110s, but I wouldn’t expect that to happen before I total 800 kilos - which is where you start to be vaguely competitive outside your local area if you weigh over 90 kilos.
The reason for the drop would also be not to necessarily be more competitive (the 110s is the most cutthroat division in Australian powerlifting by a decent margin and that doesn’t about to change any time soon) but simply because I could lose the weight without sacrificing strength because by then I would carry enough muscle to do so.
That’s the other thing that gets overlooked: it’s a hell of a lot easier to lose weight without losing strength when you’re carrying more muscle. I’m not talking about stage lean, but just not sloppy.
When you look at it over a period of years, it’s not that big a thing to go up weight class or three while you get bigger and stronger and then come back down to a class where you can settle.
When you increased your weight and your total improved, did your relative rank within your class also improve?
I get the point of putting on more muscle and I plan to try and do that again after this meet, but I’ve never been able to put on lean mass above my current went of 185. I’ve been as high as about 195 and when I lose the fat I’m right back down to 185.
All I know for me is that above 85/86kg I don’t really tend to put that much more mass on. I am a relatively small guy tbh with a small frame (between 5ft7/8) and the highest I have been is 96kg but then I felt slow, sluggish, no appetite, and I didn’t really notice much a performance difference between now and then (just more fat gain). I competed last year in natural bodybuilding, as I was around 74kg on stage (felt and performed like fucking shit). Based on these two extremes, the 83 class look like something I could build on long-term. I am not trying to be a body composition whore, but the extra weight I carried didn’t really contribute much to my performance in terms of strength development.
I have three meets, this year, first one in 3 weeks time which ill be just doing the 93kg class for, but the last two at the end of this year, I will be moving back down into the 83kg class.
I can see how switching between weight classes and gaining can be efficient for those going the untested route, but as a pure natty, I can see myself going around in circles rather than just sticking in a weight class and building on it. Especially as the amount of muscle mass relative to fat as a natty you can gain is gonna be small,
Depends on country and federation. In Canada the IPF affiliate has some pretty high qualifying standards and they keep raising them, almost half the people at the last nationals wouldn’t qualify right now. USAPL has some similar standards now too, before you needed like a 300 Wilks or something but it’s not like that anymore. I can see where this guy is coming from.
As for what @tasty_nate said, he is more experienced than me so I can’t say he’s wrong, maybe his approach is more likely to be successful than what I was recommending (cut back on carbs and water the week of the meet). But I have also done exactly what I said a couple time to drop 2-3lbs and had no issues with performance at the meet. I’m also not a fan of water cuts, I once did a small water cut (like 4-5lbs) and it was miserable. Pissing nonstop, you have to stay close to a toilet at all times. I wouldn’t do that again unless it was for something big.
Absolutely. This is not a sport for emaciated midgets with 6 pack abs. A lot of people seem not to realize that. If they just want to lift weights and look muscular that’s cool, but they would be better off doing some bodybuilding-style training.
There are a few skinny-looking guys who lift big weights, but those guys are one in a million, or maybe 10 million. If you aren’t already incredibly strong for your small, skinny size then you need to get bigger.
Gain weight slowly so you don’t get too fat and don’t cut because you will be right back where you started. @tasty_nate was talking about this a while back.
It’s because the extra weight was mostly fat in that case. More fat has minimal benefits, muscle is what you want.
That doesn’t make sense. You won’t be able to gain as much muscle without drugs, but it’s the same situation. If you limit weight you limit strength, mass moves mass.