T Nation

Cut For Sprint Football


So I realize that I'm probably going to get murdered for this post regardless, but all I ask is that you look at my reasons. After that, if you still think I'm being stupid, by all means have at it. I posted this in bodybuilding because this seemed to be the place to go for cut advice.

I play on the sprint football team for my college. Sprint football is a six team league between Cornell, Princeton, UPenn, Army, Navy, and as of last year Mannsfield. It is identical to NCAA football in all respects except for one major thing: there is a 172 lb weight limit.

There are weigh ins twice a week in season on a Monday/Wednesday for a Friday game and Tuesday/Thursday for a Saturday game. During these weigh-ins, a player must be a maximum of 172.0 lbs regardless of hydration status.

There is a two week period during pre-season in which every player must weigh in at 172 fully hydrated (urine specific gravity equal to or below 1.020) and with a body-fat reading of at least 5% (taken by calipers last year...crappy system I know).

I am currently 5'11" and 180 lb. I eat very well, with my only major vice being going out on the weekends (I am in college after all haha). My current numbers are a bench max of 250, squat max of 315, and deadlift max of 315x5. Believe it or not, this is ?strong? for my team...but I?m personally very far from happy with these numbers and realize they suck. Hard.

Despite being ?overweight?, it is not unusual for players to hover around my weight during the season and cut before each weigh in. I would like to do the same this year but smarter and better planned than I?ve seen it done in the past. I would like to go about this in the following way:

-Continue to bulk for a period of time until I hit a good weight to cut from.

-Then from that weight, cut over an extended period of time to drop bf to around 5-6% while maintaining as much muscle and strength as possible. Depending on what I?m told as far as how much weight can be lost in one session of cardio from water/glycogen, I would like to be within range to wake up on weigh in mornings, do some HIIT, weigh in and then eat normally.

This leads me to my questions.

-How much weight can be lost through a session of cardio and eating lightly the night before possibly?

-What should my weight after my bulk be if I?ll have 10-15% bf before cutting? (Like I said, I?m currently 180 and I can see my six pack, a bit of an eight pack, and the external obliques coming from my upper abs, so I?m thinking I?m somewhere in the 10-15 range. If needed I could get a picture if that would help at all)

-Is this plan viable for an athlete without compromising strength or performance? I don?t want to see my performance decline over the course of the season as I?ve seen in the past with people who approach this process irresponsibly.

As a final note, I just want to say that to anyone who feels I am too light to cut that under any other circumstances I would whole-heartedly agree. I would love to hit the 220 then down to 200 plateau personally.

However, I love football and want to continue playing. I don?t believe that I necessarily have the skill set or time to play DI for my school which leaves sprint as my only option. Thanks for any advice.


That is the gayest sport I have ever heard of, wtf?

Pussy football?

They not only regulate your weight, but your hydration and BF levels? Just back out now, that's the stupidest thing I have ever heard.


It's a bit late now actually, I already have a year under my belt. I know how it sounds, but the competition level is actually a lot higher than high school and teams in the league regularly scrimmage and whip decent D3 programs. I personally came into it thinking I'd be all world after two straight years of all-star football and didn't see meaningful action.

Plus the bf and hydration is only the one time and for the same reason they test bodyfat at the beginning of wrestling seasons. The hydration and bodyfat is excessive though, I will admit.

I guess what I'm asking is if you think that no football would truly be the better option?


If you want to make the most progress possible then, yes, losing weight for football will be a problem.

My advice is that you're in college, have fun. Don't go crazy with gaining weight then losing a ton to just make the limit, I mean it is only SPRINT football. Just lose a couple of pounds and then maintain.


Alright sounds good, thanks guys.


What position do you play?


In high school I was a WR/CB freshmen to junior year with some time at QB once the starter went down, then senior year I made a switch to QB/CB. Last year I played QB, but there is a chance I may be changing positions or at least repping another one headed into the coming season to find a way onto the field if I can't at QB.


Well QB would probably be the one position where you could get away we being smaller. Get your weight down to like 175-180, and you should be able to dehydrate for the normal weigh ins, and do low-carb for a week or so for the harder weigh in.

Just lift heavy, with low reps, and keep your calories down. You should be able to get very strong and fast, but keep the weight down.


That's exactly what I was looking for dankid thanks...would you say I'm still okay to get up to 190 or so first and then cut down a little over the summer? Or should I just stay at my current 180 with a higher bf than in the other scenario?


You could probably do it either way, but just make sure you dont have to cut drastically and lose strength to make weight.


Interesting thread.