T Nation

Cutting to Lower Weight Classes

Just curious, but what diet protocols do most powerlifters use when they want to maintain strength but cut to lower weight classes? Do most guys carb cycle?

Well, my two cents’:

I usually walk around at 172, but have competed twice in 165. Both times i cleaned up my diet about 3 weeks out- less carbs and bad shit- dropped water about 12 hours before meet, and both times weighed in at 162.

I think water is probably the quickest way to lose a few pounds and put it right back on, but if you want to walk around on a daily basis in that lower weight class, you might consider just cleaning up your diet. I’ve not tried it, but carb cycling seems to make a lot of sense.

On my way down to 181 from 208 right now.

And like bearshark said, I clean up my diet 3-4 weeks out and start adding in cardio. About 2 weeks out I begin upping my water intake, I try to take in 2 gallons per day. As long as I can get down to about 192, I can get the last 10 off by cutting the water intake 12 hours out of weigh in. I wouldn’t try this without an early weigh in. Right now, two weeks out, I stand at 198.

There are other lifters that have dropped more and still lifted record weights.
http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/training-logs.asp?au=Matt+Kroczaleski&m=4&y=2009&pr=&Action=View+Questions&tid=126

If you are training for your first meet, I wouldn’t be concerned with dropping too much weight.

[quote]mahwah wrote:

There are other lifters that have dropped more and still lifted record weights.
http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/training-logs.asp?au=Matt+Kroczaleski&m=4&y=2009&pr=&Action=View+Questions&tid=126
[/quote]

With 24-48 hour weigh ins.

OP, if it’s your first meet, and if you’re working with a 2hour weigh in, I think you’d be made to even think of it unless you’re within a max of 5lb away.

I’ll second what hanley said if you have a 2 hour weigh in I wouldn’t cut too much at all. I cut 11 kg (25 lbs) in about 3 weeks for my first meet this year and lost 30kg on my squat, 6.5 kg on my bench and 20 kg on my deadlift from gym PBs to meet weights.

I competed last week and didn’t cut any weight and what a difference!

[quote]IrishMarc wrote:
I’ll second what hanley said if you have a 2 hour weigh in I wouldn’t cut too much at all. I cut 11 kg (25 lbs) in about 3 weeks for my first meet this year and lost 30kg on my squat, 6.5 kg on my bench and 20 kg on my deadlift from gym PBs to meet weights.

I competed last week and didn’t cut any weight and what a difference![/quote]

x2

With a 2 hour weigh-in, I can cut 7-8 lbs no problem, some guys can get to ~12lbs but that takes time to develop a system that works for you (and likely results in many screw up while you’re doing it).

I’ve also done what IrishMarc did (moreless) and dropped ~20lbs in 3 weeks leading up to the competition and lost 25lbs on my squat and 10lbs on my bench (although I think I just fucked up on bench). My deadlift was fine.

I realized my squat dropped due to my leverages changing and not having time to adjust my technique with the body changes.

Maybe one of you can help me out. I’m preparing for my first meet which is on Dec.9th (7 weeks away). I weigh 208 right now and my bench goal is still 10 pounds away, squat 30 pounds away, and deadlift is 15 pounds away from my goal. I am shooting for a 1000 lb total.

The weigh in is at 10:00 and lifting starts at 12:00 giving me only two hours. Should I try to cut 10 pounds and make the 198 class or should I keep eating like I am and shoot for the 220?

Any advice is much appreciated!!! Thanks.

I drop from about 86.5kg to 82.5kg in 5-6 days, for a 2 hour weigh in. I’ve done this a few times sucessfuly now, but I usually end up coming in a bit too light. I think aslong as I’m under 88kg 6 days out, I will make weight fine, but will aim to stay under 87kg to make things more manageable.

For a saturday meet 10am weigh-in, I water load with about 10 litres a day mon-wed, 5L on thurs, and drink minimally on Friday and cut water at 3pm, last meal at 7pm. I will cut calories drastically mon-fri, barely any carbs, especially on the thurs/fri.

Sauna off whatever is needed the morning of the competition, most of the time it’s been nothing, but had to sauna 1kg last comp. I’m expecting something like 1-1.5kg in the sauna next meet as I’ll probably be about 87kg 6 days out.

[quote]elano wrote:
Maybe one of you can help me out. I’m preparing for my first meet which is on Dec.9th (7 weeks away). I weigh 208 right now and my bench goal is still 10 pounds away, squat 30 pounds away, and deadlift is 15 pounds away from my goal. I am shooting for a 1000 lb total.

The weigh in is at 10:00 and lifting starts at 12:00 giving me only two hours. Should I try to cut 10 pounds and make the 198 class or should I keep eating like I am and shoot for the 220?

Any advice is much appreciated!!! Thanks.[/quote]

If you’re still trying to add to your lifts, don’t try to make 198’s. I really don’t see a point in cutting weight unless you’re going for a record at a certain weight class.

And this is coming from someone who cut 14 lbs for his first meet, and hasn’t cut weight for a meet since. hah

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
elano wrote:
Maybe one of you can help me out. I’m preparing for my first meet which is on Dec.9th (7 weeks away). I weigh 208 right now and my bench goal is still 10 pounds away, squat 30 pounds away, and deadlift is 15 pounds away from my goal. I am shooting for a 1000 lb total.

The weigh in is at 10:00 and lifting starts at 12:00 giving me only two hours. Should I try to cut 10 pounds and make the 198 class or should I keep eating like I am and shoot for the 220?

Any advice is much appreciated!!! Thanks.

If you’re still trying to add to your lifts, don’t try to make 198’s. I really don’t see a point in cutting weight unless you’re going for a record at a certain weight class.

And this is coming from someone who cut 14 lbs for his first meet, and hasn’t cut weight for a meet since. hah[/quote]

I’ll second this. I cut weight for the first time at a meet in June of this year. I overshot and weighed in 4 lbs too light (yikes!) and it is amazing how much different your gear fits when you drop that much weight (I came down from about 250 in the weeks leading up to the meet). Even if you aren’t using gear, dropping weight only makes sense if you are going for a record or a win in a meaningful competition.

Thank you both :slight_smile:

what about something like SAN shredded?

I have never tried it before, but being a Weightlifter and usually having to drop over 3lbs overnight for a 2 hour weigh-in, I was kinda interested.

Anyone have any insight??

[quote]elano wrote:
Maybe one of you can help me out. I’m preparing for my first meet which is on Dec.9th (7 weeks away). I weigh 208 right now and my bench goal is still 10 pounds away, squat 30 pounds away, and deadlift is 15 pounds away from my goal. I am shooting for a 1000 lb total.

The weigh in is at 10:00 and lifting starts at 12:00 giving me only two hours. Should I try to cut 10 pounds and make the 198 class or should I keep eating like I am and shoot for the 220?

Any advice is much appreciated!!! Thanks.[/quote]

If your goal is a higher wilks score, then I would cut. If your goal is to get the 1000 lbs. total regardless of what you weigh, then I would go at 220.

[quote]elano wrote:
Maybe one of you can help me out. I’m preparing for my first meet which is on Dec.9th (7 weeks away). I weigh 208 right now and my bench goal is still 10 pounds away, squat 30 pounds away, and deadlift is 15 pounds away from my goal. I am shooting for a 1000 lb total.

The weigh in is at 10:00 and lifting starts at 12:00 giving me only two hours. Should I try to cut 10 pounds and make the 198 class or should I keep eating like I am and shoot for the 220?

Any advice is much appreciated!!! Thanks.[/quote]

Eat like horse.

[quote]Laughing Man wrote:

Sauna off whatever is needed the morning of the competition, most of the time it’s been nothing, but had to sauna 1kg last comp. I’m expecting something like 1-1.5kg in the sauna next meet as I’ll probably be about 87kg 6 days out.[/quote]

You should absolutely avoid the sauna, especially the morning of the comp.

If you still need to shed a pound or two, buy a pack of Big Red and start spitting like it’s your job.

Heat saps way too much energy. Alot of times, benchers can get away with it but a full meet lifter is going to suffer.

Additionally, to the OP, you never mention how much you need to cut? How can anybody give meaningful advice to you without this info.

Lastly, to the poster who is preparing for their first meet, don’t cut weight. Focus on going 9/9 and take advantage of the one meet where every lift is a PR. Don’t worry about weight class this time around.

[quote]Shedosk wrote:
Just curious, but what diet protocols do most powerlifters use when they want to maintain strength but cut to lower weight classes? Do most guys carb cycle? [/quote]

I dropped 10 lbs of water weight from my 5’2 158lb frame for my first meet last May – and that was challenging, especially because I have Type 1 diabetes, but I had a full 24 hours to gain the weight back before actually competing. I’ve read elsewhere that as long as you can gain that weight back before the comp, it “shouldn’t hurt your lifts”…but either way, draining your body of 10 lbs of water surely isn’t going to make you any stronger!

Muscles thrive when they’re full of water and glycogen.

For my next meet, in a couple of weeks, I’m just going to compete in the 165lb weight class because I know my lifts are good enough for this competition. For the RawUnity meet in january (and for the sake of my jeans fitting well…ahem), I’m going to try to cut down bodyfat slowly with carb cycling.