Cutting Weight Fast for Weight Category

i have a team mate who plans to compete in the 85kg category…however his bw is now 90-91kgs…

how long is it needed to get into the 85kg cat suppose he started cutting water and carbs and what is the ideal weight he should be at in the offseason if he plans to continue to compete in the 85kg category in future?

Thanks!!

BW * 1.05 = Training BW, give or take a kilo. I lift as a 77kg but train at about 80-81.

This gives a rough guideline in that, if he lost water to make weight, his performance will not be adversely affected.

It takes about 1-2 weeks. I like to be around 2kg away from my competition weight the weekend before the meet, giving me about 7 days to lose the last 2kg via water loading.

However, take anything said here with a grain of salt. Making weight is a very individual process and several rounds of trial and error will be needed to really find out what works best.

Depends how ‘solid’ he is at 90-91kg…

When I was 88kg and soft I could could to 85kg EASILY…then a few years later I was a lot more solid at 88kg and it was a complete bast cutting to 85kg…sauna for 4hrs and not eat or drink water and I’d make weight but I lost a lot of strength and felt crap for the C&J…if I had dieted down sensibly I’d have lost the weight more easily and retained more strength.

I’d start with low carbing 4-5 weeks out. He should be able to drop 3-4kg easily in that time if he’s strict with his eating. Eat more carbs on training days and carb up on say Sunday. But every one is different so he’ll have to find what works for him.

Koing

While there are different body compartments of water to deplete in order to cut weight, the way that I have found the most success with athletes is to deplete their glycogen stores specifically.

To do this you simply need 3-4 days before the competition (and hopefully you have tried this before the competition to figure out how well your body responds to it as some people don’t do very well on low carbohydrate/glycogen stores). And, because O-lifting events make you weigh in only hours before your weight class competes you have very little time to replenish (luckily for the sport high glycogen levels are not necessary).

It takes a little bit of calculating and you need your body composition numbers too.

Your muscle tissue is about 2% glycogen by weight, so if you are a 90 kg lifter at 10% body fat (estimated by shoe of course), you have 81 kg of lean tissue weight (estimated). This means that you have 81kg x 2% = 1.62 kg (roughly) of glycogen on board in the muscles. Since for every gram of glycogen you have 3-4 grams of water associated with it meaning 1.62 x 3 = 4.86kg of water that can be lost from depleting those stores completely. How much you actually lose will depend on a couple of things including how well those stores are depleted.

Now some people (women especially, seem to be able to deplete quite a bit and feel fine, but others can’t as they simply feel crappy.

The best and really only way to deplete them well is to as Koing mentioned eat a low carbohydrate diet (I usually start this 4 days out from the event by cutting carbs to 50 or so grams per day, only eaten around training time).

Then I have the athlete watch their weight from 4 days out to 3 days out to 2 days out. At this point the athlete usually is losing weight at a reasonable weight, but if it is a big competition and they are not training very much (bc they are tapering), they won’t be activating their muscles very much and hence won’t be using the glycogen very much. So I have them do some brisk walking for about 1 hour 2 days out and the day before. This should roughly be around 55% of heart rate max (220-age * 55%) so around 110 to 120 bpm.

The exercise is key as you only really use glycogen in the muscle to a large extent when contracting the muscle.

The method outlined above is pretty good overall, there are more accurate ways to estimate total muscle mass, and even dietary ways to dial in the glycogen content, but the above works pretty well.

That usually does it for most.

Hope that helps

Does cutting weight like this not affect their strength levels? I feel like sometimes I don’t perform as well if I don’t eat a massive breakfast, let alone nothing.

Also, what would you say is the lowest body fat percentage a Olympic weight lifter should go before it would affect their health and performance (for a ‘normal’ competitor, not someone who’s going to be in the Olympic games). I think high school wrestling doesn’t allow anyone to be under 7% and I think it may be 5% for college wrestling (not the same sport, I know)

I’m about 144 when I get up in the mornings and go as high as 146.5 if I weigh after a big meal and drink lots of water. I’m guessing I’m about 10% body fat. So, I’m either a small 69kg lifter or I have to lose fat and cut weight.

I’d really like to avoid cutting weight any more than 1 or 2 pounds (this is water, etc. not fat, I’m assuming I’d be as lean as possible around meet time) as I think it would take the fun out of the actual lifting part of the sport, especially since I’m not really going to end up being a contender (going to the regular Nationals (not collegiate), American Open) or anything.

I’m really just doing it so I can be decently good at the Olympic lifts and I think it’d be fun to go to a meet every now and then.

[quote]TheSheriff wrote:
Does cutting weight like this not affect their strength levels? I feel like sometimes I don’t perform as well if I don’t eat a massive breakfast, let alone nothing.[/quote]

If you take it seriously and drop the weight properly and rehydrate as much as possible there is minimal strength loss.

[quote]TheSheriff wrote:
Also, what would you say is the lowest body fat percentage a Olympic weight lifter should go before it would affect their health and performance (for a ‘normal’ competitor, not someone who’s going to be in the Olympic games). I think high school wrestling doesn’t allow anyone to be under 7% and I think it may be 5% for college wrestling (not the same sport, I know)[/quote]

That’s up to the individual. Some people can drop to single digit BF% easily and have lots of energy there, while others tend to get sluggish and misanthropic when they drop that low. And if you’re just a ‘normal’ competitor why in the hell would you even be flirting with that line anyways.

[quote]TheSheriff wrote:
I’m about 144 when I get up in the mornings and go as high as 146.5 if I weigh after a big meal and drink lots of water. I’m guessing I’m about 10% body fat. So, I’m either a small 69kg lifter or I have to lose fat and cut weight.

I’d really like to avoid cutting weight any more than 1 or 2 pounds (this is water, etc. not fat, I’m assuming I’d be as lean as possible around meet time) as I think it would take the fun out of the actual lifting part of the sport, especially since I’m not really going to end up being a contender (going to the regular Nationals (not collegiate), American Open) or anything.

I’m really just doing it so I can be decently good at the Olympic lifts and I think it’d be fun to go to a meet every now and then.[/quote]

If you’re just doing it for fun, why even bother cutting weight? Just compete at whatever weight you’re sitting at, if you’ll enjoy it more. If you don’t think you’re ever going to be a contender then, well, you probably won’t be.

Basically what I was saying is that I’m doing it mostly for fun, but if I choose to pay to go to a certain meet I don’t want to be lifting in a higher class and be the absolute worst if all I had to do was lose a few pounds of fat (4 or 5) in the months preceding it.

However, like I said, I’m probably not going to ever end up going to the American Open or Nationals. At my weight now I’m 95 lbs. away on Each lift from even qualifying for Nationals. If I tried to cut to as lean as I could be and cut to the lower class it’d still be like adding 80 lbs. to each lift. That’s just qualifying not even “doing well”, that would be like dead last.

If I was already really lean and I still had to deplete glycogen stores, not eat, sit in the sauna, etc. I’m not willing to do that for anything less than “doing well” at that high of a level. And since its pretty damn unlikely I’ll add enough to my lifts to “do well” at a meet like the nationals I probably won’t ever do much more than lose a little fat. All that other stuff isn’t healthy or pleasant and isn’t worth it in most cases, IMO.

sheriff, what you really need to do is not think about cutting or lifting in any specific weight class until you learn to lift (with or without a coach) and actually enter a meet. The first meet I did, I was dead last, it’s just what you have to do. You won’t just enter a Nationals meet the first time out, it’ll most likely be a local meet, so it doesn’t really matter where you end up. Just get out there and lift!!

Just train and go compete. You’ll catch the buzz and train with more fire and focus :smiley:

Koing

[quote]TheSheriff wrote:
Basically what I was saying is that I’m doing it mostly for fun, but if I choose to pay to go to a certain meet I don’t want to be lifting in a higher class and be the absolute worst if all I had to do was lose a few pounds of fat (4 or 5) in the months preceding it.

However, like I said, I’m probably not going to ever end up going to the American Open or Nationals. At my weight now I’m 95 lbs. away on Each lift from even qualifying for Nationals. If I tried to cut to as lean as I could be and cut to the lower class it’d still be like adding 80 lbs. to each lift. That’s just qualifying not even “doing well”, that would be like dead last.

If I was already really lean and I still had to deplete glycogen stores, not eat, sit in the sauna, etc. I’m not willing to do that for anything less than “doing well” at that high of a level. And since its pretty damn unlikely I’ll add enough to my lifts to “do well” at a meet like the nationals I probably won’t ever do much more than lose a little fat. All that other stuff isn’t healthy or pleasant and isn’t worth it in most cases, IMO.[/quote]

My suggestions above are ones that we have developed over time to be for individuals that are intermediate to advanced lifters. Most people tend to overdue their “prep” and actually do worse than they would if they simply kept things simple. We find that saunas, not eating, etc… are really not the best way to prepare for a competition. Hence we do the calculation above once and then tighten up the eating 4 or so days out. That is really about it.

That way as a lifter you go in knowing you have your stuff together and can focus on lifting heavy weights and hopefully having fun doing it.