Thanks for the great answers! I've always found peaking processes of top athletes like yourself fascinating for how many different approaches there seem to be. I have found really good results with sodium manipulation myself. I can always find some good bit of knowledge to take back with me from others' answers, and also aim for the pre-judging peak as well. 2 day shows are gnarly though and I was really curious what riding that line is for you. I use a general approach like your powerlifting cut described. 2 questions:
Loading water--at what volume compared to "normal" drinking?
Out of curiosity, how--in general terms--did your cuts for olympic lifting go? That's such a different culture I wonder how your coaches did it for athletes.
You're right, the strength factor isn't as problematic for fighters as powerlifters. The electrolyte depletion is what kills most due to its effects on endurance--truthfully most of them just suck at cutting, too much high school wrestling advice and not enough actual nutrition. They could easily drop 16 lbs to get to weight if most of them had a damn clue.
Btw, you might try timing the sauna different next time: Right when you drop water and drop in the first diuretic dose, hit the sauna. The body is very amenable to sweating then because it's still in full "flush" mode, so you can make more of the diuretic use. In effect, you're getting to start from a lower overall water load with the body still primed to flush. Once the body's feedback loops have ratcheted down on water sweating significant amounts becomes almost impossible. You can do small amounts, but the suffering is much more intense for significant losses. Essentially as soon as water intake drops you're on an internal timer according to your body's hormonal regulation (note to others: not talking testosterone here). Anecdotally I've found you can get an extra 2-4+ lbs out of a cut this way for given person. Possibly more for someone of your size.
I have to emphasize for other people reading this last bit 2 things--- First, I am absolutely against the use of banned substances for a sport, so if you're competing in an untested division all well and good but if you are competing in a division or sport that has banned substances I will never advice a person to use said banned substances, ever. Second, don't do stupid shit--if you're not experienced in cutting water you can't do it safely and I don't want people using what I just said above to screw themselves up. Amit is very experienced at every level.