T Nation

Making Weight

I realise this is a topic that has been rinsed and repeated so often that many members are sick to the teeth with it. However, I would like to share my experiences and see what I can take from the feedback.
Boxing is my sport of choice and I have an acute interest in modern strength and conditioning techniques. My coach however, is a traditionalist and many of the modern approaches are seen to be foreign and untrustworthy :smiley:

In the past I have stuck to my guns; got into good condition and cut the last ten pounds through water depletion.
Only once have I felt that my energy was compromised; at a lower weight limit and short notice. Rarely have I detected any ill effects and the results have been very pleasing.

But with international competition coming up I have allowed my coach more influence over my weight. This has resulted in a target weight after every training session and a very gradual cut.
Naturally this translates into calorie and carb restriction in order to whittle away bodyfat. I have felt my training suffer; I am just not satisfied with the effort I can put in without the luxury of carbs peri-workout.
Aesthetically I am noticeably leaner, the scales show significant progress, but my general fitness does not feel as effective as quite frankly I feel the tank is empty.

I would be comforted by the site’s input and any opinions or experiences you may have.
Please forgive me also, for posting this on more than one board, but I would like to get the general consensus as well as the combat cult’s :slight_smile:

I think there’s a middle ground you should try to find. I’ve had a couple fights where I ate whatever I wanted and used extra training to get my weight down almost exclusively, but then I end up 20 pounds over just a couple days out and have a pretty hard cut, and while I didn’t feel “bad” in the ring I certainly didn’t feel my best. But I’ve also had fights that I slowly dieted down and hardly had to dehydrate at all, but I ran into the same problem you’re facing that I just didn’t feel that strong.

In my experience 10-12 pounds is a very reasonable water cut. You don’t want to be gorging on honey buns and Coke during training camp, but it also helps a lot to get some good carbs in you.

When is your competition? What do you weigh now? What weight class are you competing in?

Are you able to cut body fat slowly while still getting peri-workout carbs? I know that when I was going from lhw to middle I limited my carb intake at meals but still had some peri-workout for energy, and I was able to maintain my workout quality while slimming down. 10 lbs of final water cut wasn’t too rough, I never felt that I was weak or gassed from my cut.

What I found worked best for me was walking around within 5% of my fight weight. So for me, fighting at 165lbs, I would never walk around heavier than 175lbs. I could then easily cut that weight in a couple of days manipulating diet and water. I hated doing what your coach is having you do, and found I had the same problems as you are experiencing.

How far over your weight class are you as a percentage of your bodyweight? You also haven’t given any info on how long you have to the competition, or enough specifics about your diet to offer specific help. If you have a second to write it down, we might be able to throw a few suggestions out.

I wouldn’t/don’t do big cuts for pure striking bouts. That said, my sport is MMA, and when I do pure striking, it’s really for the experience, not to advance a career in the sport.

I think it matters less, I think there are way more weight classes, and the brain, and the fluid protecting it inside your skull, are one of the last things to re-hydrate back to 100%, so going in even a little dehydrated can expose your brain to extra trauma.

That said, for MMA I step in 18-20 pounds over weigh-in weight, and feel good doing it since figuring out what works for me.

Thank you for all your replies. Very informative.

I will just fill in some of the grey areas. I had been boxing at light middle in 2010, but as I matured we elected to move up in weight class. Over a 12/18 month period I followed a good program and grew from 166 to 188lbs. Very happy with my development my coach and I elected we compete at 168lbs; super middleweight. My next contest will be May 11 and will be contested over 8 x 3 minute rounds.

180lbs would be a good average weight; I feel very comfortable there; definitely athletic.
I have trained and dieted well, and now, three weeks from competition I find myself at 175lbs.

I performed an experiment last night. One hour before training I took in >100g of carbs in the form of ground porridge oats, along with a single banana. I felt extremely satisfied with my performance and even this mornings session may have been enhanced.
(I am also accepting of the possibility that I may have been availing of endorphins after the previous session groomed my ego so well :D)
I will check the weight again tonight and see how it was affected.

I have been tending to lose 3.5lbs of water weight each boxing session (S&C would be much more variable) but last night was considerably less.
I believe that as I am below that easy 10lb cut mark I will cycle in the carbs for more effective training.

Thank you all for your input. You have helped already.
Given the flight, I would like to avoid water depletion as much as I can.

All sounds very sensible mate. You and you coach obviously know what you’re doing. I would say that around the 175lb mark, you should be able to cut that weight very comfortably inside a week. I’m walking around at about 180lbs at the moment, and I’d be comfortable cutting to 168 in a week or so without doing anything drastic. Sure you’ll have no problem. Is the weigh in on fight night? Sounds like you’re pro and competing at a decent level, so I’m guessing maybe you get to weigh in the day before? Either way, best of luck with the bout. Let us know how you get on.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
All sounds very sensible mate. You and you coach obviously know what you’re doing. I would say that around the 175lb mark, you should be able to cut that weight very comfortably inside a week. I’m walking around at about 180lbs at the moment, and I’d be comfortable cutting to 168 in a week or so without doing anything drastic. Sure you’ll have no problem. Is the weigh in on fight night? Sounds like you’re pro and competing at a decent level, so I’m guessing maybe you get to weigh in the day before? Either way, best of luck with the bout. Let us know how you get on. [/quote]
I don’t know if I’m sensible, but my coach is pretty astute :smiley:
I weigh in the day before, so I will have plenty of time to rehydrate/renourish/fuel.
I’m not at all worried by the weight, but I would like to see how comfortably I can make it.
Yes, boxing professionally, nice little opportunity for me.
Appreciate the well wishes and advice, thanks mate.

Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on this -
and your cut is pretty managable
weighing in the day before is a luxury.

I cut allot of weight for a smaller ( sub 150lb ) wrestler and judo /grappling guy.
eventually I learned from others that epsom salt baths- where easier on the body.
good luck

[quote]kmcnyc wrote:
Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on this -
and your cut is pretty managable
weighing in the day before is a luxury.

I cut allot of weight for a smaller ( sub 150lb ) wrestler and judo /grappling guy.
eventually I learned from others that epsom salt baths- where easier on the body.
good luck[/quote]
Yeah, I’m happy with where I am; just entertaining the idea of a cut to 160lb in future.
We will see :smiley:

I have used epsom salts many times. I find them very effective.
Given your weight class and the close proximity of weigh ins and competition times, have you developed any particular methods of fueling up?

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:

[quote]kmcnyc wrote:
Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on this -
and your cut is pretty managable
weighing in the day before is a luxury.

I cut allot of weight for a smaller ( sub 150lb ) wrestler and judo /grappling guy.
eventually I learned from others that epsom salt baths- where easier on the body.
good luck[/quote]
Yeah, I’m happy with where I am; just entertaining the idea of a cut to 160lb in future.
We will see :smiley:

I have used epsom salts many times. I find them very effective.
Given your weight class and the close proximity of weigh ins and competition times, have you developed any particular methods of fueling up?[/quote]

This is a long time ago for me- I wrestled in college and did some post college greco and Judo

I used to cut about 10-12 lbs two times a week.
usually these where day off- if it was a tournament morning of.

when I cut allot- Id eat baby food first.
pedyalyte or gatorade cut with water
then bananasand then solid food a few hours later.
bananas are your friends here.

really - I did many extremem things to make weight.
tournaments sometimes got rough as there would be multiple weigh ins-
each day of the competition.

mid 2000’s I did a bunch of masters Judo and cut weight- again

from mid 170’s to 158 or close to it.
water manipulation and epsom salts.

I found seltzer water- plain seltzer water very helpful when rehydrating-
the bubbles prevented me from gorging on water

[quote]kmcnyc wrote:
This is a long time ago for me- I wrestled in college and did some post college greco and Judo

I used to cut about 10-12 lbs two times a week.
usually these where day off- if it was a tournament morning of.

when I cut allot- Id eat baby food first.
pedyalyte or gatorade cut with water
then bananasand then solid food a few hours later.
bananas are your friends here.

really - I did many extremem things to make weight.
tournaments sometimes got rough as there would be multiple weigh ins-
each day of the competition.

mid 2000’s I did a bunch of masters Judo and cut weight- again

from mid 170’s to 158 or close to it.
water manipulation and epsom salts.

I found seltzer water- plain seltzer water very helpful when rehydrating-
the bubbles prevented me from gorging on water
[/quote]
Excellent, thanks for the information!
Gradual reduction in weight is going curiously well…
so well I suspect catabolism.
Nonetheless performing well, so I’ll stick to it for the next fortnight.

Leave it to an Irishman to measure weight in pounds but still say things like “fortnight” ha

Looking forward to hearing how it turns out for you man.

[quote]Melvin Smiley wrote:
Leave it to an Irishman to measure weight in pounds but still say things like “fortnight” ha

Looking forward to hearing how it turns out for you man.[/quote]
Haha thats the truth man :smiley:
Only country in the world you’ll find the cars with Miles p/h on the speedometer and kilometres p/h on the road signs :smiley:

Completely un-interestingly my degree is in Construction measurement and finance.
The metric system is naturalised for me, but I can convert pretty ok :wink:

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:

[quote]Melvin Smiley wrote:
Leave it to an Irishman to measure weight in pounds but still say things like “fortnight” ha

Looking forward to hearing how it turns out for you man.[/quote]
Haha thats the truth man :smiley:
Only country in the world you’ll find the cars with Miles p/h on the speedometer and kilometres p/h on the road signs :smiley:

Completely un-interestingly my degree is in Construction measurement and finance.
The metric system is naturalised for me, but I can convert pretty ok :wink:
[/quote]

Are you sure it’s wise for a smart fella like you to be getting punched in the head for a living?

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
Are you sure it’s wise for a smart fella like you to be getting punched in the head for a living?
[/quote]
Dunno about smart now :smiley:
In all truth and honesty its hard to make a living from it here in Ireland. Very few shows in the Republic, so I work too.

I guess I grew up in the sport. I box because I love it and because I feel only now I’m starting to understand and fully appreciate what I’ve been taught?

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
Are you sure it’s wise for a smart fella like you to be getting punched in the head for a living?
[/quote]
Dunno about smart now :smiley:
In all truth and honesty its hard to make a living from it here in Ireland. Very few shows in the Republic, so I work too.

I guess I grew up in the sport. I box because I love it and because I feel only now I’m starting to understand and fully appreciate what I’ve been taught?[/quote]

Ye mate tell me about it. I had one or two pro offers, but it’s a pretty rough living outside the worlds and hard to make it work with a job. Good on you for making it work, got a lot of respect for that.

I definitely get the bit about only just getting to terms with it all. I think I’ve improved most since I stopped competing and started coaching a bit more.

A guy in TKO expressed the same thoughts to me on facebook before I believe.
I guess when you serve your apprenticeship you gain a grip of the knowledge a bit better.
Perhaps that’s why we have so many acclaimed “Jr.s” in the sport :smiley: